How We Test and Recommend Products on TripSavvy

Illustration of 3 different scenes coming out of travel gear (suitcase, tent, backpack)

TripSavvy / Alison Czinkota

We’re a team of experienced travel writers and editors who obsessively scour the retail landscape (both online and off) to find the best products. Besides being experts in our fields, we’re consumers too, and we personally have a passion for products that make your life—and especially your trips—easier and more enjoyable.

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How We Test, Evaluate, and Rate Hundreds of Products Every Month

Our Testing Process

We exhaustively research and recommend a broad range of products and ultimately make a curated list of recommendations from writers with subject-matter expertise in every product category we cover. We do receive an affiliate commission on some (but not all) of the products that we recommend if you decide to click through to the retailer site and make a purchase.

After we publish an article, we don’t just forget about it. Our team is relentless when it comes to updating and keeping our existing recommendations fresh, accurate, and helpful. We have our fingers on the pulse when it comes to the latest product releases, from camping equipment to luggage, and more. Our recommended products run the gamut from budget to splurge-worthy, and we’re not loyal to any one specific retailer or brand. We make it a point to source recommendations from reliable companies who deliver exemplary customer service, so you can have a seamless shopping experience.

As a travel site that is trusted by people around the world, we are committed to ensuring that our content reflects the diversity of our audience. This means showcasing brands owned by BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) and other minority groups whenever possible, using more images of mixed races, and hiring more diverse writers and staff members to cover topics important to our audience. Read through our full diversity pledge here.

Testing at Home

By at home, we mean out in the world, testing products the same way you would use them. Our testers spend months and miles evaluating everything from airplane pillows to luggage to backpacking gear to find out if these items are worth the price tags. We typically send our testers multiple products in the same category so that they can make comparisons, which gives you real insights into how different brands and models measure up against each other. Our testers also take dozens of photos to help you see what the product will actually look like in your home or in your hands. They make sure to capture all the important angles and details to give you the most information before you buy. We buy all of the products that we test and send them straight to the homes of our thorough testers.

Each reviewer fills out a comprehensive questionnaire, rating the products for various attributes like comfort, design, or battery life. We tailor the attributes to each category, never using a one-size-fits-all method. You can find our testers’ honest feedback—both positive and negative—under the “Tested by TripSavvy” badge to help you make the most informed buying decision. We give you an overall star rating, pros and cons for each product, and experiences and opinions directly from our reviewers.

Mountain Hardwear Phantom 0 Sleeping Bag

TripSavvy / Justin Park

Testing at The Lab

We test thousands of products a year in our 10,000-square-foot lab testing space in Industry City, Brooklyn. Why would we test travel products—items meant to be used on the road, in the sky, or out in the backcountry—in a lab? With any thorough test and experiment, the lab allows us to set controls and test for consistency—across brands, materials, price points, and more—and get creative about how we put products to the test.

In our luggage tests, for example, we've been able to pack a variety of suitcases and duffels with trip essentials (including a few breakables, for good measure), maneuver them across multiple surfaces (concrete, carpet, even cobblestone), and then throw them off an 8-foot ladder to see how they hold up. If a suitcase can't survive our thorough testing, it doesn't belong on your trip.

We put that level of consistency, creativity, and comprehensiveness into every product we test, whether it's luggage, tents, backpack coolers, or travel strollers.

pushing a suitcase off a ladder to test durability

TripSavvy / Conor Ralph

Why Trust TripSavvy

The product recommendations from TripSavvy are purely editorial. We never let retailers, public relations firms, or salespeople dictate our content and product coverage. Instead, we do the heavy lifting ourselves by tapping into our network of experts and testers to help you make smarter purchases and to avoid that dreaded buyer’s remorse.

Meet Our Team

Chris Abell
Chris Abell
Senior Commerce Editor

Chris joined TripSavvy in 2021 after working at Travel + Leisure and co-founding travel startup walkli. His writing has appeared in publications including Travel + Leisure, The Points Guy, Thrillist, and more.

He received his B.A. from the College of the Holy Cross with a degree in history and his M.A.L.S. from Dartmouth College with a focus on writing.

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Nathan Allen Tripsavvy
Nathan Allen
Outdoor Gear Editor

Nathan has been the Outdoor Gear Editor at TripSavvy since 2021. He has nearly a decade of editorial experience and his writing has appeared in publications including Outside, Mountain, Fortune, Quartz, and more.

Nathan holds an M.A. from the Missouri School of Journalism and spent two years as an AmeriCorps volunteer in rural northwest Colorado. He enjoys testing gear of all sorts and being outside as much as possible.

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danielle ransom
Danielle Ransom
Editorial Commerce Producer

Danielle joined Dotdash Meredith in November 2019.

Prior to joining Dotdash Meredith, she wrote for BET, covering music, film, television, and entertainment topics.

She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin.

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Contact Us

If you have questions, comments, or opinions you’d like to share with our team of editors, please feel free to email us at commercefeedback@dotdash.com.

Please note that all products, including those we review and recommend, may from time to time be subject to recalls or revised use recommendations. We, therefore, urge you to monitor any official announcements from the Consumer Product Safety Commission that may be related to products you purchase.