Kurgo Car Harness (product review)

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Kurgo Car Harness (product review)

Post by Shalista » Thu Mar 30, 2017 5:59 pm

So this is my product review for the harness i bought Bax for the car.

I went with the Kurgo Enhanced Strength Tru-fit Dog Car Harness Because it had decent reviews on Amazon.

Initial assessment is WOW. this piece is pretty heavy and looks really well made and durable. It looks a little stiff to be super comfortable for daily wear but I'd trust my dog in a car crash with this thing if we're going by looks and feel alone. No fraying seams or tarnished buckles.

Speaking of buckles this has a really odd buckle system that takes a bit of getting used to. When i first ordered the product i was aware of it but i wasnt expecting it to be as finicky as it is. The buckles on my harness only seem to want to go in and out in a specific direction. for example when i'm unbuckling it i have to tip it TOWARDS his midline to unbuckle and if i want to re buckle then i have to thread it through by tipping AWAY from his mid-line. Not a huge problem, just a minor adjustment i have to remember when I'm putting it on and taking it off.

Because Bax fell between two sizes I ended up emailing them about sizing and they got back to me within a couple of days. I got my harness today and I have to say I can see why Bax falls between two sizes?

weight 12 pounds
neck 11 inch
chest 16 inch

their X-small
weight 5-10 pounds
neck 9-13 in ch
chest 12-18

their Small
weight 10-20 pounds
neck 12-20
chest 16-22

I ended up getting the Small which is 10-25 pounds. He fit the wight requirement but he was a bit small inch wise. Thankfully I was able to tighten some of the things I needed to. It's currently as tight as it goes around the neck and its still waaaayyyyyyyy to loose. That being said I think that's more of a feature then a bug? The neck piece is slid over the head so it can't be to tight around his neck or it wouldn't go over his head. the belly band came fully tightened and i actually had to loosen it a bit. Adjusting the size while he's wearing it was a breeze. all the buckles slid really nicely.

The attachment in the car is to a band that clips by a carbiner to the band on the back of his harness. it has a loop that goes around the seatbelt and then the seatbelt clips into place. I haven't tried that feature yet but it looks pretty straightforward.

So Downsides:
Not a fan of the slip over the head harness. Bax was not amused and pinned his ears back when it came over. still, nothing a little desensitization cant do.
The buckles ARE weird, for a less patient dog this would have been a pain in the ***. Bax was a saint and deserves every biscuit tonight for dealing with my finagling while i adjusted everything. That being said, if i use this enough i figure it will get much easier.

It looks pretty comfy. I'm leaving bax to wear it and get used to it and so far he hasn't complained (and if you recall he gets picky about what hes wearing)
It looks durable. it feels durable to. like i said before, i'd trust this in a car crash.
The chest plate is narrow enough. Bax is pretty broad chested for a little guy but i was concerned the front cushion would be too wide and rub against his legs. Nope, it's actually pretty narrow on the small and there's no chafing.
It fits really well up under his arms. since i was getting the small i was worried his chest band would down by his groin but it fits really snugly up under his arms. I'm not worried he's going to wriggle backwards out of this.

Well crafted, comfortable, snazzy looking product that Bax seems to, if not ENJOY, at least tolerate wearing. It has a few bugs but none that are deal breakers. I look forward to trying this out in the car with him!
Baxter (AKA Bax, Chuckles, Chuckster) Rat Terrier, born 01/16/13

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Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2015 10:04 pm

Re: Kurgo Car Harness (product review)

Post by Shalista » Wed Apr 05, 2017 2:27 pm

Well we had our first proper trial run of the harness and here's how it went:

To start with, it is impossible to attach the harness in such a way as to stop your dog from crawling into your lap. (If you have the dog in the front passenger seat). In a combination of drive, pull into a driveway and adjust the harness, drive, stop.... ect, i tried every combination they recommended (and some they didn't) and Bax still managed to drag his quivering little body across the seat and strain into my lap.

I conceded defeat in this area and eventually just drove with my hand in the cup holder to block Bax's passage onto my lap. The good news is that he took the hint fairly quickly and resigned himself to sitting the passenger seat so I think we'll get the hang of this pretty well.

It is apparently pretty comfortable. As you all know Bax has mild car anxiety (shaking, vomiting, drooling in the car) but sitting next to me in the harness with my hand on his back he actually just kind of sighed, flopped into side lying and sat there. clearly still very tense but still, not bad!

An added bonus to the harness that I had not anticipated is how nice it is to have your dog locked in place when you open the door! No more sliding in and out super quick hoping he doesn't dart out! I was able to put him in his seat, go around the car, and open my door without worry of him popping out. Very nice!

I was also able to walk him stress free using his car harness as his normal harness. He did a fair bit of pulling too (he was at his favorite place in the world meeting his favorite people) and the harness sat really well.

The only down side is i'm still a bit puzzled about how the neck strap is SUPPOSED to fit. I imagine it should be snug but there's no buckles so it has to have room to slide over Bax's head. Maybe Bax just has a skinny neck (or more likely, a fat head) but the neck piece has to have an absurd amount of slack if I wan't it to fit over Bax's head which means the chest band rides around his rib cage instead of up under his arm pits.

Fitting aside I still love this product and with a bit more training to get Bax to stay on his seat I'm excited to hit the road with him!
Baxter (AKA Bax, Chuckles, Chuckster) Rat Terrier, born 01/16/13

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