Way back in November I mentioned that Outdoorzy.com was conducting their first annual Gearzy Awards, after the outdoor social networking site put up an online poll giving us all the opportunity to weigh in with our thoughts on the best gear companies around in a variety of categories. A few days back, the results, and winners, were announced.
You can check out all the winners by clicking here, and see who the Outdoorzy Community picked as the best gear manufacturers in such categories as tents, backpacks, sleeping bags, and much more. They’ve also announced there overall winner for Gear Maker of the Year, with that honor going to Patagonia.
Hmm… looking at the list, I have to say that my choices don’t match up very well with the rest of the community. Sure, I aligned with them well on a few things, like the best shoes coming from Merrell, and I can understand Patagonia taking home the big prize. But I was pretty far off on plenty of others. Not sure what that says about my gear tastes, but I was a bit surprised by some of the companies that won. Don’t get me wrong, the all make (mostly) good gear, I was just a little surprised at some of the choices.
Congrats to the winners! Keep up the great work on the great gear!
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6 thoughts on “Outdoorzy Gearzy Award Results”
Another stupid award from the clueless. The voting page clearly showed that they know nothing about outdoor gear. It was strictly limited to three pre-selected options in each category and those certainly weren’t even close to the best brands.
All of these gear awards and editor’s choices are purely for selling advertising and have nothing to do with performance or quality.
Yeah, I’m not sure how they came up with the companies they chose. Wade, one of their site founders and blog writers, is a regular reader here, so he may have some insight.
I’ve made references at times in the past about my love backpacks (I own five of them!) and packs from High Sierra seldom even get tried on. *Shrug* I know it’s personal preference and all, I’m just kind of surprised at the results.
Hey guys thanks for your comments. I'd be happy to explain.
The Awards weren't based on advertising at all Clyde, although Patagonia did win a free ad on our site for winning Gearmaker of the Year. I understand your suspicions though since alot of companies do base things on $. We didn't make a dime off this contest, we actually spent money.
It did have something to do with quality, but we also asked voters to consider VALUE. I think this is why you see some surprises in there. It's not about the priciest gear with triple-stiching and ultra-bombproofness. Its about the best deal for the average outdoor lover.
From a broader scope, many outdoor enthusiasts can't neccisarily afford to spend $800 to get a Gregory pack & a Mountain Hardwear parka. This is why brands like Energizer and Coghlans made the nominee list in some categories. They offer a good product at a fraction of the cost of other brands. We try to think about all outdoor enthusiasts, and their needs, not just those who can afford the most expensive.
Here's how it worked.
– The Gear Bloggers helped narrow the field. There are 6 of us from different backgrounds in different geographic regions.
– We started with what we had tested in 2008. These were samples we received and field tested. And the nominees came from those companies.
– A few major manufacturers may have been missing from the nominees. We invited most of the major brands, but some didn't submit any gear during the year for field testing.
– Once they were nominated it was completely out of our hands and in the voters hands.
– An automated program tallied the votes as they came in so they'd be democratic.
Just like in any election, if someone doesn't vote, they can't be too disappointed with results. 🙂 I voted of course, and many of my choices didn't win either, it was an interesting result. It showed me that because "I'm loyal" to a brand, that doesn't mean its a consensus.
This was our first year out, and next year we hope to broaden it even more and get more voters to voice their opinions. Any advice you might have would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks for the explanation, it is much appreciated and it makes sense. The average consumer isn’t dropping tons of money on gear, especially right now.
While I was surprised at some of the results, in this context it makes more sense.
Glad it helped. Sorry for the long-winded comment. I just wanted to make sure people understood how it all went down. 🙂
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