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REI Aims to Entice the Unlikely Hiker

REI Co-op has launched a new size-inclusive, approachably priced line of gear designed for newcomers to the outdoor space.

The Trailmade collection, which debuted to Co-op members last week, aims to accommodate the needs of consumers intent on venturing out for the first time. The capsule features affordable unisex hiking apparel and jackets in a greater range of sizes than the retailer’s standard product lines, along with sleeping bags, backpacks and trekking poles.

Informed by insights from REI’s inclusion advisory panel, which includes BIPOC, LGBTQ+, body positive and adaptive communities, along with Unlikely Hikers, Latino Outdoors, 52 Hike Challenge and Fresh Tracks at the Aspen Institute, the offering was conceptualized to ease the intimidation often felt by inexperienced hikers and campers. The panel’s feedback led REI’s design team to develop pieces that felt familiar and accessible, product designer Amy Marks said.

“Trailmade is all about alleviating the feeling of having to fit into a limited mold,” she explained. “We’ve created a line that’s intended to fit more bodies and lifestyles, and help people feel more comfortable outside, without compromising durability and performance.”

The line features three pieces of essential gear. The gender-free Trailmade 20 mummy-style sleeping bag is made from synthetic materials and is designed to keep users warm in conditions as cold as 20 degrees. It will be available in six sizes including short, regular and long lengths and wide or regular widths. A 60-liter backpack has an adjustable torso strap that allows it to fit sizes up to 4X for men and women. The Trailmade 2 tent is a two-door, double-vestibule dome-shaped tent designed with color coding and just two poles for an easy set up. Meanwhile, an array of fleece layers, rainproof shells, shorts and hiking pants will be sold in sizes up to 3X for men and women, with tall options for men.

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“For too long, we’ve had to make outdoor gear work for us that wasn’t made with our unique access needs—be they fit, function or financial—in mind,” said Jenny Bruso, founder of Unlikely Hikers, a group that brings together outdoor enthusiasts with diverse backgrounds. “The Trailmade collection is more than an invitation to the table. It’s an invitation to getting our best lives outside,” she added.

Available exclusively to REI members in stores and online through May 1, sales will open up to the general public thereafter. The Trailmade collection ranges in price, with apparel retailing for $44.95 to $99.95 and gear selling for up to $179.

Headquartered near Seattle, the outdoor retailer counts 21.5 million consumers as members and operates 181 stores across the U.S. Last week, REI announced its commitment to powering all of those retail locations with locally generated renewable energy, with the goal of increasing community access to green energy sources.