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How to Get Pro Deals from Outdoor Gear and Clothing Manufacturers

Outdoor ProlinkHow would you like to save 40%-60% off hiking, backpacking, climbing, skiing, mountaineering, running, cycling, fishing and kayaking gear and apparel? There’s a good chance that you already qualify for these kinds of discounts from dozens or hundreds of manufacturers, but don’t know it.

What is a Pro Deal?

Outdoor gear and clothing manufacturers sell gear to employees and volunteers involved in outdoor recreation, emergency responders, law enforcement, outdoor related government agencies, the military, and media at wholesale prices ranging from 40-60% off MSRP. They do this because people in these professions or roles are likely to use the gear and recommend it to people who have to buy it from retailers at full price.

There are usually some strings attached:

  • Pro deals are intended for you alone, and not for friends and family.
  • You can’t buy heavily discounted products and then flip them on Craigslist or eBay.
  • There may be limit on the number of products you can buy in one year.
  • Pro pricing is usually offered to full-time or part-time, non-temporary employees who work within the outdoor industry. There are some major exceptions to this, so keep reading.

Who Qualifies for Pro Deals?

While it depends on the manufacturer, if you work for an outdoor gear or apparel manufacturer or an outdoor retailer, chances are pretty good that you qualify for manufacturer pro deals. The same holds for accredited outdoor media professionals including reporters, producers, editors and writers and full-time employees that work for outdoor guide companies,  outfitters, or are certified members of the following organizations, among others:

  • American Mountain Guides Association
  • Adventure Travel Trade Association Member
  • Professional Ski Instructors Association of America
  • National Ski Patrol
  • Association for Experiential Education
  • American Canoe Association Instructors

In addition, there are a lot of other groups that typically qualify for pro deals, including many that aren’t directly involved in the outdoor industry, including:

  • Active Members of US or Canadian Military Services, including:
    • US Army
    • US Air Force
    • US Coast Guard
    • US Navy and Navy Seals
    • US Marine Corps
    • Canadian Army
    • Canadian Navy
    • Canadian Air Force
  • Fire and Rescue Professionals and Volunteers
    • Paid and Volunteer Firefighters
    • Search and Rescue Team Members
  • Law Enforcement Professionals
    • Federal
    • State
    • Local
  • Department of Interior Employees
  • Forest Service Employees and Volunteers
  • Physical Education Instructor and Team Coaches, High School Level and Beyond
  • Yoga and Fitness Instructors
  • Tactical Hand to Hand and Weapons Instructors
  • NOLS Alumni, Instructors, and Employees
  • Outward Bound Alumni


How to Apply for Pro Deals

If you think you might qualify for a pro deal from a manufacturer, go to their web site and find the page that describes their Pro Deal application process. Applying for each of these programs can save you a lot of money if you get accepted. Here are a few examples:

ExpertVoice and Outdoor Prolink

Many outdoor companies also outsource their pro deal portals such as ExpertVoice.com or Outdoor Prolink.  These companies have standardized the sign-up and approval process making it a lot easier for qualified individuals to apply to hundreds of pro deals with just one application!

Experticity Groups

For example, say you’re an active duty serviceman in the US Army. You’d add that group as an affiliation in your user profile and you’ll see that many brands offer pro deal discounts to eligible applicants. These range from tactical manufacturers like Leupold, Fenix, and Bushnell to mainstream outdoor brands including Big Agnes, Scarpa, Garmont, Suunto, Delorme, Gregory, Old Town, Raleigh and Diamondback Bicycles, Sawyer, Leki, Icelantic and Nemo Equipment, just to name a few.

So, check it out. You might be able to save a lot of money on outdoor gear if you qualify.

Updated 2018.

Editor's note: Help support this site by making your next gear purchase through one of the links above. Click a link, buy what you need, and the seller will contribute a portion of the purchase price to support SectionHiker's unsponsored gear reviews, articles, and hiking guides.

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  1. The cat's out of the bag!

    This is a good thing to point out. Having used a few of these, I have to say that promotive and outdoorprolink make the whole process a lot simpler than normal pro-deals. A few years ago when I was working for an organization with a pro-deal program, the process for getting discounted items was to do everything by catalog and fax (three years ago… I didn't realize fax machines still existed). Promotive and outdoorprolink make things easier, but it's certainly not a polished shopping experience like backcountry.com or anything like that. No returns, things aren't always in stock, and I've had really bad luck with trying to contact anything like customer service for those sites. But when they work, it's pretty amazing.

    Phil, do you qualify as "outdoor media" for promotive?

  2. I can definately encourage people to get even a part time job at an outdoor retailer and qualify for pro-deals. I generally work a few hours a week, and am able to get some great discounts from manufacturers.

    There are a few downsides, as was mentioned, they are ONLY for personal use, and I would bet trying to return anything is a hassle. You're limited to the brands that your shop carries (which usually excludes very specilized ultralight and cottage manufacturers). Plus be prepared for any money you make from the job gets spent on these great discounts :).

    I didn't know that armed forces and emergency personnel can take advantage, I'll have to let some people know!

  3. Trail maintainer? That explains it. I have access via NOLS Alum. And, like you say, I pretty much never use it. But I do love to look from time to time, and dream.

    Emergency professionals getting access is pretty cool, too. It's funny to look through the brands available, and see flak jackets and tasers right next to skis and water filters. Makes sense, though :)

  4. Exactly. There are a number of other volunteer programs that qualify, so it's worth checking out the Promotive Team list carefully, or becoming a volunteer!

  5. You would think that Boy Scout leaders, Varsity Coaches and Venturing Advisers would be included in that so that Troops, Teams and Crews would eventually buy this gear.

    • there is
      on promotive there is team for order of the arrow members and national association of eagles and they have a lot of great stuff too

  6. Chad – you can put that case to the companies themselves, but if you want my advice don't wait for the BSA executives to lead the charge – that would drag out forever. Getting a local deal will be a lot faster. Just remember – it's advertising for the companies. If you can explain why it will sell more product, you'll probably get a shot. Also, a lot of smaller cottage manufacturers already offer scout discounts – Gossamer Gear, for instance. If you don't ask….

  7. Keen offers pro-deals for non-profit employees as well.

  8. Merrell does as well, although be forewarned that there are no returns allowed, so you had better be dang sure about your size.

  9. Patagonia and Arctyk have ridiculous restrictions. So much that they should not be considered on this list as providing pro discounts. They exclude too many trained rescue workers. Its a real shame.

  10. is this going too be helpful?

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