Ruffwear Front Range Dog Harness Review: A Stylish, Comfortable, and Versatile Option
Reviews | By: Taylor Wyllie, KPA CTP | Apr 24, 2023
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As a dog owner, finding the right harness for your furry friend can be a daunting task. With so many options on the market, it can be hard to know which one to choose. However, after trying out the Ruffwear Front Range Dog Harness with my dog Scott for the past two years and counting, I can confidently say that this harness is a great option. (Note, because we’ve been testing it for so long, the version we have is slightly different than the current model).
One of the things I love about the harness is its versatility. The harness comes with two leash attachment points - one on the back and one on the chest - which gives you more control and flexibility during walks. I especially love the front clip, which helps to discourage pulling. Note that I said, “discourage.” It won’t do the work of actually teaching your dog to walk politely on leash (that’s up to you!). Once you’ve trained loose-leash walking, you can graduate to the back clip.
This is a good time to point out that I’ve noticed significant fraying of the front clip, which started after about a year of use. It’s frayed so much that I don’t use it anymore. To be fair to Ruffwear, Scott used to pull like he was auditioning to be a sled dog, which contributed to the clip’s untimely decline. We also used it every single day—multiple times a day—for nearly a year. As we mostly use back clips now anyway, it’s not a huge deal. But it’s still somewhat disappointing. I’m not a harness designer by any stretch, but I don’t quite understand why the front clip isn’t made from the same aluminum as the back ring.
Back to the good stuff. One of the most important aspects of a harness is how well it allows for natural movement. And the Front Range Harness delivers on this front as well. The harness is designed in a way that does not restrict your dog's shoulder movement, allowing for maximum mobility and comfort. I’ve read reviews that say the harness rubs against their dog’s skin after prolonged use. Personally, I have not noticed any rubbing or chaffing with Scott. It’s lightweight enough, he doesn’t seem to care he has it on.
Of course, the straps can be easily adjusted to ensure a secure and custom fit for your dog. And I don’t say “easily” lightly. A lot of the harnesses out there are a mess of straps and buckles. Add in a wiggly dog—and adjusting a harness to a proper fit can be a challenge worthy of The Amazing Race. That’s not the case for the Front Range Harness, which really is simple to fit to your dog. That said, I would've appreciated being able to adjust the chest plate. As it stands, it can't be lengthed or shorted, so it would sometimes drape a little funny on Scott's chest. And any of the more strangely shaped dogs (such as corgis) may need a harness that’s a little more adjustable to suit their body types.
I’ve never worried about Scott wriggling or slipping out, although one of my client’s dogs did get out of it. So, if your dog is an escape artist keep this in mind—I always suggest a safety strap for added protection.
Unlike other options on the market, you do need to slide it over your dog's head in order to put it on. This isn’t a big deal for some dogs, but others will not like it. If your dog does not appreciate squeezing their head into a harness, I’d suggest buying one that buckles around the neck such as the Balance Harness.
I also like that this harness looks, well, cool. Ruffwear has nailed the outdoorsy aesthetic. Plus, it’s available in a variety of fun colors and a couple of patterns, so you’ll be sure to find one that suits your dog’s style.
One final feature worth mentioning is the reflective trim. It ensures that your dog is visible in low-light conditions, adding an extra layer of safety during walks.
We’ve tested hiking in the snowy mountains, on river jaunts, and on everyday walks around the neighborhood — and it has worked wonderfully in all situations. Overall, I recommend the Ruffwear Front Range Dog Harness for any dog owner looking for a durable, comfortable, and versatile harness that provides excellent control and flexibility during walks. With its front and back clip, easy-to-adjust design, and high-quality materials, this harness is sure to become a go-to accessory for all your walks and training sessions.
And with my dog Scott still wearing the harness after two years of testing, I can attest to its longevity and effectiveness!
The Ruffwear Front Range Dog Harness is available in sizes XXS to XL, making it suitable for most dogs. Scott wears a size medium.