Outdoorsy Partners With Backcountry Ahead of Anticipated Busy Summer

The two companies aim to be a one-stop shop for people exploring the outdoors. Austin-based Outdoorsy is an online RV and campervan rental marketplace. Backcountry is an outdoor gear and clothing provider.

Written by Cassidy Ritter
Published on May. 24, 2021
Outdoorsy Partners With Backcountry Ahead of Anticipated Busy Summer
Photo: Outdoorsy

Last summer, several parks across the country saw an increase in visitors as more and more people were looking for ways to get outside amid the pandemic. Even as Covid-19-related restrictions ease, experts predict this summer will be no different. 

According to a new study commissioned by RV and campervan rental marketplace Outdoorsy, 59 percent of people said their goal is to try something new this summer. Among the 2,000 U.S. residents who responded to the survey, responses ranged from trying different foods to camping or taking a cross-country road trip. 

“We have seen this kind of renaissance and infatuation, if you will, with local travel and discovering what’s in your own backyard and quick weekend getaways,” Claire Walsh, director of PR and partnerships at Outdoorsy, told Built In. “After being stuck at home for so long, we’re seeing people that just want to get out for a quick little three-day weekend. … It’s definitely going to be another summer of road trips and travel in nature.”

To prepare for more people exploring the great outdoors, Outdoorsy and Backcountry, an outdoor gear retailer, recently partnered together. The partnership aims to offer a one-stop shop for people looking to spend time outside this summer.

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The two companies will provide rentals and outdoor gear for purchase to customers at a discounted rate. Customers will also have access to Backcountry’s outdoor and travel experts.

About 90 percent of Outdoorsy renters last year were first-time renters. Walsh said the company realized renters could benefit from more education around things to do outdoor and the gear needed to participate in activities like rock climbing, hiking and camping. 

“It’s no secret that people are eager to travel again and we’re predicting that travel behavior will ramp up throughout the summer, and a lot of the outdoor-related travel behaviors we saw last summer will continue throughout this summer,” Sarah Crockett, Backcountry’s CMO, told Built In via email. “People are continuing to avoid major cities and crowds, and a lot of people are discovering a newfound connection to the outdoors.

“Alongside Outdoorsy, we’re hoping to make these outdoor vacations as comfortable and enjoyable as possible,” Crockett continued. “We want people to feel prepared and confident as they set out on their new adventures and our partnership with Outdoorsy will make that easier and more approachable.”

Outdoorsy co-founders
Outdoorsy co-founders. | Photo: Outdoorsy

Austin-based Outdoorsy was founded in 2015 by Jen Young and Jeff Cavins. Through the company’s website and app, people can rent an RV or campervan, or list their vehicle for rental. Rentals on the platform range from traditional campers and motorhomes to Airstreams, trailers and Volkswagen campervans. Rentals are available in more than 4,800 cities across 11 countries. The company also offers insurance options. So far, bookings on Outdoorsy have increased 145 percent compared to last year. 

Outdoorsy relocated its headquarters from California to Austin in 2018 and now has offices in the U.S. Canada, the U.K., France and Australia. The company is actively hiring with open positions ranging from a listing coach to several engineering roles. Outdoorsy currently has approximately 250 employees, of which 90 are based in Austin. The company previously raised a $50 million funding round announced in January 2019.

Founded in 1996, Backcountry is an online retailer specializing in outdoor gear and clothing. Headquartered in Utah, Backcountry has offices in Costa Rica, Germany, Virginia and Portland, Oregon.

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