Search Functions

1:46 p.m. on August 22, 2007 (EDT)
125 reviewer rep
5 forum posts

First, let me say that I love this site and visit it very frequently. I know it may be difficult/impossible, but it would be great if the products reviewed could be searched by more criteria. For instance, if I want to look at backpacks, I can only arrange them by manufacturer, price or rating. This is nice, but there are so many products reviewed that I don’t use this site to help narrow my search for a piece of gear. Rather, I narrow my selections from other sites and then check the reviews here. This would be the ultimate gear site if, for instance, backpacks and tents could be searched by size, weight and capacity.

3:50 p.m. on August 22, 2007 (EDT)
848 reviewer rep
3,890 forum posts

Difficult, perhaps. Impossible, no. This is something we're very interested in doing. If there are other search criteria you'd like to use, lay them on us. We have our own lists, but it's good to hear what other users want and need.

9:41 a.m. on August 23, 2007 (EDT)
125 reviewer rep
5 forum posts

My bet is this would be easier going forward, as you can set up more searchable fields for people to enter data in when people do reviews. Well, here is what I think would be great (some you obviously already have):


-Frame type - internal, external, frameless
-Capacity in Cu. In.
-Torso fit range - (this is a little tougher; you would have to decide on ranges that most packs fit in, but I think 22 might work)
-waist fit range
-Hydration-ready y/n


-Use/seasons: 3, 4/mountaineering, convertable, tarp
-Capacity: 1, 2, 3, 4, >4
-Freestanding? y/n
-If vestibule, is it removable?
-Center height
-Dimensions lenght and width
-Square footage - tent & vestibules seperately
-Weight - could be by range: 10 lbs. (I guess it would have to be, say, 4-6.1 lbs to prevent overlap)
-Weight/space ratio.

Sleeping bags:

-Fill material - down/syn. (I am a down fanatic and don't care about the multiple types of syn. fill; however, lots of people may, so you might consider having all the different fills listed, with "proprietary" as a catch-all)
-If down filled, the fill power of the down
-Type - mummy, semi-rect., rect, quilt, convertable (those ones for climbing with the arm holes)
-Temp. rating range in 10 degree increments
-Weight range
-shoulder girth
-Shell material: waterproof, water resistent, n/a

Sleeping pads:

-type: self-inflating, inflatable, closed-cell, open cell, mixed
-if insulate, fill material: down, syn.
-thickness: , 1 in, 1-2 in, 2-3 in, >3 in.
-packed size


-fuel - liquid, multi, isobutane/isopropane, alcohol, solid, kerosene, white gas, proprietary
-adjustable flame?
-BTU's on high

Trekking poles:

-material: aluminum, carbon, titanium
-grip material - cork, foam, rubber, hard plastic
-length range (max is most important to me)
-# of section
-replaceable tip? y/n
-replaceable/changable baskets?

Hope that helps.

8:29 p.m. on August 27, 2007 (EDT)
848 reviewer rep
3,890 forum posts

Thanks a lot, gaanaya!

12:38 p.m. on September 16, 2007 (EDT)
1,422 reviewer rep
1,344 forum posts

Also, on the topic of searching - it would be helpful if search returned partial matches. It currently seems to work by "exact match".

So, for example, if you search for "Montrail Torre", you are taken directly to the review page for Montrail Torre. But if you search for "Montrail Torre GTX", you're taken to a review page for that one. But they're really the same boot. There are two "streams" of reviews for that particular boot, presumably because someone started one with the GTX designation, and one without. Short of limiting review entry to items on a pick list (too restrictive) you probably can't stop that from happening. But when searching for the general case, both matches should be offered as search results.

4:03 p.m. on September 20, 2007 (EDT)
346 reviewer rep
982 forum posts

Search is definitley an area we need to address at some point. I think we're talking about two different things here: 1) a structured way to find and sort various types of gear; and 2) a more powerful and flexible keyword search.

gaanaya: thanks for your detailed suggestions. That will be a great starting point for us!

bh: right now we go directly to the product page because more than 95% of the searches done on the site are for product names and in most cases that exact search gets people to just what they're looking for. If we can't find a close match, it falls back on the Google site search, which is pretty good but doesn't reliably put the most relevant pages at the top of the results. (Use Google to search the site for Patagonia, for example, and the Patagonia brand page is the fifth result.)

In the case of the Montrail Torre and Torre GTX, those are actually two different boots. The GTX version has a Gore-Tex membrain while the other does not. I'm working (slowly) on some things that will hopefully clarify those types of relationships and make it easier to navigate between related products.

April 21, 2018
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