Note: This is not a sponsored post and I have not received any compensation for this winter dog coat review. I bought these coats with my own money and have enjoyed using them. I am simply sharing information for those considering making a purchase.
I’m a native Californian, but at this time in my life I am living in the Midwest and that means a real winter, complete with snow and freezing temperatures. My Rhodesian Ridgebacks aren’t exactly built for this kind of weather, so quality coats are a must.
I have two coats for my dogs: the Hurtta Extreme Warmer and the Toppa Pomppa. They are both very nice coats, but I thought I would compare them for anyone weighing out options.
For context, these are the conditions under which my dogs are wearing these coats.
- Temperatures under 45 degrees
- Temperatures over 10 degrees (I can’t handle being outside when it’s any colder)
- Light rain
- On leash walks
- Off leash running
- Forest, prairie and trail type environments
- Playing with other dogs
There will be no scientific rubric for this winter dog coat review, rather I’ll simply share my perceived pros and cons. I have owned each of these for two years, which equates to about 10 to 12 months of near daily usage (cold weather lasts about half the year where I live). So they’ve been through a significant testing period.
PROS: Hurtta Extreme Warmer
You can see all the details and specs for the Hurtta Extreme Warmer here.
Effective design. The lining of this coat is a foil-like material that reflects the dog’s heat back to their body. It’s pretty ingenious. If you’re imagining one of those space blankets, it is similar, but it doesn’t make any crinkling sounds whatsoever, so sound sensitive dogs don’t need to worry. My dogs stay warm and comfortable even for extended periods of time outside.
Lightweight. This coat is nice and light, while still being very warm. The materials are very effective at keeping the dog toasty, but aren’t heavy at all.
Neck/Ear Warmer. The design features a sort of turtleneck that has a drawstring so it will stay in place over their neck or ears. I like using this on especially cold or windy days.
Harness clip opening. I really love that I can easily attach a leash to my dog’s harness when they’re wearing this coat. There is a nicely engineered slit that makes leashing up simple.
Adjustable length. I haven’t needed to use this feature, but it is nice to have the ability to adjust the length of the coat if it’s a little too long for your dog. Drawstrings enable you to shorten it up so there’s not extra coat hanging way past their butt.
Allows for movement. A lot of coats have a sort of form-fitting design, which I’m sure is great for keeping in warmth, but isn’t the best for freedom of movement. This design features a kind of looser fitting flap/skirt across the front so dogs can stretch their legs without the material holding them back. (See my list of cons for more on this.)
Reflective strips. I appreciate that there are some reflective strips on this coat because I do walk my dogs in the dark sometimes. Especially with how little daylight there is in the winter, this is great for safety.
Durability. My dogs are of the rough and tumble type. They tear through forests, run through tall (dead) grass, gallop through mud, play chase and wrestle with friends. These coats have not ripped and with a wash, they look brand new.
Keeps snow out. I haven’t had any issues with snow getting packed into the chest area of the coat, which I have seen as a common complaint with some winter jackets. My dogs are pretty tall, and thankfully we haven’t had to deal with super deep snow, but with drifts, it can get up past my knees and I don’t see snow getting under the coat.
CONS: Hurtta Extreme Warmer
This really is such a well-made coat, so I hate to nitpick it. And some of these aren’t cons so much as personal preference, but I’m including them.
Possible shoulder restriction. This could just be me being paranoid about injuries, but sometimes I do feel like my dogs are maxing out the space provided by this design when they are running in full extension. It can look like that front panel thing is a bit tight on the front of their shoulder/leg. My dogs are big and long-legged and they really do enjoy running in all out sprints, so I’m not sure this would be an issue for all dogs. And I’m not 100% certain it is one for my own, but it does cause me a little concern.
Limited colors. This one is a little petty, but I would love to see more colors offered for this design. At the time of writing this, they have 4 colors – gray, red, coral camo and green camo. I own a high-vis orange one, but it looks like that one is discontinued.
Leg strap chafing. My dogs have totally naked undersides, so the elastic leg straps cause some irritation of their skin. But I’ve found the straps aren’t necessary for keeping the coat on straight; if you tighten the belly strap (making sure it’s still comfortable) the coat stays in place.
Rear snap. There is a closure at the very bottom of the coat and so that you can snap it together underneath the tail. I think this feature is to help keep the warmth in, and maybe also to assist in keeping the coat from sliding, but if your dog poops, you have a mess on your hands. I never use the snap and I feel they stay plenty warm without it.
Water-resistant, but not waterproof. This coat resists water, but it’s not completely waterproof. I find it does well in snow and stays pretty dry, but if it’s raining lightly, it starts to absorb water and can get heavy. I try not to walk in the rain so this isn’t a huge issue for me, but it does not double as a rain jacket.
Let’s move onto the Toppa Pomppa.
PROS: Toppa Pomppa
You can see all the details and specs for the Toppa Pomppa here.
Effective design. Similar to the Hurtta coat, this does a great job at keeping the dog warm. It uses very different materials though. There is a layer of teddy lining (which is like a fuzzy stuffed animal kind of material), which is non-static and doesn’t seem to attract dog hair. My dogs have short hair, but with how much they wear their coats, you’d think there would be hair matted in the lining, but it stays very clean. Then between the lining and the exterior, there is an insulating wadding. This makes the coat heavier than the Extreme Warmer, but I don’t find it to be overly bulky. I also really like how the coat covers their back legs – it’s a little hard to explain, but it does a good job of covering them without restricting them.
Allows for fuller range of motion. While I’m not sure it’s possible for any type of clothing we put on our dogs to be completely non-restrictive, I think this is as good as it gets. I love the cut of this coat! I don’t see it getting tight around the shoulder and they can really move freely in it. And like I said above, it keeps their rear legs warm, but doesn’t restrict them at all.
Wide color range. This coat comes in 9 really pretty colors, including one super fun print.
Neck warmer option. With this coat you can either turn down the collar, which looks cute with the teddy lining showing, or you can pop it up, which acts as a neck warmer. It’s not as tight as the Hurtta design, but I do think it helps keep their neck toasty.
Reflective strip. As with the Hurtta coat, the Toppa Pomppa features a reflective strip with is a nice addition for safety purposes.
Collar attachment opening. The design incorporates a slit for clipping a leash to the collar. If the neck section is turned down, you can just clip the leash on as normal, but if you pop it up, that opening comes in handy.
Durability. I’ve found this coat to hold up really well to all my dogs’ running, jumping and playing. Even when running in forested areas, it has not ripped or frayed. The colors are still bright and it’s easy to clean.
Waterproof. This coat is truly waterproof, even in rain.
Keeps snow out. Just like with the Hurtta coat, I don’t have an issue with snow getting packed in around the chest and shoulders. Even though this design is more open around the shoulder, that hasn’t been a problem.
CONS: Toppa Pomppa
Again, I hate to be too picky, but I have a couple small quibbles for the Toppa Pomppa.
No harness attachment opening. I so wish they included this in the design. I’ve even contemplated taking it to a tailor or upholsterer to see if they could add it. I can use the collar slit, but it takes some finagling to get the leash clip back to the harness.
Lining attracts burrs. If I have the neck section flipped down and my dog is running through a field, they can get burrs stuck in the lining. I don’t really find this is an issue with the lining on the body of the coat since that’s not exposed. I can pick them out, but it’s a bit of a nuisance. Overall, I do like the lining so it’s a small price to pay.
Really, these are both very quality coats that keep my dogs dry and warm all winter long. They are both equally as easy to put on – stick the head through the opening and buckle the belly strap. I like that neither has velcro, which my dog Ruby has a hard time with. Because of my concern with the potential range of motion issue on the Hurtta design, I tend to use the Extreme Warmer more for when my dog will be mostly leashed or on a long line. Again, others may not find issue with this. If I’m on an off leash walk and I want my dog to be running free, I go with the Toppa Pomppa because I feel better about the cut around the shoulders. And if it’s lightly raining, I’ll use the Pomppa. If I could combine the awesome shoulder and hind leg cut and waterproof material of the Pomppa with the neck/ear warmer and harness opening of the Hurtta, I would have a perfect coat for my needs!
I hope you found this winter dog coat review helpful if you’re looking for a quality jacket to keep your dog warm. If you own one of these coats or make a purchase, let me know how you like it in in the comments!