This Spring, we audited the buying experience for more than 1,000 outdoor and sporting goods product lines from more than 600 gear brands. Each experience was measured against 30 distinct criteria, giving us a pretty remarkable picture of the buying process through the eyes of gear shoppers.

In parallel, we conducted dozens of interviews with equipment buyers: grizzled telemark skiers, new rock climbers, varsity athletes, 3rd generation fly fisherman. These conversations shaped ten gear buying archetypes — distinguished less by the activities they pursue, and more by their varying levels of expertise.

We’ve done two things with the research:

  1. We’ve authored a paper, Lapped: why some sports and outdoor brands are killing it with customers — and other’s aren’t. You can give it a read over on Medium, or grab the PDF from our website.
  2. We’ve put together a tool that allows anyone to compare the experiences delivered by gear brands across the full range of customer archetypes. Want to see how Garmin stacks up to Suunto and Polar in running electronics? Maybe you’re curious how easy Metolius, Edelrid, and Petzel make it to buy their climbing harnesses. The point is this: we can measure what specific customer archetypes want in a gear buying process — and how well brands meet those needs.

Play with the tool. Read the paper. Throw rocks at it. Ask us hard questions. Want to know more about it? Drop a line to