GearJunkie, Bikerumor, Switchback Travel, AutoWise, iRunFar, and more unite under the ‘AllGear’ banner to create a media group focused on the outdoors, new products, active lifestyles, and gear.
It’s been a wild ride. When I launched GearJunkie way back in 2002, I had no business plan. I was a 25-year-old college grad with a journalism degree, and I wrote about the gear and products my friends and I were using on climbing routes and backpacking trips.
Back then, I penned “The Gear Junkie” as a weekly newspaper column. It contained 300-400 words and a single grainy photo, published old-school on paper with ink in the sports section of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
The column gained some momentum locally, then more broadly — eventually picked up by editors beyond my home turf and syndicated to newspapers around the U.S.
In 2006, I found two partners and went online with a scrappy startup venture, building the first GearJunkie website. In short order, the brand became much bigger than me, bringing on key people like Mike Santi, Sean McCoy, Adam Ruggiero, Jake Ferguson, Ryan Johnson, and many more.
GearJunkie now employs a staff nearing 20 people with offices in Minneapolis and Denver. Millions of people read our gear reviews, reportage on trends, adventure tales, and the daily news we write covering the outdoor scene.
Now, in 2021, the evolution continues as GearJunkie takes its place within a new network. Like most businesses, 2020 was a tumultuous and strange year. For our company, the whirlwind included an acquisition where GearJunkie was purchased by Lola Digital Media. The Los Angeles-based company had a vision to build a new kind of media group, and the opportunity for GearJunkie to be a part was impossible to pass up.
So with that backstory, I’m thrilled to announce AllGear! Lola officially launches the media group today, and it includes GearJunkie and eight additional publications dedicated to niche pursuits. These range from ultrarunning and biking to automotive and more, each with a sharp focus on innovation, products, and gear.
GearJunkie Spearheads AllGear Media Group
The full list of AllGear sites includes AutoWise, Bikerumor, ExplorersWeb, Gear Hungry, GearJunkie, Improb, iRunFar, InStash, and Switchback Travel. Lola Digital Media closed on the latest additions in recent weeks, and the company will continue to add new properties and grow the AllGear group throughout 2021.
For GearJunkie readers, the news means a few things. But, first, know that our focus on cutting-edge gear and objective reviews will not change. In fact, under Lola, we have already increased the amount of content published each week. Now with eight amazing sister sites under the AllGear group, our staff has added editorial muscle and expertise from writers and testers at sites like Bikerumor, Switchback Travel, and iRunFar.
A team of 40-plus veteran journalists, founders, and media executives operate the AllGear group, including Tyler Benedict (founder, Bikerumor); David Wilkinson (founder, Switchback Travel); and Bryon Powell (founder, iRunFar). Sean McCoy and Ryan Johnson, respectively former editor-in-chief and COO at GearJunkie, lead editorial and strategy for the AllGear group. Adam Ruggiero now serves as GearJunkie’s editor-in-chief.
I’m proud of the team we’ve assembled to create a next-generation media group. Our mix of award-winning articles, gear reviews, podcasts, videos, custom projects, and commerce-related content represents the best practices of a healthy, cutting-edge media company.
For our industry partners, the AllGear group offers a new level of reach. We collectively serve more than 15 million readers each month. And campaigns across the AllGear network reach a demographic that sets trends as influencers and early adopters of the latest products and gear.
As for my role, I’m no longer as hands-on with the new gear or field tests. My weekly newspaper column ended its near-20-year run last spring. But now with Lola, I’m excited to enter a new phase overseeing several facets within the AllGear group.
I’m looking forward to 2021 and the new opportunities with AllGear. If you’re a longtime reader, thank you for the support over the years, and know that my team will work to deliver even better coverage, buyer’s guides, and objective gear reviews going ahead.