There’s just something about Costco. Few, if any, supermarkets or big-box retailers cultivate such loyalty among shoppers. Many who join the club, for one reason or another, end up swearing undying allegiance to the cult of the Costco. (Or, more specifically, Costco’s house brand, Kirkland). It becomes their one-stop shop, their sole provider of food and booze and cleaning supplies and backyard furniture.
But within Costco’s labyrinthine warehouses is a collection of lesser-known goodies: fantastically inexpensive outdoor gear, suitable for most ordinary outdoorsmen. Costco’s selection of outdoor gear will never rival that of REI’s, of course, but for most Costco shoppers, that’s perfectly OK. To help you navigate Costco’s gear aisle, we handpicked ten of our favorite pieces to buy now, either online or in-store.
Wavestorm 8′ Classic Surfboard, Tri-Color Graphic
Not long ago, The New Yorker published an amazing story about the Wavestorm Classic, a dirt-cheap surfboard that, while available only at Costco, has attained a rabid cult following. There are many interesting reasons for its popularity, and many arguments against it, but the main takeaway is this: it’s perhaps the best surfboard for beginners, ever.
Alpen Shasta Ridge 10 x 42 Waterproof Roof Prism Binoculars
There’s a reason why 10 x 42 binoculars are so ubiquitous: they are perfectly apt for most outdoorsmen and amateur birdwatchers. This pair is waterproof, fog proof, rubberized (for comfort and shock resistance) and comes with a nylon carrying pouch.
Yukon Charlie Pro II Snowshoe
Rigid, strong and versatile, these snowshoes are an excellent introduction to snowshoeing. They fit every size and shape of footwear (assuming you’re not snowshoeing in stilettos), pop on and off easily without the need for you to remove your gloves, feature an integrated heel-lift mechanism and even come with a pair of aluminum trekking poles.
Head Unisex Ultrafit Touchscreen Glove
For those sorta cold winter days, these slim gloves will do just fine. They block wind, grip objects and work on touchscreen devices.
Tidy Tent Portable Outdoor Storage
Gear sheds are luxuries that many gearheads either can’t afford or don’t have enough space for. The Tidy Tent is a great alternative. It’s collapsible, portable and weatherproof, and it takes up about as much space as a large backyard grill.
Klymit Double V Sleeping Pad with 2 X Large Pillows
Klymit’s special V-shaped baffles, a signature feature on many of its products, are designed to be comfortable for stomach sleepers, back sleepers and every sleeper in between. This 47-inch-wide pad will fit snugly in most two-person tents. Includes two inflatable pillows.
Klymit Static V2 Sleeping Pad with X Pillow
The V2 is virtually identical to Klymit’s two-person V, but fits one person. It’s moderately warm and packs down to about the size of a soda can. Includes one inflatable pillow.
Nike Brasilia 7 Medium Duffel Bag
About as basic as a Nike duffel gets. And basic can be very good. It has a big main compartment, a durable bottom and a separate compartment for stinky shoes or sweat-sodden clothes.
Coleman Deluxe PerfectFlow Propane Lantern
Through years of innovation in lithium batteries, rechargeable lanterns and solar panels, the tried-and-true Coleman propane lantern has somehow lived on. Why? Maybe it’s the warm glow of a real flame; maybe it’s pure nostalgia. Or maybe it’s both. Whatever the case, it’s still a great product.
Emotion Glide 9-Foot-8-Inch Sit-In-Kayak 2-pack
Two kayaks and two paddles, perfect for whipping around lakes and slow-moving rivers. Each kayak weighs 37 pounds, and has a comfortable, adjustable seat. All for less than what you’d pay for one high-end kayak.