U-Dig-It Pro Folding Shovel
Current Retail: $19.99
Historic Range: $18.10-$19.99
Reviewers Paid: $9.00-$19.50
A sturdy folding trowel for doing trowel-related business. Not exactly UL, but it won't break or bend even when prying rocks or chipping at compacted soil.
- Very durable
- Good lock, does not fold accidentally
- Stainless steel, will not rust
- Could be a bit longer
Needless to say, this was a very popular item on our 8-person, 24-day hike on the JMT. The U-Dig-It Pro handled all that traffic with aplomb, allowing for safe and adequately deep deposits of bodily fruits in the Sierra's tough, rocky soils. My daughter kept it on one of the compression straps on the outside of her pack so it was always available and everybody knew where it was, and the words "have a U-Dig-It experience" entered our trail vocabulary!
Ready for action!
Ours is called "U-Dig-It Pro" but it seems to be the same item with a new name. It slides easy out of its spiffy belt pouch and has a strong fold lock so it takes two hands to snap it into open position and a squeeze on the handle to fold it back up. In our extensive field testing, it never collapsed during use.
At 175 grams (6.2 ounces) it's a bit hefty for soloists or UL types, but the weight gets diluted to more acceptable levels as others join the team. I found it a bit short both for digging a regulation 6 to 8 inch deep cathole and for my big hands, but it did the job well enough.
There are lighter alternatives, but the plastic ones are breakable and some others that I looked at look are even shorter and/or don't seem to have good handles. Recommended for anyone who ventures away from comfortable seating for more than a day or two.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $19.50 at REI (cheaper on Amazon!)
Ditto to the first review. Western desert and mountains don't like the orange plastic shovel that is so popular in camping stores. One metal shovel per group is a must.
The Cordura sheath is beefy, eliminating any worries of the point damaging any of my gear. It folds easily, and the blade is sharp and durable.
Field tested personally and it works very well, much better in fact than my previous plastic one. The hard ground in SoCal doesn't care how badly you have to go, and having a strong Stainless Steel blade has been a relief in certain situations (no pun intended).
Price Paid: $9