We’re highlighting relatively inexpensive and simple products this season that we think will make your experience as you get out on the trails with your dog this spring just that much more enjoyable. We decided to change it up this month and bring you a dual review with perspectives by both Jason (Backcountry K-9 founder) and Devin (content and social media) on the Ruffwear Quick Draw Leash.
The Quick Draw leash is a short leash that you clip to your dog’s collar, then wrap and securely around your dog’s neck with a hook-and-loop closure. The leash is stored during activity in this fashion but is easily converted back to an already-attached-to-your-dog leash simply by pulling on the red tab at your dog’s neck.
Why did you initially decide to try out the Quick Draw Leash?
Jason: We spend our summers at our camper in a private campground exploring the adjacent Kettle Moraine state forest and nearby state parks. All allow dogs – our favorite state park has a dedicated dog beach on Lake Michigan – but all also have strict leash laws. When we’re in and out of the truck and on our way to the beach, the Quick Draw was an obvious choice to make sure I always had leashed control of two big excited labs.
Devin: In the past, I’ve used a small, elasticized leash that I wrap around my waist when I run with Bella in off-leash areas. Where we live in Boulder, CO, there is a great off-leash program that allows us to let Bella run free on some of our favorite trails. However, the program still requires that owners have leashes at all times in case of unexpected issues (wildlife, trail closures, livestock, trailhead parking lots, road crossings, etc…). The small leash worked great for a while until Bella stretched it so much by pulling that the length didn’t work to fit around my waist correctly anymore. I decided to give the Quick Draw leash a try because I liked the fact that Bella could easily carry it for me, and that I could skip the step of always having to fumble with a clip while trying to regain control of Bella on a run.
What do you think about the design of the Quick Draw Leash?
Jason: I love it; it’s painless to use. The new style Crux clip is easy to clip and is very light. It adjusts to fit a wide range of neck sizes and with the Velcro closure, it lays pretty nice over my dogs’ collars. Both the clip and the Velcro closure are one-hand operable – key for me when I’m trying to get control over two kids and two excited dogs.
Devin: It’s really easy to use, and I especially like how the end you pull when you want to turn it into a leash is red and has an easy-to-grab pull tab. Sometimes, the part that clips to the collar is a little awkward if it isn’t laying flat when you attach the hook-and-loop part, but once the leash is properly adjusted for your dog’s neck, it helps it to sit right. So far the velcro has held up well, and there’s a traffic handle-type loop that helps hold the leash securely when needed.
Where/How do you use the Quick Draw Leash the most?
Jason: By far we use the Ruffwear Quick Draw leash most when transferring in and out of the truck. Sometimes it’s just to hop out and clip on another leash – like the Ruffwear Roamer if we’re at the beach – but it allows for easy, quick control for two dogs who are hyper-focused on whatever fun thing is about to happen.
Devin: So far we’ve used the Quick Draw Leash on every single off-leash trail run and hike we’ve been on since we purchased it. This would also be a great purchase for use at a dog park or when camping: basically, anywhere you’d appreciate a leash instantaneously appearing on your dog when he or she is loose. It’s so small and lightweight, it’s even small enough that it fits in my purse just as easily as my trail running pack.
Anything else you want to add about the Quick Draw Leash?
Jason: The Quick Draw is meant for convenient, quick control. It’s definitely not meant to take a long walk. By design, it’s short and there is no real handle for you. Also, it may not work great for small dogs, especially if you are tall.
Devin: It’s important to understand that this leash isn’t designed for long walks or extended use on an epic adventure. Its short length would be pretty restrictive after more than 15 minutes or so of use. Also, when using the leash around traffic, I’ve found it’s very important to hold the leash at the gray loop, rather than just gripping the red tab. Your dog can jerk the leash out of your hand since there is no designated handle in order to save on bulk and weight.
Who would you recommend the Quick Draw Leash to?
Jason: The Quick Draw is pretty versatile and fits a wide range of scenarios – quick control at the dog park, control in and out of the car where there are leash laws or dangers like traffic, and quick control when you’re off-leash hiking or running.
Devin: I would recommend the Ruffwear Quick Draw to anyone who does any activity with their dog. It’s simple, small, and at a retail price of $19.95, it’s as affordable as a collar. This product would be a great buy for someone with multiple dogs (even two collars are affordable), and would also make a great gift for virtually any active dog owner! This product has become one of the most-used items in Bella’s gear closet.
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