Ontario Geardo

I’m Mike Chan. A Torontonian, born and raised, but lucky to have spent a lot of time in my youth further north where there are lots of lakes and forests. I got into bags, half because I kept needing different solutions for carrying whilst hiking and camping, and half because I was interested in the history of certain brands and designers.

What kind of bags do you review?

I will review packs that are either on the lightweight side of things that are geared towards camping, or I will review military packs, specifically packs that are designed for special operations. I’m interested in reviewing anything that helps me on my journey, and have been reviewing since 2011. I stay up to date by staying close with my contacts within the industry.

How do you review the bags?

I won’t review anything until I’ve owned and used it for over a year. I want to make sure that if I recommend something, I’m fairly certain it won’t fall apart, and that they are comfortable and efficient to use. Important features that I look for is a good waist belt system like the one Mystery Ranch utilizes because if you have a heavy load, carrying with my waist is a lot easier than using my shoulders. Something I hate is that very few bags do anything about back sweat. One thing I like about the old Large ALICE pack is that the frame doesn’t rest on your back, and allows airflow.

What are your favorite bags?

Currently, my favourites are the Mystery Ranch-6500, Arc’teryx-Axios 35, and at the top of the heap is the old school DCU Camelbak-HAWG. I like that they are all brands you can count on when you really need dependability. My EDC pack is the GORUCK Shadow Ruck, and inside I always carry water, First Aid Kit, and a Tourniquet.

How do people use your reviews?

I tend to write reviews about things that are in some cases hard to get information about. That’s what spawned Ontario Geardo to start off with actually. I was interested in a cold weather clothing system called PCU (Protective Combat Uniform), that the military was using, and there was very little information that I could find. So I figured after all the research I had done, I’d share what I found in blog form. Down the line the natural progression was to write about other pieces of gear to help people being outside which obviously included backpacks. What I think people like about my reviews is that they know that they are honest. If you go to my website, you’ll see that I don’t have any ads. My reviews are driven by my own interests, and not by money, and I think people appreciate that.


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