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REI

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    • Pretty much every day I will see on an Internet hiking forum someone ask a gear question and the answer is always "go to REI". My reply has always been that this isn't very useful since the closest REI is 142 miles away. Well that is changing. In May they are opening one just 12 miles across town. It will be interesting to see what they have. I actually got an REI membership about 40 years ago. I'll have to resurrect that membership number. I was at a local backpacking store last week and noticed they carried only one brand of packs (Osprey). This is why that convential advice of "you should not buy a pack without trying it out in the store first" given on-line daily is so bogus. For a lot of people, your local store may give you just one pack to choose from and that will not be a closet company that may be your best option. Innovative products such as Tarptent, Zpacks, ULA, etc... would not exist if everyone followed the conventional wisdom. So I am torn. I am excited to get a major brick and mortar store, but on line shopping is still pretty important. I hope they can both thrive..
    • odd man out wrote:

      Pretty much every day I will see on an Internet hiking forum someone ask a gear question and the answer is always "go to REI". My reply has always been that this isn't very useful since the closest REI is 142 miles away. Well that is changing. In May they are opening one just 12 miles across town. It will be interesting to see what they have. I actually got an REI membership about 40 years ago. I'll have to resurrect that membership number. I was at a local backpacking store last week and noticed they carried only one brand of packs (Osprey). This is why that convential advice of "you should not buy a pack without trying it out in the store first" given on-line daily is so bogus. For a lot of people, your local store may give you just one pack to choose from and that will not be a closet company that may be your best option. Innovative products such as Tarptent, Zpacks, ULA, etc... would not exist if everyone followed the conventional wisdom. So I am torn. I am excited to get a major brick and mortar store, but on line shopping is still pretty important. I hope they can both thrive..
      I went to REI after about 25 years..... I just gave them my name.........I was in there....no number search needed.
      Cheesecake> Ramen :thumbsup:
    • I'm on my 3rd backpack. Bought the first two on-line and never was able to adjust either to fit me well. Went to REI with a good idea of what I wanted and got a knowledgeable associate who convinced me to downsize. He loaded up the pack with sandbags and pillows then made all the right adjustments. I'm happier now even when I'm carrying 40 pound loads. When my daughter was ready for her pack, I took her to REI and they hooked her up with a pack that fits her well. She was able to try on several models and pick the one that felt the best.

      Nothing wrong with combining the knowledge from REI with products from other places. I'm pretty sure the folks at REI don't expect to make a sale with every customer that walks in the door. With that said, I always think it's a good idea to support the brick & mortar stores with some level of business.
      Trudgin' along the AT since 2003. Completed Sections: Springer Mountain to Winding Stair Gap NC, Max Patch to Franconia Notch NH and the Gale River Trail to Crawford Notch NH.
    • StalkingTortoise wrote:

      I'm on my 3rd backpack. Bought the first two on-line and never was able to adjust either to fit me well. Went to REI with a good idea of what I wanted and got a knowledgeable associate who convinced me to downsize. He loaded up the pack with sandbags and pillows then made all the right adjustments. I'm happier now even when I'm carrying 40 pound loads. When my daughter was ready for her pack, I took her to REI and they hooked her up with a pack that fits her well. She was able to try on several models and pick the one that felt the best.

      Nothing wrong with combining the knowledge from REI with products from other places. I'm pretty sure the folks at REI don't expect to make a sale with every customer that walks in the door. With that said, I always think it's a good idea to support the brick & mortar stores with some level of business.
      Agree. Glad it worked for you. The problem is you need a store like REI to make that work and there are so few of them around. I will be interested to see what brands of packs (and tents, etc...) they carry. For example, I know that the ULA is among the most popular pack among long distance hikers, but have never seen one in a store. One thing I gave up trying to buy on-line are clothes. For this the brick and mortar store is quite useful and I do try to support them.
    • Went to the members-only pre opening party at our new REI today. I've been a member since 1978 but never been to a store. Got a free REI buff. They were serving free snacks and beer (New Holland Brewery). Blugrass band played all evening. Got a stainless pint tumbler with the local store logo for a 5$ donation to our local nature education center. Also got a package of freeze dried backpacking food. I normally don't use these but was intrigued by this one. It is Himalayan Lentils and Rice (Dal Bhat?) by Alpineaire. Have not seen this brand before, but was impressed that their foods we're not overloaded with excess sodium. Maybe will try some for lunch tomorrow.
    • LIhikers wrote:

      I got an e-mail invitation to join them for a grand opening celebration in North Conway, NH.
      I'm thinking it's just toooooooo far to go for a day.
      Interesting, North Conway has always been an Eastern Mountain Sports town, EMS had one of their first stores there. I guess REI is now taking them on head-to-head.
      “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
      the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


      John Greenleaf Whittier