Like any good man (or piece of gear for that matter), Gear Patrol is constantly looking to better itself. What you see now is the culmination of user feedback, some blood & sweat, highly-caffeinated nights, torrential cursing, and beers by the legion. It’s the all new Gear Patrol, and we’re excited to introduce it to you today, just over three years and 2,500 posts after our first on April 1, 2007.
We know new designs aren’t for everyone. Keeping that in mind, we’ve striven to keep much of what you’ve come to know and love about Gear Patrol, just infusing it with a bevy of new features like more visual stimulation, customization options, price tracking, and some great new initiatives. We might not be the biggest site on the block, but we live and breathe gear, literally (ask, talk, or just try and stump us on Twitter). Our goal remains the same: to deliver you a resource that not only discovers the best new gear out there but helps you make empowered purchasing decisions, too. After all, there’s no real true cure for GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome).
A rundown of the new features and upcoming offerings (we’ll be rolling out new things over the next couple of weeks) are listed after the jump. We hate manuals too, so we’ve tried to keep it brief.
Heads-Up: We’re still putting on some spit and polish to the site as we work out a few kinks, but we’re mighty proud of the new digs. There’s a smorgasbord of new features, many requested by the Gear Patrol community (if you speak, we listen). In no particular order:
1. Improved Navigation:
One of the single biggest upgrades you, we, and our uncle’s asked for was a better way to sift through the 2,500+ posts/articles we’ve published. The new drop-down navigation includes our most popular categories and their latest posts. In addition we’ve added a way to view products by price (think gift ideas). Want more? Roll over “ALL” to see the entire kitchen sink. That black space in between “By Price” and “All”? Well, it’s reserved for…
2. Buyer’s Guides:
We’re going to be launching a new section (very shortly) dedicated to buyer’s guides and Gear Patrol curated roundups of popular gear categories. The aim is to get you a new well-advised buying guide every week. Let us know if you’re interested in writing one yourself. The Gear Patrol Buyer’s Guides will be the best place for men to find visual roundups, lists, specs, and the lowest prices. Looking for the best headphones, HDTV’s, weekend bags, shaving products, and more? It’ll be here.
3. Latest Obsessions & The Weekly Rewind:
Publishing 6+ stories is good reason enough to keep Gear Patrol a multi-day visit destination. But not everyone has the time so we’ve rolled out “Latest Obsessions.” It’s essentially our hand-picked posts, reviews, and articles we’re lustfully ogling and/or obsessing over. Also, every Saturday (and sometimes in between) we’ll publish a round-up of all the week’s posts in a visual grid. Think of it as the Gear Patrol Weekend Edition. Just add coffee.
4. Lowest Prices & Shopping Tools:
We’ve partnered with industry-leading Pricegrabber to try and get you the lowest prices on all the gear we cover. Keep in mind that the very latest gear (e.g. gear that’s not-even on the shelves) or gear we receive in advance of the public won’t be tracked, but you can rest assured we’ll get you the lowest prices (at reputable destinations) once it’s out. We’re also launching an entirely separate shopping/purchasing area you can bookmark as your first destination when you’re ready to seek out the lowest prices for practically anything.
5. Reader Reviews. You Got ‘Em, We Want ‘Em:
Our Open Forum has received a ton of great reader reviews. We’ll be highlighting the ones that make the cut in in the header area of the site alongside our own features and latest videos. Fancy yourself a gear-head? Contact us on twitter or submit a review. Yes, there are perks to writing for Gear Patrol. We can’t tell you or we’d have to kill you. Just kidding… or are we?
6. Visual Satisfaction:
Do you prefer reading Gear Patrol on a white page with a grid of traditional blog-style layout? Or how about a list of posts with thumbnails on a flannel background? Perhaps you’re in the mood for a sinister black canvas with a grid of big square images absent of any text? Done, done, and done. Oh, and we’ve made sure the site remembers your preferences (if you’ve got cookies enabled). Category views are always viewed in a list format and our Buyer’s Guides will their very own look and feel. Go ahead, let your eyes sigh.
7. Visual Stimulation:
Gear Patrol plans to fill that monitor of yours with the images of sweet, sweet gear. Many of which will be our own original photography. We’ve amped up our article images to a browser-bursting 650 pixels in width in addition to adding new large screen article galleries. Optical boom.
8. Audio Stimulation:
A music player has been added to the site (player controls are in the lower left corner of your screen in a gray tab) and we’ll highlight our latest song towards the top of the site under Latest Obsessions. In time, we’ll be playlisting a lot of the same tunes we have spinning at the Gear Patrol office, but are working out the rights.
9. The 5 Second Upgrade & Quote of the Moment:
Exactly that. Sage advice from people smarter than us and a man-lesson in 5 seconds or less. Sometimes you just want it quick and dirty. Updated frequently. Got one to share? Drop us a line at sayhello @ gearpatrol . com or hit us up on twitter and facebook.
10. Nitty-Gritty For Our Gear Scouts:
We know many of our readers want to dive into the juicy bits so we’re now going to be embedding press releases, full specifications, and clearly marking the source of where we find our gear when possible. Sure, we’ll take credit when credit is due, but we stand firm when it comes to cribbing other people’s finds. We don’t do it.
Just Two Rules:
Speaking of policies, our rules for Gear Patrol are simple. We don’t expect much from the community, as a matter of fact we thrive on your feedback and conversation but at a minimum we do expect everyone (including ourselves) to abide by two simple rules. They have and will always be in the footer.
– The GP Crew