Gear Testing Methods

There are no scientific gear testing methods when it comes to Women’s Gear Guide reviews. I don’t cover brand names with duct tape and test products unknowingly. Rather, I feature products on this site based on brands that are known to be devoted to women’s specific design.
Products are tested in the outdoor environments for which they were meant for. For example, a trail running shoe is taken on a trail, not on pavement; powder skis and snowboards are reviewed on powder days. This is one of the many advantageous aspects of, unlike the annual Buyer’s Guide we’re not on deadline. I can wait for the best possible conditions for a particular product.

I do make sure to include both pros and cons of each product, since nothing is perfect. I assign an overall rating to every product, based on five categories that consider the general outdoor women’s populace, not just the upper echelons of fitness and ability

Design (how does this fit my body?)
Style (how does this look on me?)
Durability (will this stand up to variable conditions, heavy use and time?)
Performance (how does this enhance my activity or sport?)
Comfort (is this comfy?)

*Bonus Categories — New products and ideas are also very important to the future of the women’s outdoor industry, so look for “Innovation” tags on the homepage. In this tough economy, we’re all looking to save a couple bucks, so keep your eyes peeled for “Price Point” tags.

Know your testers
With a couple exceptions, I test nearly every product. If it’s a sport I don’t particularly excel in (snowboarding or climbing, for example) I enlist advanced women who can better speak to the needs and interests of women in that sport.

Although, we all have wider hips and a lower center of gravity than our male brethren, each and everyone of us is different. It’s important that you know the tester’s body type, ability, weight and height, so you can more accurately compare and contrast how a product will work for you. Be sure to consider any modification needs. For example, many women are knock-kneed which makes most ski boots particularly painful and turning more difficult. Be sure you’re taking everything into account before making a purchase, it is your money after all. I’m just here to help you spend it wisely.

Please email me with any testing questions.

Happy adventures,

Leah Fielding