About The Garage and The Drive’s Product Reviews Department

Here's how we test the best gear, tools and more, always with you in mind.

Commenters on The Drive and other sites often view product reviews with suspicion. Rest easy. Editorial independence is The Drive’s promise to you. With every hands-on gear review and product test we publish, The Drive pledges to provide transparency into our product selection process, to be methodical in our testing procedures, and to be authentic in our opinions. You will never have to wonder if an article is an advertisement or sponsored content because such articles will always be visibly marked.

The editors who select, test, and review products and write how-to guides are veterans of the trade and offer full transparency to our process: how we select our products, how we test, and what level of communication we have with our publisher’s business interests. 

Editorial Independence

The Drive’s gear editors maintain strict editorial independence from the commercial concerns of our parent company. That means we select the products and we do the testing. And, free of external pressure or influence, deliver our opinions. We do this because we know your trust is vital to our success.

And no matter the source of the products, or any direct or programmatic advertisements that may appear on the site, our editors will always give you a complete and honest assessment of any product they test.

Product Sources

We obtain products for testing either by purchasing them or from companies free of charge for testing purposes only. We will always make the product source clear in the article.

Those that come from the manufacturers, given that they’re not single-use items such as automotive oil, personal clothing, protective gear, or items that may degrade over the course of a test, are offered to be returned to the manufacturer when the test is over. We may also donate the products we keep. Those we’ve purchased remain in our possession as, well, we bought them.

Hands-On Review Process

Our gear reviews take as long as they take to get right, whether that’s a couple of days, weeks, or months spent using the products. In that time, we research customer reviews, specs, and competitors, in our hands, and getting expert consultation through engineers and others within the field.

When we do hands-on testing, our editors will get to the heart of each product; run them through the mud, muck, and gravel; beat ’em up; throw them off their roofs; and generally treat them with the same concern as the folks who run The World’s Toughest Race have for their own health. Suffice to say, we put the products we review through the wringer, so when you purchase one you won’t end up with something that falls apart from looking at it sideways. 

Once our testing and research are complete, we deliver our recommendations based on the data and hands-on testing. These recommendations and reviews are the same as what we’d tell our friends and family members to purchase. We also offer a link to that exact product, so there’s no gray area of which product we tested. 

Curated Product Guides

We can’t put our own hands on every item available. In these instances, we put our collective experience in journalism, research, and prior product testing to use to make our product picks. Items that are used by our own staff may get earnest endorsements as well, but we’ll never accept fees or bonuses to sell you stuff we’re not actually excited about. Affiliate revenue is always disclosed.

The Drive aggregates reviews and research from all over the internet to figure out which products are worth buying. We also put out shopping guides to help you understand how to assess the value of these things on your own. As our editorial cousins at Car Bibles say, “Knowledge is horsepower!”

How We Curate Products

Featured products are vetted in various ways:

  • Real-World Testing: Some products are tested in-house or used in the field by our own staff.
  • Expert Recommendations: The Drive consults subject matter experts on specific issues when possible and prudent.
  • User Reviews: Customer feedback helps us understand how something might last in the hands of its end-user.
  • Expert-Guided Research: Delving into forums, manufacturing standards, and QA histories, we see what companies want, and don’t want, the public to see.
  • Sales Figures: The popularity of an item can be an indicator of whether or not something is worth further investigation or scrutiny.

And any time we receive products directly from a manufacturer for evaluation, you’ll see a full disclosure in the review.

Affiliate Disclosure

The Drive abides by word-of-mouth marketing standards. We believe in honesty of relationship, opinion, and identity. The opinions expressed in product reviews and in curated product guides are our editors’ own. We also strive to find the best deals so you can get the products we rate highly without breaking the bank.

The Drive is owned and operated by Brookline Media, a division of Recurrent Ventures, and may contain advertisements, sponsored content, paid insertions, affiliate links, or other forms of monetization. The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our affiliate links.

Designated advertising content, topics, or posts may be influenced by compensation received. That content, advertising space, or sponsored posts will always be clearly identified as paid or sponsored content.

The Drive is also a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Pages on this site may include affiliate links to Amazon and its affiliate sites on which the owner of this website will make a referral commission.