15 min read

Outdoor Activities: The Best Gear on a Budget

Discover the top outdoor gear for budget-conscious adventurers. Find quality equipment and essentials for your outdoor activities without breaking the bank.
Budget Outdoor Gear

One of the great joys of life is the ability to immerse yourself in the great outdoors, bathing in the beauty of nature whether by hiking, camping, backpacking, or any other outdoor activities. However, as exhilarating as the prospect of an outdoor adventure might be, the cost of acquiring the necessary gear can sometimes be daunting. 🏞️💸

But do not worry. The high price tag on outdoor equipment shouldn't prevent you from embracing the call of the wild. This article is designed to help you discover affordable outdoor gear brands, stores, and budget-friendly options that will not burn a hole in your pocket. With a bit of savvy planning and these helpful tips, you can be well-equipped for your next outdoor adventure without breaking your budget! 🏕️💰🎒

Stay tuned as we delve into a trove of information designed to outfit you with the best gear in the market at a minimal cost. From budget backpacking tents and packs to cost-effective layering options, we've got you covered – literally and figuratively! We'll also explore affordable gear items that are perfect for an assortment of outdoor activities. So, let's embark on this budget-conscious journey and transform the way we shop for outdoor gear. Adventure awaits! 🚀🌳🌄

Affordable Gear Brands

If you're feeling the urge to obey the call of the wild and hit the great outdoors, the right gear is your ticket. The best part? You don't have to break the bank to equip yourself appropriately. A host of brands offer top-notch, affordable gear, suitable for various activities, from hiking to camping, skiing to mountain climbing. Let's take a closer look at some of these top-dollar brands: Patagonia, Marmot, Columbia Sportswear, The North Face, and REI Co-op.

Patagonia 🌍

Patagonia is an undeniable industry leader, known for its robust, quality gear that won't have you remortgaging your house. You'll find myriad options, from ultralight backpacks to insulated jackets. They're also champions of eco-conscious manufacturing, making them a perfect match if you value sustainability in your outdoor pursuits.

Marmot 🏕️

Marmot is your go-to brand for budget-friendly outdoor attire and equipment. It's hard to beat their quality-to-price ratio. With Marmot, you'll comfortably brave the elements without stretching your finances thin. Plus, their gear is wonderfully versatile. Whether you're planning a rigorous backpacking trip or a calm weekend at the lake, Marmot's got you covered.

Columbia Sportswear 🏞️

Offering a wide array of outdoor apparel, footwear, and equipment, Columbia Sportswear caters to everyone. They're renowned for their innovative technology, aiming to keep you comfortable in any weather. The cherry on the cake? Their prices are incredibly pocket-friendly, making them a popular choice among outdoor enthusiasts.

The North Face 🏔️

While The North Face may ring a bell associated with pricier gear, they also cater superbly to those on a budget. Their cheaper range doesn't compromise on quality, boasting robust, dependable gear for your outdoor escapades. It's a solid guarantee of getting more bang for your buck.

REI Co-op ⛺

Dedicated to stewardship, REI Co-op is all about making outdoor adventures accessible to everyone. Their reasonably priced gear stands testament to that mission. Its customer-centered approach also comes with expert advice to ensure you make the right choice. What's not to love?

Remember, the right equipment is key to fully enjoying your outdoor activities. Don't let a tight budget deter you from your adventure. With these brands, you can equip yourself with top-of-the-range gear without burning a hole in your pocket. So gear up and get out there. The world’s your oyster! 🌎🌲🦌

Where to Buy Cheap Outdoor Gear

When it's time to head out for the great outdoors, you'll need the right tools for your adventure. Whether you're a seasoned explorer or this is your first foray into the wilderness, quality equipment shouldn't break the bank. And guess what? It doesn't have to. There are retailers out there just waiting to provide you with the best outdoor gear at shockingly affordable prices. Let's check out five hot spots where you can get your hands on some top-notch, budget-friendly outdoor gear.

Steep & Cheap

Steep & Cheap offers you a goldmine of outdoor gear at economical prices. From backpacking to camping, cycling to climbing, you name it, they have it. Head over to their site and you'll be greeted with deals that seem too good to be true. But trust us, they're as real as your need for a warm sleeping bag under the stars.

Outdoor Gear Exchange

Outdoor Gear Exchange comes bursting into the scene with an impressive array of outdoor gear at friendly prices. They have a staunch belief in outdoor fun for everyone and work tirelessly to make sure you get exactly what you need without emptying your wallet. Walk into their exchange and walk out with your hands full and your pockets still heavy.


When it comes to online shopping, Amazon usually needs no introduction but did you know, it's also a great place to buy inexpensive outdoor gear? As a marketplace of retailers from all over the globe, they offer a fantastic range of options. So whether you are into hiking, biking, or just lounging in a lightweight hammock, they have got you covered!

REI Outlet

The REI Outlet should definitely be on your radar. They carry a large collection of discounted gear and clothing from top brands. Offering deals up to 70% off the original retail price, your bank account will thank you after a visit to the REI Outlet.

Sierra Trading Post

And let's not forget, Sierra Trading Post. They offer a constantly changing inventory of outdoor gear, clothing, and home items at discounted prices. It's like a treasure hunt, you'll never know what incredible deals you'll find!

So indeed, these retailers truly offer a wide variety of gear at affordable prices. Shop wisely, and confidently embark on your epic outdoor adventure today! 🌲🏕️🌌

Budget Backpacking Tents

There is nothing like experiencing the wild outdoors same time, reveling in the joy of camping without breaking the bank. But hey, maintaining that balance between adventure and spending isn't always straightforward, right? Well, not anymore! If you’re keen on backpacking and discovering the hidden gems of nature on a budget, let’s dive in and explore two phenomenal options that are gentle on your budget - The REI Co-op Passage 2 and ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr 2.

REI Co-op Passage 2

Ah, the REI Co-op Passage 2. It's like the classic "little tent that could."


Don't be fooled by its affordable price tag as its value goes far beyond that. Here's why this gem stands out from the crowd:

  • Roomy Interior: Whether you're trying to squeeze in your furry buddy or extra gear, there's ample space to accommodate it all!
  • Weather Resistant: Shielding you from harsh winds and rains is its super power. Thanks to its resilient materials, you stay dry and cozy inside.
  • Easy to Set Up: Imagine arriving at your campsite late in the evening. You want your tent up and ready pronto, right? With its intuitively designed poles, this one's a breeze to set up!

Think of the REI Co-op Passage 2 as your dependable buddy, ready to weather any storm with you whilst ensuring maximum comfort.

ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr 2

Next, let’s shift our focus to the ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr 2-- a no-frills pop-up


that’s all about pure functionality. Here's what we love about it:

  • Ventilation: Say goodbye to stuffy tent interiors. The Zephyr 2 is designed with mesh walls to keep the air flowing.
  • Robust Frame: With its sturdy aluminum frame, this little knight is all set to battle against heavy gusts and thunderstorms.
  • Compact & Light: This is your ideal backpacking companion, folks. It's feather-light and easily fits into your backpack. Talk about convenience on-the-go!

When it boils down to choosing a budget backpacking tent, the ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr 2 is a trustworthy choice, offering you the perfect blend of convenience and durability.

Camping need not dig a hole in your wallet. With options like the REI Co-Op Passage 2 and the ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr 2, you can venture into the great outdoors confidently, knowing that your tent's got your back. Or should we say, your 'backpacking'? 😉 So go out there, and let the adventure unfold!

happy campers

Happy camping!

Budget Backpacking Packs

Going backpacking but on a tight budget? No need to worry, we've got you covered! We're revealing some of the best affordable backpacking packs on the market that won't break the bank. Not only are these backpacks well-priced, but they are also highly recommended for outdoor activities. From their brilliant design to their functionality, these packs are guaranteed to make your adventurous trips even more enjoyable. So, gear up and let's explore what these budget-friendly packs have to offer!

Decathlon Forclaz MT500 Air 50+10

Traveling for extensive periods requires a capable, resilient, and comfortable backpack. Forclaz MT500 Air 50+10 is an excellent choice on a budget. This pack from Decathlon offers a fantastic combo of comfort, durability, and affordability. With a solid 50+10 liter capacity, it's suitable for weeklong trips, yet incredibly lightweight and easy to handle.

  • It's high wear-and-tear resistance guarantee longevity
  • The Adjustable back and loaded straps ensure max comfort
  • Conveniently placed pockets for easy access to essentials

👍Positively, Forclaz MT500 Air 50+10 doesn't compromise on quality despite its cheaper ticket price.

The North Face Terra 55

Next up in our budget-friendly round-up is The North Face Terra 55. This pack is beloved for its simplicity, compactness, and comfort, making it ideal for short hikes or weekend trips.

  • Designed with comfort in mind, it includes the patented OPTIFIT suspension system
  • Extra padding on shoulders and hips to reduce strain
  • Its durable materials can withstand heavy-duty use

👌The best part of Terra 55 is its versatility, serving both as a hiking and traveling backpack.

Teton Sports Scout 3400

Finally, we have the Teton Sports Scout 3400. This pack has been praised for its incredible value for the price. It's not only a great fit for beginners but also seasoned backpackers on a budget.

  • Features a 55 Liter capacity, ideal for 2-4 day adventures
  • Adjustable torso length and thickly padded shoulder straps promise pleasant wearing comfort
  • Comes with an integrated rain cover for added protection against bad weather.

🎒 The Teton Sports Scout 3400 definitely gets the thumbs-up for its fabulous price-performance ratio.

In a nutshell, investing in a budget backpack doesn't mean you have to compromise on quality or functionality. As you can see, there are plenty of options out there that provide just the right balance. So why wait? Get your ideal backpack now and set out on an exciting adventure!

Affordable Lightweight Backpacking Gear

When it comes to backpacking, every ounce counts - and this isn't just about the grams of trail mix you carry. The weight of your backpacking gear is an equally important aspect to consider. Imagine hiking for miles with a heavy load on your back. Doesn't sound appealing, does it? Thankfully, backpacking doesn't have to be synonymous with heavy lifting. In this section, we explore two incredible materials that can offer you both lightness and affordability, Tyvek and Polycro.


Tyvek, a product of DuPont, is fast gaining popularity among backpackers. Why, you might ask? Well, below are some reasons for its rave reviews:

  • It's super lightweight: Tyvek barely tips the scale, making your backpack much lighter.
  • It's durable: Unlike other lightweight materials that tear easily, Tyvek stands the test of time, and rough handling.
  • It's water-resistant: No need to worry about your stuff getting wet in sudden showers.
  • It's affordable: Backpacking gear can be quite a dent in your wallet, but Tyvek provides relief with its pocket-friendly prices.

Sounds impressive, doesn't it? Just when you thought it couldn't get any better, we bring Polycro into the mix.


Closely following Tyvek's trail is Polycro, another wonder material revolutionizing the backpacking scene. Here are some reasons why backpackers are packing their bags with Polycro:

  • It's even lighter than Tyvek: If weight is your top concern, Polycro should be your top pick.
  • It's water and wind-resistant: Feel more protected against those sudden weather changes.
  • It's inexpensive: Like Tyvek, Polycro won't strain your budget.

While these reasons might tempt you to immediately switch to these materials, it's essential to note that they are not the best options for long-term usage, primarily because they may not endure extreme weather conditions as effectively as some higher-end, more robust (and heavier) materials.

"Hiking and happiness go hand in hand (or foot in boot)." - Diane Spicer

So next time you plan a backpacking trip, remember - Tyvek and Polycro are your friends. They not only make your backpack lighter, but they also save you money. Are they the absolute best? That's subjective. Are they worth trying? Absolutely. So why not give them a shot and experience the distinctive ultra-light charm yourself? Happy hiking!

Cost-Effective Layering Options

Fleece Mid Layers

Winter is right around the corner, so now is the perfect time to rethink your cold weather apparel. Whether you're an outdoor enthusiast who enjoys winter sports, or you're just trying to stay warm on your daily commute, layering your clothing plays a key role in keeping you comfortable. But did you know that staying cozy doesn't mean breaking the bank? Let's delve into two cost-effective options for layering: Fleece Mid Layers and the Under Armour ColdGear Mock.

Fleece mid layers are the unsung heroes of the layering world! They combine warmth with breathability, making them perfect for any winter activity.

But why are these mid-layers a smart choice? Here's what makes them stand out:

  • Warmth: Fleece is an excellent insulator. It traps heat, providing that toasty feeling we all crave on cooler days.
  • Lightweight & Comfortable: Despite being warm, fleece is pretty light and does not restrict mobility. Warm and comfy – a combo we all can get behind!
  • Quick-Drying: Got caught in a snow flurry? No worries. Fleece dries rapidly, proving ideal for unpredictable weather.

And the best part? These layers are cost-effective, keeping both you and your wallet happy.

Under Armour ColdGear Mock

Next in line is the famed Under Armour ColdGear Mock. It's all in the name. This sleek, fitted, and long-sleeved wonder is designed specifically for those chilly days when dressing in multiple layers is a must!

Check out these benefits:

  • Excellent Base Layer: Its skin-tight fit makes it an excellent base layer, providing that extra warmth without adding bulk.
  • Heat Trapping: The dual-layer fabric with a warm brushed interior and a smooth fast-drying exterior traps heat efficiently.
  • Moisture Wicking: Say goodbye to uncomfortable sweat. Under Armour's signature Moisture Transport System wicks sweat and dries quickly.

Fleece mid layers and the Under Armour ColdGear Mock are indeed budget-friendly options for layering. You'll be shocked that something so cost-effective can keep you this warm and comfortable throughout the winter season. With value like this, you're bound to fill your wardrobe with these layering options to combat the cold. So get ready to bundle up without breaking the bank, folks. The cold never bothered us anyway! 😄

Budget-Friendly Outdoor Gear Sites and Stores

Are you an adventurer on a budget? Hunting for the right gear for your next great outdoor adventure but wary of straining your wallet? We've got you covered. Here's a round-up of some of the best sites and stores where passion meets budget. They cater to every kind of outdoor pursuit while always keeping an eye on affordability.

The Clymb

The Clymb is a treasure trove for outdoor enthusiasts. They stock a wide array of sports apparel and gear, specializing in hiking, camping, and adventure sports. The Clymb is a one-stop-shop that won't cost an arm and a leg. Their budget-friendly ways include:

  • Daily deals with up to 70% off retail prices 🏷️
  • '24-Hour Sale' events that pop up now and then 🕒
  • Affordable offerings of premium and niche brands


Next in line is Moosejaw, a site that not only serves up a variety of outdoor gear but also dishes out a hearty serving of humor. It's worth checking out if you could use some chuckles with your checkout! The highlights of Moosejaw are:

  • Frequent sales and discounts that are kind to your pocket
  • A wide range of products covering everything from sleeping bags to snowboards
  • A 'Moosejaw Rewards' program that gives points for every dollar you spend


Walmart might not be the first name that comes to mind for outdoor gear, but don't count it out just yet. More often than not, Walmart leaves other retailers in the dust when it comes to savings. Look forward to:

  • Extensive selection of budget-friendly gear
  • Quality products that don't break the bank
  • 'Rollback' and 'Clearance' sections for bargain hunters

Frugal Backpacker

Last but not least, we have the aptly named Frugal Backpacker. As the name suggests, this site is all about giving outdoor lovers the best value for their money. Here's why you should mark this site on your shopping map:

  • Specially curated 'Deals' section with impressively discounted gear
  • Thoroughly reviewed and quality tested products
  • Constant price matching—so you know you're getting the best deal possible

Remember, venturing into the great outdoors doesn't mean venturing into great expenses. These user-friendly sites make sure of that. Happy shopping, and happy adventuring! 🌳🎒🏔️

Affordable Items for Outdoor Activities

Nothing can beat the excitement of an outdoor adventure, be it hiking, camping, or simply a leisurely picnic in the park. While we often dream about fancy gears and sophisticated equipment, the essence of adventure lies in the simplicity. To let you enjoy the great outdoors without burning a hole in your pocket, here are two inexpensive essentials you should add to your kit:

Plastic Ponchos 🌧️

When we think about outdoor activities, we often get caught up with the sunny side and overlook the looming clouds. Don't let the unpredictable weather wash away your enthusiasm; instead, arm yourself with a plastic poncho.

Lightweight, compact and most importantly, budget-friendly; plastic ponchos are a saviour during unexpected rain showers. They can also double up as a groundsheet for a rain-free, comfortable seating area.

A few perks of stashing a plastic poncho in your backpack are:

  • Portable: They can easily fit inside any backpack due to their compact size.
  • Affordable: A price point that wouldn't give your wallet jitters.
  • Multipurpose: Apart from shielding you from rain, they also serve as an effective groundsheet.

BRS-3000T Backpacking Gear ⛺

Next up on your budget outdoors gear list should be the BRS-3000T. This popular piece of backpacking gear is loved by outdoor enthusiasts for its versatility and pocket-friendly price.

Whether you're planning to cook yourself a meal in the wilderness, need a light source during your night trek, or require a tool kit for unexpected hitches during your adventure, the BRS-3000T can come to your rescue. And the best part? All this comes in a lightweight, easily portable package.

Aspects that make BRS-3000T an irresistible choice include:

  • Affordability: Well priced to not disturb your adventure budget.
  • Compactness: A miniature size that takes no extra room in your backpack.
  • Versatility: Serves multiple uses, enhancing its value for money.

Taking pleasure in outdoors does not have to entail emptying out your savings. Whether you consider yourself a frugal traveller or a DIY enthusiast, opting for Affordable Outdoor Gear can introduce you to a world of cost-effective fun and adventure. Remember, the joy of exploration and the tranquility nature bestows do not come with a price tag. It's all about packing smart and taking the eco-friendly route. Happy adventuring! 🚵‍♀️🧗‍♂️🏕️


Embarking on outdoor adventures doesn't mean draining your savings; there are plenty of budget-friendly alternatives for every kind of gear you need. From tents to backpacking packs, layering options, and even tiny yet essential items like ponchos - you'll be delighted at the value for money you can get from brands like Patagonia, Columbia Sportswear, REI Co-op, and more.

And don't forget, shopping smart is a crucial part of staying within budget. With platforms like Amazon, Sierra Trading Post, amongst other budget-friendly outdoor gear sites, high-quality equipment is just a click away. And if you check out our Ultra Handy store on Amazon, you'll find a curated collection of products specifically chosen for hands-on outdoor enthusiasts just like you.

Remember, it's not about the most expensive gear, but the most effective gear for YOU. Here's to many successful and budget-friendly outdoor adventures ahead! Happy shopping, and even happier exploring! 🌲🏔️🎒

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What are some budget-friendly outdoor gear options?Some budget-friendly outdoor gear options include: 1. Generic brand sleeping bags or tents, 2. Second-hand or discounted hiking boots, 3. Portable camping stoves from lesser-known brands, 4. Affordable camping chairs, and 5. Thrift store or online marketplace finds for outdoor clothing.
  2. Can budget outdoor gear be reliable and durable?Yes, budget outdoor gear can still be reliable and durable. While they may not have all the high-end features, there are many affordable options available that offer decent quality and can withstand regular outdoor use. Reading reviews and doing thorough research can help you find reliable budget gear.
  3. How can I save money on outdoor equipment without compromising quality?To save money on outdoor equipment without compromising quality, you can: 1. Look for seasonal sales and discounts, 2. Consider purchasing previous year's models, 3. Research and compare prices from different retailers, 4. Opt for multipurpose gear, and 5. Take proper care of your gear to ensure longevity.
  4. Are there any affordable options for high-end outdoor gear?Yes, there are affordable options for high-end outdoor gear. Some brands offer mid-range versions of their premium products, which provide similar features at a lower cost. Additionally, you can also check out lesser-known brands that offer comparable quality at a more affordable price.
  5. Is it worth investing in budget outdoor gear for occasional outdoor activities?Investing in budget outdoor gear is worth it for occasional outdoor activities. It allows you to enjoy outdoor experiences without breaking the bank. While they may not last as long as high-end gear, they can still serve their purpose and provide you with a satisfactory outdoor experience.