Walking through your local REI store can be like a traveler's version of a trip to Tiffany's. When I stopped in two weeks ago to use my annual rebate check and a "20 percent one full-priced item" coupon, I had trouble actually using the latter. After perusing racks of $95 slacks from Columbia, $80 t-shirts from Mountain Hardwear, $200 sunglasses from Smith, and $18 socks from a whole slew of companies, I ended up using the coupon on some heavy-duty DEET bug repellent. I saved $1.60. Woo-hoo.
In all fairness though, REI does run some killer sales now and then, in the stores and their outlet site, plus the prices on their own private label versions of popular clothing items are much easier to swallow. Like the lower-priced snacks and cereals under the Target or Costco brand name, the REI versions of pants, jackets, or wicking shirts won't sting you so badly at the cash register.
So I used my rebate check to go toward these nice REI Adventure Pants, marked down from $44 to $32.83---a deal that is still up on their website too at the moment.
...continued on the new Practical Travel Gear blog