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The 4 Best Registries for Active Lifestyles

While some couples are the sleep-in late on a Saturday morning type, you and your partner are the opposite. You’re up with the sun, in search of an experience with your favorite adventure buddy, ever. Whether it’s hiking, sailing, running, climbing, skiing or kayaking, you’re always on the go. In fact, it may be part of the reason you decided to wed: no matter what the world or Mother Nature throws your direction, you can always handle it together, sans arguments. (Well, unless one of you is hungry, that is.) 

So even though some duos will stock their registry full of fancy china or expensive blenders, that’s not a factor for you, since hey, you’d rather upgrade your tent. Or your below-zero temperature outerwear. If you lead an active lifestyle, consider this your all-in guide to the best registries.

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Zola Registry

When you’re always up to climb a mountain, bike through a forest or train for a triathlon, you put a priority of flexibility. Not only in your limbs so they’re nimble but in every part of your life. Zola makes sense, since it can cater to any registry need.

Pros: Sure, there’s nearly everything under-the-sun on a Zola registry since it have a universal feature. This means if you find something on an outdoor-adventure site and want to make a wish-list item for your wedding, you have the ability to do so. However, what we really find as a value add for adventurous spouses-to-be is the honeymoon fund. Or more to the point: the cash fund. Certain parts of an active lifestyle are mega-expensive — like ski gear and such — and having an account set up to fund your must-haves can be helpful. With Zola, you can explain what your guests are contributing towards, giving them an opportunity to really understand what connects you two together.

Cons: Zola is also a great destination for products, but keep in mind, shipping rates, time and such will all be dependent on the retailer, not Zola itself. So, if your grandma wants to purchase a new tent for you, she’ll need to pay for the expense of mailing it to you, which can add to a pretty penny. Because it’s a digital platform, your older guests can’t browse through a store to find something for you, which could be cumbersome.

Add This: Backcountry Merchandise

If you can’t get enough of shopping, you’re in luck: they recently partnered exclusively with Zola. Now, you can pretty much find whatever you dream of (or need) to stock up. 

REI Registry

Are you really an active lifestyle couple if you don’t register at REI? Sure, but why wouldn’t you since they have nearly everything you need to conquer every mountain, molehill, glacier and peak.

Pros: Technically speaking, REI doesn’t have their own registry system. However, they partnered with, to offer a universal option for their customers. This means you can build up every-last-amazing-goody from REI, and then also choose various options from other retailers across the web. You may also notice that it’s not as fancy as other registries since it’s not only intended for weddings but also for birthdays or other milestone celebrations.

Cons: If you want all of the bells, whistles, perks and more, REI isn’t your best bet. They don’t offer a percentage off leftover items, nor do they standardized shipping to save guests money. It’s more of a bare-bone basics approach for the busy, trekking couple who truly believes it’s REI — or bust.

Add ThisNorrona Tamok Gore Tex Pro Jacket

This Finland-born brand recently made their way to the states, with flagships in Aspen and in New York City. They’ve long been renowned for quality and style, and now that you’ve made it official with your special person, why not celebrate by upgraded-jackets-for-two?

VRBO Registry

Arguably, deciding to spend your life with someone else is a major commitment and perhaps, one of the greatest risks of all. It can also reap the most rewards, much like traveling. That’s why VRBO could be a unique experience for couples who don’t care as much about gear or stuff, and rather, just want to try something new.

Pros: The fine print of many honeymoon sites like Honeyfund is that it actually doesn’t mean you’re booking an experience for the happy couple, just because it says you are. Rather, you’re donating funds that they can use however the please. This can be disappointing for your friends and family who want to see the photos from the meal or tour they paid for as a gift. That’s where the idea of VRBO came from: why not allow loved ones to truly purchase an experience? When your guests pick something, you receive a voucher that — wait for it — never expires. So your bucket list goal of skydiving? That can be something you register for.

Cons: First and foremost: since these are truly experiences your guests are booking, you are a bit limited by their selection of cities and destinations. They have a robust list that is growing, but if you want to go off the beaten path (like most active lifestyle couples), you may not be able to with VRBO. And say you change your mind about racing sports cars? You can’t get cash back but you can receive a VRBO credit. If you want a mix of goods and experiences, consider using Bed, Bath and Beyond, which offers Vebo as an add-on. 

Amazon Registry

Though this mega-giant isn’t doing any good deed for our planet right now, in terms of accessibility, it’s pretty much the gold standard. With everything you can imagine for your adventurous day-to-day life and relationship, Amazon has it.

Pros: Everyone defines their wild streak differently, and for you and your number one, it can change with the seasons. You enjoy swimming and kayaking in the summer, while fall is prime time for hiking. Winter is all-ski-all-the-time, and spring is made for running. Whatever you need to contribute to your hobbies, Amazon has it covered. And they offer lots of perks for your guests: two-day shipping, at no cost, if they’re a Prime member. For anything leftover on your registry, you will also be rewarded with a percentage off, which makes it more convincing to fork over the change. 

Cons: If you want the in-person scanner experience, you can’t exactly have that with Amazon, which only offers a digital registry. And if part of your active lifestyle is dedicating yourself toward recycling, the vast amount of boxes Amazon creates isn’t exactly a silver lining. 

Add This: Front Runner Feather Lite Roof Camping Tent

While it’s a definite splurge at $1,200, if you only want this for your wedding, your guests would probably be happy to split the cost. No matter how little time you actually have to disconnect, this tent allows you to make a ‘gateway’ anywhere, since it’s placed on top of your roof! Stargazing date, anyone?

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