About Our Gear Reviews
Are All Products Mentioned on CleverJourney Tested in Real Life?
Some reviews on our site are based on real-life testing, and some aren’t. Obviously, by purchasing an item and testing it ourselves in real-life conditions, we’re able to make a much more detailed review. But at the same time, our budget doesn’t allow us to purchase every single travel product. That’s why we try to purchase and test the most popular models instead and write reviews based on other customer’s experiences for all the “not so popular” ones. You’ll be able to tell if we’ve tested the specific item ourselves just by reading the review and looking at the product pictures (usually, we’re able to make much more pictures by purchasing the item ourselves!) As we grow, and so does our budget, we’ll be able to invest in more travel gear ourselves.
How Do You Review Products That You Don’t Own?
At first glance, you might think that reviews that aren’t based on real-life testing aren’t as good. But that’s actually not the case. If we don’t own the product ourselves, sometimes, the review ends up being even better. That’s because when you own a product yourself, oftentimes, it may come with a rare defect that’s unique only to that specific product. Or it can go the other way around – your product may seem perfect, but nine out of ten people receive a faulty product.
Before we write a review for a specific product, we do a lot of research and look at what other people have said about it online. If we take suitcases, for instance, we look at the reviews on Amazon, the manufacturer’s website, eBags, Macy’s, and other online retailers. A lot of times you’re able to find recurring problems this way, such as faulty zippers or wheels, which you wouldn’t find just by testing the product yourself. Our reviews are basically summaries about specific products that summarize everything that you can find about it online – all so you don’t have to do the research yourself.
Do You Accept Sponsored Content On CleverJourney?
So far, we haven’t accepted any sponsored reviews, but if we do at some point, you will be able to tell that the review is sponsored (it will be marked as “sponsored”) and our verdict will not be affected in any way.
We sometimes accept free products from manufacturers, but again, our reviews aren’t influenced by the fact that we’ve received the product for free. Our opinions mentioned in the reviews are 100% genuine and reflect our true thoughts. A lot of manufacturers are looking for exposure for their new products, which is why they’re sending out free samples to people who review them. If the manufacturer seems like a good fit for our site, we might accept the free product, and test it out in real life ourselves.
What Kind of Products Do You Review on CleverJourney?
On CleverJourney, we review all kinds of products that are relevant to traveling. These might include suitcases, duffel bags, backpacks, briefcases, luggage covers, GPS trackers, packing cubes, luggage scales, travel electronics & gadgets, passport holders, travel wallets, e.t.c.
Our Reviews Ratings Explained
How Do We Come up With Our Ratings?
For each product group (for example, suitcases, packing cubes, or backpacks) we come up with 4-10 most important factors for that specific product, such as “durability”, “warranty”, “design”, “features”, “weight”, e.t.c. Each product group has a slightly different set of factors. For instance, you wouldn’t really care about the design of your luggage scale, but you would for your suitcase.
When we determine the most important factors, we assign a specific set of points for each factor. The most important ones are valued higher compared to the least important ones. For instance, we might assign 25 max points for durability and only 10 for design. The maximum amount of points that each product can have in total is 100 points.
Then we review the product – either in real life by testing it ourselves or by doing comprehensive research online on other customers’ experiences. We value each feature individually, and we come up with the total score by adding up points from each category. The total score usually ranges between 40-100 points.
A Bad quality product – skip this one. Rarely do products fit within this category, but if they do, you should avoid spending any money on them. Usually, they’ll fail within the first use.
A poorly made product but is useable. Usually, a lot of Chinese Amazon products fall within this category. They’re useable occasionally, but don’t be surprised if they break within the first few uses.
Average quality, that’s fine for occasional travelers. Products within this range are fine to use for average people, who go on trips one or two times per year. They aren’t exactly durable, but they’ll be good enough for most people.
A well-made product, that’s good for occasional travelers and light frequent traveling. Products over 70 points are durable enough to be used even by frequent travelers. They’ll usually break within a few years, but that’s fine because most of them are pretty affordable. Most products fall within this category.
A very well-made product, suitable for airline crews and frequent traveling. Usually, more expensive products fall within this category, but sometimes something from the mid-range manages to sneak in. These products are very well made and they’ll last multiple years of frequent use.
An excellent product, suitable for airline crews and frequent traveling. Only a few products get over 90 points, and if they do, you can be sure that it’s probably one of the best choices that you’ll be able to find.