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Welcome to  This page is a map of all relevant documentation.  This page links to all the information you will need to become a tester, or to submit gear for testing if you are a manufacturer.

Do not let the volume of documentation discourage you.  The documents are designed to be easy to read, and to take you step by step through the process at your own speed.  You will only have to read a small part of the documentation for each step.  Stick with it, and you'll become a tester in very short order.


If you would like a quick overview of the Experience, please read the Survival Guide.  The Survival Guide contains three sections.

  1. Getting Started
  2. Applying For Tests
  3. Writing Your Initial Report

If you would like a step-by-step guide to becoming a Gear Tester, please read How to Become a Gear Tester in Three Easy Steps.  (Please note that this document is somewhat out of date and is being updated.)

A custom Report Writer is available for you to use when writing reports. Using the Report Writer is not required, but it helps many of us and it is FREE!

All of the Rules and Regulations are embodied in the Bylaws.  The Bylaws are made up of several chapters:

  1. Introduction: What is BackpackGearTest? 
  2. Chapter 1: Requirements for participation
  3. Chapter 2: Mailing Lists
  4. Chapter 3: Owner Review requirements
  5. Chapter 4: Tester applications
  6. Chapter 5: Test report requirements
  7. Chapter 6: Minimum Report and Review Requirements
  8. Chapter 7: Sending files to the list
  9. Chapter 8: Editing Reports
  10. Chapter 9: Uploading files to the site
  11. Chapter 10: Test Monitor Requirements
  12. Chapter 11: Including Pictures in your Reviews 
  13. Chapter 12: Beta Testing 
  14. Chapter 13: Miscellaneous Rules and Regulations 
  15. Appendices

The Appendices to the Bylaws provide additional information on a variety of topics.

  1. Appendix 1 - How Works
  2. Appendix 2 - Editing
  3. Appendix 3 - About Rules and How to Change Them
  4. Appendix 4 - Test Calls, Test Applications, Newbie Rule
  5. Appendix 5 - The Apprentice Program
  6. Appendix 6 - All About Report Writing
  7. Appendix 7 - A Lesson in Pictures (Under Construction)
  8. Appendix 8 - Copyright, Fair Use, and Links Policies

A handy conversion utility is provided for those times when you will have to convert between English and Metric units: 

A list of the current Staff is available for your amusement.

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.

All material on this site is the exclusive property of
BackpackGearTest software copyright David Anderson