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Whether you love to enjoy nature at a plush modern campsite, or survive the elements on the side of a cold mountain, you know that finding the right camping gear can be a challenge. Local bargain warehouse stores have very limited and seasonal camping gear, while specialty camping stores carry name brands but exorbitantly high prices.
Finding camping gear online lets you browse a wide selection of top quality camping brands in a variety of sizes, shapes, and quality. There's no need to drive across town to hunt through a limited selection of camping equipment with high markups. Instead, with just a few clicks of the mouse you can quickly find the tent, backpack, sleeping bag, cookware, shoes, and other camping gear that fits within your budget.
Monday, January 18th
REI is the online presence of outdoor equipment giant Recreation Equipment Incorporated, one of the largest camping and outdoor gear retailers in the world. REI as a company is set up as a consumer cooperative, which means it's owned by its members.
As one might expect from a large established company like REI, the website is professional and polished. The main page features links to various resources, such as travel opportunities, membership plans, outdoor education classes, and more. The REI website is a huge, immersive experience for those that love to camp and be outdoors.
The camping gear selection is simply enormous. We found at first glance 543 backpacks, 402 camping tents, 85 different camping stoves, sections for knives, tools, binoculars, watches radios, and even separate sections for bear safety and camping gear designed for your dog. You can refine your search easily by brand, type, cost and other criteria to help narrow your search.
When it comes to outdoor gear, if you need it, you'll find it at REI. All of the popular brands are available; Osprey, North Face, Camelbak, Arc'Teryx, as well as REI's own brand that they manufacture themselves. We compared the prices on some specific items against the prices of the same items on other camping gear websites and found the REI prices to be very competitive, as well as REI having a superior selection.
The shipping and return policies are excellent with REI. You'll enjoy free shipping with any purchase of $50 or more. The return policy is simple and impressive. You get a 100% money-back guarantee if the item is returned, for any reason at all, within one year from the day it was purchased. This meets or exceeds the return policies of any other camping equipment site we have reviewed. Also, since REI has retail stores as well as an online presence, you can make returns at a retail location rather than through the mail.
For camping gear, REI has it all. Their enormous selection, fair pricing, and excellent shipping/return policies set the standard in the industry. The fact that they're backed by a very popular and successful retail giant is an additional plus. For all these reasons, REI earns our highest rating and they should be your first stop for camping and outdoor equipment.
Campsaver is an outdoor enthusiast's Shangri-La. This online store carries the latest in outdoor gear and clothing, selling popular brands such as Patagonia, Mountain Hardware, and award-winning Big Agnes. The website is organized well and easy to navigate through with everything needed for hiking, camping, running, and travelling - in all kinds of weather. A consumer can find all they need to prepare for any kind of outdoor adventure.
The company began in 2003 in Logan, Utah. In a short time, it has grown to one of the biggest online retailers supplying outdoor gear. With over 40,000 (yes, that is correct) five-star testimonials, this company prides itself for selling the best equipment that will last. Many customers expressed appreciation for finding specialty brands and items.
One of the greatest strengths of this company is its customer service. The site has Google's stamp of approval as a trusted store, which should generate confidence in any consumer. They have a generous 60-day return policy and offer warranties. New, unused items have a lifetime return policy, meaning that as long as items stay in the packaging and wasn't bought on clearance, they can be returned. Shoppers can chat online with a customer rep, or talk to them on the phone. Campsaver promises 100% satisfaction, including a fit guarantee. A customer can also be reimbursed for return shipping in the case of defects or warranty issues.
In part because of the strength of their customer service - the most important part of shopping online or in store - this company earns top marks. The website is user friendly and loaded with valuable products. Anyone looking for outdoor gear will be very satisfied and return often to this online store.
If you've had the opportunity to visit a Bass Pro Shop you know how truly entertaining the experience can be. For those outdoor lovers Bass Pro is a paradise. In business since 1971 they bring fishing, hunting and camping gear to shoppers online or across the country.
If you are in the market for camping gear Bass Pro offers tents, sleeping bags, beds, coolers, lighting, rainwear, cooking ware and much more. The brands they offer include Coleman, Eureka, King Canopy, North Face, Texsport and more. Generally speaking, their selection of camping gear products are on the lower end of the price scale. They typically do not offer some of the high end camping products that some of the higher ranked stores provide. That means if you are looking for a budget friendly product Bass Pro is a good place to stop.
Bass Pro is a large corporation now but we found their shopping experience to be friendly and convenient. The return policy is less generous than some companies but you're able to return in person if a store is located near you. Unfortunately Bass Pro does not offer free shipping on a regular basis.
Bass Pro offers a nice selection of camping gear. The products are generally very budget friendly and prices are competitive. If you are looking for affordable, yet quality camping gear Bass Pro has a nice selection.
Bob Wards is a sporting goods retailer out of Montana with a family feel. This company supplies many products for outdoor sports such as fishing poles, lanterns, tents, backpacks, climbing gear, paint ball equipment, backyard games, snow equipment and more. If your sport is done outside they probably sell something for it.
The different brands offered at Bob Wards is fewer across several product categories than those companies higher ranked. To search through the selection you choose between apparel, footwear, outdoor gear, hunting, fishing, snow sports, brands and clearance. Further searches may be completed by type, price range, color and size. We felt the search functionality was a bit cumbersome on some items but not to the point where we became frustrated.
Should you not be satisfied with your purchase at Bob Wards you may return your purchase in new condition and in original packaging.
We found several happy customers from Bob Wards and only a few complaints regarding missing emails on shipments. Otherwise, Bob Wards provides a good selection of sporting includes including a decent selection of camping gear. While the return policy is not as flexible as some companies it was definitely fair.
Whether you want to alleviate all the discomforts of the outdoors, rough it with a minimum of gear, or prep for the coming zombie apocalypse, Wayfair is worth a look for your outdoor gear needs.
Wayfair started out in 2002 with two employees in furniture and audio/video equipment. They have since expanded nationally and internationally with 1200 employees with a large, varied selection of over 11,000 brands. "Outdoor" is a larger category that includes camping gear from the many home furnishing categories on their website. So outdoor enthusiasts might find it easy to dismiss their offerings but one might be surprised.
You'll find all the brand names for conventional camping and outdoor gear. For instance, need a backpack? Not only does Wayfair break it down by a self adjusted price, items are conveniently searchable by type of trip and type of activity, be it climbing, cycling, a weekend trip or just a day trip. Shelter, sleeping and cooking brands were equally expansive. However, camping gear such as hiking shoes and gear for dogs, were nonexistent.
So with basic camping gear covered, let's get a little more hardcore. Searching for water purification tablets did turn up results at Wayfair! Impressive for a site that also sells home furnishings. Searching for knives resulted in a large array of swiss army types and pocket knives but for those looking for hunting or survival knives to "skin a buck or run a trout line" so to speak are better off at more specialized vendors. While the general categories were not as expansive as those companies ranked higher, we found the website to be have a clean, simple design, that is easily navigable.
Wayfair has been accredited with the Better Business Bureau since 2003 with an A+ rating. They are active and popular on social media sites with over 10,000 followers on Twitter and 749,000 Likes on Facebook. For your conventional or mainstream camping needs, Wayfair has a wide selection of brand name gear at competitive prices and make it easy to search for what you want or need. They offer free shipping on items over $49. For those that are more into the hunting, fishing or survival aspects of the outdoors, a higher rated site would be recommended.
Backcountry is the rough and rugged campers website with tons of selection across numerous high quality brands. Backcountry started their company with the intent of catering to adventure seekers. We felt it was an interesting coincidence that their website was also an adventure.
Off the bat we had to take a step back from the Backcountry website and gain our composure. Perhaps it really was designed for those seeking an adventure and not expecting a smooth, painless ride. Setting aside their impressive selection we couldn't quiet get over the search functionality and literally felt a little motion sickness when the initial results appeared. Can you say "overwhelming"?
Again, Backcountry doesn't joke around with their selection across large named brands such as North Face, Kelty, Sierra Designs, Marmot, Mountain Hardwear, and many more.
Should you not be satisfied Backcountry will accept your return, new or used, with no questions asked. This is an impressive policy and would allow for many to feel comfortable in their purchase.
Clearly Backcountry has a website redesign opportunity if they want to cater to many customers that require a quiet, well organized shopping experience without an upset stomach. However, if you are looking for camping gear you are likely to find some of the finest offerings at Backcountry - if you are able to deal with the lay out and not run out in a hurry. With an extremely flexible return policy there's little risk shopping from Backcountry.
Sunny Sports is a New Jersey based company that provides camping gear and outdoor sporting goods equipment such as tents, sleeping bags, hiking poles, watches, lights, luggage, camping furniture, sunglasses and much more.
Unfortunately at Sunny Sports we were instantly turned off by their search functionality. We were unable to narrow our search by much and therefore had to spend extra time attempting to find what we were looking for. The results appeared in a long list in the middle of the page that was also less efficient as it required we scroll several pages to see their entire selection. The overall look of the website lacked the professionalism we were looking for.
Sunny Sports does offer a decent selection of camping gear if you have a lot of time on your hands. Shipping is free on orders over $49 and keeps pace with the competition.
Their refund policy was also less flexible than many others as they only provide 60 days to return an unused product. This was fair but again not as flexible or impressive as some companies we reviewed.
Overall, we couldn't find any great aspects of Sunny Sports that made us want to shop their website for more than a few minutes.
Moosejaw is a website geared toward selling camping and outdoor gear. The tone of the website attempts to humor the reader but we had a tough time not getting annoyed the more we read. I guess we appreciated the attempt at humor but felt it went to far for most over 30 years old.
Another word for Moosejaw, besides "annoying", is "expensive". The website says they offer a price match guarantee within 24 hours of purchase but we felt that could be a hassle to provide proof that they were charging their customers 10 to 25% more than much of the competition. Why bother if you don't have to?
Moosejaw does offer a wide selection of camping gear and we thought it was too bad they missed the mark with writing and price. They do a great job of offering an endless satisfaction guarantee but it seems so broad we had a tough time believing all customers would interpret the true meaning of the return policy. Thankfully shipping is free on orders over $48.95 because again, the prices were on the steep side on the many products we checked and compared.
Overall, the website functionality was good, the layout was good, product and brand selection was strong but Moosejaw doesn't take the customer serious enough. We want good prices without the hassle and we want to be appreciated. We recommend you shop from a higher ranked website that puts the customer higher on the list of importance.
Paragon Sports provides a pinch of sporting equipment for just about any sport you can think of. They work with 300 name brands and have over 30,000 items in stock but that doesn't mean they'll have the camping gear you need.
Paragon Sports is committed to providing quality products but unfortunately is not an expert in camping gear. They seem to cater to the novice camper that doesn't really know what they need in the great outdoors or appreciate certain high quality brands over others. Paragon offers camping gear across only 5 or 6 brands in most of their lines of tents, sleeping bags, and more.
They had an ok selection of lower end tents and backpacks. The search functionality at Paragon is not complicated but we found their website to be slow and sluggish the several times we visited. We also found their customer service contacts to lack some specific camping gear knowledge we had grown to expect from the other companies.
Should you not be satisfied with your purchase Paragon allows for a 30 day return of unused, new products in the original packaging.
It seems that Paragon is the jack of all sporting good and a master of nothing. With a week selection, limited brands and an overall unimpressive camping gear experience we felt that you could find so much more at a higher ranked competitor.
Even better, it will arrive at your doorstep with no hassle. A number of camping stores exist online today that can meet all your camping needs. However, not all camping stores provide the same experience. Before buying any camping gear online you should consider the following:
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best Camping Gear stores available today. We hope these reviews help you find all the camping equipment that meets your camping needs!
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