DMOS Delta Overlanding & Off-Road Recovery Shovel Complete Review
With so many off-road shovels available on the market, I’m always on a mission to find the best one out there when it comes to demanding off-road situations. A little over a year ago, I put together a big list of off-road shovels to consider when off-roading or Overlanding. Since then, we have added a few to the list and actually removed a couple that didn’t pan out to be that great. If you have not read through that post, it’s a good place to start digging into some research.
Why a good shovel?
A great off-road shovel should be universal. It should be sturdy and able to dig into hard ground, thick mud, sand, clay, gravel, rock, snow and many other types of terrain. Good shovels should be able to handle a wide range of emergency situations you’re likely to encounter during your time outdoors. There’s really nothing worse than getting stuck in the sand, mud, snow, or pothole without reliable, effective recovery gear, like a good shovel. A shovel is one of those recovery gear essentials you can’t leave home without.
If you are looking to buy a new off-road shovel or even looking to replace your old one, then the DMOS (Pronounced D-Mows) Delta shovel is a great option to consider, and today, I am going to tell you why.
I’d heard a lot of great things about the DMOS Delta shovel. I was curious to check it out and see how it holds up in recovery situations compared to the other off-road shovels I’ve used in the past.
My Background with Shovels?
For a little context, I have used many shovels over the years. From the well known Krazy Beaver to compact military folding style shovels to gardening shovels, like the Bond, and even multiple mini shovels, like the Bond Mini and Agency 6 Mini — I have used it all.
Each of these has its place in the market but some apply to us off-road folk’ a little more than others. For example, a full-sized shovel is usually going to be more efficient than a compact or mini shovel. But, at this point, not everyone has the room or mounting capabilities for a full-sized shovel.
Why DMOS Delta?
I have been seeing a lot of guys running this shovel lately so I was curious to see what it was all about.
What makes the DMOS Delta shovel stand out?
It’s a full-length shovel yet compact-focused. It’s stowable, yet mountable, so it’s really flexible when it comes to transport options. For the weight saver out there in all of us, we like that it’s composed of a lightweight aluminum and, because of this, can withstand serious weather abuse without degradation.
It’s telescopic, self-draining, snow plowing and excavation-focused design is really in a league of its own. It can be small enough to pack in a recovery box like a mini shovel or can be mounted as a full-length shovel on your rack/tent. DMOS even makes a mount that allows you to mount the shovel folded down as a compact unit on your rack/tent.
On top of all that, it has been tested to break through some serious terrain.
Sounds pretty impressive right?
Find it online:
It was important to assess its durability and versatility under moderate to severe driving conditions so I took it out on the last couple of trips and took it for a spin. Although we didn’t see any real need for recovery situations, I pulled it out and started digging into DMOS Delta.
DMOS offers two blade options for the Delta Shovel:
- 6061 Aircraft-Grade Aluminum
- 12 Gauge Cold-Rolled Steel
While the steel blade is stronger and more durable than its aluminum counterpart, for this review, I’ll focus on the aluminum blade, which I have used here. Again, DMOS also offers an aluminum storage mount that you can use to safely secure the shovel to your 4Runner, Tacoma, Forester, ATV, or other vehicles.
Here’s the lowdown on what to expect with the DMOS Delta Shovel.
The DMOS Delta Shovel is a full-sized and fully collapsible shovel, a high-performing piece of equipment, engineered specifically for off-road, needs, including camping, hunting and general survival. It is an all-weather, off-road recovery shovel, effective in digging through a range of terrains including mud, sand and definitely snow. When collapsed, its compact size makes it extremely portable and easy to stow in your 4Runner or the back of your truck, without taking up too much space.
Its three-position head allows this versatile tool to be used as a shovel, hoe, or when not in use, to be easily compacted and stowed away.
Although I haven’t had a chance to verify this claim myself, according to DMOS:
…the shovel has the capacity to lift up to 1000 lbs of load without bending, which is impressive!
Pros of DMOS Delta Shovel
I have used the shovel a few times out on the trails. I have to admit that I am quite impressed with its performance.
From digging out tires stuck in the mud to dislodging and clearing branches, rocks, and any other obstacles on the trails, this lightweight must-have shovel is going to be a good addition to my arsenal of recovery gear.
- Type: Collapsible
- Length: Collapsed: 24” Extended 51”
- Weight: 3.8 lbs
- Handle: T Grip
- DMOS Delta Shovel: Check Price
- Delta Storage Mount: Check Price
Why I think it’s Great
- #1. Versatility
- #2. Strength and Durability
- #3. Portability
- #4. Beautiful Design with Color Options
- #5. Cutting-Edge Tool Made in the USA
For more details on why it’s great, keep reading.
With the collapsible, adjustable handle shaft, you can calibrate the handle as needed for the job at hand. The shovel can be used at three different lengths, with its shaft extending up to 51 inches to a full-sized contractor shovel.
At full length, the Delta Shovel can be used for more demanding digging jobs like moving rockpiles to make your approach angle better. A shorter shaft is optimal for jobs that require increased maneuverability, if say, you are working in tight spaces like under your tire stuck in a snowbank.
The blade has a massive face which is going to be great for snow recovery situations come winter. While playing with the shovel in the river bed, we found that it was very useful in grabbing massive loads of river rock while the water just ran through the slits in the backside of the shovel.
To top it off, the blade can be positioned at a 90-degree angle to the shaft, thanks to the cotter pins, which allows you to use the shovel as a hoe.
This unit really is impressive.
#2. Strength and Durability
No doubt, this is a strong shovel, able to withstand extreme stress put on it.
This shovel feels lightweight (the aluminum weighs 3.5 pounds), yet it is extremely sturdy. I put it through some rigorous testing on hard-packed river rock surfaces, and while some of its powder coating did rub off, it was able to withstand the stress put on it, with minor scratches.
It will take more use to know how durable the shovel really is, but from what I’ve seen so far, it’s going to hold up quite well in moderate situations.
This shovel is extremely portable, easy to pack down into a compact size and stow away. I packed the shovel into one of my recovery boxes and was surprised at how well it fit when packed down. Because the handle detaches from the face of the shovel, you can separate the two in a box making storage Jenga fit like a glove.
Although I did not use the DMOS aluminum mount, it appears to be pretty customizable, lockable, rattle-free and quite easy to use. We did read some other reviews guys had concerns about the security but another guy on YouTube seemed to like it so hard telling not knowing.
#4. Beautiful Design with Color Options
I have the Chrome shovel but DMOS offers three other color options:
- Punk’n Orange
- Rebelle Blue
- Agate Grey
This might not be a serious consideration for people looking for a shovel, but for those who appreciate both design and functionality, it is an added plus to have a range of color options to choose from. Now that I look around, I don’t see the chrome option available any longer; Agate Grey looks better anyway.
#5. Cutting-Edge Tool Made in the USA
The DMOS Delta Shovel is manufactured in the U.S., based in Oregan.
So if you’re one to support a U.S. company, this is an added advantage of investing in this shovel. It’s a nice off-road tool, featuring an innovative design and made from premium quality, durable materials, built to handle the most demanding jobs. The aluminum shaft is rust, scratch, and corrosion resistant, thanks to the fact that it is anodized. For added durability, the blades are powder-coated. The shovel features a two-inch footpad that provides optimal leverage and comfort as you dig deep.
After using the shovel a few times, I can confidently say that this shovel is pretty damn rad. There’s no denying its versatility, quality design, and portability.
However, there are two major drawbacks I should point out:
This is an investment – one I believe is worth it – but for a shovel, it is quite pricey, especially if you buy it with the mount, which is not cheap either.
I am personally a big fan of d-grip handles on shovels. I think they are super user-friendly and allow you to leverage much more force than a T-grip handle.
This is just being super picky though as this one is really my personal preference. I don’t really have anything too bad to say about the DMOS Delta. At the end of the day, the shovel design and build-quality are rock solid.
The DMOS Delta Shovel really does live up to the hype, and I would definitely recommend this shovel for overland or off-road use, especially for snow use, in river beds or mud where lots of water is present. If you wheel a lot in the snow, this is for you. This is going to be my permanent go-to snow wheeling shovel from here on out.
It’s a really solid addition to an off-road recovery box or mounted onto your roof rack or tent. It doesn’t take up a very large footprint which is huge when it comes to off-roading as we are constantly looking for ways to maximize space.
There is no doubt this shovel will hold up through extreme weather but it really comes down to price. Are you willing to drop $200 on a shovel?
If you want the versatility of a full-sized shovel that packs down into a small footprint, this is it. I think that’s the main DMOS Delta selling point. The shovel packs down like a compact military tool and folds out into a full-sized unit with a large spade head. The massive blade is also a huge plus if you high-center your skids a lot on snow backs which I am personally notoriously known for.
It’s compact but provides real-world use at full-length which is easy on the back. To those of us around 30, this is pretty damn helpful. There is nothing worse than using a shovel that is all of 16″ in length for a big recovery job. The DMOS Delta is far from that.
This is a shovel you can depend on to get you unstuck and that’s important.