REI vs. Mountains Plus Outdoor Gear vs. Altrec: Outdoor Sporting Goods Stores Compared
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REI vs. Mountains Plus Outdoor Gear vs. Altrec: Outdoor Sporting Goods Stores Compared

Whether you an outdoor adventurer, enthusiast, or just a hobbyist, exploring the great outdoors can be one of the most valuable and educational experiences you can have. It can also be very expensive. Outdoor gear and apparel has been created to withstand the most rugged terrain and the dampest conditions, so understanding the benefits of pricier equipement as well as bargain gear can benefit you as an expert or a beginner. REI, Mountains Plus Outdoor Gear, and Altrec all sell outdoor apparel and equipment, but when you read between the lines and explore their products lines, the services they offer and the selection of products can differ widely. Pricing can be inconsistent and products can be hard to find depending on the interface. Just remember that the experience should be easy, and it really shouldn't be an adventure trying to find the gear you need to go on adventure.
Covered in this report
REI — Best Features
The largest selection of designer brands.
Lower prices than their competitors.
Best for: Seasoned explorers and outdoor sport enthusiasts.
Best deal: 15% off one REI brand or Novara item(exp 1/25) - [activate coupon]
Mountains Plus Outdoor Gear — Best Features
Well established company and reputation.
Sells photography equipment geared towards the outdoor expert.
Best for: Hobbyists or new explorers looking for beginner gear.
Best deal: Save 15% Off Altra Zero Drop Running Shoes + Free Swiftwick Socks & Shipping - [activate coupon]
Altrec — Best Features
Sells great brands of Yoga apparel and gear.
Caters above the rest to your furry travel buddies.
Best for: Outdoor enthusiasts and adventure obsessed daredevils.
Best deal: 15% Off - [activate coupon]


REI is a widely popular outdoor gear and clothing company that prides itself on being one of FORTUNE magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For". They’re known for their conservation and humanitarian efforts nationwide, and they are striving to reduce the world’s environmental footprint. 

REI sells products for a multitude of sporting needs:

  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Cycling
  • Pet Products 
  • Climbing
  • Fitness
  • Running
  • Paddling
  • Snowsports
  • Traveling

Mountains Plus Outdoor Gear

Mountain's Plus was started in 1995. It started out as a small business, being run out of garage. They have built up a personal relationshio with their customers, so they maintain that everytime you call, you'll be speaking with a dedicated team who can help you with their products. "Our team will bend over backwards to make sure that you receive the service you deserve".

Mountains Plus Outdoor Gear sells products for a multitude of sporting needs:

  • Camping
  • Adventure Racing
  • Pet Gear
  • Wintersports
  • Photography
  • Hiking
  • Cycling
  • Climbing
  • Fitness
  • Running
  • Paddling
  • Traveling



Altrec is located in Central Oregon and was created by some of the world's most notable outdoor explorers and enthusiasts: rock climbers, mountain bikers, skiers and kayakers. They pride themselves on being one of the worlds most pet friendly outdoor companies, and it certainly shows in the inventory they keep for our furry friends.

Altrec sells products for a multitude of sporting needs:

  • Camping
  • Surfing
  • Yoga
  • Pet Gear
  • Hiking
  • Cycling
  • Climbing
  • Fitness
  • Running
  • Paddling
  • Winter Sports
  • Traveling

Price Comparison

No products and companies are created equal, so to recognize the benefits and drawbacks of ordering from these three outdoor companies, let's look at how you can save, and where's the best place to do it.

Using three different popular items sold at all three comanies, let's look at how each company faired against its competition:

North Face VE 25 Tent

  • REI= $539.00
  • Mountains Plus Outdoor Gear=Doesn't sell North Face
  • Altrec= $618.95

Osprey Kestrel 48 Pack

  • REI=$169.00
  • Mountains Plus Outdoor Gear=$178.00
  • Altrec= $169.00

Black Diamond Distance FL Z-Pole Trekking Poles - Pair

  • REI=$129.95
  • Mountains Plus Outdoor Gear=$149.95
  • Altrec= $169.00

Shipping Policy

REI (Inside US)

  • Standard Shipping (3–7 days via first class mail)
  • One Day Express (1–2 business days) and Two Day Shipping
  • REI Store Pickup
  • Gift Cards shipped via standard shipping and express shipping. Shipping on Gift Cards not offered internationally-including Canada
  • Packagaes do not ship on major holidays (New Year's Day, 4th of July, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Labor Day, President's Day, Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, and Christmas)

Contact REI directly for any shipping related issues at 1-800-426-4840

REI (International)

  • Customers are responsible for payment of applicable duties, taxes and other fees
  • Restricted items for shipping: bikes, boats, car-top carriers, hazardous items and REI gift cards
  • Gift orders may be assessed duty depending on the country
  • Refer to the international shipping rates list for more information
  • Contact REI directly for any shipping related issues at 1-253-891-2500

Mountains Plus Outdoor Gear

  • Check out the shipping table for a breakdown of shipping costs
  • Free Shipping via Ground service: 7-10 business days
  • 3 Day, Express or International service is also available
  • There is no shipping on Saturday or Sunday
  • Cargo Boxes, Kayaks and products over 35lbs are not eligible for Free Shipping to Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico or any other location outside of the Continental United States. Express shipping such as USPS Priority, 2nd Day Air or Overnight are not available for these items
  • Mountains Plus Outdoor Gear does not ship Cargo Boxes, Yakima or Cascade Designs products (MSR, ThermaRest, or Sealine) internationally (including Canada)


  • Altrec offers FREE Shipping on ALL orders, with limited shipments within CA, ID, MT, NV, OR, UT, AZ, CO and WA
  • FREE Shipping on $48 orders limited shipments within the rest of the 48 contiguous United States
  • Large/heavy items may require additional handling charges as noted on each product page

Refunds and Returns


  • You can return or exchange your item by mail or at any of our retail locations, regardless of whether you made your purchase online, by mail or in an REI store
  • Expedite an exchange by placing a new order with your bank card and returning the unwanted merchandise for credit. Please specify whether you would like an exchange, a repair, a refund or a bankcard credit
  • You can return purchases at any store or by mail
  • All sales are final on items purchased at Used Gear Sales at our retail locations

Mountains Plus Outdoor Gear

  • 60-Day return policy. Returns must be in brand new condition with original tags and packaging intact
  • Returns may be made after the 60-Day period for brand new merchandise, but are subject to a 20% of total cost re-stocking fee
  • Exchanges may be made up 1 year after purchase date in brand new condition
  • Customers pay return shipping costs with the exception of: Faulty products*, A mistake on their behalf*, Exchanges*
  • Excludes all international shipping


  • Returns are accepted for a full refund as long as the returned product is unused, in original condition, and includes the original packaging and tags 
  • Contact Customer Service to arrange for returns and to receive a Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) number. Please call 1-800-369-3949 with any question
  • See the Easy return popup screen on the homepage of Altrec for more details and restrictions on returns



  • REI stands behind every items they sell. If you're not completely satisfied with your order, you can return the item for a replacement or return

Mountain Plus Outdoor Gear

  • MPGear offers a Worry Free Guarantee on all orders.  If a product you purchase fails to meet your expectations, return it within 60 days of purchase for an exchange or full refund of the product purchase price. The item must be in brand new/unused condition with all original packaging


  • Altrec claims to provide world class service, and by doing so, this means you'll be 100% satisfied or your money back. If something isn't right, they will accept your returns for a full refund at any time.



  • As an REI member, you'll never have to worry about returning items with a receipt. REI always keeps a record in case issues do arise
  • REI member benefits also include an annual refund (typically 10% on eligible purchases)
  • Sign up for REI Gearmail and get 15% off select items
  • Ongoing discounts, coupons and promotions on their exclusive deals page

Mountain Plus Outdoor Gear

  • Sign up for a weekly newsletter to receive exclusive deals available only to  mailing list members.
  • Be the first notified of big savings
  • Stay informed about new gear from your favorite brands


  • Sign up for savings today! When you subscribe for the email exclusive offers and deals you'll be entered to win in our GREAT GEAR GIVE-AWAY!*
  • Receive information via email about exclusive sales, special coupons and red hot new products and brands

Website Rating


  • Google gives them 4.5/5 stars
  • Yelp gives them 4/5 stars
  • Indeed gives them 4/5 stars
  • Outdoor Gear Lab gives them 3/5 stars

Overal Rating: 3.85/5 stars

Mountains Plus Outdoor Gear

  • Trust Pilot gives them 6.9/10 stars
  • Reseller Ratings gives them 6.7/10

Overal Rating: 6.8/10 stars


  • Trustpilot gives them 4.2/10
  • Reseller Ratings gives them 9.2/10

Overall Rating: 6.7/10

Customer Satisfaction

Here's what customers have to say about REI

  • I would like to see a wider selection of light weight backpacking gear including packs, sleeping bags, and tents.~Flyin
  • Best warrany in the business, friendly and knowledgable staff. ~Bizrate
  • Great website, product selection & satisfaction guarantee. ~Samuel M
  • carries high quality products. I have shopped this website. many times types mainly due to their excellent return policy. ~Daria
  • I don't like the outdoors, but I love REI. Go figure. They've got everything for those who like being outside, and those who just like to look as though they've been outside. ~Obadiah S.

Here's what customers have to say about Mountains Plus Outdoor Gear

  • STAY AWAY! Worse experience ever in 12 years of online shopping.~Keith Warren
  • These guys at MP Gear has absolutely been great!. If they ever need to have someone recommend their company and the staff, I am always delighted to give them the very highest possible recommendation. Thank you so much Mountain Plus for all you have done to make this a very good experience for me. I will be recommending you to all my friends. ~Gary
  • "MOUNTIAN PLUS sales product they DO NOT HAVE IN STOCK! And they give you dates that keep running. So it is like who knows!!!! If the price is to good to be true, it is from these guys.~Clampit

Here's what customers have to say about Altrec

  • I will never work for Altrec again.~Former Employee
  • I have only ordered twice from Altrec and will never give them my business again. I had a huge problem with a return and it took Altrec EIGHT weeks to process my refund (credit to credit card). I called, chatted and emailed and still no customer service.~Liz
  • I ordered boots that said they were in stock with two day shipping premium paid. It has now been four days, no boots. I sent an email question in, the response received was: "Thank you for contacting us. I'm not sure when the order is shipping. Once it does Columbia will send you the shipment confirmation email. Please feel free to contact us if you have any additional questions.~Jason K

Contact Information


  • From the U.S. and Canada call 1-800-426-4840, Monday through Sunday, 4 AM to 11 PM Pacific Time 
  • Our Contact Center is open Monday through Sunday, 4 AM to 11 PM Pacific Time
  • Closed on the following holidays: New Year's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas
  • International: Call 1-253-891-2500 Monday through Sunday 4 AM to 11 PM Pacific Time
  • Fax: Dial 1-253-891-2523
  • Live chat available
  • Email
  • Postal Mail, REI, Sumner, WA 98352-0001

Mountains Plus Outdoor Gear

Store and General Inquiries, Support: Customer Care and Website

  • Postal Mail: 2557 76th Ave SE , Mercer Island, WASHINGTON 98040
  • Phone: 206-686-8002 
  • Phone Orders: Call (206) 686-8002 or Toll Free at (877) 411-GEAR. Hours are Monday - Friday 9-5 Pacific Time
  • Do not return items without first contacting customer care


  • Live chat available
  • Call: (800) 369-3949
  • Email: Online Form
  • Available: Mon-Fri: 6am-8pm Sat-Sun: 10am-6pm PST 

The Verdict 


  • Smaller selection of lightweight gear for beginners
  • Most competitive pricing
  • Carry every name brand of outdoor and adventure gear and apparel
  • Incredible selection of gear for pets

My Opinion: I'm preparing for a hiking trip during the summer, and I was heavily disappointed with the lack of lightweight gear. When you hike in environments of extreme heat sometimes it's beneficial to lose the high tech, heavy gear and put on something airy and light.  REI needs to step it up in this department.

Mountain Plus Outdoor Gear

  • Gear is more appropriate for hobbyists
  • Highest overall prices compared to REI and Altrec
  • Lowest customer and website ratings overall
  • Product selection is very limited
  • Lack of inventory from major name brands like The North Face and Columbia
  • Customer service hard to get ahold of

My Opinion: If your an avid outdoor adventurer, trusted names in outdoor gear is always something you look for when shopping online. This certainly makes Mountain Plus Outdoor Gear less appealing than its competitors. As a hiker myself, I was disappointed in the lack of trekking poles to choose from, as well as the price, which was close to $20 more online. Trekking poles are a must for hikers and climbers, so Mountain Plus Outdoor Gear might want to look into adding to that department, as far as name brands and lengths.


  • 100% Guarantee on orders
  • Easy to use interface for beginning outdoor hobbyists
  • Return Shipping is provided free of charge
  • Caters to outdoor enthusiasts with pets

My Opinion: Regardless of their reviews, and let's face it, every customer has a different experience. I just like to see consistence in a company, especially as a business owner. If Altrec's reputation lived up to their selection of outdoor gear and apparel, they would be on top. On the other hand, as a pet lover, I really value this company's dedication to providing the best gear for pets as well as humans. Some of us can't leave home without our furry buddies and Altrec knows this!

Additional Information
REI Coupon Code: TGPNM - 15% off one REI brand or Novara item(exp 1/25) - Activate
REI Coupon Code: AF20PERCENT - Additional 25% Off on Sale and Clearance Items - Activate
REI Coupon: 50% Off at REI OUtlet - Activate
Mountains Plus Outdoor Gear
Mountains Plus Outdoor Gear Coupon Code: OEDCY1 - Save 15% Off Altra Zero Drop Running Shoes + Free Swiftwick Socks & Shipping - Activate
Mountains Plus Outdoor Gear Coupon Code: MMDAY20 - 20% OFF Everything Plus Free Shipping - Activate
Altrec Coupon Code: THANKS10 - 10% Off Your First Purchase - Activate
Altrec Coupon Code: SPYDER20 - Spyder Ski 20% Coupon - Activate
Altrec Coupon Code: SPRINGSALE - 15% Off - Activate
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Comments (1)

Excellent review Lauren. I am looking to get more active since the weather has been really nice here. Recommended and tweeted.