Specialty: All things travel and outdoor.[Rating: 3.5/5]
Retail Locations: Throughout the US
The main thing REI has going for it is access to almost everything made by major outdoor clothing or travel gear manufacturer. It doesn’t come cheap, as almost everything is always priced at retail. REI almost always has a wide selection of color, style and sizes in everything they carry.
Upside: Wide selection, stores throughout the US. Regularly run coupon sales for members. Membership fee is reasonable and a one-time fee.
Downside: Some stores don’t carry as wide of a selection as others. You’ll almost always pay regular retail price. Online delivery can be slower than most other retailers. Shipping costs can be higher than most.
Deal Watch: Almost every REI store location has a “garage sale” twice a year for members. Get discontinued or returned items for ridiculously low prices.