6 REASONS WHY REI MEMBERS HAVE MORE FUN
If you’ve been a Bearfoot Theory reader for a while, you know REI has been one of my biggest sponsors. I feel very fortunate to work with a company whose values are so well aligned with my own – one who supports getting all people outside and teaching them how to do it responsibly.
In celebration of REI Member Week, we put together this post highlighting why we at Bearfoot Theory love being REI Members. If you have yet to join the REI Coop, for just $20, you can snag a lifetime membership to REI that instantly gives you access to all of the REI Membership benefits including exclusive sales and coupons, discounts on classes, and the best return policy in the outdoor industry. For all those reasons and more, we’d argue that REI members simply have more fun.
But don’t just take our word for it. Although the Bearfoot Theory team is made up of REI Co-op members who will proudly tell you how much they love being a part of this community, we’re rounding up six more reasons why that $20 for your Membership will be the best money you’ve ever spent.
1. Save on Skiing
Did you know that one of the REI membership benefits includes scoring discounted lift tickets to your favorite ski resort in the winter? Simply go to REI’s website and check to see the current deals going on all throughout the US to save big on your next ski trip. Get anywhere up to 35% off (and sometimes more) on window ticket prices, packages that include lodging and rentals, plus multi-day tickets. At Snowbird here in Salt Lake City, you can save 25% on weekend tickets or 21% off night skiing at Brighton. And that means more spare cash for après or that new winter jacket. So yes, as an REI member who loves to ski, you really will be having more fun in the winter season.
Ryan and I skiing using discounted lift tickets at Snowbird…look how much fun we are having 🙂
Pack for your next ski trip with my “What to Wear Skiing” guide
2. Good Deals On Great Gear
Any outdoor enthusiast knows what a barrier to entry expensive gear and big-ticket items can be when you can’t afford it. One of the best REI membership benefits is that there are frequent deals on gear you need to get outside and have fun. For example, at many times throughout the year, you can earn a $20 bonus card when you spend $100, or REI’s famed Garage Sales will help you score on a big-ticket item, like that MSR Hubba Hubba Tent. Other times, you can take advantage of members-only coupons during big sales that can help you save. And guess what…less money spent on gear means more for your adventures.
I bought this Arcteryx Jacket using a REI Member-only coupon, which nearly saved me $100!
Learn how to choose a lightweight rain jacket that fits your budget.
3. Earn Money Back As You Shop
Get 10% back when you shop as a member and watch the earnings pile up every year when your receive your annual dividend each spring. This means you don’t have to feel bad about restocking your favorite campfire meals when you run out or buying a new Patagonia jacket because it will literally pay off in the end — an REI membership benefit that really helps us have more fun. So, that new mountain bike or pair of skis you’ve been eyeing? There are dividend earnings for that.
Purchasing your mountain bike at REI could literally means hundreds of dollars back in your pocket via your dividend.
4. Outfitting Appointments
The folks at REI know how important it is to have gear that fits well and really works. So, as a lifetime member of the Co-op, you get access to individual outfiitting appointments in the shop with an REI expert to tune things up and make sure your gear is just how you like it. Whether you need your backpack adjusted or need to get outfitted for the Everest Basecamp Trek, the folks at REI will get you dialed. Gear that’s uncomfortable? Not fun. Gear that fits like a glove? Very fun.
Head to REI for an outfitting appointment before that big backpacking trip.
Learn how to pack your backpacking pack for maximum comfort.
5. Become a Part of an Inclusive Outdoor Community
This REI membership benefit doesn’t have a price tag on it. REI advocates for people just as much as they do the outdoor spaces that we all enjoy. Plus, they have a strong focus on enhancing and uplifting their fellow outdoor enthusiasts by staying committed to keeping the outdoors a diverse and level playing field that welcomes everyone just as they are. And they put their money where their mouth is. For example, here in Utah in 2017, REI donated $25,000 to SheJumps, an organization that helps get young girls outside and to build their confidence through free and low-cost outdoor education opportunities. That’s your membership dollars at work.
REI is also creating opportunities for you, as a Member, to connect with other like-minded people in your community. You can swap trail stories over local brew at one of REI’s Member Jams (I’ll be at the Salt Lake event on March 24th!), or join an REI Campout.
The amazing group of people I met on the REI Adventures Olympic National Park Backpacking trip I went on last year.
Get tips for meeting other outdoor women in this blog post.
6. Help Protect and Preserve the Places You Love to Play In
In 2017 alone, REI gave $8.8 million in investments to support over 1,000 outdoor places. That means your membership and purchases are worth more than the gear you buy. They are everything from funding for parks, public lands, and REI’s efforts to “rewild” our cities with green spaces and sustainable transportation. So maybe a simple $20 membership isn’t so simple when you think about it; its a dollar towards a healthier, wilder and better future for everyone.
REI has donated more than $2 million to the National Forest Foundation, which has funded trail projects all over the country.