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REI honors their best-in-class gear to help people get outside
- Black Diamond Spot 400 Headlamp: This headlamp shines (for up to 200 hours, to be precise) with best-in-test versatility and intuitive controls that make it easy to get just the right glow. Features like waterproof casing, a lock function and most-recent brightness memory make this lamp dependable for a multi-day climbing trip or making late-night freeze-dried stroganoff. The Spot 400 has more lumens than its previous iteration, a previous Editors’ Choice winner, and now comes in a rechargeable version.
- ENO DoubleNest Hammock: Spacious enough to share hang time with a friend, the DoubleNest scales up without sacrificing quality. The setup is easy, the soft fabric is ultrabreathable and the use cases are, by our testers’ estimates, limitless—from faux studio apartment couch to backpacking tent alternative.
- FIRESIDE OUTDOOR Pop-up Fire Pit: this portable fire pit and grill option creates a crowd-pleasing fire ideal for whipping up a delicious meal. Packed, it is about the size of a camp chair, making it easy to stash for use at dispersed, undeveloped campsites without fire rings. The large fire pan lets multiple people gather around the flames to roast s’mores and facilitates an ideal asado-style cooking fire.
- Solo Stove Bonfire Fire Pit: Testers found this gleaming cylinder especially easy to light–the initial flames grow quickly, without any need to blow on them—and it was the coziest of the options that our testers tried, a perfect complement to your patio furniture.
- Teva ReEmber Slip-Ons (Women’s, Men’s): The ReEmber excels at switching up its identity—from indoor to outdoor shoe, slipper to slip-on clog, warm-weather camp shoe to aprés-ski companion. Lightweight, stain-resistant, and comfy, our testers dubbed this the Eleventh Essential.
REI recognizes these products as top performers in a head-to-head round-robin test. Product reviews on REI.com and customer feedback, along with sustainability attributes based on REI product impact standards, are also considered in the process. Testers include REI employees and co-op members from across the nation, who evaluate everything from a product’s usability to its features in various climates, terrain and weather. They report back on their experiences with qualitative and quantitative data collected along the way.
Depending on the category, some tests can last months, or even up to a year, to see how the products perform through various seasons and scenarios. The top-scoring products are featured in Gear Guides on Expert Advice, REI’s gear and expertise learning library. The best of the best also receive an REI Co-op Editors’ Choice Award.
Gear considered must be sold at the co-op. There is no set timing or number of recipients that may receive this accolade. Products are continually tested and can be recognized with an REI Co-op Editors’ Choice Award designation anytime through the year. A list of past award winners can be found here.