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Ruffwear Front Range Harness Review

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Fozzie modeling the Ruffwear Front Range Harness in Green

The Ruffwear Front Range Harness is a great option for your dog if you need more control when walking or if you have an escape artist that can slip his/her collar. The harness is comfortable and extremely easy to slip on and off your dog, making it ideal for a trip around the neighborhood or an all day adventure.

Ruffwear Front Range Harness Fit

The Ruffwear Front Range Harness is available in 5 different sizes. To get the right fit, measure the girth of your dog along the widest part of their rib cage. Both of our dog testers fit within the size medium with girths of 28″ and 30″. My only worry with the available 5 sizes, is that very large breeds might not be able to fit into the harness, ie my friend’s Bernese puppy that outgrew the Large/XL by about 8 months.

Size XXSmall : 13-17 in or 33-43 cm
Size XSmall: 17-22 in or 43-56 cm
Size Small: 22-27 in or 56-69 cm
Size Medium: 27-32 in or 69-81 cm
Size Large/XL: 32-42 in or 81-107 cm

Side view of the harness in use: note the side adjustments along the neck and the sides. Once adjusted they stay put and don’t loosen or call for frequent re-adjustments.

The Ruffwear Front Range Harness features four areas to adjust the harness, here’s a step by step to get the fit right:

  • Prior to slipping the harness on the first time, I recommend loosening the straps that circle your dogs neck
  • Slip the harness over your dogs head, cinch or slide the straps around your dogs neck to allow a few finger breadths to run easy underneath
  • Adjust each side strap and buckle to the top of the harness, once again ensuring a little wiggle room to prevent rubbing or tightening along the rib cage which could impede inhalation/exhalation.

Ruffwear Front Range Harness Features

Comfort

The Ruffwear Front Range Harness features a stretchy, moisture wicking layer that sits against your dogs fur. This material doesn’t pill and dries quickly. Under this outer layer is a layer of padding that runs the full length of the harness which is important in key areas, such as the chest and belly to prevent rubbing and possible chaffing. The transition from the soft panel to the more rugged nylon outer isn’t abrupt and is soft and flexible. After a few weeks of use, the harness becomes even softer and easily moves with your pup without loosing its’ function.

Two leash attachment points

Fozzie, our male Airedale Terrier product tester, is an escape artist and has slipped his collar more than once on a walk. Whether a scent or another 4 legged creature, Fozzie can pull towards what has caught his attention. The Front Range Harness provides two different attachment points, an aluminum V ring along the top of the harness and a reinforced webbing loop at the front of the chest. The top attachment is great for a regular walk on the trail, without a lot of critters or smells.

The aluminum ring is easy to clip in and out of and is sturdy. Even if Fozzie stops or starts suddenly, I know the loop isn’t going to fail.

Easy to clip in and out. Also note the reflective accents along the top and neck of the harness.

The front loop is ideal when I spot some not so friendly dogs or Fozzie begins to get on a scent

The harness sits well below his neck, making injury to his trachea or gagging with pressure on the esophagus unlikely.

Reflectivity and Safety

The Ruffwear Front Range Harness features a velcro pocket for you to stash pet ID tags. We don’t use the ID pocket, as we leave those attached to the collar, which stays on their necks about 95% of the time inside the house and 100% of the time outside of the house. Ruffwear has also included reflective accents in the front and along the top of the harness to enhance visibility on early morning or evening walks.

Jacket Integration

The Ruffwear Front Range Harness can be worn over the following Ruffwear sleeved, or more form fitting jackets: Fernie Fleece (full review here), Climate Changer, Cloud Chaser, and likely the Powder Hound Jacket. I personally tested the first three jackets and had to simply add some room to each of the adjustment straps to accommodate the added fabric.

Your dog can also wear the Aira Rain Jacket over the Front Range Harness, as shown above. The Ruffwear Aira Jacket (full review here) features a small overlap of fabric to sneak the V-ring through to attach to your leash.

Caring for the Ruffwear Front Range Harness

Despite using the Ruffwear Front Range Harness daily, it still looks pristine thanks to the fresh snow that keeps following. Come mud season, I will be glad that the harness is easy to care for. Simply hand wash in the sink with mild detergent and hang dry. Other reviewers of the previous model, have reported that the harness cleans up nicely. I’ll repost a comment once mud season hits the mountains.

Final Impressions

The Ruffwear Front Range Harness is an everyday harness for walking, hiking, running, and other adventures. It is not meant to be used for lifting, belaying, skijoring, or security in the car. Ruffwear makes different harnesses to meet these needs and it should be noted that this harness is not designed for carrying, pulling, or securing your dog. I mention this because many assume that one harness can do it all. The Front Range does not wrap or support the mid and hind quarters of your dog. If you were to attempt to use this harness outside of the recommended uses, you would likely injure your dog and possibly yourself.

With that said, I have loved having a different option for gaining control around town and the trails with Fozzie. The Ruffwear Front Range Harness provides an alternative to a Martingale collar or even pinch collar. The harness also looks stylish and is available in some fun new colors this spring: Green, Blue, Orange, Purple, Gray, and Wild Berry (appears cross between red and pink on the website, not seen in person). The harness retails for $39.95 and is available for purchase on Ruffwear.com

 

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About Shannon

Shannon, our fabulous female tester, takes gear testing to a new level for women. When not at work or school, she is most likely training for a marathon, climbing one of Colorado’s tallest peaks, riding her road bike, or skiing down a mountain slope. Like many women, Shannon gets cold easily, therefore, we try to test the best all weather gear to help her stay warm and dry during all day outdoor pursuits. In the warmer months, Shannon enjoys exploring the Colorado backcountry with her friends and dogs and attempts to escape for as many trail runs as her schedule allows. Shannon is a great women’s tester because she gives readers true insight into how a product may perform for an active woman.

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