HURTTA FROST JACKET
Birch Green // 12″ (with 12″ back, 13″ neck, 16″ chest)
$17.45 through Amazon Warehouse Deals ($80 MSRP)

SUMMARY:
+ Form-fitting for leaner dogs, and somewhat adjustable, but too tight for most
+ Easy-to-clean, high-quality waterproof, lightweight materials
+ Protects from some wind, rain, snow, and cold, but nothing harsher
+ Some zipper/putting-on issues and chafing on legs for short-haired dogs

OVERALL RATING (OUT OF 5): 3.3
Function: 3 // Durability: 3.5 // Value: 3 // Aesthetics: 3.5 // Fit: 3.5

REVIEW:
Hurtta designed the Frost Jacket a few years ago, and I acquired it at a deep discount because the newer, updated version, the Chill Stopper (which we have for Deer, my other dog) was released for the 2015/16 season. While other stores were offering the jacket for half of its MSRP, Amazon’s Warehouse Deals offered the jacket in my small dog, Jasper’s size, for less than 25% of the MSRP ($17.45 instead of $80) in a slightly less than new condition, so I just couldn’t pass on it!

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Jasper is not an easy dog to fit into clothes, but this one seems to be tailor-made!

Jasper is a very skinny, tall, but small dog with hardly any fur in many places, including his legs, abdomen, and neck. His breed is used to much more moderate temperatures, but where we live currently in New York, we get a full winter, much colder, snowier, and windier than what the breed is comfortable with. The search for a winter jacket is not an option, but a must – several jackets even!

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You can easily see how perfect this jacket fits Jasper!

Out of all the jackets we have and have tested, the Frost Jacket seems like it was made for him personally. Jasper’s measurements are very close to the official measurements put up by Hurtta, indicating to me that sizing is true-to-size. It’s not perfect, but it’s spectacularly close, and the adjustable collar, neckline, and waist strings allow for an even closer fit. That being said, this fit is probably not for most dogs, particularly those broad-chested. The tightness of the jacket would cause constraints in movement, and even be uncomfortable to stand in. It may even have a similar effect as the Thundershirt and make a dog calm or even unwilling to move.

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Jasper “zoomies” up and down the beach’s seaweed in this jacket.

Jasper always moves a little less with all clothes on, but he was able to fully zoom up and down the beach with this jacket on, and even roll and jump, too. Even better, the jacket, with the use of the elastic leg bands in the back (some people hate these and cut them off, but I just tie them to make them tighter if needed), never shifted and moved out of place while Jasper was going crazy.

If your dog does indeed fit into the Frost Jacket, you will notice the material is good enough for a human to wear. Nothing jaw-dropping, but impressive nevertheless. The Frost Jacket is more or less a soft shell jacket using polyester on the outside, and some light fleece lining on the inside. It’s thin enough to tear, but unless your dog is running along sharp vegetation, it’s rather unlikely.

img_7461-jpgA closer look to the outer (upper) fabric and inner (lower) fabric, and trim.

HoundTex is the name of the outer fabric Hurtta uses on the vast majority of their clothing and it is lightweight, minimally noisy, breathable, yet insulating, and also water-resistant! On the Frost Jacket, you can expect a primary defense against cold, windy, and wet weather, like an undercoat for dogs without one, or an extra inch of fur with a dog that does. While mostly waterproof, drops don’t exactly wick off the jacket – it sort of just soaks in the top layer without leaking through. Depending on the seam work on your specific jacket, some very, very light leaking may occur near seams. It’s not enough to wet the fur, but you can see that it “stains” the fleece a little.

If your dog is especially skinny, or is older, or just has difficulty in general staying warm, the Frost Jacket will do very little in more extreme or difficult situations. Alone, the jacket for Jasper is only suitable for Fall and Spring weather, not Winter, and any weather I would require at least two layers, means another layer underneath the Frost Jacket for Jasper, too.

For how light it is, the cut of the jacket covers many major muscle groups, including the upper back thighs, front triceps, part of the belly, and most of the neck. It fails to cover the middle and lower back legs, and although it’s a difficult design to execute, it’s much needed. The two-way zipper is top-accessing, but also waterproof, making putting on and off a breeze, or a headache, depending on you and your dog.

If your dog is paw-shy, you won’t be able to get this on, as you have to get both paws into the sleeves before even getting to the next step of zipping it up. If you are not very coordinated with your hands, you won’t be able to deal with zip up. The zipper often gets stuck and needs a good pull (but not TOO hard) before it works.

img_7460-jpgView from the top of the front area – adjustable collar, zipper, snap button, reflectors, harness hole, and adjustable chest.

Our problem with the fit is where the cuffs end for the front sleeves. Because they’re right at a huge movement point, and because Jasper has extremely thin fur, the constant running around causes a lot of chafing. I’ve had to remove the jacket several times so he could continue to go crazy without causing further damage. He’s lost some fur there due to this jacket and some others, unfortunately.

However, the design encompasses a opening for a harness and leash to attach to one another, as well as 3M reflectors throughout the front and sides. These details may seem like a given to many people, but you’d be surprised how much dog gear lacks either or both!

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With Jasper’s dark brown colour, the Birch Green of the jacket helps him blend into this scene.

FINAL SAY: Somewhat recommended. All in all, the Frost Jacket is a really great piece of gear, but lacks enough function for us to keep using. While this jacket fit Jasper quite well and held up way past the price I paid, it has a high chance of not fitting most dogs and near or at MSRP, is far overpriced. I would get a newer, looser jacket with more insulation if possible.

SIMILAR ITEMS (REVIEWS COMING SOON):
+ Hurtta Chill Stopper
+ Ruffwear Cloud Chaser

Originally written Dec. 2016, updated again Nov. 2017