How we make reviews and recommendations

I have spent my fair share of time looking for online advice when I go to purchase new gear. I have been a skier for a long time. It amazes me how so many websites out there are giving advice on ski gear when it’s clear the author has never skied before or touched the gear they are recommending. We can’t touch every piece of gear out there. We use our knowledge and comparisons to what we have tried and reviewed to make judgments on gear we haven’t had a chance to try. We never just randomly take the top 10 most popular items on Amazon and call that our top 10 list. A lot of gear sites follow that exact method.

Paddleboard testing
Getting ready to test a bunch of paddleboards


We like to try items out and test our manufacturer’s claims. If a vendor says a paddleboard will work with 350 lbs, we’ve got a 6’5″ 330 lb tester who is ready to put that claim to the test. We’ll see how far every e-bike or scooter will go. We try out ski goggles in flat dreary days to see how well any nifty new color optimized lens works. We like to try out all the extra features.

We will try out cheap and expensive items.

Nothing is too cheap for us to try out. We’ll try out a set of $20 generic Amazon ski goggles right next to a set of $350 Smith 4D Mags. There is a lot of junk available on Amazon but there is some really good stuff too. It is challenging to tell what is good and bad just from reading the Amazon buyer ratings and feedback.

Lots of images so you can see everything

We want to give you enough pictures to see the details of every part of an item. We want you to feel like you saw the item and got to play with it in person yourself by the time you’re done reading. If there is something you want to see that we didn’t capture, feel free to send us a note and we’ll take a picture for you if we still have the item.

Ratings for important performance measurements

We only like to review and rate items for activities we actually do. We understand how equipment gets used and what will work well and what won’t. For ski goggles things such as anti-fog performance and flat light performance are really important. For e-bikes range and power matter a lot. For paddleboards, stability and board stiffness are huge. We have decades of experience with outdoor adventure sports and use our knowledge to rate gear for real world performance.

We purchase items and accept items from vendors

We do a mix here. We accept items for review from vendors and we go out and buy things ourselves. It lets us review more gear for our readers. We’ll give the good and bad of all our review items. Nothing ever gets a glowing perfect review unless it’s something that we really do love that much.

What do we do with products we won’t recommend?

We have gotten several items from vendors that we felt were poor values or just didn’t function correctly. A few items have broken and stopped working after just a couple of uses. If the item was provided by a vendor we share feedback with them and then decline to publish the review.

Can I get my item reviewed on your website?

It’s possible. Send us a note at and we’ll talk about it. It has to be something we’re knowledgable about