British outdoor brand Rab has launched a pilot rental program in the UK which will allow people to hire, rather than buy, outdoor gear for their adventures. Starting March 4, people will be able to rent Rab and Lowe Alpine outdoor equipment such as sleeping bags, tents and bivy sacks, backpacks and insulated and waterproof jackets for excursions between three and 21 days long.
It’s no secret that outdoor gear is pricey, so the program will make reaching the outdoors more accessible to more people by shrinking the price tag, according to Matt Clarke, Head of Customer Experience at Equip, which owns Rab.
“Rab Rental makes it easier for more people to enjoy the outdoors with the best outdoor apparel and equipment. We have designed a process that makes it as easy as possible for anyone to choose the kit they need.”
“We’re offering an opportunity to try before you buy, while extending the lifecycle of our gear and reducing the need to buy new every time,” says Clarke. As we’ve previously reported, participants in nature sports have a notably high carbon footprint because our gear takes more wear and tear, and renting gear is a great way to access sustainable hiking clothes.
When you return your gear to the Rab Service Centre, it will be cleaned, reproofed, and repaired as needed to ensure it’s in top condition for the next user. At the end of their rental life, the products will be assessed and either upcycled or stripped for parts, recycling remaining materials where possible.
Of course, if you hike or camp regularly, there are items that you’ll want to own, but it’s important to learn how to take care of your gear yourself to increase its lifespan, so make sure to check out our gear guides such as how to clean a tent and how to wash a sleeping bag.
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Julia Clarke is a staff writer for Advnture.com and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.