Skip to main content

Adventure Dog: Ruffwear

Almost all of us have a pretty good set of gear to get out on the trail for some quality time in the wilderness. Our dogs though? That’s a different story. Your pup probably loves getting out to chase squirrels, swim in lakes, and sleep under the stars even more than you do. Naturally, wouldn’t you want the best gear for your four-legged adventure buddy so he can keep leading the way into the backcountry for years to come? We’ve been testing some dog gear from our friends at Ruffwear for the last few months. Our trusty dogs logged serious mileage all over the Rockies, and we can say without a doubt that if you want your pup to travel in style, there’s no other brand to choose.

Cloud Chaser
First up, a good coat is our go-to piece for all season use. The Cloud Chaser is a soft shell that will shed rain and snow as well as your favorite Black Diamond or Arc’teryx jacket. It zips up from your dog’s neck to waist, locking out moisture and wind. The protection it affords means you’ll have a happy, and more importantly dry, dog on summit day.

Related Videos

Summit Trex Boots
We know what you’re thinking. Hiking boots for dogs? No, we’re not crazy, and yes, they work. The grippy rubber is perfect for cold winter walks in town (protecting paws from nasty ice and de-icer), but they really shine above the treeline. These boots protect paws against jagged rocks from below, and sharp thorns (and ski edges, which we were lucky to find out) from above with ease. You may go through a short period of adjustment – read: panic attacks – when you first put them on, but your dog will quickly get used to them.

Approach Pack
If you’re heading out over night, or simply an epic day of hiking to reach for secret climbing or fishing spot, your adventure buddy will probably need to bring along his own snacks and water. We like the Approach Pack for its strategic padding, reflective strips, and most of all comfort. Your dog should only carry about 25% of his weight, and the saddle bags of the Approach are the perfect size to keep from overloading.

Highlands Bed
We’ve used the Highlands Bed everywhere from high camp at 10,000 feet to hotels on the road as a travel bed. It is the perfect size to bring along on any trip, and packs into a stuff bag small enough to throw into the Approach Pack. Water shedding material and a touch of insulation make it the best option to give your dog his own space in the tent so you don’t end up with a furry snuggler in your sleeping bag.

Photo courtesy of Austin Parker/Green Goat Group.

Editors' Recommendations

The best winter hiking boots: Don’t leave home without one of these great picks
Hit the trails in confidence with great traction and insulation this winter
winter hiking boots

Heading out hiking in the depths of winter is no mean feat. You might be heading out for your usual few hours on the trail, but when the temperatures are below zero, and the weather can change in a moment, you need more than just your summer hiking gear to keep you safe. As well as warm merino layers and a backpack full of winter safety essentials, you need to be wearing a proper pair of winter hiking boots.

Sure, you can get by in your summer hiking boots, and perhaps you'll be okay. But what about those days when you're not? Those days when temperatures plummet, snow is melting through your lightweight boots, and you can feel your toes turning blue or going numb. On those days, a pair of insulated, fully waterproof winter boots are worth their weight in gold — trust me. We've put together this list of the best winter boots to keep you on track in the snow.

Read more
Sleep tight (and warm) this winter in the best cold-weather sleeping bags
Winter camping: All you need is the right gear and a little extra preparation

A lot of campers pack up their camping gear to store for the winter season. But some people — those of us who live with many snowy months each year — are simply swapping out their go-to items. Cold weather doesn't have to mean camping and backpacking season is over for anyone, though. With the right winter camping gear, wintertime camping can be a beautiful change to getting outside during the warmest parts of the year.

The key, of course, is having the right equipment, like a four-season tent, a camping sleeping pad, and a high-quality sleeping bag designed to handle low temperatures. A cold-weather sleeping bag is essential to make sure that, no matter how low the mercury drops, you can always sleep soundly. With the best cold-weather sleeping bag, you can rest easy and toasty warm wherever your adventure takes you. From snowy conditions to cold nights in the desert, these bags should cover cold nights in an array of terrains.

Read more
A guide to different ski types, no matter what your skiing adventure looks like
Learn your piste skis from park skis and get the right setup this winter
the best gloves for skiing men

Not long after starting skiing, you quickly realize how much ski jargon there is. When your rental skis have taken you as far as they can and it's time for you to look at buying your first pair, you'll need to know what you're getting into. After entering a shop, it's easy to be blown away by the sheer number of ski types. They range from huge, fat skis to narrow, skinny options — and don't get us started on what a twin tip could be.

Like all of your ski gear, the right skis are important. While we're always on the lookout for a good pair of ski pants, the truth is, besides a well-fitted pair of ski boots, getting the right skis is one of the biggest differences you can make to your skiing. We've put together this guide so you can understand your piste skis from park and powder skis and understand terms like "twin tips" and "camber." That way, when you hit up the shops to get your perfect set of skis for this winter, you can go in confident that you're not going to get sold the wrong setup.

Read more