I’ve finally hit the point with gear that all my stuff is totally figured out. I know what backpack to use and which pair of snow pants I love. Even the gloves, snowshoes, jackets, and more are all dialed in. But you know where I’m still lacking? Gear for my favorite canines.
Now, for anyone who’s seen Yuri and Kina’s wall of gear (actually now it’s two walls) you’re probably thinking my furry kids don’t need anything else. Well, they take after their favorite human (me) and insist on having all their gear perfect, figured out, and dialed in. They’re active canines that don’t have time for harnesses slipping around, backpacks tearing, and uncomfortable hot spots from poor fitting gear.
So, when we heard from Hurtta a few months ago about reviewing their summer gear we were cautiously excited. Great gear for active dogs is hard to find, so was Hurtta any good? Would the gear stand up to all the crazy things my dogs do that have obliterated the expensive gear already on the wall?
I’m going to admit right now that I’m actually pretty shocked. When I say we’ve tested a lot of dog gear, I really do mean a LOT. We have a pile of backpacks, harnesses, leashes, collars, and more from all sorts of well known dog gear makers (most of which I bought myself). And it’s all retired and unloved. Ouch.
So what got tested that has me and my canines head over heels in love with Hurtta gear?
Hurtta Life Jacket
When Hurtta contacted us, the only thing that I was actively looking for at the time was new life jackets for the dogs. We’ve been spending more and more time each summer on Lake Winnipesaukee and knew this year we’d pretty much be living up there every weekend. This meant Yuri and Kina needed to have a well fitting and extremely functional life jacket.
It’s like Hurtta read my previously unwritten must have list:
- Really bright colors for high visibility (Check! The neon yellow and orange are the most visible colors possible. I can’t possibly miss my dogs.)
- D-Ring for leash (Check! You’d be surprised how many companies don’t include this. It was crucial to us because we sometimes need to keep the dogs on leash in water.)
- Extremely durable handle to lift dogs out of water (Check! Lifting a 80lb soaking wet dog out of the water is hard enough. Having the life jacket fall apart or handle tear mid-lift never made it easier, but Hurtta is perfect.)
- Designed with hot spots and chafing in mind (Check! If your dog willingly takes a 5 hour nap while wearing his life jacket, it must be comfy. No issues or complaints from the humans or canines.)
Hurtta sent us life jackets SO well designed that even Yuri and Kina are acting different while sporting their new gear. For two pups who have always been afraid of water, both have taken to jumping off the boat (while anchored), and Yuri has even started to stand up paddle board with me. Both dogs know that if you see life jackets getting packed, good things are in store!
Hurtta Dazzle Harness
The one thing I definitely wasn’t looking for when Hurtta contacted us was more harnesses. We have plenty, but I’m a sucker for neon colors and I was kind of keeping an eye out for blaze vests that would be helpful during hunting season. So, we asked for a pair and got testing almost immediately.
And then I retired 4 of the harnesses on our wall. I didn’t see that coming.
While the other harnesses worked okay, Hurtta’s Dazzle Harness (also known as the Active Harness in the less bold colors) had an unusually great fit. We had sadly become accustom to our dogs running around with their harnesses totally lopsided, but Hurtta doesn’t have that problem. These harnesses stay put, don’t get swallowed up by Yuri and Kina’s thick fur, and have a nice open design that keep Yuri and Kina cool.
We were also pleased to see that the design is unbelievably durable. We often need to use the handle on Yuri and Kina’s harnesses to hold them in place or assist them up sketchy sections of hikes, and the Dazzle Harness works great. And just like the neon colors from their life jackets, the yellow and orange just can’t be beat.
All in all, we’re unbelievably happy with the gear from Hurtta and are excited to test more later this year. I think it’s safe to say that our wall of gear is going to be mostly Hurtta fairly soon!
Disclaimer: We were provided the gear mentioned in this article for free in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. As always, we wouldn’t promote anything we don’t actually love or wouldn’t buy on our own anyways.