Hey guys, Austin here. I am the Founder of Gear43. What started as a crazy idea that I just couldn’t shake late at night, has now turned into my full-time gig! I first came up with the idea behind Gear43 in December 2017. I picked up my laptop to write my first article, and haven’t put it down since.

I have always believed that the right gear makes any activity more enjoyable. In fact, after some not-so-great hiking trips from my childhood, the idea of hiking around in the mountains sounded miserable to me. But as an adult, I found that it was just that I didn’t have the right gear. Finding the right socks and shoes has made ALL the difference for me (hey, I have picky feet, what can I say?!). So with my favorite hiking socks, boots and backpack in tow, hiking has become one of my favorite hobbies!

My Background (aka Why You Should Trust Me)

Alright, alright, there’s lots of guys on the Internet who have an opinion. We’ve all been on their blogs. But I try to run my website by focusing on the products that I really do use and the categories that I know a lot about.

The Type of Content you can expect to see

In addition to the random spin top review, you’ll mostly find that my product reviews and recommendations fall in the following categories:

Gear & Everyday Carry

As I’ve mentioned, hiking turned from a nightmare into one of my favorite pastimes all because I found the right gear. My friends are sick and tired of me gushing about my latest key organizer or slim wallet, but it’s because I really do get excited about these things.

When I review gear or an everyday carry product (such as wallets, key organizers and more), I like to actually test the product (the longer the better). I find the flaws in the design, the cool features and the best use cases to show who the product would work best for.


As mentioned, the outdoors used to not be my favorite place. But living in a rural part of Idaho, there’s only so much you can do that doesn’t involve the outdoors. So I made it my goal to find gear that helps me enjoy the outdoors — no matter whether it’s 100+ degree weather or sub-zero temps in a blizzard. I live in the perfect testing environment for outdoor gear because we truly get four seasons.


Hey, when you run around the Pacific Northwest testing all the gear, you might need a cup of joe to keep you going (or two… or three…).

Coffee has always been a passion of mine. I attribute my initial love to my grandma who used to roast her own coffee beans in a popcorn maker. Since then, I have had the chance to test some amazing coffee-related products, even attended a barista course in Seattle (the coffee capital of the world, some might say) and visit coffee shops every chance I get.

My Process & Rules

As mentioned, we’ve all come across some random dude on the Internet who writes reviews and has never even touched the products he writes about. I don’t want to be that guy. So I’ve come up with a solid review process for every product I get, as well as some Rules that I follow.

Review & Editorial Process for Gear43

Step 1: Research

Before I ever touch a product, I research the product, the brand, the manufacturer and more. What do people like about it? What do they not like about it? Is the manufacturer reputable? These are just some of the questions I ask when doing my research for you guys.

Step 2: Test

As often as physically possible, I try to have the actual product in-hand to test it rigorously. When I get a new pair of shoes to test, I actually wear them out and about. When I get a new key organizer, I actually switch my keys over to be able to use it and test it.

Step 3: Compare

More than once, I’ve had a product that I thoroughly enjoyed, but when I tested the competitor’s product, I realized I liked it much better than the first. I just didn’t know what I was missing when I only had the first one. So whenever possible, I like to compare the products to their competitors and other options out in the market.

Step 4: Honest, Thorough Review

As you’ll see in my Rules, I don’t write negative reviews. If a product is garbage, I simply don’t write about it. But when I review a product I share the good and the bad with you. No product is perfect, so I want to show you what the downsides are, so you can decide if it’s something that will work for you or not.

My Rules for Gear43

Rule #1: Focus on products I enjoy.

There’s enough negativity in the world. In my little corner of the Internet, I strive to really only feature products that I actually use and enjoy. Brands send me products all the time and not all of them meet my standards. Instead of writing a negative review, I simply don’t write a review at all because I only want to share products I actually use with my audience. Many times the products I don’t like, are perfect for someone else, just not for me.

Rule #2: Use my Expertise to advise.

Of course it’s not possible to use every.single.product. so for products that I have not tested in person, I rely heavily on my expertise in the areas I outlined above to research, review and compare the product specs, manufacturer reputation and more.

Rule #3: Every product is right for someone.

The most expensive product is not always the best option. Because if you have a low budget for an item, chances are, there is a great product out there to meet your needs. In my reviews, I try to explain who the product is right for. If you have $100 to spend on a wallet, I won’t send you down to Walmart to buy a $5 wallet. Instead, I’d recommend this one. But if you only have $5 for a wallet, that’s fine! But let’s find the best option for you within your budget. That’s what I strive to do.

That’s a Wrap

Alright, folks, that’s a wrap. I hope you learned a little bit about me and my process that I use for Gear43. And if you’re a brand, looking to work with us, you can reach out here.

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