Ruffwear Front Range Harness

| November 1, 2016 | 0 Comments
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Chill at the Big Four Ice Caves in her Front Range Harness

Photo: John Freitag Chill at the Big Four Ice Caves in her Front Range Harness

At the beginning of the summer I was able to get my hands on Ruffwear’s Front Range Harness. It is an awesome product that quickly became one of my favorites because not only does Ruffwear produce some fantastic products, but they also seek to promote a healthy and active lifestyle with your dog. Ruffwear prides itself on making equipment for you and your dog to enhance your adventures in the outdoors. They believe that “interaction through outdoor activities builds strong bonds between human and canines”, so each outdoor adventure is more fulfilling and memorable.

I love to hike with my dogs, Indy and Chill, and we are out exploring the Cascades almost every weekend, rain or shine. Typically they get to run off leash but wear collars, but in some situations on our hikes the terrain can pose a problem to them. I would find myself wanting more control of their bodies when we hiked precarious trails so I have been wanting a harness for them, especially as we have been venturing into longer hikes, backpacking, and camping. A collar just does not give me the best means to get a handle on them and I certainly do not want to choke them or have them slip out of their collars tackling an obstacle.

But thanks to Ruffwear all my needs were met with this amazing piece of hiking gear, the Front Range Harness! It is fairly easy to adjust, click here to see how to adjust the harness. I love that I can swap it between my giant black Labrador Retriever (Indy) and my pint sized yellow Labrador Retriever (Chill). It fits both of them comfortably and can be worn for hours without causing rubs or abrasions. There is nothing great about taking a harness or backpack off your dog and having its imprint rubbed into the back and chest of your dog. You won’t find that here. I really like how lightweight the harness is as well as how is forms to the dog’s body. The straps compliment the shape of the dog’s shoulders and chest accentuating the natural curve of their muscles and conformation. Additionally the straps are wide enough to distribute pressure when your dog is pulling. It has an attractive and unencumbered design.

Something that I really liked about it beside its visual aesthetic was that it is so easy to put on. Simply slide the harness over your dog’s head and then pull the breast plate between their front legs and buckle. Some harnesses have you lift up your dog’s leg to get the breast plate in place or to buckle and this one does not require that. It also makes a very satisfying clicking sound when buckling your dog in, it’s the little things that make a big difference!

Photo: Misha Abbenhouse

Photo: Misha Abbenhouse Patterson Creek Reserve 

The fabric is light, durable, and easy to clean off. I took Chill to the Big Four Ice Caves in the Mt. Baker National Forest on a very rainy, muddy Saturday; she and the harness were soaked and covered in mud. But that’s nothing a quick hose off did not fix! After a quick rinse the harness looked brand new again, so did the dog.

The little reflecting pieces of fabric make for added visibility, which is great for when we are in the woods early in the morning or when the sun is setting. The harness comes in four colors, grey, yellow, blue, and pink so you can pick a color that represents you and your dog best.

I also tried out the Flat-Out Leash, which I am now a big fan of. This is also light weight and durable and goes with me everywhere. It has a handle down low for more control as well as a handle at the end of the leash for more casual walking. My black Labrador (Indy) can be pushy on the leash but, with the Front Range Harness and the Flat-Out Leash, he can’t pull! It is awesome! This came in particular handy when hiking in the North Cascades as the harness kept Indy from pursuing the abundant wildlife. I have control of his body with the harness and more control with the lower handle on the leash so he walks civilly next to me.

Additionally, I also take Indy to water therapy for his rehabilitation from surgery and he wears the Front Range Harness in the pool. It is a great handle for turning him around in the pool and helps me get him in and out of the pool.

Before trying out this harness I had been a little adverse to harnesses, but no longer. I plan to use my Ruffwear equipment a lot in the coming months. Not only is it appealing to the eye but the harness is versatile and durable.

Have you tried out this product yet? If so tell us what you think of it in the comments below! Or if you have a product you would like us to review you can email your suggestions to

Photo: Misha Abbenhouse

Photo: Misha Abbenhouse Rattlesnake Ledge

Category : Feature Story, Product Reviews

Misha Abbenhouse

About the Author ()

Being surrounded by the Great Northwest for the entirety of my life I have come to really enjoy the outdoors, loving the rain almost as much as the fleeting sunshine and all the activities that come along with it. I've always loved animals especially those of the equine and canine variety. My intense interest in dogs led me to start writing about the adventures that Indy, my black lab, and I shared. Aside from animals, I love to read and write and college really fostered this love and I now find myself being able to couple my two great loves of writing and dogs.

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