7 Camping Gear Rental in Grand Canyon – Which is the Best?

Here are 7 camping gear rental services for your trip to the Grand Canyon. We have researched each of them in-depth and created price lists so that you can make the most informed decision.

The Grand Canyon is undoubtedly one of the most magnificent places on earth. The photo says it all. With stunning cliffs and breathtaking vistas at every turn, it’s on the bucket list of many campers.

But before you get there, you always have to take care of the logistics. Do you have all the necessary equipment? How will you make sure all your gear gets to the destination safely? If you’ve come to this article, you’re looking to gear rental as a solution.

Having camped in Grand Canyon a few months ago and rented my gear, I spent hours researching each rental service and would like to shed some light on how they compare to each other. I hope it can save you some time and help you find the best one.

I believe REI should be able to cover the needs of most campers. But if you want your gear shipped to you or have more package options, Outdoors Geek is your best bet. Lower Gear is the best if you’re looking for premium backpacking gear. Local rental shops like Hiking Shack, Peace Surplus, and Babbitt’s Backcountry Outfitters are more budget-friendly, especially for renting a la carte.

REI Gear Rental

This one needs no introduction. REI is the most reputable retailer of outdoor gear. To rent camping gear near Grand Canyon, you can go to their stores in Las Vegas or Chandler. The Chandler store is a 3-hour and 45-minute drive from the canyon’s visitor center near the South rim. Note that the REI stores in Flagstaff and Paradise Valley don’t rent camping gear.

This can be really inconvenient since you must pick up your gear in person and return it to the same store. But I guess most of you will be landing in Pheonix to get to Grand Canyon, so it may not be so bad. Some stores don’t take online reservations, so you need to call or visit to check availability and reserve.

The upside is that REI offers a vast selection of camping gear. The Chandler store also rents cycling gear, so you can pick up a bike along the way. One feature I really like is that they offer whole packages of car camping and backpacking gear, so you don’t have to think of a checklist at all. Here are what’s included:

Car camping kits:

  • 1 4-Person Tent
  • 2 Sleeping Bags
  • 2 Sleeping Pads
  • 1 Camp Table
  • 2 Camp Chairs
  • 2 Rechargeable Headlamps
  • 1 Electric Lantern
  • 1 2-Burner Camp Stove (fuel sold separately)
  • 1 Camp Cook Set (pots and pans only)
  • 1 Cooler

Basic backpacking kits

  • 1 2-Person Backpacking Tent
  • 2 Backpacks
  • 2 Sleeping Bags
  • 2 Backpacking Sleeping Pads
  • 2 Backpacking Chairs
  • 2 Pair of Trekking Poles
  • 2 Rechargeable Headlamps
  • 1 MSR Pocket Rocket Stove Kit (fuel sold separately)

Pricing

Now here’s the big question. How much does it cost? I have created the table below based on REI’s price list. They offer very competitive prices for members (lifetime membership is only $20), as you’ll see later when I compare it to other rental services. The only downside is that it’s quite expensive to rent for fewer than 3 nights or longer than 2 weeks. Please note that renting a la carte rather than whole kits will be more expensive.

1 night3 nights7 nights 14 nights 21 nights
Car camping kit $114$168$276$465$654
Backpacking kit $137$191$299$488$677
Lightweight backpacking kit$163$225$349$566$783

Pros of REI rental:

  • Offers packages with great savings
  • Cheaper than Lower Gear and Outdoors Geek for rentals less than a week
  • You know you’ll be getting good quality gear
  • Two locations

Cons of REI rental:

  • No shipping
  • Very pricy for rentals shorter than 3 nights or longer than 2 weeks

Outdoors Geek

If you think driving around town to get your gear is waste of time, then consider Outdoors Geek.

They ship rental gear nationwide from Denver, CO, and the transit time is not counted as a part of your rental period. You can ship your gear to your home, your hotel, a location near Grand Canyon’s entrance, or even your campground host. But shipping is not free, so expect to pay $30 – $80 more depending on how much gear you want to ship.

Having your equipment right at the destination is convenient, but you need to order at least a few days in advance to allow for delivery time. So plan ahead.

Packages and Selection

The highlight of Outdoors Geek is how they have rental packages for different types of camping. For car camping alone, you have 15 packages, ranging from desert camping to family camping. And there are another 8 backpacking packages.

Gear in those packages are mainly from Marmot and North face, so you aren’t sacrificing quality for convenience. When I rented from them for my Grand Canyon trip, it was hassle-free; the gear arrived on time and was like new.

If you order a la carte, they offer a much broader selection. Take tents, for example. They have 30+ models ranging from the most basic 2-person car camping tent all the way up to glamping safari tents.

Pricing

So what does all this cost you? I made the following table based on their most popular packages for 2 people, which are very similar to REI’s. Shipping costs are not included.

Comfort car camping package:

1 – 3 days4 – 7 Days8 – 14 days15 – 21 days22 – 28 days
$199$259$319$379$439

Backpacking package for 2:

1 – 3 days4 – 7 Days8 – 14 days15 – 21 days22 – 28 days
$189$279$369$459$549

Outdoors Geek is 10 – 20% more expensive than REI for rentals shorter than 2 weeks. But if you’ll rent for 15 days or more, it becomes quite a bit cheaper than REI.

Pros of Outdoors Geek:

  • Great packages for a variety of camping situations
  • Ships gear to your door
  • Premium high-quality gear
  • Huge selection when ordering a la carte
  • Great customer reviews on Trustpilot and Yelp. I had a great experience with them as well.

Cons of Outdoors Geek:

  • More expensive than REI for rental less than 2 weeks
  • Same problem of having to pay a lot for 1 – 2 day rentals

Lower Gear

Lower Gear also ships nationwide to your destination. The shipping works quite similarly to Outdoors Geek.

Since Lower Gear has its warehouse in Tempe, AZ, which is about 3.5 hours from Grand Canyon, shipping to Grand Canyon should be less expensive than Outdoors Geek. They do have a 3-day minimum rental period.

Selection

Lower Gear primarily uses Alps Mountaineering for car camping tents (2 – 6 person) and Big Sky International for backpacking tents. Both are premium and innovative brands within their category. Even a 1-person backpacking tent can cost more than $350 at Big Sky retail. For sleeping gear, there are a variety of brands like ThermaRest, Marmot, etc. They also have sleeping bags for people taller than 6’2.

All that being said, Lower Gear is heavily focused on backpacking equipment and offers fewer options than Outdoors Geek.

And I find it a bit disappointing that they cannot ship a cooler. It’s not essential but definitely nice to have. They also can’t ship heavier folding camping chairs and can only ship lightweight ones, which are quite low to the ground. And they don’t have a camping table for rentals. Therefore, I think their catalog is better suited for backpackers than car campers.

Pricing

Backpacking package for 2 (backpack not included)

3 days 7 days14 days
$239$329$399

Car camping for 2 (3-person rather than 4-person tent; tables, chairs, and cooler are not included)

3 days 7 days14 days
$169$229$279

Don’t get thrilled about the lower prices though. Lower Gear packages don’t contain as many items as those from REI or Outdoors Geek, so the prices above are not an apples-to-apples comparison.

But prices for its backpacking package are already higher than Outdoors Geek’s with fewer items. And as I added in chairs, tables, and cooler for car camping, it ended up being around 20% more expensive than Outdoors Geek. Ouch.

Pros of Lower Gear:

  • Very high-quality and expensive gear for backpacking
  • Shipping can make things very convenient
  • Better pricing than REI for long term rentals

Cons of Lower Gear:

  • It can be more expensive than REI or Outdoors Geek for short-term rentals
  • Cannot ship cooler, folding chairs, or camping table
  • Minimum of 3 nights
  • The website is less user-friendly; it took me a while to find the packages
A photo break. Don't you love the scenery?

Peace Surplus

Peace Surplus is a local rental service located in Flagstaff, around 90 minutes from Grand Canyon.

The web design…. hmm is pretty basic. There are no photos or descriptions of the gear on their website. It simply leads you to fill out a form and provides the prices within the form:

As you can see, this is a more affordable option than the national chains, especially when you take into account that renting a la carte is more expensive. But there is a 3-day minimum.

Selection

At first glance, you can see that they don’t offer tables, chairs, or coolers, so you cannot put together a fully comfortable package for car camping.

And because the information is so limited on the website, I called them to find out what products they carry for rental. Here’s what I learned:

  • Sleeping bags: Alps mountaineering, 3 – 6 lbs
  • Sleeping pads: generic
  • 4-person tent: Peregrine, Kelty; weighs around 5 lbs
  • Backpacks: mostly Osprey
  • Camping stove and lantern: generic brand

These are totally fine for car camping, but there’s no lightweight options for backpacking.

Pros of Peace Surplus:

  • Affordable for rentals less than a week
  • Decent quality
  • Large quantities mean they rarely run out of rental supply, according to my phone conversation with them

Cons of Peace Surplus:

  • Limited selection with no lightweight options
  • 3-night minimum

Hiking Shack

Hiking Shack is a rental shop located in Pheonix, AZ, 3.5-hour from Grand Canyon.

All pricing listed on the page is for a 5-day rental, so it’s quite affordable. $40 for 5 days of a 4-person Kelty would translate to only $8 per day.

The selection of gear isn’t bad, either. They do have lightweight sleeping pads and tents and hiking clothes, along with rental for other outdoor activities. So you can get your kayak and camping gear all at the same shop.

Pros of Hiking Shack:

  • Affordable for rentals less than a week
  • Decent quality gear
  • Good selection with gear for other activities

Cons of Hiking Shack:

  • No packages available
  • Located far from Grand Canyon

Barbbitt’s Backcountry Outfitters

Barbbitt’s Backcountry Outfitters is a family-owned rental shop in Flagstaff, AZ, about 90-minutes from the Grand Canyon. I admit it’s hard to not misspell the name.

Speaking of minimalistic web designs, this is what their rental page looks like:

But hey don’t rush to judge a book by its cover. The hidden gem here is that you can rent items for 1 – 2 nights at an affordable price. If you remember, all other services we’ve talked about so far either have a 3-night minimum or charge very high rates if you were renting for less than 3 days.

So Barbbitt’s can be a great place to get some camping gear for a short trip or pick up something last minute. But they don’t rent sleeping bags because the amount of work involved in washing them would make single-night rentals at this rate infeasible.

Pros of Barbbitt’s:

  • Affordable for rentals shorter than a week
  • Allows 1 – 2 night rentals with very good prices
  • Pretty close to Grand Canyon
  • The staff was very friendly when they answered my questions on the phone

Cons of Barbbitt’s:

  • Selection is quite limited
  • Sleeping bags not offered

Grand Canyon Outfitters

OK, I really wanted to put this closer to the top of the list because it’s located right in Grand Canyon Village and shows up at the top of Google search results.

But this is probably a walk-in rental service. When I tried to call them to make a reservation, no one answered the phone. I tried several times before my last trip to Grand Canyon but to no avail. Since I want to be 100% sure my gear is ready when I get there, I went with Outdoors Geek.

I’m also not sure about their prices and what products they carry because there’s no information on their website. I called again for research of this article, but no one answered.

The Bottom Line

There you have it. All the popular camping gear rental services in Grand Canyon are compared. Hopefully, you have a pretty good idea of which one you’d like to go with. My first thoughts are always REI and Outdoors Geek because they have such wide networks and large selections. But renting from a local shop can save you some money and allow you to pick up some gear last minute.

Emma

My name is Emma, and I’m a city dweller who jumps on every opportunity to get out and enjoy nature! I’ve gone on a number of car camping and backpacking trips since my first experience in 2015. I created this site to inspire others to get outside and to make the process easier for you.

Emma

Emma

My name is Emma, and I’m a city dweller who jumps on every opportunity to get out and enjoy nature! I’ve gone on a number of car camping and backpacking trips since my first experience in 2015. I created this site to inspire others to get outside and to make the process easier for you.