http://www.ruffwear.com/Cloud-Chaser-So ... ategory=12
Well since it has now been used a few times I think I should share my take on this jacket, especially since winter is here and it has been mentioned within this forum by a few different users. When I was initially planning my purchase I was hoping to find some more pitbull specific fitment opinions so I could order online (Ruff Wear did not show any dealers in my area, though I have found a couple since), but I came up empty so I felt I should share my opinion of it.
First off, I've been impressed with anything I've bought made by Ruff Wear (presently have the Knot-A-Leash, Omnijore and obviously the Cloud Chaser jacket). Their stuff isn't cheap, but I think this day in age we quite literally get what we pay for.
Design - you can tell this is something Ruff Wear took very seriously. Not only does the jacket look good, it functions very well. Soft shell on top, spandex type material on the bottom for a tight compression type fit. Single zipper across the side. Not intrusive by any means.
Fit - I believe the fit presently shown on Ruff Wear's site to be quite accurate (and this is important because you will find discrepancies). I say this because I suspect they have recently been tweaking their size guide based on feedback. The present sizing on their does not match the product info on the jacket at the time of purchase (which is incidentally the information most online vendors still show on their websites). The current sizing has eliminated overlap from one size to the next. Iris is IMO most likely an APBT type build, the rescue thought she may have some boxer in her but as always that is hard to say. Anyway, she's 22" tall at the shoulders, 52 pounds and has a chest that measures 28". Based on previous sizing she fell at the bottom of the medium sizing and about 3/4 of the way to the max in the small. I elected for the small based on her being leaner towards the hind legs than most other breeds. It fits her, but after a few uses I think it is a little too tight. Based on the current size guide she would have been a medium, which I believe would have been more appropriate.
Durability - I can't really comment on this yet as it hasn't been used thoroughly. I have no reason to suspect the jacket will fail prematurely but if it does I will be sure to update.
Warmth - This is certainly a tough one to gauge simply because a dog's comfort level is largely an interpretation more than anything, they cannot tell us if they feel warm or cold until they've reached a level of absolute discomfort. Some might argue that a dog does not need a jacket or shoes, ect. I'm not going to argue for or against it. I may have thrown $80 away, but if there is even a slight chance I've made my dog happier than it is worth it to me. Of the 4 times Iris has worn it, 2 have been in cold weather. The first was a 25 minute walk around town with the still temperature at -18c (0f), and -26c (-14f) with the windchill. I stopped twice during the walk for about a minute to see how Iris would react. She wasn't shivering (something she has done on warmer days without the jacket) and I put my hand under the jacket to get an idea the temperature difference. It was a bit warmer under the jacket than on her exposed fur. At one point during the walk we ventured through some deeper show and she stopped to raise her paws into the air while looking back and whining at me (yeah, the boots are already on order). Today was our second time using the jacket with a still temperature of -8c (18f), and -14c (7f) with the windchill. As usual on my days off I took her out to the local dam to let her run around. I loaded her up into the truck and got a block from home when I noticed her shivering a lot and I though "stupid me - I bought a jacket for a reason". I turned back and got the jacket, she shivered breifly a few times after that but nowhere close to the way she had earlier. While on our walk she ran like her usual crazy self, bouncing through the snow, and didn't seem the least bit bothered by the weather. The jacket may not be substantial enough for really cold days but there is always room for an overcoat.
Likes - The tight fit helps prevent snow from packing in the chest area, something I've noticed happens with looser fitting jackets/coats. Very clean, minimalist look - it isn't the type of thing most people would scoff at because you are playing dress up with your dog, it looks like it is serving a purpose. Harness can be worn over the jacket without a problem. Goes on very easy considering the tight fit.
Dislikes - I've noticed the zipper slowly opens itself up during use. It isn't a lot (2" during the walk and 4" while running today), and I feel that the fact the jacket may be a size too small for her is playing a part in this by putting excess strain on the zipper. The leg holes require a bit of care while putting it on to avoid snagging claws. It isn't a huge concern, but if your dog doesn't life you holding their paw or leg it could turn into a bit of a battle.
Does the dog like it? Honestly, she doesn't really care for it. She will rub up against anything she can while it is on, and even rolled herself around a bit today. It isn't specific to the jacket, she doesn't care much for tight fitting shirts or jackets in general. While out running she doesn't seem to notice it is on.
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