REI halts orders of CamelBak, Giro, Bell and other Vista brands

Boycotting Vista Outdoor brands for NRA ties


REI retail shops are very engaging often with hands-on opportunities with gear.

REI sells Vista’s Giro, Bell, CamelBak, Camp Chef and Blackburn brands. And with two petitions asking REI to stop carrying Vista brands collecting thousands of signatures in a short period, REI has made its landmark move. It decided to suspend all order of Vista Outdoors products.

By fate or chance, these revered bike brands now happen to be owned by Vista Outdoors.

By fate or chance, these revered bike brands now happen to be owned by Vista Outdoors.

Canadian co-op peer MEC made a similar move earlier, dealing a blow to the revered bike brands under the Vista umbrella. This follows earlier moves by massive retailers making anti-gun, anti-NRA moves after the recent Parkland, Florida high school shooting where 17 were killed.

Vista Outdoor is a publicly traded company with news and financial information available here at VSTA. They’ve been on a buying spree since 2015, adding to their brand portfolio, purchasing category-leading brands to grow their revenues and market cap.

Vista Outdoors has declined in stock price from $52 to $16 after the acquisitions in the outdoor space.

Vista Outdoors has declined in stock price from $52 to $16 after the acquisitions in the outdoor space.

In July of 2015, they purchased CamelBak for $413 million. In April, 2016, they purchased the action sport brands of BRG Sports for $400 million. And in Sept, 2016, Vista acquired privately owned Camp Chef for $74 million. It’s been a rough go for Vista stockholders though as their stock price has declined from $52 in August 2016 to its most recent price of $16 last week.

MEC is the REI counterpart in Canada where the folks embrace the outdoors.

MEC is the REI counterpart in Canada where the folks embrace the outdoors.

Below is the statement from REI on this landmark move.

REI statement on relationship with Vista Outdoor – March 1st, 2018

REI does not sell guns. We believe that it is the job of companies that manufacture and sell guns and ammunition to work towards common sense solutions that prevent the type of violence that happened in Florida last month. In the last few days, we’ve seen such action from companies like Dick’s Sporting Goods and Walmart and we applaud their leadership.

This week, we have been in active discussions with Vista Outdoor, which has recently acquired several companies that are longtime partners of REI. These include Giro, Bell, CamelBak, Camp Chef and Blackburn. Vista also owns Savage Arms, which manufactures guns including “modern sporting rifles.”

REI is an impressive retail experience with a friendly environment and products curated for their customers.

REI is an impressive retail experience with a friendly environment and products curated for their customers.

This morning we learned that Vista does not plan to make a public statement that outlines a clear plan of action. As a result, we have decided to place a hold on future orders of products that Vista sells through REI while we assess how Vista proceeds.

Companies are showing they can contribute if they are willing to lead. We encourage Vista to do just that.

Do you agree with this move? Will you continue to support REI? Will you still purchase Bell, Giro, CamelBak, Bolle and Blackburn products?

Photo Thumbnails (click to enlarge)

About the author: Francis Cebedo

The founder of mtbr and roadbikereview, Francis Cebedo believes that every cyclist has a lot to teach and a lot to learn. "Our websites are communal hubs for sharing cycling experiences, trading adventure stories, and passing along product information and opinions." Francis' favorite bike is the last bike he rode, whether it's a dirt jumper, singlespeed, trail bike, lugged commuter or ultralight carbon road steed. Indeed, Francis loves cycling in all its forms and is happiest when infecting others with that same passion. Francis also believes that IPA will save America.

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  • albeant says:

    It’s difficult to see REI’s backing away from the NRA–along with similar moves by the First National Bank of Omaha; Delta and United; Allied and North American Van Lines; Avis, Hertz, Alamo, Enterprise, and National; MetLife and Chubb insurance; Symantec; and a host of others–as a freedom issue.

    REI isn’t a government entity; it is also an also an enterprise, free within Constitutional limits to make purchasing decisions for reasons moral and/or commercial. It will be interesting to see whether REI’s decision hurts its business, but it’s not inconceivable that it could strengthen it.

    As an aside, business has never been divorced from politics, and it’s unclear why anyone would think it has been.

  • RP says:

    I’d enjoyed shopping there, but won’t anymore. Imagine if a group was attacking the 19th amendment, would companies cave that easily?

    • Bobi says:

      Just how stupid are you, commenting the article, and you didn’t even read it! Vista owns a gun factory and nothing is wrong with it. There is also nothing wrong if they advertise it. REI does not have a problem with constitution. The only problem are financial donations to NRA, who is using the money to buy politicians to maintain status quo. And I am sure that at least 80% of NRA members are not aware of that. And I am also sure, that they are against it and the NRA money could be spend more wisely and efficiently benefiting their members and not just few people on the top of NRA.

    • Guy Smiley says:

      Imagine if a “group” was attacking… you mean caring and concerned Americans fed up with needless violence and murder due to the antiquated 2nd and ease of AR ownership. Dude its 2018 if you don’t empathize and appreciate we have a major fire arm access problem YOU’RE the problem. Congrats REI! I’ll also be boycotting Vista.

  • Lyle Myrick says:

    I fully support REI’s stance on this matter. I have a four year old and I am terrified of putting him into the public school system because of the shootings that have occurred.

    • RP says:

      Hopefully you don’t turn them into being afraid of the house. Stop letting the media lead you by the nose. There are so many other ways your child is more likely to die then a shooting at school. Jesus no wonder this silly crap works- simple minded.

      • Steve says:

        Well said. It’s pretty sad to see how brain washed these sheep on here and in America can be. Very sad to see this ignorance on this MTB Forum.

      • Joe Shmoe says:

        This comment is simple minded. I think rather than attacking people on a forum because they don’t agree with you, you should educate yourself on the murder rate from gun violence versus any other object. Then take that data and apply it to other countries with a similar population of the USA who have some form of gun control laws. I think you will find it shocking at how much lower those country’s murder rate is in general. You kind of sound like someone who is being lead by the nose by some type of pro gun propaganda rather than fact. Just saying.

      • YerMom says:

        Like an accidental shooting at home when he finds an unsecured gun in a drawer or closet? 13000 is more than 17 isn’t it?

    • Chris says:

      @Lyle Myrick – I have a 3.5 and 0.5 year old too. I can live with the super low chance of a school shooting (more chance they’ll die in a car crash), but what I think will be even worse is all the wanna be hero volunteers who’ll ”protect” the schools with their guns. Cops accidentally shoot innocent people every week … so I would bet that we’d have a ton of innocent kids shot by wannabe heroes in schools. You have the least chance of being shot when you are nowhere near any guns.

    • xxx says:

      Do you put your 4 year old in a car?

  • La Habra Rob says:

    Over the years, I’ve CHOSEN to spend about a bazillion dollars at REI on everything from climbing gear, backpacking equipment, hiking gear, and even casual clothes. Aside from their mid-range REI branded clothing, they offer nothing that I can’t buy elsewhere. Now I am CHOSING to spend my consumer dollars elsewhere. Goodbye REI.

  • drew says:

    Didn’t even finish reading the article before I emailed REI to cancel my membership

  • Juan Ghuy says:

    All those products have replacements that are as good or better. That is Vista’s big problem, besides their debt levels.

  • Tom says:

    Another pathetic example of virtue signalling. Look how wonderful we are! We care!

  • Chris says:

    I was annoyed that I still had $100 in REI gift cards and REI weren’t dropping vista … but now REI have shown some real leadership and dropped Vista. Good work! I’ll be asking for REI gift cards for birthdays and Christmas again.

    Vista look like they were in some serious Stockmarket crisis before this all happened. I just hope Vista are forced to sell off Giro, Blackburn and Camelbak. Those are brands I’ve used for years, and would have kept buying their stuff until I heard about Vista.

  • ratt says:

    I guess I am a officially evil to rei, I use a Camelbak with a blackburn pump in it and wear a Bell helmet. Even worse i own a gun.

  • 410sprint says:

    If this is in reaction to the Florida shooting, my question would be is REI boycotting the Broward County Sheriff’s office and the FBI? They had almost 50 warnings that the shooter (maniac) would do something horrible. Nothing was done.

  • Steve says:

    ****off REI you pathetic losers. Listening to you snowflakes comment on here is a complete joke. While you are terrified and worrying about putting your kid into a public School, your kid will be run over by a drunk driver you fools. Yep, 27 people die every day from DUI related crashes, which is 100 times worse and a lot more dangerous then an AR-15 will ever be.

  • John says:

    Knee jerk reaction from a civilization on the decline. Feelings matter more than facts. The AR and similar rifles have existed since the 1960s, firearms have not changed, people have changed for the worse. “Snowflakes” are being played like a fiddle, continue with the narrative of those who control you.

    “A slave is one who waits for someone to come and free him”
    -Ezra Pound

  • Sun says:

    Full support for REI.

    NRA is not a lobbying group for Americans. In fact they actively support positions that directly contradict the position a large majority of their members take. The NRA is simply the lobbying arm of the gun manufacturers who’s sole purpose is to sell more firearms, irregardless of the consequences socially or financially that it takes on the American public.

    Put bluntly, the NRA sucks. Signed, a fiscally conservative, CCL holder.

  • JOhn says:

    Dumb move REI and it is only going to hurt you and help Amazon. Retailers need to stay out of politics.

  • Warren says:

    They can take all the guns away but there are still many options left for a lunatic such as running a truck into a crowded crosswalk. That genie is now out of the bottle. Ask Londoners about that. REI has lost my business.

  • Mikel says:

    Looks like REI was bullied by the left. Drop Vista or we will demonize your company. You won’t necessarily gain any customers by acquiescing to our demands, but you will lose some.

  • texasttango says:

    REI has now become my showroom and I will spend money anywhere else after wasting an REI salesperson’s time.

  • MTB Biker says:

    So done with any company that gets into politics. I vote with my money and I will not be stepping into REI again. We have other choices folks
    Bad “business” move here

  • David says:

    Was getting ready to drop $130 on new pedals at REI but I will look elsewhere. Not going to support a co-op that is attacking the 2nd Amendment. REI should stay out of politics. There is such a tangential connection between REI and an unrelated gun company that this is idiotic.

  • Matt says:

    It is nice to see private companies take a stand that our lobbied elected officials wouldn’t. Yes, taking a political stand may deter a few consumers, but given that REI never carried hunting type equipment, I doubt it will have much impact and may even bring in more of their demographic then they lose. Kudos REI.

  • Empire Builder says:

    Dumb move by REI. I’m no gun nut; I think the NRA takes a lot of indefensible positions. But regardless of what you think about the AR-debate, Bell, Giro, Camelback, etc AND THEIR EMPLOYEES have done nothing wrong and do not deserve to be made the scapegoats for this cause.

  • Neil MacDonald says:

    i don’t agree with rei and their decision

  • Thomas Jefferson says:

    As I said many years ago, people must be able to defend itself from a tyrannical gov. This is a great responsibility. Every American citizen is born with a gun license in hand. Our society has failed to grow, engage, educate, and support each other. Recently we have forgotten this responsibility. Our inability to raise healthy children that value others, and our inability to support those in need, such as the mentally ill, have led us to this condition. The second amendment must stand for a time when Americans need to defend ourselves against tyranny. May that never happen. Until then, we need to understand why people want to kill each other and deal with that behavioral problem.

  • Icky Barber says:

    Shame on REI for jumping into this anti-constitution movement with no clear reason. Camelback and such don’t sell guns, neither does REI so they can keep their hoplophobia to themselves.

  • troubled says:

    What does getting hit by a car or any other type of accident have to do with an AR15 or any other automatic fire arm? We are not talking about accidents and probabilities to die in some other way. These are choices that someone is making to buy a gun – that has no other purpose than to kill someone, not hunt or anything like that – and then choose to use it to kill people. Yes, these are broken people who are committing these acts of violence, but to use that as an excuse to do nothing to try to prevent this type of destruction in the future is just sad. When you go to work, do you fear that someone is going to shoot up the place? If you are older than say 30 or 40 years old, did you ever fear or hear of this type of gun shooting happening in schools when you were in school? Did you run duck and cover drills at school? Where teachers being trained as human shields to protect the kids? My wife is – as a teacher. My kids are. This type of thing just didn’t happen before. Even if someone did bring a gun to a school or place of work – it was not an automatic. Or it was a knife. The amount of potential destruction – while still horrible – was so much less than it is now. Immediately following (within days) of the Parkland shooting, 3 schools in the surrounding area where I live had shutdowns for potential shooting scares – only one of them was a false warning. Weather you like to hear it or not, the fears are real and justified. Taking action like what REI, Walmart, Dicks Sporting Goods – are doing is the first step is driving potential change. That doesn’t mean taking guns away completely, but making changes that are meaningful rather than a bunch of made up excuses and useless comparisons as to why we choose not to act. Wake up folks and try to put yourself in the shoes of those who have lived through these scares and tragedies. To those that argue this is totally a mental health issue – or lack of morals or values or whatever – sure, okay. Sounds reasonable – on paper. You make it sound like it’s so easy to figure all this out. To straighten those people out so that this doesn’t happen again. What’s your solution? Why can someone with a mental health record buy a gun? And what does that really mean to say that they have a mental health problem? Who defines all that and what are the rules to say who is okay and who isn’t? Let’s face it – how do we make immediate change? Not something that will take a long time to implement – but something we can do NOW. Make these guns illegal to own and stop making them – get them off the streets. That’s about as straight forward as it gets. Now – I’m done – let the haters crucify me for my comments since we all know that’s going to happen.

  • Scott says:

    I don’t get it. There is an implied suggestion on here that restricting the purchase of these kind of weapons (semi automatic rifles etc) would be “punishing” the 99% of law abiding gun owners. how is it punishing? i don’t understand what the loss would be under such scenario. why do people want/need these kind of weapons?

    the other thing i don’t get is that some people (the 99%) consider it a knee jerk reaction to spoil it for everyone else, just to stop the 1% who go and shoot up schools. what???? it is more important for the 99% to have access to the guns than it is to stop the 1% from killing kids?

    where i live, we used to have mass shootings. we were able to buy semi-automatic rifles back in the 90s. then some guy broke a few records in the late 90s, killing a record number of people with a semi automatic rifle. we then changed the laws, collected all the guns, stopped people getting just about any firearm unless they had a real good reason to. guess what, there hasnt been a mass shooting since. over 20 years. yeah the baddies can get guns still, but they shoot each other, not us. the depressed loser 20 something cannot get guns now, so we dont have to worry about them shooting up their ex girlfriend’s family, or the school they got expelled from. now the biggest thing we need to worry about is lunatics driving cars through crowds. but we aren’t gonna ban cars, as we have a plethora of legitimate life-improving uses for cars. back to my original question: what are the life-improving uses of guns for civilians, that are so great that you need to risk the lives of your kids?

  • John says:

    Knee jerk reaction = Review case study: Chicago, Illinois – USA. One of the most restrictive cities on “firearms”, check out the facts with Chicago 2017 killings alone. Don’t take my word take the local law enforcement and FBI if that matters. Criminals will continue to do crime in regardless of any “laws”, mentally unstable people with harmful intentions will do the same. The issue at hand is beyond a weapon, it is the indication of a society gone wrong. Stopping guns will not stop violence as much as you using a thumb to block out the sun.

    • Scott says:

      replying to john, who wrote:
      “One of the most restrictive cities on “firearms”, check out the facts with Chicago 2017 killings alone. Don’t take my word take the local law enforcement and FBI if that matters. Criminals will continue to do crime in regardless of any “laws”, mentally unstable people with harmful intentions will do the same. The issue at hand is beyond a weapon, it is the indication of a society gone wrong. Stopping guns will not stop violence as much as you using a thumb to block out the sun.”

      So, is there a border around chicago, akin to one between countries, that a puts everyone entering (and their luggage) through a scanner to stop guns from outside chicago coming in? i doubt it. it is idiotic to think that restricting gun ownership in one area that has no border security will be an ineffective law unless all areas within that bordered region adopt the same laws. cut it with the idiotic case studies, including those in european countries where people and arms can flow freely between them. try a more indicative case study, like the whole country of australia. we have stopped mass gun shootings altogether. 2 decades. stopping guns has stopped violence here. it does work. what don’t you get?

  • royaloaker says:

    Vista=assault rifles, what is so hard understanding REI’s position? posters shorts getting all upended for fear they will lose THEIR 2nd amendment rights?panic why panic? REI is only 1 co. trying to stop the assault rifle carnage.NRA is not one of them.reality.

  • fred johns says:

    I will still shop at REI and when I do I will bring my firearm with me.

  • weezer says:

    So are all these “social conscience” brands going to withdraw their products and refuse future purchase orders from the stores that sell guns? …Cabelas, Scheels, Walmart etc.

    I mean how can Trek continue to have their bikes in the same stores that also sells guns? I see a potential double standards developing soon as there is some serious coin involved.

  • wgs says:

    So Vista used to be Smith and Wesson?

  • Francis Cebedo says:

    >>So Vista used to be Smith and Wesson?

    No, Smith and Wesson is now called American Outdoors with these brands

  • Pynchonite says:

    I work at a small shop (which sells Camelbak) and in normal circumstances, REI is the devil. Now, unfortunately, I actually have to kind of respect them. Dammit.

  • GuyOnMTB says:

    I stopped shopping at REI years ago when they switched from quality gear to name brand garbage.

    However, I love guns and hate knee-jerk reactionaries that want to dissolve our rights with feel-good laws.

    If you don’t like guns, move to another country that supports your desire! Trying to force Americans into pushing responsibilities onto others through feel-good laws is going to make this country very angry in a short matter of time.

  • pjm says:

    Wow. A lot of thoughtful content here. The bottom line is our TV/”entertainment” culture promotes violence of every kind for profit. Then, ignorant parents ignore their children or abuse them, plop them in front of the tv, and it trains them what is acceptable very well. So dumb. We are doomed man. Go ride your bikes……..

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