Best Outdoor Gear Rentals

Arrive Outdoors offers the best outdoor gear rentals

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Spain, Aragon, Pyrenees, Ordesa and Mont Perdu national park, snowshoe hinking


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The Rundown

If you’re passionate about the outdoors but only get to spend a few weekends a year hiking, camping, skiing, or climbing, investing in your own equipment makes little sense. It's expensive, gets outdated quickly, and can be challenging to store if you have limited space at home. Outdoor gear rentals give you the option of hiring the items you need when you need them, without any added hassles or expense. 

Several services in the United States now provide outdoor equipment rentals. The best ones offer clean, high-quality gear, and plenty of choice across a wide range of different outdoor pursuits. Some include door-to-door delivery, while others have multiple locations across the country for in-store collection. Read on for our picks for the best outdoor gear rentals.

Best Overall: Arrive Outdoors

Arrive Outdoors

Arrive Outdoors

Key Specs

  • Price: $
  • Online Reservations: Yes
  • Locations: Contiguous U.S. 

Why We Chose It: We chose Arrive Outdoors as our overall winner for its extensive catalogue, choice of a la carte and package rentals, and price-match guarantee. 

Pros
  • Delivers anywhere in the contiguous U.S.

  • Free shipping on orders over $49

  • Price match guarantee

Cons
  • Items must be returned to your nearest FedEx depot

  • No changes to orders within 10 days of delivery

  • No climbing gear

Arrive Outdoors is a one-stop-shop for hiking and camping enthusiasts, offering everything from the basics (like tents and sleeping bags) to more niche items (like baby hiking carriers, binoculars, and bear canisters). You can browse the a la carte catalog, or simplify things by opting for a set camping or backpacking package. The company also rents snow gear for men, women, and children. 

Reserving your gear is free; simply enter your dates and select the items you want. Rental periods may last anywhere from two to 21 nights. Your card is only charged 10 days before delivery, and up until that time you may cancel or change your order as often as you like.

Shipping is free on all orders over about $49, and returns are also free. Gear can be delivered to any home or hotel in the contiguous U.S. and must be returned to your nearest FedEx branch.

Best Runner-Up: LowerGear

LowerGear

LowerGear

Key Specs

  • Price: $
  • Online Reservations: Yes
  • Locations: Nationwide

Why We Chose It: LowerGear stood out for us as a worthy runner-up because of its ability to ship to all 50 states and its commitment to helpful, flexible service. 

Pros
  • Can ship to any home or hotel in the U.S.

  • Select items for side-by-side comparison

  • Possible to rent for up to one month

Cons
  • No way to edit or cancel an order yourself

  • Shipping is charged extra

  • No gear for snow sports

LowerGear specializes in camping, backpacking, and navigation gear, with options ranging from tents and backpacks to cooking equipment and backcountry safety essentials.

Browse gear by specific category, and use the side-by-side comparison feature to make your final choice. You can rent for a quick weekend getaway, or for expeditions up to one month in length. Or, you can also select all-inclusive camping packages for one, two, or four people. 

Unlike most outdoor gear rental companies, LowerGear will ship items to any state in America, including Hawaii and Alaska. Choose to collect from the store in Tempe, AZ, to avoid shipping costs.

When you’re finished with your items, simply box them back up and use the included, pre-paid shipping label to return them at any UPS store. LowerGear is known for its flexible approach and is open to discussing everything from longer rentals to group discounts.

Best for Backpacking Gear: CampCrate

CampCrate

CampCrate

Key Specs

  • Price: $
  • Online Reservations: Yes
  • Locations: Contiguous U.S. 

Why We Chose It: When it comes to backpacking rentals, CampCrate stands out for its range of a la carte items and backpacking sets, as well as its full adventure vacation packages. 

Pros
  • Specialist lightweight backpacking gear

  • Full adventure vacation packages available

  • Can drop off at any UPS or Staples location

Cons
  • Full charge for canceling within 10 days of trip

  • Max of two people for backpacking packages

  • No shipment to Alaska or Hawaii

CampCrate specializes in camping and backpacking gear. We especially like it for backpackers because of its range of lightweight backpacks, camp stoves, tents, and sleeping bags, which you can shop individually, or purchase as a set for one or two people. While you’re on the website, check out the company’s dehydrated meal range: It's the perfect way to fuel up while keeping weight down on your trip. 

Gear can be shipped anywhere in the continental U.S., with delivery timed so that your equipment arrives at least one day before your intended departure. The minimum rental period is three days/two nights, with no upper limit. When you’re finished with your gear, simply box it up using the included shipping label and drop it off at any UPS or Staples location.

CampCrate also sells fully planned backpacking vacations including equipment, permits, food, and a step-by-step itinerary.

Best for Tent Rentals: Outdoors Geek

Outdoors Geek

Outdoors Geek

Key Specs

  • Price: $$
  • Online Reservations: Yes
  • Locations: Nationwide

Why We Chose It: We chose Outdoors Geek as the winner of this category because it offers a greater number and variety of tents than any other provider we looked at. 

Pros
  • Huge range of tents in four categories

  • Can be rented individually or as part of a package

  • Cleanliness and on-time delivery guaranteed

Cons
  • Can’t start rentals on a Sunday or Monday

  • Not possible to pay for less than three days

  • Gear can only be returned via UPS stores

Whatever you need a tent for, Outdoors Geek offers one of the largest selections in the business. These are divided into four categories: camping tents, backpacking tents, glamping tents, and canvas hunting tents. Camping and backpacking models range from ultra-light, one-person bivies to sturdy eight-person tents. Expect top brands such as The North Face, Marmot, and Big Agnes. 

If glamping is more your thing, choose between safari-style and bell-shaped offerings, rented individually or in bulk for major events. Outdoors Geek has provided glamping tents for music festivals including Coachella and Firefly.

Rates are charged by rental period rather than by day, starting from one to three days up to 22 to 28 days. Gear can be shipped anywhere in the U.S. and is guaranteed to arrive clean and at least one day prior to your start date (or the rental is free).

Best for Camping Packages: Xscape Pod

Xscape Pod

Xscape Pod

Key Specs

  • Price: $
  • Online Reservations: Yes
  • Locations: Contiguous U.S. 

Why We Chose It: Xscape Pod was the obvious winner of this category because it specializes in camping packages that include everything needed for your wilderness adventure. 

Pros
  • Three all-inclusive pods to choose from

  • Free shipping on orders over $349

  • Free cancelations up to seven days from start date

Cons
  • Doesn’t ship outside the continental U.S.

  • Some items (like food and fuel) are not included

  • Maximum eight campers per booking

Xscape Pod specializes in all-inclusive packages for camping and backpacking. These convenient sets come with everything you need, from your tent and sleeping bags to camp chairs, a stove, a cook set, lanterns, a first aid kit, and a cooler.

And items are made by top brands like Big Agnes, Petzl, and MSR. A la carte pod creation is also possible, while Patio Pods offer the perfect solution for those that want to camp out in their backyard. 

Once you’ve chosen the pod that best suits your needs, stipulate the number of campers and your dates, then wait for your package to arrive at least one day ahead of your trip. Shipping costs a flat rate of about $50 and includes a return label so that you can drop your pod off at any FedEx store when you’re done. Long-term rentals can be arranged via email.

Best for Climbers: REI

REI

REI

Key Specs

  • Price: $$
  • Online Reservations: Certain stores
  • Locations: Multiple stores in 12 states 

Why We Chose It: REI is one of the few multi-state companies to offer a comprehensive range of climbing gear rentals, which is why we chose it as the winner of this category. 

Pros
  • Rentals for rock climbing and mountaineering

  • Significant discounts for REI members

  • Some stores allow online reservations

Cons
  • Not all stores rent climbing gear

  • Stock and minimum rental periods vary by store

  • Collection and returns must be done in person

While camping and backpacking rentals are relatively common, climbing gear is harder to come by. If you’re looking to rent items such as climbing helmets, crampons, ice axes, bouldering crash pads, and rock climbing shoes, you’re likely to have more luck heading to your nearest REI outlet. Many (though not all) REI stores offer climbing gear to rent as well as buy, although stock and minimum rental periods vary by location. 

Prices are consistent, however, and are calculated as a set rate for the first night, with an extra fee for each additional night. Become an REI member for significant savings and the benefit of not having to pay a security deposit. Some stores also offer mountaineering packages. You will need to collect your rental gear from the store and return it there when you’re done. Some stores accept online reservations while others require renters to call for availability.

Best for Snow Sports: Mountain Side Gear & Rental

Mountain Side Gear & Rental

Mountain Side Gear & Rental

Key Specs

  • Price: $
  • Online Reservation: Yes
  • Locations: Nationwide 

Why We Chose It: We chose Mountain Side Gear & Rental as the leader of this category because it is one of the few providers to offer winter sports equipment and not just ski clothing. 

Pros
  • Choice of equipment and clothing for all ages

  • Can ship anywhere that UPS delivers

  • Some items may be rented for just one day

Cons
  • 50% fee for cancelation within 14 days of trip

  • Some items require a significant safety deposit

  • $50 per hour cleaning fee for rentals returned dirty

Mountain Side Gear & Rental offers all kinds of outdoor equipment rentals, but particularly stands out for having one of the best selections of snow sports gear. In addition to renting ski and snowboard clothing (which several brands do), this company offers adult and youth skis and snowshoes, crampons, ice axes, avalanche rescue kits, and après-ski packages. Different items have different minimum rental periods, ranging from one to three days. 

In addition to everything you need for a fun vacation on the slopes, Mountain Side Gear & Rental provides equipment for all kinds of other outdoor pursuits, including camping, hiking, climbing, and various water sports. Whatever you choose to rent, it can be shipped anywhere that UPS delivers and will arrive at least one day prior to your trip start date. Use the included shipping label to return when finished.

Final Verdict

The best outdoor gear rentals provider may depend on the sports you’re most interested in. Love climbing? In-store rentals from REI give you the biggest choice. A snow sports fanatic? Mountain Side Gear & Rentals go beyond winter clothing to offer you equipment such as skis and snowshoes as well. For tent rentals of every kind, Outdoors Geek is our top choice. 

For everything else, Active Outdoors stands out for its quality, top brand hiking, backpacking, and camping rentals. This company earned its title as our overall winner for its broad range of items to suit all tastes, experience levels, and niche interests (from family hiking trips to birdwatching outings), and for its price match guarantee. 

Compare the Best Outdoor Gear Rentals

Company No. States Available Price Online Reservations Types of Gear Rental Periods
Arrive Outdoors
Best Overall
48 $ Yes Climbing, hiking, snow sports 2–21 nights 
LowerGear
Best Runner-Up
50 $ Yes Camping, backpacking, navigation 2–30 nights 
CampCrate
Best for Backpacking Gear
48 $ Yes Camping, backpacking 3 days, 2 nights minimum
Outdoors Geek 
Best for Tent Rentals
50 $$ Yes Camping, backpacking, glamping, hunting, snow sports From 1–3 days to 22–28 days
Xscape Pod
Best for Camping Packages
48 $ Yes Camping, backpacking From 1–3 days to 11–14 days
REI
Best for Climbers
12 $$ Select stores Climbing, camping, hiking, paddling, cycling, snow sports Varies by store
Mountain Side Gear & Rental
Best for Snow Sports
50 $ Yes Snow sports, climbing, camping, water sports  From 1 day to 1 month 

Shopping Tips

Consider these factors when choosing the best outdoor rental service: 

  • Range of equipment available
  • Rental price
  • Minimum and maximum rental periods
  • Shipping price
  • Shipping locations
  • Return process
  • Availability of online reservations
  • Policy for canceling or changing your order

Renting vs. Buying

Buying your own outdoor equipment makes sense if you plan on participating in your chosen sport on a regular basis. In this case, having gear that’s specially tailored to your size, needs, and tastes is a major benefit; over time, the initial outlay will be less than you might pay to rent repeatedly. However, if you only plan on camping, hiking, or climbing a few times a year, renting is the cheaper option. You won’t have to find storage space for your gear, and you can try the latest gear as it becomes available.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Does It Cost to Rent Outdoor Gear?

The cost of renting outdoor gear varies widely depending on the items you choose, how long you rent them for, and whether you’re picking them up in-store or paying to have them shipped to you. One thing is for sure, though: It’s much cheaper than paying retail for your own equipment. 

How Far in Advance Should You Reserve an Outdoor Gear Rental?

Most companies recommend reserving gear at least 10 days in advance, though some might have availability at shorter notice. However, reserving as far in advance as possible is a good idea if you plan on traveling on holiday dates or in peak season. 

What Types of Outdoor Equipment Can You Rent?

All kinds of equipment are available. From tents and sleeping bags for camping adventures to snowsuits and skis, there’s an outdoor rental shop for everyone. Some even stock more specialist items like binoculars, fishing gear, and rock climbing boots. 

Methodology

Our research discovered that outdoor rental companies are not as abundant as one might think. This is especially true if you narrow the field down to those that either ship across the country or have rental outlets in multiple states, as we did. We considered 12 different companies in total, then chose the top picks based on the variety of items they offer, pricing, shipping and cancelation policies, and any niche specialties. We also gave preference to those with positive user or industry reviews.

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