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What happened to "rolling" reviews
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S Long

Locale: Wasatch
What happened to "rolling" reviews on 01/15/2013 21:43:52 MST Print View

Whatever happened to the so called "rolling reviews" BPL has done? Are they still rolling? Gotta think there's been ample time to write a follow-up...

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: What happened to "rolling" reviews on 01/15/2013 22:06:05 MST Print View

Which one do want done first?

S Long

Locale: Wasatch
Re: Re: What happened to "rolling" reviews on 01/16/2013 10:23:21 MST Print View

Chronological order would be logical.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
Re: Re: Re: What happened to "rolling" reviews on 01/16/2013 10:59:55 MST Print View

I am not optimistic. Unfortunately, I don't see those reviews being concluded.

New gear has probably already replaced them anyways.

Forget logic, how about just following through BPL!?

Some people, particularly new and potential members, do still value the opinions and experience of the BPL staff and view the review content here as an educational resource, but I think some credibility is being lost in the way some have been handled this past year.

Too many small "smoldering fires" burning at once IMO. Now there is a new extensive BPL packraft project in the works?

Anyways....Ill stop whining like a babe.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Re: Re: What happened to "rolling" reviews on 01/16/2013 11:49:54 MST Print View

"Anyways....Ill stop whining like a babe."

I've never considered you a babe, Eugene. But then, I've never seen you in a swimsuit.....

Konrad .
(Konrad1013) - MLife
rolling reviews on 01/16/2013 13:47:58 MST Print View

Haha, too funny Doug :)

I agree with you Eugene...WTH, why doesn't anything get done around here??? I can't speak for everyone, but I would personally never back this packraft project of theirs on kickstarter given that they have they have the worst track record in terms of completing projects that they've already started. It's been 1 year since they started the HMG porter rolling's been 2years since I signed up as a MLIFE member and was promised an "ask the experts" gear forum. I kind of accepted the fact that this is just the way things are run around here...but then the packraft project kind of shocked me...kind of like a kick in the balls for everyone that's been waiting around on unkept promises.

Kyle Meyer

Locale: Portland, OR
Re: rolling reviews on 01/16/2013 14:05:22 MST Print View

Nothing quite like paying people money and then having them not deliver what they promised in exchange for that money.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Rolling reviews on 01/16/2013 14:21:01 MST Print View

I get the principle of being pissed you're not getting something you were promised, but on the flip side, does anyone really care about what BPL has to say about the Trailstar or the HMG? People have been using and writing about these products for years. As for the camera, I'm betting plenty of photo sites have reviewed it plenty.

As for "ask the experts", isn't that what this forum is? What exactly could be offered that's outside of the collective experience of all the people coming from various regions, styles, professions, and experiences posting here?

Kyle Meyer

Locale: Portland, OR
Re: Rolling reviews on 01/16/2013 14:58:27 MST Print View

I'd love to see the management of BPL focus on improving the site beyond just adding articles.

Edited by kylemeyer on 01/16/2013 16:20:04 MST.

Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
Re: Rolling reviews on 01/16/2013 14:58:42 MST Print View

Craig, the point is those other sources are all free. As members we pay for this information for one main reasons: BPL has a specific angle of lightweight backpacking that isn't considered elsewhere. If that isn't being satisfied, then wtf did/do we pay for this site other than as a repository of information. Considering how poor the search function, lack of forum stickies, and the speed of the site is, even that's not really worth the cost to keep running.

I agree, I was questioning whether to renew my membership when the members only secret exclusive web videos were offered to lifetime members and lots of promises were made regarding forums. So I bought a lifetime membership. Since then the video series has not been completed, none of the membership forums have really materialized, articles have become less frequent and the forum community is dying. Makes me feel like I wasted $100 on barely a year worth of material. If funding is rough these days its not so much that costs are going's because there is less and less reason for people to pay for a membership.

So when I get another email from Ryan asking for me to support some new project I get pretty annoyed. I feel like we're paying to support a hobby and getting little in return. I'd rather pay Richard Nisely directly to keep up his excellent work on insulation and waterproofing and many other members of the MYOG community that aren't paid by the site but contribute a wealth of scientific and technical information.

I pretty much ignore BPL these days, aside from using the gear deals forum to see what's on sale. Waste of potential.

Konrad .
(Konrad1013) - MLife
Re: Rolling reviews on 01/16/2013 15:00:29 MST Print View

Craig, you're right in that a lot of this frustration is just principle based...I don't think a separate ask the experts forum would have anything more to offer than what we already have here. But I do think the rolling reviews (even on well reviewed products like a trail star or porter) had a lot of potential if they were followed through on. I was hoping the rolling reviews would really put the gear through the ringer, giving us long term durability testing and comfort testing that other posters cannot do because of time or money constraints. I've read a lot of reports based on people who have taking out their packs/shelters for weekends, or maybe a couple weeks here and there, but what happens after 6 months of continuous usage? We've seen stretched seams on the HMG after medium use...will the sides blow out after continuos use? etc. You're right in that we can easily find initial impressions of gear just about anywhere...I was just hoping for more with the rolling reviews.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
Re: Rolling reviews on 01/16/2013 15:44:47 MST Print View

A few years back when I was going through the growing pains of navigating lightweight gear and techniques, the Members only gear reviews were a tremendous resource. It was the access to past and current reviews that prompted my first annual membership. BPL did a great job of "rolling" out quality gear reviews that informed decisions I made early on.


Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
What happened to "rolling" reviews? on 01/16/2013 17:50:09 MST Print View

The same question could be asked about a number of other features, even this week's articles! I'm still waiting for the inclement weather testing of shelters, too, that was promised a year ago.

Edited by hikinggranny on 01/16/2013 17:53:45 MST.

Ryan Smith
(ViolentGreen) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: What happened to "rolling" reviews? on 01/16/2013 18:16:49 MST Print View

I'm afraid the inclement weather review is a goner Mary. There were lots of folks who really wanted to see that review(me for sure) & who probably renewed solely based on that one article. Seems like once a year or so there is a "teaser" of awesome things to come in the future, then they never happen. If I was going to string a bunch of folks along in order to take their money with minimal effort that's probably how I would do it.


Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
re Rolling Reviews on 01/16/2013 18:17:54 MST Print View

Hi all

Thorough testing is in order at BPL. This takes time, especially when the testers have Real Life as well.
My understanding is that some of the ones mentioned are either due or very close.

NEX7 - testing done, and hopefully the review will be seen sometime in February.

TrailStar - mostly complete, still in field test for snow loading, but that should be completed within 2 weeks, weather gods permitting.

HMG Pack - mostly done bar a section on waterproofness for packrafting, hopefully expected late January.

Plans, plans, not absolute promises...


Brett Peugh
(bpeugh) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
eh on 01/16/2013 21:57:12 MST Print View

Nothing against Roger but I care nothing for those three items. Personally I would like to see more about technique and doing more with less. I think part of BPL needs to step back from the bleeding edge precipice and go hey "Why can't we have durable items that still last a respectable amount of time"

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: eh on 01/16/2013 22:24:51 MST Print View

> Why can't we have durable items that still last a respectable amount of time
Very good thought.
My old down sleeping bag is now about 35 years old.
My MYOG summer silnylon tent (the blue one) must be about 7 years old - very hard working years too.
My old Macpac Cascade pack was going strong afetr 20+ years when I sold it. Trouble was, it weighed about 6 or 7 pounds. I could not afford the weight any more.

So some UL gear does last, but some of our gear gets replaced becasue it is just so heavy.


Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Re: What happened to "rolling" reviews on 01/17/2013 06:15:38 MST Print View

The rolling reviews were something I wanted to do. Had I realized what little control I would really have prior to taking the gear editor position, I wouldn't have made any suggestions other than to keep the status quot. That turned out to be hard enough as-is. Hopefully whomever takes the open position has better luck with it than I did. Regardless of the circumstances behind it, this was a FAILure for the community, and I accept some blame for that. Anyone who wants to discuss it further can PM me.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: What happened to "rolling" reviews on 01/18/2013 06:15:50 MST Print View

Well lookiie here