Gear review and photos by Mercedes Lilienthal
Jackson, Wyoming-based DMOS Collective designs and sells quality shovels to help you adventure: no matter if it’s digging your rig out after getting stuck or having it handy in case of emergencies. American-made DMOS shovels can even help build jumps for snowboarding or move soil to create and manage the perfect campfire.
The Stealth shovel is DMOS’ original award-winning shovel. Susan Pieper, DMOS’ owner, created a stout shovel that’s made from durable and non-rusting 6061 aluminum, packs down to 18 x 9 x 2.25 inches, and weighs a mere 3.3 lbs. This shovel’s handle nests into the shovel head, making it easy to stash under your vehicle’s seat or within your overlanding-inspired drawer system.
The DMOS Stealth has a slimmer head than a few of their other models, but it can adequately move snow, sand, dirt, etc. Pull out the telescoping and adjustable handle (which locks into place at 57″, 47″ and 35″ lengths); slip it into the opening at the top of the shovel head until the spring-loaded pins click into place, and you’re good to get yourself unstuck.
Putting the DMOS Stealth to the Test
Upon testing it in frigid Wisconsin during the holiday season, its pointed rake-like teeth broke up crusty snow and chunks of ice easily. Using it to unbury a stuck Tacoma in Washington’s foothills during a 4×4 snow run was a cinch too (as long as you get the pins to lock into place). The Stealth begged to be used. It created bigger snow piles than others with their garden shovels. (Some folks even commented that the shovel looked cool, too.)
Our Safety Red test mule is comprised of a durable and smooth powdercoated finish. Although its teeth were baring silver aluminum after my initial testing period, it was great to know it wouldn’t rust. I did notice, however, that the powerdercoat had cracked off in a few places within the handle opening of the shovel head. But, it would be difficult for any paint or powerdercoat to adhere to such a thin and angular area of use. This is a shovel—it will get scratched and marred. But again, keep in mind with DMOS’ choice to use 6061 aluminum, it won’t rust.
The handle’s spring-loaded pins were difficult at times to push in to extend or retract the handle (especially with cold hands). It helps if you wad up fabric and use that in between your fingers and the handle to get the pins to activate. Once in place, however, the shovel was locked and ready for use.
If you’re looking for a durable and portable shovel, then the DMOS is for you. The Stealth moves pretty much any type of material, is small enough to fit just about anywhere, and would make a great addition to your recovery kit. Five colors available, price is $119.00.