Thursday, 16 December 2010

Ruffwear Cloud Chaser Jacket

I’m really not a fan of dogs wearing clothes, but I AM quite the gym rat so I think this softshell jacket, with its resemblance to Under Armour gym wear, is really pretty cute. And I do admit that there are times when it’s so cold that even dogs need a little extra help staying warm. The Cloud Chaser is light and streamlined, and fits snugly around the chest and belly to keep intrepid canine explorers warm, dry, and toasty while charting new routes around the planet (or just their own backyards). I especially like how the jacket extends down around the belly without interfering with necessary functions, if you know what I mean. My unscientific guess is that dogs lose more heat from their bellies, since they have less hair there, so I like the design that covers as much of the belly as possible. If you have a lady Geardog, she could have her whole belly covered, but this is a unisex jacket so she’ll have to put up with a bit of a draft. When the day arrives that we’ll need a Grrgeargal web site for all the lady-dog-specific gear out there, we’ll know that dogs finally will have reached their full potential in society.
Shoehorning the Geardog into the jacket was a little difficult until I realized there is a full-length zipper for easy on/off. Poor Geardog. It’s one of the many times I’m sure he wished he could speak English, because I bet he sure thought I was an idiot, and was really sick of getting stuffed into this coat when there was a perfectly good zipper to make it easy. I like (and the Geardog appreciates) the liner on the zipper that keeps it from trapping the Geardog’s coat while operating the zipper. And the zipper doesn’t come loose no matter how much the Geardog exerts himself.
One thing the Geardog still isn’t sure about is the little sleeves. He seems to think they’re a bit restrictive, but once he gets running around, he kind of forgets about it. Still, they are a wee bit long for dogs, since I don’t think their upper front legs really need to stay that warm. I suppose they help retain some of the chest heat, but if your dog is THAT cold, it might be better to stay inside. Geardog appreciates the reflective piping for safety, and the 4-way stretch fabric that lets him romp as he pleases.
Sizing might be an issue, because of the sheer range of dog sizes that exist. 55-lb Geardog seems to fit fine into the Medium, but a little more wiggle room might be warranted. I’d like it to be just a little bit looser to allow for fur fluff and to have a little layer of air to trap Geardog’s body heat. A short-haired dog won’t have the fur fluff issue, but undercoated dogs need to plump up their coats to maximize heat retention. If I ever get my hands on a large size Cloud Chaser, I’ll try it and see what Geardog thinks. In the meantime he’s going to have to maintain his trim figure if he wants to wear the jacket (something I can relate to). He still thinks wearing clothes is kind of weird, but when it’s below zero, he’ll appreciate the Cloud Chaser.

Review by: GRR Gear

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