Dog Gear!

Full disclosure, I am a Brand Ambassador for Ruffwear Dog Gear and TurboPUP Dog Bars. I do however try to keep these reviews as no-biased as possible.  Before becoming a brand ambassador for Ruffwear I already used many of their product line, as I feel they make the best quality dog gear out in the market today.  TurboPUP came into my life a this spring, and every since have been my go to dog food for the trail.

Grab and Go Leash by Ruffwear

MSRP $14.95

Karluk Rating: 4 out of 4 Paws

Allgood Recommendation: A great alternative to the traditional leash, this wearable leash is both convenient and functional, allowing the user to have a quick way to control their dog on trail.

 

Review:

The Quick Draw Leash by Ruffwear is a a wearable leash that you secure to your dogs collar, and then loop around their neck like a collar and secure it in place with velcro.  As you walk along the trail you can just grab the pull tab on it and the leash pulls out to a short leash that can be used to control your dog.  I love the concept and have been using mine for about a month now with great success.

 

I used to put a leash on Karluk’s pack and then tuck it inside his pack.  This did lead to two issues though.  The first being it tended to get snagged on branches, particularly through blow downs.  Secondly, it left just enough of a gap at the zipper to have things work their way out of the pack or vice versa into the pack.

 

This new leash eliminated these issues, allowing Karluk to wear his leash just like a collar.  In the past month of backpacking and hiking it has only got caught on one branch and Karluk stayed put until I undid it.  The Velcro closure has stayed clean and it still working effectively even after being put through water, mud, sand, and forest duff.  

 

The leash also has reflective material woven into the fabric, this is great when using the leash in low light conditions, you can shine a light on it and easily know where your dog is.  This is also a great feature for runners who like to have their dog off leash during a run.  The leash will make you extra visible to cars and bikes if you run in the early morning or evening.

 

I used this leash recently on a camping trip out in the Columbia River gorge.  We camped at Columbia Hills State Park, which has great back water of the Columbia River called Horse Thief Lake.  It was required that your dog be on leash at all time.  I solved this issue while we swam by putting the leash on the top clip of Karluk’s K-9 Float Coat.  While he swam we kept the leash stowed up top, when he came to the shore all we had to do was grab the tab and instantly we had our dog back on a leash and within the rules.

 

I think this a great product, it will do well for those of us that can keep our dogs under control off leash while hiking, but need a quick way to have maximum control when meeting other users on the trail.  I think this will be great this fall on the Tahoe Rim Trail which allows hikers, horses, and bikers.  I will be able to let Karluk hike off leash but when a different user approaches I will be able to control him ensuring both his and the other users safety.

 

Pros:

Inexpensive - at just $14.95 how can you go wrong

Light weight - its short length help keep it light

Reflective material keeps you and your pup visible

Convenient design

Durable - high quality nylon and velcro keep the leash working and able to handle the toughest conditions

 

Cons:

Can get snagged-keep your dogs collar loose so they can slip it if they get caught

Clip to collar is small - the small clip at the end can be hard to get on and off some collars

Could be smaller/bigger - Karluk is a large dog but I think fully extended, this leash might be too small for a giant dog, and fully tightened maybe too big for a small dog.  I would like to see these come in sizes in the future.

 

Swamp Cooler Jacket by Ruffwear

MSRP $54.95

Karluk Rating 4 out of 4 Paws-This thing really keeps me cool!

Allgood's Recommendation - This jacket is a Must Have Piece of Gear

A few weeks ago I got a package in the mail from Ruffwear, in it were two sets of booties for snow and for the summer, and the new Swamp Cooler Jacket.  The Swamp cooler is a jacket designed to keep your dog cool on a hot day.  You wet the jacket in cool water and get it fully soaked.  The inner padding absorbs the water to hold in the moisture.  The jacket slowly evaporates the water and this slow convection heat transfer keeps your pup cool.

Being solid black, Karluk often has a hard time with hot weather especially if in the sun.  The past few weeks of 80+ degree heat has given us ample time to try this jacket out.  Our first full filed test came on our recent hike at Benson Plateau, the temps were in the mid 80’s and we had full sun for miles at a time. I wetted the jacket in a deep pool that had collected form a spring above.  I left the jacket in there for about 20 minutes while I ate lunch.  Karluk had been panting pretty good from the heat and the recent climb of a few thousand feet.  I put the jacket on him before we started back out and he immediately cooled down.

The rest of the day he sported the jacket, when it started to dry out I would just pour some water on it.  This jacket was like a second wind for Karluk, as he cooled down wearing this jacket his energy level increased.  The jacket prevented him from overheating during the traverse that was exposed most of the way.  This thing performed exactly as described. 

A nice feature is the buckles are up on the side and small.  Like all the Ruffwear products the jacket can be layered with their other products.  I was able to put Karluk’s pack on and top of the jacket and the clips cleared the straps perfectly and didn’t rub on Karluk.

I have also been using this jacket during the week when we go for long walks and play ball to help keep Karluk fit for our trips.  When he wears this jacket he is able to play much longer on a hot day.  Thanks to this new jacket, I will be able to keep increasing Karluk’s physical training throughout the summer as we prepare for our Tahoe Rim Trail Thru-Hike without fear of heat exhaustion.

If you have a dog and live where it’s hot this is a great jacket.  If you have a black dog like Karluk, this jacket is a MUST HAVE.


Pros
-Light weight, when dry this jacket is super light and easy to stow in your pack
-Keeps the pup cool no matter how hot
-Light color helps reflect the sun
-Reflective piping makes the dog visible in low light conditions
-Helps reduce the fear of heat exhaustion allowing your pup to go farther during warm weather
-Works well under a pack, with no fear of rubbing or chaffing form straps or clips

 

Cons
-Light color is showing the dirt all too well

-Fabric tends get pilled when rubbed against things like rocks and sticks, mostly cosmetic though have yet to tear it.

 

Ruffwear Palisades Pack & K9 Overcoat

Two pieces of gear that Ruffwear provided us with are the Palisades Pack and a K9 Overcoat.  These items have been thoroughly used this winter on Mt Hood.



Palisades Pack

MSPR $129.95

This is a great pack especially for winter when extra layers are needed for warmth.  This pack incorporates the web master harness and detachable panniers.  The pack iteslf has ample room in the pockets to hold food, water, dog bowls, booties, a ball, and an extra jacket for keeping warm when you stop for a long break.



Pros:

  • Built in web master harness is secure and a great saftey harness when on steep terrain.  The big grab handle is great for catching the dog if others are approaching.

  • Large pockets hold tons of gear and items.

  • Water resistant fabric and waterproof zippers prevent winter freeze up and worked on the coldest of days.

Cons:

  • The small inside strap to keep the pannier in place is hard to clip especially when wearing gloves.

K9 Overcoat

MSRP$64.95

This is a great jacket for winter activities.  It has a water and snow resistant codura nylon outer layer that sheds the snow fantastically.  It also has a warm fleece lining to keep the pup warm all day.  The nicest design feature is the large chest panel.  This not only keeps the dog warmer, it also helps prevent snow getting down into the jacket.  It's like a skid plate on your truck for plowing through deep snow.



Pros:

  • Superior warmth

  • Reflective Trim shows great in low light conditions

  • Large chest panel keeps out the snow

Cons:

  • None-this is a piece of dog gear perfection in my opinon