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The 12 Best Backpacking Gear Rental Companies

Renting backpacking equipment is a very good idea for the entry-level backpacker. When you’re first starting out, you don’t know what kind of equipment will suit you best, and there are lots of options. Luckily there are also lots of backpacking gear rental companies to choose from too.

The 12 best backpacking gear rental companies are:

  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

Below, we’ll go through the pros and cons of each of these backpacking gear rental companies so that you can learn which one is right for you. But before we do that, let’s consider what kind of things you should look for in a good backpacking gear rental company.

Table of Contents

What To Look For In A Backpacking Gear Rental Company

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 there are in your party and if others have sharable items.

Reputable Brands

We all know the big brands when we see them. For example, The North Face, Marmot, Patagonia, Gregory, REI, Black Diamond, etc. You might have a favorite brand that you always choose, or you might just want to make sure you’re paying for quality gear. Either way, check out the brands any given company offers before you buy.

Quality Products

Pricing varies by brand, by product, and by the time of year. Some companies will offer generally lower prices than others, but there are always sales to consider too, which can make even the priciest brands affordable. More important than price is the quality of the gear. Quality gear is durable, and well worth the extra money, so choose a company that offers quality!

Warranty/Guarantees

When renting gear, it’s important to consider your chosen company’s returns and refunds policies, and whether they offer any special guarantees. Accept that the gear you rent won’t be in mint condition, but you should still be able to get your money back if it’s well below the quality advertised.

Shipping Capabilities

Many backpacking gear rental companies include shipping, but others don’t. This alters the rental price, so it’s worth considering.

1 Person/2 Person Package

As we noted above, a complete package contains a tent, backpack, sleeping bag and pad, cookware, stove, headlamp, and water filter. Not all gear rental companies listed below offer packages with every single one of these items, but most offer the majority of them. Some don’t offer packages at all, but instead rent individual items.

Where there aren’t 1 or 2 person packages on offer, we’ll simply mention the things you can rent individually. Note that specific items may vary with supply and demand. So, what are the best backpacking gear rental companies?

12 Best Backpacking Gear Rental Companies

1. Arrive Outdoors

Package Completeness

The Arrive Outdoors packages had all the basics included.

Reputable Brands

Arrive Outdoors offers very reputable brands in their backpacking packages. Deuter, Trestle, Marmot, MSR, Black Diamond, and Therm-a-Rest are all on offer.

Quality

Arrive Outdoors is very reasonably priced and provides high-quality items.

Warranties/Guarantees

Arrive Outdoors offer a liberal cancellation/change order policy. Note that if you decide to cancel before shipping, you won’t need to pay a fee. Returning products after use is also straightforward.

Shipping

Arrive Outdoors will only ship to the contiguous United States.

1-Person Package

The 1-person package includes:

  • 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 a Marmot Trestles 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 pad in either regular or long.
  • Cookware: MSR Alpine 2 or 4 pot set
  • Stove: MSR Pocket Rocket Deluxe backpacking stove
  • Headlamp: Black Diamond Spot headlamp

2-Person Package

The 2-person package includes:

  • Tent: MSR 2-Person Tent
  • Backpack: 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: MSR Alpine 2 or 4 pot set
  • Stove:MSR Pocket Rocket Deluxe backpacking stove
  • Headlamp: Black Diamond Spot headlamp

2. Outdoors Geek

Package Completeness

Outdoors Geek’s packages are straightforward and include all the basics, as well as a trowel. Outdoors Geek also has ultralight packages available at a higher cost.

Reputable Brands

Outdoors Geek uses Gregory, Big Agnes, and Marmot in their rental packages.

Quality

Pricing is reasonable, depending on the packages you opt for, and shipping is included. The cost per unit decreases as you rent for longer periods of time.

Warranties/Guarantees

Outdoors Geek’s policy states that the items are provided “as is” and “with all faults.” It is also good to note that they expect “normal wear and tear” but any more than this is the responsibility of the rental party.

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

Shipping

Shipping is included.

1-Person Rental Package

The 1-person package includes:

  • Tent: Marmot Eos or The North Face Triarch 1-person tent (based on availability)
  • Backpack: Gregory backpack (Deva/Baltoro)
  • Sleeping Bag: Marmot Trestles sleeping bag (15 or 30 degrees)
  • Sleeping Pad:Big Agnes Air Core Ultra sleeping pad
  • Cookware:Cookset (soloist)
  • Stove: Single burner stove
  • Water Filter: Katadyn or Sawyer water filter
  • Other: Trowel

2-Person 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: Cookset for 2 (dualist)
  • Stove: Single burner stove
  • Water Filter: 1 Katadyn or Sawyer water filter
  • Other: Trowel

3. Kit Lender

Package Completeness

Kit Lender offers 4 backpacking packages, which are the basic, deluxe, premium, and the ‘tag-a-long’ packages. What you get will obviously vary depending on the package you choose.

Reputable Brands

The brands on offer at Kit Lender include The North Face, Black Diamond, Jetboil, GSI, and Therm-a-Rest.

Quality

Kit Lender has a strong focus on providing quality products, and their pricing is fairly reasonable too. It becomes very cost-effective to rent for longer trips.

Warranties/Guarantees

You are covered for normal wear and tear, but they suggest insuring for damage, loss, or theft. This will obviously add to the cost.

Shipping

Kit Lender offers free shipping to and from customers (at least to and from the contiguous US).

1-Person Rental Package

The 1-person package includes:

  • Tent: The North Face Stormbreak 1-person tent
  • Backpack: The North Face Terra backpack (youth, women’s, or 40, 55, or 65L)
  • Sleeping Bag: The North Face Cat’s Meow sleeping bag (regular or long)
  • Sleeping Pad: The North Face ProLite sleeping pad (regular or large)
  • Cookware: GSI Foon (1 piece folding fork/spoon combination)
  • Stove: Jetboil Micromo canister stove (fuel not included – iso-butane/propane)
  • Headlamp: Black Diamond SpotLite 160
  • Pillow: Therm-a-Rest inflatable pillow

2-Person Rental Package

The 2-person package includes:

  • Tent: 1 The North Face Stormbreak 2-person orMSR Elixir 2-person tent
  • Backpack: 2 The North Face Terra backpacks (youth, women’s, or 40, 55, or 65L)
  • Sleeping Bag: 2 Cat’s Meow sleeping bags (regular or long)
  • Sleeping Pad: 2 The North Face ProLite sleeping pads (regular or large)
  • Cookware: Pot set – MSR (Alpine 2person); 2 Foon – GSI (1 pc folding fork/spoon combination)
  • Stove: Choice of Jetboil Micromo, Sumo or GSI Pinnacle Canister
  • Headlamp: 2 Black Diamonds (SpotLite 160)
  • Pillow: 2 Therma-a-Rest inflatable pillows

4. Effortless Adventure

Package Completeness

Effortless Adventure offers complete packages. The1-person package includes a 2-person Mountainsmith tent, so if you are hiking alone this will add extra weight. While the kit includes water purifying tablets as a nice addition, they are not as versatile as a filter/purifier unit.

Reputable Brands

Effortless Adventure offers Mountainsmith and MSR gear. However, they do not provide information about the brand of sleeping bag, pad and liner, headlamp or water purifying tablets.

Quality

Effortless Adventure isn’t the cheapest option on this list, and for long trip rentals you need to contact them for pricing.

Warranties/Guarantees

Rentals are “as is” and they expect normal wear and tear during use. Note that 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. This obviously isn’t a great choice if you’re not going hiking near Plymouth!

1-Person Rental Package

The 1-person package includes:

  • Tent: Mountainsmith Bear Creek 2 tent
  • Backpack: Mountainsmith Apex backpacking pack
  • Sleeping Bag: 30-degree sleeping bag
  • Sleeping Pad: Sleeping pad and bag liner
  • Cookware: MSR Cook & Eat PocketRocket stove kit
  • Headlamp: Headlamp
  • Water Purifier: Water purifying tablets

2-Person 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: MSR Cook & Eat PocketRocket stove kit
  • Headlamp: 2 Headlamps
  • Water Purifier: Water purifying tablets

5. Sage To Summit

Package Completeness

Sage to Summit rents lightweight tents, sleeping bags, bear canisters and ultralight tarps. With regard to the packages on offer, there aren’t any, and instead you rent from an “à la carte” selection.

Reputable Brands

Brands on offer include a Brooks Range UL Guide Tarp and Montbell Sleeping Bag and Pad.

Quality

You get high quality gear with Sage To Summit, which is a bonus of the company only offering a few specific items.

Warranties/Guarantees

You rent gear “as is” and they expect reasonable wear and tear. Damage, loss, or theft is responsibility of the renter. Sage to Summit also has a try before you buy package, which may suit beginners very well.

Shipping

Shipping is free if you spend a certain amount, but return shipping is always going to cost extra.

A-La-Carte Rental Package

The à la carte package includes:

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

6. Outdoor Equipment Rentals

Package Completeness

Outdoor Equipment Rentals offers a basic package including a 2-person tent, backpack, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and sleeping bag liner.

Reputable Brands

Outdoor Equipment Rentals 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.

Quality

While the gear on offer at Outdoor Equipment Rentals is all of high quality, as you can’t rent all of the essentials, you’ll need to source them elsewhere, driving the total cost up.

Warranties/Guarantees

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, for basic backpacking gear, they 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, meaning return shipping is included in the price.

1-Person Rental Package

The 1-person package includes:

  • Tent: Kelty TN2 tent
  • Backpack: Kelty PK 50 backpack
  • Sleeping Bag: Kelty SB20 sleeping bag
  • Sleeping Pad: Kelty PDsi sleeping pad

7. Mountainside Gear Rentals

Package Completeness

Mountainside Gear Rentals’ packages include all the expected necessities like tents, backpacks, sleeping bags and pads, etc. But they also include first aid kits, extra tent stakes, waterproof matches, Paracord, can openers, biodegradable soap, trowels and dry sacks.

Reputable Brands

Brands include Big Agnes, Black Diamond, Klymit, GSI, and Mountainsmith.

Quality

These are high quality rental packages. The price of the package you choose obviously depends on what’s included and the length of your trip.

Warranties/Guarantees

‘As is’ condition is assumed and damage, loss and theft are the responsibility of the renter.

Shipping

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

1-Person Rental Package

The 1-person package includes:

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

2-Person 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″)
  • Sleeping Pad: 2 Super lightweight Klymit Inflatable Air Pads
  • Cookware: GSI Pinnacle Dualist cook-set
  • Stove: Lightweight backpacking stove
  • Headlamp: 2 Black Diamond High Performance headlamps with batteries
  • Dry Sack: 2 Dry sacks
  • First Aid Kit: 1 First Aid Kit (Sealed – additional charge if opened)
  • Tent Stakes: Extra aluminum tent stakes
  • Matches: Set of waterproof matches
  • Paracord: 50 feet
  • Can Opener: Military-style can opener
  • Biodegradable Soap: Biodegradable camp soap
  • Trowel: Plastic backpacker’s trowel

8. Lower Gear

Package Completeness

The Lower Gear package is fairly complete with the basic essentials. A couple of 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

Brands include Big Sky International, Osprey, Deuter, PTEC, MSR, and Leki.

Quality

The pricing at Lower Gear is on the high end. The gear is good quality though, especially the Deuter and Osprey backpacks.

Warranties/Guarantees

Cancellations are free up to two weeks prior to your shipping date and they incur a charge after that. Limited amount of wear and tear are expected but damage, loss or theft are the customer’s responsibility.

Shipping

Lower Gear charges for shipping both ways using UPS or FedEx.

1-Person Rental Package

The 1-person package includes:

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

2-Person 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 sleeping bags rated in the 30-35 degree range
  • Sleeping Pad:2 backpacking style mattress pads approximately 20″ wide by 72″ long
  • Cookware:Super light titanium kettle
  • Stove: Canister-style stove
  • Headlamp: 2 light headlamps
  • Water Filter:Pump-style water filter and a 3-liter water bladder
  • Trekking Poles:2 pairs of hiking poles

9. Xscape Pod

Package Completeness

Xscape Pod offers a very complete set which includes all the basics plus a Leatherman knife, Bic lighter, lantern, first aid kit, and even a camp chair.

Reputable Brands

Brands include Big Agnes, MSR, Petzl, Bic, and Leatherman.

Quality

This is a high end backpacking rental package. It includes everything you need for the trip except for food and clothing.

Warranties/Guarantees

You get a 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

You pay for round-trip shipping.

1-Person Rental Package

The 1-person package includes:

  • Tent: Big Agnes tent (rain fly and ground tarp included)
  • Backpack: Osprey adjustable 65L packs
  • Sleeping Bag:Big Agnes sleeping bag rated to 30 degrees
  • Sleeping Pad: Big Agnes AirPad
  • Cookware: MSR cook set and skewers
  • Stove: MSR stove
  • Headlamp: Petzl, 200+ lumens of light
  • Water Filter: Steripen UV light filter
  • Camp Chair: Helinox
  • Lantern: BioLite
  • Multi-Tool: Leatherman
  • First Aid Kit: MSR
  • Fire Starter: Bic lighter

2-Person Rental Package

The 2-person package includes:

  • Tent: 1 Big Agnes tent (rain fly and ground tarp included)
  • Backpack: 2 Osprey adjustable 65L packs, perfect for all sizes
  • Sleeping Bag:2 Big Agnes sleeping bags rated to 30 degrees
  • Sleeping Pad: 2 Big Agnes AirPads
  • Camp Chair: 2 Helinox
  • Stove: MSR
  • Cookware: MSR cook set and skewers
  • Headlamp: 2 Petzls, 200+ lumens of light
  • Lantern: BioLite
  • Multi-Tool: Leatherman
  • Water Filter: Steripen UV light filter
  • First Aid Kit: MSR
  • Fire Starter: Bic lighter

10. Camp Crate

Package Completeness

Camp Crate’s package is complete with tent, backpack, sleeping bag and pad, headlamp, stove and water filter.

Reputable Brands

Brands include Petzl, Jetboil, Klymit, The North Face, and Katadyn.

Quality

With the brands on offer, you can be sure to get high quality gear from Camp Crate.

Warranties/Guarantees

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

Shipping

You need to pay for shipping with Camp Crate.

1-Person Rental Package

The 1-person package includes:

  • Tent: 2-person 3-season tent
  • Backpack: Klymit Motion 60L backpack
  • Sleeping Bag: Synthetic sleeping bag
  • Sleeping Pad: Katadyn sleeping pads
  • Stove: Jetboil camp stove
  • Headlamp: Petzl headlamp
  • Water Filter: Katadyn Hiker Pro water filter

2-Person Rental Package

The 2-person package includes:

  • Tent: 2-person 3-season tent
  • Backpack: 2 Klymit Motion 60L backpacks
  • Sleeping Bag: 2 synthetic sleeping bags
  • Sleeping Pad: 2 Katadyn sleeping pads
  • Stove: Jetboil camp stove
  • Headlamp: 1 Petzl headlamp
  • Water Filter: Katadyn Hiker Pro water filter

11. Big Sky

Package Completeness

The Big Sky package is very complete and even includes trekking poles. It includes a tent, backpack, sleeping bag and pad, cookware, stove, lantern, and trekking poles.

Reputable Brands

Brands on offer at Big Sky include Deuter, Big Agnes, LuminAID, Black Diamond, Halulite, and Jetboil.

Quality

Big Sky offers high-quality rental gear at reasonable prices when compared to the other options on this list.

Warranties/Guarantees

Cancelling your order at least 7 days in advance is free. Lost, stolen, or damaged gear is your responsibility to replace or fix.

Shipping

There is a flat rate for shipping, but you can get it free if you spend a certain amount.

1-Person Rental Package

The 1-person package includes:

  • Tent: Big Agnes Tigerwall 2-person backpacking tent
  • Backpack: Deuter AirContact 60 +SL 10 backpack
  • Sleeping Bag: Big Agnes Lost Dog 15F sleeping bag
  • Sleeping Pad: Big Agnes Insulated Air Core sleeping pad
  • Cookware: Halulite cooking set
  • Stove: Jetboil MightyMo backpacking stove
  • Headlamp: Black Diamond Astro 325 lumens headlamp
  • Lantern: LuminAID collapsible lantern
  • Trekking Poles: Pair of Sissy Stix BackCountry Pro trekking poles

2-Person Rental Package

The 2-person package includes:

  • Tent: 1 Big Agnes Tigerwall 2-person backpacking tent
  • Backpack: 2 Deuter AirContact 60 +SL 10 backpacks
  • Sleeping Bag: 2 Big Agnes Lost Dog 15F sleeping bags
  • Sleeping Pad: 2 Big Agnes Insulated Air Core sleeping pads
  • Cookware: Halulite cooking set
  • Stove: Jetboil MightyMo backpacking stove
  • Headlamp: 2 BlackDiamond Astro 325 lumens headlamps
  • Lantern: LuminAID collapsible lantern
  • Trekking Poles: 2 pairs of Sissy Stix BackCountry Pro trekking poles

12. REI

Package Completeness

REI provides a complete rental package with all the essentials.

Reputable Brands

The website doesn’t say which brands REI uses.

Quality

Quality of the gear offered by REI is great, but pricing will vary depending on whether or not you are a member.

Warranties/Guarantees

To receive a full refund, you must cancel your rental prior to 12 pm the day before your scheduled reservation.

Shipping

REI does not ship their rental equipment, so you need to pick it up in-store. It is best to check with your local store before renting.

REI 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

The 2-person package includes:

  • Tent: 2-person backpacking tent
  • Backpack: 2 backpacks
  • Sleeping Bag: 2 sleeping bags
  • Sleeping Pad: 2 backpacking sleeping pads
  • Stove: MSR Pocket Rocket stove kit (fuel sold separately)
  • Headlamp: 2 rechargeable headlamps
  • Water Filter: Gravity water filter
  • Pillow: 2 backpacking pillows
  • Camp Chairs: 2 lightweight camp chairs
  • Trekking Poles: 2 pairs of trekking poles

Final Thoughts

Our list of the 12 best backpacking gear rental companies covers the very best choices for beginners and more experienced backpackers. The companies listed above offer a variety of packages to suit any trip, and there are options for every budget. To get the best option for your next trip, plan well in advance, and always do your research to find the best packages for your situation.