With their Fall release, Ruffwear gave their soft, floating fetch toys a facelift with bright new colors. Being our favorite dog toys for fetching, we jumped at the chance to get our hands on them a few weeks early and put them through the paces along the shores of Lake Michigan and on a recent canoe trip down the lower Wisconsin River.
Ruffwear Hydro Plane
The Hydro Plane is a 12-inch soft disc that floats high on the water and works equally well on snow or in backyard games of fetch. It’s oversized making it easy for you and your dog to pick up and the bright colors can be seen from a distance. The edge is filled with a soft foam – just enough rigidity to make it fly long and straight but soft enough to never hurt your dog’s mouth.
The Hydro Plane is hands down our favorite outdoor toy. Calling it tough is a grand understatement. Our previous Hydro Plane has lived outside for a couple years – hot and humid summers sitting in the sun, locked in ice and snow during our long Upper-Midwestern winters, tugged between two big dogs and fetched more times than I can count. Besides a little fading, you can barely tell it’s used. And it makes quite a fashion statement as well.
The only knock against the Hydro Plane that we can muster up is the $24.95 price tag. However, knowing how well this toy has held up and how much my dogs love fetching it – one will even throw it in the air herself to catch it – we’ll gladly pay that.
Where to use the Ruffwear Hydro Plane
Pretty much anywhere; the Hydro Plane is at home on the water, in the snow, and around the yard.
Where to Buy
The Ruffwear Lunker is a classic fetch bumper. Again, soft on your dog’s mouth and tough as nails for years of fetching. The Lunker has the added distinction as being recyclable. Ruffwear partnered with PLUSfoam to create the high-floating, recycled foam core. When you’re done with the Lunker (trust us, it will be a while), it can be sent to PLUSfoam for recycling.
The Lunker’s long rope handle means you can easily throw it far without covering your hand in dog slobber.
The only con for the Lunker would be the size. With a 2.5” diameter is is perfectly sized for medium to large dogs. If your little dog is a water-fetching monster, this one might be too big.
Where to use the Ruffwear Lunker
Anywhere there is water. The Lunker is easy to see and floats high. We use it in rivers and lakes all summer.
Where to Buy
Ruffwear Hover Craft
We dig the molded foam – it adds enough rigidity to fly long and straight but your dog can still handle it with no cuts in the mouth. If it gets out of shape (my dog loves to fold it in half and hang on tight) it can easily be pushed back into shape. The Hover Craft is also very abrasion resistant – it will keep flying for years to come.
Like the Hydro Plane, the only con with the Hover Craft is the $24.95 price. Again, like the Hydro Plane, we’ll gladly pay it for a tough toy that is built to last.
Where to use the Ruffwear Hover Craft
Like the Hydro Plane the Hover Craft is at home on the water and on land but at a smaller size, it’s a little more portable. Great for a trip to the beach, the dog park, or stuffed in a pack for backcountry fun.
Where to Buy
Ruffwear recommends that all of these dog toys be used in supervised play. When you’re done, put the toy away and replace it with your dog’s designated chew toys. While we find the toys to be incredibly tough for their intended uses, a dog who sits down with his mind on destroying the toy could do it.