There once was a time when just a few companies put out all the travel gear. The pioneers like Patagonia, Columbia, North Face, and Eagle Creek had a good lock on what was in stores and new product innovations were a big deal each year. Then the Web came along, physical travel and outdoor gear stores got bigger, and the number of competitors snowballed.
Now it's safe to say there's a downright glut of adventure gear out there, from sunglasses to sleeping bags to fleeces. This means when the new stuff comes in--which it does almost constantly now--it's time to get rid of last month's overstocks. Good for you the shopper.
I'm a big fan of the Backcountry.com outlet and have found plenty of good travel gear deals there. They took it up a notch, however, when they launched the Steep and Cheap page. The idea behind this is refreshing simple. Each day there's a new item for sale at a deeply discounted price. Once it's sold out, they're gone. Then you wait for the next item to see if it strikes your fancy.
This is by nature quite hit and miss. A pair of sunglasses one day, mittens the next, a snowboard after that. The one thing they have in common is that they're a screaming bargain. You can sign up to have the deal e-mailed to you each day if you're a real gear-head or are addicted to shopping. Otherwise you can subscribe to the RSS stream and just check it out in whatever blog and news reader you use each day. Happy hunting!