Gear Reviews

Ruffwear Climate Changer

Pumpkin spice, flannel sheets, hearty soups, crackling fires, and cozy sweatshirts are just a few of my favorite things during fall. As we adjust to the colder temperatures and the yearly transition into winter, we were excited to add the Climate Changer by Ruffwear to Winnie’s wardrobe and our growing list of fall must-haves.  

The Climate Changer is created with a recycled polyester fleece that is quick-drying and thin enough to prevent bulkiness. We found that the polyester seamlessly fit to Winnie’s body without limiting full range of motion. The fabric adjusted without fault as Winnie curled into a doughnut near the crackling fire and likewise as she barreled along after her ball on a cold morning at the park.

Photo credit: Callie Rumley @life.with.winnie

Adding the Climate Changer to Winnie’s wardrobe gave us a nice alternative option to keep her warm when pulling out a fully insulated winter jacket just wasn’t necessary. We’ve made use of the Climate Changer inside our house and RV when we weren’t quite ready to turn on the heater and outside, when the weather was dry, but brisk. The front sleeved style of the jacket helps trap heat in near Winnie’s core while the shorter bottom reduces the likelihood that urine will get on the jacket during a potty break. As the temperatures get colder and snow starts to fall, we look forward to the flexibility and duality of the Climate Changer. While in our RV, Winnie can stay toasty relaxing in the Climate Changer. Then when we open the door to snow falling at a ski resort, we will slip a winter jacket like Ruffwear’s Power Hound over top of the Climate Changer on Winnie. Double whammy, double warmth! While we haven’t been lucky enough to test this exact scenario out at a ski resort yet, we did test the two coats together at home and they can successfully be layered. 

Photo credit: Callie Rumley @life.with.winnie

The Climate Changer ranges in sizes from XXS to XL. Based on the size chart Winnie should be an XS but given her fluffy coat, longer back and our experience with the Powder Hound we chose to size up to a small. Winnie comfortably fits in a size small, not too big and not tight at all. The side zipper runs the full length of the jacket and allows for a pretty seamless transition in and out of it. The zipper area also has an extra piece of polyester directly below it that helped prevent snagging of Winnie’s long hair as we zipped it up. We’ve tried other fleece sweaters on Winnie before that use velcro, snaps, and/or are pullovers. The zipper design on the Climate Changer is by far the easiest tool of them all. And once it’s zipped there’s no adjustments necessary. The downside to using only a zipper is that if your dog doesn’t perfectly fit one of the existing sizes, you aren’t able to adjust it to make it work. This wasn’t an issue for us but may be an issue for dogs that don’t one of the current sizes or those with hard to fit body types.

Photo credit: Callie Rumley @life.with.winnie

The jacket comes in a choice of three colors: Cedar Green, Canyonlands Orange and Blossom. We went with Blossom because the cherry blossom design is really very pretty. Also, Winnie is often confused as a boy. The flowers on the jacket helped clear that up when someone commented on her style at the park! A different and unique color option in comparison to the solid colors we are used to seeing from Ruffwear! While all three color choices promote visibility, there is a reflective trim on the top back of the jacket and a loop to connect a light near the neck to further increase visibility in low light conditions. One element that I was a little bummed to not see included was a portal on the back of the jacket for harness access. While some prefer to layer harnesses over top of jackets/sweaters, my preference is underneath. As the fleece is a much lower profile than a puffy jacket, I tested things out and just had to loosen her harness a bit to sit comfortably over the jacket. If you don’t mind layering things this way, this jacket is still a great option.

Overall, I am pleased with the dual functionality and simple design of this jacket. While most jackets are designed with bulky material to ward off elements like rain and snow, the Climate Changer strides in functionality across environments without the bulk. Whether it be indoors when the heater can’t keep up or outdoors on a clear, crisp day, this jacket will perform! Outside of the continued use it will get for the remainder of fall and winter, I also plan to have Winnie wear this jacket for dry but chilly hiking and backpacking trips in the Spring and Summer. Making the mid-range price point, worth it!  

Photo credit: Callie Rumley @life.with.winnie

I would recommend the Climate Changer to anyone who is looking for an indoor and/or outdoor (on a cold and clear day) jacket to keep their dog warm while not having to worry about frequent adjustments, limited mobility, or extra bulk! Happy fall y’all!

The Ruffwear Climate Changer would work best for: dogs who frequently get cold, a variety of dog sizes, shapes, and breeds in cool to cold and dry temperatures, dogs who need an additional layer under their outdoor winter jacket

The Ruffwear Climate Changer may not be ideal for: dogs who need a waterproof jacket/who are adventuring in wet weather, dogs who need full body coverage like a snow suit, dogs who need extreme warmth, hard to fit body types

Winnie’s measurements:  Girth 20″ / Back Length 20″/ Weight 26 lbs

Climate Changer size: Small

Review by: Dogs That Hike Explorer @life.with.winnie

Product from: @ruffwear /

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