EzyDog Convert Harness and Saddlebags Review
As you all know Kate and I love hitting the trails and getting away from it all for a good old hike. When out facing the elements and in remote locations, having the right gear can mean the difference between having a fun safe trip and running into some trouble and not being adequately prepared. Recently EzyDog asked if we would try out their new EzyDog Convert Harness with Saddlebags. Having worked in the outdoor industry for years I am a bit of a gear freak, so when the harness arrived and I saw right off how good quality it was, I got very excited to put it to the test!
The EzyDog Convert Harness is made up of tough durable polyester outer with a soft cotton liner on the inside to maximise comfort while on the move. The harness is fitted to your dog using two straps; the chest strap and girth strap. One of the great things about EzyDog products is how (as the name suggests) easy it is to use their gear! To fit your dog; first place the harness on your dog’s back, then adjust the velcro chest strap so that the harness is positioned behind your dog’s front legs. Once you have done this, just clip up the girth strap, tighten and you’re set to go. The great thing about this design is once you have fitted the harness once, you don’t need to do it again except for minor adjustments and tweaks down the track.
The lightweight nylon saddlebags attach using the D-rings and velcro patches on each side of the harness. Each saddlebag comes with a main zipped compartment and an expandable clipped compartment suited to popping in items you want easy access to on your walk. Saddlebags come in two sizes – small and large. The harness takes both sizes so you can choose the appropriate size depending on the length and difficulty of your walk and gear you want to take.
It’s the small details that really make this product stand out as good quality. Stress points are reinforced with bar stitching. All fastenings are either heavy duty plastic or stainless steel, making this a product truly designed for the rough. In addition to this, there is reflective piping and material placed strategically around the harness, so if you are prone to low light or night adventures, your visibility at night is increased for a safer adventure. You can even personalise the velcro badges on the side to your dogs name or one of EzyDog’s premade patches.
We originally had a size small harness for Kate, as according to the EzyDog sizing guide she was right on the cusp of small and medium. Harnesses need to fit well to maximise comfort and reduce any chafing or stress on the dog so we decided to go for the small size. When we received it, it was just that bit too small, so we ended up getting a medium instead. The medium fits much better and we have a lot more room for adjustment to get the right fit. So my advice is if you are at in between sizes, go for the bigger as you will generally find it will fit better and give you more opportunity for adjustment.
So after a run down on the gear, it’s time to put it to the test!
We decided to put it to the test in classic Australian conditions, harsh dense scrub and rock! We headed off to the You Yangs to do the East-West walk as we knew we would come across lots of rocky obstacles to get through on the granite peaks and we wanted to see how well the pack stood up to being knocked about. We fit a 600ml water bottle in each small saddlebag and a foldable bowl, we could have fit a few more small items but I didn’t want to weigh Kate down any more, especially as it was a warm day. The bottles filled out the saddlebags well and with the additional weight the harness sat securely and snugly against Kate.
The harness stayed in place quite well without much shifting to either side throughout the walk. As we emptied the water bottles the harness shifted a little as there wasn’t the extra weight, but not enough to cause any discomfort to Kate through excessive movement.
We came to a rock face that required us to lower Kate down as it would have been unsafe to let her jump or run down it. We attempted to use the handle on the back of the harness to lower her down, but came to the conclusion it is more for close control and small lifts up over obstacles rather than something that could take the full weight of the dog for an extended time. As there are only two straps securing the harness to the dog – girth and chest – we were also not confident Kate wouldn’t slip backwards out of the harness on lowering.
Kate hasn’t quite got used to her added width with the different sizes of her packs and so often would try to fit through small gaps between rocks, invariably knocking the pack around quite a bit while trying to squeeze through! I was quite impressed at how even after some sturdy knocks the harness and saddlebags generally stayed in place; we only had to stop and fix her up twice. The saddlebags themselves didn’t show any wear or tear apart from some scuff marks from the rocks, so I’m quite confident they would stand up to sword grass and some serious bush bashing!
All in all, I’m very happy with the EzyDog Convert Harness and Saddlebags it stayed in place for the vast majority of the walk and really stood up well to being knocked around by rocks and scrub. Ultimate gear tester Kate showed no discomfort wearing the pack at all during our bushwalk, and post trip gets very excited when we bring it out, indicating it’s a definite winner for her too!
You can buy the EzyDog Convert Harness from the EzyDog website or visit the website to find a stockist near you.