Product Review: Cycle Dog MAX Reflective Collars

Kevin Roberts
by Kevin Roberts

I don’t know if you’ve ever been to Winnipeg, especially in the winter, but if you have, you’ll know that it gets dark during the season. You wake up to go to work – it’s dark. Before you come home from work – it’s dark. You forget what the sun looks like. And if you do any kind of outdoor activity with your dog, like our resident extreme dog product reviewer Kev Roberts, you need something to light your way. And he really wanted to test out the Cycle Dog MAX Reflective Collars. Let’s see (get it?!?) if they help light up the snowy trails for him and his skijoring dogs:

You might say we spend a lot of time running around in the dark. Due to where we live and our work schedules, we do most of our skijoring at night.

Night is a great time to run the dogs – they focus more and run harder. As we are training on frozen rivers and wooded trails, we aren’t near any street lights. The trails we run on are multi-use, with other skiers, dog teams, snow machines and people out for a walk. Being visible is a courtesy for other trails users and an issue of safety for us. We don’t want to run into a snow machine in the dark!

Cycle Dog has with a line of eco-friendly reflective collars. We tried out four of their Cycle Dog MAX Reflective Collars in Green, Blue, Silver and Purple. You can also get an Orange collar, but we would need another dog to test that! These collars are made from post-consumer recycled materials, dry quickly, won’t fray and won’t smell like wet dog.

The collars come with a metal latch-lock or plastic-style buckle. We opted for the plastic buckle. While metal is stronger, we avoid using metal on our dogs, as metal clips conduct cold, and metal can freeze shut when you are out on the trail. Living in Winnipeg, we were quite happy to see the plastic option! We tested the collars in temperatures at -30 and had no issues with the plastic. Not all plastic is created equal, and some simply do not hold up in cold temperatures. We had no problem with the plastic on the Cycle Dog collars.

The collars come in sizes to fit small, medium and large dogs. We opted for the medium and the large. Our dogs range in size from 45 lbs to 75 lbs, with varying neck length. They are easily adjustable, and fit all our dogs easily. The two largest dogs, at 75 lbs, fit into both the medium and the large.

The collars are made from a recycled bicycle tube, with a highly reflective material sewn around the outside. They have used a very reflective material! For most of runs we use head lamps, as it allows us to keep an eye on the lines, warn other users we are coming, and spot bad spots on the trail or the ice. The collars reflected the light brilliantly. While all the collars had a highly reflective surface, we were most impressed with the silver and the green ability to really “shine”.

Another nice feature of the collar is what cycle dog dubs “Man’s best friend,” the Pup Top Bottle Opener/ Leash Attachment. It’s actually a bottle opener/leash attachment, and it works equally well for both!

The collars come in two widths: their regular “skinny width” and their Fatty width. We tested the silver, blue and purple in the regular width Max Reflective collars. The green was in their Fatty width – this was by far our favorite! The regular width collars reflected the light, but were easy to “lose” under the dogs’ hair. The wider collar caught more light, and stayed above the dog’s hair. If you have a shorter-coated dog, the regular width collars will certainly work for you and reflect an amazing amount of light. If you have a medium to heavy coated dog, we recommend that you opt for the wider Fatty collar.

The Verdict

Would we buy these collars? Yes, we could buy the Fatty, as it’s super visible even over dogs with a longer coat. Most of our dogs have thicker or longer hair, and the thinner collars just didn’t ride above the hair, so they don’t show up the same.

Anyone who skijors, hikes, or camps with their dogs should look into these collars. We love how reflective the collars are, and they don’t need any batteries or to be turned on. Once it on your dog, it’s doing its job, keeping your dog safe and visible.

You can buy them online at the Cycle Dog website. They retail for about $25 to $27.

Note: was NOT compensated for this review. We received four Cycle Dog MAX Reflective Collars to review. The opinions expressed in this post are the author’s. We provide unbiased feedback of the products and share products we think our readers would enjoy using and learning more about.

Kevin Roberts
Kevin Roberts

Kevin Roberts lives for adventure. Together with his pack of rescue dogs and his husband, he spends as much time outdoors as possible. Kevin lives by the motto: "Get outside and play with your dogs!

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