Our Story

Our Story

Gear Institute is an online network of the best outdoor gear testers in America, dedicated to providing consumers with the most credible, objective, and helpful gear reviews and advice on the web. Guides, veteran product testers, and top-level outdoor athletes put each product through extensive field testing against comparable products to provide gear buyers with clear, trustworthy, consumer-friendly comparisons of high-performance outdoor gear.

Who we are

We are committed users of outdoor gear—professional guides, product engineers, specialty shop employees, athletes, writers, and everyday outdoor people. And we’re stoked about good gear.

To learn more about the people behind Gear Institute, visit Our Experts Page.

What we do

Our goal is to professionalize outdoor gear testing. We conduct fair, thorough, head-to-head tests of comparable outdoor products, both under controlled conditions and in appropriate real-world field-testing scenarios. We publish our testing criteria and open our methodology to discussion.

How we do it

Above all, we strive to provide fair, objective, and credible product reviews to the buyers of outdoor gear. That means we cannot and will not be influenced in any way by advertisers, product representatives, or our own biases.

What’s the Gear Institute Rating?

The Gear Institute Rating is a dependable, transparent, and consumer-friendly online rating system for outdoor gear. The rating is a numerical score that evaluates a product’s overall performance based upon selected objective criteria, allowing consumers to directly compare the performance, value and durability of similar outdoor gear products at a glance.

To lean more about how the Gear Institute Rating system works, click here.

Join us

If you want to join our team as a lead product tester, technical advisor, or field testing volunteer, email us at [email protected]. We look for three things in applicants: legitimate expertise about a given category of outdoor gear, an ability to write clearly and credibly, and the enthusiasm for conducting thorough gear testing.

Got a product you want us to test? Got news for us?

Send press releases and product testing inquiries to our news team at [email protected].


If you want to get in touch with our team for any other reason, hit us up at [email protected].