The goal of Cascade Gear Reviews is to share our hard-earned knowledge and expertise with YOU. We have over two decades of experience working and playing in the outdoors and we’re true experts in our chosen activities. In terms of in-depth gear reviews, we thoroughly test each and every item in their intended environment, and then share our unbiased findings. We don’t get paid by brands to review their products. It really is as simple as that.
Erik Nilson: Our Founder
Erik Nilson founded Cascade Gear Reviews in 2023 after working in the outdoor industry for more than a decade. He cut his teeth while working on REI’s marketing, merchandising, and product development teams, and then grew his skillset at Switchback Travel where he managed the cycling-related content. With multiple Pro podium finishes to his name, he’s highly engaged in his chosen activities. Now, on any given day, you can find him testing gear in the wild, writing in-depth reviews, taking photos, or building this website from the ground up.
Over a Decade of Outdoor Industry Experience
Erik brings more than 10 years of outdoor industry experience to Cascade Gear Reviews. Over the past decade he’s worked as a ranch hand and fly-fishing guide in Colorado, was a certified bike mechanic at one of the nation’s largest shops, spent over 5 years working on REI’s Marketing, Merchandising, and Product Development teams, and reviewed products for Switchback Travel. He understands the outdoor industry better than most, especially when it comes to bike related gear and apparel.
A Life Outside
Beyond his professional work, Erik is an avid outdoorsman and lifelong cyclist. He has multiple bike podium finishes to his name and excitedly tackles 100+ mile rides through the Cascade Mountains. In 2018, Erik and his wife set out on a 5-week long bikepacking trip through Switzerland, France, and Italy, covering more than 1,000 miles in the process. In the past 10 years he’s ridden more than 20,000 miles and 2.5 million vertical feet, and there’s no sign he’s slowing down. Now, he averages around 150 rides, 50 runs, 50 days of skiing, and 20 days of fly-fishing per year. Follow along on Erik’s Strava to see what he’s up to.
Erik’s contributions in the outdoor space haven’t gone unnoticed. His tenure at REI was marked by recognition, including multiple “Employee of the Quarter” awards, showcasing his dedication and work ethic. And he doubled Switchback’s cycling audience in just over a year. Further, he’s still regularly called upon to contribute to REI’s Expert Advice articles.
Joe Pasteris: Contributing Editor
Joe is a freelance writer and editor, runner, biker, climber, skier, and dad. He once pedaled a bike for 3 months, traveling from The Netherlands to Albania, but these days you can typically find him running and biking on the trails and gravel roads of Vermont. Joe has worked in the outdoor industry since the mid 2000s, getting his start outfitting customers with climbing gear and backcountry skis at Marmot Mountain Works in Bellevue, WA. He has written for REI, Gaia GPS, Outside, and Vermont Land Trust. Take a look at Joe’s website to see some of his work.
The Authority for Outdoor Gear Reviews
Cascade Gear Reviews has earned a reputation as a trusted source of authentic gear reviews. Erik and his team of contributors uphold an unwavering commitment to honesty and authenticity, rigorously testing each and every item. And since they don’t get paid by brands to review their products, they’re able to report both the good and the bad. Unfortunately, this level of transparency isn’t always found in the world of outdoor gear reviews.
A Commitment to Excellence
Our philosophy is pretty simple: be authentic, be honest, and above all else, be a trusted source for outdoor gear reviews. These are the principles that drive Cascade Gear Reviews.
How We Make Money
No secrets here–affiliate marketing is the sole source of income for Cascade Gear Reviews. Here’s how it works:
When you visit our site and read our reviews, you’ll find links to products we’ve tested and reviewed. These links are often affiliate links. When you click on them and make a purchase, we may earn a small commission from that retailer.
It’s important to note that this commission doesn’t affect the price you pay for the product. Instead, it’s a way for companies to reward us for introducing you to their outdoor gear. Rest assured, this affiliate relationship doesn’t influence our reviews in any way. No really, it doesn’t.