If you obsess over dog gear like me, you know there are two real champion companies in this arena – Ruffwear (Oregon-based/Vietnam-manufactured) and Hurtta (Finland-based/China-manufactured). Both are essentially dog versions of companies like Patagonia, Marmot, Columbia, or North Face – design and aesthetic-heavy, these items carry high price tags.
Because we continuously buy, test, and review Ruffwear and Hurtta, I thought to compile our favourites in each category between the two brands. This list will be updated each season (everything is the newest version unless indicated as ‘old’).
Hurtta Extreme Warmer
Winter Coat: Hurtta Extreme Warmer – There is no coat like this one out there – heat-reflective inner fabric with a weather-resistant outer shell means 2 much happier dogs in the cold. The fit is a tiny bit on the larger size, but that means you can layer underneath, too. It comes in a great assortment of colours: sleek city-ready grey, high visibility orange, and a gorgeous lingon(berry) red. We compared this to: Hurtta Summit Parka, Hurtta Ultimate Warmer, Ruffwear Powder Hound
Rain Coat: Hurtta Torrent Coat – While having more overall coverage and better fit than any other rain coat we have tested, it ironically lacks a little in the belly (if your dog can tolerate full body suits, check out Hurtta Slush Combat). Compared to: Hurtta Slush Combat, Ruffwear Sun Shower (old), Ruffwear Aira (old)
Ruffwear Fernie and Hurtta Padded Harness (old)
Sweater: Ruffwear Fernie – I’m kind of obsessed with my Patagonia Better Sweater 1/4 Zip and this is basically the dog version. It’s a mid layer on wet cold days and good on its own on slightly chilly dry ones. There could be better colours. Compared to: Hurtta Knit Sweater, Ruffwear Climate Changer, Ruffwear Climate Changer (old)
Soft Shell: Hurtta Chill Stopper – This super modern hard-to-find is more like a show stopper. It’s oversized, but the fit allows for flexible motion and optional layering. It stops a little bit of every weather condition. Compared to: Hurtta Frost Jacket, Ruffwear Quinzee
Cooling: Ruffwear Swamp Cooler – Although it needs occasional “recharging,” there just isn’t anything more efficient than this when it comes to staying cool. We couldn’t have made it through summer without it! Compared to: Ruffwear Jet Stream, Ruffwear Swamp Cooler (old), Hurtta Cooling Vest
Hurtta Body Warmer
Base Layer: Hurtta Body Warmer – Just like the Extreme Warmer, this “moon suit” features reflective fabric with near full body coverage, and is especially useful for the tiny, skinny, easily cold, ill, or old (like Deer)…if you can find a fit, that is. Compared to: Hurtta Microfleece Overalls, Ruffwear Cloud Chaser (old)
Boots: Ruffwear Griptrex – This is some serious paw-wear. There is nothing we have tried yet with comparable grip and so easy to put on. The major fault? The ankle is a little too big and doesn’t make it ideal for some dogs, including those with dew claws (we use socks!). Compared to: Hurtta Outback Boots
Safety: Ruffwear Beacon Light – The newest update is easier to use and with better flash/colour options. Plus it’s rechargeable, waterproof, and is super compatible with other Ruffwear gear. The only problem is that it occasionally falls off spontaneously and this is not a cheap light. Compared to: Ruffwear Track Jacket, Ruffwear Beacon Light (old), Hurtta Micro Visibility Vest
Ruffwear Float Coat (old)
Swimwear: Ruffwear Float Coat (Old) – Sleek and attractive, this life vest can make a difference to keeping your pup afloat. It’s not really designed for lifting, but the handle helped me redirect and keep Jasper going the right direction. Compared to: Hurtta Life Jacket
Travel Bowl: Ruffwear Bivy Bowl – While not as packable as many other bowls, this bowl is much more sturdy, easier to clean, and adjustable in height (for little dudes like Jasper). Compared to: Ruffwear Quencher, Ruffwear Quencher Cinch (old), Ruffwear Bivy Bowl (old), Hurtta Fountain Bowl
Sleeping: Ruffwear Mt. Bachelor Pad – Portable (2-3 pounds), cushioned (1 inch loft), and easy to just toss into the washing machine, it’s a lot more like carrying a sliver of home rather than technical gear. Compared to: Ruffwear Highlands Sleeping Bed + Pad, Ruffwear Urban Sprawl
Hurtta Padded Harness
Harness: Hurtta Padded Harness – There isn’t a harness more minimal and flexible than this. Yeah, it’s not escape proof (see Ruffwear Webmaster Harness, which I highly recommend, but did not fit either of my dogs), but with reliable dogs, it looks good over and under clothes, and features a convenient handle for support (not for picking up unless you’re 10 pound Jasper). Compared to: Hurtta Padded Y Harness (old), Hurtta Padded Harness (old), Hurtta Active Harness, Ruffwear Front Range Harness, Ruffwear Webmaster Harness
Collar: Hurtta Padded Collar – Admittedly, I’m fussy with collars and so are my dogs, but this is the only collar from the ones I’ve tried that I can leave on and know they’re both comfortable and secure. Compared to: Hurtta Half-Choke Collar, Ruffwear Hoopie Collar (old), Ruffwear Chain Reaction Collar (old)
Leash: Ruffwear Knot-a-Leash – We use a lot of different of leashes for a lot of different situations, but this one is our favourite because it is the most packable, is attractive, has a comfortable handle, and a heavy-duty locking carabiner. For more flexibility on the trail, I recommend the Ruffwear Roamer as a close second favourite (it’s just a little too bulky). Compared to: Ruffwear Roamer Leash, Ruffwear Just-a-Cinch Leash, Ruffwear Quick Draw Leash, Ruffwear Double Track Coupler, Hurtta Casual Leash, Hurtta Mountain Rope Leash, Hurtta Free Hand/Jogging Leash, Hurtta Retriever Rope Leash, Hurtta Explorer Leash
Ruffwear Fernie and Hurtta Padded Harness (new)
Conclusion: I honestly think both companies produce outstanding products. For the most part Hurtta soars in coats, especially in their consideration of the elements, although they are quite pricey. Compared to Ruffwear, they offer much better coverage and fit (increments are 2″ in the back). Plus, we personally like their collars and harnesses more due to their minimalism, fit, and comfort. However, Ruffwear seems to take home the trophy with about everything else, especially form-fitting clothing, leashes, safety gear, and camping gear.