If you live somewhere that has its fair share of rainy or cold winter weather (or both) then you’ve probably landed here because you’re researching the best dog jackets for your pup to wear on winter outings, as well as those cold and wet days of spring and fall, to help keep your dog warm, dry and happy for everything from short pee excursions to full-on days out in wet, windy and snowy conditions.
In this buyer’s guide we have a strong focus on the best winter dog coats, dog waterproof jackets, dog raincoats, sweaters and fleeces worthy of keeping dogs warm on their best trail adventures.
The way we look at it is that if we were a hiking, camping, snow-loving, trail running, adventurous trail dog, then we’d want to wear a winter dog coat from this list to stop the cold and wet getting in the way of our adventures. This gear is all quality dog apparel – for small through large dogs, including dog clothing brands offering extra small and extra-large sizes.
It won’t come as a surprise that this means there are several coats on this list from popular adventure-dog-focused brands Ruffwear, Hurtta and Kurgo, all of which offer a range of dog coat, sweater and fleece options to suit dogs of different size and shapes (including puppies), and long and short haired dogs, in varying climates and for different activities, including hiking, running and spending time in the snow.
Below the list of coats and sweaters, we’ve also provided some tips on choosing winter clothes for your dog, including guidance on sizing and the key features to look out for when making a decision on which to buy.
- PART 1: THE BEST DOG JACKETS
- The Best Dog Raincoats For Wet Weather | READ MORE ↓The Best Dog Fleeces & Sweaters For Winter | READ MORE ↓The Best Warm Dog Puffer Jackets | READ MORE ↓
- The Best Insulated Winter Dog Coats | READ MORE ↓
- PART 2: DOG WINTER COAT BUYER’S GUIDE | How to choose ↓
The best dog raincoats for wet weather
1. Kurgo North Country Dog Coat
This Kurgo dog coat is made from ripstop, fleece-lined fabric – essentially, a waterproof raincoat for your dog with an insulating layer, similar to what you’ll probably be wearing when you take them out on the trails or on walks when its pouring rain.
The North Country dog coat is secured around your dog’s belly using two clips that attach behind their elbows and have adjustable straps to ensure a snug fit.
We love the zippered leash portal, additional neck protection from the collar, and the tapered fit. Another cool feature is the removable LED light strip on the back of the coat (above their tail) that flashes when you turn it on, for better nighttime and low-light visibility.
1 new from $46.45
2. Ruffwear Sun Shower Rain Jacket
This waterproof and windproof Ruffwear dog coat is a great layer if you want rain protection for your dog, without bulk and without the addition of insulating layers, which have the potential to make dogs overheat – especially if they’re on the very hairy side and don’t need the extra insulation that warmer coats can offer.
Key features of the Sun Shower rain jacket include a leash portal on the back (new from 2021 onwards), and full back coverage, down to the dog’s hips, plus it’s easy to put on, with two side-release pinch clips and adjustable straps.
This dog rain jacket can also be worn over an insulating layer such as a dog fleece sweater, if you do want the option to layer them up for colder weather hikes, walks and runs.
1 new from $69.95
3. Hurtta Torrent Raincoat
This waterproof Hurtta dog coat is designed to keep wind and rain off as much of your dog as possible. It attaches around your dog with an adjustable strap and clips around their waist, making it easy to get on, with no velcro.
This Hurtta coat offers good coverage around dogs’ chests, belly and down above their tail, and also features a high collar to keep their shoulders and back as dry as possible.
We also love that the fabric used to make this dog coat is breathable, smooth and soundless so they don’t rustle when they run, and features reflective details for low-light and night-time outings.
When choosing a size, check out Hurtta’s size guide, which explains that the most important coat measurement is the back length, to ensure you get the right coverage for your dog.
1 new from $90.20
4. Ruffwear Lumenglow High Vis Dog Coat
If you and your dog spend time outdoors in low light, poor visibility or dark mornings and nights, then consider getting them a reflective dog coat that boosts their visibility.
This jacket is quick and easy to get on, with two clips to secure it around your dog’s chest, making it great for quick morning or evening walks or runs to keep your dog visible to other road or trail users. It’s available in three different colors (including a less vibrant black version).
The Lumenglow jacket is a lightweight reflective dog coat that also provides some protection from light rain and snow when you don’t want to weigh your dog down with a heavier ripstop jacket or puffy coat – but consider one of the other dog coats that are fully waterproof if you need one for very wet weather conditions.
1 new from $49.95
out of stock
The best warm dog fleeces and sweaters for cold weather
5. Kurgo K9 Core Sweater
As any adventure-loving person knows, layering is the key to weather protection and regulating your body temperature when you’re active outdoors, especially in cold and wet weather.
While most dogs are ready-built for adventure, with a layer (or two) of hair to help keep them warm and keep water away from their skin, you may want to help your dog stay warm in winter by choosing a fleece dog sweater to help trap heat against their body.
The K9 Core Sweater from Kurgo, which is reviewed in more detail here, is a great winter dog sweater to wear alone, but is also ideal for layering with a waterproof dog coat in wet and/or cold and windy conditions, such as the Kurgo Loft Jacket.
It’s affordable, lightweight, goes on easily (with velcro belly straps) and comes with Kurgo’s lifetime guarantee.
6. Ruffwear Fernie Fleece Jacket
The Ruffwear Fernie dog sweater is an adventure-worthy fleece layer for your dog, that’s also great for just spending time in the garden or around town in cold weather.
This dog sweater features sleeves and zippered closure, for a snug, body-hugging fit designed to trap warmth.
Similar to the Kurgo dog sweater above, this Ruffwear fleece makes a great base layer when paired with a waterproof shell in wet weather.
If you’re interested in more cool dog gear, check out our dog gift guide for more great ideas!
7. Ruffwear Cloud Chaser
This winter dog sweater from Ruffwear is a soft-shell design, featuring a breathable waterproof and windproof upper panel, and a fleece-lined lower panel to help retain core heat while shedding dirt and moisture.
The Cloud Chaser zips closed for a snug fit, making it a good option for short haired dogs. It includes reflective trim and a loop on the back (between your dog’s shoulders) for attaching a light such as Ruffwear’s ‘The Beacon’.
This form-fitting waterproof dog sweater is great if you love to run and hike with your dog and don’t want a looser jacket designed to be worn over a harness (as it doesn’t have a leash portal).
The close fit makes it perfect for trail running and hiking in wet conditions or where your dog needs that extra layer of warmth for longer adventures and doesn’t need a heavier-duty parka-style dog coat (as the belly section provides warmth but is not waterproof).
1 new from $89.95
out of stock
The best warm dog puffer jackets
8. Orvis Tail Light Puffer Dog Jacket
This light dog puffer jacket from Orvis offers dogs great coverage, from their neck down to the base of their tail.
The Tail Light Puffer Jacket features a gator-style neck, a puffy insulated body section, and woven-in reflective detail to help your dog be seen in low light and the dark.
It goes on easily and attaches around the belly using a wide velcro strap.
9. Ruffwear Quinzee
This dog winter vest also features a leash portal, making it compatible with a harness worn underneath the jacket if you want to attach your dog’s leash to the harness’s back D-ring between their shoulders.
This jacket goes on over your dog’s head and attaches behind the front legs with two clips, one each side.
out of stock
10. Kurgo Loft Jacket
Another great value Kurgo dog coat, the Loft Jacket is lightweight and form-fitting, with adjustable velcro straps around the belly.
While not as warm as the Ruffwear Jacket above, this water-resistant quilted layer makes a great winter layer for cool weather, especially when paired with the Kurgo K9 Fleece Sweater, and also provides some warmth and wind protection.
The Kurgo Loft Jacket, which is reviewed in more detail in our Kurgo Loft Jacket review, also features a zippered leash portal so it can be worn over a harness, and is available in a range of colors and each jacket is reversible.
For more photos of our adventure dog Kepler wearing his Loft Jacket, see our Kurgo K9 Core Sweater review.
The best insulated dog coats for winter
11. Hurtta Summit Parka
This Hurtta dog coat is designed to be a versatile insulated winter dog coat just as well suited to long hikes as quick walks in inclement weather.
The Summit Parka goes on with one buckle around the waist with an adjustable back length and collar to help you get the perfect fit, making it a great choice if you struggle to find dog coats to fit your pet. It also has a leash portal for using with a harness.
12. Weatherbeeta Parka 1200 Deluxe
The waterproof and insulated Weatherbeeta Parka allows great freedom of movement, and features velcro closure around the belly, and reflective trim for improved visibility in low light.
Because of the adjustability around the belly, this dog winter coat is popular with owners of broader-chested and larger dogs, and it comes in 12 sizes, meaning there is a size available for most, from small dogs (and puppies) to very large dogs.
4 new from $54.38
13. Carhartt Chore Coat
This Carhartt dog jacket is made from rugged duck (cotton) fabric with a water-repellent coating, and features a quilted liner for warmth.
This dog coat is great for damp and windy weather, or when your dog needs to spend time outside and you want them to have some weather protection.
While not the lightest winter dog coat on this list, this coat ranks high for durability and style, with a corduroy collar and rivet-reinforced pockets.
It also goes on easily and attaches using a velcro strap around the belly.
Available in black, army green, hunter orange and brown.
3 new from $44.99
out of stock
14. Ruffwear Vert Jacket
The Vert Jacket is Ruffwear’s insulated dog raincoat, designed to keep your pup warm as well as being waterproof, windproof and breathable.
This jacket provides good coverage down over the hips and thighs, and optional leg loops to help keep it in place in windy conditions, making it one of the best dog coats for most winter weather.
Like the Hurtta coat, above, this jacket also has a leash portal for wearing with a harness, and like other Ruffwear jackets on this best dog coats list, this jacket goes on over the head and features lightweight clips around the belly with adjustable straps to get a good fit.
1 new from $99.95
Dog coats, sweaters and jackets buying guide
Do you need a winter dog coat?
Whether or not your dog needs a winter coat when the weather gets cold depends on several factors, including the breed of dog you have, how thick, long or short your dog’s coat is, their age, and health.
It’s best to consult your dog’s vet as they should know your dog’s specific needs when it comes to how to keep your dog warm.
In addition to your dog’s specific needs, it also depends on the climate where you live and how cold, wet or windy the weather gets in winter – and how long you expect your dog may spend outside in those conditions.
It’s also worth considering that if you put a winter dog coat or fleece on your pup and they don’t really need it, it’s possible they can get uncomfortable and overheat, so bear that in mind before you start wrapping them up!
What are the warmest winter dog coats?
Similar to coats for people, the warmest dog coats are typically made with puffy down or man-made insulating materials.
Fleece and other microfiber layers also have good insulating properties, as they trap air close to the body, which will help keep your dog warm.
It’s also important to consider the effect that wet and windy conditions can have, as exposure to wet conditions, combined with a wind-chill effect, can make you feel even cold.
This is why waterproof and windproof jackets are an important layer when wrapping up for cold weather – whether you are a person or a dog.
Should dogs wear raincoats?
Many dogs do not actually need to wear raincoats or a winter coat.
It really depends on the dog, and the climate where the dog spends time.
Some young dogs and short-haired dogs are going to be more prone to cold weather and the effect of rain than other dogs with longer, thicker coats and double coats, which are bred to be able to more readily handle winter weather conditions.
For example, our resident trail dog Kepler is a Border Collie, with a thick, medium-length coat, and is from a line of Welsh herding dogs who spend much of their time outdoors herding sheep, whatever the weather (and it rains a LOT in Wales).
So Kepler doesn’t generally need to wear a winter coat, but we find he seems happier if we put a raincoat on him when we go out on longer trail adventures in wet and cold weather, and it makes the job of drying and cleaning him easier when we get him home.
What makes a great dog winter coat
When it comes to choosing the right winter coat for your dog, look out for the following features:
Insulation layers – most good winter dog jackets will have a warm insulating layer, that is typically fleece lined, and the warmest coats will also have a puffy down (or man-made equivalent) filling to trap body heat.
Your coat will definitely need to be well-insulated for your dog to be comfortable in extreme cold weather.
Waterproof, water-resistant or water-repellent shell – if you want to protect your dog from wet conditions in heavy rain or for prolonged periods of time, make sure the dog jacket you buy is fully waterproof, and not just water-resistant.
Waterproof coats usually have a DWR (durable water repellent) treatment on them to give them this property. By comparison, water-resistant dog coats will eventually soak through.
Wind protection – a waterproof dog coat will also have the benefit of protecting your dog from the chilling effect of the wind, which can be responsible for significant loss of body heat in cold weather especially.
Some water-resistant ‘wind breaker’ style dog jackets will also do this without being fully waterproof.
Machine washable – read product details to check that the dog jacket is machine washable, or is otherwise easy to hand wash.
Cleaning your dog’s raincoat or winter jacket should be easier than cleaning your dog!
Compatible with using a harness – if you walk your dog on a harness, consider getting them a winter coat that has a ‘leash portal’ between the shoulder blades which can be unzipped or opened to allow you to pass your dog’s leash through to attach to a harness back clip.
Alternatively, some of the more closely-fitting dog coats are designed so that you can wear them under a harness, if needed.
- Adjustable fit and range of sizing – all dog apparel brands have different sizing, and sometimes sizing can vary between products from the same brand. So it’s important to make sure you measure your dog and compare the measurements to the jacket’s size guide to get the best size jacket for your dog. Typically, measurements are made around the dog’s neck, girth (widest part of their chest) and along the length of their back.
- Jacket coverage – on the subject of measuring your dog’s back, make sure you get some good coverage along the length of their back from the neck down towards the base of their tail, to keep them as dry (and warm) as possible
- Closure methods and fasteners – most dog jackets are attached using either plastic pinch-clips, zippers or velcro (hook and loop). Velcro has the benefit of being easily adjustable and lightweight, but can pick up dirt more easily. Zippers are good for snug-fitting jackets and are better for short hair dogs – they should be used with caution on long-haired dogs, so you don’t trap their hair in the zip. For jackets with pinch-clips, these are also very adjustable, and the best dog winter coats with this type of fastener have fabric flaps to prevent the clip trapping your dog’s hair when you snap the two ends together.
In addition to the features of the specific dog coat, also consider when and where you plan on using the dog jacket, and consider buying the insulating layer and waterproof layers separately, so you have more versatility when it comes to layering and adjusting for changing weather conditions.
For example, the Kurgo K9 Core Sweater paired with the Kurgo Loft Jacket, or the Ruffwear Fernie Fleece paired with the Ruffwear Sun Shower Jacket.