About the Gear Institute Ratings
|August 01, 2011|
GEAR INSTITUTE RATING
The Gear Institute Rating is a clear and simple way for consumers to directly compare the performance of outdoor gear products.
90-100 — Extremely high recommendation. Exceptional gear.
80-89 — Highly recommended, with a few reservations or caveats. Above average performance.
70-79 — Recommended, with a few reservations or
caveats. (A 70 is considered "average performance")
60-69 — Fair. Recommended for certain uses, but with significant reservations. Acceptable gear,
with distinct shortcomings.
50-59 — Poor. Not recommended in general, but might serve a limited function to a niche audience.
How we score products:
Our testers rate each product’s performance against others that are designed for the same basic purpose or conditions.
1) Rate 6 fields: Each product is judged on six common factors we've tested in the field (such as warmth, comfort, etc). Each field is given a score of 1-10. The fields change depending on the category of product we're testing. The one field common to all products is "Value" -- where testers rate the product's performance in relation to how much the product costs compared with others like it. The average for all these scores is a 5, with the top score being 10, and worst score being 1.
2) Add 'em up: Those scores are added up, along with 40 "base points" that every product starts with. The final score: The Gear Institute Rating.
3) Bonus points: Testers have the right to add or subtract bonus or penalty points at their discretion (for example, when there is something uniquely great about a product that just can't be factored in with the point system).
The result is what we believe is the most fair and standardized way of comparing gear that's out there. Disagreed? Let us know how we can make it better.