The first dog coat I purchased for the hounds was the Ruffwear Cloud Chaser.
Ruffwear is a brand I’ve trusted ever since I bought a front range harness back in 2018. Their durability has been phenomenal – so when looking for a coat, and I knew ruffwear made them I had an instinct of where to start.
Our hounds are particularly sensitive to the cold, they have a fine coat and they’ve never been keen on being outside when the temperatures dip, let alone if it snows.
Introducing the Ruffwear Cloud Chaser
Let’s have a chat about what the Cloud chaser is, does and is meant to do. It provides a soft, flexible outer shell that is very good at protecting your dog from the elements. It provides great coverage, and it fits really nicely.
Per the directions on the site, the hounds measured just into the large sizing, but surprisingly when the large arrived it was really really large, so we exchanged it for the medium, which definitely fit better.
What Do I Love About The Cloud Chaser
Our hounds have a very particular shape, thin neck, huge chest and skinny little waist – a lot of coats can look really weird, but these hug their form wonderfully. I love that it covers their chest fully, and will keep their core temperature higher (I will invest in FLIR this time next year, I promise! Then we’ll really know). I’ve done a general comparison by touch? And it definitely seems to keep them toasty warm.
Built To Go Under A Harness
I love that it’s form fitting for a really good reason. Because it is build to go under a harness. This isn’t an overcoat (per se) it’s a base layer – which is really smart! So, if you already have a harness? It just goes straight over the top and won’t be awkward or bulky in the slightest.
Lightweight & Flexible
For what it offers? It’s very light. It’s offers a great amount of protections vs the weight of the product which I’m really pleased about. I always like to pick lightweight and minimally intrusive products that compliment my dogs as opposed to impede? And the cloud chaser is entirely flexible. Because of it’s lack of “substance” gives it a really flexible nature!
Built To Go Under A Harness
Where to put a coat is always interesting, but the sleek design of the cloud chaser is meant to hug the body of your dog, it’s a close, cosy fit that is designed deliberately like this. It’s meant to go under your dogs harness and not interfere with any of it, and so far? It absolutely hasn’t done that. I’ll say, I’m absolutely impressed with it.
Built for layers
The cloud chaser is built as part of a system that’s quite clever. There are layers to the ruffwear system, it’s a layer for warmth and a layer for waterproof, it’s built (I believe) to compliment the Climate changer fleece – which should amplify the warmth, but give you a wonderful, flexible system that ruffwear have developed. They’re also super flexible.
The hounds put coats through their paces, from bushes, brambles, and trees to under my husbands truck and rummaging through log stacks – the girls are relentless in their testing. With snow, rain, wind, rolling and wading, the cloud chaser hasn’t snagged, caught, pulled or had any holes put in it, despite their rigorous testing.
Which is pretty impressive! I’m really impressed with it’s general durability, I was honestly expecting it to catch and start looking tatty – but it’s so far proving me wrong (two winters and counting!)
Barely a whisper of wind or rain gets through this shell. More through the chest piece, than the back piece. Even the zipper is lapped front and back so that it’s really well hidden from the elements and won’t let much get through.
Doesn’t show dirt.
At least the black one doesn’t seem to pick up dirt. Whether from the sleek, simple, rather seamless design (I think there are four seams in total), or from the choice of material, it does seem to be quite dirt resistant, which makes winter just that little easier!
What I Don’t Love About The Ruffwear Cloud Chaser
Tricky to put on
I’ve yet to find a good way to put this on your dog. it’s built in such a way that the zipper runs down the right hand side of your dog (great for weather proofing!). The zipper runs front to back which is helpful, but it does require you wiggling paws into place, pulling it up their legs to their chest, flapping it over their back and then getting the zipper in place at the neck…
Now, if you have an excited dog? Or a wiggly, fidgety dog, this can be very tricky.
Not The Warmest
Our hounds are pretty sensitive to the cold. And that was primarily what I bought this for? The guidance on the website said it wasn’t their best for the cold – but it was also not the worst. Even though it’s built as part of a system, I’d still like this to stand a little warmer on it’s own, considering it’s a 3/5 on their coat comparison, when their warmest coat is rated a 4/5…
Just seems a little underwhelming for this.
Particularly around the seams, and I find it hard to get the hair out of the inside of this coat. The girls short coated hairs are quite spikey, so they are typically quite difficult to get out, but this doesn’t was up well from my point of view.
It washes clean of all dirt, nice and easy! But the short spikey little hairs? Just don’t seem to remove themselves through the wash cycle. That bugs me.
This one really surprised me, because Shelby was absolutely fine in this coat. But we switched it to lucy (who is very similar sized, in fact slightly smaller, but her “arms” are definitely thicker. So, it chafed and created a bit of a sore, which I really wasn’t expecting.
Unsurprisingly, when we found it chafed like this, it became Shelby’s coat. But it’s a good thing to note that if your dog is on the upper size limit, it is a risk for your dog too.
Do I Recommend It
For snow? No. For wind and rain, absolutely!
Particularly if you have broad-chested dogs. These are form-fitting and stretch? So they’ll fit quite nicely. If your dog has a more sausage-like shape? It may not be the best fit.
If you want a little more help with equipment, or want a great harness or collar to pair this with, why not head over to our gear reviews! And if you need any more help, you can always get in touch and book a 1:1.
Author, Ali Smith
Ali Smith is the Positive Puppy Expert, dog trainer and is the founder of Rebarkable. She is passionate about helping puppy parents get things right, right from the start. To help create a puppy capable of being a confident and adaptable family member and keep puppies out of shelters.
Ali has won multiple awards for her dog training, and has had her blog (this blog!) rated as 2021 & 2022 worlds’ best pet blog!