The gear editors here want to keep you up to date on the latest, greatest products—but we also want to write about stuff you’re actually interested in buying and that facilitates your active lifestyle. So we pay close attention to what our readers actually buy. As the year comes to a close, we combed through our data to put together a list of the most purchased products in 2018. Here are the top 20, in descending order.
Big Agnes MtnGlo Light Accessory Kit ($ 26)
These lights can be strung up to sort gear, play cards, or hang with friends without blinding them with a headlamp. The durable 100-inch strand of LED lights is encased in lightweight nylon tubing, and six plastic clips let you move your lights around to customize your lighting experience.
REI Co-op Membership ($ 20)
It’s not a product per se, but in 2018, more readers bought an REI membership than purchased tents, headlamps, or backpacks. The main reason is obvious: for just $ 20, REI members get special access to REI Garage Sales and 10 percent back on anything they purchase online or in-store.
Buff Original Multifunctional Headwear ($ 20)
It seems like every week one of our writers praises the performance qualities of the Buff. Made from soft polyester microfiber, you can use it as a neck warmer, twist the ends together to make a hat, or even wear it as a bandana.
Hydro Flask Coffee Flask ($ 25)
Our readers love both Hydro Flask and coffee, so it’s no surprise to see this coffee flask in the top five. The stainless-steel construction, double-wall insulation, and flip lid make it one of the best coffee mugs you can buy.
REI Co-op Multi Towel Lite (From $ 20)
An essential item for hikers and travelers, this synthetic towel features a waffle texture that helps it absorb up to eight times its weight in water. Yet wring it out and it’ll dry almost instantly.
Hydro Flask 32-Ounce Water Bottle ($ 40)
Besides REI, Hydro Flask is the only brand to have three products on this list. Its classic water bottle is a must-own: it holds 32 ounces of water—half the recommended daily intake—and will keep it cold for at least 12 hours.
Black Diamond Moji Lantern ($ 20)
The only light to crack the top-20 list, the tiny Moji can be hung from a tree branch or inside a tent and has a dimming function so you can customize it depending on conditions.
Darn Tough Micro Crew Cushion Hiking Socks ($ 22)
REI Co-op Camp X Chair ($ 40)
The Camp X is a no-frills camp chair that’s comfortable, stores relatively small, and has three pockets to hold beer and accessories. At one point, REI marked it down to 65 percent off, which our readers clearly took advantage of.
Hydro Flask 22-Ounce Tumbler ($ 30)
Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket ($ 199)
Walk down the main street of nearly any mountain town in the spring or fall and you’re guaranteed to see a few people wearing the Nano Puff. A great everyday layer with technical chops, it packs down to the size of an orange and has kept our testers warm when temperatures drop to the thirties. Filled with high-loft synthetic insulation, the ripstop fabric is treated with a DWR to repel water.
REI Co-op Camp Roll Table ($ 65)
Eno Sub6 Hammock ($ 70)
Outside editors (and apparently our readers) are big fans of hammocks. The Sub6 is unique because it weighs just 5.8 ounces, making it one of the lightest hammocks on the market.
LifeStraw Personal Water Filter ($ 10)
The LifeStraw, which filters out 99.99 percent of bacteria and protozoa, is one of the simplest filters on the market—simply dip it into your water source and drink. We like it so much that we included a version of the filter in our 2018 roundup of the best men’s thru-hiking gear.
‘Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance’ ($ 19)
Whether you plan on conquering a 5K, an Ironman, or something in between in 2019, Endure is essential reading. Written by Outside contributor Alex Hutchinson, it blends cutting-edge science and gripping storytelling to prove that the key to succeeding at endurance events is training your mind.
‘Out There: The Wildest Stories from Outside Magazine’ ($ 18)
It warms our hearts that so many readers purchased Outside’s most recent book this year. Out There is a collection of the 32 most riveting stories that have graced the pages of our magazine for the past 40 years.
Anker PowerCore 20100 Battery ($ 40)
A portable battery is a tool that’s often overlooked but incredibly helpful when you have it. The PowerCore 20100 has enough juice to fully charge a MacBook, an iPhone, and an iPad Air 2 on a single charge. It even has three USB ports, so it can charge all three devices simultaneously.
The Ringer Cast Iron Cleaner ($ 14)
I bought a Ringer a few months ago and has been raving about it to staff and readers ever since. Made of metal rings similar to chain mail, the tool makes quick work of gunk on cast-iron pans.
Trtl Pillow ($ 30)
Our travel editors have been preaching the good word of the Trtl pillow for years. A unique take on the classic doughnut-shaped neck pillow, the Trtl is far more comfortable because you can adjust it to support your neck in any position.
Klean Kanteen Steel Straws ($ 10)
This was the year of the reusable straw. Klean Kanteen’s version has removable silicon ends, which are comfortable enough suck on.