These are all of our tested and true gear favorites that we couldn’t do all our awesome stuff without! This is the gear that has held up for years, through dirt, travel, moving many times, camping, and snow.
Our Ruffwear Slackline leash is the only leash we own besides a small pocket paracord leash that I made. It does everything except our laundry and is our most essential piece of gear. It extends from about 2.5 ft to 5 ft long (plus the handle) and is subtly reflective. It has a padded handle with an accessory loop, can be secured around your waist for hands-free running, and can be easily attached to a pole if you need to leave your dog for a bit. The lobster-claw style leash attachment point is also really easy to take on and off with gloves! With so many functions and the fact that it’s a really nice looking leash that matches Alfie’s collar, who needs another one?!
This sounds quite silly at first – we have hands after all. But what happens when you’re on a lonnnnggg walk or hike – do you really want to carry a used poop bag for hours? I sure don’t. So I attach it to the leash with this little gizmo until I can find a trash can. Seriously a lifesaver!
The Ruffwear Top Rope collar is also the only collar we own. It’s reflective and matches the Slackline leash. It’s also one of the few collars I’ve seen with a metal buckle on it. The leash attachment point on it is very large and easy to attach a leash to. It comes with a tag silencer and the tag attachment point is seperate from the leash attachment point – no more lost tags!
We use this Ruffwear Webmaster harness for hikes that involve some element of climbing. The handle on it is super useful and makes up for the fact that dogs don’t come with handles. The really bright red color combined with the reflective piping means you won’t lose your dog in the white snow or green woods. There is a little accessory loop on the back for attaching lights and tags. If you have a dog that backs out of harnesses, they won’t be able to back out of this one! We can’t say enough good things about this harness, as it (combined with the Slackline leash) saved Alfie from falling off a cliff.
The Webmaster harness isn’t Alfie’s favorite to run in and is a bit intense for everyday use, so we have a more minimal harness for these activities. The Hurtta Casual Padded Y Harness has reflective stitching along the straps, is nicely padded, easy to put on, and is easily adjustable to be worn over jackets. It comes in a pretty dark blue, this red, purple, and ash.
We live in the Pacific Northwest, so when it rains, it also gets pretty cold. This jacket from RC Pets (based in British Columbia!) is great because it’s easy to put on, covers some belly, is bright and reflective, and is lined with fleece for warmth. It comes in a bunch of fun colors as well as plaid!
Our Ruffwear Quinzee jacket is used for snow days. Despite his size, Alfie is pretty hardy in the cold. This jacket keeps him from shivering if temps are below freezing. It’s basically a down jacket for dogs. It has a little pocket on the inside so you can pack the jacket into itself.
These are the bowls we bring on hikes for water and for traveling. They are collapsable silicone bowls that come with a carabiner clip to attach to a leash and a loop up top that allows them to attach to a plastic water bottle. They are dishwasher safe and have held up through all kinds of travel and adventures for over 3 years!
It’s hard to beat Zukes Mini Naturals when it comes to treats. Easy to pop in your dog’s mouth for reward training, and easy to pop in a pocket for treats on the go! Just make sure to keep them in the bag or an airtight container when you’re not using them or they turn into rocks!
Alfie is a larger small dog and about as tall (14.5″ at the shoulders) a dog as you can fit under the seat on airplanes. Most airplane bags are geared toward smaller dogs, but not this one! It fits him perfectly. It’s a top loader with a little port hole for him to stick his head out while we walk through the airport. It has a bunch of pockets and an inside harness attachment point. Inside is a squishy, easily-cleanable and removable cooling pad. Besides being a really good-looking bag (I think it looks like a nice purse), it’s also a sneaky one – it has reflective mesh so you can’t see the dog inside. For us, it’s held up through many months of travel – it’s even been attached to a backpack for a backpacking trip! It can also be buckled into a seatbelt for safety on the road.
I thought it was frivolous to own a dog sleeping bag until I realized that I don’t have to share mine with a muddy dog. This bag by Alcott Explorer can be rolled up for transport and is easily washed in the washer. It’s inside is a soft fleece, and the top part zips fully off if you just want to use it as a bed.
That’s it! This list is the collection of our favorites at the moment. If we come across a product that works better for us, we will update the collection!