Whether your dog is a show prospect, competes in agility, goes on long hikes on a weekly basis, joins you on camping trips, or is just a loved family pet, you will need good quality gear such as collars and leads to keep him safe wherever you go.
If you want to skip to our conclusion, click here!
When Mojo joined our family, we bought a simple harness and lead, and we didn’t really focus on good quality brands and durable products. Early 2016, after having seen their products on several dogs we followed on instagram, we found the brand Hurtta.
We loved the products we saw but didn’t want to invest in them yet because we still had to pay for our studies at university, and couldn’t spend much time working part time jobs. We couldn’t afford more than just a simple collar at that time.
Finding a suitable harness
When Mojo turned two years old however, we thought it was time to introduce her to frequent 3-4 hour hikes, and we were looking for a sturdy and durable harness. Additionally, we wanted to acquire a backpack in which she could carry her own snacks, water bowl, poop bags, pet passport, and other doggy necessities.
After doing research and finding brands that offered outdoor gear for adventurous dogs, we asked our followers which products they preferred, and Hurtta was mentioned most often. Hence, we decided to place an order for a number of their products.
Our order included the following things:
– Hurtta Trail Pack
The Hurtta Trail Pack
The Hurtta Trail Pack is a harness and backpack in one. It is a versatile tool that can be used during hikes, day trips, walks in the city,when your dog joins you on a backpacking trip, or like Mojo, helps you carry your groceries from the market each week. The harness has a Y-shaped, padded front, and has an extra strap under the stomach area, compared to regular harnesses. The top half of the harness is fully padded and is equipped with a handle and two metal leash attachments.
This video shows an overview of the harness and backpack, as well as its fit. After having used this harness for 9 months, I would like to share our experiences!
The proper fit
When our first Hurtta products arrived in the post, I couldn’t wait for Mojo to try them on and take some pictures. I immediately grabbed the Trail Pack to adjust it to Mojo’s body.
It took quite a while to get the harness to fit right, as the straps are not easily adjusted. It’s pretty straightforward, don’t get me wrong, but it takes some effort to shorten/lengthen the straps and get everything just right. This is not a bad thing, actually, because it meant that once I managed to get it adjusted to Mojo’s size, it wouldn’t loosen up easily either.
We have size S, and I think it would fit dogs like Beagles, Border Collies, and Spaniels. It also comes in size M, which would be more suitable for dogs with wider chests and broader shoulders, as well as size L/XL which would be suitable for giant breeds.
Freedom of movement
When it comes to dog harnesses, there are several types to choose from. In my opinion, the most important thing to look for when selecting a harness, is whether or not it allows for freedom of movement of the neck, shoulders, and front legs.
I’ve seen multiple harnesses that look durable and sturdy, that come with a horizontal strap in front of the chest that restricts movement of the front legs and hinders the rotation of the shoulder joint. These harnesses often come with a chest strap that is tight in the armpits, causing friction and hair loss, resulting in scab wounds over time.
This is something we wanted to avoid, and we were looking for something that Mojo could comfortably wear for hours on end. So far, we have not had any issues with this harness. The Y-shaped front is padded, and feels very soft. As can be seen in the picture above, the chest strap does not touch the front legs and has not caused any friction or hair loss.
There is one thing we’ve noticed about the fit, but I’d assume this comes with every harness that has a strap around the stomach area. In the mornings, before she’s properly done her business, Mojo’s stomach is much more full than after she’s gone to the ‘bathroom’. Mojo has a very slim waist, more so than other lean dogs might have. The strap that goes around her waist is therefore fitted quite short and tends to be too tight early in the mornings.
So before she’s done her thing in the grass, we don’t click the strap into place until her waist has slimmed down. It’s a simple solution to a minor problem. We also do this when we take a break during hikes, so she can comfortably sit and lay down without a strap pressing into her belly.
Previously, Mojo suffered from hair loss around her neck and chest area due to the nylon collars and harnesses she used to wear. Over the past 9 months she has solely worn padded Hurtta collars and this harness and her fur has grown back beautifully. The nylon strap that runs along the stomach area has added padding to ensure a comfortable fit. The inside of this harness is lined with a very soft mesh which allows for great breathability. The fabric dries quickly and mud is easily wiped off.
The first time we used the harness, Mojo was covered in mud, so I showered both her and the harness with some lukewarm water. Despite it being sturdy and thick, the harness dried fairly quickly. The straps did shrink a little and it was very difficult to loosen them, since they had dried up with some sand still in the folds. I luckily managed to loosen the straps and they haven’t stretched out or shortened since.
Another feature we really like is the reflective edges and accents. This makes Mojo visible on evening walks in winter time, which is especially important living in a city with lots of traffic and few street lights.
Although we mainly use the harness on its own, we have been using the backpack more often recently. Every Saturday, Mojo joins us on a walk to the city center to pick up fruit and veg from the market. She’ll bring home some apples or clementines in her own little backpack. We get the oddest looks from people, and I often wonder what they think, but I like to give dogs a job to do for some mental and physical exercise. Because mojo is very fit, a little extra weight for a short period of time shouldn’t pose any problems for her.
This backpack is very sturdy, and has enough space to fit a water bottle on each side, poop bags, a pet passport, keys, a wallet, dog treats, human treats, or…. 6 apples on each side, haha!
The bags seem to be quite waterproof, and the zippers are lined with material that prevents water from entering the backpack. So far, we’ve walked in the rain quite often, and no water has entered the backpack whatsoever.
One small downside of the harness, is that attaching the backpack isn’t very easy. It’s a sliding mechanism with four attachment points, and once attached the backpack will never accidentally come off, which is great. However, I’d prefer a different mechanism that allows me to see what I’m doing. It’s quite difficult to get the attachment just right, if that makes sense. It isn’t as smooth as I would have liked, but that’s a minor thing. If you use the harness with the backpack on it full time, there’s no need to detach it after each use.
Sometimes we also use the attachment points for this backpack to attach our Hurtta Polar LED to the harness. Originally, this light is made for the Hurtta Adventure Collar and Leash, but we found that it has the same mechanism as the backpack. Although the reflective aspects of this backpack are ideal, our city has many cyclists that travel without lights, so this offers an extra safety feature to the harness. Note however, that you can’t use the Polar LED whilst having the backpack attached.
Since we’ve only had the Hurtta Trail Pack for approximately 9 months, we can’t yet say much about its durability. So far though, we haven’t noticed any loose threads or other things out of place. The quality is amazing and it seems like it will hold up for quite some time. We hope to properly put it to the test during our travels!
We are very happy with the Hurtta Trail Pack. Although mainly used as a harness, we’ve enjoyed how versatile it is, and how well it blends in with Mojo’s fur on photo’s. The harness looks great, fits well, and seems to be very durable. It’s one of the few backpacks we found that allows for full freedom of movement.
We have quite some hurtta products now, including a new collar and lead combination, and some Hurtta Outback Boots, so we will write another review in due time.
We acquired this harness and backpack combination for €73,95 on a Dutch webshop. Please contact Hurtta via their Facebook page for information on where to order this harness in your country. This blog post was not sponsored, we bought this product ourselves and shared our honest opinion.