Gear to vie for Alaska-tested designation

Posted: Friday, July 28, 2000

Alaska Magazine has introduced a new marketing program to field test outdoor products and equipment for performance in Alaska's winter conditions.

The program, called "Alaska Tested Tough," is designed to test outdoor gear for its ruggedness and dependability in the harshest of outdoor conditions. The product testing program combines hands-on use by Alaska outdoor professionals and enthusiasts supported by customized consumer surveys conducted by Harris Interactive, home of the world-famous Harris Poll.

To apply, candidates submit products for review by the Alaska Tested Tough panel of experts. The panel first field tests the outdoor equipment for its performance in the face of a wide variety of seasonal activities in Alaska. The panel is made up of tough, experienced Alaska outdoorsmen; including Native Alaskans, bush pilots, mushers, fishers, field biologists and others who live and work across the vast wilderness of Alaska.

If the product passes the field test, then Harris Interactive conducts a consumer survey of Alaskans who actually own or use the product.

"Harris Interactive helps inform the panel's decision by providing the quantitative piece for the Alaska Tested Tough program," Laura Light, Senior Research Associate for Harris Interactive said. "We offer an objective, fair and credible voice."

Harris Interactive is a leading global market research firm known for its Harris Poll. The firm has more than 40 years of experience providing market research and polling services.

According to David Foster, editorial director for Morris National Magazines, which publishes Alaska Magazine, the Alaska Tested Tough designation is unique in that it is the only label for outdoor gear that combines the strengths of hands-on field testing and independent consumer polling.

Products are tested in Alaska because no other place in the United States places greater stress on outdoor equipment, especially in winter conditions. The program tests products under typical and extreme weather conditions to fully certify their quality. Only after a products earns the Alaska Tested Tough designation from both the independent expert panel and the Harris Interactive survey may the manufacturer use the logo and the designation to market the product.

"The Alaska Tested Tough designation answers the important questions that serious outdoor enthusiasts ask," Foster said. "The combined results of our field test and the Harris poll provide a powerful platform to market and merchandise quality outdoor gear."

The first two products to earn the Alaska Tested Tough designation are the Lance truck camper and the Weaver Grand Slam rifle scope. Companies interested in submitting a product for review by the Alaska Test Tough panel of experts should contact Lea Cockerham at Alaska Magazine.

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