Fall arrives with crisp air marking the start of the changing seasons. It also means it’s time to bring back our sweaters into our wardrobe and for our dogs too. This fall, Delilah tested Ruffwear’s redesigned Fernie sweater in size medium and color hibiscus pink. Depending on the light, the sweater’s color could look dark pink or red. It is also available in twilight gray and tumalo teal.
When we received the Fernie, my first impression was how beautiful the quality of the sweater is, and how gorgeous the color is against Delilah’s coat. Delilah wore the Fernie in a variety of settings: when we hiked, walked around our neighborhood, and during those crisp morning potty breaks. The Fernie is made of 100% polyester knit fleece. This fabric is known for being durable and soft which makes it ideal for activewear.
Delilah did not wear the Fernie when the weather was rainy. Polyester is considered an everyday water-resistant material, however, that does not mean it’s 100% waterproof. If you are considering walking or hiking in the rain, I would suggest packing a rain jacket to pair on top of the Fernie. Due to the fleece material, it does collect Delilah’s fur and other outdoor elements easily. After each wear, I gave the sweater a good shake to clean it off and sometimes used a lint roller for those stubborn dog hairs. Two additional features that I love about this sweater are the reflective trim for visibility in low light conditions and the light loop to attach a light. We haven’t used the light loop yet, but I intend to use it when Delilah wears it at night.
Lastly, the sweater has a YKK zipper. This type of zipper is known for fastening smoothly without snags and is lightweight. The YKK zipper is highly revered in the garment industry for its impressive construction and reliability. One of my favorite features of the Fernie is the placement of the zipper. Instead of it being at the bottom of the sweater; it is right by your dog’s neck area, which allows you to zip it up quickly. Kudos to Ruffwear for this design decision!
Before you purchase the Fernie, you should measure your dog to ensure you’re getting the right size. The Fernie comes in a range of sizes from XX-Small to X-Large, which is excellent since their sizes accommodate a full range of dog shapes and sizes. The size is based on your dog’s fullest part of the rib cage. Overall, the Fernie fit Delilah well in the girth but was a little loose around her tummy as she is on the smaller end of the medium range. A dog who is in the middle to upper end of the size range or has a little more fluff would likely find a perfect fit. Dogs who are on the cusp of sizing should refer to Ruffwear’s size guide as it does provide additional measurements such as neck and back length. The medium was the right size for Delilah since I did not want to restrict her mobility, and she looked comfortable with the fit and could run and move her legs with no problem.
Delilah is a shorthaired breed and gets cold quickly. The Fernie worked great during our outdoor adventures because it is intended to provide core heat to your dog, and Delilah seemed content. Once I removed the sweater, I could instantly feel how warm it kept her by touching her fur. The only issue I noticed after a few adventures was the stitching around the neck area was coming undone. Delilah is rough on her apparel and loves rolling on the ground where there are twigs, among other elements that could have pulled at the stitching. I recommend that you always inspect your dog’s apparel before an adventure to avoid further damage. The issues we noticed can be fixed easily if you know how to sew and we had a family friend kindly repair it for us.
Overall, I highly recommend this sweater to dogs that get cold quickly in the fall and early winter. I plan on adding more Ruffwear sweaters to her fall wardrobe. It is a great product, and the design decisions Ruffwear made were excellent (i.e., material, zipper placement, light loop, and reflective trim). The Fernie allowed Delilah to run and walk with no mobility restrictions and looks great on her.
The Fernie is ideal for wearing during crisp hikes and walks when the weather is sunny or cloudy. It can also be used when you are backpacking when the temperatures are low at night, and you could pack this sweater with you to put on your dog when it’s time for bed or around the campsite. It is lightweight enough to pack inside your backpack. For the winter season, I intend on using the Fernie as a base layer with a winter coat on top. Depending on how your winter is in your region, you may need to layer up or not.
The Fernie 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 Fernie 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
Delilah’s Measurements: Girth 28″ / Back Length 22″ / Weight 46 lbs
Ruffwear Fernie Size: Medium
Review by: Dogs That Hike Explorer @alwayswandertogether