Shit on Sale – January 2020

Shit on Sale is back for January. I saw a ton of prices rise throughout December on things that had been deeply discounted in the fall, so I skipped December as to not waste your time with lackluster deals.

Winter is here in full force, which means it’s time to think about summer gear if you’re hunting for a bargain. Last season’s ski gear has almost all sold through over the holidays and with spring resets happening in stores in the next few months, retailers are looking to clear through heavy inventory they still have on hand. So while Seattle gets dusted with snow, try to think back to what you needed for those midsummer backpacking trips for this month’s Shit on Sale.

Shit on Sale is a monthly round up of damn good deals scraped from the clearance rack. I’m a huge fan of getting the best quality you can get with your budget, and finding items that’ll serve you for years to come. As an eco-conscious reminder, remember to buy what you truly need and pass along or recycle any items you’re replacing. All prices pulled from 1/16.

  • Columbia Saturday Trail Stretch Hiking Pants – starting at $29.98 (MSRP $60; 50% off): The Columbia Saturday Trail pant is a nylon/spandex hiking pant, just like the other major players making a thin, breathable hiking pant. They’re a favorite of many due to their inseam length options, as well as plus sizing, which is also discounted at $35.


  • Eddie Bauer First Ascent Guide Pro Pants – $30 (MSRP $59.99; 50% off): This is another nylon/spandex, lightweight pant like the Columbia Saturday Trail mentioned above. I love this plum color of the Eddie Bauer pants, and I’m a huge fan of the fact that extended sizes are all priced the same. Manufacturers: more of that please!


  • Mountain Hardwear Dynama Pant – $41.98 (MSRP $69.95; 40% off): Not quite as competitive of a deal as the prior two choices, especially since they have the exact same 96% nylon, 4% spandex fiber content. I’m including them because I love the yoga waistband, and my friend Emily has them and the cut looks *amazing* on her.


  • Marmot Precip Rain Pants – $29.97 (MSRP $80; 63% off): Some people like hardshell pants that are super durable and filled with features for alpine climbing, but I personally hate them and want something affordable and packable. I put a hole in the ass of mine pretty quickly glissading, but otherwise they’ve been the perfect pairing for soggy hikes.


  • Mammut Packs – 50% off or more. Mammut’s packs are on sale across a variety of uses – from backpacking packs to trail running vests. I really like the features in the Nirvana/Niva lines for backcountry skiing and the Trion/Trea for all-around mountaineering. Their back lengths start at 43.5 (around 17in) on the women’s side, which I find too long. It correlates closer to a S/M from Osprey lines, so something to keep in mind if you have a short torso.


  • Osprey Packs Poco AG Plus 26L Kid Carrier – $174.99 (MSRP $289.95; 40% off): I’ve never used one of these, but I feel like I never see them on sale and this is close to what they go for used on Craigslist.


  • North Face Cat’s Meow 20 Sleeping Bag – $79.99 (MSRP $169.95; 53% off): This was one of my Christmas presents this year and I just got the chance to test it out last weekend. I originally asked for the Marmot Trestles 20, but found it really lightly insulated. I agreed with the Outdoor Gear Lab review that a 20 degree comfort rating sounded ambitious and that a 7 degree lower limit was batshit, so it went back. Then my boyfriend got me a full price Cat’s Meow and I thought paying full price was also batshit, so it went back too. (And people say I’m no fun to buy presents for?). And then I bought this one from Sierra and he covered it over Venmo and now I have a warm, synthetic sleeping bag for wet weather and camper trips were we get some condensation issues and have a pup that wants to use our bags as her own. It’s toasty, it’s packable enough for backpacking, and it’s warm enough for all but true winter snow camping.


  • Gregory Jade 53 – $99 (MSRP $199.95; 50% off): While you’re putting your beginner backpacking kit together, the Gregory Jade 53 pack is another great piece. 53 liters is a nice, middle of the road size. I have a 40 liter that I use for most backpacking trips with somewhat compact gear, and a 50+10 for overnight mountaineering or colder weather. 53 gives you enough room where you don’t need to pay for the fanciest, most compressible sleeping bag, and has room enough for a few creature comforts. But it’s also small enough where you don’t find yourself packing the kitchen sink just because you have room.


  • Big Agnes Copper Hotel UL2 Tent: 2-Person 3-Season – $299.99 (MSRP 549.95; 45% off): I have the Big Agnes Fly Creek, a 2 person tent that weighs 2lbs. and I dig that it’s lightweight without sacrificing durability or the ability to hold up in somewhat iffy weather. But the downside is that it’s tight. I joke that it fits two small women fairly well, but otherwise it’s like “you better already be hooking up with your tent mate” tight. And when my boyfriend and I bring Kona along, we are all on top of each other. This tent adds just a pound to the weight, but offers two doors, enough head space for two people to sit up at once, and an extra vestibule so you can both tuck your things under cover in wet weather.


  • Big Agnes Sleeping Pads – 40% off or more: I’ve been using the Q-Core insulated sleeping pad for all-year, super cozy camping, and I really like the baffles – it doesn’t feel like sleeping on a pool float. My boyfriend uses the Air Core Insulated (rated down to 32 degrees) and the regular Air Core (rated to 35 degrees) is discounted as well.


  • Mountain Hardwear Kor Strata Jacket in Electric Sky Blue – $65.99, with an additional 20% off with the code JANSAVE20 through Feb. 2 (MSRP $200; 74% off with code): This jacket is a Primaloft Gold Active insulation layer with 60g per m of insulation, just like the Patagonia Nano Puff or North Face Thermoball, which also retail at $200. The only thing I don’t love about this one is that it uses mechanical stretch, where it comes from the knit or weave pattern, instead of using elastic. It’s not always the most durable, but the difference is minor compared to the price savings.


  • Marmot Men’s Macchia Polartec Alpha Jacket – $79.99 (MSRP $195; 59% off): This jacket with Polartec Alpha Direct insulation is super similar to the ever-popular Outdoor Research Ascendant Jacket, but uses a thicker, softer fabric. The Alpha 60, which uses the same components as the Ascendant is also on discount for the same price.


And there are a few stragglers left on the ski wall with a killer deal:

  • Black Crows Camox Freebird Touring Skis – $399.99 (MSRP $729.95; 45% off): The Camox Freebird and Navis Freebird have become favorites for many ski tourers since they’re nicely well rounded and stable but with a reasonable uphill weight. Outdoor Gear Lab has a fairly robust review, and Julia Dubinina’s review of the prior version (pre-carbon) sums up the pros and cons fairly well.


  • The North Face Men’s Free Thinker Gore-Tex Pro Ski Shell – $279.99 (MSRP $649; 62% off): The TNF Free Thinker is a shell jacket made with 3-layer Gore-Tex Pro, one of the most advanced waterproof, breathable, and durable waterproof membranes on the market. Neoshell and eVent breathe better, but are less waterproof and need more washing, respectively. And the rest of the proprietary membranes have major tradeoffs between waterproofing and breathe. This ski jacket’s perfect whether you’re headed inbounds or out. It has all the design features you’d look for in a ski jacket – long hem, goggle wipe, powder skirt, and plenty of internal and external pockets to skip the ski pack for the day.



  • Atomic Vantage 107 C W – $237.95 (MSRP $649.95; 63% off): Every woman needs a wide, stable off piste ski for soft snow and choppy crud. If you’re getting by with a 1-ski quiver, finding a wider companion is a game changer. Looking for a tad narrower? Dynastar Legend 96 for $299.

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