product testing in action – doubleback harness

rozgo-on-belay

We’re never shy about our outdoor aspirations.  So, it should come as no surprise that we’re preparing to launch our Fall/Winter line of products which includes a climbing harness for dogs!

After months of research, working with our factories, and getting advice from the team at Black Diamond, we’re beginning field testing our new DoubleBack™ Harness.  But these field tests aren’t for just anyone or any dog.  They require the skill of our resident climbing experts, as well as a fearless dog who’s willing to be strung up like a pinata!  Pictured here is Rozgo, testing the medium-sized DoubleBack™ Harness in the rafters of our office.


13 comments

  1. Excellent post. I used to be checking continuously this weblog and I’m inspired! Very useful information specially the remaining phase :) I take care of such info much. I used to be looking for this certain info for a long time. Thanks and best of luck.

  2. A follow up – I used this harness for my Degenerative Myelopathy dog (progressive mobility impairment) which also had intravertebral disk disease and spondylosis (spinal arthritis) – she was in it for about a year. It was great for back stability, front-end and rear-assist … LOVE it!

    Like any assist product for mobility-impaired pets, you have to adapt the equipment as the pet’s needs change/progress. I added carabiners to the rear-end to attach the RW Knot-a-Coupler leash to help with rear support and not have to bend over. I also adjusted the rear leg loops a little as she lost muscle mass. Then add fake sheepskin padding to the leg loops to accommodate the muscle mass loss and prevent chafing/cutting … of which RuffWear had expressed some concerns about this with longer-term wear. Eventually, we stopped using the leg loops when muscle loss was highly advanced, but the front-end of the harness was still quite useful (like a RuffWear Webmaster Harness).

    Again, making adjustments in the RWDBH as her body progressed through disease stages was critical. I was very pleased with the RWDBH for this usage and have recommended it to others with the caveats. Thanks for a GREAT product…I plan to pay her DBH forward to another deserving dog as mine has her Angel Wings now.

  3. When you’re contemplating a choke chain collar there are a number of collars to choose from.

  4. Andy Wood · ·

    I want a harness that my dog can’t escape from. Which of the Ruffwear ones would you suggest? He’s been wearing a normal harness but yesterday escaped & disappeared for an hour in the city traffic. Thankfully he made it home with only a few minor injuries to his paws but I NEVER want to go through that again, I was beside myself with worry, hence why I want THE most anti-Houdini harness possible. Can you advise?

    1. We would recommend the Web Master harness. It has five points of adjustment which means a great fit and practically inescapable form: http://www.ruffwear.com/Web-Master-Harness?sc=2&category=1131&leadsource=SM2010WebMaster

  5. This is just what I have been looking for. As a climber who likes to bring my crag dog everywhere, I was in sore need of a comfortable, padded harness with back leg loops to hoist my hound up and down some of the more tenuous approaches. I have some hilarious pictures of our (failed) pre-harness attempts to strap my dog on like a backpack. A few questions for you.

    1) How padded is the harness? Especially around the straps that will take most of the weight (and do most of the squeezing)?

    2) Have you found that it chafes under the leg loops and in the pits of the dog – some harnesses unfortunately tend to do that.

    3) Do you have reinforced stitching at the tie-in point(s)?

    4) Is it set up with a single tie in point or four attachement points (in a rectangle over the dog’s back) that connect above the dog into a tie in point (think an upside down parachute). Most SAR harnesses on the market now have the latter.

    I will be interested in testing one of these out when they are released. When will that be and who will carry it?

    Thanks!

    Nikki

    1. 1) There’s about 4mm of padding on the chest, back and underside. The important part is the harness is designed not to put pressure on any critical or soft points. It’s designed to support the dog on the dog’s frame. We worked with veterinarians to get the correct support. The frame takes the majority of the weight and covers the majority of the body, not the straps, so there shouldn’t be any chaffing if fitted correctly.

      2) The leg loops have a soft padding added to them and we have not found them to chafe in our product tests. However, we don’t recommend use of the leg loops during long hikes. There’s a storage pocket on the back to hold the leg loops when not in belay.

      3) Yes, all tie in points are reinforced. The harness is made from a single piece of webbing with reinforced stitching throughout, similar to how a human harness is made. It has been pull-tested and and strength-rated up to 2,000 lbs (8.9kN).

      4) It is made with a single tie in point at the center of the dog’s frame, with two reinforcement points at the collar and tail of the harness to manipulate the angle of the dog on approaches or descents.

      This harness will be available Oct. 1 through various online retailers, climbing shops and through http://www.ruffwear.com.

  6. [...] is too rough? Now you’ve got another option: add your pooch to your ropeline. The RuffWear Doubleback Harness is a full, strength-rated climbing rig that cups your dog by the backs of the hind legs and [...]

  7. Leeloo the crag dog · ·

    has this harness been tested on long, “weiner-dog” type breeds? these pups are notoriously hard to fit, and my concern is that the additional length might alter the “butt mass effect” and make the harness uncomfortable for the spine. your pack works wonderfully for my pup on short pick-me-ups, but the harness would require longer levitation…

    my dachshund/beagle mix eagerly awaits a chance to join us climbing in the red river gorge, and would also like to volunteer her services for testing if needed!

    thanks!

    1. We tested this harness on a Dachshund / Boarder Collie mix. Though long breeds like this are difficult to fit, the leg loops are extremely adjustable. In addition, the harness is built to support the frame of the dog, not to exceed the rib cage of the dog where there is soft tissue and organs. Because longer breeds generally have longer frames, they are at an advantage because they have more surface area along their frame.

  8. We’re very interested in hearing more about your new harness on the Yahoo Degenerative Myelopathy group. There are lots of different harnesses (and booties) being used for different sized dogs and needs.

    We’re also a great source for product testing and objective feedback if you would like to tap into this FREE consumer research potential!

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