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mochilero
05-05-2007, 09:43
Cheap Outdoor Clothing

Outdoor clothing needs to function to a higher standard than everyday clothes. This makes it more costly to manufacture, and so more expensive for you. What can you do to find those quality hiking and backpacking clothes for less? You can watch for sales. You will save money, but that "extremely expensive" waterproof/breathable coat may still only be marked down to "very expensive." What else can you do?

More Radical Ways To Find Cheap Outdoor Clothing

Start by reconsidering what you really need for the trips you have planned. Will you be scaling peaks in Patagonia for a month? You probably should stick with the best sales you can find on the high-quality stuff. On the other hand, what if your trips are fair-weather overnighters? A dollar-store plastic poncho isn't out of the question.

Consider things like how often you will be using a piece of clothing, and how abusive or careful you are with your clothes. How will you actually be using it? I didn't take a $400 waterproof/breathable rain suit to the top of 20,600-foot Mount Chimborazo. I took a papery Frogg-Toggs rain suit, which you can find at golf shops. It's waterproof and breaths well, and cost just $49 for the set. I have used it for years, on many rainy trips, with only one duct-tape repair. On the other hand, I hike in open areas, not thick forests that would tear the jacket up.

If you hike in running shoes, as I do, start watching the sales on out-of-style shoes. I've bought brand-name $90 running shoes for just $25. With savings like that, I'm happy to be out of style.

Want cheaper hiking and backpacking socks? Mine weigh less than an ounce and cost about a dollar per pair. I actually stopped getting blisters when I gave up on expensive, high-tech, too-hot hiking socks. I can hike thirty miles now without a blister in my comfortable, lightweight, white nylon dress socks. They come four pairs to a pack for three dollars at Wal-Mart.

Used Outdoor Clothing

The only outdoor clothing I won't buy used is footwear. Otherwise why not watch for potential hiking and backpacking clothes at a rummage sales or thrift stores? My own finds include a Goretex rain jacket and North Face vest for a few dollars each. My thrifty used wool sweater weighs just 11 ounces, and seems as warm as the newest fiber-pile models.

One of my thrift store discoveries was silk shirts. They weigh just three ounces, and used to show up on the racks regularly for $3 (they are getting harder to find). They are comfortable, and dry fast if they get wet, though some of the styles make me look like I'm searching for a wilderness disco.

Making Hiking Clothes

While I can't recommend sewing your own outdoor clothing, and I don't like sewing myself, I have made a few simple things. A sleeve from an old thermal shirt became a one-ounce ski mask with scissors and three minutes of sewing. Socks with finger-holes became nifty hand warmers. As an insulating layer, I have worn a four-ounce piece of poly-batting like a tunic under my jacket, to the top of many mountains. Finally, without too much sewing, you can often modify your old clothes to make cheap outdoor clothing.

Grampie
11-28-2007, 18:48
My Mother always told me, "never say cheap." You should say inexpensive.:-?

CoyoteWhips
11-28-2007, 19:06
I've been out looking for long pants to go over my polyester+wool blend longjohns ($5 at the local job lots store). I was thinking some nylon warmup pants. Problem is that I have a 3X butt and medium inseam. Not like you hem pants with zippers at the cuffs.

I was in despair of finding suitable walking pants until I spotted a rack of polyester slacks and a pair in just my size, $12.

brianos
01-20-2008, 17:35
I've found several good buys at both campmor (http://www.campmor.com/)and altrec (http://outlet.altrec.com/) in their 'hot deals', 'web bargains' and 'outlet' sections. These are usually 'old models' being cleared out to make room for the newest stock. Best deal so far has been finding excellent base-layer wicking shirts for about $5 (normally $20+).

Kirby
01-20-2008, 20:06
Target has 100% polyester shirts for around 12 dollars, at EMS, REI, etc, these would cost around 40 dollars.

Kirby

everydayhiker
11-12-2009, 21:31
Awesome, Thanks for the insite. I have searched for cheaper hiking clothes. But this actually helps out alot. Thanks.

cruisaire
11-15-2009, 22:04
Picked mine up yesterday (reversible in purplish-blue/bright green) for 11 and change at the thrifty. No rips, tears, stains...looks like new! Similar to this one...

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v607/cruisaire/Columbia/th_0119_12_492.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v607/cruisaire/Columbia/?action=view&current=0119_12_492.jpg)
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v607/cruisaire/Columbia/th_306068025_o.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v607/cruisaire/Columbia/?action=view&current=306068025_o.jpg)

I see little reason to ever enter a retail store for hiking/camping/packing clothes. Reuse/recycle at every opportunity!

Connie
11-17-2009, 15:08
I have great stuff and practically never at full retail price.

I wait a little, until on sale or at discount stores.

One time, I did pay full retail at a hardware store for a synthetic hoodie and an inexpensive lightweight nylon jacket lined with thin soft cotton "flannel" (maybe).

The fishermen and highway workmen were wearing this combination, so I thought I would try it out.

Great stuff! I could perspire and not get wet inside because the combination ventilated well. The ordinary rain was no problem, because active, I stayed warm and dry. Only a downpour (Olympic National Park, rainforest side of the mountains) wetted the jacket out. So, I donned the least expensive Helly Hansen jacket with hood I had purchased at the showroom for the Quinault cannery.

I learned to dress like "local workmen" who work outdoors.

It worked good for me, at the coastal beaches and in the rainforests of western Washington State.

cruisaire
11-22-2009, 10:12
Picked up a lightly used one of these for a couple of bucks. A nice jacket at roughly 18 oz. It's PU lined and tape sealed ripstop. Has a velcro wrists and cord locks with plenty of pockets, back-vented.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v607/cruisaire/Rain%20Gear/th_RainJacket.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v607/cruisaire/Rain%20Gear/?action=view&current=RainJacket.jpg)
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v607/cruisaire/Rain%20Gear/th_8ad34c74-2283-467c-97c2-d10a0e8d0a2.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v607/cruisaire/Rain%20Gear/?action=view&current=8ad34c74-2283-467c-97c2-d10a0e8d0a2.jpg)

Thrifts are always busy, but especially so as the end of year nears and closets are cleaned out. A $3 LE down vest, $3 Montbell fleece, $9 Bugaboo (not lightweight...I know...but spotless and ripfree) are recent finds. I'm a sucker for Columbia and Patagonia shirts, ExO when they are available. Shopping cheap doesn't mean cheap gear (necessarily).

cruisaire
01-25-2010, 09:04
http://www.unit-converter.com/

A link for military clothes size conversions.

SunnyWalker
03-12-2010, 22:50
What about military (army) long johns? Are they polyester or some blend? Or are they cotton? (I figure the cotton longjohns sold at places like Walmart are not for hiking).

TyTy
02-17-2012, 12:45
I recently bought a down, packable, puffy jacket at Sam's Club for my wife for $12.88 cents. It has nice loft, probably 2" of loft, weights 11.4 oz, comes with a thin stuff sack and packs up to the size of a cantelope.

I buy short and long sleeve polyester t shirts from Wal-Mart for around $10 bucks. I use Target brand polyester/spandex boxer briefs that cost $9.99 versus underarmor which is $29.99 a pair. I just bought myself a primaloft packable puffy jacket on REI closeout for $89 regular $199.

Clothes are something I just don't believe you get much value for. Take a Patagonia polyester t-shirt for $39.99 versus my WM one for $10. There is no way that Patagonia shirt is 4 times better, they are both 100% polyester.

Lot's of stuff like this can be had you just have to look for deals and not get tempted when you see all the new stuff in stores.

wornoutboots
02-17-2012, 15:00
I was at SoRuck this year with my new $125 Zues Down jacket & A guy came up to me with the same jacket that he just bought at Goodwill for @ $8..... SCORE!!

peakbagger
02-17-2012, 16:33
Move up to maine and work for LLBeans, 30% off everthing and the employees even get better deals on returns. Thye are always looking for seasonal employees.

Spogatz
02-21-2012, 15:27
Having a cotton shirt to hike in is nice when it is hot but it can sure get cold when it is wet.

Derek81pci
02-21-2012, 21:38
Campmor is an amazing website. Click the "hot deals" button and click the tab on the left for the specific item type. Most things are at least 40% off. They just started a Spyder (cold weather gear) sale today, up to 75% off! Awesome looking designs for their gear as well. Amazon.com is good too. I got an out of season pair of Timberland hiking boots for 57 bucks, and they are awesome, and regularly like $149. I pretty much fully outfitted myself for $450. Tent, sleeping bag, stove, socks, 4 in 1 jacket, sock liners, 2 pairs of wool blend socks, poly long Johns, from Campmor = a little under $300 (free shipping), and great quality stuff, brand names. Timberland 1/2 hiking boots from Amazon = $57 (free shipping). Go-lite Men's Odyssey backpack from Go-Lite.com = $79 (free shipping to my zip code) and it weighs 3 lbs, 5400cc or whatever. There are awesome deals out there, you just have to look. I could have saved ALOT more money buy second-handing things, but I plan on doing a lot more hiking after the AT and hopefully the gear will hold up for more than the regular 5 months or so of the AT. Hope any of this is usefull to someone.

deluxe
02-24-2012, 23:02
Marden's discount and big lot store (in Portland, ME.....maybe elsewhere too ??) has deals on blemished polypro and other long-sleeved tops. I bought several in my size for 50 cents to 90 cents each. In some the "blemish" was invisible, in one or two there was a tiny pinhole that took a minute to darn/fix.
Since few people will ever see the garment anyway, what's not to like?

jdg
03-14-2012, 16:38
lots of great info here for us newbies

Patton
05-20-2012, 22:38
Thanks for the info listed here.

wythekari
05-21-2012, 01:55
Another way to go is http://www.shopgoodwill.com/. You do have to consider shipping costs but today I have seen a JANSPORT external frame pack, Leki hiking poles, and a North Face womens down jacket. So a little effort could yield gear at a savings plus there is always turnover of stuff. I usually watch sales and buy new, takes some planning but get in the mind set of watching for winter gear in the spring and for summer gear at the end of the season.

oldbear
05-21-2012, 02:54
My experience is that if you use thrift shops that are close to very upscale neighborhoods you can find all sorts of upscale gear and clothing that would never appear in less well to do areas

Mrs Baggins
05-21-2012, 05:15
When a ladies who have never hiked before join my (women only) hiking group, and they aren't sure they're going to like it, I tell them not to spend a bunch of money on clothing. I tell them to go to TJMaxx, Ross', Target, Wal-Mart and check the "Active" clothing racks. They can find an abundance of non-cotton shirts, shorts, pants, sports bras for a fraction of the price of the sporting goods stores and places like REI, etc. My camp clothes - a poly long sleeved top and nylon yoga pants - came from TJMaxx. I have some Nike "Dri-Fit" shirts that I got at Ross' for $12 on the same day I had seen them at Sports Authority (exact colors and styles) for $36. I do buy my hiking zip-off pants at REI because they have their Sahara brand in Petites and that's extremely difficult to find. My very favorite SmartWool long sleeved 1/4 zip top came from Marshall's for $19. It had a retail price tag of $89 still on it. I once saw a $200 Marmont down sweater in Marshall's for $80. I already had one so I didn't buy it, but wow was I tempted.

Winds
05-21-2012, 05:21
When a ladies who have never hiked before join my (women only) hiking group, and they aren't sure they're going to like it, I tell them not to spend a bunch of money on clothing. I tell them to go to TJMaxx, Ross', Target, Wal-Mart and check the "Active" clothing racks. They can find an abundance of non-cotton shirts, shorts, pants, sports bras for a fraction of the price of the sporting goods stores and places like REI, etc. My camp clothes - a poly long sleeved top and nylon yoga pants - came from TJMaxx. I have some Nike "Dri-Fit" shirts that I got at Ross' for $12 on the same day I had seen them at Sports Authority (exact colors and styles) for $36. I do buy my hiking zip-off pants at REI because they have their Sahara brand in Petites and that's extremely difficult to find. My very favorite SmartWool long sleeved 1/4 zip top came from Marshall's for $19. It had a retail price tag of $89 still on it. I once saw a $200 Marmont down sweater in Marshall's for $80. I already had one so I didn't buy it, but wow was I tempted.

Good advice Mrs. now where do I sign up? :)

Theosus
05-22-2012, 06:56
Agreed on the walmart stuff. Synthetic workout wear is becoming so popular. I got a 10$ Columbia shirt that I would have paid 25-35$ for at REI. Same thing with underwear. 10$ a pair instead of 20$+ for stretchy synthetic boxer briefs. I found a great packable champion rain shell type hooded jacket at target for $30. The rain just beads up and falls off. I think it was a closeout, they only had a few left.

DaFireMedic
05-26-2012, 17:57
I have 3 pairs of convertible pants in like new condition, one of them Columbia. I've managed to find zip offs for both my sons as well. All of them came from thrift stores at an average cost of about $4 each. I have an REI (free with a broken zipper that I was able to repair at no cost) and a Columbia fleece jacket ($9) from thrift stores also, both with much thicker fleece than the bargain store brand jacket I have. I also picked up a 2 liter Platypus hydration bladder with hose for 85 cents. I use Champion and Starter lightweight athletic shirts from Target and Walmart, $8-$12 each. When you have a family of 4 to keep on the trail, you gotta be creative and look for deals.

Rasty
05-26-2012, 18:14
I purchased a Nike micro fleece jacket for a lightweight insulating layer. It is marketed to golfers but is about half the weight of a Patagonia fleece jacket and is warmer. It's 100% synthetic and dries faster than my Patagonia jacket.

thecyclops
07-18-2012, 20:18
Hike naked...

rocketsocks
07-18-2012, 20:37
I purchased a Nike micro fleece jacket for a lightweight insulating layer. It is marketed to golfers but is about half the weight of a Patagonia fleece jacket and is warmer. It's 100% synthetic and dries faster than my Patagonia jacket.I Love multi use garments, like my bowling shoes when my trail runners are wet and drying. Throw on some nickers,and a tweed hat, and I look like john Muir.:D

Saprogenic
07-19-2012, 18:13
Found these on the Cabela's site http://www.cabelas.com/catalog/product_read_only.jsp?productId=1163157&destination=%2Fcatalog%2Fsearch_catalog_command.cm d%3FfromProductSearch%3Dtrue%26item1%3DIK%2520-%2520905065&WTz_l=CQO They're synthetic t-shirts. They're new so they're on sale for $8.88. I was skeptical at that price so I ordered 1 to see if I like it. It's actually really nice, so I bought 10 more. Got the first one in black at it's really nice. No more spending $50 a t-shirt anymore for me.

rocketsocks
07-19-2012, 18:19
Found these on the Cabela's site http://www.cabelas.com/catalog/product_read_only.jsp?productId=1163157&destination=%2Fcatalog%2Fsearch_catalog_command.cm d%3FfromProductSearch%3Dtrue%26item1%3DIK%2520-%2520905065&WTz_l=CQO They're synthetic t-shirts. They're new so they're on sale for $8.88. I was skeptical at that price so I ordered 1 to see if I like it. It's actually really nice, so I bought 10 more. Got the first one in black at it's really nice. No more spending $50 a t-shirt anymore for me.Yep, good find for just knocking around shirts, if they get to grungy, rag em I guess. I too have a couple, (what I'd call expensive) shirts and they are nice, but just can't afford (don't want to) replace when there done, thanks for posting your find.

quasarr
09-09-2013, 20:53
This year on the PCT I wore Target's Champion brand golf pants that cost $30. And I liked them so much, I bought another pair when the first wore out! (after 1,000 miles) The material is super thin, and they dry incredibly fast. They don't zip off, but those zip off pants look dorky anyway. ;) They have my highest recommendation for hiking pants! My only complaint is that they stain and get dirty very easily, but hey you're a hiker, who cares how dirty you are ;)

http://www.target.com/p/c9-by-champion-men-s-golf-pants-assorted-colors/-/A-14148908

I had the khaki colored pair.

Dogwood
09-09-2013, 21:34
I've scored my best deals at thrift and consignment outdoor stores around high end areas like Seattle, Portland, Park City and many areas in CO(Aspen, Silverthorne, Denver,etc). Also, try small/med outdoor shops that have to turn over summer inventory merchandise, like hiking and running gear, to winter merchandise like skiing, snowboarding, etc gear. I've snagged some high end gear this way at more than 1/2 off retail at several Denver Outdoor stores this way. It doesn't hurt to know the manager's at these stores either and letting store personnel aware how much other money you spend at these businesses. Ebay, of course is another outlet. I've seen some shweet WM bags on sale there for more than 1/3 off the retail. Sierra Trading Post is a good site for deals too on discontinued, limited quantity, limited sizes, etc.

Dogwood
09-09-2013, 21:40
One thing I have a hard time justifying is paying ridiculously high prices for synthetic pieces made out of polyester or recycled plastic which is what most fleece and polyester tees and long sleeves are. It's ridiculous to pay $30-40 for a high end BIG name outdoors brand polyester shirt because one is hung up with a BIG name logo on their clothing when you can SOMETIMES get almost like performance from a $4 polyester tee from Wally World or at a thrift store.

tsgosnell
03-28-2014, 13:29
One thing I have a hard time justifying is paying ridiculously high prices for synthetic pieces made out of polyester or recycled plastic which is what most fleece and polyester tees and long sleeves are. It's ridiculous to pay $30-40 for a high end BIG name outdoors brand polyester shirt because one is hung up with a BIG name logo on their clothing when you can SOMETIMES get almost like performance from a $4 polyester tee from Wally World or at a thrift store.
I completely agree, Wally world poly is still poly!

wormer
03-28-2014, 14:11
Yard sales if, your flexible

tsgosnell
03-28-2014, 21:33
there is always a local bazaar around here, mostly baby items and hunting gear though

sjones503
04-07-2014, 10:14
As much as I hate to say it, Wal-Mart just out new wicking shortless shirts for $12.... I hate Wal-Mate, but hte grands wanted the movie Frozen!

double d
04-07-2014, 12:26
Great question: I would look at Campmor and REI-Outlet for really good sales on inexpensive, yet well made clothes and hiking gear. Good luck to you!

BillyGr
04-07-2014, 21:09
As much as I hate to say it, Wal-Mart just out new wicking shortless shirts for $12.... I hate Wal-Mate, but hte grands wanted the movie Frozen!

OK, aren't all shirts shortless? ;) :)

Wise Old Owl
04-07-2014, 21:20
Well I don't know what to say the original poser died as a member years ago. Seriously get what you can afford and move on folks..You can get Polypro at walmat and better dealers, Just remember to layer.

ChuckT
04-20-2014, 12:01
OK the question is still being asked. Your point is that posters today don't notice the OP date. So?
Move on.

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sjones503
04-29-2014, 09:57
As much as I hate shopping at Wal-Mart, they had underarmor type Ploy shirts for $6.....

Adriana
04-29-2014, 11:49
Don't forget Costco. I bought some nice base layers for $17 each this winter.

delita
05-23-2014, 14:42
Just recv 'd my NEW IN BOX ebay New Balance country walking shoes -- $40 inclulding shipping -- and checked prices online: $90-110, and, these are in my hard-to-find size and width. I find good things at walmart and thrift stores (inexpensive, meet my needs) but it is a blessing to be able to find name brand, more specialized items in new or like new condition online. Also picked up a micro petzl for my 10 essentials: $6. Good buys are out there if you are willing to do the foot work or online research.

Wise Old Owl
05-23-2014, 22:24
As much as I hate shopping at Wal-Mart, they had underarmor type Ploy shirts for $6.....

Well stop going there! kidding I find a good score there occasionally and I am not going to read this old thread... Last week while in Detroit I saw an Army Surplus store and told the wife to turn around - being a chilly weekend I scored a Awacs Military Fleece jacket that works with my Gore Tex XCR overcoat and they zip together. Instead of a North Face at $180 I got this excellent jacket at $50! YEA!

http://www.acuarmy.com/army-acu-generation-iii-ecwcs-fleece-foliage-green-jacket-liner-large-p-4262.html?gclid=CjkKEQjw4_ubBRCArMWr6avk_J8BEiQAIj 43tTubJpHjo-S6xUE4mSQ8sLa4e3PVqp_uI_l5HTMaQKvw_wcB

Wise Old Owl
05-23-2014, 22:27
My experience is that if you use thrift shops that are close to very upscale neighborhoods you can find all sorts of upscale gear and clothing that would never appear in less well to do areas

Yes I agree Deanna wanted to sell some of my suits at consignment shops in Germantown Philadelphia - while dropping off I saw Northface and Columbia there for men.

dlvoltolina
10-22-2015, 10:48
Rummage sales which are mostly in the spring and fall area a great place to buy many of the supplies needed for backpacking. Last week I found a 269.00 EMS ultralight backpacking tent for 4.00 it was in new condition and didn't even look like it was used. I buy my t shirts at Olympia sports . The under Armour shirts dry fast and do a great job at mois ture wicking
.

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Spacelord
10-23-2015, 22:47
Yes I agree Deanna wanted to sell some of my suits at consignment shops in Germantown Philadelphia - while dropping off I saw Northface and Columbia there for men.
You could just keep the suit pants if they're wool. A lot of nice suits are.

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