I love REI and have been a member for many years. Many folks say it is expensive and I disagree. While the big brands can be expensive, the REI brand gear offers high performance for reasonable prices. Plus, the frequent sales and "scratch & dent" days are great ways to find a bargain. The best part is the lifetime membership for a nominal fee. As a member you get a rebate on everything you buy in the form of a dividend at the beginning of each year. Just about everything I've bought from REI performed at or above expectations - even the REI store brand merchandise. Their return policy is reasonably flexible and if you buy online you can have it shipped to a store near you for free! In my opinion. The staff is usually very knowledgeable on the gear they sell. They also have demos/classes that range from showing you how to prepare for an Appalachian Trail thru-hike to maintaining your bike. I would and do recommend REI to anyone looking for outdoor gear.
Great place to get used sports gear and to trade in old gear for credits. Kids grow out of stuff so fast this is a great business. Have bought baseball gear, tennis, and soccer here.
If you are in the market to purchase any outdoor sport/recreation item and need an education, REI is the place to go. A passionate and knowledgeable staff is on hand to help you.