Ruffwear Front Range harness update

I’ve already done a brief review of the Ruffwear here, but things have changed and I wanted to cover this harness in more detail.

We’ve been using the Ruffwear Front Range harness for almost a year now, and we have three of them (please see this post for the harness’ features) . It’s a nice looking harness and, although it can be finnicky to adjust, it has fit our adult dogs well.

Price: £29 – £35

gelato21

Our first Ruffwear arrived in January 2015, and was for Kasper. We chose the blue one for him.

Kasper has zero issues with having harnesses put on or taken off, which was good as this harness was the trickiest we’ve had to fit. The straps that go around the belly are easily adjusted, you can just pull the buckle and they slide to tighten or slacken. The straps around the neck don’t slide, so that bit is a pain in the arse to adjust!

This harness seems to feel comfortable on the dog; Kasper often wears this lounging around the house, and Zoey can even sit and lie down in hers – she has never felt comfortable doing this in any other harness she has worn.

In July we discovered Kasper’s blue Ruffwear harness also fit Zoey, and she was happier wearing it than other harnesses. She began to wear the blue Ruffwear and we ordered Kasper an orange one.

Both dogs have put these harnesses through their paces. They’be been worn on street walks, beach walks and forest walks. Activities include mad rolling…

…and swimming!

Thankfully the Ruffwear harness needs minimal cleaning and is easy to hand wash. The harness is also pretty quick drying – it has rained A LOT this autumn and winter, so I am grateful for this!

In November 2015 I noticed that the edges of the webbing on the newest orange harness. The webbing, which connected the rear D clip to the harness, was fraying on both sides.

ruffwearfray1

That was in just four months. Here’s a comparison photo with the blue harness, which we’ve had close to a year:

ruffwearfray2

When I contacted Ruffwear about the fault, they were quick to reply and immediately sent out a replacement orange harness. That was 1.5 months ago. Guess what?

It’s happened again and already the new harness is fraying – wtf?!

(click to enlarge pics)

I’m so confused! Kasper doesn’t do ANYTHING that could cause damage to the harness, he doesn’t even walk off lead so it’s not like he’s charging through brambles. He wore the blue harness for over six months, Zoey has been wearing it for five months, and it’s fine…

I’ve contacted Ruffwear again, and asked if they have had any other complaints about the orange harness. They said they haven’t. They seem to be offering another replacement, so this time we have asked for a blue one for Kasper. I haven’t heard from them since Christmas eve.

Overall: The good

  • Comfortable harness that can be adjusted pretty much everywhere for a snug fit, at least on most doggy shapes!
  • A few colours to choose from, and those that they do offer are nice and vibrant
  • This harness is only one of two harnesses that hasn’t rubbed Zoey, at all
  • Looks REALLY nice on dogs; it’s big enough to be noticeable but, because it’s not *too* big, it doesn’t cause our pups to overheat in summer
  • Has a front and rear clip to attach the lead to, and also a hidden compartment to put your dog’s tags in

The bad

Two of our three Ruffwear harnesses have had issues with the webbing by the rear D clip fraying; after just one month we could see it happening on the replacement they sent us

  • It’s a fairly pricey harness, especially if the fraying is a common issue
  • There are only four colours to choose from – if there were more I’d probably buy one of each!
  • The neck hole can be an issue with large headed dogs (*cough* Zoey *cough*). It has to be big enough to fit over the head, and for blocky headed dogs the harness then isn’t tight enough and can flap as they run

To be quite honest even if / when they do send out a replacement, we will not be using it.

I’ll keep it as a spare harness, but I won’t use / buy Ruffwear products again. The fact that two of the Front Range harnesses broke so quickly does not make me trust in their products – I have never had one dog harness begin to fall apart so quickly, never mind two!

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19 thoughts on “Ruffwear Front Range harness update

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  4. hi its happened to me on 2 out of three harnesses I bought recently. they was pacific blue ones freyed. xs and s. waiting to hear back from ruffwear. they look good on but feeling they are not as robust as they are made out to be sadly and they are not cheap harnesses.

    • Oh wow! This is very interesting to me and makes me think it must have happened to plenty of other people.

      When it happened to me for the second time I was quite annoyed and asked Ruffwear if they had had any similar complaints, and they claimed they had never seen this problem before. Ha.

      Ruffwear were really good at sending out replacements to me (I got the first a day after they emailed me to say they were sending it!) but I’ve just stopped using the harnesses now…too much hassle to have to email them every time one of them breaks and wait for a replacement…

      I think that’s the most annoying thing about the issue, the price of the harness. If they cost £10 each and broke after a few months I wouldn’t be as bothered, but to pay £30+ for something and have it break a month later is ridiculous…

      If you’re looking for a similar harness that so far seems good, I bought the Zero DC Short harness at the end of last month and have been very impressed so far…I did a review a few posts back. It doesn’t have a front clip though if that was something you use.

      Good luck with getting a replacement or some such from Ruffwear. If they try refuse let me know if I can be of any help, and feel free to share this blog post to show it has happened to others.

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  7. Thanks for this blog, very useful, we have a ruff wear harness that is less than 2 months old and is as bad as the orange one you showed. Looks like they still haven’t fixed the problem. I will try a replacement and if that doesn’t work will buy an alternative.

    • Oh wow really?! That’s absolutely shocking, as Ruffwear assured me it was a known fault and that they had since fixed it. They told me that a long time ago, too. Such a disappointment…

      Is your Ruffwear an orange one? Definitely get in touch, send them some photos, and try the free replacment.

      • No, ours is a blue one. I have carefully inspected the harness and the internal edges of the Aluminium loop where the webbing sits are sharp. They are sharp enough to take the top of my nail off. I guess that these need to be rounded off like they are on the outside edges. This sharpness is obviously cutting the webbing. I am so disappointed, I expected better from this brand. Will purchase more carefully in future. I am already considering an alternative based on your blog.

      • Ah, that makes sense – although what a terrible design!!

        I was incredibly disappointed too. Ruffwear is a huge, well-known company, and their products are not cheap. The fact so many of their harnesses are faulty (I’ve had several people contact me through this post saying they have had the same issue) is worrying, and obviously not something they have addressed.

        If I can offer you any advice on a harness let me know, we’ve tried our fair share haha! The Zero DC is a similar-ish price to the Ruffwear, and my Collie cross has been using it daily for over a year now and there are absolutely no signs of wear.

  8. Dear All
    We are the distributor of Ruffwear in Europe and are concerned to hear about quality problems that some of you have experienced. These quality problems are regrettable and certainly not to our normal high standards that we and our users expect. Unfortunately we had an issue on some of these harnesses towards the end of last year. This problem has been resolved and we would be only too pleased to arrange a free replacement to any user who has a quality issue. If they could contact info@ruffwear.co.uk with a photograph of the problem and their address details then we will return a replacement by return.

    We can assure you all that Ruffwear takes any quality issue seriously and welcomes the feedback from users.

    Thank you

      • I included a link to this blog on my warranty return. I have received a new harness this morning and can confirm that the design has changed. This new harness has a plastic insert inside the aluminium lead loop. This means the webbing will be touching plastic rather than the metal. It looks like it will do the trick, but I am sure time and plenty of walks will tell.
        I thought I would include this information so anyone reading it can tell the difference between the old and the new.
        Ruff wear were very quick to respond and resolve the issue. I would be confident with buying from them again. Everything was handled via email as we live a distance from the shop where we bought it.

      • Ah this is interesting, and very good to hear – thank you for the update!

        Ruffwear have been fantastic in regards to customer service, and I’m glad they do seem to have corrected the issue, as when I was given replacements they were all the ‘old design’, and so still had the same fault. Hopefully this harness holds up well for you, and you can finally enjoy it! 🙂

  9. Hi
    I came across your blog when googling Ruffwear Harness freying, as I wanted to see if this was common or a one-off. I bought a grey front range harness around 4 months ago, it began freying after only a few weeks and is now very badly freyed.

    Im walking a strong Mastiff cross on this harness and Im now not confident that it wont suddenly break! I dont have much money so Im pretty fed up that such an expensive harness has proven to be not so good, its the only harness I have so I have no choice but to use it until I can afford another one. Ive contacted Ruffwear and asked to send the harness back and have a refund, so I hope to hear back from them soon.

    Im glad I found your blog, at least Ruffwear cant say they have never had problems with this harness before! Its good to read that they have now changed the design so this problem doesnt happen again, at least it means they do listen and care.

    Thanks for highlighting this problem.

    Brigette Barnes

    • Hello, thank you for the lovely comment 🙂

      Sorry to hear yet another person has had this issue. Ruffwear are usually great at sending out free replacements, so you should get a replacement no problem, and as the design has changed it shouldn’t have the same fault as the harness you have now. I know just how disappointing it is though to buy an expensive harness and have it start breaking within weeks, and it does make you lose confidence in the company.

      If you’re ever wanting a harness at a similar price again, I highly recommend the Zero DC Short. We’ve had one for over 12 months now and used it on two different dogs (the dog who has used it for about 11 months is a strong puller) and it’s showing no signs of wear at all 🙂

  10. Hi again and thanks for replying 😊 I will look into the other harness you recommended. Hopefully Ruffwear will be in touch after the bank holiday weekend and sort it out. So surprising that so many people have had problems with this harness as Ruffwear have a good reputation but its good that theyve now changed the design.

    Great blog,im off to read it 😊

    Brigette Barnes

    • I’m sure they’ll be in touch soon, they were always very speedy with replies when I contacted them. It’s very shocking how many people have experienced faulty harnesses, when I first got in touch with Ruffwear and complained that my second harness had begun to fray, I asked if it was a known fault and they said nobody had ever reported it before…somehow I don’t think they were telling the truth 😉

      Ah thank you, I do love blogging haha!

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