Let’s face it. Camping gear can be expensive.
That’s why it’s critical that you know precisely when is the best time to buy camping gear so you can save money during the shopping process.
We know how important it is for you to get a good deal on your camping gear, so we’ve put together this resource for doing just that.
On this page, we’ll discuss the nitty-gritty details of getting discounted gear at various times of year.
When does camping gear go on sale?
Although retailers hold promotional events throughout the year, there are specific days and seasons where you can routinely expect to snag good deals.
Here’s what you should keep in mind.
- End of season. Depending on where in the world you live, your region’s seasons play a big role in sale events. For example, at the end of the summer season in the US, which is generally around August or September, you can expect items like summer sleeping bags and hammocks to go on sale. Meanwhile, at the end of the winter season, usually around March and April, items like winter boots, winter sleeping bags, and heated gloves are usually discounted. Keep in mind that seasonal sales vary from location to location, as, for example, winter in Rocky Mountain National Park tends to start a bit earlier than in Death Valley.
- Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are annual shopping and sales events that take place in the US around Thanksgiving each year, however, they have recently become global phenomena. In particular, Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) and Cyber Monday (the Monday after Thanksgiving) are great days to search for discounted gear.
- Amazon Prime Day. Amazon Prime Day is an annual sales event for Amazon Prime members that offers excellent deals on nearly everything, including camping gear like solar panels. It usually starts on July 15, but dates can vary from year to year.
- Year-end. Most major gear retailers offer year-end sales in December to coincide with the winter holiday season. While many stores market these sales as holiday sales, you can also find good discounts on the days after Christmas and before the New Year.
How much discount can I expect?
Gear discounts vary from retailer to retailer and throughout the year, so it’s difficult to give a precise answer to how much you can expect to save when you shop.
Occasionally, you may find discounts up to 50% or even 70%, but these are more common in outlet-type retailers, like Steep and Cheap, or during major sales events, such as Black Friday.
It’s important to note that many major retailers are actually limited in how often they can put gear on sale – and at what discount – based on agreements that they have with given manufacturers.
Therefore, finding discounted gear requires a solid strategy if you want to get the best sale price possible.
If you’re shopping for a specific piece of gear by a particular brand, you’ll want to check a variety of different retailer’s websites at least once a week to see if they’re offering a one-off promotion.
Alternatively, if you’re on the lookout for a category of gear, such as hiking poles, but you don’t have a specific product in mind you’ll often get the best deals at end of the season, year-end, and annual sales events.
Where can I find the best discounts?
Some stores routinely offer the best camping gear discounts, so it’s imperative that you know where to start your search. These are some of the best places to check out.
- REI is a major outdoor gear retailer in the US. While they sell most of their gear at the sticker price, you can often find discounts between 20% and 70% on closeout items or at the REI Outlet.
- Steep and Cheap is actually Backcountry.com’s online outlet website. The site runs on an everything-must-go motto and they often have discounts up to 80%. However, sizes and colors are limited on many of the offerings, so check back frequently for good deals.
- Moosejaw is another popular online and in-store gear retailer. They always have a promotion of the day, which involves discounts of up to 70%.
- Backcountry. In addition to Steep and Cheap, online retailer Backcountry has an entire section of their website dedicated to on-sale gear. You can expect discounts up to 80% on everything from 2 person tents to water bottles.
- Camping World specializes in gear for RV and car camping. The company frequently has deals up to about 50% off on items, such as generators and stoves.
- Camp Saver. A dedicated outdoor gear online outlet, Camp Saver offers big discounts on name-brand gear. In addition to seasonal promotions that offer discounts usually 15% and 50%, you can shop the Camp Saver Outlet and the Camp Saver Shed for discounts up to 70% off.
Gaby is a professional mountain guide with a master’s degree in outdoor education. She works primarily in the polar regions as an expedition guide, though she can be found hiking, climbing, skiing, sailing, or paddling in some of the world’s most amazing places when not at work.