A seat belt for your dog — that’s the premise of the Load Up Harness by Ruffwear. We gave it the test on dog-included trips this spring.
My dog and I spend more than half the year on the road. We travel in a 1973 VW van as well as off-road trucks and sometimes even via motorcycle and sidecar.
I always wear a seatbelt. But it had never occurred to me that my dog, Baylor, should buckle up, too.
Ruffwear set me straight and showed me how to use its new Load Up Harness.
To be honest, using a dog harness sounded like a bit of a hassle and potentially uncomfortable for Baylor, especially during marathon driving sessions.
After watching Ruffwear’s crash-dog testing videos, I was convinced to give the Load Up Harness a chance.
Not only does this product increase a dog’s safety in an accident, but it ensures he won’t become a projectile inside the vehicle if something goes wrong.
We started using the harness for short trips around town. Then we tried long road trips, in the backseat of a truck, and lounging in a VW van through hot and cold weather.
Safety First: The harness is made to withstand the rigors of a crash and has been strength-tested to 2,000 lbs. A low attachment point keeps your dog comfortable on longer trips and upright in an accident.
Comfort Second: Baylor has happily worn the harness all day on long trips. He can easily adjust position when wearing it, and the minimal coverage means he doesn’t get too hot. I like that it doesn’t inhibit peeing or taking care of doggy business, so you can just put it on your pup in the morning and you’re set for the entire day.
Ease Of Use: The first time using the harness is the most time consuming because you need to adjust all of the straps to properly fit your pooch. After that, though, it’s extremely simple. Just slide over your dog’s head, clip two side latches and put the seatbelt through the loop.
The LoadUp Harness costs $79.99 and comes in sizes xxs to xl. The hardest part has just been putting a new habit into place and consistently using the harness.
I just need to remember that Baylor is my best friend, so it’s certainly worth a couple extra minutes to increase his safety on the road.
–Mallory Paige is a storyteller and adventurer with a simple philosophy: Choose Happy, Seek Adventure. Equal parts nerd and thrill-seeker, she’s just as likely to be found devouring a good book or powering her way through class IV whitewater in a packraft.