Author Topic: Gear reviews  (Read 1373 times)

pauldawes

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Gear reviews
« on: 15:28:33, 20/02/20 »
A couple of years ago a local market stall holder used to sell a fair number of the main walking mags a couple of months old pretty. So often used to buy them, and read a ton of gear reviews.
 
At time I often wondered how accurate the reviews were. They would make assertions like “well built” or “good grip” in regard to a pair of boots, for example without saying how build quality was tested, or way grip was assessed.


Some of the comments were risible...for example “comfortable straight out of the box” always prompted the thought: “Comfortable for who??” (Another person might have found same boots uncomfortable.)


Similarly...I never saw any detail on how any jacket was tested. I’d argue before you can assess a jacket at very least you need to do a full days walk in really poor weather conditions...I have near zero confidence that this was done in large majority of magazine reviews I’ve read.


General thoughts? Am I being over cynical? Does anybody know of sources of good quality reliable gear reviews?

jimbob

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Re: Gear reviews
« Reply #1 on: 15:43:41, 20/02/20 »
You are absolutely spot on.  A quick glance at Amazon reviews is a strong case in point.
I think I must have the world record for having my reviews turned away from Amazon for stating simple things like "it fell apart the third time I used it 3 days after returns were no longer accepted."  or "Seams advertised as waterproof yet there is a 4" gap where there isn't even any thread on the side seam"
I was I formed that derogatory remarks are prohibited.

I have asked them to define "derogatory", which to date they haven't.
Too little, too late, too bad......

Owen

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Re: Gear reviews
« Reply #2 on: 16:49:31, 20/02/20 »
Manufacturers advertise in the mags, they provide free gear for "testing" is the editor really going to give a bad review?

Birdman

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Re: Gear reviews
« Reply #3 on: 16:59:28, 20/02/20 »

Many reviews are useless. Review of a £300 jacket: 5 stars - "I wore it when I walked to the pub last night. It's nice and warm".


However, reviews can sometimes be useful to spot certain trends, if specific issues pop up often. Another good use is that different people views things from different perspectives and sometimes highlight points of attention (advantages and disadvantages of products) that I wouldn't have thought of myself before buying.


When it comes to gear (tents, backpacks, etc), when it comes to the bigger brands, there really isn't much bad stuff out there nowadays. So much comes down to personal taste, and yours might differ.
My travel and walking reports: https://www.hikingbirdman.com/

ninthace

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Re: Gear reviews
« Reply #4 on: 17:26:28, 20/02/20 »
My pet hate is YouTube reviews which consist mainly of a talking head and show precious little of the gear itself, let alone showing it in use.  They usually have an unbelievably long preamble, up to half the video, before they even start to cut to the chase.  There was one recently about a boot which was nearly all head, the boot itself was covered in mud and just appeared side on in the foreground from time to time.
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Birdman

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Re: Gear reviews
« Reply #5 on: 17:39:17, 20/02/20 »
My pet hate is YouTube reviews which consist mainly of a talking head and show precious little of the gear itself, let alone showing it in use.  They usually have an unbelievably long preamble, up to half the video, before they even start to cut to the chase.  There was one recently about a boot which was nearly all head, the boot itself was covered in mud and just appeared side on in the foreground from time to time.


Totally agree. I hate these youtube reviews too (I almost never watch them). Main goal of the youtube reviewers is to monetise their channel.
My travel and walking reports: https://www.hikingbirdman.com/

Pitboot

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Re: Gear reviews
« Reply #6 on: 17:42:57, 20/02/20 »
Agree, I find the worst ones are "unboxing" where the "reviewer" opens the package and blabs on about the item, it's all usually positive and very often a bit naive. I find most reviews suspect but something by Townsend I will at least read/view with a degree of trust. In any case, the reviewer is not me, so the decision to buy rests solely with me, and as the old saying goes-caveat emptor.

GinAndPlatonic

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Re: Gear reviews
« Reply #7 on: 17:54:50, 20/02/20 »
I go to Amazon to see if the product is there. Then have a look at the reviews. If they are all five star then I lose confidence straight away. If there are hundreds of mostly positive then I am encouraged & dig deeper, but  go straight to the negative reviews to try and find a trend or at the very least constructive criticism.There is huge industry that has been built up around reviews & for me , I tend to take them mostly with a pinch of salt.

Editorial reviews really are a nonsense because how can a jacket be thought of as a five star buy, when only worn for one days outing. Come back after a year then I might believe a review.
When I walk, I exhale.

fernman

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Re: Gear reviews
« Reply #8 on: 19:45:53, 20/02/20 »
The ones I hate are those that start, Haven't used it yet but....
I once slagged of a reviewer who wrote about a map case, Looks as though it will be good for my SWCP walk (or whatever it was). Why didn't he review it after he'd used it on his walk?

A car tyre pump I bought had about twenty 5-star reviews all written in flowery but bad grammar and with tyre consistently spelt in American English, tire. They had all so obviously originated from the Chinese manufacturer that I wrote a review in Benny Hill mock-Chinese style (some of you will need long memories for that, otherwise look it up on YouTube). The pump incidentally isn't bad.

Amazon reviews can be checked with https://reviewmeta.com/ Just paste on the url of the item.


pauldawes

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Re: Gear reviews
« Reply #9 on: 19:58:38, 20/02/20 »
The ones I hate are those that start, Haven't used it yet but....
I once slagged of a reviewer who wrote about a map case, Looks as though it will be good for my SWCP walk (or whatever it was). Why didn't he review it after he'd used it on his walk?




Yes. And actually reviewing after little or no use is pretty common.


It’s why when one of the regulars here says something like “I’ve used X for years and it’s okay”, I pay a lot more attention than to a magazine review. (Mind you..often then run into problem that X now is a wee bit different to what it was years ago. A fair amount of stuff is ruined by “improving it”.)

ninthace

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Solvitur Ambulando

jimbob

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Too little, too late, too bad......

Ronin83

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Re: Gear reviews
« Reply #12 on: 08:34:49, 21/02/20 »
My pet hate is YouTube reviews which consist mainly of a talking head and show precious little of the gear itself, let alone showing it in use.  They usually have an unbelievably long preamble, up to half the video, before they even start to cut to the chase.  There was one recently about a boot which was nearly all head, the boot itself was covered in mud and just appeared side on in the foreground from time to time.


With regards to boots. What would you like to see in a review? As in, how would you like to see them in action? Personally I don't see much benefit in seeing someone walking in a pair of boots. It doesn't tell me much, but if you have an idea I'd like to know as I have reviewed some boots before. Do you want to see them bending perhaps?
Thanks

ninthace

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Re: Gear reviews
« Reply #13 on: 08:57:42, 21/02/20 »

With regards to boots. What would you like to see in a review? As in, how would you like to see them in action? Personally I don't see much benefit in seeing someone walking in a pair of boots. It doesn't tell me much, but if you have an idea I'd like to know as I have reviewed some boots before. Do you want to see them bending perhaps?
Thanks
Boots are a very personal items so they are a difficult topic. If you want to review them, then I want to see the boot so it should be a voice over review. I want to know make, model, price, source, how it is built, what it is built from, the strengths and weaknesses of its design, the sole design and material, how stiff it is, how does it grip, is it going to last etc.  Pictures of it in use add to the feel.  Ideally boot reviews should be based on extended experience of use  but I would do the presentation on a new or nearly new boot.  If you review an in-use boot, clean it thoroughly before presenting it.
Finally, keep it short and to the point. I do not want to be told it is you again, please subscribe, please like etc. Think about what you want to say, rehearse it and use proper English avoiding irritating speech mannerisms.  Hope this helps.
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Ronin83

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Re: Gear reviews
« Reply #14 on: 09:58:52, 21/02/20 »
OK thanks.
I, personally want to see the boots are used, so mud doesn't bother me, in fact it's evidence of sort.
Cleaning it, thoroughly before "presentation" seems a bit [censored]. Personally, I prefer the down to earth and casual approach. I find formality too conceited.
I'm not saying you're wrong, just illustrating how diverse expectations are of YouTube videos and it highlights where I may have been slightly off the mark a bit.


To the OP, I think with amazon's reviews, it's handy to look at the average reviews and look for repeated issues, ignoring the 1 and 5 star reviews. Unless they're mostly 1 and 2 stars, in which case I doubt you'd click on those items anyway