Ruffwear Quinzee Dog Jacket Review – We asked our ambassadors Krista and Ty to put the insulated Ruffwear Quinzee through the paces in their stomping grounds in the White Mountains. Enjoy!
Despite a slow start to the winter here in New England, Ty has been hunting down cold weather worthy of testing the Ruffwear Quinzee jacket that Backcountry K-9 sent to us. I like to relate the Quinzee to my favorite synthetic down coat: snug but not stifling, ideal for layering but great as a standalone, overall, a go-to winter item.
While functionality trumps fashion, it’s a nice looking jacket – sleek, well-fitted, and gives the impression it takes winter seriously like any human coat from a well-respected company would. Ty’s girth is 27 inches, the highest limit for a size small/lowest limit for a medium. For that reason, the chest portion is a little oversized but it fits her nicely overall, giving her coverage to the base of her tail, even cinching up enough for her narrow ribcage. I believe the vest style is ideal for active dogs like her.
As with all our Ruffwear gear, I appreciate the attention to detail. The integrated stuff sack is a nice feature for packing since Ty generally starts in just her harness or base layer (Ruffwear Cloud Chaser) and layers up once the wind has a bite to it. Adjusting the Autolock buckles took me a few tries to get used to, especially while wearing thick gloves, but are much easier to use than alternatives once I figured them out. They also stay in place well. Between the clips and snazzy zipper (which I think is simply adorable but has functional reasons for its existence), the jacket is very easy to slip on, an excellent feature for dressing on the trail in the bitter cold or with a dog who has a love/hate relationship with coats.
Now the nitty gritty: this is a tough, effective jacket. It is a great insulator and perfect for layering, which I am a huge fan of with the changing conditions throughout our White Mountains hikes. Ty was completely comfortable taking a seat on an exposed rock while the winds brought the wind chill down to the upper 20’s. She has yet to wear it without a base layer when the temps drop below 25*F but she fared well with it layered on a hike where the temperature dipped to 15*F along the ridge. On non-hiking days, I like to put it on her when she insists on going out to the backyard to stare at the squirrels on the other side of the fence. I’m not sure that she needs a coat but it extends the time she can stay out there comfortably.
Ty is known as the “heathen dingo” for her no-holds-barred style of hiking so I was worried the Quinzee would get snagged or torn but it has survived with ease through almost 30 trail miles thus far, including one spontaneous bushwhack, with only the faintest of scuff marks. It is fairly water resistant as well, especially for a soft shell. In steady rain conditions, moisture began to wick into the buckle covers but the interior remained dry for our 40 minute walk.
I’ve been really happy with the Quinzee, from daily use for chilly mornings sitting in the backyard to rugged dayhikes. It’s durable, meets our high performance expectations, looks super comfy, and is easy to fit. I’d have to say, Ruffwear’s description is dead-on for this product.