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Product Reviews

Ruffwear Fernie Technical Sweater Review

Ruffwear Fernie Fleece Dog Jacket

It’s hard not to give into the changing season’s new fashions, and for me, fall is particularly tempting.  Now when I mean fashion, I mean the outdoor kind:  new styles of backpacks, jackets, sweaters, flannels, boots, and running tights. Rainy afternoons and chilly evenings here in Colorado are a welcome reprieve from hot, dry summers. So when Ruffwear came out with their new Fernie sweater-knit jacket, it was time that Bella took on a fall staple for her own “wardrobe.” We knew the Ruffwear Fernie would be a great addition to her winter jackets, as it would be a perfect cozy coat for her to sleep in at night.

Ruffwear Fernie Fleece Dog Jacket

Now when you think of dog sweaters, you might think of tiny toy pups riding around in their owner’s purses. However, when you think of the Fernie’s sweater knit fabric, you should think of your favorite knit fly fishing jacket or thick, technical hoody.  

Ruffwear Fernie Fleece Dog Jacket

Not only does it look cool, but it is very functional as you would expect a Ruffwear jacket to be.  Bella needs a jacket year-round in Colorado for camping and backpacking. Even in the height of summer, nighttime temps dip low enough to cause her to shiver when at rest.  In late summer, evenings consistently begin to hit the freezing mark and even evenings at the breweries in town call for a warm layer or two.

Ruffwear Fernie Fleece Dog JacketFor the maiden voyage of Bella’s Fernie coat, we headed North to Wyoming for a Labor Day vacation in a retired fire tower.  While the tower is maintained by the U.S. Forest Service and typically includes a propane-fueled stove and heater, the propane had been turned off during our stay for repairs.  Our nights in the fire tower were rainy and chilly, and the temperatures nearly hit the 20s.  Between Bella’s Ruffwear Fernie coat and Highlands Sleep System (and the fact that I broke our usual rules and let her sleep on my cot with me), she stayed cozy and warm all three nights.

Why we chose the Ruffwear Fernie coat:

  • We wanted a comfortable coat for Bella for lounging in tents, yurts, fire towers, train cars, geodome houses, and all of the other bizarre and amazing places we adventure to that keep Bella out of the elements, yet still get chilly at night.
  • You know those people that choose to sit on the outside patio at your local brewery, even when it’s 30 degrees?  Yeah, that’s us.  This coat keeps Bella cozy, even on chilly outdoor patios.

What we love:

  • The stretchy material moves with active Bella
  • Full coverage in the sleeves, collar, and back keeps Bella warm during drafty evenings.
  • The feel of the fabric is extremely warm and comfortable and is of very high quality.  In Pat’s words, “she has nicer clothes than I do!”

Maybe not for you if:

  • You are looking for a multi-purpose coat that will keep your dog warm during long periods of activity in deep snow, rain, or high winds.  This jacket is ideal for cool, clear conditions.  Check out Ruffwear’s K-9 Overcoat or Cloud Chaser for a more all-around active coat.

Keep in Mind:

  • Like most fleece materials, we found that fur sticks to this coat.  Luckily, the Fernie comes in several nice colors to choose from and possibly color-coordinate with your pet’s fur.
  • We’ve washed this coat once in a washing machine on a cold setting, and then air dried.  So far it has laundered well.
  • Ruffwear also just updated their Climate Changer fleece coat, and we’ve been asked what the difference is.  Typically, sweater-knit fleece is a tad bit thicker than traditional fleece garments and has a slightly different look to it than traditional fleece. Personally, if I were choosing the coat for more active purposes such as running, I would have opted for the Climate Changer, as it is a thinner material and would breath more efficiently. However, if your dog is particularly thermally fragile, this coat would be a great coat for your dog, even during intense activity.

Ruffwear Fernie Fleece Dog Jacket

Since its original trip to the Wyoming Fire Tower, Bella’s Fernie has made an appearance at several breweries in town.  The Ruffwear Fernie has been a great addition to Bella’s gear closet, and we know she will wear it for many Colorado falls, winters, springs, and summers to come.

Where to Buy the Ruffwear Fernie

Check out the Fernie at Ruffwear, Moosejaw, or Amazon