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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Gear Review: Hurtta Bounty Bag

What is one gear you will see on a hiker with a dog that you won’t see on a solo hiker? A treat bag.

I used to have a clip-on treat pouch since Xena’s Canine Good Citizen(CGC) training days. The pouch was small and portable and had a magnetic closure. I had no issue with it until I started taking it on hikes. To keep it portable, I clipped it on the hip belt of whatever backpack I used for the hike instead of sewing it on to one of the backpacks. Every time I bend over to pick up something (like my trekking poles) or squat down to take photos, the treat bag fell on the ground. Every time I undid the strap, it came off. I was constantly picking it up from the ground. After a while, it got really annoying as you can imagine. Then one day, I finally lost it. A full pouch of treats, GONE. I made one lucky squirrel very happy that day.

I was happy that our friends at Hurtta North America sent me a Bounty Bag to test. They assured me that I won’t lose this one due to its belt design. I’ve been using this treat bag for three months and I still have it and couldn’t be happier!

Product Specs

  • Color: Grey
  • One size: 5 x 6 x 3 inches
  • Weight: 8 oz
  • Machine washable 40ºC/105ºF (warm)
  • Holds 24 cubic inches
  • Retail price: $50

Design – 5/5

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Modern funky abstract design with 3M reflectors for safety. The front zipper pocket can hold personal items such as keys, ID, credit cards, poop bag and your phone.

The Bounty Bag is designed for use in active training so it’s perfect for us. The simple drawstring mechanism keeps the treats inside of pouch while in motion and the depth of the pouch prevents the treats from quickly drying out, yet it can be easily opened for rewarding your dog.

The detachable inner pocket can be washed separately to clean any residue from sticky treats. What a clever idea!

Function and Quality – 4.5/5

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The front zipper pocket is big enough to hold my giant Galaxy S7 edge. I use both my camera and phone to take photos and also use the GPS on the phone. Before the Bounty Bag, I always fussed about where I kept the phone so it’s easily accessible and couldn’t find a perfect solution. If I wasn’t hiking with anyone, I had to undo my pack to get to my phone. So you can imagine this was a huge plus for me! However, when I put my phone in the pocket, I can’t put anything else. My big phone problem though.

I give Xena dry chicken jerky and Zuke’s Power Bones when we hike. Power Bones do get dried out toward the end of the hike but then we hike for hours.

The material is durable as you would expect from Hurtta products. When I come home, I just flip it upside down and shake out the crumbs and pat the outside to get rid of dirt. I only had to wash it once so far.

Fit and Fashion – 5/5

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My hiking clothes and gear are usually colorful. Grey goes with everything and is unisex.

The adjustable strap makes it easy for you to get the right fit you want. You can wear it on your waist or on your hips. The strap and the pouch constantly rub against my clothing when I am in motion and they did not damage the fabric of my clothes.

It comes in one size. I am 5’6″ tall so you can compare. The treat bag may look bigger or smaller on you depending on your size.

Overall – 4.8/5

Hurtta Bounty Bag is durable, very functional, easy to care for and great for anyone who works with dogs (e.g., dog trainers, therapy dog handlers, K9 emergency response team, etc.) or has an active lifestyle with their dog(s) and use treats as rewards.

Xoxo~

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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Product Review: Hurtta Dazzle Rope Leash

This weekend the daylight saving time will end. Are you and your dog going to be safe walking in the dark?

Hurtta America sent us their new Dazzle Rope Leash in Hi-Viz Orange to test. We never had a rope leash so I was excited to try it out. This review is based on our normal use for 1 1/2 months on daily walks.

Product Specs

  • Size: 6′ x 1/2″ (6′ x 1/4″ also available)
  • Color: Hi-Viz Orange
  • Retail: $33.00
  • Weight:  6.65 oz

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Source:  Hurtta America

Design and Function – 4/5

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3M reflectors are intertwined with the neon orange rope to improve visibility in the dark. My initial reaction to the rope was, “Wow, that’s bright!” The Hi-Viz orange definitely screams for attention during the day. Several dog owners pointed out to me how bright the leash is and how they like it.

A D-ring connects the soft padded handle to the leash which is perfect for clipping the poop bag dispenser.

The lobster clip was easy to use and worked as expected.

The Hi-Viz orange made Xena visible in the dark. Below photo was taken 40 minutes after sunset without the flash. You cannot see objects in the photo clearly but you can see the leash and her Hi-Viz collar (a separate review will be available).

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Quality and Durability – 3/5

The D-ring shows wear and tear but my biggest complaint though is the lint from the rope. The lint shows all over the rope as you can see below so it did just OK in the durability test. Other than that, I don’t see a noticeable flaw with the leash.

I am used to leather and nylon leashes. When Xena saw a stray cat and wanted to chase it, I struggled with the leash a bit to pull her back. Unlike the leather and nylon leashes, this rope is soft. I had less control over the situation. It might not be the best option if your pup is a strong puller on walks. I wish the rope is tighter. I had a chance to look at the 1/4″ rope leash and the rope seemed more tightly constructed.

Fit and Fashion – 4/5

6′ length is what I am used to and like. The padded handle is soft and comfortable but I wish the leash is lint-free.

The bright orange is eye-catching for sure and it would look good on any color pup. Not a major thing on a black dog but I wonder if it would look better if the metal connectors are the same color as the rope. It would streamline the look. I am not a big fan of contrasting colors unless they are in the sky.

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Overall – 3.7/5

This weekend the daylight saving will end. I like that Dazzle Rope Leash keeps Xena visible in the dark and low light settings. It’s a good supplement to a safety collar or a harness and a smart addition to fall/winter gear collection. I would like to see the the 1/2″ rope to be constructed more tightly though in the next version. It will improve the durability.

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