Groundspeak Forums: rei vs. cabellas - Groundspeak Forums

Jump to content

Page 1 of 1
  • You cannot start a new topic
  • You cannot reply to this topic

rei vs. cabellas

#1 User is offline   deadcowboy 

  • Geocacher
  • Group: +Premium Members
  • Posts: 28
  • Joined: 08-January 09

Posted 16 January 2009 - 04:18 PM

ive seen alot of people mentioning REI, which i haven't heard of before. I was wandering how yall campare them to Cabella's, just curious. I was lookin up the closest ones to where I am and REI is about 45 miles away and Cabellas is about 90 miles.

#2 User is offline   TotemLake 

  • Wherever I go, there I am.
  • Group: +Premium Members
  • Posts: 9391
  • Joined: 12-April 03

Posted 16 January 2009 - 04:55 PM

View Postdeadcowboy, on Jan 16 2009, 04:18 PM, said:

ive seen alot of people mentioning REI, which i haven't heard of before. I was wandering how yall campare them to Cabella's, just curious. I was lookin up the closest ones to where I am and REI is about 45 miles away and Cabellas is about 90 miles.

Cabellas finally opened a store about 70 miles away from here and I went to them as they are one of my favorite online camping supplies store. That place is huge but I came away from it feeling anti-climatic about it.

REI is geared more towards recreational sports like hiking, kayaking and climbing, whereas Cabellas is geared more towards hunting and fishing.

REI is a coop with benefits for the members. Cabellas is not.

Each has items the other does not carry or specialize in although they do carry some common items. They both have their place in the market and really are not competitors in this fashion. Cabellas carries a lot of what they do carry.

This post has been edited by TotemLake: 16 January 2009 - 04:56 PM


#3 User is offline   Roadtorque 

  • Geocacher
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 141
  • Joined: 13-March 07

Posted 16 January 2009 - 07:09 PM

View PostTotemLake, on Jan 16 2009, 05:55 PM, said:

View Postdeadcowboy, on Jan 16 2009, 04:18 PM, said:

ive seen alot of people mentioning REI, which i haven't heard of before. I was wandering how yall campare them to Cabella's, just curious. I was lookin up the closest ones to where I am and REI is about 45 miles away and Cabellas is about 90 miles.

Cabellas finally opened a store about 70 miles away from here and I went to them as they are one of my favorite online camping supplies store. That place is huge but I came away from it feeling anti-climatic about it.

REI is geared more towards recreational sports like hiking, kayaking and climbing, whereas Cabellas is geared more towards hunting and fishing.

REI is a coop with benefits for the members. Cabellas is not.

Each has items the other does not carry or specialize in although they do carry some common items. They both have their place in the market and really are not competitors in this fashion. Cabellas carries a lot of what they do carry.


Yep that about sums it up. The only thing I would add is both stores have excellent website where you can read reviews of their gear. I think this is one of the more powerful buyer tools. I always check out the reviews prior to buying anything

#4 User is offline   Roadtorque 

  • Geocacher
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 141
  • Joined: 13-March 07

Posted 16 January 2009 - 07:12 PM

oops double post sorry

This post has been edited by Roadtorque: 16 January 2009 - 07:24 PM


#5 User is offline   TrailGators 

  • Premium Member
  • Group: +Premium Members
  • Posts: 14100
  • Joined: 27-December 02

Posted 16 January 2009 - 07:33 PM

View PostTotemLake, on Jan 16 2009, 04:55 PM, said:

View Postdeadcowboy, on Jan 16 2009, 04:18 PM, said:

ive seen alot of people mentioning REI, which i haven't heard of before. I was wandering how yall campare them to Cabella's, just curious. I was lookin up the closest ones to where I am and REI is about 45 miles away and Cabellas is about 90 miles.

Cabellas finally opened a store about 70 miles away from here and I went to them as they are one of my favorite online camping supplies store. That place is huge but I came away from it feeling anti-climatic about it.

REI is geared more towards recreational sports like hiking, kayaking and climbing, whereas Cabellas is geared more towards hunting and fishing.

REI is a coop with benefits for the members. Cabellas is not.

Each has items the other does not carry or specialize in although they do carry some common items. They both have their place in the market and really are not competitors in this fashion. Cabellas carries a lot of what they do carry.
This is a good summary. I'm not a shopper but I enjoy going in both of those stores. We have a joke around here that REI means "really expensive inside." :angry: They are a bit pricey but for the most part you do get what you pay for there. :D

This post has been edited by TrailGators: 16 January 2009 - 07:38 PM


#6 User is offline   Jeepergeo 

  • Geocacher
  • Group: +Premium Members
  • Posts: 139
  • Joined: 24-December 07

Posted 16 January 2009 - 07:42 PM

I've bought stuff at both places: from REI stores and mail order; and from Cabela's mail order. My experience in each case has been very good, much better than with other retailers.

REI has a great guarantee: "If you're ever dissatisfied with an item, you may return or exchange your REI.com purchases at any REI store or through mail order." And they actually honor it! The in-store staff are usually outdoor types, and are usually pretty up to speed on the product line in their department. The product line seems to focus on backpacking, climbing, kayaking/canoing, skiing, outdoor clothing, and urban outdoor fashion (Yuk!). If you were to even mention the word "ammunition" in one of the stores, you'd get a weird look and would probably be directed to the full line of bear repellants and bear proof food canisters. Don't even mention the "H" word in those stores...nothing in the stores is marketed or geared to the needs of a hunter...although a hunter might find some usable stuff in these places.

Cabela's guarantee seems generally similar to REI's, but it does not seem to go as far as saying "If you're ever dissatisfied..." which makes me wonder what it would be like returning something after it has been extensively used (not a problem at REI). Cabela's seems to cater far less to the back packing and kayaking crowd and more to the camping and hunting market. While I've never shoped in one of the stores, I'm sure all the staff their know that there are more than four "seasons" in a year. The bargain basement sale prices are amazing (just hit the web site soon because stuff goes fast at 70% off).

#7 User is offline   magellan315 

  • Geocacher
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 1712
  • Joined: 20-August 01

Posted 21 January 2009 - 08:38 AM

Another good options is Campmor, http://www.campmor.c...door/gear/Home_. They have a store in New Jersey as well as online.

#8 User is offline   fox-and-the-hound 

  • The Chase Is On!
  • Group: +Premium Members
  • Posts: 2852
  • Joined: 25-November 05

Posted 21 January 2009 - 10:59 AM

I've bought from both the above sums up most of what I've experienced. The advantage for Cabellas is hunting/fishing oriented and a huge selection. The advantage of REI is that they tend to have a much smaller selection of much higher quality gear.

REI is where I go when I want to buy the best version of whatever item I'm looking for. ie: If I want a camping stove and I want the best there is because I won't buy another for at least 20 years or more then I'm heading to REI.

Cabellas is where I go when I'm buying for next year's hunting/fishing/etc. Huge selection and overstock means many more sale opportunities.

In BOTH cases, I don't go to the actual stores 99% of the time. The stores have an operating cost, sales people to pay and utilities to pay. Those additional expenses often require higher prices. I buy online, out of season and shop around (as long as it takes). Find the best item for you by reading reviews and talking to people who actually use the stuff. Then spend some time searching the web. I can't remember the last time I paid more than 60% of the actual MSRP for anything outdoor related. Really want to save money? Go to the store and check out the quality first hand and then check your local paper want ads, outdoor shops that carry used gear and places like craigslist or ebay to find the item. Time is always your best tool in getting the gear you need at the price you can afford.

Also check into local gear rentals. As fast as technology is improving gear... it's often cheaper to rent the stuff a couple times a year compared to buying it outright every time a significant change takes place unless you're putting serious hours on it.


edit to add: Check the bargain barn section of Sierratradingpost.com or the outlet of REI and similar on-line sites regularly. Deals come and go very quickly on small numbers of items every couple days.

This post has been edited by fox-and-the-hound: 21 January 2009 - 11:00 AM


#9 User is offline   qlenfg 

  • Premium Member
  • Group: +Premium Members
  • Posts: 510
  • Joined: 06-March 06

Posted 21 January 2009 - 11:34 AM

Ditto on Campmor. They seem to have better prices and their catalog, while primitive, has lots of stuff in it.

We've got both Cabela's and REI within an hour's drive of here, but unless I absolutely need something they have that Campmor doesn't, I'd rather do mail order.

Whichever you choose, check the bargains. Apparently the fancy clothes and stuff change colors and styles every year and respectable rich folks won't buy last year's models, so they go on sale so the rest of us can pay what they are really worth.

#10 User is offline   Renegade Knight 

  • Illegitimi Non Carborundum
  • Group: +Charter Members
  • Posts: 24762
  • Joined: 16-January 02

Posted 21 January 2009 - 11:48 AM

View PostTotemLake, on Jan 16 2009, 05:55 PM, said:

...REI is geared more towards recreational sports like hiking, kayaking and climbing, whereas Cabellas is geared more towards hunting and fishing.

REI is a coop with benefits for the members. Cabellas is not....


That about sums it up. If you walk into an REI you will be surrounded by granola yuppies. If you walk into Cabellas you will find more rednecks. Those of us who have frequented both are probably yuppie rednecks .

This post has been edited by Renegade Knight: 21 January 2009 - 11:49 AM


#11 User is offline   ki0eh 

  • Geocacher
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 30
  • Joined: 18-November 03

Posted 21 January 2009 - 01:33 PM

Apart from items specific to hunting and fishing, the gear at Cabela's, Bass Pro Shops, or Gander Mountain typically is oriented more to car/ATV camping, while the gear at REI or Eastern Mountain Sports is more oriented to bikepacking/backpacking. Those who are really serious hunting/fishing aficionados, as well as the really serious bicyclists and backpackers, often find that local stores cater more closely to their boutique needs.

#12 User is offline   Geo_Bird 

  • Geocacher
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 45
  • Joined: 19-November 08

Posted 22 January 2009 - 10:09 AM

I've never been to a Cabela's store and it's been a while since I lived near an REI. I have bought a lot of clothing from Cabela's, and a pair of hiking boots I like a lot. Their brand. I read the reviews, and have never been dissatisfied.

Jim

#13 User is offline   qlenfg 

  • Premium Member
  • Group: +Premium Members
  • Posts: 510
  • Joined: 06-March 06

Posted 22 January 2009 - 11:25 AM

Its a real adventure going to Cabela's. Lots of dead, stuffed animals all over the store, an aquarium, and lots of goodies. However, the one north of Fort Worth has become like Six Flags for poor people. Families that don't have two nickels to rub together wander aimlessly around the store, get in your way and let their kids run amok, knocking things off the shelf, trashing displays and shooting those stupid pop-guns constantly. A really big turn-off for me. Like going to Wal-Mart in the bad part of town.

Now that you can't take your dog in the store with you, I'll use up my gift certificates online.

#14 User is offline   MikeB3542 

  • Geocacher
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 249
  • Joined: 01-April 06

Posted 24 January 2009 - 10:46 PM

I live in Milwaukee, so I am within an hour of Gander Mountain, Cabela's, Bass Pro Shop and REI. They all have their pros and cons.

For car camping, I like Gander Mountain for tents, sleeping bags, and camp kitchen gear. For backpacking, REI has excellent gear, and their house brand packs and tents are very reasonable and good quality. REI is a coop, so you do get discounts if you are a member, along with a dividend at the end of the year.

Fishing gear mostly comes from WalMart or Farm & Fleet.

Bass Pro Shop and Cabela's are great for the show, but find I rarely buy from there (Exception: I got a great dealthis fall on an OT Canoe at Cabela's.)

We also have a place in town called Sherpers that has Army surplus and all the other stuff you will ever need.

#15 User is offline   victorymike 

  • Michigan Geocache Addict
  • Group: +Charter Members
  • Posts: 185
  • Joined: 20-April 01

Posted 28 January 2009 - 02:48 PM

I was looking for top of the line gear for a 92.7 mile hiking and camping trip to Isle Royale National Park. Bivouac had some of what I wanted, Cabela's had some more. REI had it ALL. One stop shopping for the best of the best camping and hiking gear, clothing, accessories. Cabela's had really good stuff...just not top of the line for what I wanted. For fishing and hunting gear Cabela's has it all, tho. Both have awesome return and exchange policies. Their customer bases overlap a little bit. They are both worth visiting in person. It has been said that the Cabela's in Dundee is Michigan's #1 attraction...and from the looks of the parking lot on any given day I'd have to agree. While REI has some neat stuff to see, I wouldn't call it an attraction...just cool to visit.

#16 User is offline   TotemLake 

  • Wherever I go, there I am.
  • Group: +Premium Members
  • Posts: 9391
  • Joined: 12-April 03

Posted 28 January 2009 - 04:43 PM

View Postvictorymike, on Jan 28 2009, 02:48 PM, said:

I was looking for top of the line gear for a 92.7 mile hiking and camping trip to Isle Royale National Park. Bivouac had some of what I wanted, Cabela's had some more. REI had it ALL. One stop shopping for the best of the best camping and hiking gear, clothing, accessories. Cabela's had really good stuff...just not top of the line for what I wanted. For fishing and hunting gear Cabela's has it all, tho. Both have awesome return and exchange policies. Their customer bases overlap a little bit. They are both worth visiting in person. It has been said that the Cabela's in Dundee is Michigan's #1 attraction...and from the looks of the parking lot on any given day I'd have to agree. While REI has some neat stuff to see, I wouldn't call it an attraction...just cool to visit.

Stop at the flagship store in Seattle sometime. They have their own park with a mountain bike trail you can test your possible purchase on and a short hiking trail to do the same. It has a 2 story concrete rock waterfall outside in the park. Inside sports large flagstone fireplaces with each section of the store representing a sport and almost everything they carry is on display. The park has been known to attract hummingbirds.

I felt so touristy taking pictures of it. :laughing:

This post has been edited by TotemLake: 28 January 2009 - 04:47 PM


#17 User is offline   jpspencer79 

  • Premium Member
  • Group: +Premium Members
  • Posts: 4
  • Joined: 21-January 09

Posted 01 February 2009 - 05:28 PM

I've also been a patron at both stores, and have found REI to be more to my liking. Our local store has a very seasoned staff, and have a wall with pictures showing the adventures of all staff members. One gentleman was a tour guide for the Survivor reality show when they were scouting the Palau Islands for one of their shows. Another was an Army special forces guy who now does 'extreme kayaking'. They're super helpful, and very in-the-know. To me, a novice outdoorsman, that is a huge benefit.

#18 User is offline   MtnMutt-ProDuckShins 

  • Lost Member
  • Group: +Premium Members
  • Posts: 528
  • Joined: 23-November 02

Posted 04 February 2009 - 05:00 PM

:D OK.. Try this on for size. Go to an REI, find what you like and fits you the way you like. Now go home, remember the sizes, brands and research sites for a cheater price than REI and you have just done yourself a big saving.
Yes, us REI members get a rebate a year later and we still shop around. Campmor and other places but not the Cabela's for stuff for camping/hiking.

Scout around for sales.....

#19 User is offline   TotemLake 

  • Wherever I go, there I am.
  • Group: +Premium Members
  • Posts: 9391
  • Joined: 12-April 03

Posted 04 February 2009 - 07:38 PM

View PostMtnMutt, on Feb 4 2009, 05:00 PM, said:

:D OK.. Try this on for size. Go to an REI, find what you like and fits you the way you like. Now go home, remember the sizes, brands and research sites for a cheater price than REI and you have just done yourself a big saving.
Yes, us REI members get a rebate a year later and we still shop around. Campmor and other places but not the Cabela's for stuff for camping/hiking.

Scout around for sales.....

I'll shop REI first thank you. Their customer service is top of the line, and the return policy is exceptional. Get that from Sports Authority or Big 5 or even Campmor. I dare ya. ;)

#20 User is offline   briansnat 

  • Eight time US Geocacher of the Year
  • Group: Moderators
  • Posts: 38095
  • Joined: 14-September 01

Posted 06 February 2009 - 09:35 AM

View PostTotemLake, on Feb 4 2009, 10:38 PM, said:

View PostMtnMutt, on Feb 4 2009, 05:00 PM, said:

:laughing: OK.. Try this on for size. Go to an REI, find what you like and fits you the way you like. Now go home, remember the sizes, brands and research sites for a cheater price than REI and you have just done yourself a big saving.
Yes, us REI members get a rebate a year later and we still shop around. Campmor and other places but not the Cabela's for stuff for camping/hiking.

Scout around for sales.....

I'll shop REI first thank you. Their customer service is top of the line, and the return policy is exceptional. Get that from Sports Authority or Big 5 or even Campmor. I dare ya. :unsure:


Campmor is actually quite good with their customer service. And the best part is that their employees actually
know what they sell. Go to the climbing department and the salesperson will be a climber. Go to the backpacking department and the salesperson might well be an Appalachian Trail thru hiker. The paddle sports dept is staffed by expert paddlers. Go to the mountain biking dept and you can not only discuss bikes with the staff, but the best places in the area to ride.

I can't count the times I was in an REI, or EMS and overheard the salesperson give customers totally erroneous information.

This post has been edited by briansnat: 06 February 2009 - 09:37 AM


#21 User is offline   TotemLake 

  • Wherever I go, there I am.
  • Group: +Premium Members
  • Posts: 9391
  • Joined: 12-April 03

Posted 06 February 2009 - 04:56 PM

View Postbriansnat, on Feb 6 2009, 09:35 AM, said:

View PostTotemLake, on Feb 4 2009, 10:38 PM, said:

View PostMtnMutt, on Feb 4 2009, 05:00 PM, said:

:laughing: OK.. Try this on for size. Go to an REI, find what you like and fits you the way you like. Now go home, remember the sizes, brands and research sites for a cheater price than REI and you have just done yourself a big saving.
Yes, us REI members get a rebate a year later and we still shop around. Campmor and other places but not the Cabela's for stuff for camping/hiking.

Scout around for sales.....

I'll shop REI first thank you. Their customer service is top of the line, and the return policy is exceptional. Get that from Sports Authority or Big 5 or even Campmor. I dare ya. :unsure:


Campmor is actually quite good with their customer service. And the best part is that their employees actually
know what they sell. Go to the climbing department and the salesperson will be a climber. Go to the backpacking department and the salesperson might well be an Appalachian Trail thru hiker. The paddle sports dept is staffed by expert paddlers. Go to the mountain biking dept and you can not only discuss bikes with the staff, but the best places in the area to ride.

I can't count the times I was in an REI, or EMS and overheard the salesperson give customers totally erroneous information.

Very cool regarding Campmor. I haven't overheard anything that would have been erroneous in our stores yet. Maybe I'm just lucky.

The sales associates are put through training courses which requires a two year commitment from them to be hired into REI, so it may have been a new hire you overheard.

#22 User is offline   Roadtorque 

  • Geocacher
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 141
  • Joined: 13-March 07

Posted 06 February 2009 - 05:53 PM

View PostTotemLake, on Feb 4 2009, 08:38 PM, said:

View PostMtnMutt, on Feb 4 2009, 05:00 PM, said:

:laughing: OK.. Try this on for size. Go to an REI, find what you like and fits you the way you like. Now go home, remember the sizes, brands and research sites for a cheater price than REI and you have just done yourself a big saving.
Yes, us REI members get a rebate a year later and we still shop around. Campmor and other places but not the Cabela's for stuff for camping/hiking.

Scout around for sales.....

I'll shop REI first thank you. Their customer service is top of the line, and the return policy is exceptional. Get that from Sports Authority or Big 5 or even Campmor. I dare ya. :unsure:



I agree with Totemlake. I buy REI. To me it seems a bit like stealing or cheating the system to go to a store to hold the product in hand, get the knowledge and time from the employee then leave to buy it else where to save a few buck or two. REI treats their members very well. Maybe its personal preference but I would rather touch the product before buying and deal with people not the internet. REI does have a very good return policy for members. Basically if it fails while in normal use, return it!

#23 User is offline   qlenfg 

  • Premium Member
  • Group: +Premium Members
  • Posts: 510
  • Joined: 06-March 06

Posted 06 February 2009 - 09:19 PM

Along the same path as the Campmor / REI employee experience:

After the umpteenth cheap Wal-Mart tent gave up the ghost after a good Texas wind and rain storm, I decided to buy a real tent. Went to the local overpriced camping / hiking store and told them what I was looking for. Found a great tent, but wasn't sure if I wanted to pay that much for it. Sales dude pulled a brand new tent out of the box, showed my how to set it up, and how sturdy it was. Bought it with no questions asked.

Its endured quite a few monsoon rains and high winds that have flooded or snapped poles on cheap tents, not to mention cold weather and drunken motorcycle rallies.

#24 User is offline   tsnyder88 

  • Premium Member
  • Group: +Premium Members
  • Posts: 236
  • Joined: 26-October 07

Posted 13 February 2009 - 05:45 PM

Backpacking go with REI, cabellas for hunting

#25 User is offline   groundhog123 

  • Geocacher
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 110
  • Joined: 14-June 03

Posted 14 February 2009 - 07:59 PM

I visit both stores and REI is by far my favorite. I am more of a backpacker, paddler, bicycle type.

#26 User is offline   briansnat 

  • Eight time US Geocacher of the Year
  • Group: Moderators
  • Posts: 38095
  • Joined: 14-September 01

Posted 17 February 2009 - 08:34 PM

View Postbriansnat, on Feb 6 2009, 12:35 PM, said:

View PostTotemLake, on Feb 4 2009, 10:38 PM, said:

View PostMtnMutt, on Feb 4 2009, 05:00 PM, said:

:laughing: OK.. Try this on for size. Go to an REI, find what you like and fits you the way you like. Now go home, remember the sizes, brands and research sites for a cheater price than REI and you have just done yourself a big saving.
Yes, us REI members get a rebate a year later and we still shop around. Campmor and other places but not the Cabela's for stuff for camping/hiking.

Scout around for sales.....

I'll shop REI first thank you. Their customer service is top of the line, and the return policy is exceptional. Get that from Sports Authority or Big 5 or even Campmor. I dare ya. :laughing:


Campmor is actually quite good with their customer service. And the best part is that their employees actually know what they sell. Go to the climbing department and the salesperson will be a climber. Go to the backpacking department and the salesperson might well be an Appalachian Trail thru hiker. The paddle sports dept is staffed by expert paddlers. Go to the mountain biking dept and you can not only discuss bikes with the staff, but the best places in the area to ride.



Funny, I was in Campmor today in the backpack dept and the salesperson was advising a guy who was apparently planning on thru hiking the Appalachian Trail, and it turned out that the salesperson had thru hiked the AT twice. So I guess I used a good example.

Share this topic:


Page 1 of 1
  • You cannot start a new topic
  • You cannot reply to this topic