LTR - Dahlgren Backpacking Socks
Please find my ltr below. Thanks in advance for the edits. The url is: http://tinyurl.com/cuzzznx
Long Term Report
30 March 2013
24-26 November - Backpacking trip on private land in South Carolina. The weather was 65 F (18 C) during the day and 40 F (4.4 C) at night and clear. Trail conditions were sandy, packed, leaves and flat.
21-23 December - Backpacking trip on private land in Missouri. The weather was 40 F (4.4 C) during the day and 25 F (-4 C) at night and clear. Trail conditions were wet with melting snow, rocky, mildly steep.
18-20 January - Backpacking trip along the Palmetto Trail in South Carolina. The weather was 60 F (15.5 C) during the day and 35 F (1.7 C) at night and clear. Trail conditions were sandy, leaves and flat, but there was an actual trail so not as much debris as the private land trips.
8-10 February - Backpacking trip on private land in South Carolina. The weather was around 50 F (10 C) during the day and 35 F (1.7 C) at night and drizzle. Trail conditions were sandy, leaves and flat.
18-19 March - Backpacking trip along the Ozark trail near Van Buren, Missouri. The weather was 45 F (7 C) during the day and 30 F (-1 C) at night and clear. Trail conditions were rocky, rough, and hilly.
I also wore these socks at an amusement park for 3 hours of walking in snow, as well as several times when the weather was bad, with snow/rain boots in South Carolina, and to day hike and sleep in on two car camping trips.
Fit - I wear the socks with boots that fit me width-wise, but are a little too long so the extra padding helps fill up the empty spaces. If it is wet, I also wear gaiters. See picture below. I love how the socks fill up the toe box of my boots without crowding my toes. They slip a little on my feet in ankle-high hiking boots. I don't feel like they fit me like a glove, which is how I usually like my hiking socks to fit. I did not get blisters, but was afraid I would. I wonder if the slippage is due to me not pulling the socks up to my calves. Because the calf-rise of the sock is uncomfortable to me, I usually wear these socks either folded over or pushed down. I tried to wear them on my calves, but they either slipped down or I felt like the top of the sock was binding. They were uncomfortable.
Warmth - The socks are very warm and cushy when I first put them on. I know this isn't backpacking, but I wore the socks in the snow with hiking shoes at an amusement park in SW MO. After about 3 hours, my toes got very cold. The shoes were not specifically for winter, but are waterproof so I know it was not that the socks got wet that was causing the cold feet. The same thing happened to me with my hiking boots in the wet leaves and melting snow. They are great when I first put them on, but I probably will use sock liners if I ever hike/walk with them in snow again. They kept my feet absolutely warm in the South, even when it was rainy and chilly. I wore them a couple of times as dry sleep socks on a car camping trip. I like them much better for that use.
Wicking - My feet sweat (which may be part of that cold factor above). The socks seemed to wick very well. They were hardly damp when I would take them off. They would be completely dry by morning even in humidity.
Durability/Wear - The socks wash and dry well (inside out). There is no odor left on them after washing. However, they did pil a bit on the soles and where my boots rub around my ankles on the outside of the socks, which is on the inside when they are washed and dried.
Other - I love this color!
I like these socks best for day hikes in winter in the South and to sleep in on camping trips in colder climates. I have a huge problem with the calf height of the socks. They are very uncomfortable for me. My feet also got cold when I walked/hiked in colder climates in wet terrain. However, they feel so good when I first put them on. They wick incredibly well. Oh if these socks had only been knee-socks...
What I liked
They wick very well.
I love the color.
I like the way the cushiness of the sock fills up the toe box in my boots that are a little long for me.
The feel of the inside of the sock after many washings is still cushy and great.
What I didn't like
After about 3 hours hiking in the cold, my feet got cold.
I hate calf-height socks.
I felt like the foot of these socks were a little loose on me.
This concludes my Long Term Report. Many thanks to Dahlgren and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test their Backpacking socks.