Need Winter Gear? Now's the Time to Buy

It's been a mild, snow-free winter across most of the country. Consumers have had little reason to buy cold-weather clothing or snowsports equipment—and now outdoor retailers are stuck with a glut of winter inventory that they need to get rid of. February is the time when several big winter clearance sales hit, so here's a quick round-up of current and upcoming sales from three major outdoor retailers.

These sales are often particularly good if you're in need of insulated footwear—winter boots are often heavily discounted. (It helps if you're at the small or large end of the sizing spectrum.) Other categories also get marked down significantly—notably snowshoes, ski jackets, and hats—but just about anything winter-specific usually clocks in at a minimum 20 to 30 percent markdown.

Also keep in mind that although you can find a lot of good deals online, the best deals are often only found at the stores themselves. My general strategy is to try and hit stores early in their clearance sales and then check back in near the end of the month—retailers usually continue to mark down any remaining winter inventory as the weeks progress.

Eastern Mountain Sports
The EMS winter clearance sale started this past weekend and runs through this Sunday, February 12. Check out the EMS Store Locator to find one close to you.

L.L. Bean
L.L. Bean stores also just kicked off their winter clearance sale this past weekend. You can find a variety of ongoing online clearance deals or find an L.L. Bean store near you.


The REI winter clearance sale starts this Friday, February 10 and runs through the following Monday, February 20. You can find several stores in the Boston area (Framingham, Reading, Hingham, and in Boston's Fenway neighborhood), as well as a brand new location in New York City and numerous other stores in the mid-Atlantic. Here's the REI Store Locator.

“Equipped” is an AMC Outdoors blog, written by Matt Heid.