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BackpackGearTest Owner Review Checklist:

__1) (Re-)Read the requirements for ORs in the Survival Guide

__2) Check to see that you've used standard unit abbreviations for measurements. You can find them at the bottom of the convert utility here:  although you may need to scroll down to see it.  The table is titled "Table of Unit Equivalencies". In order to make our reviews and reports more meaningful to International/non-US readers, US states should be spelled out. CO, MT, MI, NM? As with all abbreviations, you only have to do it the first time, so Arizona (AZ) becomes AZ for the rest of the report. The same can be true for Appalachian Trail (AT) and other common abbreviations.

__3) Include metric & imperial measurements/weights/distances. It doesn't matter which one you use as the primary one, but the other needs to follow each measurement/weight/distance. You can find a handy conversion utility at: Also, keep the precision realistic --- yes, I know 72 F is 22.22 C but 22 C is close enough since most of us don't use digital thermometers to check the temperature outside (or micrometers to measure things).

__4) Bios should be short and sweet. One or two sentences is generally enough. The reader just needs to have an idea of your experience and your style. We don't need details of your backpacking experience for the last 20 years.

__5) The title is Owner Review, not Owner Report, not Owner's Review. Include the date of the review either just below the title or somewhere in the list of product information. 

__6) Avoid the use of "you", "yours", "you'll", "you're" or any other derivative. It is very hard (although not impossible) to project your experiences/thoughts/concerns if you don't use these words. Projection is bad because you really can't know what someone else is going to think/feel/experience.

__7) Write the report in the first person (me, mine, I). BGT and its readers care about you & what you did & what you feel and think. This is counter to how most of us were taught to write (I still remember the teachers stressing 3rd person point of view) but that's what our readers want. You've used the gear; now they want to know about it from your point of view.

__8) The word it's, is the contraction of "it is" and is not the possessive form (which is "its"). When you re-read your review, replace every it's with "it is" in your head and see if it still makes sense. If not, change it to the correct form.

__9) Make sure you've used the item for its intended purpose. Don't just report on your use of a winter bag in summer or a backpack for day trips. Those experiences can add to a review but you should have experience using the product as it was designed & marketed. More than one experience too.

__10) Report on what you know. Be prepared to back up every claim you make (whether "it's waterproof" or "it leaks") from your experience. Saying "I was worried it might leak so I tested it by filling it with water and found water pouring out of all the seams" is much more appropriate than "I think it's going to leak if it ever gets wet."

__ 11) Proofread! You'll be amazed what a second read through will show you.
Make sure the Manufacturer's page is clickable. Please run a spell checker before posting your review. If not a spell checker, then a paper dictionary or even are resources that will be helpful. 

__ 12) Trademarks or brand names should be spelled as the manufacturer spells them so it's Therm-a-Rest and not Therm-a-rest. The same is true of Coolmax, Mylar, Polartec, etc. 

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