LTR - Dahlgren Socks - Jerry Adams
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
November 24, 2012 - 3 night backpack and 3 night car camp on the Deschutes River in North central Oregon. I did 30 miles (48 km) of backpacking. 300 feet (100 m) of elevation gain. Temperatures were 28 to 40 F (-2 to 4 C).
December 19, 2012 - 3 night backpack and 2 night car camp on the lower Deschutes River in North central Oregon. I did 30 miles (48 km) of backpacking. 1600 feet (500 m) of elevation gain. 32 to 48 F (0 to 8 C).
January 15, 2013 - 4 night backpack and 1 night car camp on the beach of Olympic Peninsula in Northwest Washington. 43 miles (69 km). 1800 feet (550 m) elevation gain. 30 to 41 F (-1 to 5 C). Clear skies.
February 8, 2013 - 4 night backpack and 1 night car camp on the Rogue River in Southwest Oregon. 50 miles (81 km). 2800 feet (850 m) elevation gain. 33 to 55 F (1 to 13 C).
March 8, 2013 - 3 night backpack and 2 night car camp in Spring Basin Wilderness and Metolius River in central Oregon. 35 miles (56 km). 2400 feet (700 m) elevation gain. 18 to 65 F (-8 to 18 C).
I wore mid-height waterproof-breathable boots and breathable gaiters over the socks:
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PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
I have been very impressed with the Dahlgren Backpacking socks.
I have hiked 188 miles (303 km), 26 nights, and 5 washings.
On my five trips, I did mostly low elevation gain hiking but there was lots of short distance scrambling in and out of ravines on rough trails. This causes more stress on my socks and feet. It can cause wear on the socks, or my feet can get sore, but I didn't experience this at all. I felt no hot spots. The Dahlgrens were fairly thick so provided good comfort.
The temperature range I experienced was 18 to 65 F (-8 to 18C). Not real hot. Some pretty cold hiking at least to me. My feet were pretty warm all the time.
The socks got damp from sweat, but never really wet. I try to avoid this but accidents sometime happen. This can cause accelerated wear to the socks.
Regarding the wicking rings, my socks seemed about the same damp as any other sock while wearing under Gore-Tex boots. One day, I wore a Dahlgren sock on one foot and a fairly good Merino sock on the other foot all day and they seemed about the same amount damp at the end of the day. Maybe the wicking rings provide a small amount of effectiveness. At least, they didn't seem to do any harm.
The elastic tops kept the socks up without any uncomfortable constriction.
I also wore the socks over night. They kept my feet warm and the slight dampness dried out by the next morning. I also had booties on some of the cold nights.
After my last trip I washed the socks. There is a little pilling, but it's just cosmetic. When I washed the socks, I turned them inside out which is supposed to limit pilling. I usually am too lazy to do this but I did for these socks. The socks are getting a little thin at the heels, the major wear point. Maybe it's more stiff than thin. Either way, I got no blisters or soreness - there's still some life left in these socks.
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One thing I was worried about, was with all the zones, rings, and channels, there are lots of transitions between different materials. This is an opportunity for failures. I have seen this on other socks. At the transition point, gaps will develop. I haven't noticed this in the Dahlgrens.
I am very happy with the Dahlgren Backpacking socks. They are on par with the best socks I have used in the past.
They are fairly thick so they're warm and comfortable.
They held up fine during the testing although there is more pilling than normal for socks with this amount of use. Maybe there's a little more thinness or stiffness at the heels than the best socks I have used.
I'm not sure about the wicking rings - whether they keep the socks drier because of wicking up to the ankles where water evaporates. At least they don't seem to do any harm - no unusual wear at the transitions between different areas.
I will continue to wear the Dahlgren socks until they wear out or I test another pair of socks.
This concludes my Long Term Report. Thanks to Dahlgren Footwear, Inc. and BackpackGearTest.org for letting me test these.
This report was created with the BGT Report Generator.
Copyright 2013. All rights reserved.
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