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11 Backpacking Gear Rental Companies In The Ultimate Battle!

When you are just starting out backpacking you don’t know what you don’t know. So, it is hard to shell out big bucks just to see if you like it or not. That is why renting backpacking equipment is a very good idea for the entry-level backpacker.

In this post, we compare 11 reputable gear rental companies to see who is the ultimate gear renter! Our comparison includes the one-person and two-person packages in 3-day and 7-day rentals from each company.

The winners are the companies that rise above the others in several categories. The overall winner is one that provides the best-renting experience coupled with the best backpacking experience.

Winning Categories

We chose 5 winners in the following categories and the winners are:

  1. Best Overall Experience: Mountainside Gear Rentals – they have a great website, really good pricing, a very comprehensive package, and use many reputable brands.
  2. The Complete Package: Xscape Pod ticked off all the boxes for what we consider a complete package. You will see below.
  3. Best Bang for Your Buck: Outdoors Geek has great pricing with a complete package.
  4. Best Brands Included: Big Sky wins this category, however, it was close and many could argue for another company. But hey, it’s our opinion.
  5. Coolest and Best Website Experience: Xscape Pod followed closely by Mountainside Gear Rentals and Outdoor Equipment Rentals. We believe that this category is very important. Meaning, if you have a confusing or illogically organized website then people will bounce. A famous person once said, “a confused mind will not buy”.

As we enter into this review keep in mind that all of these companies provide a service. We respect them all for helping grow the sport we all love.

Learn more about the companies represented in this epic battle and take a look at the comparison tables. You will get a good idea about renting equipment and have the knowledge to rent gear for your trip.

backpacking gear rentals, tent in the mountains
backpacking rental tent

Representative Companies

These are the companies that we chose to represent the backpacking gear renting industry. We Click on the company to be taken directly to their review.

  1. Arrive Outdoors
  2. Outdoors Geek
  3. Kit Lender
  4. Effortless Adventure
  5. Sage To Summit
  6. Outdoor Equipment Rentals
  7. Mountainside Gear Rentals
  8. Lower Gear
  9. Xscape Pod
  10. Camp Crate
  11. Big Sky
  12. REI

Characteristics We Look For:

In our competition, we are looking for the following characteristics:

  1. Website Experience: We hope that renting will be a great experience. Some websites are more difficult to navigate, slower, and decrease our satisfaction from the beginning. We include this in our individual reviews after our comparisons.
  2. Package Completeness: A minimally complete package includes a tent, backpack, sleeping bag, and sleeping pad. A well-rounded kit includes cookware, stove, headlamp, and water filter. It also depends on how many people in your party and if others have sharable items.
  3. Reputable Brands: We all know them when we see them. For example, The North Face, Marmot, Patagonia, Gregory, REI, Black Diamond, etc. Each rental company rents reputable brands, check out the individual company to see what they offer.
  4. Pricing and Quality Products (somewhat apples to oranges): We reviewed what items are included in the kit, the brands, and the price per day. We show a comparison of price. We have tried to make it as close to apples to apples as possible.
  5. Warranty/ Guarantees: We looked at the cancellation policies, any warranties, and guarantees by the company. You will see ‘as is’ listed and ‘normal wear and tear’ noted as these are you rent what they have and return it without damage.
  6. Shipping Capabilities: We are always looking for a good deal. Many rentals include shipping and others don’t. This alters the rental price, so, we consider that.

Comparisons: Let The Games Begin

Package Completeness

As we noted above, a complete package contains a tent, backpack, sleeping bag and pad, cookware, stove, headlamp, and filter. Using these items the rental companies with a complete match included Lower Gear and Xscape Pod.

The nearly complete (no water filter) but with so many other amenities such as a trowel, first aid kit, dry sack, extra tent stakes, matches, rope, can opener, camp soap is Mountainside Gear Rentals.

Outdoors Geek included all but the headlamp in their nearly complete package. And Arrive Outdoors included all but the water filter.

The comparison table shows all of the gear included in each package:

Pricing and Quality

1-Person Kits

For the most part, the pricing was pretty standard and fell between $30 and $60 per day. Outdoor Equipment Rentals are $19 per day. Also, Big Sky and Camp Crate charge $71 and $70 per day on the 1-Person 3-Day Trips. Some companies included shipping and others did not.

We have highlighted the best bang for your buck in green.

2-Person Kits

The 2-Person kits range between $38 and $80 for a 3-Day trip. The Best bang for your buck is in green.

As you see above, the price per unit drops the longer you are on your trip. So, when renting you really must consider how long you would like to hike. On the bright side, there are several options to take that memorable trip.

Company Reviews

Our reviews are for 1 and 2 person package rentals. Here are the reviews for our 11 rental companies

Arrive Outdoors

ARrive Outdoors 1-Person Rental Package
Arrive Outdoors 1-Person Rental Package

First Impressions Of Arrive Outdoors

Website Experience/ Coolness: On first impressions, the home page and large image took a long time to load*. But once in the navigation was pretty straightforward. The mobile site was much easier but took some time to get used to.

*26 seconds per Hubspot Website Grader – 5.3 seconds is industry standard

Package Completeness: With that said, I was able to find the backpacking packages quickly after clicking the ‘camping gear’ button located on the left side of the home page image.

The packages had all the basics included. What I would have liked is to have a trowel included in this package. Most newby backpackers wouldn’t know they needed this until they were out in the wilderness.

Reputable Brands: In addition, they use very reputable brands in their backpacking packages. Deuter, Trestle, Marmot, MSR, Black Diamond, and Therm-a-rest

Pricing and Quality: Arrive Outdoors is very reasonably priced and provides high-quality items. See the packages below.

Warranties/ Guarantees: They do have a liberal cancellation/ change order policy. Noting that if you decide to cancel before shipping, then there is absolutely no problem. Besides, returning the products after use is an easy two-step process: slap the provided mailing label on the box and drop off at your local FedEx.

Shipping: Arrive Outdoors will ship to the contiguous U.S. which is a bummer if you live in or want to send the items to Alaska, Hawaii or Puerto Rico.

1-Person Package

What is included in the rental package? The 1-Person Package includes a tent, backpack, sleeping bag and pad, a camp stove, pot set, and headlamp.

  • Tent: MSR Hubba NX 1-Person Tent
  • Backpack: You have a choice between Deuter backpacks. The choices include two women’s, two men’s, and one kid’s pack that vary in size and gender fitting.
  • Sleeping Bag: The package includes Trestles or Marmot sleeping bag. You can choose either a regular or long, and 0, 20, or 30-degree bag. They do have one option for a kid’s sleeping bag.
  • Sleeping Pad: Therm-a-rest Pro-Lite Apex sleeping bag in either regular or long.
  • Cookware: Either an MSR Alpine 2 or 4 Pot Set
  • Stove: MSR Pocket Rocket Deluxe Backpacking Stove
  • Headlamp: Black Diamond Spot Headlamp

Price per day for weekend trip: $98 for the trip ($32/ day); Includes rentals for 3-day trip.

Price per day for week-long trip: $196 for the trip ($28/ day); Includes rentals for 7-day trip.

2-Person Package

What is included in this rental package? The 2-Person Package includes 1 tent, camp stove, pot set, and 2 of each of the following: backpack, sleeping bag and pad, and headlamp.

  • Tent: 2 – MSR 2-Person Tent
  • Backpack: 2 – Choice between Deuter backpacks. The choices include two women’s, two men’s, and one kid’s pack that vary in size and gender fitting.
  • Sleeping Bag: 2 – The package includes Trestles or Marmot sleeping bag. You can choose either a regular or long, and 0, 20, or 30-degree bag. They do have one option for a kid’s sleeping bag.
  • Sleeping Pad: 2 – Therm-a-rest Pro-Lite Apex sleeping bag in either regular or long.
  • Cookware: 1 – Either an MSR Alpine 2 or 4 Pot Set
  • Stove: 1 – MSR Pocket Rocket Deluxe Backpacking Stove
  • Headlamp: 2 – Black Diamond Spot Headlamp

Price per day for a weekend trip: $153 for the trip ($51/ day); Includes receive Thursday, use Saturday/ Sunday, return Monday.

Price per day for the week-long trip: $305 for the trip ($43/ day); Includes receive Friday, use Saturday through the following Sunday, return Monday

How Do They Rate?

Overall Arrive Outdoors is a good option for a first-time backpacker. They also have gear for purchase when the time is right. The website listed some 5-star reviews. All were positive and mentioned ease of use, gear was well organized and in good condition. Price was mentioned several times – mostly ‘good price for the high quality’. They were highly recommended by many of their clients.

The biggest issue is the desktop version of the website is very slow. The mobile site is very responsive and easy to navigate, once you get used to it.

Outdoors Geek

Outdoors Geek Backpacking Rental Packages
Outdoors Geek Backpacking Package

First Impressions of Outdoors Geek

Website Experience/ Coolness: The website is responsive and easy to navigate. It is clear where to go for rental equipment and has several checklists available on the home page. The mobile site is just as fast and well organized.

Package Completeness: The packages were straightforward and included all the basics, as well as a trowel. Also, Outdoors Geek has ultralight packages available at a higher cost. Just in case you had the money to spend or the gumption to go ultralight. As a bonus, they provide a complimentary gift such as Jolly Ranchers of other treats.

Reputable Brands: Yes, Outdoors Geek uses Gregory, Big Agnes, and Marmot in their rental packages.

Pricing and Quality: Good pricing with shipping included. The cost per unit is much better as you rent for longer periods of time. They only ship good quality items.

Warranties/ Guarantees: Their policy states that the items provided “as is” and “with all faults”. It is also good to note that they expect “normal wear and tear” more than this is the responsibility of the rental party.

Cancellations: Cancellation is accepted up to 2 two weeks before the ship date. Meaning, you will not get charged for the rental up to that point. After that time, you will be charged the rental fee.

Shipping: is included in the price of the rental at the time of the writing of this post.

1-Person Rental Package

What is included in this rental package? The 1-Person Package includes one of each of the following: tent, backpack, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, cookset, stove, water filter, and trowel.

  • Tent: 1 Marmot Eos or The North Face Triarch 1-Person Tent (based on availability)
  • Backpack: 1 Gregory Backpack (Deva/Baltoro)
  • Sleeping Bag: 1 Marmot Trestles Sleeping Bag (15 or 30 degrees)
  • Sleeping Pad: 1 Big Agnes Air Core Ultra Sleeping Pad
  • Cookware: 1 Cookset (soloist)
  • Stove: 1 Single Burner Stove
  • Water Filter: 1 Katadyn or Sawyer Water Filter
  • Other: 1 Trowel

Price per day for a weekend trip: $129 for the trip ($43/ day); Includes rental for 1 to 3 days of backpacking.

Price per day for the week-long trip: $199 for the trip ($28/ day); Includes rental for 4 to 7 days of backpacking.

2-Person Rental Package

What is included in this rental package? The 2-Person Package includes

  • Tent: 1 Marmot Limelight 2 or 3 Person Tent based on availability (or similar)
  • Backpack: 2 Gregory Backpacks (Baltoro/Deva)
  • Sleeping Bags: 2 Marmot Trestles Sleeping Bags (15 or 30 degrees)
  • Sleeping Pads: 2 Big Agnes Air Core Ultra Sleeping Pads (or similar)
  • Cookware: 1 Cookset for 2 (dualist)
  • Stove: 1 Single Burner Stove
  • Water Filter: 1 Katadyn or Sawyer Water Filter
  • Other: 1 Trowel

Price per day for a weekend trip: $199 for the trip ($66/ day); Includes rental equipment for 2 people for 1 to 3 days.

Price per day for the week-long trip: $299 for the trip ($42/ day); Includes rental equipment for 2 people for 4 to 7 days.

How Do They Rate?

Outdoors Geek receives praise from their customers for their quality gear and great customer service at a reasonable price.

They received many 5-star reviews and did not disappoint. While all reviews gave rave reviews, one did mention a couple of small patched holes in a tent screen. Instead of a negative, I see this as a positive. Meaning, Outdoors Geek fixed the problem and didn’t send out defective gear.

The website is easy to navigate and fast. I didn’t have to wait around for the site to load.

Kit Lender

Kit Lender 1-Person Deluxe Backpacking Rental Package
Kit Lender 1-Person Deluxe Backpacking Package

First Impressions of Kit Lender

Website Experience/ Coolness: First, the home page was moderately slow to load. Second, I had trouble inputting information on their state/ town/ trip length tabs on the home page. While this is a cool feature, it didn’t work for me. The website looks cool but the images slow it down. Third, the browse button is located on the upper left in the header and and below the fold so, I had a tough time finding it.

In general, the packages page was very disorganized and I had a tough time finding the right backpacking package.

The mobile website was much better in regards to speed but continued with a disorganized backpacking package page. Needless to say, I found it a bit confusing. Enough about the website. What about the other aspects of the company?

Package Completeness: Kit Lender offers 4 backpacking packages. The basic, deluxe, premium, and the ‘tag-a-long’ packages. For our purposes, we will review the 1-Person and 2-Person Deluxe Packages. The Deluxe package is a comparable package to the ones we include throughout this post.

Reputable Brands: Yes, the brands in the package include The North Face, Black Diamond, Jetboil (fuel not included for obvious reasons), GSI, and Therm-a-Rest.

Pricing and Quality: Quality is certainly there on this one. The price for the 1- Person is about the same as others, however, the price point for the 2-Person is very reasonable. For example, the 1-Person package is $105 for minimum three day package and this same package can be rented for the same price, $105 for up to seven days! And the 2-Person package rents for three days at $165 and seven days for only $175!

Warranties/ Guarantees: You are covered for normal wear and tear but they suggest insuring for damage, loss, or theft.

Shipping: Free shipping to and from customers. The website states that they ship to the U.S. I would, however, contact them to see if they ship to Alaska and Hawaii.

1-Person Rental Package

What is included in this rental package? The 1-Person Package includes

  • Tent: 1 The North Face Stormbreak 1-Person Tent
  • Backpack: 1 The North Face Terra Backpack (Youth, Women, or 40, 55, or 65L)
  • Sleeping Bag: 1 The North Face Cats Meow Sleeping Bag (regular or long)
  • Sleeping Pad: 1 The North Face ProLite Sleeping Pad (Regular or Large)
  • Cookware: 1 GSI Foon (1 pc Folding Fork/Spoon Combination)
  • Stove: 1 Jetboil Micromo Canister Stove (fuel not included – Iso-butane/ Propane)
  • Headlamp: 1 Black Diamond SpotLite 160
  • Pillow: 1 Therm-a-Rest Inflatable Pillow

Price per day for a weekend trip: $105 for the trip ($35/ day); Includes three-day minimum rental.

Price per day for the week-long trip: $105 for the trip ($15/ day); Includes from 4 to 7-day rental.

2-Person Rental Package

What is included in this rental package? The 2-Person Package includes

  • Tent: 1 – The North Face Stormbreak 2-Person OR MSR Elixir 2-Person
  • Backpack: 2 – The North Face Terra Backpack (Youth, Women, or 40, 55, or 65L)
  • Sleeping Bag: 2 – Cats Meow (Regular or Long)
  • Sleeping Pad: 2 – The North Face ProLite Sleeping Pad (Regular or Large)
  • Cookware: 1 – Pot Set – MSR (Alpine 2 Person); 2 Foon – GSI (1 pc Folding Fork/Spoon Combination)
  • Stove: 1 – Choice of Jetboil Micromo, Sumo OR GSI Pinnacle Canister
  • Headlamp: 2 – Black Diamond (SpotLite 160)
  • Pillow: 2 – Thermarest (Inflatable Pillow)

Price per day for a weekend trip: $165 for the trip ($55/ day); Includes rental package for 3 days minimum.

Price per day for the week-long trip: $175 for the trip ($25/ day); Includes rentals from 4 to 7 days.

How Do They Rate?

Ok, first, Kit Lender provides a solid package for the money in the 1 and 2-Person Backpacking packages. I like that they included a pillow. Second, the website is slow, cumbersome, and the packages are disorganized on the page. Third, the pricing is the longer that you rent. Because of the large decrease in cost per unit (day), the price for the 3 days is the same as the 7 days. This is something they should look into.

As for testimonials, I couldn’t find them on the website. So, I have no formal reviewability from past customers. Overall they are doing some things right and just need to tweak the website and the pricing.

Effortless Adventure

Effortless Adventure 1-Person Backpacking Rental Package
Effortless Adventure 1-Person Backpacking Package

First Impressions of Effortless Adventure

Website Experience/ Coolness: The website quick and well organized. However, the package options are in a carousel. You will need to manually scroll to find the package that you want.

The mobile site is fast and well organized and does not include the carousel. So, it is much easier to find backpacking packages.

Package Completeness: This is a complete package of gear for your trip. First, it includes a 2-person Mountainsmith tent so if you are hiking alone will add extra weight. The cookware and stove are plentiful. While the kit includes water purifying tablets as a nice addition, they are not as useful as a filter/ purifier unit. Finally, this doesn’t include a pillow-not a ding as other packages don’t include this item either.

Reputable Brands: Yes, they carry Mountainsmith, MSR, however, they do not provide information about the brand sleeping bag, pad, and liner or the headlamp or water purifying tablets.

Pricing and Quality: The price is a bit on the high side for both the three days and up to six-day. They do not list a price for the seven days. You must call for pricing.

Warranties/ Guarantees: Rentals are “as is” and expect normal wear and tear during use. Also, you bear the risk of loss or theft.

Shipping: Effortless Adventure does NOT ship products. they take online reservations but pickup is in their shop in Plymouth, NH. So, I have included this as it is my home state. Meaning, if you are heading to NH, Effortless Adventure is an option.

1-Person Rental Package

What is included in this rental package? The 1-Person Package includes

  • Tent: 1 – Mountainsmith Bear Creek 2 Tent
  • Backpack: 1 – Mountainsmith Apex Backpacking Pack
  • Sleeping Bag: 1 – 30 Degree Sleeping Bag
  • Sleeping Pad: 1 – Sleeping Pad and Bag Liner
  • Cookware: 1 – MSR Cook & Eat PocketRocket Stove Kit
  • Stove: Pocket Rocket (see above)
  • Headlamp: 1 Headlamp
  • Water Purifier: Water Purifying Tablets

Price per day for a weekend trip: $155 for the trip ($52/ day); Includes rentals for three days.

Price per day for the week-long trip: $265 for the trip ($45/ day); This is a rental for 6 days only. Call for reservations longer than six days.

2-Person Rental Package

What is included in this rental package? The 2-Person Package includes

  • Tent: 1 – Mountainsmith Bear Creek Tent
  • Backpack: 2 – Mountainsmith Apex Backpacking Packs
  • Sleeping Bag: 2 – 30 Degree Sleeping Bags
  • Sleeping Pad: 2 – Sleeping Pads and Bag Liners
  • Cookware: 1 – MSR Cook & Eat PocketRocket Stove Kit
  • Stove: Pocket Rocket (see above)
  • Headlamp: 2 Headlamps
  • Water Purifier: Water Purifying Tablets

Price per day for a weekend trip: $175 for the trip ($59/ day); Includes 3 day rental for two people.

Price per day for the week-long trip: $285 for the trip ($48/ day); Includes 6-day rental package: you must call for trips longer than 6 days.

How Do They Rate?

Remember this is a ‘pick up’ service provided at their shop in Plymouth, New Hampshire. So, not fully online. With that said, they provide a good service however, I am not a fan of water purifying tablets. I would rather see a quality water filter/ purifying unit.

I would like to know what brands they use for sleeping bags. And, it is unclear if they provide a 1-person or 2-person tent in the 1-person rental. If it is a 2-person tent, then you need to account for the additional carrying weight.

Sage To Summit

Sage to Summit Tent and Ultralight Rental Gear
Sage to Summit Tent Rental

First Impressions of Sage to Summit

Website Experience/ Coolness: Nice, fast and fairly well organized. However, they did not separate the in-store pickups from the shippable items on the rental page; this was a little confusing, but not much.

Package Completeness: Sage to Summit rents lightweight tent, sleeping bag and ultralight tarp. In regards to package for this review it is incomplete. If you have most gear but need a tent or sleeping bag for the weekend, this is good option.

Sage to Summit also rents Bear Canisters. This is a plus as you would not normally need a bear container on most trips.

Reputable Brands: Yes, Brooks Range UL Guide Tarp and Montbell Sleeping Bag and Pad.

Pricing and Quality: High at super reasonable pricing.

Warranties/ Guarantees: “as is” and expect reasonable wear and tear; damage, loss, or theft is responsiblity of the renter. Sage to Summit also has a try before you buy package.

Shipping: Yes, only the items noted. Free shipping on orders of $50 and up to get the product to you. However, the cost to return ship falls on the renter/ you.

A-La-Carte Rental Package

What is included in this rental package? The A-La-Carte Package includes

  • Tent: 1 – Montbell lightweight tent
  • Sleeping Bag: 1 – Montbell lightweight sleeping bag
  • Tarp: 1 – Brooks Range UL Guide Tarp
  • Bear Canister: 1 – Bearikade Canister (Weekender, Scout, Blazer, Expedition)

Price for your trip:

  • Tent: $10 per day ($30 for 3-day; $70 for 7-day)
  • Sleeping Bag: $5 per day ($15 for 3-day; $35 for 7-day)
  • Tarp: $10 per day ($30 for 3-day; $70 for 7-day)
  • Bear Canister: $5 per day ($15 for 3-day; $35 for 7-day)
  • Total Package: $30 per day ($90 for 3-day; $210 for 7-day)

How Do They Rate?

Sage to Summit provides quality equipment for the backpacker who just needs a tent, bag, and bear can. The prices are reasonable for such a small package. You expect to pay around $40 to $75 for a three day trip. However, just getting a tent, sleeping bag and bear can for a three day trip costs $60 through Sage.

As an entry-level backpacker, this is not the way to go. I would recommend investing in a complete package for your first backpacking trip.

Outdoor Equipment Rentals

Outdoor Equipment Rentals Backpacking Package
Outdoor Equipment Rentals Backpacking Package

First Impressions of Outdoor Equipment Rentals

Website Experience/ Coolness: The website is fast, well organized and I found the backpacking packages easily. I rate this as one of the best web experiences in our review.

Package Completeness: The package is a basic package including a 2-person tent, backpack, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and sleeping bag liner.

Reputable Brands: Yes, they rent Kelty brand products. Kelty products are generally less expensive but they do have a good reputation for durability. Some of the products may be a little heavier than the higher quality products on the market.

Pricing and Quality: OER has a ‘best rate guarantee’ and it is clear to see that the 4-day package at $19/ day / person is at the best rate. Plus, a 7-day trip averages at $12/ person/ day. Again, this is the best rate. But what do you get for that rate? A tent, backpack, sleeping bag, bag liner, and pad. So, if you need to have a stove, headlamp, water filter/ purifier then it will cost you more money to purchase those items, or borrow them from a friend.

Warranties/ Guarantees: OER has a ‘best rate guarantee’ for their rental package. However, as stated above, this only includes the bare bones: tent, backpack, sleeping bag, sleeping bag liner, and sleeping pad.

Also, you must factor in shipping and additional items that you need. It might be something worth figuring out in order to get a match and save 10% off the top.

OER offers damage protection on some of the rental items in their shop. These include electronic items such as a GoPro but not basic backpacking gear. So, from what I can tell, they rent backpacking gear in this packas ‘as is’ condition and expect the renter to pay for damage, loss or theft.

Shipping: Shipping is based on UPS rates at the time of rental. All shipping is quoted as round trip – shipping to you and a return trip label.

1-Person Rental Package

What is included in this rental package? The 1-Person Package includes

  • Tent: 1 – Kelty TN2 Tent
  • Backpack: 1 – Kelty PK 50 Backpack
  • Sleeping Bag: 1 – Kelty SB20 Sleeping Bag
  • Sleeping Pad: 1 – Kelty PDsi Sleeping Pad

Price per day for weekend trip: $75 for the trip ($19/ day); The price is for a 4-day package only.

Price per day for week-long trip: $84 for the trip ($12/ day); Includes the rate of $3/ day for every day above four days.

2-Person Rental Package

What is included in this rental package? The 2-Person Package is not listed on the website. I doubled the items from the one person package, it includes

  • Tent: 2 – Kelty TN2 Tent
  • Backpack: 2 – Kelty PK 50 Backpack
  • Sleeping Bag: 2 – Kelty SB20 Sleeping Bag
  • Sleeping Pad: 2 – Kelty PDsi Sleeping Pad

Price per day for weekend trip: $150 for the trip ($38/ day); Includes rental for a 4-day period.

Price per day for week-long trip: $168 for the trip ($24/ day); Includes rental for 7-day trip.

How Do They Rate?

Outdoor Equipment Rentals provides a basic rental package. It does not include camp stove, cookware, headlamp, water purification system, or pillow. It is a good adjunct package if you were to go backpacking with someone who has the remainder of the needed equipment.

Also, their ‘best rate guarantee’ is somewhat confusing and difficult to compare with other rental companies. They do not include shipping or other items that you would need for your trip. For these reasons, I recommend opening an excel spreadsheet and do a quick price comparison before diving in.

Finally, the products are all the Kelty brand> This brand is reputable but not high end. Other companies in this review use higher end gear in their rental packages.

Mountainside Gear Rentals

Mountainside Gear and Rentals Backpacking Package
Mountainside Gear and Rentals Backpacking Package

First Impressions of Mountainside Gear Rentals

Website Experience/ Coolness: I just whispered, “Wow”. This website is easy to navigate, informative and had just what you need at first glance. The site is fast and doesn’t have extras that just bog down the experience. So, let’s dive right in.

Package Completeness: This is the real deal. The packages include all the expected necessities like tent, pack, sleeping bag and pad, etc. But also includes first aid kit, extra tent stakes, waterproof matches, paracord, can opener, biodegradeable soap, trowel and dry sack.

Reputable Brands: Yes, Big Agnes, Black Diamond, Klymit, GSI, and Mountainsmith.

Pricing and Quality: These are high quality rental packages. The pricing is at the higher end for the 1 to 3 day trip length ($44/day), and super reasonable at the longer 7-day trip ($24/day)

Warranties/ Guarantees: ‘As is’ is assumed and damage, loss or theft is the responsibility of the renter.

Shipping: You are charged for shipping out when you rent the gear. You pay for shipping back when you return the gear at your local UPS.

1-Person Rental Package

What is included in this rental package? The 1-Person Package includes

  • Tent: 1 – Superlight single person tent
  • Backpack: 1 – Choice of large 65-liter, female-specific 50-55-liter or youth-sized 50-liter Mountainsmith backpack with rain cover
  • Sleeping Bag: 1 – 25-Degree Rated Big Agnes Down Sleeping Bag (fits up to 6’3″ tall people)
  • Sleeping Pad: 1 – Super lightweight Klymit Inflatable Air Pad
  • Cookware: 1 – GSI Pinnacle Soloist cook-set
  • Stove: 1 – ultralight weight backpacking stove
  • Headlamp: 1 – Black Diamond High Performance headlamp with batteries
  • Dry Sack: 1 – Dry sack
  • First Aid Kit: 1 – First Aid Kit (Sealed. Additional charge if opened)
  • Tent Stakes: 1 – Extra aluminum tent stakes
  • Matches: 1 – Set waterproof matches
  • Rope: 1 – 50′ Paracord (rope)
  • Can Opener: 1 – Military-style can opener
  • Camp Soap: 1 – Biodegradable camp soap
  • Trowel: 1 – Plastic backpackers trowel

Price per day for weekend trip: $132.50 for the trip ($44/ day); It includes rentals for 3-day trip.

Price per day for week-long trip: $166.75 for the trip ($24/ day); Includes rentals for 7-day trip.

2-Person Rental Package

What is included in this rental package? The 2-Person Package includes

  • Tent: 1 lightweight two-person tent
  • Backpack: 2 Choice of large 65-liter, female-specific 55-liter or youth-sized 50-liter backpacks with rain cover
  • Sleeping Bag: 2 25 Degree Rated Big Agnes Down Sleeping Bags (fits up to 6’3″ tall people)
  • Sleeping Pad: 2 Super lightweight Klymit Inflatable Air Pads
  • Cookware: 1 GSI Pinnacle Dualist cook-set
  • Stove: 1 Lightweight backpacking stove
  • Headlamp: 2 Black Diamond High Performance headlamp with batteries
  • Dry Sack: 2 Dry sacksFirst Aid Kit: 1 First Aid Kit (Sealed. Additional charge if opened)
  • Tent Stakes: Extra aluminum tent stakes
  • Matches: 1 Set waterproof matches
  • Paracord: 1 50′ Paracord (rope)
  • Can Opener: 1 Military-style can opener
  • Biodegradable Soap: 1 Biodegradable camp soap
  • Trowel: 1 Plastic backpackers trowel

Price per day for weekend trip: $208.50 for the trip ($70/ day); Includes rentals for 3-day trip.

Price per day for week-long trip: $267 for the trip ($39/ day); Includes rentals for 7-day trip.

How Do They Rate?

This is by far the most comprehensive package so far. They have followed the 10 Essentials to a tee. The website is fast and well organized and the ordering process is easy to follow.

The pricing is well in line with the comprehensive, high quality rental packages. So, if you want to be prepared this is a great package.

Lower Gear

Lower Gear Packpacking Rental Package
Lower Gear Packpacking Package

First Impressions of Lower Gear

Website Experience/ Coolness: The website is fairly fast but the menus are a bit disorganized and somewhat hard to navigate. I stumbled upon the backpacking gear packages after a few clicks, assuming that they had the packaged.

Package Completeness: The package is fairly complete with the basic essentials. A couple nice additions are a water filter and trekking poles, which we haven’t seen in any of the packages up to this point.

Reputable Brands: Yes, Big Sky International, Osprey, Deuter, PTEC, MSR, and Leki.

Pricing and Quality: The pricing is on the high end. The Gear is good quality, especially the Deuter and Osprey backpacks.

Warranties/ Guarantees: Cancellations are free two weeks prior to ship date and incur a $25 charge after that but before shipping. Limited amount of wear and tear are expected but damage, loss or theft fall on the customer.

Shipping: They charge for shipping both ways using UPS or FedEx.

1-Person Rental Package

What is included in this rental package? The 1-Person Package includes

  • Tent: 1 – One-person lightweight backpacking design tent, typically from Big Sky International or comparable
  • Backpack: 1 – A medium capacity pack in the 60-65 liter capacity range, typically from Osprey or Deuter
  • Sleeping Bag: 1 – Comfortable and effective sleeping bag rated in the 30 – 35′ range
  • Sleeping Pad: 1 – Backpacking style mattress pad approximately 20″ wide by 72″ long
  • Cookware: 1 – Super light titanium kettle
  • Stove: 1 – Canister-style stove (MSR shown in website image)
  • Headlamp: 1 – Light headlamp
  • Water Filter: 1 – Pump-style water filter and a 3-liter water bladder
  • Trekking Poles: 1 – Pair of hiking poles (Leki shown in website image)

Price per day for weekend trip: $149 for the trip ($50/ day); Includes rentals for 3-day trip.

Price per day for week-long trip: $199 for the trip ($29/ day); Includes rentals for 7-day trip.

2-Person Rental Package

What is included in this rental package? The 2-Person Package includes

  • Tent: 1 – Two-person lightweight backpacking design tent, typically from Big Sky International or comparable
  • Backpack: 2 – Medium capacity packs in the 60-65 liter capacity range, typically from Osprey or Deuter
  • Sleeping Bag: 2 – Comfortable and effective sleeping bags rated in the 30 – 35′ range
  • Sleeping Pad: 2 – Backpacking style mattress pads approximately 20″ wide by 72″ long
  • Cookware: 1 – Super light titanium kettle
  • Stove: 1 – Canister-style stove (MSR shown in website image)
  • Headlamp: 2 – Light headlamps
  • Water Filter: 1 – Pump-style water filter and a 3-liter water bladder
  • Trekking Poles: 2 – Two pairs of hiking poles (Leki shown in website image)

Price per day for weekend trip: $239 for the trip ($80/ day); Includes rentals for 3-day trip.

Price per day for week-long trip: $329 for the trip ($47/ day); Includes rentals for 7-day trip.

How Do They Rate?

The package is at the upper end of completeness. The gear is good quality, but the price is in the upper end for the shorter trips and mid to upper end for the longer trip (7-days). Overall these are good rental packages.

Xscape Pod

Xscape Pod Backpacking Rental Package
Xscape Pod Backpacking Package

First Impressions of Xscape Pod

Website Experience/ Coolness: This website is very professional, clean, easy to navigate and ‘modern’. In addition it is very well organized and easy on the eyes.

Package Completeness: This is a very complete set which includes all the basics plus Leatherman knife, Bic lighter, lantern, first aid kit, and even a camp chair.

Reputable Brands: Yes, The include Big Agnes, MSR, Petzl, Bic, and Leatherman

Pricing and Quality: This is a high end backpacking rental package; it includes everything you need for the trip except for the food and clothing.

Warranties/ Guarantees: Full refund as long as the order is cancelled within 7 business days of your trip. Also, minor loss of less than $10 may not be charged. Other damages, loss, or theft are resolved directly between the customer and Xscape Pod.

Shipping: Round trip shipping is only $49.99. This is the least complicated that we round. It may be a little more expensive than others but much less hassle.

1-Person Rental Package

What is included in this rental package? The 1-Person Package includes

  • Tent: 1 – Big Agnes (rain fly and ground tarp included) to keep you dry
  • Backpack: 1 – Osprey adjustable 65L packs, perfect for all sizes
  • Sleeping Bag: 1 – Big Agnes rated to 30 degrees to keep your warm
  • Sleeping Pad: 1 – Big Agnes AirPad, comfy mattress for a great night’s sleep
  • Cookware: MSR Cook set and skewers, everything you need to eat
  • Stove: 1 – MSR, easily sets up anywhere for meals on the go
  • Headlamp: 1 – Petzl, 200+ lumens of light
  • Water Filter: 1 – SteriPEN, UV light filter kills 99.9% in 60 seconds
  • Camp Chair: 1 – Helinox, light weight and quick to assemble
  • Lantern: 1 – BioLite, light the night and charges your phone
  • Multi-Tool: 1 – Leatherman, like a pocketknife but better
  • First Aid Kit: 1 – MRS, just in case
  • Fire Starter: 1 – Bic, a trusty lighter for campfires and stove ignition

Price per day for weekend trip: $169 for the trip ($57/ day); Includes rentals for 3-day trip.

Price per day for week-long trip: $239 for the trip ($35/ day); Includes rentals for 7-day trip.

2-Person Rental Package

What is included in this rental package? The 2-Person Package includes

  • Tent: 1 – Big Agnes (rain fly and ground tarp included) to keep you dry
  • Backpack: 2 – Osprey adjustable 65L packs, perfect for all sizes
  • Sleeping Bag: 2 – Big Agnes rated to 30 degrees to keep your warm
  • Sleeping Pad: 2 – Big Agnes AirPad, comfy mattress for a great night’s sleep
  • Camp Chair: 2 – Helinox, light weight and quick to assemble
  • Stove: 1 – MSR, easily sets up anywhere for meals on the go
  • Cookware: MSR Cook set and skewers, everything you need to eat
  • Headlamp: 2 – Petzl, 200+ lumens of light
  • Lantern: 1 – BioLite, light the night and charges your phone
  • Multi-Tool: 1 – Leatherman, like a pocketknife but better
  • Water Filter: 1 – SteriPEN, UV light filter kills 99.9% in 60 seconds
  • First Aid Kit: 1 – MRS, just in case
  • Fire Starter: 1 – Bic, a trusty lighter for campfires and stove ignition

Price per day for weekend trip: $229 for the trip ($77/ day); Includes rentals for 3-day trip.

Price per day for week-long trip: $309 for the trip ($45/ day); Includes rentals for 7-day trip.

How Do They Rate?

Xscape Pod is a high-end rental package. It includes everything needed for the trip and more. The website is easily navigated and the user experience is the best we found so far. The price reflects the value and the quality., however, if you need to stay on a tighter budget there are other options in this review.

Camp Crate

Campcrate Backpacking Rental Package
Campcrate Backpacking Package

First Impressions of Camp Crate

Website Experience/ Coolness: The website is top-notch with super easy navigation, fast and well organized. The company only does rentals and adventure vacations so the site isn’t cluttered like some others that we reviewed.

Package Completeness: the package is complete with tent, backpack, sleeping bag and pad, headlamp, stove and water filter. It would be nice to have cookwear in this package.

Reputable Brands: Yes, Petzl, Jetboil, Klymit, The North Face, and Katadyn

Pricing and Quality: The quality is there with these packages. However, this section causes some concern. The 1-person package cost $278 for a 4 day trip and the 2-person package cost $168 for a 4 day trip. If you choose to use CampCrate make sure that the pricing is correct.

Warranties/ Guarantees: Damage beyond normal “wear and tear” is chareged to the customer. Loss and theft are also charged to the customer. You are able to cancel gear up to 10 days before shipping date.

Shipping: Shipping is the responsibility of the customer, you.

1-Person Rental Package

What is included in this rental package? The 1-Person Package includes

  • Tent: 1 – 2-Person 3-Season Tent
  • Backpack: 1 – Klymit Motion 60L Backpack
  • Sleeping Bag: 1 – Synthetic sleeping bags (in summer we provide 29-degree bags – change to a 40, 20, or 0 degree bag for free as an add-on)
  • Sleeping Pad: 1 – Katadyn Sleeping Pads
  • Stove: 1 – Jetboil Camp Stove
  • Headlamp: 1 – Petzl Headlamp
  • Water Filter: 1 – Katadyn Hiker Pro Water Filter

Price per day for weekend trip: $278 for the trip ($70/ day); Includes rentals for a 4 day trip.

Price per day for week-long trip: $318 for the trip ($46/ day); Includes rentals for a 7 day trip.

2-Person Rental Package

What is included in this rental package? The 2-Person Package includes

  • Tent: 1 – 2-Person 3-Season Tent
  • Backpack: 2 – Klymit Motion 60L Backpack
  • Sleeping Bag: 2 – Synthetic sleeping bags (in summer we provide 29-degree bags – change to a 40, 20, or 0 degree bag for free as an add-on)
  • Sleeping Pad: 2 – Katadyn Sleeping Pads
  • Stove: 1 – Jetboil Camp Stove
  • Headlamp: 1 – Petzl Headlamp
  • Water Filter: 1 – Katadyn Hiker Pro Water Filter

Price per day for weekend trip: $168 for the trip ($42/ day); Includes rentals for a 4 day trip.

Price per day for week-long trip: $188 for the trip ($27/ day); Includes rentals for a 7 day trip.

How Do They Rate?

I love how they are an adventure and rental company only. That way the website is easy to navigate and place your order. The prices are reasonable, however, I am unsure if I read them correctly. As it read that the 1-person price was more than the 2-person price. Unless I am missing something like that 2-person price was a per person price, which wasn’t listed.

Overall, I am very pleased with this company, but this is only a basic package. If you want the other amenities and equipment other than hat is listed it will be an additional fee. That may price this company out of the running.

Big Sky

Big Sky Rent Backpacking Rental Package
Big Sky Rent Backpacking Package

First Impressions of Big Sky

Website Experience/ Coolness: This company like others specializes in gear rental. That is why the website is clean, easy to navigate, and speedy. A good customer experience.

Package Completeness: The package is very complete and even includes trekking poles. It includes, tent, backpack, sleeping bag and pad, cookware, stove, lantern, and trekking poles. I would like to see a water filter/ purifier in this bundle, especially for longer treks lasting more than 3 or 4 days.

Reputable Brands: Yes, brands include Deuter, Big Agnes, LuminAID, Black Diamond, Halulite, and Jetboil.

Pricing and Quality: The quality is derfinitely in this package. The pricing fits with the good quality equipment especially with the free shipping when the purchase is over $75.

Warranties/ Guarantees: Cancelling your order 7 days in advance will get your entire fee refunded. Lost, stolen, or damaged gear is your responsibility to replace or fix.

Shipping: All rentals over $75 the shipping is free. For all orders below $75, they charge a flat rate of $30 for shipping.

1-Person Rental Package

What is included in this rental package? The 1-Person Package includes

  • Tent: 1 – Big Agnes Tigerwall 2 Person Backpacking Tent
  • Backpack: 1 – Deuter AirContact 60 +SL 10
  • Sleeping Bag: 1 – Big Agnes Lost Dog 15F
  • Sleeping Pad: 1 – Big Agnes Insulated Air Core Sleeping Pad
  • Cookware: 1 – Halulite Cooking Set
  • Stove: 1 – Jetboil MightyMo Backpacking Stove
  • Headlamp: 1 – BlackDiamond Astro 325 Lumens
  • Lantern: 1 – LuminAID Collapsable Lantern
  • Trekking Poles: 1 – Sissy Stix BackCountry Pro (pair)

Price per day for weekend trip: $284.42 for the trip ($71/ day); Includes rental and shipping for a 4 day trip.

Price per day for week-long trip: $388 for the trip ($49/ day); Includes rental and shipping for a 8 day trip.

2-Person Rental Package

What is included in this rental package? The 2-Person Package includes

  • Tent: 1 – Big Agnes Tigerwall 2 Person Backpacking Tent
  • Backpack: 2 – Deuter AirContact 60 +SL 10
  • Sleeping Bag: 2 – Big Agnes Lost Dog 15F
  • Sleeping Pad: 2 – Big Agnes Insulated Air Core Sleeping Pad
  • Cookware: 1 – Halulite Cooking Set
  • Stove: 1 – Jetboil MightyMo Backpacking Stove
  • Headlamp: 2 – BlackDiamond Astro 325 Lumens
  • Lantern: 1 – LuminAID Collapsable Lantern
  • Trekking Poles: 2 – Sissy Stix BackCountry Pro (pair)

Price per day for weekend trip: $409.95 for the trip ($103/ day); Includes rental and shipping for a 4 day trip.

Price per day for week-long trip: $547.50 for the trip ($69/ day); Includes rental and shipping for a 8 day trip.

How Do They Rate?

The website is really good once you open the gear tab and scroll over to the packages page. The price seems a bit steep but shipping is included. The packages are complete and the gear is high quality. I recommend this gear for people lookng for high end gear and can afford it. Otherwise, I recommend that you stick to the lower priced rental companies.

REI

REI rents backpacking equipment
REI Rents Packpacking Equipment

First Impressions of REI

Website Experience/ Coolness:

Package Completeness: Yes, REI provides a complete rental package.

Reputable Brands: I was unable to find the brands that they use in their rental packages.

Pricing and Quality: The pricing is very reasonable for members and ok for non-members. They really want to promote their membership through this program.

Warranties/ Guarantees: To receive a full refund, you must cancel your rental prior to 12 p.m. the day before your scheduled reservation.

Shipping: In-store pick up only. REI does not ship their rental equipment. A number of stores rent equipment. It is best to check with your local store before renting. Also, a number of stores have online ordering; again, check with your local store.

The stores in these locations rent equipment:

  • Anchorage
  • Arcadia
  • Berkeley
  • Bloomington
  • Boulder
  • Carle Place
  • Colorado Springs
  • Denver
  • Fort Collins
  • Framingham
  • Grand Junction
  • Henderson
  • Hou – Galleria
  • Hou – Willowbrook
  • Lincoln Park
  • Missoula
  • North Conway
  • Salt Lake City
  • San Diego
  • Santa fe
  • Santa Rosa
  • Seattle
  • Spokane
  • Tacoma
  • Vernon Hills
  • Virginia Beach
  • Woodland Park

2-Person Rental Package

What is included in this rental package? The 2-Person Package includes

  • Tent: 1 – 2-Person Backpacking Tent
  • Backpack: 2 – Backpacks
  • Sleeping Bag: 2 – Sleeping Bags
  • Sleeping Pad: 2 – Backpacking Sleeping Pads
  • Stove: 1 – MSR Pocket Rocket Stove Kit (fuel sold separately)
  • Headlamp: 2 – Rechargeable Headlamps
  • Water Filter: 1 – Gravity Water Filter
  • Pillow: 2 – Backpacking Pillows
  • Camp Chairs: 2 – Lightweight Camp Chairs
  • Trekking Poles: 2 – Pair of Trekking Poles

Price per day for weekend trip:

  • Members: $137 first night f/b $27 each additional night or $191 for 3 days (64/day).
  • Non-Members: $206 first night f/b $41 each additional night plus $200 deposit OR $288 plus deposit for 3 days ($96/day)

Price per day for week-long trip:

  • Members: $137 first night f/b $27 each additional night OR $299 for 3 days ($42/day).
  • Non-Members: $206 first night f/b $41 each additional night plus $200 deposit OR $493 plus deposit for 7 days ($71/day).

How Do They Rate?

REI is well-known and very reputable. The gear is top-notch and the service is delightful. After scouring the website, I was unable to find a 1-person rental. They do have a-la-carte service, but that is not what this review is about.

The pricing is reasonable for members and becomes expensive for non-members. And finally, while REI is in many locations, it is not easy to get to for many people. Because they don’t ship, this becomes prohibitive.

Here Is Some Bonus Material: Videos From the Companies Themselves

I Hope This Helps

It was fun researching these rental companies. What surprised me was the variations in rental kits. Some added trekking poles, others camp chairs, while others included many accessory items and some none