Since 2007, Gear Patrol has become a trusted source of reviews on everything from bucket-list watches to the latest iPhone. And yet, every product we test demands its own degree of nuance. That's why we've spent the last 16 years developing a robust review process to standardize our content across different sections of Gear Patrol.

Here's a quick primer on what we do, how we do it and why you can trust us.

How We're Different

  • Covering products is our core mission, not a side hustle or business pivot.
  • We’ve been helping consumers find the right product since 2007. That’s 16 years, but who's counting?
  • Our work extends far beyond just reviewing items for buying guides and lists. We also cover new products; how they're made; how they work; the trends and subcultures they inspire; the people and ideas behind them; and so much more. In other words, we understand products more deeply and better than anyone else.
  • We cover all kinds of products, not just the stuff sold on Amazon. Big brands and microbrands, new and vintage, common and rare, luxurious and cheap, mass-market and niche — if our experts think you’d benefit from knowing about it, we cover it.

    The Pillars of Product Journalism

    Our product research methodology, at its core, seeks to gather insights from three distinct sources:

    1. First-hand experience that comes from using products as they were intended to be used in the real world, not in a lab.
    2. Original and supplementary guidance from industry experts we interview and consult.
    3. Commentary and perspective from dedicated power users within the Gear Patrol community and enthusiast networks

      Real-World Evaluation

      Product descriptions will only get you so far. Hands-on, first-person testing is the bedrock of our editorial operation, and our team of experts spends all year sourcing and testing hundreds of products for our ever-growing catalog of buying guides and reviews.

      man testing a pair of noise canceling headphones
      Over the years, we’ve tested almost 50 noise-canceling headphones for our guide, which we update frequently with new information and picks.
      Gear Patrol

      We firmly believe in testing products how you would experience them — in the real world. This means that, unlike other review sites, we do not operate a so-called "gear lab" to measure aspects of a product that probably mean very little to most consumers using them at home or in the field.

      Our roster of writers and editors is spread out across the globe so they can truly put products through the harshest of environments, whether that's the ocean floor to test the Apple Watch Ultra or our own kitchens and backyards to find out which pizza ovens cook the most delicious pies.

      a person scuba diving wearing an apple watch ultra
      Can you really dive with the Apple Watch Ultra? We found out.
      BangBang Studios

      Original, Expert Opinions

      Our team of in-house experts brings decades of combined experience to the fields of watches, cars, style, consumer technology, outdoors, fitness, home goods and food and drink. This includes accomplishments and credentials like PADI Open Water Diver and First Level Cicerone certifications, as well as many other signifiers of our team's abilities, passions and pursuits.

      But we won't let pride get in the way of the right product recommendations. That's why we routinely interview professionals from different fields to either vet our in-house decisions and, at times, make product recommendations themselves.

      inside the kitchen of nathan myhrvold, author of modernist cuisine
      We wanted to know what gear the most advanced kitchen in the world uses. So we asked Nathan Myhrvold — the former CTO at Microsoft, coauthor of more than 800 patents and the culinary force behind the James Beard-winning Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking.
      Lauren Segal

      Community Feedback

      Experts by day, enthusiasts by night — our team lives and breathes gear. So if we're not in the field testing crossover SUVs or hiking boots, you can probably find us scouring forums or the comments sections of our articles to learn about others' experiences with products that matter.

      ferrari f8 review gear patrol magazine
      Testing the Ferrari F8 Spider.
      Henry Phillips

      Connecting with other enthusiasts is the single best way to learn which products and brands are actually worth getting excited about and whether or not we have gaps in our coverage.

      Own a product you think we should know about? Think we missed an obvious contender in a recent buying guide? Let us know at

      How We Evaluate Products

      We evaluate products against eight core characteristics that we believe separate best-in-class products from average ones.

      • Performance: How well does the product perform at its intended function(s)? Where does it excel? Where does it fall short?
      • Durability: How does the product hold up over time? Did performance drastically decrease with normal wear and tear? Or did it actually break in and improve?
      • Originality: What sets the product apart or makes it unique? How does it compare to other products offered by competitors or even the same brand?
      • Value: How much does the product cost compared to its competitors? Does it ever go on sale? Is the price tag in sync with performance?
      • Aesthetics: Does the product look good? How does it feel?
      • Accessibility: Is the product easy to purchase, either online or in person? Is it easy to return?
      • Reputation: Is the product from a brand that shares the same values as Gear Patrol? Is their customer service reliable?
      • Environmental Impact: What is the carbon footprint of this product? Can it be recycled or reused after it's reached the end of its life cycle?

            This means that while the specific testing procedures we use to unearth insights vary by product category, the key questions our team seeks to answer for consumers are always the same.

                Looks aren’t everything. But they don't hurt. Here, the stunning Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional Co-Axial Master Chronometer.
                Henry Phillips

                Frequently Asked Questions

                We believe in being transparent when it comes to editorial integrity. Here are the answers to some common questions we've received over the years.

                How do you select which products to feature in your content?

                Every product featured on Gear Patrol is independently selected by our editorial team after thorough evaluation. No exceptions.

                How do you source products for testing?

                Simply sourcing products for testing is half the job. We often work directly with brands to call in new and upcoming releases, especially when products are under embargo and have yet to be released. In these instances, we make it clear to brands that there is no guarantee of favorable coverage — or any coverage at all — unless we decide a product deserves it. If we can't source a product this way, we may just buy a product ourselves and spend thousands of dollars a year on this process.

                Do you make money off reader purchases?

                If you buy a product from a link on our site, we may earn a small commission. This is called affiliate marketing and it's a common practice in the publishing world. Unlike many other outlets, however, we often write about products that earn us zero commission whatsoever.

                Our first priority is informing today's generation of consumers about the best products to pursue their hobbies and interests — and not everyone comes from a commissionable brand or retailer. If you see it on Gear Patrol, it's because we think it's worth it. Period.

                Can companies pay to be featured in your buying guides and reviews?

                No. We maintain a hard line between editorial and sponsored content. All ads on Gear Patrol are clearly demarcated with sponsored language and badging.

                How often do you update older stories?

                All the time. Over the years, our model has shifted to put as much emphasis on the maintenance of evergreen stories as publishing new ones. When a new product comes out, we consider whether or not it deserves a coveted spot in one of our buying guides; if we haven't had a chance to vet it but still think the product is worth calling out, we may add it to an "Upcoming Releases" section in stories.

                Do you use AI to write your content?

                No. Much has been speculated about the role of Generative AI (GIA) in content creation and we know that it will likely transform the digital media landscape in the years to come. Our team is eager to innovate and push forward but there remain too many unanswered questions about GIA, so we maintain a strict editorial policy against its use in content creation.

                We believe the best product journalism is one driven by hands-on, real-world testing and human opinions. How an end user will interact and experience a product is ultimately what matters, and that can only be done by the work of a human. If you read something on Gear Patrol, it was written by a person. End of story.

                Ready to find your new favorite piece of gear? Browse our growing catalog of buying guides and reviews or stay up to date on new product releases with our series "Best New Gear," updated weekly.