BEN WEEKS, news and features writer for Trail Magazine, tests the Ruffwear Track Jacket
Hugo, my Staffie cross, is a chewer. The fact that he didn’t even attempt to eat the Ruffwear coat, suggests that he barely noticed it being on.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. First things first – why the Track Jacket at all?
Well, when he’s not devouring my belongings, Hugo spends most of his time either in our local woodland park, being walked around the streets where we live, or out and about in the hills. In every case, I like to be able to know where he is and, with the dark nights upon us, keeping sight of him becomes more difficult.
The Track Jacket is a huge asset as far as that goes. I’m used to having to wrestle Hugo into a harness, but the Track Jacket slipped on easily, was adjusted simply and, as already mentioned, he seemed to have no objections to wearing it. Indeed, it doesn’t seem to slow him down at all. The bright orange is easier to spot than Hugo’s natural colouring, and the reflective strips make him stand out even more. This is particularly useful in the urban environment where car headlights light him up like a bauble, ensuring he (and by default me on the end of his lead) are seen.
For occasions when I want to let him off his lead in the park and still be able to track him, I clip a couple of Ruffwear Beacons onto dedicated loops on the Track Jacket (it’ll take three in total), adding flashing red lights to what’s already a superbly spottable doggy garment.
Of course, the other factor that comes into play when the days get shorter and the nights grow longer is that the weather also starts to deteriorate. The fact that the Track Jacket offers Hugo some additional waterproofing is no doubt greatly appreciated. It does get a little grubby on our wet woodland walks (we all do), but a gentle wash has it looking good as new and as reflective as ever.
Measuring Hugo’s size wasn’t entirely straightforward (he tried to eat the tape measure) but it was worth the effort to make sure we got the right size as the fit is spot on. I can see the Track Jacket getting plenty of use this winter; the future’s bright, the future’s orange.
12 December 2016 by Ruffwear
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