|Home||Guest - Not logged in|
Reviews > Clothing > Socks > Dahlgren Backpacking Socks > Test Report by Dawn LarsenDahlgren Backpacking Women's Crew Socks
Test Series by Dawn Larsen
Initial Report - 19 November 2012
Long Term Report - 30 March 2013
Name: Dawn Larsen
Height: 5' 4" (163 cm)
Weight: 155 lb (70 kg)
Email address: vicioushillbilly AT gmail DOT com
Florence, South Carolina USA
I used to backpack in college a zillion years ago and just in the last few years have backpacked some private trails in Tennessee, Missouri and most recently South Carolina. I have been an avid car-camper for eleven years and I have kayak/canoe camped for four years, in South Carolina, Tennessee, Missouri and Arkansas. I use a lot of the same equipment for both. I hike hilly/rocky trails especially in Missouri (my home state) and Arkansas. I live in South Carolina and am busy checking out the terrain here with my nineteen year-old son.
Manufacturer: Dahlgren Footwear, Inc.
Product: Backpacking socks (located in Dahlgren's "Outdoor/Hiking" category)
Size: M (for Women's US 7 1/2-10 1/2 [EU 38-43, UK 5-8]; also available in S for US 4-7)
Color: Thistle (also available in Cedar or Pitch) **The website lists S is only available in Thistle and Cedar, M in Cedar and Pitch, but mine are size M in Thistle.
Weight, measured: 3.5 oz (99 g) per pair
Height, measured heel to top: 9.25 in (23.5 cm)
MSRP: $20.95 US
All Dahlgren socks are made "exclusively" in the United States.
19 November 2012
The socks arrived in a plain mailing envelope and packaged like most socks with a cardboard printed cap and hangtag.
These socks are advertised as backpacking socks. They are heavy-weight, crew socks that hit me about mid-calf. The tag lists them as "Dri-Stride Alpaca." From Dahlgren's website: Dri-Stride uses Wicking Rings and Wicking Channels in their "transfer zone," which is the fabric surrounding the arch/instep area of the sock, to increase the wicking from the "absorption zones," which are the heel and toe. From the diagram on the hangtag, the Dri-Stride seems to work by bringing the wicked perspiration to the "transfer zone," which then sends it up to the top of the sock for it to evaporate.
Fabric listed on the website is:
I love the color! These socks are very "cushy." They feel very warm. They almost seemed a little long to me when I first put them on because when I pulled them on, the heel landed up my ankle. I wear an US 8.5 shoe (EU 39). I situated them back where they should be and found that there is plenty of room in the toe box. I like that. They are also not very tight in any area around my foot. If they hold their shape, that will be fine, but I wonder if they will stretch out. When I put them on with a low/light hiking shoe, the heel slipped up my ankle a bit. I walked around a little and the heel does slip somewhat. These socks are heavier than any I own, so I will have to relace my boots to allow for the bulk. I also am wary because I'm typically not a big fan of the crew sock. I have wide calves and small ankles, so most crews fall down. These do not seem to bind my calves though. And wearing them around the house, they have not fallen down. They feel funny because I'm not used to wearing crews.
Because they are very cushy, I'll be tempted to sleep in them!
What I like
The Thistle color is beautiful!
They feel very "cushy."
They seem warm.
What I don't like
The heel slips a little in the shoe.
I really don't like crew length socks.
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 Missouri. 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 pill 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.
Read more reviews of Dahlgren gear
Read more gear reviews by Dawn Larsen
Reviews > Clothing > Socks > Dahlgren Backpacking Socks > Test Report by Dawn Larsen
If you are an avid backpacker, we are always looking for enthusiastic, quality reviewers. Apply here to be a gear tester.