9 Ruffwear Dog Essentials

Dog pack

Your dog deserves nice things just like you! One thing we discovered early on with our dog’s leashes & harnesses is that if you go with the cheaper options they usually don’t end up being exactly what you were looking for. Cheaper leashes don’t give you the flexibility other leashes do, and harnesses/packs just don’t fit on your dog like they should. If you’re taking your dog for walks everyday, it’s worth investing in something a little more high quality.

Ruffwear dog coat

We’ve tried numerous brands of dog gear over the past few years and our favorite by far is Ruffwear. For all of our outdoor adventures Ruffwear has been the go to choice for their durability, consistency, and variety of dog gear items they have available.

Whether you are looking for a new leash to take your dog for their daily walk or looking for something a bit more adventurous like a dog hike pack, in this blog we will talk about our favorite Ruffwear dog items and why you may want to have them for your dog.

By clicking and purchasing through these links (no extra cost to you), you get your dog some fantastic gear and we get a little kickback so we can feed ours 🙂

Walking Your Dog

Taking your dog for their morning walk or hiking a nearby trail should be an enjoyable experience. That being said, we have had our fair share of some not so fun times. What helped us limit those bad walking days was incorporating a harness over a traditional collar, finding the right leash, and making our dog carry their gear on our long hikes.

1. Webmaster Dog Harness

The change from collar to harness was HUGE for us. After our dog Nemo got out of their collar and ran into the middle of the road, we knew we had to find a different option. We tried numerous different harnesses before finding the perfect one. The biggest benefits to using a harness over a collar is that you have more control, your dog can’t slip away, and you no longer have to worry about choking your dog out when they are pulling on the leash.

Ruffwear carries a variety of different harnesses, but the one that seems to work best for us and our dog is the Webmaster Harness. Nemo loves to put hers on before every walk and with two different clip points we know that she can’t slip out. The handle is also an awesome feature which is nice for lifting your dog into the back of the car or helping them with stairs if you need to.

2. Flagline Dog Leash

Can you imagine walking your dog for thousands of miles with a handheld leash?! We are ashamed to say it, but that’s exactly what we did before thinking a bit smarter and getting a leash that would allow us to be handsfree.

If you have small dogs and you’re just going for short walks in the neighborhood then a handheld leash probably gets the job done. But if you’re wanting to be handsfree or plan on going trail hiking, road walking or backpacking, then a leash that wraps around your waist is the way to go.

Ruffwear Roamer Bungee Leash

Our first Ruffwear waist leash was the Roamer Bungee (pictured above) which we used for quite awhile before switching it out. It got the job done in the hands free aspect, but with how much stretch the leash has it made it hard to keep Nemo where we wanted her. After a few months of using it, the leash became even more stretchy, thus leaving us with a saggy stretched out leash. The stretchy web feature is aimed at allowing your dog to explore, but if your dog pulls hard on the leash it may not be your best choice in the long run.


This Flagline Dog Leash is where it’s at! We just recently got this and already like it so much more than the bungee leash. You can use it as both a normal leash and waist leash, and without the stretch we have so much more control. The leash also has a lock feature on the latch to make sure your dog can’t detach from you.

Our only negative with this leash is there is no additional handle towards the base of the leash in case you want your dog directly next to you.

3. Palisades Dog Backpack

Ruffwear also offers a wide variety of dog packs so you can have the right one for any occasion. They have hydration packs for holding water, day trip backs for out and backs, and this multi day pack for your longer trips.

Nemo wore this pack during the Colorado Trail and just like her harness she was always super excited to throw it on in the mornings! The Palisades Dog Backpack gives you the ability of storing 1L of water on each side as well as 2-3 days of food depending on how much your dog eats. We always try our best to limit the pack on Nemo, but on longer trail sections without water this pack was incredible. The saddle can also easily detach from the harness making it easy to decide when you want the pack on or off.

If you end up getting a pack for your dog remember to start slow. It’s a good rule of thumb not to have the pack (including the pack weight) be over 25% of your dog’s body weight. We started Nemo with half a liter of water on each side and slowly worked up in weight. The most she ever carried was two full liters of water with a days worth of food.

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Jackets & Coats

I never used to be someone who thought my dog needed to have a winter coat or a rain jacket. Dogs are meant to be outside right?!

Before we walked across the US we knew we needed to have some sort of jacket for our Teacup Yorkie, Foxi. With how small she is, every little change in weather is really hard on her body. We purchased our very first Ruffwear item, the powder hound dog jacket, and after seeing how warm it kept Foxi we knew we had found our new favorite dog company. Years later we now also have cooling vests for those hot summer days and even a rain jacket for the rainy ones!

Ruffwear has a ton of different options for all kinds of scenarios! We will be expanding Nemo and Foxi’s outdoor road robe soon!

4. Powder Hound Dog Jacket

The Powder Hound Dog Jacket is a must for anyone looking to keep their dog a little bit warmer. This jacket has saved Foxi on so many occasions and because we live outside basically year round, having the jacket handy in case it gets cold is a game changer.

Powder Hound Dog Jacket

We have had this jacket for two years now and it is still holding up strong! This style of jacket is warm but not waterproof! For a warm and waterproof jacket checkout the Vert Dog Jacket (we have not personally tried this one).

5. Swamp Cooler Zip Cooling Dog Vest

Does your dog struggle in the heat?? When the end of spring came around both of our dogs were really struggling with the heat. Dumping water on your dog works for a short amount of time but they are quickly back to panting and trying to find shade within minutes.

We had seen these Swamp Cooler Cooling Vests on Ruffwear’s site and thought we would give them a go. These vests are a MUST if your dog struggles with the heat whether that’s in your backyard, out at the park, or on your own outdoor adventure.

These vests are super compact and all you have to do is soak them underwater and zip them on your dog. What makes the vests different then just dumping water on your dog is that the cooling is targeted at specific areas on your dog’s body and the “coolness” effect lasts over a longer duration of time.

6. Sun Shower Dog Rain Coat

Don’t let the rain ruin your walk!

Before we started the Colorado trail we found out that the month of June can get very wet. With us living out of the tent for the duration of the trail we knew that we didn’t want everything at the end of the day smelling like wet dog if there were some rainstorms during the day.

We are SO happy we decided to get this Sun Shower Dog Rain Coat last second. Not only did it allow Nemo to stay completely dry while we hiked through afternoon rain storms, it also helped us keep the inside of our tent dry and free of wet dog smells.

Food & Water Bowls

For those of you who like taking your dogs on camping trips or on long hikes, you may want to consider adding some of these for your next time out! The collapsible cinch top bowl and the collapsible bivy bowl are great for taking on backpack trips or your weekend hikes, and the Kibble Kaddie Travel Bag is a great way to take your dog’s food with you on your next road trip.

7. Cinch Top Packable Bowl

This is the solution all of you hikers and backpackers have been looking for! We love this bowl and it comes with us on every multi day trip we take.

The Cinch Top Packable Bowl made Nemo’s food situation on the Colorado Trail so much easier. Nemo doesn’t like eating all of her food at once so the cinch top made it easy to mix up her dehydrated food and keep whatever food she didn’t finish fresh for later. The straps are easy to hook onto your pack and the inside liner of the bowl folds out for easy cleaning.

8. Bivy Collapsible Dog Bowl

We love this Bivy Collapsible Dog Bowl and use it not just for our adventures but for our house dog water bowl as well! The bowl is lightweight, collapses down to the size of a small plate, and has a loop on the back so you can attach it to a carabiner and easily carry it on your backpack.

9. Kibble Kaddie Dog Food Travel Bag

Last but not least we give to you the ultimate dog food travel bag! We were having issues with getting holes in our dog food bags and food spilling out because of the bag seals not closing so we looked for other options.

The Kibble Kaddie Dog Food Travel Bag is great for long adventures or road trips and will hold up to 10L of food (about an 8 pound bag of dog food). There are two separate compartments on the inside so you can safely pack any other items you’re bringing for your dog and there’s an easy pour lip that folds out to make pouring the food easy and clean. Then, just fold and clip the bag to secure it and the bag now has a handle!

We had a raccoon run off with our bag so we’ll need to get another one here soon!

We hope you found this blog helpful and hope you find the right dog gear for your dog! If this helped you, make sure to put your email in below so you can stay up to date on dog tips, awesome recipes, and all of our travel tips!

Dog pack

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