View Full Version : Backpack Gear Tester.......

Different Socks
01-17-2014, 10:55
Has anyone on WB been one? What was it like and how long have you been doing it?

01-17-2014, 11:05
I attempted a thru-hike with a prototype backpack. As with any prototype, it had its great points and its flaws. The flaws will really, really drive you mad if you're attempting something like a thru. But feedback like that is very important in the development in the gear, and will improve the final product. I think that the flaws would be less bothersome if you were just testing, and not also attempting a thru, and you would probably be much better off if you didn't combine the two.

01-17-2014, 15:37
The only gear I've tested is the stuff I made myself. This includes stoves and external frames for backpacks. I currently have three frames out for testing and hope to be receiving both short term (first month) and long term (one year) reports as to how my handiwork holds up.

01-17-2014, 16:13
Talk about a sweet job! I wonder if you already have to have a job in the outdoors to be a gear tester. The gear reviews in Backpacker Magazine seem to be from outdoor professionals.

01-17-2014, 16:18
I did some testing years ago, until I started long distance hiking. My feeling was that thru hiking and gear testing wasn't very compatible, except for the few companies that cater to thru hikers and there aren't that many. For instance, it seemed like shoe manufacturers weren't really interested in hearing how many miles it took for their shoes to fail. In all fairness, that's not their market. And it was difficult to get reports and photos submitted while on a long hike.

Most gear testing, in my experience, is mainly advertising. And there's nothing wrong with that.

I hiked one long trail with a prototype pack. That was pretty much a failure. The pack maker turned out to be not receptive to suggestions, and tended to disbelieve reports of problems. After that, I stopped testing gear.

01-17-2014, 20:44
Would you be referring to the all volunteer organization : Backpackgeartest.org? I have been testing backpacking gear for several years. I've tested shoes, boots, rain gear, stoves, tents, backpacks and sleeping gear. I presently have one test in process and waiting for a backpack to be delivered.

To get started you must submit two "Owner Reports", one at a time, on gear or clothing you own and have used extensively. After the two Owner Reports are approved you can apply to test items supplied by manufacturers. All items tested require three reports over a four month period. At least five night of backpacking are required and at least fie pictures of the gear in use are required. All reports are edited by another volunteer. There are many rules and standards to be followed.

As someone said, gear testing is not compatible with thru hiking.