Believe it or not, the old adage “try before you buy” can apply to camping and backpacking gear. Buying an entire setup can be expensive and time-consuming, but renting equipment allows you to sample different brands and styles before you make an expensive purchase.
In this guide, you’ll discover five places to hire camping equipment, how it all works, and what to expect.
Table of Contents
1. REI Co-Op
Only a few people know that REI rents gear. They have a wide range of equipment to choose from, including basic backpacking, lightweight backpacking, and car camping packages.
They also rent individual items if you forget your sleeping bag, bear spray, or sleeping pad. Besides equipment for campers, you can also rent snow equipment and climbing gear, to name a few.
The best part is the process is straightforward, convenient, and affordable (especially for members.) All you have to do is locate a store near your destination and reserve your rental online or call the store to check availability.
2. Arrive Outdoors
Arrive Outdoors curates camping sets for all sorts of adventures, including camp chairs, lanterns, Jetboil camping stoves, sleeping bags, pads, and tents. You can rent a bundle for one to four people. You can also rent à la carte for any item, like trekking poles or binoculars.
Reserve online and then ship it to any physical address (no P.O. boxes.) You can even send your bundle to a hotel. Arrive Outdoors makes returns simple. Schedule a FedEx pickup so you don’t have to drive to a shipping location with your boxed gear.
3. Lower Gear
Lower Gear makes renting outdoor equipment even easier. Lower Gear carries and rents tents, sleeping bags, backpacks, cookware, headlamps, and anything else you might need for an outdoor trip.
The company will send the rental to your designated destination the day before your start date. Every shipment comes with a tracking number so you can know exactly when your gear will arrive.
After you’ve enjoyed the rental gear and outdoor adventure, send it back with the provided return shipping label. Your start date, delivery location, and drop-off date are determined during the reservation process. Place your rental order at least 5–7 business days before your planned start date.
4. Xscape Pod
Xscape Pod takes the idea of renting gear and turns it on its head. Instead of renting a setup or a complete package camping set, you can rent a pod. Whether you’re headed to a festival or out on a thru-hike, you’ll be fully kitted out.
The pod has all the usual suspects like sleeping bags, but has bonus items like a cooler, multi-tool, first aid kit, and fire starter. Xscape Pod thinks of everything and uses only the best brands, including Arcteryx, Big Agnes, and Helinox.
Order your pod online or over the phone, and Xscape Pod will ship all the gear to any address or FedEx facility in the lower 48.
5. Outdoors Geek
Outdoors Geek caters to dirtbags and glampers alike, with everything from family backpacking packages to bell and safari tents. They can accommodate any size group. If you’re planning an outdoor glamping wedding, Outdoors Geek can provide luxury tents for your guests.
You can pick up your equipment at their storefront in Denver, Colorado, or Outdoor Geeks will ship anywhere in the United States. They guarantee delivery before your start date when reservations are made ten days in advance.
Our favorite thing about this company: If you love a piece of equipment, you can buy it, and the rental cost goes toward the purchase.
Rent Camping Gear 101
Hiring outdoor gear can save you money and is the ideal solution if you have limited storage space. It also gives you a chance to try different equipment before you buy or simply kit yourself out for a one-off trip.
Where do you rent camping gear from? Let us know in the comments, and share before your next camping adventure.