The New Gods of Gear

Move over, Popular Science!

As a kid, the constant presence of magazines like Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, and Wired on my family’s coffee table played a big part in developing my geek interests. Anytime a new issue of these magazines arrived at our doorstep, I would retreat to a comfortable reading area and then navigate directly to my favorite monthly section, the gadgets/gear pages. Popular Science always had the best gear section, in my opinion. They called it, “The Goods”; glossy spreads of beautiful photos and descriptions of everything from new power tools to cell phones to cameras to high tech sporting equipment. These hallowed sections indisputably made my favorite magazines the “gods of gear”.

For our clients, particularly those with tech/lifestyle products to offer to consumers, a placement in any of these long-leads is the holy grail. We work tirelessly to place our latest and greatest in the hands of the editors who hold sway over the contents of each month’s issue. As the online presence of these outlets (particularly Wired) have grown in influence and traffic numbers, web placements also hold tremendous value and celebration. But what you may not know is that there are new kids on the gear block, and they’re vying to supplant the glossies as the ultimate gear gallery destination.

Allow me to introduce you to the new Gods of Gear. While you’re reading this article (presumably online), mosey over to www.GearPatrol.com and www.Uncrate.com, and then come back and finish reading this post before you waste the next 30 minutes browsing through these glorious web destinations. It’s unclear to me which website had the idea first, but the origin is irrelevant. The editors of Gear Patrol (with 650K+ readers) and Uncrate (1.3 million+ monthly readers) both seem to have struck on the same idea– create a website that is ONLY a gear gallery, like the glossy pages guys like me spent hours poring over in our youth. These sites track a wide range of products for a male audience, from clothing, to booze, to tech accessories. They will occasionally write up their “review” experiences with said products in a top-line descriptive piece. No review scores or benchmarking to be found.

Gear Patrol is, in my opinion, the best of this new outlet category (there are dozens of other, lesser trafficked, gear sites besides the two I’ve listed.) The Gear Patrol 100 Awards, an annual assortment of “The Best Gear on Earth”, is downright beautiful. The editors at Gear Patrol also send editorial teams on crazy travel adventures around the globe, and produce compelling videos and articles from those excursions.

I could go on and on about these sites, but I’ll stop waxing poetic and say this. If your client has gear for guys, these outlets should be at the top of your pitch list.

Jordan Drake is a senior media specialist at Ketchum. Jordan has a background in tech journalism and radio/new-media broadcasting. His work has taken him as far as Beijing, China, and enabled him to work with broadcast legends like Rush Limbaugh and web celebrities like Leo Laporte and Gary Vaynerchuk. Over the past five years, he has leveraged social media and web community to build conversation and buzz around his content and brand.