Outdoor Retailer: You Recognize Trailspace's Top Gear

Packs on wall—Nice.

This week, Dave and Seth are busy scouting Outdoor Retailer in search of the most interesting, relevant, and noteworthy outdoor products—gear we'll eagerly want to test and review through Review Corps, and even give away to the community.

But you won't find Trailspace announcing top gear awards on the OR show floor or during a flashy product launch.

While gear claims, buzz, and shiny awards abound at OR (and some of us don't mind a little hoopla), backpacks weren't made for booths, mummy bags aren't for marketing meetings, and people weren't meant to recreate inside convention halls.

Instead, you'll find our real-world proven, top gear right here on Trailspace, thanks to you, our 17,000 community members and our Review Corps team. 

It's your 26,000 user reviews that push the best outdoor brands and products to the top of the ratings, your reviews that recognize and determine the top gear after years of use around the world, and your reviews that will determine which of this summer's exciting new product launches will be truly top gear in years to come.

Sure, getting a peek of that ultralight tent on the show floor is exciting. But, seeing pictures of a member testing it during a week of hiking and climbing in the backcountry, now that really gets us going.

Pack on back out on trail—Excellent!
(Photo: Patman)

Recognize the Best Gear

Ever read a gear top ten list and wanted to proclaim your own best gear awards?

Here's how you can add your voice and help recognize the truly great products out there—the top gear of your outdoor lives.

  • Suggest a Review Corps testSaw something truly innovative that calls for in-depth testing before it lands in stores, and you shell out money? Recommend noteworthy, forthcoming backcountry gear and we'll consider it for thorough, pre-release testing by our Review Corps members (reviewcorps@trailspace.com).
  • Tell us in a comment below if you think fellow backpackers, climbers, runners, paddlers, or skiers will care about a certain product or technology come next year. What sparks your interest? Is it worth our volunteer Review Corps members' time to test in the field?
  • Share new (and old) products. If you've used a product in the field, write a review and share your experience. If a product or brand you want to review isn't already on Trailspace, go ahead and add it. We love to hear about new outdoor gear, whether it's new to market or just new to us.
  • Share brands. Tell us about a lesser-known backcountry brand and we'll add it to our database of outdoor brands.

However you share your experience on Trailspace, you're helping other hikers, climbers, paddlers, trail runners, and backcountry skiers choose the best gear for their adventures (that's more than a quarter million people a month!). Thank you!

Have any new products at this summer's Outdoor Retailer caught your eye? Tell us below.


Follow @Trailspace at #ORshow

Dave and Seth are sharing images, videos, tweets, and blogs from the show daily.

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Filed under: Gear News, Outdoor Retailer


1,711 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts
July 31, 2013 at 1:26 p.m. (EDT)

Real world testing is where it is. A rep or salesperson can say or claim anything.

What matters is what the product does when it is exposed to the trail, ridge, cliff, crag, or waterway that truly matters. 

One of the things that drew me here years back was that the reviews were done by real consumers in real world conditions.

It is much easier to rely on a review done by a consumer that has no vested interest or affiliation with the manufacturer of the product being reviewed.

No bias = no bull crap. 


Horn Rimmed Hiker
2,161 reviewer rep
493 forum posts
July 31, 2013 at 10:19 p.m. (EDT)

Keep these vids coming, y'all. The windcatcher grabbed my attention right out of the gate, but - and someone beat me to the punch - if weight is the price you pay for the convenience, I'd rather stick to my NeoAir. Also liked the new JetBoil system you guys and gals had a picture of, too. Keep the pictures coming and I'll be more than happy to let y'all know what needs some time on the trail! 

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