Weekend Swap: The New Person-to-Person Renting Library for Outdoor Gear

Have extra equipment? Need a weekend loaner? Weekend Swap can help.

Want to guess how many Crazy Creek camping chairs I have? Four. That’s right—four. (Blame it on as many summers of camp counseling.) But these days, as a city dweller, when they’re not packed in a camping-bound car, they’re just being used in place of furniture in my living room taking up precious apartment space, lonely for a sitter.

Enter WeekendSwap.com, a just-launched website dedicated to getting your gear the mileage it deserves. Here’s how it works:

You sign up for the site, then create listings (with photo!) of gear that you’re not using and want to lend out. Set a daily renting price (say, $40/day for a bike or $20/day for a surfboard) and a deposit amount (somewhere around the total worth of the item). Other users then contact you and request to rent your stuff. That person pays you the renting price + deposit, which you receive in full (minus a 9 percent transaction fee on the rental) and then dole out your goods. After said stuff is back in your possession, you refund the deposit to the borrower—unless he or she has damaged the item, in which case, you charge them for the repair or replacement. And, of course, there’s a rating system for users—so you can inspect their cred before you agree to hand something over.   

Sure, there are some things that still feel weird about the site—such as, would you really ever want to rent a stranger’s sleeping bag? Or would you trust somebody random with your tent? But overall, it’s a great idea—and one that’s perfect for items that you’re not necessarily attached to (ahem, at least three of my Crazy Creeks). Plus, it allows people to cheaply try new outdoor activities, to dirtbag their way into enough cash for a lift ticket/burrito/whatever and, ultimately (hopefully) to reduce how much they’re buying…and throwing away.

Most users are currently in California, but go ahead, sign up. And then feel free to check out some good lookin’ camping chairs in the New York area. 

Oh, and their promo video. Which...almost makes sense.