Renting products and services is nothing new. What is new is that platforms providing us the service of using something without owning it pop-up left and right. As more and more products and services become available for us to rent, the question is would you also rent outdoor gear? Let us know in the comments!
In 2017 Vaude started renting out some of their products through a program called iRentit (only available in Germany). For them renting out their equipment is a conscious step in exploring more sustainable business models. From a sustainability point of view renting gear makes sense. Most of the environmental impact of our gear occurs during production. Arc’teryx did a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) for their Alpha SV Jacket and found that 65% of the impact is caused by production and manufacturing.
Besides the sustainability aspects it also makes sense for our wallets. We all know that buying quality gear can be very expensive. And let’s be honest, most gear spends more time in storage waiting for our next adventure than it does outside. So, depending on the number of trips per year it could also be financially interesting to rent. It also saves on the hassle of maintenance.
My first set
Even if you would like to own your gear, renting can be a good option to test some products before buying. When I bought my first set I was not sure what to get. Everyone’s preferred gear set is different. So, even after reading lots of reviews it was still a bit of a gamble. Which meant that after my first trip I already started replacing gear. After some years I have changed my complete set. Testing gear through renting it first could have saved me quite some money (and environmental impact).
Initiatives that rent out gear
While searching for renting options, some initiatives caught my attention. One of them is US based Coozie Outdoors. They set up a streamlined process to rent outdoor gear. Both separate pieces and entire sets. Another company I recently learned about is Start Hiking. They are based in the Netherlands and rent out complete sets to hiking novices, to literally help them start hiking.