New Tools for Writing Great Gear Reviews

Our mission at Trailspace is to be "the most comprehensive, accurate, and helpful community for finding and sharing facts and opinions about gear for human-powered, backcountry recreation."

As part of that mission, one of our goals is to give our members the best tools to write and share great gear reviews. So we’re excited to announce that today we’ve launched a redesigned and enhanced version of the Trailspace "write a review" form.

What's New

Better Organization

In the “write a review” form, after rating your gear, you'll now have the ability to fill out separate Summary, Pros, Cons, and Detailed Review sections for your reviews. Having a standard format makes your review easier for others to read and act on. The format is new, but that content is still all yours. Tell us what you think about the product. When you use the new fields you're putting the most relevant information at the top of your review, making it more helpful to more people, more quickly.

Gear Review Tips

Get review tips while you write. (Click image above for larger image.)

Wondering what to write to make your review better, more interesting, more helpful? As you tab through each section while writing your review, you'll notice a list of review suggestions on the right-hand side.

For the main body of the review, the "Detailed Review," we've added suggestions specific to the type of gear you're reviewing.

So, if you're reviewing a stove, you'll see tips to consider mentioning boil time, fuel efficiency, cooking, and so on. If you're reviewing a shelter, you might want to mention setup, stability, or ventilation.

These are just suggestions though. You'll likely have other points you want to include in your review. Share what's relevant, important, and valuable from your own experience. 

Edit your review forever

That's right. No more editing deadline. As a Trailspace member, you can now update and edit all of your Trailspace gear reviews forever. Yes, forever. You even can go back and edit that 2001 review of your first climbing shoe, adding in your last decade-plus of rock experience.

Just click the "edit" button at the top or bottom of any of your existing reviews. Then add new pictures or video from other backcountry trips, share how the tent fared in a recent snowstorm, tell us how the trail runners held up over the long-term, confirm or change your original assessment. If you've written review updates already, you'll now find them merged with the original review, all editable in one spot.

Find your gear to review more easily

Actively search for the product you want to review.

The easiest way to write a review of your specific outdoor gear, apparel, or footwear is by clicking the yellow "Write a review" button on its product page.

If you don't see a product on Trailspace, go to the "write a review" form and search for your product with some keywords (ex. Marmot Sharp for Marmot Sharp Point Jacket at right).

If searching doesn't turn up your product, you still can add the product and your review to the site by clicking “enter product details” at the bottom of the search results screen.


We hope that the improved organization, review tips, and the ability to edit your reviews for life will help to improve the overall quality of gear reviews on Trailspace. But all the form enhancements in the world mean nothing without your unique voice. Whether you're hiking, climbing, skiing, paddling, or trail running, your extensive experience with a variety of backcountry gear is what makes Trailspace work.

Please help us take it to the next level by reviewing your gear in your own style: add personal pictures and videos, tell the world about your firsthand experiences and observations, share how your outdoor gear has held up in the backcountry, write a review today.

Filed under: Gear Reviews, Trailspace News


1,721 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts
February 29, 2012 at 2:03 p.m. (EST)

I really like this. The new structure provides a bit of guidance but at the same time still gives the individual writing the review a bit of latitude.

The edit forever feature is sweet. I am forever finding typos in my reviews. Needless to say they drive me nuts(Alicia you can vouch for me on that one right?)

I guess I just have to find something new to harass you, Dave, and Seth about. :p 

Good stuff.  

Alicia MacLeay (Alicia)
1,684 reviewer rep
4,363 forum posts
March 1, 2012 at 9:23 a.m. (EST)

Thanks, Rick.

We wanted to offer some helpful guidance and structure for reviewers who'd appreciate it, but ultimately still let the reviewer decide what is most important to share and how.

I will vouch for Rick's need to fix typos, but I think that's a sign of good character!

1,721 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts
March 1, 2012 at 11:24 a.m. (EST)

Alicia said:

I think that's a sign of good character!

 That's funny. That's the same thing I told my wife. :p

290 reviewer rep
1,469 forum posts
March 3, 2012 at 12:52 p.m. (EST)

sounds good

612 reviewer rep
1,523 forum posts
March 3, 2012 at 6:10 p.m. (EST)

GREAT! I have several reviews I will want to write after my trek. I want them to be valuable to others! This will help.

Alicia MacLeay (Alicia)
1,684 reviewer rep
4,363 forum posts
March 5, 2012 at 12:50 p.m. (EST)

Thanks. I hope you'll all use it to share your gear reviews whenever you're ready.

0 reviewer rep
915 forum posts
March 8, 2012 at 9:05 a.m. (EST)

Rick Said:

The edit forever feature is sweet. I am forever finding typos in my reviews. Needless to say they drive me nuts(Alicia you can vouch for me on that one right?)

Try Firefox as a browser.  It has a spell check feature. Still find typos, etc in my posts but not as many.

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