It’s not secret that Bell is a gear hound. From horseback riding to SUPing, trail running, snowboarding, backpacking, fly fishing and skijoring, Bella has activity-specific gear that tends to rotate through storage and an active coat-closet phase by the door, depending on the season. Even her collars and leashes have become pretty specialized. We can now say that Bella has one sole piece of gear with a permanent place by the front door that we take on every single adventure: The Turdlebag Dog Poop Bag Carrier.
The Turdlebag is a small, wax-lined canvas bag that holds a full poop bag, eliminating the gross-factor by a significant amount. Instead of only a thin plastic bag, you now have a sturdy, tear-proof, not-so-stinky canvas bag to hold or attach to a leash or pack that allows you to continue your adventures without worry. This discrete item essentially looks like a small stuff sack with a roll-top, with a few extra features specific to dog owners. Whether preventing a backcountry poop bag gear explosion or keeping your hands free to shake with your neighbors as you walk the block, the poop bag will help eliminate odors and make the responsible side of dog ownership a much more pleasant experience.
Seemingly small and simple, you might not expect such an item to be so life-changing. Why do we love this item? Because Bella poops, no matter where we go. Ok, maybe this is an unsavory topic to discuss, but as a dog owner, you know that there is no getting around it. Dog waste contaminates beautiful areas. Even on low-populated trails and wilderness areas, we know that leaving Bella’s poo behind can have an impact on the health of the surrounding ecosystem, as well as the experience of others walking out on the trail. Who wants to be out hiking, only to walk by dozens of poop bags left on the trail? Packing out dog poop is the responsible thing to do (occasionally. on backpacking trips we bury dog waste according to human standards and regulations for the area). Dog poop is also one of the main reasons that trails become closed to dogs, and nordic ski resorts that allow skijoring are especially sensitive to dog waste.
The Need (#PoopProblems)
There’s no question that we’ve handled hundreds of pounds of Bella’s excrement while adventuring. While most dog owners *mostly* get used to the reality of handling dog poop bags, stuffing a full bag into the side of your pack on a hot day is pretty nauseating. I’ve been on hot trail runs where I nearly lost my lunch on a summit due to a sudden waft from a steamy, stashed bag. To help solve this problem, Bella has a Ruffwear Single Track Pack for trail running, in which she carries her own bags. However, it takes a delicate maneuver to tuck all corners into the sleek pack, and then you’d better cross your fingers and toes while you hope that the bag doesn’t catch in the zipper.
Even after a successfully loaded poop bag stash, it’s oftentimes miles before we find a trash can, and frequently trailheads are not be equipped with trash removal services (yep, that poop is now riding along in the car with us back home). We’ve perfected the technique of carefully shutting the tied end of the bag in the trunk so that the loaded end is outside the car for the drive. Now I say perfected, except that one time last weekend when I miscalculated how much room I had on the tied end, and the bag…well…exploded. I’ve also had nightmares of falling on my pack while snowboarding or setting it down too roughly, causing a loaded bag stashed in an outside pocket of my own pack to burst or rip. So far, luckily, this particular nightmare has been unfounded.
Whether you’ve had these same experiences, or simply understand the daily struggle of carrying a fully loaded bag in your hands while out walking through the neighborhood, you definitely need the Turdlebag. Admit it…as a dog owner, handling your dog’s poop has become part of your lifestyle.
What Makes the Turdlebag Worth It
The Turdlebag is simple, yet has some really nicely thought-out features. At one point last summer, I actually considered buying a very small dry sack to serve the same purpose of the Turdlebag. However, I’m glad I held out for the following reasons:
- Sturdy, canvas-like material “protects” the bag from ripping or getting excessively squashed, literally offering an extra layer to your peace of mind.
- Handy snaps make hand-held leash attachment easy, and can also help you attach the bag to backpacks, running belts, etc…
- A little strap on the bottom acts as a “shake out” handle, allowing for hands-free disposal of the bag inside.
- Lined canvas and a roll-top design to helps to block smells and keep out rain/snow. According to the company, the bag is currently 80% smell proof, and they are now working on a 100% scent-proof design.
- A separate, small external pocket dispenses a small roll of bags.
- Machine washable (air dry).
- The company 100% stands by their products and has a simple return policy.
- If you have two dogs or frequently dog sit, one bag can hold up to 4 full bags from two 35lb or so dogs.
- We’ve so far only tested the bag in cooler winter temperatures, so it’s hard for us to accurately report how well the smell is controlled in heat. However, we’ve ridden with a full Turdlebag in the car for several hours in the trunk, and didn’t notice any smell.
- The Turdlebag is suggested for dogs up to 90lbs. Bella is 60lbs. While we’ve only needed to stash one bag at a time, there’s plenty of room for one or even two more at her size.
- The bag is a little bulky for ultralight backpacking or trail running. In the future, an additional design option without the external front dispenser might help cut down on bulk for minimalists. However, we were able to fit a full bag in one side of Bella’s Single Track pack. Two loaded bags inside the Turdlebag probably wouldn’t work.
- The Turdlebag retails for $20. It might be difficult wrapping your mind around a $20 bag for dog poop but trust us….It’s worth it. I’d definitely pay someone else $20 to clean the exploded poop bag off my car last weekend, or run with bags of Bella’s poo for 10 miles through the foothills of Boulder if I could.
Details aside, it’s amazing how much more pleasant it is dealing with poop bags with the Turdlebag. Mentally, you really do forget that you are holding a bag of your dog’s excrement, and it seriously cuts down on the smell when compared to a waste bag alone. If you are going to get one article of gear for your dog this spring, in our opinion it should be the Turdlebag. It doesn’t matter what activities you do with your dog… this product will make everything better. Because let’s be honest….as a dog owner, there’s a lot more poop in your future!