Gear Review: Ruffwear K-9 Float Coat

April 04, 2015 1 Comment

The Ruffwear K9 Float Coat is by far the best safety gear for water-loving dogs. This is a special gear review because it’s the first Ruffwear item that we purchased for Sawyer. We were looking for the best - and we found it.

Marissa and I have been going on canoe camping trips in Canada's backcountry for many years now, but it wasn’t until two years ago that our dog, Sawyer, started joining us on our outdoor adventures.

See Sawyer Run_backcountry canoe camping on Grace Lake, Killarney

We have always practised safe paddling and part of that is to wear our PFD’s (Personal Flotation Device) at all times. Even though we are both swimmers, it's best to have all the help you can get if you should end up in the water. It can be very cold and rough. The last thing you want to be doing is trying to stay afloat while injured or trying to right your boat and assist others.

I'll start by saying that Sawyer is a Lab cross and very efficient in the water. The cold doesn't bother him and he listens very well to commands. However, in a capsize situation on open water, he would not know where to go and may panic. We wanted to give him the same level of safety we have and get him the best dog PFD we could find.

After much research and fittings, we decided on the Ruffwear K9 Float Coat. This rugged, fully adjustable PFD gives maximum flotation without being restrictive. It's buoyant, comfortable and Sawyer doesn’t mind having it on. When he sees it, he knows it’s adventure time!

In the water, the K9 Float Coat keeps his head well above the water line and he's able to swim freely. The adjustable buckles and telescoping neck ensure that the PFD stays on him in the right position throughout long sessions of swimming, running or jumping off the boat.

There are other great features aside from flotation that are just as important such as the sturdy grab handle. Should we end up in the water, we can easily pull Sawyer back in the boat without struggling. If we are stuck in the water, we can tether together through the grab handle until help arrives so as not to get separated. The main use on our trips so far for the handle has been to help Sawyer over any tough obstacles on the portage. Although there aren’t too many he can’t overcome. In low visibility conditions, the float coat also boasts bright colours, reflective trim and a light loop. This allows us to locate Sawyer quicker, easier and keep him close.

Ruffwear K9 Float Coat, left-side    Ruffwear K9 Float Coat, buckles

All these features are put together using the best materials, i.e. 1860-denier ballistic nylon, making it highly resistant to tearing, durable and easy to clean. It’s available in XXS- XL, fitting most canine companions.

Overall, the Ruffwear K9 Float Coat gets 5 Stars in my books and should be part of any dog’s gear kit when venturing near water.

For full details and product description, see Ruffwear K9 Float Coat.

Sawyer Approved!

~ Chris & See Sawyer Run

1 Response


May 30, 2016

My dog wears one and it is terrific. She has gone overboard as a puppy too many times but her PFD keeps her coming back for more?

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