The end of May unofficially marks the start of summer in the US, and that means more time in the great outdoors. Whether you’re a kayaker, climber, griller, or someone who just loves to sit on a camp chair and bask in the sun, these Memorial Day sales have something for you.
WIRED’s Memorial Day Deals Coverage
Updated May 30, 2022: We removed expired deals and added new ones, like the Wacaco Picopresso, and REI Stuff Sacks.
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Grill and Stove Deals
This is one of our favorite portable grills. Part grill, part fire pit, the BioLite features a built-in battery that can double as a phone charger in a pinch. It burns wood and charcoal and packs down surprisingly small when you want to throw it in the trunk and hit the road.
The Ranger is the smaller, more portable sibling to the Yukon, which we reviewed and liked. It’s a great little smokeless fire pit. If you don’t want the more travel-friendly Ranger, the Yukon is also on sale for $400 ($350 off).
I really like this solid, no-nonsense, cast aluminum grill from PK Grills. It doesn’t have some of the expansion possibilities of the Weber Kettle, but it grills well, smokes well, and looks good. This is a small discount, but we’ve never seen the price get much lower.
This one used to be in our Best Camp Stoves guide, but it was unavailable most of last year, so we removed it. Here it is again on sale at REI. It’s a solid two-burner stove, but what sets it apart is the ability to connect a Jet Boil stove and use it as a third burner.
This Cuisinart can do double duty in the backyard or on the picnic table on your summer camping trip. We haven’t tested this exact model, but we like some of Cuisinart’s other grills well enough that we don’t hesitate to recommend this one. See our Best Portable Grills guide for some other options.
Camping and Hiking Deals
We’ve tested the 4-person version of this three-season tent from MSR and loved it. If you need more room, this 6-person tent fits the bill. Don’t let the weight scare you off; we’ve backpacked with the 4-person and divided the weight between two people and it’s not bad.
Nemo’s new Aurora Highrise hasn’t made it to our gear lab yet for testing, but Nemo makes some of the best small lightweight tents on the market, so we have no trouble recommending this massive 13-pound, 6-person nylon castle. See our tent guide for some other large and (relatively) lightweight tents.
You can never have too many stuff sacks, grab a few extra while they’re cheap. REI has also discounted its 3-pack for $14 ($5 off).
Deuter’s are some of the best-made packs around. I have had a similar daypack for five years now, and it is still the most comfortable daypack I’ve ever owned, thanks to the mesh Aircontact system, as Deuter calls it. It allows good airflow against your back and helps you stay cool on hot days.
Slightly larger than the Trail, the Futura 28 is perfect for longer day hikes, hut trips, or as a carry-on. We haven’t tested this one, but like the Trail, it features Deuter’s mesh back system, which should give you the same back comfort and ventilation.
Therm-a-Rest’s NeoAir sleeping pad packs down so small I kept losing it in my pack, but that’s a good problem to have. The regular size is 72 x 20 inches, weighs just 1 pound, and provides an R-value of 4 to help you stay warm on chilly nights.
This is a solid pack for week-long trips (or longer if you embrace the ultralight ethos). In my testing, I stuffed my sleeping bag on the bottom with a few clothing items, then crammed in a Bear Vault 500, which just fit. Strap your tent poles to the outside, and you’re ready to do a couple of weeks on the trail.
The Tempest is a slightly smaller version of the Talon. It makes a great weekend pack, but you can take advantage of the side compression straps and cinch it down for a day hike when you don’t need all that space.
I am in the process of testing Kelty’s tarp tent, and what I can say so far is that the 9-foot version stands up well in 20- to 30-mile-per-hour winds at the beach, which is impressive. If you plan to use it in a treeless area like the beach, be sure to pick up the poles, which are sold separately (though they seem to be out of stock everywhere at the moment).
This headlamp is indestructible. I (Scott Gilbertson) have had mine for more than 20 years now. While I’ve had to replace the strap once in that time, it otherwise works as well as it did the day I bought it. Grab some rechargeable AAA batteries, and you’ll have light for many years.
The Rainier is our favorite affordable pick in our guide to the Best Rain Jackets. It uses high-quality laminate waterproofing instead of the less-expensive coating many cheaper rain jackets rely on, which means it lasts longer and sheds water better. It’s made from recycled nylon, has venting pit zips, and is seam-taped—all features you rarely find in a rain jacket under $100.
I think WIRED associate editor Adrienne So summed up this chair well when she said: “To be honest, it’s huge, heavy, takes up a lot of space, and is awkward to fold. But it’s all worth it once you cram everyone you love on it in front of a fire.”
We have not tested this one, but we do like several other Nemo chairs that are very similar. This one just adds the ability to recline for some night sky viewing.
Cheap camp cookware is the worst. I dropped an enamelware plate on my last trip and the enamel coating shattered right off the edge. I swore I was buying indestructible metal plates next time. That’s exactly what these Snow Peak Titanium plates are, and as an added bonus, they’re lightweight and perfect for backpacking too.
Add the Picopresso to your cart to see the discount at checkout. If you’re the type that needs to have good espresso on the trail, the Picopresso is our favorite portable espresso maker. It’s compact and lightweight, produces a nice crema, and it’s consistently good. Just don’t forget to bring a hand coffee grinder (and great fresh coffee).
Both EMS and REI are having sales on climbing gear. There’s too much to list all the deals here, so we’ve just grabbed a few highlights. Be sure to check out the EMS climbing deals page and the REI climbing deals page for more. Oh, and read our Best Climbing Gear guide for other advice.
This is a reissue of the classic La Sportiva Mythos climbing shoe, now made with eco-friendly materials. Note that only sizes 41-44 are available on sale.
Who doesn’t need a new chalk bag? Keep an extra in your glove box, like Alex Hannold probably does. Black Diamond’s Mojo chalk bag is well made and will stand up to plenty of climbing, even if it’s not free soloing big walls in the valley.
Every climber needs more cams, and who wants to pay full price? These range in price according to size, but they’re all 25 percent off at REI.
Protect your noggin with one of these helmets. Black Diamond’s Half Dome helmets are designed for everything from a day on the crags to an Alpine expedition.
Kayak and Stand-Up Paddleboarding Deals
This is the best thing I’ve tested this year. It’s hard to quantify exactly what’s so great about it in 50 words. Let’s just say it makes the water a joy and opens up a whole new horizon of paddling possibilities, whether you’re at the lake or the bay or even in the surf. The Breeze Aero is stable, beginner-friendly, and packs down small enough to fit in your trunk.
Pulling out this inflatable kayak is a good place to start if you want to find fishing holes no one else knows about. It’s well made (still inflatable though, so watch those hooks and knives) and can be stored away in the back seat.
Oru’s foldable kayaks are another possibility for those of us without the space to store and transport boats. It’s not a whitewater kayak by any means, but it weighs just 32 pounds, packs small, and folds out in a matter of minutes.
Retailer Sale Pages
There are far more outdoor deals than we can list in one guide. To explore on your own, use these links to our favorite sale pages.