Aug 1, 2006 at 10:02 pm #1219164
Companion forum thread to:Aug 1, 2006 at 10:03 pm #1360267
I’m particularly interested in hearing from the readership whether the “overall rating” section offers any useful value to the reader, as we are considering adding this to all reviews as a standard section, and then providing the website visitor the ability to query all product reviews by this and other fields.Aug 2, 2006 at 12:10 am #1360270
@kdesignLocale: Mythical State of Jefferson
A similar system is used by the Digital Photographry Review website to good effect. Although all rating systems are fraught with their own particular quirks and limitations, this one seems resonable for a broad relativistic treatment of a product. It’s a hook for the reader to peruse the in-depth write-up of the goods.Aug 2, 2006 at 12:13 am #1360271
I must say I like the overall rating but I think that the overall readership of BPL is educated enough to make up it’s own opinion about the reviewed products. In case of BPL, over the years BPL and the reviewers really earned my trust, that’s what makes these overall ratings much more valuable for me. I’am much more reserved with review ratings from other magazines or so called backpacking sites.
I would say go for it!Aug 2, 2006 at 4:34 am #1360278
@garkjrLocale: Southwestern Ohio
I like this descriptive rating system better than a 1-5 scale. Usually, the 1-5 ends up being an attempt to give the impression that the rating is far more scientific and objective than it really is.
The descriptive scale, and the deliberately “soft” definitions each description is based on, are perfect for my needs. “3” tells me only that, for some reason, someone liked it better than the “2” item, but less than the “4” item. “Above average” is useful to me as a consumer: this isn’t junk, and I should look at it – but I should also look at some other similar items. “Highly recommended” tells me I really don’t need to look any further (if my needs are pretty similar to the reviewer’s.)
The numerical scale is OK for our reader reviews – they provide a mechanism to average out the input from a number of people – but for the single-reviewer article, I really like the descriptive overall rating.Aug 2, 2006 at 8:14 am #1360283
a numeric rating is usually ok, BUT only if there’s lots of reviews (>10?). an average based on a few reviews is too easily skewed. for example, rottentomatoes.com waits for a few reviews before releasing their results.Aug 2, 2006 at 7:31 pm #1360326
I have a Sierra Designs Divine Lightning (DL) Bivy Tent, a relic from the 1990’s.
Upper looks fairly similar to Bibler’s Toddtex, though the material is not specified on the label. Floor is heavy PU-coated nylon.
Unlike the Unishelter, the DL is tall enough to sit up in; a major advantage IMHO.
The DL without poles or pegs weighs just 32 oz!
Although the DL was designed to use Easton poles at the head and foot of the tent, it could be modified to use trekking poles at the head together with the short Easton pole at the foot. So for roughly 32 oz plus trekking poles you get a fully functional one man goretex tent.
Why is it that, nearly ten years after the DL was produced, a less functional Unishelter design weighs almost as much as the DL?Aug 2, 2006 at 7:41 pm #1360327
Chris, you’re right. The DL tent was a great design. I have one and used it to the point of no return. The floor needs replaced badly.
Its limitations relative to the Unishelter include poor breathability and a longer footprint. The latter isn’t a big deal but I’ve spent some pretty uncomfortable wet nights in the DL, especially in the winter, where in similar conditions, the eVENT Unishelter performed well.Aug 5, 2006 at 1:36 pm #1360527
@sabmeLocale: SW UK
More importantly to me than the rating system would be a simple summary and conclusion when I don’t have time to read pages of technical literature. I find some of the reviews on BPL excessively scientific and long winded. Not to say I don’t appreciate your efforts.
Why so much excitement about these products? I’ve been sleeping in much lighter bivy bags with no tarps and getting rained on directly for years. My old Rab waterproof breathable Pertex bag is lighter and my current MontBell Breeze Dry-Tec is much lighter.
I always use a synthetic sleeping bag and sometimes have to improvise a vapour barrier liner from some plastic bags to avoid excessive condensation in prolonged bad weather. But mostly camping under trees is enough.
CheersApr 13, 2007 at 6:49 am #1385856
@luffarjohanLocale: Wrong place at the right rime
I recently bought the Overbag and it has now the same stretch drawstring system in both hood and body found in the micro bivy.Aug 6, 2007 at 11:52 pm #1397640
"More importantly to me than the rating system would be a simple summary and conclusion when I don't have time to read pages of technical literature."
I like both. A rating and a summary. The digital camera site mentioned earlier is great and they provide a conclusion like summary and a rating like "highly recommended" or "recommended". In the summary they also give you the reason(s) that said camera (insert any product)was given recommended and not highly recommended.
Overall, I think this is a great idea!Aug 13, 2007 at 9:04 pm #1398507
nmAug 17, 2007 at 8:38 pm #1399082
@docdbLocale: SE USA
The unishelter is my favorite!
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