It’s a bluebird ski day. Feeling good, you decide to float into the trees on some pillows of powder. You’re cruising, when you catch an edge and flop right along the edge of a tree. Unscathed, you look around, and thank goodness no one saw your blunder. Your ego may be tact, but you look down and realize your ski pants are not. Somehow, you managed to split them right in half, and you groan at having to drop however much on a new pair. Thankfully, it’s the end of the season, and winter gear deals are hot even when the wind is cold.

We’re here to help you decode the algorithm of finding inexpensive, quality gear. Here’s a few places to get quality gear at a price that won’t make your wallet hurt as much as your ski pants do.

1. Only got $20 in my pocket…Time to go Thrift Shopping

Never underestimate the hidden gems you’ll find in the colorful racks at your local thrift store. Quality gear can end up in these treasure chests simply because they are outgrown or because their previous owners have have a gear buying problem and happen to have 8 ski jackets. Whatever the reason, when looking to buy gear on the cheap, starting at your local thrift store can save you a pretty penny and also serve as quite the adventure- you never know what you may come across!

2. Search overstock deals at Sierra Trading Post

By buying overstocks and closeouts, Sierra Trading Post is able to buy brand name gear and sell to customers at a discounted price. With a growing number of retail stores, you’re able to buy online, but also go in to try items on. Already working with discounted gear, they also have clearance, end of the season items. They make sure to include the original price on the tag, so you won’t just look good, but feel good about how much you’re saving!

3. Become a member, reap the benefits

REI Garage Sales are known around the country for quality gear at great prices. Rocking the one year warranty, customers have the ability to return items that didn’t quite look or feel right. This leads us to the coveted REI Garage Sale, when REI discounts all of those returns much more wallet friendly prices. So all of those ski jackets you were wanting? Now 50% off at the REI Garage Sale. Similarly, the REI Garage is their sale site and a great place to check out closeouts and last year’s items.

4. For the thrill of the deal, head to

An online retailer and run by, is a fantastic site to check out before you buy any full priced items. Make sure to check out their “Current Steal” for a great deal, but you’ll have to buy fast, because each one has a time limit!

Whether you ripped your pants on a tree or are wanting to get into a winter sport next year, it’s smart to plan your gear shopping around end of the season closeouts and buying last year’s models. And just remember that in the end, it doesn’t matter what logo you have on your goggles or that your jacket is brand new, as long as you’re having fun and that your gear is doing what it’s built to do.

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