Where to rent outdoor gear in San Francisco

The main places people think about to rent outdoor gear in San Francisco are REI, Sports Basement, and Last Minute Gear. Since people ask us for the difference, we put together this holistic comparison. We tried to be as objective as possible, and last updated this on November 2022. Send feedback to [email protected].

We focus on REI, Sports Basement, and Last Minute Gear because:

  • You can't rent at brand stores (e.g., Patagonia, The North Face, Arc'teryx, Burton, etc.) or big box stores (e.g., Target)
  • Online-only gear rental companies generally require longer lead times (no place you can walk in to get stuff immediately) & price much higher (free shipping costs need to be baked in somewhere, and renting is two-way shipping)


Major national chain (150+ stores across the country)

Sports Basement

Major regional Bay Area chain (3 stores in just San Francisco)

Last Minute Gear

The last small, independent gear shop in San Francisco, downtown by Union Square
Small selection, varies by store

During specific used gear sale events

Small selection here
Major categories Camp, Climb, Snow,
Surf, Paddle,
Hike, Bike, General Fitness
Camp, Climb, Snow,
Surf, Paddle,
Hike, Bike, General Fitness,
Ball Sports
Camp, Climb, Snow
Pricing Focuses on premium brands Offers spectrum of entry-level to premium brands Focuses on premium brands
RENT Can you rent gear?
The only stores that rent gear in Northern California are in Berkeley & Saratoga, so this is excluded from our San Francisco-focused comparison
Source of gear N/A Purchased new; checked between uses
Major categories N/A

Camp, Snow,
Bike, Surf, Paddle

What Sports Basement rents, but Last Minute Gear does not in the shared rental categories of Camp & Snow:

  • Mountaineering gear (e.g., boots, crampons, ice axes)
  • Skis, snowboards, boots

Camp, Snow ,

What Last Minute Gear rents, but Sports Basement does not in the shared rental categories of Camp & Snow:

  • Higher end ultralight (e.g., down) gear
  • Entry level, "Basic" tier for Snow apparel to maximize accessibility
Pickup & return N/A
  • Pickup: In-store during regular store hours
  • Return: You can return to any store (Bay Area wide locations) by 1pm, or ship back at your own responsibility
For both pickup & return:
  • Available 24/7 via self-service
  • We can facilitate shipping to you & return shipping with prepaid label & box
Pricing N/A Pricing is generally pretty similar between renting at Sports Basement & renting at Last Minute Gear
Rents season leases for Snow gear, which are a great deal if you plan to go more than 2x
  • Rents higher end items compared to Sports Basement without changing the price
  • Lower end "Basic" tier for rental Snow gear is 50% off & designed for accessibility; for example you can rent a pair of snow pants for $9 for a weekend
  • Long term rentals are generally capped at 50% of retail, so people have found it worthwhile to rent for 1-2 months (for Snow gear, the seasons leases at Sports Basement are still a much better deal)
BORROW Can you borrow gear?
Because of our mission to reduce waste & increase access to the outdoors, we're the only shop that has a FREE camping gear library you can borrow from
Other services
  • Hard good repair services (bikes, skis, snowboards); generally don't do things like sewing or patching
  • Trade-in used gear
  • Events, classes & guided outdoor adventures (mix of free & paid)