About the Gear Institute Rating

About the Gear Institute Rating

The Gear Institute Rating is a clear and simple way for consumers to directly compare the performance of outdoor gear products.

We first decide on the five or six criteria we believe almost all consumers are going to be looking for in a product in any given category. These are the numerical ratings you’ll see on the right side of every Gear Institute test report. 

Criteria Ratings

After a thorough field test of all the products in a given category, our test director will assign each product a 1-10 rating for each of these five or six criteria. A “5” is considered average. 

We then add up all the ratings and add a base score of either 40 (if there are 6 criteria) or 50 (if there are 5 criteria). That final number is the Gear Institute Rating. 

What does the Gear Institute Rating say about a product?

Here’s what the scores mean:

90-100          Extremely high recommendation An exceptional product that is among the very best in its category.
80-89 Highly recommended The product is recommended with a few reservations or caveats. 
70-79 Recommended The product is average, with significant pros and cons. 
60-69 Fair The product is acceptable but below average.
50-59 Poor The product is not recommended in general.