The sun is out, the geese are flying north, and the ever so persistent blanket of snow is slowly disappearing from right in front of our eyes. Spring has finally shown us its beautiful face and with the delight of saying good-bye to old man winter we now have a new enemy to contend with. All that glorious melting has left us with giant puddles (or what feels like oceans) of water spotting the world. Unfortunately, with giant puddles we also get giant MUD puddles as well. I can’t count the number of times Atlas has run straight for a mud swamp, only to emerge looking more like a pig than a dog. These are trying times not only us northerners but rainy and cloudy areas as well. Luckily Hurtta has created a product to help us fight the never ending battle of mud getting tracked into the car and the house. I was so lucky that Hurtta North America sent us a Slush Combat Suit (size 24M) to test out at our local dog park (aka pig pen) and out on the trails in the mountains of Nordegg, Alberta for a period of about a month and a half.
If your dog is anything like Atlas, they likely normally require at least a bit of a rinse off after being outside in spring conditions. Luckily the Slush Combat Suit really helps in this department. The specialized 100% polyester shell is designed to keep out slush, water and mud from your dog’s fur. This jacket achieves this goal by being nearly full coverage. This jacket covers the entire back and most of the legs of your dog. It also covers a large portion of their undercarriage while still leaving a decent amount of room for potty clearance.
I’m delighted to report that this coat performed beautifully after putting it through the ringer! I purposely encouraged Atlas to run through 12” deep puddles of nasty, muddy water to see how well this jacket would truly preform under our tough Alberta conditions. I had him playing in the swamp with his dog friends to see how well it would work and after peeling off this suit at the end of his play time, I can really say this jacket is a godsend. The extremely lightweight, laminated ‘Houndtex’ waterproof material completely blocked out all of the yuck at the park and left his coat bright and clean. Atlas was thrilled that only a quick paw wipe was needed at the door to the car and he was even able to skip his typical bath.
This amazing jacket isn’t only for spring, it also works really well on warm, winter days. It is designed to keep painful “snowballs” from forming on your dog’s fur when running through deep sticky snow. The suit also helps to protect from road salt and city grime. We have tested this suit in these types of conditions within the past month and it really does help to keep him “snowball” free and grime free. This jacket is not designed to give your pooch any additional warmth other than blocking the wind slightly. There is no lining, so if you’re looking for a jacket that will keep your pup warm in the winter try checking out the Hurtta Extreme Warmer or Hurtta Summit Parka.
We have tested out this jacket on numerous conditions. Atlas has trampled through deep snow, skated across icy slush and jumped into pools of muck. Through all of this abuse the jacket has held up beautifully. For such a breathable, light material the jacket seems to take beatings from nature pretty well. Hurtta does warn that the jacket may not be best suited for rough play sessions or extreme tangled forests. It’s best to avoid any sharp man-made objects when your dog is wearing this suit to avoid accidental tears. It’s recommended to watch your dog when they are wearing the suit as like many other jackets, it can be damaged by chewing. Atlas has played with other dogs through the forest many times without any issues thus far. All stitching is immaculate and even the yellow trim is as bright as the day we got it. All snaps function correctly and the zipper still slides perfectly.
Hurtta North America offers this jacket in 20 different sizes to choose from and they include a helpful measuring guide video on their website to ensure you are measuring your dog correctly. Unfortunately I found the chart on their website a tad confusing to figure out (if you are in doubt, be sure to contact them for help). Hurtta recommends that if you are in-between sizes, it may be best to size up rather than down. The smaller sizes of this jacket go up by 2 inch increments but as you get to the larger sizes there are larger jumps between the sizes. This may be problematic if your dog falls in between the measurements. Unlike some other Hurtta jackets, the Slush Combat Suit uses more than just the primary back length measurement. The size chart also shows measurements for neckline, chest and leg length. It’s important to take these measurements into careful consideration as well when choosing a size. It is really helpful that Hurtta gives so many options for sizing for this unusual suit!
Once you find the size that works best for your dog the Slush Combat Suit can be adjusted in several places to insure a perfect fit. You can adjust the base of the neck and waist of the suit with draw strings that you tie a knot in to hold in place – the knot method, rather than the use of a plastic cord lock, allows these draw strings to not irritate your dog as they move. There is one more draw string (that does have a cord lock) at the top of the high neck that helps to seal out splashes. Additionally you can also adjust the snaps of the leg cuffs, so that they stay in place more snugly to keep water out. The design of this jacket allows for a huge freedom of movement and does not restrict any ability to run, bound, jump and play. The zipper of this suit is on the side rather than the middle of the back as to not irritate or rub on your dog during their adventure. There are clever snaps to hold the jacket in place as you zip it up, as this is a “step into” sort of jacket. Putting it on for the first time may take a couple of tries. Once you have cinched correctly it gets way easier to get on each time. It would be nice if Hurtta would include printed instructions or a link to a video for those who may be confused on how to adjust it to fit their dog.
Currently this jacket is available in two different colours. One is a nice neutral charcoal grey colour with a bright “bolete” (yellow) trim and the other is the same neutral charcoal with a “raspberry” (purple) trim. I personally LOVE how this suit looks because when Atlas wears it, he reminds me of an 80s aerobics instructor. The suit also features several 3M reflector details that help your pup to be seen in low light conditions. One other really great detail that is often overlooked on this jacket is that there is a slit on the back that it is designed to work with the Hurtta Active Harness or any other harness that connects at the mid/upper point of a dogs back.
This jacket is the perfect item for facing the messy conditions of spring and for keeping “snowballs” off of long fur on warm winter days. It functions amazingly to keep the yuck off of your dog and to keep them as clean as possible under trying environments. I would absolutely recommend this product to ALL of my friends as we live in a very messy spring zone. This jacket has truly become one of my absolute favourite products and I’m sure we will be using it for years to come. My only suggestions to Hurtta North America is to add more sizes for larger dogs, and to include instructions for how to put it on.
This suit would work best for: Dogs who live in wet, muddy conditions who dislike having baths. Anyone who is sick of getting mud all over their vehicle and home. This would also be great for dogs who get “snowballs” on warm winter days.
This suit may not work for: cold weather conditions as this jacket does not provide any warmth. This wouldn’t work for dogs who play rough or who live near barbed wire fences or areas where the jacket could be easily torn. This also wouldn’t work for dogs who fall in-between the 20 sizes.