- Category: Reviews
- Published on Friday, 11 November 2016 16:03
I have to be honest, I didn't think I would recommend a dog jacket for around a hundred dollars! That's a large price for a small item, that would've be my first impression, but after using Ruffwear offerings and researching dog products, my thought changed quite quickly!
I've used the Approach Dog pack and it really changed my thoughts on dog gear. I was accustomed to what is found in most pet stores, and the quality seems to be an afterthought when it comes to clothing and gear for dogs, until I used Ruffwear.
Ruffwear takes it much more seriously in my opinion. Their products are on a whole new plane when it comes to quality. I often compare their products to what is found in product lines like NorthFace when it comes to clothing and gear for people. High tech fabrics and very well built gear! The Aira is the new offering by Ruffwear, it's a lightweight breathable rain and I would have to say wet weather and wind jacket. I don't like to say just a rain coat because this jacket has so much more to offer than that. Here in New Brunswick Canada you can get just as wet on a nice day as you do on one when it's raining, we have wind coming off the Fundy coast that can be crazy some days.
I've used this coat on my dog on days where it was pouring and even I was soaked, but the Aira jacket held up better than the jacket I bought for myself at $300. As you can see from the photos there is no water penetration at all. The large collar keeps the rain from dripping down the dog's back and into the coat. Even after an hour of playing the parts of my dog that were covered by the coat were still bone dry, unlike me!
The Aira is a coat that's going to give your dog the best protection from the elements most of the year, but may not be suitable for the winter months as it's just a shell. If you live in a warmer climate you could easily use this jacket all year around. You have a full shell that covers the body and a bib that covers the underside made from a light weight breathable fabric with a mesh liner. This all attaches using lightweight clasps, and I say lightweight because Ruffwear uses special cut down clasps to lower the weight on the dog. Each clasp tucks into a slot in the jacket that has been totally enclosed to ensure that neither the dog's skin or the outside world can get at it, which makes for a very comfortable smooth surface on the inside for the dog and smooth on the outside so it's not getting caught on everything. The strap also has elastic points on it to allow the dog to move more freely.
On the backside of the jacket you have a groove that accommodates the dog's tail along with an elastic loop that goes around each leg to hold the jacket in place so it doesn't ride up on your pet. I first thought these straps were too tight but after a few times using the jacket they loosened up nicely and are now pretty much perfect!
Up on the top of the jacket you have a reflective piping that runs down both sides and around the back similar to what is found on running jackets. You also get a slot that is hidden on the back of the jacket and closes with Velcro that allows you to attach your leash directly to your dog's harness like the Front Range or Web Master Harness by Ruffwear. This is an important option to take into account if you have a dog that uses a harness as not all dog jackets accommodate this.
Now that we're onto things that companies don't accommodate, I wanted to mention sizing. Many companies, well I'm just going to say it... suck when it comes to helping the consumer to size their product, and it's something I always have had problems with. This is why I didn't buy products for my dog online unless I had the chance to try the product on him, because sizing can be a real crapshoot and it can be a huge pain to keep returning something that doesn't fit. But Ruffwear is phenomenal when it comes to sizing, they have videos and charts that allow me to size my pet's gear perfectly and I haven't had any problem getting my ordered products to fit the first time. I like to mention this, as it's such a pain when you have to return stuff when you would rather be outside having fun with our little buddies!
Around the neck you have the same reflective piping and the collar itself can be folded down or up depending on the weather. Included near the collar is a small loop on the back that is designed so that a light designator can be attached to the back of your pet like the The Beacon safety light sold by Ruffwear. You also have heavy reinforcement points on all the stress areas on the collar. On the underside of the collar you will find a spot where you can place your pet's "Trail Name" and I love this little spot on the tag where Ruffwear has placed a little name tape spot where you can write your dog's name in case you have more than one pet. I know it's such a little thing, but the little added detail is why I like Ruffwear so much, they always go that little extra to make sure their product is the best!
To Check Out Ruffwear Products Go To www.ruffwear.com