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Now that you're a member, it's time to become a tester.  Here's where the fun begins.  You need to write two owner reviews of gear that you already own.  You are actually encouraged to continue to do owner reviews even after you become a gear tester.  That way BackpackGearTest will continue to grow as a resource for all backpackers.  New testers are required to submit two owner reviews before they can apply to test gear.  These reviews demonstrate your report writing ability, which is one of the most important qualifications for gear testing applicants.  

This does not, however, mean that your report needs to be overly fancy or complicated.  Simple, straight-forward reports that are complete are highly regarded.  So, writing an owner review gives you some practice, and lets us see what you can do.  Don't think of it as a school project that you will be graded on - it's more like a non-credit college course called 'Backpack Gear Appreciation 101'.  There are people here to help you along, and your sixth grade English teacher that berated you for your archaic grammar isn't one of them.  

There is a simple set of tester ethics that you should understand before writing your first review.


  1. Your review must be an original work.  Stealing a report from someone or somewhere else is wrong.

  2. Your review must be your own direct experience.  The exception to this is when you write on behalf of your young children when testing children's gear, and pets or pack animals when testing animal gear. 

  3. Your review must be about gear that directly relates to backpacking.  When in doubt as to whether or not your review is germane to the subject, contact a moderator directly for approval before you write your report.

  4. Your review must never contain any false information or falsified data.  People who read your review and buy gear based on your recommendation (or DON'T buy gear based on your experience with it) may one day trust their life to that gear.  Be responsible.

Now that you're ready to write your first owner review, follow the steps below:


  1. Writing a brief biography.

  2. Writing the review.
    A. Initial considerations.
    B. Examples.
  3. Submitting the review.
  4. Uploading the review.

 You now have two options:

Return to the Introduction page or Continue to the next lesson - Writing a Brief Biography.

Product tested and reviewed in each Formal Test Report has been provided free of charge by the manufacturer to Upon completion of the Test Series the writer is permitted to keep the product. Owner Reviews are based on product owned by the reviewer personally unless otherwise noted.

If you are an avid backpacker, we are always looking for enthusiastic, quality reviewers. Apply here to be a gear tester.

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BackpackGearTest software copyright David Anderson