More often than not in Los Angeles, if you’re hitting a beautiful local trail, chances are you won’t be out there alone. Unless of course, its raining. Yes indeed, it rains occasionally in LA and that tends to keep everyone indoors and off the trails. This is one of my absolute favorite times to go get ON the trails that we normally avoid due to crowds. The Hurtta Monsoon Coat is helping us do just that without the side effects of a cold, muddy, wet dog.
Breezy is wearing the Bilberry (blue) Monsoon Coat in size 16. The coat comes in sizes 8 through 35 and is available in Blackberry and Buckthorn (orange). All three colors feature reflective prints and reflective 3M piping to increase visibility even more in low light conditions. She wears the same size in the Monsoon as her Extreme Warmer but we found the coat runs a hair larger than the Extreme Warmer. While the back lengths are the same, as the Monsoon is meant to provide rain coverage there is a lot of extra material around the back legs. If you’re in between sizes, I would recommend the smaller size unless you’re planning to use this jacket mainly as an outer shell on top of other warmer layers.
The coat is pretty easy to put on as it slides over the head and then you adjust the waist band. The coat also has toggles to control the tightness around the head and neck, as well as one to shorten the length of the coat along the back (for dogs who are between sizes). As all dogs are built a little bit differently, it can take some fiddling to get the settings just right. Like the Extreme Warmer, it also utilizes leg straps to keep the jacket in place. A nice feature for this jacket might be adjustable leg straps to help the coat stay close against the back legs. You can tie knots in the current leg straps if they are too large as they were for Breezy but adjustable straps would be more precise.
One of my favorite things about this coat is how light and compact it is. The size 16 weighs in at a mere 8.3 oz and compresses small enough to fit easily in a daypack or Breezy’s backpack. Its thin shell design provides excellent protection against water and wind, without worrying about adding too much warmth. In terms of actual waterproof functionality, the Monsoon Coat performed even better than I expected. In addition to the large belly panel, there is a rain collar made of waterproof tricot around the edge of the collar to keep water out of the coat along the neck. After use on a very wet hike, Breezy remained completely dry under the coat, with no water seepage from the neck or belly. I was extremely impressed with this performance.
Another detail I really love about this coat is how soft and breathable the material is both inside and out. I’m sure this makes wearing it a much nicer experience for the dog, and it eliminates a good deal of the “swish swish” sound we’re used to coming from waterproof gear. A small thing perhaps, but it was such a pleasant surprise to me. Its compactness and high functionality makes it a no brainer to bring with us on any adventure where rain or wind might be an issue.
The coat was designed with a front flap intended to protect the chest from mud, rain, and debris. Breezy often travels along the trail in a high speed trot, where her front legs extend in a long straight diagonal in front of her. While the coat did provide coverage from the elements, because of her gait and her thin fur the wet fabric of the jacket ended up chafing her front legs. Not all dogs would face this issue but for those who do the solution we found is to pin up the front flap high enough (see photo below) to where she can fully extend her front legs without making contact. I would be interested to see a version of the Monsoon coat with short sleeves or a shorter flap to keep the wet material from coming into repeated contact with the front legs.
The coat has one leash opening on top for leash attachment to a harness. You can also attach the leash to the collar via the harness opening, but it’s awkward as the leash is coming into the jacket from a few inches behind the shoulders. If you need better leash control over your dog, you would have to attach the leash to the collar outside of the jacket, which would decrease the head and neck coverage dramatically. Personally, I don’t expect Breezy to be wearing a harness under this coat very often, so I’d like to see a slight redesign that is a little more collar friendly.
After figuring out our leg chafing issue, I couldn’t be happier with the Monsoon Coat. It is precisely what we need for Southern California’s rainy but not overly cold season, and will help keep Breezy from getting too wet and chilly on our rainy day adventures, as well as rainy walks around town. I’m also excited for its functionality as a wind breaker, though we did not have a chance to adequately test this feature. Another great product from Hurtta and a really nice low insulation addition to their line of raincoats.
The Monsoon Coat would work best for: wet or windy hikes in moderate weather; rainy walks around the neighborhood; warm weather wet or muddy hikes
The Monsoon Coat may not be ideal for: protecting against extreme cold as the only layer; dogs requiring full protection of the legs against the elements
Breezy’s Measurements: Girth 21″ / Back Length 16″ / Weight 22.5 lbs
Monsoon Coat size: 16
Review by: Dogs That Hike Explorer @breeze.e.bear