Gear Philosophy


Hilltromper's Gear Testing and Review Policy.

Here at Hilltromper we love getting out. And while epic adventures like climbing mountains or running wild rivers while trekking through foreign lands offer a thrilling escape, we spend most of our outdoor time closer to home—trail running, hiking, biking, backpacking, surfing, kayaking, bouldering, climbing, birding, etc.

And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Total respect to the chargers living their lives outdoors and using all the gear it takes to do so. But for us, ski shells double for splash gear when sailing or rafting and rainwear come winter and come rain (really rain, come).

We want gear that keeps up with us from season to season and sport to sport, but we don’t need to be outfitted to scale the Eiger.
We care about value and the longevity associated with it.
We believe in having less but investing more, buying higher quality stuff that’s still draping your shoulders when you’re telling Tromping tales to your grandkids (if you aren’t already).

To find obsession-worthy gear, we scour the web, rummage through the closets of our savviest gearhead friends and search the local stores for the best battle-ready, eco-friendly, and socially responsible brands around. When we get our hands on promising pieces, we run them through their paces in the places we love.

The gear we feature in our Gear Channel falls into one of three categories:

Field Tested. This is stuff one of our staffers or contributors took out into the real world and, basically, tried to break. These reviews will let you know what works and what doesn’t. If we got this gear for free from manufacturers or retailers (which is awesome!), we’ll let you know that.

Hilltromper Approved. This is stuff we reviewed using journalistic methods: scouring reviews in online gearhead forums, interviewing friends and strangers, etc. Because there’s lots of excellent stuff hitting the market all the time, and we can’t get our hands on all of it.

This Looks Cool. Sometimes a piece of gear pops up that looks so cool we just want to tell you about it even though we don't have time to go all deep-dive on it. That way you can do your own research, or just buy it immediately if that’s how you roll.