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Gear Reviews and Product Testing

I’m an enormous enthusiast of self-powered outdoor activities, especially off-pavement cycling, hiking/backpacking, trail/mountain running, mountaineering, and climbing. One of my main goals is sharing this enthusiasm and helping people with their own adventures by suggesting gear that works well. In many of my outdoor pursuits, I feel that I’m pushing the envelop on what’s possible and what the gear I’m using is designed to do. Sometimes that even helping make that gear by offering my own opinions while in development.

I work professionally as a backpacking guide in the United States in partnership with Andew Skurka Adventures LLC, I’m an ambassador for many outdoor companies, and I already provide private product testing for a variety of companies.

I’m also terribly harsh on my gear.

Please contact me if you have an intriguing piece of gear you would like me to demo, or perhaps reviews/spotlight/share my own site. I do have product affiliate links on this site, which I’ll utilize if I find that the gear is satisfactory. These affiliate links shouldn’t be seen as me having any affiliate with the company who’s gear I’ve used and generally these links don’t pay, like: anything. They’re really there for your convenience to make purchasing the gear I’m writing about easier for you.

I do not, and have not ever accepted payment for any reviews/mentions of products that I post on my own site or any other medium that I control (Youtube, etc). I’m not a for-pay influencer (and no one is asking me to be one). In-kind product samples are accepted for demonstration purposes, but without any guarantee or promise of deliverables.

Generally on my own website, if gear doesn’t work well, I don’t want to write about it. This makes most “reviews” on my own site fairly positive, as I first and foremost want people to use good gear, and generally don’t want to criticize gear that needs more development to be better. I also have a limited amount of my own free time I’m willing to write for gratis, and I’m not going to use it tearing down a product. But, if it’s your gear you’ve given me for a private professional critique, or content for your own website you want my honest point of you, better be ready for my unfiltered opinion.

My athlete ambassadorships are public (listed at the bottom of every article on this site), and I do spotlight gear from companies I am an ambassador for. I find that articles written on this gear to be useful, since I again, wouldn’t write about gear unless I found it myself useful to begin with. In many instances, my life is on the line out there and I don’t want shitty gear killing me. I also won’t use other brand’s gear as a heel while spotlighting ambassador gear. That’s just terrible business practices.

I have been writing online in one form or another since the late 90’s, and hold a creative BFA degree from the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design. Read some of my latest product reviews and recommendations.

Product testing services can run the gamut from just me receiving gear to use in my adventures and letting you know how much I like it (or don’t), to providing private, comprehensive feedback through the product’s development life cycle.

As well as my artistic higher education, I have also have worked as a software designer and in quality assurance positions for myself as well as local startups for the past 20+ years.

Bivy on Crestone Needle! This was a special thing to do, but also had its purpose: I wanted to be as close as I could to Crestone Peak, as the ascent and descent involved steep snow climbing, and I needed the snow to be as set as possible. Not the greatest opportunities to sleep on the traverse itself- and doing part of the traverse in the dark seemed... iffy, so the summit of the Needle it was! System included a ground cloth made from a two person @adventuremedicalkits SOL emergency blanket, an @ultimatedirectionusa FK Bivy, a @sierradesigns Cloud 35 sleeping bag, a @thermarest Xtherm pad cut down to ~4', and a @seatosummitgear 15D tarp I set up low to burrow underneath. Best sleep of the trip (no mosquitoes!). Having to do the Needle's headwall downclimb first thing in the morning before coffee was a big ask, though: time to wake up, Ranger! One of those nights and mornings I'll never forget: climbed the Needle at night without a headlamp, then watched the full moon rise as I made my bivy. In the morning, everything around me was drenched in an alpine glow. The traverse went well, and thankfully I brought my @camp_usa Corsa axe to help negotiate the lingering steep snowfields (no crampons, though). Out the other side via the loose NW Couloir and onto Bear's Playground, to collect water, and collect myself.
Putting Ultralight gear to the test, bivying for the night at over 14,000 feet on Crestone Needle. Reliable, well-designed gear makes these sorts of trips possible.
Sometimes trips don’t go as planned. Gear is tested to their limits. Will the gear pass the test, or will someone find themselves in a life-threatening situation?
When you’re three days to the nearest extraction point by plane, is the gear you produce going to work, or leave someone stranded?
La Sportiva Spire GTX
Getting “The Shot” means getting out there to find it.