Winter weather has arrived, which means that it’s time to start dressing for the season. Farley had the opportunity to test Ruffwear’s Quinzee Winter Dog Jacket in a size medium. We chose Huckleberry Blue and the colour did not disappoint! We’ve been fortunate to have had fairly mild weather compared to other years, so we headed into the Rocky Mountains to give the jacket a thorough test through winter elements. We tested the jacket on multiple trips which included, milder winter conditions, rain, and cooler winter temperatures.
According to the Ruffwear website, the jacket is designed to withstand brisk conditions due to the polyester insulation. They state it provides easy adjustments and quick on/off features. Ruffwear also mentions the jacket has an integrated stuff sack for storage when your dog doesn’t need their jacket during your adventure. We did find the jacket to fit true to size and easy to adjust. We also liked being able to tuck the excess nylon into the fabric opening to prevent it from hanging. If your dog is on the cusp of sizing, it may be best to try the jacket on in store. We did find the buckle difficult to attach due to being tucked away within a small fabric opening. This was beneficial as it prevented the plastic from rubbing against Farley and causing chaffing, although it did make it difficult to quickly put the jacket on or take it off as the website described. If you are not in a hurry to get your dog dressed or undressed, this shouldn’t be a major issue. While the jacket fit Farley appropriately, we did notice the back of the jacket lifting up anytime she bent down, allowing for cool air to enter between the jacket and her back. With milder conditions this isn’t an issue but could make it more difficult for her body to retain heat in cooler temperatures. The website describes the jacket as a relaxed fit, which does describe the lifting appropriately.
The jacket contains recycled polyester fill, which does help provide insulation, a factor that is often overlooked in winter jackets. When I placed my hand under the top portion of the jacket on Farley’s back, it was notably warm despite myself feeling cold in my own winter jacket. The outer layer is made of Durable Water Repellant (DWR) material for light rain, which proved to be true. We ran into some unexpected rainfall while in the mountains and Farley was wearing her Quinzee Jacket. Initially I was disappointed that I did not have a rain jacket with us on our trip, but the Quinzee Jacket exceeded our expectations. Farley stayed completely dry and water did not soak through the outer layer into the polyester fill. While this is intended to be a winter jacket, I have to give the Quinzee more credit for holding up so well in the rain. Once back at the hotel, the jacket dried quickly when left out in room air.
The outer shell being a softer material which means it may not hold up as well while playing with other dogs or running in the woods. While we didn’t experience any issues, it does seem likely that the fabric would snag easily. Farley did wear it through through the forest without issue, but it may not have held up so well if she had been running instead of walking.
We washed the jacket in cold water after our adventures and it came out of looking brand new. While the jacket has a reflective trim on the jacket, it wasn’t overly noticeable while outside at nighttime. There is, however, a clip location for Ruffwear’s Beacon to be attached that would be helpful. The jacket also contains a built in stuff sack for easy storage while on adventures. I was surprised at how easy and small it could fold down in order to fit it into my hiking pack. It was perfect for storing until Farley needed it on our hikes.
Overall, we think the jacket would be perfect for early winter and early spring conditions in colder climates. The water repellant shell was a great benefit when we ran into unexpected rain, and the polyester fill was warm enough to prevent a wet and cold dog on a moderate day. As it is meant to be loose fitting to allow for more movement, it will not provide enough warmth in frigid temperatures. While we had no issues during our adventures, it may show some wear and tear if your dog is rough on their gear. We will be using this jacket for early winter adventures to be able to keep Farley warm, but also be able to store the jacket easily in the stuff sack should she become warm. For those in milder winter climates, this may be a great option for your dog throughout the entire season.
Farley’s measurements: Girth 27.5″ / Back Length 20″ / Weight 50lbs
Quinzee Winter Dog Jacket Size: Medium
Review by: Dogs That Hike Ambassador @farley_the_labrador