Externally pressurized gas (EPC) bearing pads with convergent conical shapes can provide high load capacity and high stiffness. Research has revealed that if the suitable combination of gap difference and working gap height is chosen, the optimized diameter ratios for stiffness and load capacity are close to the same value, about 0.8 to 0.9, or the ratio of the diameter of the conical gap-shaped part over the pad diameter. The optimized diameter ratio is independent of the supply pressure, the pad diameter and the number of conical parts. Conversely, the stability of the bearings is controlled by the combination of the diameter ratio and the gap difference. From the analysis of the stability criteria and the optimized diameter ratio, the concept of the tri-conical gap-shaped EPG bearing pads was proposed. Numerical and experimental investigation shows that under the same stable conditions, tri-conical gap-shaped pads provide higher stiffness and higher load capacity than simple conical or parallel gap-shaped pads.