TEST SERIES BY JERRY ADAMS
INITIAL REPORT - March 15, 2011
FIELD REPORT - June 12, 2011
LONG TERM REPORT - August 14, 2011
Portland, Oregon, USA
6' 1" (1.85 m)
190 lb (86.20 kg)
I started hiking about 45 years ago. My first backpack was 40 years ago. I currently try to do one backpack trip of 1 to 5 nights every month (which can be tricky in the winter). Mostly I stay around Mount Hood, Columbia Gorge, Mount Adams, Goat Rocks, and the Olympic Peninsula. In recent years I have shifted to lightweight - my pack weight without food and water is about 15 lb (7 kg). I make a lot of my own gear - silnylon tarp-tent, bivy, synthetic bag, simple bag style pack.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Year of Manufacture: 2011
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.lorpen.com
Measured Weight: 3.9 oz (111 g)
Size: L (shoe size US Men 10-12.5, EU 43-48)
The Lorpen Stalker socks are Merino/cellulose/synthetic socks.
On the manufacturers website and on the packaging these socks are advertised for hunting, but I will be using them for backpacking and hiking. On the website and packaging there is also an emphasis on odor elimination. I will evaluate this during my testing.
I'll wear the socks inside some mid-high boots.
The socks are camouflage colored which makes them good for hunting. The odor elimination is due to the Deo-cell fiber used. Possibly the odor elimination is also good for hunting, to neutralize human smells that might spook animals.
The socks are made of 40% Deo-cell, 40% Merino, 10% nylon, and 10% Lycra. Deo-cell is a fiber made from wood pulp cellulose that is treated to be odor resistant. It is on the inside of the sock. It's hydrophilic to draw moisture away from the foot. Merino is a fine wool. The nylon is on the outside to improve wear and reduce pilling. The Lycra makes it stretchy.
The socks are "deep forest" colored. There are no other colors available. They are a mixture of green, a bluish green, grey, and a darker grey. The socks are crew length, meaning that they go up mid calf, 12 inches (30 cm) from the floor to the top of the sock.
Lorpen is a Spanish company whose company statement is "Born in the Basque region in Spain, our vision is 'to produce the best technical socks for serious outdoor activities.' ” The socks were made in Mexico and designed in Spain.
Right and left side of socks, and the package they came in:
|Lorpen Stalker socks|
Trying them out
I put the socks on and wore them around the house and off to do a couple errands. They feel comfortable, can't wait to try them out on a backpacking trip. They feel fairly thick compared to other Merino hiking socks I've worn. They feel tight enough to stay up without being uncomfortably tight. They look well made - no loose yarn, stitches, or any defects.
|Trying them out|
The Lorpen Stalker socks are a nice pair of Merino/synthetic hiking socks. They're just a little bit heavier than average compared to other Merino/synthetic socks I've used. They feel comfortable. They look well made.
Look forward to my Field Report in two months.
Thanks to Lorpen and BackpackGearTest.org for letting me test these.
FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
March 20 to 26, 2011 - I hiked 33 miles (53 km) up and back down the Deschutes River in north central Oregon. It was a 4 night backpack and 2 night car camp. Temps were 24 to 55 F (-4 to 13 C). This is a mostly level hike along an easy trail. I washed the socks.
April 23 to 28 - I did a 5 night car camp on the Southwest Washington coast. I hiked about 15 miles (25 km) on fairly level trails. It was 42 to 55 F (6 to 13 C). It was quite rainy so the socks got a little wet. I wore them to bed where they dried out overnight. I washed both pairs of socks.
May 9 - 15 - I used the Lorpens on a 4 night backpack and 2 night car camp on Herman Creek in North central Oregon. Temps were 38 to 55 F (4 to 13 C). I did about 25 miles (40 km) of walking, mostly on steep trails and a little scrambling over snow drifts. I did about 7500 feet (2300 m) of elevation gain and loss. The socks were damp from sweat. I washed one pair.
June 4 - 10 - I used the Lorpens on a 4 night backpack and 1 night car camp on Tanner Butte ridge in North central Oregon. I did 30 miles (48 km) backpacking and 10 miles (16 km) day hiking. 8000 feet (2400 m) elevation gain. Temps were 38 to 75 F (4 to 24 C). About 8 miles (12 km) were walking on snow. I did some scrambling over rocks. The socks got slightly wet from sweat. I washed the socks.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
I wore the Lorpen Stalker socks for a total of about 113 miles (182 km), 22 nights, and washed them four times. I wore one pair most of the time. I wore the socks in my sleeping bag overnight. The socks got damp from sweat and a little wet from rain.
I stayed warm down to 24 F (-4 C). The socks were comfortable - I never got any blisters or anything. I did a lot of steep climbing in snow and easy rock climbing which really tested this. The socks were comfortable when wet. The elastic around my ankles was comfortable. My socks never slipped down. They weren't too tight either.
After the last washing, I examined the socks carefully and saw no sign of wear.
The Lorpen Stalker socks are high quality hiking socks. They are just what I expected.
These socks are heavier than the typical socks I have used. This means they're more comfortable and last longer. On the other hand, heavier makes my legs more tired at the end of the day. I would be more likely to choose these socks for cold weather or if my feet were sore, and less likely to use them for a long hike in good weather where I wanted to minimize weight to get the most miles in.
I never got any blisters and was never cold. The socks look as good as new after this round of testing. I like the color - a nice, natural, muted color.
Look forward to my Long Term Report in a couple months. I should get some more testing in hot weather which might be a problem with these thick socks.
Thanks to Lorpen and BackPackGearTest.org for letting me test these.
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
July 1, 2011 - 4 day backpack plus 1 day car camp on Mount Hood in North central Oregon. 30 miles (48 km) of backpacking, about 3 miles (5 km) of it tromping through snow. 5000 feet (1500 m) of elevation gain. 45 to 80 F (7 to 27 C). Washed the socks.
Resting along Ramona Creek:
|Time for a break|
July 20, 2011 - 5 night car camp at South Washington coast. Day hiked about 15 miles (24 km). 55 to 75 F (13 to 24 C). Washed socks.
Aug 10, 2011 - 9 mile (14 km) day hike on Mount Hood in North central Oregon. 2500 feet (760 m) elevation gain. 60 to 75 F (16 to 24 C). Mostly trail with some cross country bouldering and snow field walking. Washed socks.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
I used the Lorpen socks, during the Field Test and Long Term Test periods, a total of 167 miles (269 km), 32 nights, and 7 washings. I used one pair of the socks about 3/4 of the time and the other pair the rest of the time. All of it was wearing mid weight boots.
After the last washing, the socks felt just a little stiff, sort of like they were starched, but still very comfortable. There is little pilling, which sometimes has happened on socks I have used in the past. There is no sign if thin-ness which happens on socks when they get towards the end of their life. Just guessing, I think the socks I used most have less than half their lifetime used up, so they should last at least 250 miles (400 km).
I did one trip in warm weather (up to 80 F, 27 C). The socks didn't feel overly hot even though they're fairly thick socks. Still, for hot weather, these might not be the socks I'd choose.
During the Field Report period I did some colder trips where the socks kept me warm.
Overall, I consider the Lorpen Stalker socks as good as any other socks I've used. I can think of one pair of socks I've used that are of about equal quality (maybe slightly better?) and several pairs that were worse.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5
Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.
The Lorpens are thicker than average, so they are warmer so better in cold weather, but maybe not as good in hot weather. But, I did some somewhat hot weather hiking and didn't find them to be uncomfortable.
Being thicker, the Lorpens are less likely to cause blisters. I never had a blister, although this probably is more dependent on the boots than the socks. I did a wide range of trail hiking, scrambling over rocks, tromping through snow, and steep hiking which is a good test for this.
I am confused about weight of socks. Lighter weight should allow me to walk longer more comfortably because there's less weight to pick up with each step. But heavier socks give me more padding so fewer blisters. These are heavier socks and I found them to be plenty comfortable. Maybe if I did 20 mile (30 km) days or longer I would more appreciate lighter socks. The hottest hiking I did was about 80 F (27 C) so maybe if I did hiking in hotter weather I would prefer lighter weight socks.
I'll probably continue to use these until they wear out or until I test another pair of socks.
Thanks to Lorpen and BackPackGearTest.org for letting me test these.
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