OutdoorGearLab

1:09 p.m. on July 23, 2011 (EDT)
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It's possible this review site has been mentioned before but I didn't find any links: http://www.outdoorgearlab.com/

1:42 p.m. on July 23, 2011 (EDT)
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I like the web-surfing aspect of the site with quick graphics and neato videos, but the meat of any review is its text---the actual hands-on test in the field after many trips with a thing.  Here the site seems to stumble by adding a lot of company info (sq footage, weight, fabrics, etc) but doesn't seem to go indepth with all aspects of a tent, flaws and all.

For example, with the MSR Fury, they don't mention a couple of its biggest flaws:  The low inner tent door which hits your head everytime coming in or out, the thin denier floor, and the vestibule zipper which has no flap, thereby leaking in a good rainstorm.

These are the kind of things I look for in a good review---pros and Cons.  Every tent has flaws.

12:22 a.m. on July 24, 2011 (EDT)
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These are typical of what we have come to expect.  Outdoor gear and equipment reviewers "tap-dance" around the problems and deficiencies.   They tend to use euphemistic language.

I think I'd pass out if one of them reported that the product they were testing "SUCKED".

Why can't they be brutally honest?;  at least transparent.

It's like they are afraid to hurt feelings.    Also, they should use more veteran hikers and backpackers; those that have owned similar gear to that being tested, in order to make valid comparisons.

The young testers (everywhere; not just that website) seem to be 'ga-ga' over hi-tech innovations.

At least, it seems to be edited better than some other testing sources.

I cringe when I see poor grammar , punctuation errors, horrible sentence syntax.

Oh, well .... Could be worse.

                                                ~`r2' ~

12:58 a.m. on July 24, 2011 (EDT)
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And this is exactly why I refuse to buy anything new.  The real test comes when people by all this new equiptment and then make their gear reviews.  When was the last time you saw any of the auto mags test a car or a motorcycle and say this thing sucks, what were they think when they made this , worst car ever built, I sure wouldn't let any of my family members drive this rattle trap.  They don't do that as they are all in bed with each other in some way or another , ie marketing, advertising, etc.  Nearly all the equiptment I own has been time tested.  When I buy something I expect to have it for life.  Another upside to waiting for gear to be reviewed by my peers is that by that time it's takes to test products its a couple of years since it came out and is much cheaper, and I mean much cheaper.  This is how I buy my motorcylces, I let my buddies fly through the new models and then I get to see what really works and what dosen't.   As there are enough people who like to buy new gear, and Bikes, they can be the guinea pigs and I'll sort out the data later.  The only thing I want from the manufactures and the "professional testers" is the raw data of materials and manufacturing process.  I leave the real live testing to the real life people who use this stuff in the field and then see how it pans out in the end.  This method has not failed me yet.

1:28 a.m. on July 24, 2011 (EDT)
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So how do ya feel towards the reviews that are done here. Real world people who do not have any affiliation with the manufacturers... Most of which purchased the gear that they review. Alot of whom have done this type of thing for quite some time.

I as well as others have purchased a product based on the recommendations that I have found from magazines, etc. and have had completely opposite results when compared to their "glowing reviews."

I trust the people here. That is just mho.... Personally when I review a product I take it quite seriously. If it is an item that I believe to be great I will pass that along, on the flipside if the item is a complete hunk of garbage I will pass that along as well.

Lets face it, most people are not rich. Money is a tough commodity to come by for alot of people. I would not feel right saying something is great just to have a bunch of people buy the product and be let down. I suppose I have a conscience. At the same time their safety and well being may depend on the product I review. I keep that in mind everytime I shoot one out.

Honestly, anytime I decide to purchase an item this is the 1st place I go. Most of the time its the only place I go...

2:09 a.m. on July 24, 2011 (EDT)
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I think the recomendations and reviews here are wonderful.  Actually I found Trailspace because everytime I looked up a review on Google for gear I was thinking about buying (used, I've only bought three new items gear wise in the last 25 yrs), Trailspace came up every time at the top of the list.  People here tend to give quality honest reviews and if there are enough reviews you might even get a well rounded review out of all of them put together under many conditions and situational uses.  These reviews here are done by real world people who buy these products for real world uses and put them thru their paces.  If I were a "testing company" that wrote a number of honest but scathing reviews for some products that a company sent me I would venture to say they would find a different company to rewiew their products the next time.  We have nothing to lose and everything to gain from being honest.  These "professional testing companies" ie. mag's and such depend upon repeat advertising for much of there revenue.  That in my mind is a conflict of interest.  I willl not buy an item based on one two reviews in a short time period.  What if the item perfoms up to par only to fall apart soon after,........no, I will wait until many people try out the item(s) so that the item(s) can be proven and the bugs worked out.  There isn't much that pisses me off more than wasting money on something that is a piece of junk, and there is a lot of junk out there both quality wise and design wise.  I just don't need new things that badly when there is so much proven top of the line gear floating around out there.  And boy is there is a bunch of it, it just takes a bit to find.

2:16 a.m. on July 24, 2011 (EDT)
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Actually its kinda funny. I found Trailspace by searching reviews for tents. Really grateful I did. I learned alot from this site and met alot of great people along the way.

2:27 a.m. on July 24, 2011 (EDT)
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Ditto that Rick, 100%

4:55 a.m. on July 24, 2011 (EDT)
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I found this website while looking for reviews on fixed bladed knives. German law has changed and I was looking for a larger knive that is legal over here. I was luck that knives are a normal topic on this site.  

9:31 a.m. on July 24, 2011 (EDT)
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Many reviews are Non-Reviews:  Somebody buys a tent or a backpack and takes it out for JUST ONE WEEKEND and then writes a review of it---still having no real in-depth experience with the thing.  Almost like this:  "Wow, I just purchased the tent I'll be using on my next backpacking trip and it's the best tent I've ever owned and will stand up to anything Nature has to offer---and even though it still sits in its stuff sack unpacked here in my apartment, I feel it's probably the best purchase of outdoor gear I've made all year."

Trailspace reviews are generally excellent because they are quickly accessible and abundant, and occasionally I find some that are actually in-depth and long.  Many Trailspace reviews are way too short---two sentences at most---and nothing can be reviewed in just two sentences.  I don't know why people even bother posting these reviews---"I love my Crampmore water filter."  Period.

12:11 p.m. on July 24, 2011 (EDT)
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Tipi- I love those reviews as well. You know the ones that make ya go hmmmmm...

Ones like this:

"I just purchased this tent 2 weeks ago and its amazing, I have yet to set it up but the pictures on the box are really nice. This is a roomy tent for 3 because the dimensions on the box say so. They are 27" x 84", I just know 3 will fit in it with room to spare. The knowledgeable salesman at Wally-World said so. He never saw it set-up but he saw one in a picture too... He also said it has these really amazing state of the art, indestructable, pole thingies... I think he said they are made from apple switches.... It doesn't get any better than this.

I was concerned by the lack of a warranty but the informative salesman told me that the reason for this is that the tent is so awesome that I will never need it.

I also like the fact that it is all mesh(even the floor) and there are no stitched seams to fall apart, everything is glued. Should be awesome in the winter as well as the wind being that it is shaped like a masonary block.

Not to mention the amazing protection I will get in the rain. The nice salesman told me this is what they use on Everest. He suggested I watch Beyond The Limit, he saw every commercial for the show and said that I will see them all over the place. Wow he knew his stuff. I gotta say he was young and has been around the world...3 times. Everytime I asked a question he cut me off and set me straight....

...and to think I was gonna waste my money on a Hilleberg, what was I thinking?

I rate this tent at 5 stars just because its mine. And although I have yet to get it out of my trunk from when I purchased it 2 weeks ago(I know its been a 120 out) this is the best tent ever just because I as well as the salesman say so..."

Gotta love it. Or at least just smile and nod your head. :)

This is what happens to me when I don't have my morning cup of coffee....

4:24 p.m. on July 24, 2011 (EDT)
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Rick-Pittsburgh said:

"I just purchased this tent 2 weeks ago and its amazing, I have yet to set it up but the pictures on the box are really nice. This is a roomy tent for 3 because the dimensions on the box say so. They are 27" x 84", I just know 3 will fit in it with room to spare. The knowledgeable salesman at Wally-World said so. He never saw it set-up but he saw one in a picture too... He also said it has these really amazing state of the art, indestructable, pole thingies... I think he said they are made from apple switches.... It doesn't get any better than this.

I was concerned by the lack of a warranty but the informative salesman told me that the reason for this is that the tent is so awesome that I will never need it.

I also like the fact that it is all mesh(even the floor) and there are no stitched seams to fall apart, everything is glued. Should be awesome in the winter as well as the wind being that it is shaped like a masonary block.

Not to mention the amazing protection I will get in the rain. The nice salesman told me this is what they use on Everest. He suggested I watch Beyond The Limit, he saw every commercial for the show and said that I will see them all over the place. Wow he knew his stuff. I gotta say he was young and has been around the world...3 times. Everytime I asked a question he cut me off and set me straight....

...and to think I was gonna waste my money on a Hilleberg, what was I thinking?

I rate this tent at 5 stars just because its mine. And although I have yet to get it out of my trunk from when I purchased it 2 weeks ago(I know its been a 120 out) this is the best tent ever just because I as well as the salesman say so..."

That tent sounds awesome, Rick!

Seriously though, we do like to hear feedback on the reviews and product info on the site. While individuals write their own reviews, we look for ways to encourage and help people write better, more informative reviews.

4:29 p.m. on July 24, 2011 (EDT)
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Agreed. I personally do not think its really fair to bash ones attempts at offering insight to a product. At least they took the time to try.

I just couldn't pass up the opporotunity to have a little fun and maybe make someone crack a smile.

I am on my way to the car as we speak to get my tent out of the trunk. Its been there for 2 weeks. Its such an awesome tent, Denali lookout, here I come.  ;)

10:16 p.m. on July 24, 2011 (EDT)
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I'll say what I think ( no surprise, 'eh?) ....

I will put considerable credence in the gear-reviews I read here ... replete with the horrible sentence syntax and grammatical errors.   I don't really care about all that ... I just want an accurate review of gear.

I will also say that Backpacker magazine SUCKS in their reviews.   Too many BUM STEERS.   I've learned my lesson(s).

The magazine has really gone down hill, ever since Jonathon Dorn took over as editor-in-chief.   Dropped my subscription right after he came on-board.

Time for a "new regime" there.

~r2~

2:20 p.m. on July 25, 2011 (EDT)
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Reviews in a magazine of products made by companies that pay for ads in said magazine?  Sounds like a conflict of interest, but one we see in ALL magazines.  Very few magazines ever review a bad product.  Their advertisers make the products they review. 

5:36 p.m. on July 25, 2011 (EDT)
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A looooong time ago, I used to subscribe to a Canadian outdoor / backpacking / gear-testing magazine.   Waaaay long before the internet came on the scene.

Can't remember what it was.   Can anyone help, here?

All the specs were in metrics ... but, that's OK

"Backpacker" magazine is best for making kitty-litter.  "Outside" magazine is even worse.   Cancelled my subscriptions for both, quite a while ago.

                                           ~r2~

6:50 p.m. on July 25, 2011 (EDT)
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I do have a subscription to BP just to get a heads up on some of the gear that is coming out. I do not rely on their reviews. Then again, I do read them. Sometimes I laugh, sometimes I agree, and sometimes I am left scratching my head.

If it is a product of interest I come here 1st and see what the reviews have to say. If the reviews here are positive I then purchase the product, and draw my own logical conclusion and fire out a review. I currently have quite a few reviews I have to fire up on TS(10+)

Some are positive, some are not. I will never review an item that I have not put through alot of use. Gear may be great for the 1st few trips. Then I shoot out a review saying its the greatest thing that has ever hit the market then on my next trip I have a catastrophic failure. That is one of the reasons why I wait and hammer on things for awhile before I even put pen to paper.

I use my gear... Alot.

7:55 a.m. on July 26, 2011 (EDT)
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Robert Rowe said:

A looooong time ago, I used to subscribe to a Canadian outdoor / backpacking / gear-testing magazine. 

Can't remember what it was.   Can anyone help, here?

All the specs were in metrics ... but, that's OK

                                           ~r2~

 This is a "bump" for my previous post.

REALLY would like to know if that mag is still being published.   It was a good one.   Really good.

                                                 ~r2~

10:49 a.m. on July 26, 2011 (EDT)
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Explore and Outdoor Canada are the two big ones Robert. Are either of those the one your thinking of? I like explore, same opinion as many here, don't trust their gear reviews, but they have great articles. Outdoor Canada is more fishing oriented, which I don't do, so I don't have a subscription to that.

5:22 p.m. on July 26, 2011 (EDT)
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Jake W said:

Explore and Outdoor Canada are the two big ones Robert. Are either of those the one your thinking of? I like explore, same opinion as many here, don't trust their gear reviews, but they have great articles. Outdoor Canada is more fishing oriented, which I don't do, so I don't have a subscription to that.

 

Yes --  I believe it was "Explore".  

Thanks for the tip, Jake.   Appreciate it.

                                                    ~r2~

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