Our process begins with wearing all of the jackets in the field, having the same kind of adventures that you will be having (badass ones!), all while evaluating each jacket, noticing what works and what doesn't. Often times we will wear two or more jackets on the same adventure to compare them, and we love to lend out our test products for others to try. Their feedback helps confirm ours. In all cases, we strive to produce a comparison review. This means that there is no standard against which we test all these jackets, the jackets themselves are the standard. All scores and opinions discovered through our testing are expressed to you in comparison to the other competing products in the review.
To compare all the products accurately, we conduct controlled tests. By the end of our test period we already had opinions on the warmth of each jacket, but to confirm our thoughts, and nail down minute differences, we stood outside in the sub-freezing cold, in the shade, in a light breeze, in each jacket with only a t-shirt on underneath for five minutes, then took the jacket off for two minutes to cool our body back down before trying on the next jacket. We took notes about how we felt in each jacket.
For weight, we took each product and weighed it as soon as it arrived, ignoring what the manufacturer's claimed on their websites. To test compressibility we stuffed each jacket into its own pocket or stuff sack and lined them up side-by-side. For water resistance we laid all the jackets in a light rain storm for 15 minutes, studying how they changed. We then shook them off, brought them inside together, and compared signs of water absorption into the fabric, including by touch and sight. The metrics for style and features were based upon our own opinions, as well those of others we consulted, ranking each jacket on their relative merits, in comparison to all the others.