As mentioned in previous post Rocco does a poor job of regulating his body temperature while in the backcountry. Part of the way we combat this is by having multiple coats for him to wear. Using a combination of two jackets, Rocco is better able to manage his temperature while in camp. The first layer used is his Ruffwear Climate Changer fleece jacket. We usually pair this with his Ruffwear Quinzee jacket. Although he make look high maintenance in his multiple coats, he is ultimately more comfortable.
Initial Thoughts- I purchased the Ruffwear Quinzee as a complimentary layer to his Ruffwear Climate Changer. The Climate Changer alone did not provide enough warmth for him to tolerate the lower temperatures of the evenings. The Quinzee is essentially a synthetic puffy designed specifically for your dog. The outer-shell is comprised of a water resistant material, keeping the insulation dry. The jacket has the typical reflective trim along the rear and front of the coat, allowing you to help spot your dog in the dark. On the top of the coat is a loop where a light can be attached to further improve visibility. The coat has a short locking zipper in the front allowing it to accommodate different chest cavity sizes. The Quinzee extends the insulation down the front of the dog's chest and wraps up around the belly. There are straps on each side that are attached to elastic material. This allows the dog to move freely while wearing the jacket. Underneath the jacket (between your dog's back and the backside of the coat) there is an incorporated stuff sack. This is allows you to compress the jacket for easier packing. The build quality is on par with Ruffwear's gear line.
Use- Our Ruffwear Quinzee has seen a lot of use over the years. On nearly every trip Rocco attends, the jacket comes with. Along the way he has laid in dirt, mud, gotten wet, and poked by twigs. The jacket still looks relatively new. The coat has been washed on numerous occasions and shows only minor wear from washing. The reflective trimming is beginning to flake, but that is to be expected after so many washings. Although the loft of the insulation is minimal, it still appears to have maintained the same level as when the coat was new. Rocco has kept himself warm on many trips with the coat. On it's own the jacket could be used for moderate temperatures, but paired with the Ruffwear Climate Changer the jacket works really well. The coverage provided by the Quinzee is sufficient enough to keep most the chill at bay during the evening. On a recent trip to Colorado the jacket ended up getting soaked in Rocco's pack. Due to the lack of sun the coat took a day to dry out before he could use it again. After it dried it came right back to life and made Rocco a little more comfortable. The jacket is easy to get on an off by sliding it over your dog's head and snapping the side buckles. Although he typically does not wear the coat while hiking there have been no chaffing issues. The cut of the coat also allows for Rocco to still pee, without threat of getting it on the coat.
Final Thoughts- The Ruffwear Quinzee jacket is a great piece to help your dog regulate their temperature during the cooler times of year. The build quality and attention to detail makes the piece a staple in any dogs pack. When used in combination with the Ruffwear Climate Changer your dog will stay more comfortable and hopefully demand less of your sleeping bag's real estate. Although the price is a commitment the longevity of the piece should pay for itself during the life of the product. I highly recommend to anyone who is looking to make their dog a little more comfortable while exploring the backcountry. More info on the Ruffwear Quinzee can be found here.
*This product was purchased for review.