This stealth shovel solves a lot of space problems.
One thing that can often be a problem when spending time outdoors is making sure you've always got the correct tools for any job you need. In the case of a shovel, space is often at a premium and this tool can take up quite a bit of it.
After testing it out, we have to say, this thing is pretty darn cool.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming-founded DMOS Collective makes several models of collapsible shovels that are meant to be alternatives to traditional portable shovels.
The Stealth Shovel sent to me for review is the first model they came up with.
There are many portable shovel tools on the market. Most popular for storability are probably the army surplus-style folding shovels that are small and easy to pack away in a backpack or vehicle. But these shovels are often short and aren't very comfortable to use for a major job like clearing the snow from under a stuck vehicle.
This is where DMOS shovels come in. This company first gained traction for the idea on a Kickstarter campaign.
While all their designs now are made with different purposes in mind, each one is basically a heavy-duty snow shovel that shrinks down into an incredibly compact package.
If you've ever used any sort of telescoping tool or tent stake, you'll be familiar with how the handle expands out to full size. Push in the pegs on the side and you can expand or retract the handle.
I did have this system stick a few times, and I had to use a little force to get it free. You also have to make sure you take down the shovel in exactly the right manner or it won't fully compact. That was a little frustrating at first, but once I figured it out, there were no more issues.
When not in use and collapsed, the handle locks securely into the profile of the shovel head making for something that is easy to throw behind a pickup seat or in the storage area of an off-road vehicle.
The whole package is constructed of aircraft grade aluminum and comes with a powdercoat finish. I should mention the finish does scratch easily, so your shovel will have some signs of use from the first time you use it.
After only a few sessions, the "DMOS" logo was already chipped on the handle of mine. But I'm actually fine with that; it is a tool after all, and not a classic car.
This aluminum alloy does makes the whole shovel feel like it has just the right weight. It is not quite as light as a plastic snow shovel, but everything about it feels so much better in quality and ready to tackle whatever field conditions you might encounter.
I used this shovel to also clear away some of Michigan's last heavy, wet, melting snow, and it handled that like a champ.
From the wording on the company website, it sounds like the first of these shovels were made with skiers and snowboarders in mind. You know, the kind of people who like to carve out their own trails and jumps.
That's partly why the shovel has a set of teeth at the end of the head. These teeth cut through hard pack snow like a knife through butter and easily helps scrape up ice.
You can actually use those same teeth for some light raking work. I was able to easily clear up some light lawn litter using it.
But I'm guessing plenty of people out there are looking at this as more a survival tool, so we'll focus on its uses in that regard.
You might be thinking this is just a snow shovel, but you'd be wrong in that regard. It did a fantastic job in the little bit of snow I had left here in Michigan to test it in.
But DMOS advertises this shovel as being able to tackle any task, and useful for any season. I think they're right.
I honestly didn't think it would be possible to dig effectively in soil with this thing, but I took it out to the backyard and the teeth cut right into the earth with ease. The shovel is even durable enough that you can put a foot on the head to help it dig in better. Soil, mud, sand, it handles it all. I was definitely impressed.
This shovel could be perfect for full-time RV enthusiasts or truck drivers who live most of their life on the road. The design is small enough to fit in storage areas with other tools, but the uses are almost endless.
Whether that is cleaning up snow and ice from high areas on a trailer, or clearing forest debris from an overgrown campsite. It's quite easy to dig a small campfire pit or trench around your tent to keep water out with this shovel.
If you're looking for a true emergency tool, this one fits in nicely as part of a greater kit. The nice thing is, with it being a full-sized shovel, you won't have to get as down and dirty as you might have to with a folding survival shovel.
That might not seem like a big deal, but if you're stuck in a highway ditch in a blizzard, you'll want to avoid getting cold and wet as much as possible to avoid hypothermia.
It's often the little things that can lead to tragedy in a survival situation and better tools can always help you to avoid those little pitfalls.
The bottom line
The DMOS Stealth Shovel is a little strange-looking and to be honest, I was skeptical of how good of a product this could be, even with some of the other product reviews of it that I read. These shovels aren't cheap. But they are also a well-made, and powerful shoveling tool.
It's an extremely versatile product that can fill a variety of needs. It's also something to consider if you like buying made in USA products as these shovels are manufactured in Oregon.
I can also tell you this shovel will have a permanent place in my vehicle from now on, even in the summer. I'll feel a little more comfortable exploring muddy two-track roads or making long drives on snowy roads knowing that if I do get stuck on the side of a highway alone, I have a tool to dig myself out.