January 1, 2001

My Review and Rating System

☆ Exceptional - Only the rare piece of gear will receive such a supperlative rating. I reserve five stars for items that are revolutionary in their niche. This is the sort of gear that I will bring up in conversation and go out of my way to promote.

☆ Strong Performance - This is a great piece of gear that performs its role admirably and has no serious flaws. I highly recommend this item and am fully satisfied with its performance. It's almost always with me in the field.

☆ Adequate - This piece of gear generally performs its function without critical failures, though it may have minor flaws or annoyances that keep me looking for a more ideal replacement. I am frequently ambivalent toward it.

☆ Serious Detractions - Though its failures are not critical, they are major. This item seriouslly disappointed me and though its inadeqacy is not catosrophic, it did not perform its function well. 

☆ Utter Failure - This piece of gear was a complete waste of time and money. It failed in its most fundemental functions.

A Guide to My Review Format

For the most part my full reviews are divided into six paragraphs: 

(1) Intro ~ How was it purchased and what use has it seen?
(2) Durability ~ How well does it stand up to rigorous use?
(3) Efficiency ~ How does it perform in terms of weight effeciency, ease of use, and maintenance?
(4) Comfort ~ How does it add to or detract from the overall comfort or quality of the trip?
(5) Value ~ Does it satisfy expectations with reference to initial and maintanence cost?
(6) Conclusion ~ What are my final thoughts and overall impressions of the item?