Ruffwear, the ideal combination for your best frie
Published on 01/10/2017 00:00
A few months ago, I came across a harness and two leads made by one of the leading brands in outdoor equipment for our beloved canine companions, and the truth is that I was pleasantly surprised.
If you don’t already know this brand, I recommend that you take a look at their catalogue so that you can properly kit out your best friend to accompany you on all your adventures, whether by land or sea. And the fact is that when you hold one of their products in your hands, you realise that behind each item, there is a lengthy period of research and field testing that allows them to refine and perfect even the smallest detail.
The products that our little dog was lucky enough to try out were the Front Range pack (leash and harness) and the Roam elastic leash. In my modest opinion, this is a great combination as, with only these three items, you can go for any type of walk, from a relaxed city stroll to the occasional run in the mountains, using the elastic leash. Although, truth be told, if your priority is running, it is much better to use a harness that has been specially designed for this purpose, as pulling on the back is not the most suitable thing for canicross.
FRONT RANGE™ Harness
The first impression is that this is an easy harness to put on and to use, as its ergonomic, padded structure allows an optimal fit. It is important to mention that this harness is available in assorted sizes, and that the fitting systems, as its name would indicate, are only meant to adapt it to the overall size of the dog, in my case is a small one.
When I put the harness on Grey for the first time, the resulting fit was comfortable and relaxed, and in fact she has stopped running away like she used to do every time we tried to put on her old harness. So, after a couple of tweaks to make sure it was properly placed around her, we went out for a walk without any complaints. I think that at times she forgets she’s wearing it, since more than once she has gone to her basket without even giving us time to take it off!
As regards durability, I can assure you that after a few months of daily use, it’s as good as the first day, and it’s been wet, covered in mud and dried, without losing any of its characteristics or becoming excessively worn. You can consult the photos at the end of this review.
Structure and fit: Its structure may seem heavier than most typical strap harnesses, but you immediately notice its ergonomics and the padded finish, and that it gives a feeling of comfort. Actually, it adapted perfectly to our dog’s movements, much better than conventional harnesses.
The harness includes four adjustable points, symmetrically placed, so that the fit is almost perfect. It also has two symmetrical fasteners, which guarantee that it is always kept in the same position.
Connection between the harness and the leash: The harness has two points to connect it to the leash:
*V-ring system on the back, by means of an aluminium ring that allows a quick hook-up to the leash of the same make. This connecting point is the best system for daily use and is strategically located so that, in the event that we have to pull our dog up short, tension is evenly spread over the whole harness, and so she doesn’t get hurt.
*Reinforced webbing on the chest, for training or control sessions.
* Small bag along the back, where we can fix and hide her tag so that it doesn’t bother her when it moves as she walks.
* Reflectors to improve visibility during night-time walks.
FRONT RANGE™ Leash
The brand has designed a special leash for this harness, with the same name and quality. A leash that is defined by the company as light and resistant, good adjectives to describe it, to which I would add simplicity and functionality. Without a doubt, and after many long hours of games and walks, in which the leash has suffered thousands of bites and pulls, I can assure you that each and every one of these adjectives is true, and that the leash is just like new. And that’s with Grey trying her best to ruin it!
Handle: The leash has two handles, one located at the end, and padded to make the feel of the leash in your hand as pleasant as possible during walks, and the other situated near to where it joins the harness, which allows us to carry our short little dog whenever necessary without having to perform manoeuvres with the leash. This loop near the connection point also allows us to attach small bags and other accessories.
Connection to the harness (CRUIX CLIP™): The “Cruix Clip”, which joins the lead to the harness, is undoubtedly one of the best innovations included in this leash. It is a fast, light, simple and safe carabiner clip. The secret, in my opinion, was in making an ergonomic carabiner, that adjusts to a natural position and allows fastening and unclipping with just one hand. It is a simplification of the climbing carabiner, with some unnecessary parts removed, and to which has been added a small notch where we can rest our index finger so that, just by pinching it together with the thumb of the same hand, we can open and close it with unbelievable ease.
This leash, unlike the Front Range leash, has an adjustable clasp at the end which allows three different positions:
* Hand: The hand at the far end of the lead.
* Tied to the waist: Completely freeing up the hands.
* Short: Using the same system mentioned in the Front Range leash.
This leash is elastic, which makes our adventurous companion’s range of exploration much broader, and, thanks to the Ruffwear’s Wavelength™ system, we can save ourselves those annoying tugs, when our pet smells a pine tree, a stick or a small animal in the distance.
I have tried it out on fast walks and runs and the feeling of security is really good, as it is able to absorb tugs, something that occurs with a rigid leash due to uneven ground and the obstacles that we may find on our walks.
TALON Clip™ harness connection: This leash still uses the old clipping system, which is not to say that it is less resistant or safe. In fact, after several months of use, I can assure you that the main difference is a much smaller one, although not in a bad way: the ergonomics, a bit more weight, and not as quick to open and close if it is compared with the CRUIX CLIP, but equally safe and secure.
Type of user for whom I would recommend these three items:
I would recommend this harness for daily use or long treks in the mountains, as its wide, padded structure and the protection on straps and seams prevent unnecessary chafing.
With reference to the leashes, I would recommend the Front Range for daily use and the Roamer for those times when you go out for a fast walk or run, where you need to have your hands free.
*The harness takes a long time to dry if it gets completely wet.
*I would add an attachment on the back, where a light could be fixed.
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Soy una persona muy activa a la que cuesta seguir los entrenos pero siempre tiene una excusa para salir a correr, pedalear o nadar, o alguna idea loca que me quita el sueño.
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