Dog Gear Review: Hurtta Sun & Bug Blocker

Xena’s biggest enemy is the heat. We love the sunny Southern California weather but that heat can get brutal on Xena. Her black fur absorbs that heat and retains it for a very long time. Even in the low 60s, without shade Xena gets too hot and she looks for shades. So it’s my responsibility to make sure she doesn’t get overheated when we hike.

A couple months ago we received a sample of Sun & Bug Blocker from Hurtta North America for trail testing. They wanted to see how it does on a black dog. Our long-time followers already know that we can’t live without Ruffwear Swamp Cooler. I am always interested in trying out cooling gear for Xena. We were happy to put it to the test right away.

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Product Specs

  • Size:  12S – 24M (click here to see how to measure correctly)
  • Color:  Beige
  • Retail price:  $55
  • Full suit (no zippers or straps)

Design – 4.5/5

Here is the material information directly from the Hurtta website:

Archroma Sanitized®

  • Permethrin-based durable and safe protection for dogs.

  • Keeps mosquitoes, ticks and horseflies from landing; reduces stings and bites

  • Accepted by Oeko-Tex Standard 100, Class I-IV.

  • The finishing retains efficiency even after a hundred washes.

  • Dermatologically tested.

  • Treated with Archroma Rayosan® which provides UPF 40+

Now, my observations:

  • Easy to pack compactly (a carrying pouch included) and store in my pack without any additional weight
  • Extremely light, soft, breathable and smooth. Once Xena had it on, she had more energy and was noticeably feeling more comfortable in the sun.
  • There are 3 drawstrings for adjustable fitting:  one on the back, second one at the base of the neck and the last one on the hoody.
  • Easier to dress than undress
  • Comfortable to wear

Function – 4.5/5

Archroma Sanitized® material is very light and breathable. I love the loose hoody design. It covers her entire head! She didn’t mind at all when I pulled it all the way up to protect her from the sun. I think she liked getting the sun blocked. She was not even fazed a little bit. She happily kept on hiking.

It was easier to dress than undress. It fits snug in the chest so it was a bit of effort to pull her first front leg out. It’s not hard but it’s not easy. She didn’t run away from me when I tried to put it on her again after the first time so I know she didn’t hate it. This probably isn’t an issue for a pup with a narrow chest.

We tested the suit in Warner Springs, CA during a weekend trip. Surprisingly there were many mosquitoes. Huge mosquitoes! I assumed probably many ticks were there too considering the amount of tall grasses along the trails. She didn’t get one bite nor I noticed any of them landing on her. Insect/bug test passed by us.

She had no problem going potty in this. That’s always a good thing. 😉

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Quality – 5/5

It’s made with high quality material and the stitching is flawlessly as I would expect from Hurtta products. I wash it in a front load washing machine in a gentle cycle and air-dry it. The suit comes out of the washer like new and it’s easy to care for. 

Fashion and Fit – 4/5

To get the right size, you need to measure the neck, chest and the back length. Xena’s wearing the size 18M and it fits perfectly. We didn’t need it but if you need to adjust the fitting, there are 3 drawstrings:  one on the back, second one at the base of the neck and the last one on the hoody.

Xena seemed to be comfortable in the suit too. I didn’t notice any chafing and her movement wasn’t restricted in anyway

Now, let’s talk about the fashion. I have a few nicknames for it. Mummy suit, space suit, bee keeper suit, to name a few. I think all doggie full suits are funny when it’s on. I find it entertaining. Haha. But this isn’t about looking fashionable but protecting your pup from the sun and the nasty annoying bugs and insects so it has to cover most part of the body.

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Overall – 4.5/5

Hurtta Sun & Bug Blocker is a high quality performance full suit that is light and airy to keep the dog cool yet protected from the sun’s harmful rays and annoying (and could be dangerous) bugs such as mosquitoes, ticks and horseflies. It is suitable for all fur-types but I think it looks better on the dogs with shorter fur. It’s great for dogs who get overheated easily due to their dark fur or dogs without hair who needs extra protection. Skin cancer is very common in dogs. If your dog spends a lot of time outdoors, it’s something to think about as well…

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Xoxo

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Dog Gear Review: Hurtta Torrent Raincoat

In Southern California, the rainy season is from November to February. But we’ve been in a drought condition for so long, I forgot what it was like to have a rainy season. We had lots of greens on the trails this winter, dried up waterfalls in the L.A. area are flowing again, wildflowers are blooming early and in more places, spring time is more beautiful than ever this year.

Our friends at Hurtta North America sent us a Torrent Coat to test in the fall. I wasn’t sure if we would be able to test the jacket to its capacity based on the weather history. Oh boy, I was in for a surprise! We had such a good wet season this winter and we just might be out of the long-lasted drought condition after 5-6 years! During these wet months, we got to test our jacket often on the trail and off the trail. In other parts of the country, the rainy season is just about to begin so I think it is a good time to share the review of the product with our readers.

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Product Specs

  • Size:  8-35″ (click here to see how to measure)
  • Color:  Raven, Cherry & Hi-Viz Orange (select sizes)
  • Retail price:  $75

Design – 4/5

  • Waterproof and breathable Houndtex® coating
  • Quick to line-dry in an airy space
  • Perfect for long- and soft-haired dogs
  • Adjustable chest strap
  • High protective collar
  • High-quality 3M reflectors for safety
  • Easy to dress

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Function – 3.5/5

The material is light and smooth. It has been laminated with a waterproof and breathable Houndtex® membrane. Even during a storm, it kept Xena dry. I like its high collar and that it covers her entire back and chest keeping her dry and warm. The material is very similar to my windbreaker.

It is easy to dress using two buckles. The leg loops kept the jacket in place without restricting her movement. 3M reflectors and the bright pink color were great to keep Xena visible at all times. Adjustable chest strap worked as expected.

It is supposedly made from soundless material but that wasn’t the case. Although I did not find it loud or annoying and has not impact on her movement, the material makes a light whoosh sound when Xena walks. It’s the material rubbing against each other.

My biggest complaint is the tail snap. When it was closed underneath the tail, for whatever reason, Xena had to go #2 every. single. time. Not surprisingly, the poo got on it. Ew! I heard from others that they had the same issue. After using it for couple times with the same result, I gave up and never used that feature again. I just snapped it over her tail and flipped it over on her back or let it cover her tail.

Quality – 5/5

It’s made with high quality material and the stitching is flawlessly as I would expect from Hurtta products. I wash it in a front load washing machine in a gentle cycle and air-dry it. The coat comes out of the washer like new and it’s easy to care for. 

Fashion and Fit – 5/5

Love the look and fit! The vibrant pink looks stunning against Xena’s black fur. To get the right size, you need to measure the neck, chest and the back length. The adjustable chest strap is easy to use and great to get the perfect fit. Xena seems to be comfortable in the coat.

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Overall – 4.4/5

Hurtta Torrent Coat is a high quality performance jacket that is durable for the trails yet very comfortable for the daily walks. It protects your dog from the rain and the wind and keeps her dry and warm. It is suitable for all fur-types. Now only if Hurtta would just fix that tail snap..

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Product Review: ChuckIt! Canine Hardware Hydro Bowl Medium

Last fall, I wrote a review of ChuckIt! Canine Hardware Hydro Bowl for Dogs That Hike. I thought maybe some of you might want to read it.

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Xena has several ChuckIt! toys and she loves all of them.  I like them because they are durable, so I was glad when Dogs That Hike sent us ChuckIt! Canine Hardware Hydro Bowl to test.  We took the bowl on our hikes as well as to the local park we go to play fetch.  This review is based on using the bowl for a month.

Xena is a picky water drinker.  She doesn’t drink water from public water fountains unless the water is flowing.  She doesn’t drink water from bowls she doesn’t know nor from water fountains that are powered by electricity because they hum.  I thought she would make a good tester.

The Hydro Bowl can snap around a leash or a backpack.  It’s compact when folded and when it is unfolded, it holds up to 5 cups (= 1L) of water.  It’s bigger than any travel bowls I have.  It was great when Xena shared the bowl with her friends.  When I just want to give Xena a little bit of water, I just tilt the bowl for her so it was easier for her to drink out it.

After each use, I washed it with gentle dishwashing liquid.  It was easy to clean as advertised.  Although the stitching on the Hydro Bowl could be improved, it had no impact on the quality and durability of the bowl.  After a month of use, the snap button is still intact.  The Hydro Bowl is waterproof and durable as expected and I do not see any noticeable flaw with the product.

The portable Hydro Bowl is good for travelling, hiking, backpacking, camping, and any other outdoor activities.  It’s affordable, light weight and takes up almost no space.  With its 5-cup capacity, it’s great to feed water to multiple small/medium dogs at once or a large breed dog.

Only downside I see is, the snap button may be an issue if you have arthritis in your hands.

Originally posted at Dogs That Hike on 11/14/16.

Dog Gear Review: Hurtta Summit Parka

The best thing about Southern California is the weather. Heck, that’s why I moved here from the east coast years ago. The next best thing is the nature surrounding the region. We have the ocean, mountains and deserts within driving distance. With the year-around good weather, these places are always accessible if you can make time. For a girl like me who loves outdoors and being active, I can’t imagine living anywhere else …at the moment.

This winter, I planned on taking Xena for some snow hikes. Having right gear always make any experience more enjoyable. I needed to get Xena a proper coat and booties to protect her from the element. Right in time, Hurtta North America sent us a sample of Summit Parka to test. This review is based on our use of the jacket for a few months.

Product Specs

  • Sizes: 8-35″ (Xena’s wearing 18″) size chart
  • Colors: Raven, Cherry & Hi-Viz Orange
  • Retail Price:  $80.00
  • Designed in Finland and made in China

Design – 4.5/5

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  • Comfortable to wear and easy to dress
  • Leg loops keep the jacket in place on the back
  • High collar can be rolled down or stay up providing more protection depending on the needs.
  • Ruching detail along the lower back let you customize the length.
  • The material has been laminated with a waterproof and breathable Houndtex® coating to keep your dog dry and comfortable.
  • 3M reflectors are placed on the coat for visibility.

Function – 5/5

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3M reflectors and the Hi-Viz Orange color were great to keep Xena visible at all times.

The waterproof and breathable Houndtex® coating kept Xena warm and comfortable during and after lengthy hikes in 30-40 degrees (F). I like that it covers her entire chest and back.

The leg loops kept the jacket in place without restricting her movement. 

Quality and Durability – 5/5

It’s made with smooth and soundless material as advertised and the stitching is flawlessly. It’s warm and cozy to the touch. I am so impressed with it, I want a jacket like it for myself. Haha.

I have to wash it after each use because it gets dirty from the trails. I wash it in a front load washing machine in a gentle cycle and air-dry it. The neon orange jacket came with a warning that the discoloration can occur during wash so I throw in a sheet of Shout Color Catcher in the washer and the sheet takes care of it. The jacket comes out of the washer like new. 

Fit and Fashion – 4/5

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To get the right size, you need to measure the chest and the back length. Xena’s chest is 26.5″ and back length is 18″ and the size 18″ (fits chest 24-32″) fits her. The adjustable chest strap is easy to use and great to get the right fit for her.

The trims around the front legs and the leg loops are black. Since Xena has black fur, they don’t show on her which I like. On light-colored dogs, the black trim and the leg loops will show. Some people might not like that look.

Overall – 4.6/5

Hurtta Summit Parka is a high quality performance jacket for your dog that is durable for the trails yet very comfortable for the daily walks in cold temperature. It fits Xena so perfectly, it looks tailored. 🙂 It would be also good for short-haired/elderly/ill/pregnant dogs or dogs with no undercoat who need extra warmth even if it’s not very cold. We love this jacket!

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Dog Gear Review: Hurtta Active Harness

If you get one gear for your active dog, I hope it’s a harness that is made for adventures. A quality harness keeps your dog protected from elements when exploring in wilderness. A bright-colored harness makes your dog visible to hunters during hunting season. Another feature of an active harness I personally rely on is the handle on the back. I’ll talk about that more later.

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So how do you pick one that is right for your pup? You have to read reviews (like this one) of different products and make an educated decision as if you are buying your gear. Quality performance gear for canine hikers aren’t cheap and a lot of times than not, you get what you pay for based on my experience. Good brands use people clothes quality materials and have thoughtful design details that you’d appreciate while adventuring with your pup.

This fall we received samples of Active Harness from Hurtta North America to try. Hurtta is a Finland company and it has been compared to the dog counterpart of North Face. We were using Ruffwear harnesses so I was excited to compare the two leading brands side by side. This review is based on using the harnesses for a few months.

Product Specs

  • Chest Size:  16″-47″ (Xena is wearing 24-32″)
  • Colors: Raven, Cherry(pink) & Juniper(grayish blue)
  • Dazzle Colors:  Hi-Viz Yellow & Hi-Viz Orange
  • Retail Price:  $40
  • Designed in Finland and made in China

Design – 5/5

Hurtta Active Harness looks similar to Ruffwear’s everyday harness Front Range and shares the following similarities:

  • Adjustable collar and chest straps
  • Easy to dress
  • Padded and comfortable to wear
  • Ring on the back to connect a leash
  • Works well as a safety harness for the car rides

While the Active Harness is comfortable to wear and has the relaxed look, it is ready for adventures. The buckles are bigger and the webbing is wider. Overall, it’s more sturdier. And, it has a handle on the back to give you more control over your dog in difficult places or when your dog follows the yummy smell coming from a campsite. A handle is a must on an active harness in my opinion.

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Multiple 3M reflectors are placed on the harness front and back for safety in the dark.

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Hurtta also has a Dazzle collection. Hi-Viz Orange popped against Xena’s black fur. A neon color harness with 3M reflectors, Xena can’t hide even if she tries to. Ha!

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Function – 4.5/5

3M reflectors worked as expected and the Hi-Viz Orange was perfect during the hunting season.

Although I had no problem using the handle on the back to help Xena overcome difficult obstacles, I’d like to see Hurtta enhances the handle in the next version to be wider, padded and vertical. It will be more comfortable in my hand and will look and feel more sturdy.

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Quality and Durability – 5/5

We tested the harnesses in rugged conditions then I washed both of them in a front load washing machine in a gentle cycle and air-dried them after each use. The neon orange harness came with a warning that the discoloration can occur during wash so I added a sheet of Shout Color Catcher and the sheet took care of it. Both harnesses came out of the washer like new.

Like the Trail Pack, the materials used on the harnesses are equally high quality and durable. And the stitching is done flawlessly. It bothers me when the stitching is not perfect.

Fit and Fashion – 4.5/5

Xena’s girth is 26.5″ and 24-32″ fits her very well. I didn’t notice any chafing and her movement wasn’t restricted in anyway.

Although I personally like the Hurtta’s wider (tapered) chest plate better than the one on Ruffwear (because it provides more protection, especially when she is lifted using the handle) the width might not work on all dogs. It might be an issue on small dogs or dogs with narrow chest.

The sizing starts at girth of 16″. It’s not available for extra small dogs.

Overall – 4.8/5

Hurtta Active Harness is a quality performance harness for small to large dogs. If you already have a Ruffwear’s Front Range harness and are looking for something more but not quite Web Master, this is the one for you. This is an adventure version of Front Range. I am impressed with the design, quality and its dashing colors.

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Dog Gear Review: Hurtta Trail Pack

Last month we received the Trail Pack from Hurtta America to test. Xena never carried a pack before so I was a little anxious to try something new and also thrilled to have Xena carrying some of the load. We put the pack to a test and had lots of fun doing it.

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This review is based on two hikes covering 18 miles on rugged terrain, crossing multiple streams, squeezing through rocks and sharp desert plants on narrow tracks carrying up to 2 lbs (including the pack weight).

Xena’s measurements for comparison

  • Neckline:  18″
  • Chest girth:  26.5″
  • Back length:  18″
  • Height:  17″
  • Weight:  34 lbs

Product Specs

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Source:  Hurtta

  • Size:  Small (neckline: 17-24 in;  chest 22-30 in; waist 18-30 in)
  • Weight:  1 lb
  • Retail price:  $100 (@Hurtta) but you can get it cheaper at Amazon.com if you have their Prime membership
  • Available colors:  Raven (~black)
  • Designed in Finland and made in China

Design – 5/5

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Hurtta Trail Pack has two separate components: harness and backpack. Backpack can be easily detached and attached as needed so you can use the harness for walks and as a safety harness for the car rides and only use the pack when you need them.

Multiple 3M reflectors made it easy to see Xena in the shades which I loved. The reflectors are useful in low light conditions and especially on dogs with dark-colored fur like Xena.

There is a handle at the back of the harness to give you more control over you dog in difficult places. A handle is a must on an active harness in my opinion.

The pack is made from Hurtta’s proprietary Hountex material matching the waterproofness and breathability of professional quality outdoor clothing. The zippers are waterproof as well.

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Function – 4/5

3M reflectors worked as expected.

It was easy to detach and attach the pack once you get used to it.

The backpack remained in position when Xena moved. The key is to distribute the equal weight in the left and right pockets.

Although I had no problem using the handle on the back to help Xena overcome difficult obstacles, I’d like to see Hurtta enhances the handle in the next version to be wider and padded. It will be more comfortable in my hand and will look and feel more sturdy.

The backpack is almost waterproof. The top and the sides passed our test but the bottom did not. Also, the pocket connectors are waterproof outside but not from the inside where it goes over the harness. When the pack was submerged in the water, the backpack floated around Xena. When she got out of the water, all the water drained from both pockets. At least the water didn’t get trapped in the pockets like some other backpacks. If your dog loves water and you are really concerned about things getting wet in the pockets, place them in a ziplock bag first.

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Quality and Durability – 5/5

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We tested the pack in rugged conditions. After hand washing it, I noticed a very minor wear and tear on one of reflectors on the harness. There was no noticeable flaw in the product though. It is well made with high quality materials.

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Fit and Fashion – 4/5

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The Small fits nicely on Xena. I didn’t notice any chafing on her and her movement wasn’t restricted in anyway. She had no problem squeezing through rocks and plants, climbing rocks and running.

Unlike other backpacks on the market, Hurtta Trail Pack has the European sleek design yet the pockets are still spacious to be functional. I like that it doesn’t overpower Xena.

The pack is not available for small dogs (girth < 22″) or extra large dogs (girth > 38″). It would be also nice if the pack comes in bright happy colors.

Conclusion – 4.5/5

We tested the Hurtta Trail Pack in rugged conditions and I am impressed with its design, functionality and quality. It’s a bit pricey but the product is versatile by separating the harness from the backpack. Now Xena carries her own lunch, treats, collapsible water bowl and first aid kit. She will carry a little more later but I am slowing increasing the weight. She has a job now. Doesn’t she look proud?

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