Product Review: Hurtta Cooling Vest

Kevin Roberts
by Kevin Roberts

It’s getting hot out there, and when you’ve got active dogs, you’re always looking for ways to cool them down. That’s why Kevin Roberts wanted to try out Hurtta’s Cooling Vests on his pooches, Belle and Burger. Here’s what he has to say about the product:

In the summer, the dogs and I enjoy playing disc, hiking, biking and canoeing. The pack is out with me all day, and hot weather can really limit our activities. Where we go, there is no air-conditioning and the dangers of heat exhaustion are very real, and very deadly. Hurtta makes a vest intended to combat this problem and help cool your canine friends. I was excited to try out the Hurtta Cooling Vests on two of my dogs, Belle and Burger.

Both Belle and Burger are active and fit dogs. Burger has a wide and short muzzle, and short hair. Belle has a longer muzzle, and her hair is also thicker and longer (about an inch long). They both have double coats.

Hurtta was helpful when we ordered the coats off of their website. The sizing seemed a bit tricky at first, but following the instructions on measurements for dogs, we correctly ordered the right size vests. The vests came quickly, and all we had to do was wait for a warm day. My dogs are used to wearing coats in the winter time, so getting them into the vests wasn’t hard.

I was immediately impressed with the excellent construction of the vests. The zipper is sturdy, and the vests come with a clip so that once the dog steps into the coat, the clip holds it in place while you line up the zipper.

The vest is rather bulky, and when it has absorbed the water, looks very puffy!

How it Works

Dip the vest in cool water, wring it out, and place it on your dog, and it cools the dog down. The coat is made of an absorbent mesh material, which soaks up the water, and holds it next to the dog’s body. As the water evaporates, it cools off the dog.

We played some disc, ran around, and then I placed the vests on them to cool them off.

Burger was cooled off in a few minutes and ready to play again. He wanted to romp even before I removed the vest, and the vest in no way restricted his movement.

Belle, with her vest on, did not cool off properly; she panted more heavily and started to start to dig a hole to lie down in. This is not her normal behavior. After a round of play, she usually has a drink, and seeks a shady spot to lie down in. I was concerned that she was, with the vest on, getting warmer, not cooler. Poor Belle was trying to cool herself off by digging a hole!

As a side note, the vest is designed to absorb water, so when Belle started to dig a hole, the vest became very muddy. The coats are machine washable, so the mud came out without a problem.

I was discouraged that Belle was digging a hole to cool herself off with the vest on, so the vest did not help cool her down.

To help get an idea of what the dogs were feeling, I wore the vest around myself for a while. Soaking it in cool water, and then wringing it out, I placed it on my shoulders. Now, I am not as hairy as Belle is, so the vest was directly touching my skin. I felt an instant sense of relief as the cool vest was touching my skin, but as the time went on, the vest warmed up, and did not give me relief or felt cooler.

The Verdict

For a shorter haired dog like Burger, this coat will work for a short period of time. For a dog with more of a coat (thicker and/or longer), this vest is not going to get close enough to the skin to cool the dog down. I would not use this vest for more than few minutes, as it seems to not be as effective.

For us, I think we will stick to hikes near water, in the cooler parts of the day. We will continue to seek shade, and modify our activity for the weather.

Note: was NOT compensated for this review. We received two Hurtta Cooling Vests 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!

More by Kevin Roberts