Thank you Backpacker mag! I rely on many resources when picking gear. The 50lb packs could be all the gear they are testing. So would be heavier than if they only took "what is absolutely necessary" for a specific trip.
After a review, I then can check the various forums/websites to gather other opinions.
As for ads, if no ads then no t.v. coverage of: Olympics, Versus racing, adventure racing, etc. A mag is not free! Even this forum is sponsored through a business, hoping maybe you'd buy something sometime from their store?
I am not a subscriber of Backpacking mag, wife bought it for me as I am still converting from a life of bike tour/racing to hiking, and need some guidance in gear.
My local REI has also been a great help in selections, and the staff really care about picking what I need, not want. Most are serious hikers and draw on their experience, as I do from this forum.