Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Ruffwear Cloud Chaser – An Honest Review

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The first dog coat I purchased for the hounds was the Ruffwear Cloud Chaser.

Ruffwear is a brand I’ve trusted ever since I bought a front-range harness back in 2018. Their durability has been phenomenal – so when looking for a coat, and I knew Ruffwear made them I had an instinct of where to start.

Our hounds are particularly sensitive to the cold, they have a fine coat and they’ve never been keen on being outside when the temperatures dip, let alone if it snows.

And, true to form they had a few options for me. The one that shone the best was the Cloud Chaser. We bought it via Amazon, but it’s also available on ruffwear.com.

Introducing the Ruffwear Cloud Chaser

The Ruffwear Cloud Chaser Dog Coat

Let’s have a chat about what the Cloud chaser is, does, and is meant to do. It provides a soft, flexible outer shell that is very good at protecting your dog from the elements. It provides great coverage, and it fits really nicely.

Per the directions on the site, the hounds measured just into the large sizing, but surprisingly when the large arrived it was really really large, so we exchanged it for the medium, which definitely fit better.

What Do I Love About The Cloud Chaser

The Fit

Our hounds have a very particular shape, thin neck, huge chest, and skinny little waist – a lot of coats can look really weird, but these hug their form wonderfully.

I love that it covers their chest fully, and will keep their core temperature higher (I will invest in FLIR this time next year, I promise! Then we’ll really know). I’ve done a general comparison by touch? And it definitely seems to keep them toasty warm.

Built To Go Under A Harness

I love that it’s form-fitting for a really good reason. Because it is built to go under a harness. This isn’t an overcoat (per se) it’s a base layer – which is really smart! So, if you already have a harness? It just goes straight over the top and won’t be awkward or bulky in the slightest.

Lightweight & Flexible

For what does it offer? It’s very light. It offers a great number of protections vs the weight of the product which I’m really pleased about. I always like to pick lightweight and minimally intrusive products that compliment my dogs as opposed to impede? And the cloud chaser is entirely flexible. Its lack of “substance” gives it a really flexible nature!

Built To Go Under A Harness

Where to put a coat is always interesting, but the sleek design of the cloud chaser is meant to hug the body of your dog, it’s a close, cozy fit that is designed deliberately like this. It’s meant to go under your dog’s harness and not interfere with any of it, and so far? It absolutely hasn’t done that. I’ll say, I’m absolutely impressed with it.

Built for layers

The cloud chaser is built as part of a system that’s quite clever. There are layers to the Ruffwear system, it’s a layer for warmth and a layer for waterproof, it’s built (I believe) to compliment the Climate changer fleece – which should amplify the warmth, but give you a wonderful, flexible system that Ruffwear have developed. They’re also super flexible.

Hardwearing

The hounds put coats through their paces, from bushes, brambles, and trees to under my husband’s truck and rummaging through log stacks – the girls are relentless in their testing. With snow, rain, wind, rolling, and wading, the cloud chaser hasn’t snagged, caught, pulled, or had any holes put in it, despite their rigorous testing.

Which is pretty impressive! I’m really impressed with its general durability, I was honestly expecting it to catch and start looking tatty – but it’s so far proving me wrong (two winters and counting!)

Weatherproof

Barely a whisper of wind or rain gets through this shell. More through the chest piece, than the back piece. Even the zipper is lapped front and back so that it’s really well hidden from the elements and won’t let much get through.

Doesn’t show dirt.

At least the black one doesn’t seem to pick up dirt. Whether from the sleek, simple, rather seamless design (I think there are four seams in total), or from the choice of material, it does seem to be quite a dirt resistant, which makes winter just that little easier!

Shelby the redbone coonhound showing off the ruffwear cloud chaser coat
the front view of the Ruffwear cloud chaser coat, it’s got full chest coverage, which is great to see, definitely some added warmth right there considering that’s where their core temperature is most important!

What I Don’t Love About The Ruffwear Cloud Chaser

Tricky to put on

I’ve yet to find a good way to put this on your dog. it’s built in such a way that the zipper runs down the right-hand side of your dog (great for weatherproofing!). The zipper runs front to back which is helpful, but it does require you wiggling paws into place, pulling it up their legs to their chest, flapping it over their back, and then getting the zipper in place at the neck…

Now, if you have an excited dog? Or a wiggly, fidgety dog, this can be very tricky.

Not The Warmest

Our hounds are pretty sensitive to the cold. And that was primarily what I bought this for? The guidance on the website said it wasn’t their best for the cold – but it was also not the worst.

Even though it’s built as part of a system, I’d still like this to stand a little warmer on its own, considering it’s a 3/5 on their coat comparison, when their warmest coat is rated a 4/5…

Just seems a little underwhelming for this.

Collects hair

Particularly around the seams, and I find it hard to get the hair out of the inside of this coat. The girl’s short coated hairs are quite spikey, so they are typically quite difficult to get out, but this doesn’t was up well from my point of view.

It washes clean of all dirt, nice and easy! But the short spikey little hairs? Just don’t seem to remove themselves through the wash cycle. That bugs me.

Can rub

This one really surprised me, because Shelby was absolutely fine in this coat. But we switched it to lucy (who is very similar sized, in fact slightly smaller, but her “arms” are definitely thicker. So, it chafed and created a bit of a sore, which I really wasn’t expecting.

Unsurprisingly, when we found it chafed like this, it became Shelby’s coat. But it’s a good thing to note that if your dog is on the upper size limit, it is a risk for your dog too.

Ruffwear Cloud Chaser coat as modeled by shelby the redbone coonhound
The fit here is wonderful – there’s minimal space for the cold to creep up underneath that coat

Do I Recommend It

For snow? No. For wind and rain, absolutely!

Particularly if you have broad-chested dogs. These are form-fitting and stretch? So they’ll fit quite nicely. If your dog has a more sausage-like shape? It may not be the best fit.

The Ruffwear cloud chaser is your Wet weather, high wind coat, and chilly too. But not too cold.
Want it? Find it on ruffwear.com or amazon!

If you want a little more help with equipment, or want a great harness or collar to pair this with, why not head over to our gear reviews! And if you need any more help, you can always get in touch and book a 1:1.

Author, Ali Smith

Ali Smith is the Positive Puppy Expert, dog trainer, and the founder of Remarkable. She is passionate about helping puppy parents get things right, right from the start. To help create a puppy capable of being a confident and adaptable family member and keep puppies out of shelters.

Ali has won multiple awards for her dog training, and has had her blog (this blog!) rated as 2021 & 2022 world’s best pet blog!

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