Black Friday is traditionally the season when you shop for televisions or Christmas presents, and not so much for outdoor gear. But that has changed in the past few years with REI’s Get Up Get Out Sale and other retailers trying their hand at Black Friday outdoor deals. Now is a great time to score a deal on tents, backpacks, sleeping pads, and Garmin devices. REI’s sale is over (it will be back for Cyber Monday), but aside from REI brand items, we’ve found the same deals elsewhere.
WIRED tests products year-round and handpicked these deals based on the actual discounts, not just the discounts retailers claim to offer. Products that are sold out or no longer discounted as of publishing will be
crossed out. We’ll update this guide through Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Be sure to check out our best Black Friday Deals.
Table of Contents
WIRED’s Top Deals
Our favorite lumbar pack, The Tour is loaded with pockets, which gives you far more stash spaces than would seem possible in a pack this size. We’ve had no trouble fitting a change of clothes and a couple of meals in here, in addition to the gear you’ll need for a full day on the trail or on a bike. The 13L version is also on sale for $75 ($25 off).
Mystery Ranch packs have a devoted following for a good reason. They’re tough and well-thought-out. This 27L pack is a great size for all-day use, whether you’re headed into the woods or just around town. The MOLLE webbing on the back provides plenty of expansion options, and Mystery Ranch’s trademark 3-panel zip system is one of those things you never knew you needed until you try it, and then you can’t live without it. Note that this deal is only on the black color in large.
If the 2-Day Assault pack above is too militaristic for you, this smaller, lighter pack is well worth it. The Catalyst 18 is the standard daypack in Mystery Ranch’s lineup, but features the company’s three-zip design. That said, all hunting- and outdoor-related gear is 30 percent off with this code so there’s plenty to choose from.
We love GoRuck’s over-the-top sturdy packs. Packs don’t come better made than this. The Bullet is the smallest of GoRuck’s bags and makes a good pack for around town (the laptop compartment is awesome) or short, lightweight hikes. GoRuck’s packs aren’t cheap, but this deal makes the price a little easier to bear.
We haven’t tested this exact pack, but I have been testing the similar Deuter Speed Lite 30 ($124) all fall (it’s also on sale), and I own the Trail 25 ACT from a few years back, which is similar. Both of those are very comfortable, sturdy packs, and the Pro 33L here looks to be the same. It has a nice set of internal organization options, a decent hipbelt for this size pack, and Deuter’s trademark venting system to keep your back cool.
My son grew up in this pack, which carried him from the mountains of Colorado to the hot barren mesas of Chaco Canyon. It’s not cheap (though this deal takes some of the pain away), but it’s well-made, and, most important, stable and comfortable. It’s also the easiest kid-hiking-pack I’ve tested to take on and off, which you will inevitably do, a lot.
Fitness Tracker Deals
The Instinct 2S Solar (9/10, WIRED Recommends) is the best value for the money in the sports watch category. It has insanely good battery life thanks to its small, sharp monochrome screen. The Instinct can track an incredible array of fitness-related features and it has three GPS systems to pinpoint location and distance, even at sea or under tree cover.
Garmin’s Forerunner line of GPS-enabled fitness trackers is bewilderingly complex, but this is our favorite (8/10, WIRED Recommends). You get great battery life in a lightweight, comfortable watch. There’s all the detailed fitness tracking you’d expect, especially for running, hiking, and cycling. It also has pretty good sleep tracking. The Music version, which allows you to store and listen to music via Bluetooth headphones, is also on sale for $300 ($100 off). If you’re not sure which Garmin to get, have a look at our guide to picking the right model.
If you’re breaking off your toothbrush handle to reduce weight in your hyperlight pack, you need an inReach Mini. It’s tiny—a mere 3.5 ounces—and utilizes the super-fast Iridium satellite network, which will let you send an SOS from anywhere on the planet. It’s our favorite tiny satellite messenger for traveling off-grid.
The Apple Watch Ultra 2 (8/10, WIRED Recommends) is only a month old but it’s already on sale. It’s our favorite smartwatch for outdoor sports. It packs a new (and bright) 3,000-nit display, the latest S9 chip for faster processing, and the new ultra-wideband chip for precision-locating your phone. It’s a great option if you’re heavily into outdoor sports and are looking for a rugged, full-functioning smartwatch to take along with you. It’s also the Apple Watch with the best battery life thanks to its massive size.
This is the best price we’ve seen for the Fitbit Charge 6 (7/10, WIRED Review), the latest addition to the Charge lineup. Its predecessor remains our favorite fitness tracker, but this model struggles at times. The companion app leaves a bit to be desired, there’s no fall detection, and Bluetooth connectivity is glitchy. You should also be aware that to access every feature, you’ll need a Fitbit Premium subscription that costs $10 per month. All that being said, at this price, the Fitbit Charge 6 is a simple and focused fitness tracker with a pretty robust suite of health metrics.
Withings just released the ScanWatch 2, so the first generation of the company’s watch to be cleared by the FDA is now heavily discounted. This hybrid smartwatch (8/10, WIRED Recommends) looks exactly like an analog watch with a host of reliable health and fitness features.
This is a great deal on our favorite action camera for recording your outdoor adventures. The GoPro Hero 12 (8/10, WIRED Recommends) just launched in September and the previous model is still selling for $300, which makes this a pretty sweet deal. Not only do you get the latest version, you also get two batteries and a mini tripod. The Hero 12 isn’t a huge change from the Hero 11, but it does have better battery life, can shoot HDR video in 5.3K, and I still haven’t been able to overheat it in three months of trying. If none of that matters to you, you can grab the GoPro Hero 11 for $296 ($45 off).
E-Bike and Scooter Deals
This is our best all-around affordable electric bike. Propella’s 7-speed bike (8/10, WIRED Recommends) is one of the lightest, most efficient, and most comfortable in this category.
Rad Power Bikes is one of the first direct-to-consumer ebike companies, and as such has been the subject of some painful lawsuits as the market has grown. However, it’s still a very popular bike, very affordable, and very fun and easy to ride. All of their bikes are on sale but most people I know ride the basic RadRunner, which is insanely powerful for the price, if a little unwieldy for smaller riders.
This is the affordable, DTC version of the now defunct VanMoof (8/10, WIRED Recommends). You get a stylish, attractive bike for not a lot of money. All of Wing’s bikes are currently on sale.
We’ve tried several Aventon models and appreciate the high level of quality for a relatively low price point (the accessories are better than Lectric’s, too). This fat-tire ebike (8/10, WIRED Recommends) is affordable, versatile, and has built-in commuter essentials. We also like the Soltera.2 and the Abound, which are also on sale.
The Fluidfreeride Mosquito escooter (7/10, WIRED Recommends) is lightweight and easy to carry, but still packs a top speed of 24 miles per hour, a loud horn, drum breaks, plus front and read lights. It has a quick folding system too, and you can even fold the handlebars. This price is a nice deal on it.
Ride1Up positions the Cafe Cruiser as its light, affordable daily cruiser (7/10, WIRED Recommends) but with a 750W motor and a 65-pound frame, it’s pretty big and powerful for an entry-level bike. Still, at this price (and for these specs!) it’s a pretty amazing value.
This is the latest version of our favorite micro ebike. The next big trend in electric bikes is micro-mobility, which refers to tiny personal vehicles. Tiny bikes are more affordable, easier to transport, and easier to store. And just like mini anything, they’re completely irresistible.
We love pretty much everything Peak Design makes, which is amazing because almost everything is currently 10 to 15 percent off. I (Adrienne) particularly like the Bike Mount, which locks your phone in place with the Everyday Case (which is also on sale, unless you want the iPhone 15 or Pixel 8 versions). The bags are on sale today.
Apparel and Footwear Deals
An Icebreaker hoodie was my introduction to merino wool, and it remains one of the best jackets I’ve ever owned. This jacket is 100 percent merino and incredibly warm, despite not being all that thick. That makes it a great option for days when the weather may vary considerably–it’s warm enough for a cold morning but won’t be a burden in your pack the rest of the day.
This shirt is an updated version of the all-season version we like. This one is 100 percent merino and fits fairly snug, making it a good choice for layering. The price varies by color, but most are $86. The women’s version is also on sale, in some cases for even less (select colors).
I like these zero-padded socks for everyday use and hiking. They’re plenty soft and not too tight. They’re only about 50 percent merino (the rest is various forms of nylon) so they won’t be quite as odor-resistant as full merino socks, but they make a good intro to the world of wool socks. If you prefer some extra cushion in the heel and toe areas, the Light Cushion and Full Cushion versions are also on sale.
We love these long-sleeve Smartwool shirts for how soft they are. The heavy-duty seams (read: sturdier, longer lasting) are not so heavy that they cause any discomfort—the shirts lie flat and sit off the shoulder, as any half-decent base layer should. These aren’t 100 percent merino, but the 12 percent nylon might be welcome if you’re a merino newbie. These are also made with plant-based dyes.
I have not tested these exact socks, but I own and love several other Smartwool pairs that have stood the test of time. And yes, you really can wear them on the trail for several days in a row and they won’t smell. I do suggest letting them air out each day if you can.
These minimal socks are a great choice for runners. They work especially well with barefoot shoes if that’s your bag. They’re 54 percent merino wool, with enough stretch to keep them nice and tight inside shoes, even when you’re trail running.
My colleagues have always loved Darn Tough’s merino wool socks, but I never tried them until this year and … I am sold. They’re great socks. These are only 60 percent merino, but that’s pretty good for socks. We regularly see these drop this much at the end of the year when new styles and colors are on their way, but if you need to stock up on socks anyway, now’s a good time.
I just started testing these—as part of my quest for perfect pants— but I am already a fan. The cotton twill is impressively heavy duty, without being too restrictive. I probably wouldn’t go rock climbing in them, but they’re great for hiking, especially for breaking through the dense undergrowth of the Appalachian trails I’ve been on lately. They’re DWR coated, which I don’t love, but it does make them water resistant.
Paddleboard and Kayak Deals
The Breeze Aero (7/10, WIRED Recommends) inflatable paddleboard is well built and durable, and it packs up reasonably small. It’s by far the stablest paddleboard I’ve tested, making it a good choice for beginners. It’s easy to unpack and easy to use. Inflating is something of a chore with the hand pump, but once it’s deflated, it’s not hard to stow it away again. This deal is on the 11’6″ model (which supports up to 355 pounds).
It’s been a while since we tested an Oru, but every time we have we’ve loved them. These clever kayaks fold up like origami, packing down to the size of a small suitcase. Most weigh around 25 pounds and they’re all on sale. The Beach LT is in the middle of the lineup, both in terms of size and price. It’s a bit wider than some models, making it more stable and giving you a spacious cockpit that’s more beginner-friendly.
Tent and Sleeping Deals
We’re happy to report that even updating this post to remove REI deals (which have ended), this deal endures. Our favorite lightweight family backpacking tent, the MSR Elixir 4 tent isn’t quite as pricey as options like the Big Agnes Copper Spur, but it’s not much heavier. I used this with my three kids, and there was plenty of interior space. That said, three adults will be more comfortable than four. The mesh at the top provides great ventilation on warm summer nights and the crossover pole helps it stand up well in the wind. The 1-person, 2-person, and 3-person sizes are also on sale.
Our top pick for family tents, the MSR Habitude is strong and light. It fits easily on a canoe or paddleboard and is easy to set up—the design is simple and the poles are color-coded. In our testing, there was plenty of floor space for two adults, two toddlers, and a large-ish dog. It also has storage pockets, places to hang lights, and a vestibule. It doesn’t have the best airflow in warmer situations, but otherwise this is a great option for families.
Nemo’s sleeping pads are the lightest, smallest pads we’ve tested. The Tensor-insulated sleeping pad sports an R-Value of 4.2 and weighs just 15.2 ounces. I also love that the Tensor is thick, comfortable, and nearly silent. (I hate that swish of nylon that’s pretty much synonymous with backcountry sleeping.) The REI deal is the best, but if you want the mummy version, it’s also on sale at Backcountry ($130) and Moosejaw ($140).
I have not had a chance to put this pad in our Best Sleeping Pads guide, but I’ve spent quite a few fall nights on it now and recommend it for anyone who wants to go lightweight but still have some insulation for warmth. This pad is surprisingly light and compact for the comfort level it provides. With an R-value of 4.7, it’s enough for winter camping, though I prefer to pair it with a Z-Rest ($35 at Backcountry, $10 off) when there’s snow on the ground.
This pad was my intro to backcountry sleeping, and I remain a fan (though, technically, mine was a no-name brand). The Z-Lite and its ilk weigh next to nothing (10 ounces for the small), fold up small enough to lash to the outside of any pack, and double as a chair, extra padding on cold nights, or a table.
We really like the slightly thicker Ultra 7R, but if you don’t need extra insulation (for example if you’re headed out in warmer climes), this is a good deal on a solid inflatable. As with the 7R, I suggest going for the wide version. I found the regular to be a bit on the narrow side, and the weight difference (5 ounces) doesn’t justify the lost sleeping space.
Everything that Yeti makes is insanely overpriced, and also the best thing we’ve ever touched. Reviews editor Adrienne So has owned this blanket for several years. It has a waterproof bottom, comes in its own carrying sack, is machine washable, and is weighted enough to not fly away at an outdoor concert. You can view Yeti tumblers on sale at their Amazon landing page.
This sleeping bag was on sale during the REI event and we’re happy to be putting it back in this update because it’s a very nice ultralight sleeping bag. There are three temp ratings, 40 degrees, 28 degrees, and 5 degrees. I tested the 5-degree bag, which has kept me plenty toasting on some cool fall nights in the north woods of Wisconsin. When you want to go light this thing delivers, weighing only 12 ounces for the 40-degree version.
The Best Super-Comfy Car Camping Pad in our guide to sleeping pads, Therm-a-Rest’s MondoKig is a burly mat at a full 4 inches thick. It weighs 4 pounds, so you won’t want to lug it far, but even a large-bodied side sleeper won’t bottom out on this thing. This deal applies only to the large size.
Stove and Water Filter Deals
Campgrounds generally have some kind of fire ring, but when I head into the backcountry—if open flame fires are permitted—I am a devoted fan of Firebox stoves. There’s nothing like cooking real food over an open flame. The Firebox is a stainless steel box you can fold up to be flat for easy packing. It comes with an ash pan, two steel sticks to balance your pans, and a carry bag. Most of the company’s stoves are on sale right now, but I recommend the G2 for most people. If you regularly cook for larger groups the best option is the Freestyle Everything Kit for $120 ($74 off)
The WhisperLite Universal is a legend for good reason. It’ll burn just about anything (isobutane-propane, white gas, gasoline, kerosene), making it a great choice for traveling internationally or wherever you don’t know what kind of fuel will be available. Flame control is a little tricky, but I have managed to get it to simmer, as long as the wind isn’t too bad.
MSR’s answer to the all-in-one Jetboil type of stove, the WindBurner is perfect for those solo adventures. If you end up making friends, the Windburner Duo is also on sale for $165 ($55 off).
Finding a good backpacking stove is tough. Some people skip the stove and just bring ready-to-eat food, but I prefer something hot. That’s where the Primus Firestick comes in, it’s so light and tiny you’ll never notice it in your pack, but it’s plenty powerful and perfect for two-person meals. It is better at boiling (think high flame) than simmering, but when you want to go light, this is a good stove to bring. This is the lowest price we’ve seen on the titanium model.
This lightweight, efficient, compact stove is perfect for car camping and bike packing. It’s easy to use, and the fuel is cheap. We have seen the price dip lower, but this is still a good deal.
Want to bring a little of the camping vibe to your backyard? Grab a firepit and start roasting smores on the patio. We’ve tested the larger Solo Stove Yukon, which we love, but most people looking for a fire pit in their backyard should go with smaller versions like the Bonfire. These smokeless fire pits burn wood quickly, they’re nearly indestructible, and they are easy to light.
This gravity water filter made backpacking with my family fun again. Seriously, fetching water for five on the trail can be a lot of work, but with MSR’s Guardian filter it’s as simple as scooping some water and waiting a few minutes. It’s expensive, but if you backpack with a large group it’s totally worth it.
This little filter lives at the bottom of my daypack because it’s so light. Why not? I don’t have to worry about lugging a ton of water if I know that my trail crosses active streams and I have this thing with me. In fact, if you’re an uber-ultralight weightist (and a little silly) you can skip the bottle entirely and just squirt this thing into your mouth while you vault across streams, sailing toward that summit.
Camp Gear Deals
This is another deal that thankfully keeps going update after update. I got my first Petzel Tikka in 2000. It lasted 15 years and would probably still be going if I hadn’t accidentally run over it. These will stand up to a lot, but not the full weight of car, as it turns out. I am now on my second Tikka, and it’s still the best headlamp I’ve ever used. Truthfully, these days I use a USB headlamp most of the time, but when I hit the trail I still take the Tikka and a set of extra (rechargeable) batteries.
This one was a bit cheaper when the REI sale was going, but it’s a good price. These things make great stocking stuffers. The inflatable Luci light is frosted and has nice warm LEDs. It’s fully waterproof and dirtproof, is collapsible for easy storage, and charges in direct sunlight for about six hours of run time.
For luxury camping trips, this is the chair to get. The Stargaze’s seat swings and reclines using straps to suspend its seat from an aluminum frame. It can hold up to 300 pounds. WIRED commerce director Martin Cizmar says his only problem with the chair was that, like a palace throne, maintaining possession required constant vigilance over covetous and duplicitous vassals.
I love this little coffee mug, which is nearly indestructible. It’s hard to find a mug that isn’t giant. If you’re a fan of small mugs and need one for camping (or anywhere really) this is a great option.
One of our favorite barefoot shoe brands is also having a sale right now. If you’re new to barefoot shoes, have a look at our Best Barefoot Shoes guide before you dive in feet first.
Once my favorite shoe (I’ve since moved to the even more minimalist Z-Trek Sandal), these remain a great choice for beginners and experienced barefooters alike. Think of these as the barefoot answer to Chacos. Except where Chacos are like putting tractors on your feet, the Z-Trails still flex and bend as you walk, giving your feet the freedom of movement you expect from a barefoot shoe. The kids’ Z-Trails are also a great deal at $30 ($30 off).
The HFS is our favorite barefoot shoe for running on human-made surfaces, like concrete and asphalt. It has a bit of extra cushion that’s nice when you’re pounding the pavement (although you shouldn’t be pounding anything when running barefoot). These are comfortable and durable, and they offer about 7 millimeters of padding to soften the impact of hard surfaces.
If you want a heavier lug sole for hiking on rough ground but don’t want a full boot, Xero’s Mesa Trail II are a good choice. They can also double as trail runners when you want to move faster. The price varies a lot by color so it’s worth clicking around. If you don’t mind the red pair, they can be had for $36.
The Tari is our top pick for a solid winter boot. My daughter has worn these for two years— everywhere from the icy, windy Colorado plains to the windswept Outer Banks—and she’s had toasty toes throughout. While technically a slip-on, it does have an adjustable strap that runs from the top of the arch down to the sole and then through a buckle near the back, which means you can snug it down a little if you need to.
Updated November 24, 2023: We’ve checked prices and added new deals, including deals on the Firebox G2 stove, Primus Firestick, Solo Bonfire, and a Sea to Summit sleeping bag.