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As Adrianne Pasquarelli reported in June when the REI-HearstMade partnership was first announced, Uncommon Path replaces the retailer’s catalog; it’s meant to emphasize an REI-as-lifestyle mindset while soft-selling its gear.
Kent, Washington-based REI is structured as a consumers’ co-operative. And while its new magazine’s cover, with its ethereal view of woodland splendor, does tease a bit of a product focus in small-print headlines (e.g., “Best Puffy Jackets,” “Favorite E-Bikes”), the stories inside generally fit into the brand’s civic-minded co-op ethos (“Cool New City Parks,” “Schools Without Walls,” “Civil Rights Bike Trip”). Uncommon Path also includes full-page ads from the likes of Merrell, Fjallraven, Subaru and Altra.
The first issue runs 84 pages and is meant to “inspire readers to live a life outdoors through compelling storytelling, striking photography and thought-provoking contributors,” per the magazine’s mission statement. A HearstMade spokesperson says the quarterly will be distributed to REI co-op members and targeted subscribers of select Hearst titles. You’ll also be able to find it on bigger newsstands and at all 155 REI stores in the U.S.