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Backpacker Magazine – Gear Guide 2013

Gear Review: Dog Gear

Provide the best for your dog with these canine-specific items.

by: Allison Woods

Abogear Pet Down Dog Bed (Photo by Courtesy)
Photo by BP0413CAR_Abogear_PetDown_445x260.jpg
Abogear Pet Down Dog Bed (Photo by Courtesy)

Bed
Abogear Pet Down Dog Bed

Tired of sharing your pad with your pooch? This synthetic-filled dog bed is so plush (three inches thick), you might just want to share his. The ripstop nylon shell fabric repelled dirt and light moisture and didn’t get gunky. Microsuede fabric on the flip side feels cozy and sheds dog (and cat!) fur. Cleaning’s a cinch: Just toss it in the washer. Packed size: 6” x 18” in its included stuff sack. $30; 1 lb. 10 oz.; abogear.com

Leash
D-fa Gandhi Leash

Leashes are required nearly everywhere in Washington’s Alpine Lakes Wilderness, home turf for our test team of four Labs, who are competitive skijor dogs in the winter. This 5’5” shock-corded leash could be quickly shortened to two feet when our tester encountered other hikers, and the padded grip helped manage overeager lunges at squirrels. “I loved the swiveling carabiner collar clip,” she says. “My dog could turn in circles without tangling the lead.” Bonus: The small on-leash stuff sack keeps doo-doo bags within reach for urban forays. Ding: It’s spendy for a leash. $40; 8 oz.; d-fa.com

Pack
Ruff Wear Approach

One dog handler loaded the high-visibility orange (ideal for keeping Fido safe during hunting season) Approach with four days’ worth of dog supplies (including food), strapped it to her pooch, and set off on a 45-mile romp in the Cascades. She lauded the Y-shaped chest harness (with three points of stability, rather than the typical two), calling it “a key feature that kept the pack from sliding laterally, yet didn’t inhibit my 64-pound Lab’s freedom of movement.” The Approach pops completely off in seconds by releasing two buckles, making creek crossings simple and safe. Twin upper pockets keep treats and booties at the ready. Tip: The Approach is not waterproof, so double-bag the kibble. $80; 1 lb. 4 oz.; XXS-L; ruffwear.com

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