Ruffwear Trail Runner Collection is a Trail Runner’s Best Friend

When the pandemic started, and the final decision was getting made to get a “COVID puppy“ my hope was to create a little running buddy. After two years with Winston, we knew something needed to be done as not only was he not a “running dog“, but even walks were becoming a challenge. We tried out the Flagline Harness from Ruffwear and our Golden Retriever really turned the corner on being pleasurable to be around on a leash. We will forever be grateful to Ruffwear for that.

But, that desire of a running buddy is still there. Ruffwear can’t do much about his propensity for puking in the car on rides longer than 15 minutes, but they can help out with their Trail Runner Collection – which we have been putting to the test.

Ruffwear is a company that knows how to cater to the needs of outdoor enthusiasts and their furry companions. They specialize in creating high-quality gear and accessories for active dogs, designed to withstand the ruggedness of outdoor adventures. From hiking to trail running, Ruffwear offers a range of products that combine durability, functionality, and style.

Trail Runner Vest

The Ruffwear Trail Runner Vest is constructed with the active dog in mind, though those learning to be a little more active will find value here as well. As many harnesses provide minimal coverage (as they are designed for walking), this vest has more heft to keep you buddy comfortable during trail runs. That means that construction features like a lightweight and breathable mesh material or optimal airflow is wonderful. It fits snug, which is good to reduce rubbing, he hasn’t seemed to lose as step in his movement.

As solid as this is for dogs, there are some benefits for us two-leggers as well. There are three pockets on the top of the vest, making it perfect for your buddy to carry not only his own sustenance (i.e. water bowl, dog food/treats, poop bags), but also items for you. The longer vertical zippers have two separate compartments in each and are great for collapsible water bottles (two come included with the vest!), while the smaller one could carry a bag of treats or poop bags for your dog. The smaller zipped pocket can handle some of your own items like credit cards, ID’s and a key.

It also has reflective trim and a light loop to attach a safety light. It comes in two colors – blue and lime (i.e. Lichen Green) – so your furry companion can hit the trails in style.

Ruffwear has a measurement guide and video on their website about how to measure your canine friend for optimal fit. We found that you may want to consider going up a size if your dog is potentially in between sizes.

Trail Runner Running Belt & Trail Runner Leash

Both these items are not necessarily required to have the dog running experience, but they should be considered for a true system as their features integrate well with each other.

We all probably have a running belt we have tried before, and Ruffwear’s version is fine enough as a non-dog running belt. It features two zipped pocket – one along the entirety of the top pocket and another smaller one that is still ample and flexible enough for most cell phones. The larger top one can keep your gels or hydration powders close at hand.

It is not a minimalist belt, so it may not be your everyday belt where you are looking to be as light and as efficient as possible. However, that is not really the design of this belt anyways, and we think its a great trail option. The padding against the body is quite supple and the clips to adjust the sizing are quite heavy duty (by running belt standards at least). But, when coupled with the Vest and Leash, it is perfect for hands-free running or hiking with your dog.

The belt also has a built-in attachment point for the Ruffwear Leash (or really any leash to be honest), allowing you to keep your dog close while still running with a full range of arm motion. Simply unclip the side-release buckle, thread the strap through the handle of your leash, and clip it back together.

The Ruffwear Leash is a reliable and versatile addition to your dog running arsenal as well. It is super strong and stretchy (thanks to Ruffwear’s Wavelength stretch webbing), providing some flexibility without letting your dog get out of control on the trails. Basically, it absorbs those sometimes jarring on-leash moments for a more comfortable stride.

The Crux Clip seems like it will go the distance. It is small, but also super sturdy and features the nice capability of being able to be locked in place as well.

The Ruffwear Trail Runner collection of the vest, belt, and leash, is a fantastic lineup of gear for runners of the two and four legged varieties The vest provides a comfortable and secure fit for your dog, while the belt keeps your hands free during activities. The leash offers durability and convenience, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for you and your furry companion. With their thoughtful construction and reliable features, the Ruffwear Trail Runner collection is a must-have for any adventure-seeking dog owner.

Ruffwear Trail Runner Collection


  • Trail Runner Vest | $109.95
  • Trail Runner Belt | $39.95
  • Trail Runner Leash | $24.95
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More about Ruffwear:

For Ruffwear founder Patrick Kruse, exploring the outdoors has been a way of life since the beginning, whether by foot, bike, flying machine, or boat. And he has always searched for ways to include his canine sidekicks in all of his adventures.

Today, the performance dog gear company Patrick launched from his garage, Ruffwear, is present around the globe. Throughout our journey, we’ve remained true to our passion for enhancing and inspiring exploration for outdoor adventurers and their human companions.

Thank you to Ruffwear for providing us with samples. Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.

About Author

Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching hockey, going to as many breweries (618) and wineries (152) as he can, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010.

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