The Front Range harness from dog gear company Ruffwear is designed for adventure dogs, but so versatile that it can be used for everyday activities such as my morning poop and fetch outings. This Ruffwear Front Range harness review covers what my parents thought about its features and functionality, as well as how it looks and fits on my svelt doggy form.
When I was a puppy they needed a harness that would be comfortable for me to wear on walks and playing in the park with a leash attached, without restricting my neck (like a collar can) when I got up to puppy mischief and burst into spontaneous sprints and zoomies or chase after my favorite frisbee at high speeds. I’m now an adult dog and still wear a Ruffwear front range harness for active pursuits such as trail running and hiking with my parents.
Choosing a dog harness instead of a collar for hiking
As my parents wanted me to be able to come out hiking and on adventures with them as soon as possible when I was young, I needed a harness that would be comfortable to wear all day, and allow me to run around on trails without risking a collar-related neck injury from being a crazy puppy and jumping off logs, etc.
This was particularly helpful when I was a young pup and hadn’t learned to walk on a leash nicely – Now I run on a leash like a pro! Now I’m older I still wear a harness like this Ruffwear harness most days for frisbee sessions in the park, and hiking, but walk using a collar (trying to walk on a harness usually results in me pulling like a train).
Here’s a short video of how the Front Range harness looked on me when I was little, and a more recent picture of me as a full-grown dog, still wearing the same harness:
I like that the Ruffwear Front Range Harness has a leash attachment at the chest, as well as the back, so if I pull on the leash then they can use the chest attachment, which reduces the pulling.
That said, if you pull with intent, and are a strong dog, then this (and probably any other) dog harness, even with a front leash attachment, is not going to be that effective – if you’re like me you’ll keep on pulling hard anyway!
Is the Front Range Harness comfortable?
I LOVE running in the Front Range Harness! I don’t even notice I have it on. As it is well-padded, I find I can wear it for hours and not be uncomfortable or complain.
I have run up and down many mountains wearing the harness without any rubbing or discomfort. For pictures of me running trails in my Front Range harness check out our Instagram feed and stories!
How well does the Front Range Harness fit?
As I joined my new family when I was 8 weeks old, I have grown a lot every week since then. It was hard for my parents to know what size to pre-purchase the Front Range harness in. As it turned out, although I was a healthy 11lb at 8 weeks, I was still too small for the Small size harness. With all the straps tightened to the max, I still had a bit of wiggle-room, especially in the neck area.
The neck hole was a bit big for me, and the fabric at the front gaped a bit. I assure you, I took full advantage of the wiggle-room, by almost wiggling out, a couple of times. However, once I had grown a little, around 10 days later, I fitted into the Small, just.
At 14 weeks old (and 22lb), they had to make the chest straps looser than the tightest fitting, although the neck hole was still on the smallest size. I still had plenty of room to grow with this harness, as the adjustable straps allow for several inches of increased chest girth.
UPDATE 2021! Once I reached 8 months old I needed a Medium sided Front Range harness. I’m now fully grown and the medium fits me perfectly, as you can see in the Instagram pictures!
How to put on the Front Range Harness
The harness has two easy-to-use plastic clips, to attach it around my chest – one on each side. To put the harness on, it slips over my head, the clips and harness fabric go between my front legs, and come up on each side to clip in at the top, on my back. So it’s easy for my humans to do it up.
My biggest issue initially was getting the harness on over my head. I don’t particularly like putting my head through things, but we worked around this by my humans enticing me to bite a treat or small soft toy, through the neck-hole. I fell for it every time, and before I knew it, the harness was on and being clipped in.
Now, I look forward to wearing my harness every time, as it means that soon I am going to get to go outside on a walk – or a bigger adventure!
Ruffwear Harness Review: Front Range Design
My humans appreciate the design of the Front Range harness: simple, but with some really useful features:
- It is good only having two clips to do up, and this Ruffwear harness is very quick to get on – you don’t have to pass your dog’s paws through any holes, which some dogs hate doing
- It has a front chest leash attachment, as well as the metal back attachment.
- There’s a pocket for my dog-tags, to keep them out of the way and reduce jingling
- Attractive color options to choose from
- Reflective strips on either side, which help me stay seen in the dark.
Top loop attachment (video below).
I get comments several times a week from people saying they like my harness and asking where it came from. Not as many as the comments I get telling me how cute I am, but still – this is a good-looking dog harness!
I like the blue color of my Front Range harness. The advantage of being a (mostly) black dog, is that black goes with everything. I’m pretty into blue stuff, the green and purple also look very nice.
Ruffwear Harness Review: How to Clean it
I like to get down and dirty on the trails. Plus, sometimes, when I chase my frisbee, both I and my harness get covered in green grass-stains. My parents put it in a pillowcase and wash it on a gentle cycle and it comes out of the washing machine like new every time. They hang it to dry (don’t try tumble-drying it!).
How durable is the Ruffwear Front Range Harness?
When I first had to wear my small harness I would rub it along every wall and railing I came across, so I scuffed the straps, but this didn’t affect their use. Having worn the Medium harness for over a year it’s still like new, despite my best efforts to break it and get it filthy. That includes many mountain hikes and lake adventures.
So I can tell you that it’s been very durable and reliable on all of my adventures. I guess that’s why Ruffwear is a top brand of choice for many dogs and their humans seeking trail and adventurous excursions.
This Ruffwear harness is available for purchase at the stores below: