By Stephanie Graves, Epicure & Culture contributor
Looking for travel rental gear brands to help make your trip more sustainable?
The ability to travel and explore the world is a blessing, but at what cost?
We all have a responsibility to protect our planet, and together, we can create a global shift in the way people travel.
Sustainable travel does not need to be overwhelming or expensive.
Don’t stress about making all the “perfect” choices. Instead, simply focus on making better and more sustainable decisions.
Like buying less! I mean, who really wants to lug around that 49.5 lb suitcase?
One of the easiest ways I practice sustainable travel is by consuming less.
By no means do I live a minimalist lifestyle — not yet, anyway — but I am very aware of what I’m purchasing and why.
Despite traveling to various climates or needing specific gear for the kids, I really try to limit what I buy in preparation for a trip.
Why buy something that you may not need again for years, especially when you can rent it?
Remember, as consumers, every purchase we make is critical.
Common Concerns With Rental Gear For Travel
Right now you may be wondering about the impact of all that packaging and shipping involved in renting.
Although the carbon emissions are slightly higher for renting versus purchasing from a brick and mortar store, renting offers a simple solution to decreasing the negative impacts of fast fashion.
Next to oil production, the fashion industry is the second-largest producer of carbon emissions.
And of the 3.3 billion tons of CO2 emissions generated by the apparel industry each year, more than half are emitted in the production of more clothes, many of which end up in landfills long before their lives are over.
By renting and practicing a sharing economy, we can extend the lives of our clothing and gear, leading to less production, and making a positive impact.
In their current business practices, many of the gear rental brands listed below are using techniques — like using wet cleaning (the process of using water and specialized equipment and detergents to clean “dry clean only” garments), utilizing reusable garment bags, and offering in-store pick-up and drop-off options — to offset the effects of the shipping emissions.
Ready to consume less and still have all the comforts of home on vacation?
If you love sustainable tourism companies, here are five gear rental companies for travelers passionate about sustainable tourism, from designer clothing to ski gear to underwater cameras to baby strollers.
This outdoor gear rental company allows you to rent anything from ski and snow gear to camping and hiking equipment.
They’re committed to helping others explore the outdoors more sustainably, and at a fraction of the cost. We used this company for our most recent ski trip to Sugarloaf Mountain and could not have been happier with our experience.
Since we live in North Carolina we don’t really own winter gear, so it didn’t make sense to buy all new outerwear just for a four-day vacation. Instead, we chose to rent ski gear.
Our package included:
- ski pants,
- a base layer for top and bottom,
- neck warmer, gloves,
- and goggles
…all for under $10 per day per person.
The gear arrived in two cardboard boxes with minimal packaging and even included tape and a shipping label, making the return a breeze.
Click here to check out Arrive Outdoors gear rental selection and pricing.
If you’re looking to rent photography gear, Lensrental is the largest online rental provider for photography, videography, and lighting equipment in the United States.
Choose from camera brands like Canon or Nikon, or even try out a GoPro or DJI; with Lensrental exhaustive library there’s no limit to how creative you can be for your next trip.
The process was seamless and they also delivered it two days early at no charge.
It’s a fun way to play with new equipment and determine if you like it, or need it, before making a more permanent investment.
And if you do fall in love with your rental, their Keeper Program allows you to simply pay for the remainder of the cost of the item — minus the rental fees — on eligible items.
The shipping process was similar to Arrive Outdoors and came packaged in a softshell camera bag within a hardshell case.
If you plan on taking photos of yourself, check out these tips on how to feel comfortable in front of a camera.
Click here to check out Lensrental’s photography gear selection and pricing.
Traveling with kids presents a unique set of challenges, and one of those challenges is all the equipment.
There was a time when we were traveling with a double stroller, a single stroller, and a car seat…plus our luggage!
Hey, parents, does this sound familiar?
Instead, travel lighter and have these bigger, bulkier items waiting for you at your final destination. Bonus points because owning fewer items means fewer items in the trash later.
Our family personally loves BabyQuip, a baby gear rental service that provides a huge assortment of clean, safe, and insured baby gear; everything from full-size cribs to car seats to high chairs to bathtubs to beach gear and more. You can even rent a travel stroller!
They were founded on the belief that family vacations should be fun and memorable. And by tackling a common family travel challenge, BabyQuip’s rentals allow you to enjoy the comforts of home with ease.
So how does BabyQuip work?
First, enter your desired destination to find and select a provider in that area.
Then, choose your baby equipment rentals, and you’re all set. Your favorite baby gear will be delivered to you to enjoy while on vacation.
Click here to check out BabyQuip’s baby equipment rental selection and pricing.
By eliminating overproduction and waste, Rent The Runway’s shared clothing concept is changing the way people get dressed.
Whether you’re visiting the palaces in India or have an anniversary dinner in NYC, Rent The Runway has an outfit to fit the occasion.
Plus, with over 100,000 styles from the top designers, they’re revolutionizing fashion freedom.
By selecting exactly what you want, when, and in what size, your closet can be smarter and more sustainable than ever. I love using RTR for special occasions, as it’s fun to dress up fancy on a dime.
RTR’s commitment to smarter fashion doesn’t end there.
They also practice responsible wet and dry cleaning — washing garments onsite with non-hazardous solvents — as well as recycling the plastic bags used to preserve and protect their garments into a wood-alternative building and decking material.
Moreover, they utilize reusable garment bags in clothing packaging — bye, bye plastic mailing bags or cardboard boxes!
Click here to check out Rent The Runway’s clothing rental selection and pricing.
Since 1976, The REI Foundation has invested $100 million into rewilding the US, and they envision a world where every American has access to nature within a short walk.
At REI, they are committed to keeping the outdoors healthy for current and future generations to enjoy. Not only are they active in local communities, but they have also made significant advancements in sustainable business practices.
From the way REI gear is designed and manufactured to the way it is consumed, they are committed to reducing the impact their products have on the natural environment.
And by avoiding the shipping process altogether, the company is making it easier than ever to practice eco-friendly tourism.
You can rent REI gear for snowboarding, opt for an REI backpack rental, rent hiking gear, and more.
Click here to check out the REI gear rental pricing and selection.
What are your favorite brands for renting travel gear?
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