Funny Reasons People Have Returned Gear


We’ve all been there: We purchase a new ski jacket, a fresh pair of hiking boots or the latest backpacking tent—only to realize we need a different version, a bigger size or another colorway instead. REI makes it easy to return items. Customers have 90 days to test out their new gear before making a return, and co-op members have up to a year to take back items. After all, trail time is the best test for whether a piece of gear works for you.

But there are other, less-conventional reasons to return gear too. Maybe your pack makes you look like a cartoon reptile, which isn’t really your trail style. Perhaps a backcountry breakup has soured your love of camping, and you no longer need that two-person tent you bought. There can be many reasons for REI returns, and some of them are pretty humorous.

We’ve rounded up a few of the funniest reasons for REI returns we’ve found. Want a good laugh? Keep reading—and make sure to look for more return tags the next time you shop REI Re/Supply in-store. You may just find a few gems.


Something Smells Off

“Pack has bad odor inside. Perhaps urine.”

Too Reptilian

Photo of a return tag that reads, "customer's girlfriend thought the bag made her look like a ninja turtle"

“customer’s girlfriend thought the bag made her look like a ninja turtle”

Frowny Face

Photo of an REI return tag that says,

“Customer did not like snowboarding :(“

Backcountry Breakup

Photo of a return tag that reads,

“used one time, broke up with partner and never want to backpack again”

“Breaking Me In”

Photo of an REI return tag that reads,

“Tried out 30 miles, not breaking in, breaking me in”

Tight Squeeze

Photo of an REI return tag that reads,

“squeezed outer toesies, decided diff model.”

The 100-Mile Test

Photo of an REI return tag that reads, "walked 100 miles, didn't like sizing after that."

“walked 100 miles, didnt [sic] like sizing after that.”

Color Conundrum

Photo of a return tag that reads, "Used for 7 months -- Didn't like color"

“Used for 7 months — Didn;t [sic] like color”

Tough Crowd

Photo of a return tag that reads,

“Used a few times but made fun of by friends so she returned them”

Baby Shark

Photo of a return tag that reads,

“clearly something happened from the source, seems to have a baby shark bite out of it doo-doo-doo”

Not Cool Enough

Photo of a return tag that reads, "didn't like it. customer said, 'son didn't like it. it doesn't look cool enough.'"

“didn’t like it. customer said, ‘son didn’t like it. it doesn’t look cool enough.’”

Buyer’s Remorse

Photo of REI return tag that says, "customer states 'never used, brought it on a trip and set it up only to realize it as not a bag'"

“customer states ‘never used, brought it on a trip and set it up only to realize it was not a bag’”



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