About Top Gear Lab

Top Gear Lab has the best outdoor gear reviews, because we believed that outdoor enthusiasts needed a better tool to help buy the best gear.

This is something we take very seriously. Outdoor gear is expensive. Complex technologies make it difficult. The marketing spin is thick. The right gear can often make the difference between a safe, comfortable and dangerous experience. To find affordable gear that you can trust, you don’t have to read through pages of marketing fluff or reviews from amateur “gear reviewers”.


Top Gear Lab is a network of top-notch outdoor gear testers from America. It provides you, the gear buyer, with the most reliable, objective and useful reviews and buying advice that you will find online. To provide clear, reliable, and consumer-friendly comparisons of high performance outdoor gear, guides, veteran product testers, as well as top-level athletes, put each product through extensive field testing.

Visit Our Top Gear Lab Reviews page to learn more about Top Gear Lab Reviews.


Fair, thorough and fair head-to-head testing of outdoor products is done under controlled conditions as well as in real-world field situations. Our products are rated based on objective criteria. We highlight the top performers and other products that excel in a particular application.


We strive to give honest, objective, and credible product reviews for outdoor gear buyers. This means that we are not influenced in any manner by product representatives or advertisers. Click here to learn more about the way we test gear.


The Top Gear Lab Rating allows consumers to compare outdoor gear products’ performance in a simple and straightforward way.

Rating is a numerical score that assesses a product’s overall performance using selected objective criteria. This allows consumers to compare the performance of similar outdoor gear products at once.

The first thing we do is decide which five to six criteria almost everyone will be looking for in a product. These are the smaller numerical ratings that you will see in every Gear Institute product evaluation.

After conducting a thorough field testing of all products within a category, our test director will assign each product an 1-10 rating based on these six criteria. A rating of “5” indicates that the product is average.

The ratings are then added together and a base score is calculated. It can be either 40 (if there’s 6 criteria) or 50 (5 if there’s 5 criteria). The Gear Institute Rating is the final number.


Top Gear Lab receives compensation from affiliate links to retailers located in the “Where to Buy” area of individual reviews. This will allow us to continue our work and provide you with valuable shopping information. We are an independent company and all opinions are ours.