As the caretaker of a short-haired dog, it can be a challenge to keep my pup warm throughout our Minnesota winter adventures. Working on a budget, I have been lucky to have my mother make some custom fleece sweaters for my cold dog. But recently, we have been able to upgrade to some gear specifically designed to help keep dogs warm in cold winter temperatures.
Last year, we purchased a Hurtta Body Warmer to layer underneath my dog’s sweaters. Unfortunately, the size we purchased didn’t fit right. But we were impressed with the quality. So I wanted to try another style from Hurtta. After reading a lot of reviews (mostly from RobinVentures), I took the plunge and purchased an Expedition Parka.
Why purchase an Expedition Parka for your dog? The Hurtta Expedition Park was designed for short-haired dogs to wear on outdoor adventures. Designed for temperatures of 30 °F all the way down to -20 °F, this weatherproof coat is designed to allow full range of motion for active dogs. A perfect purchase for dogs without an undercoat to help them continue to join their people on adventures year-round.
Keep reading to find out more about this coat and see how it is working for Glia this winter.
The Technical Specs of the Expedition Parka
The Hurtta Expedition Parka is made from a waterproof, laminated fabric and has taped seams to keep your pup warm and dry. To keep you ensure that the coat is waterproof, a fluorocarbon-free Rudolf ECO water-repellent treatment is used in the process of creating these coats.
The outer shell of the coat is a durable fabric, that holds up well to dirt and debris out on the trail. The lining of the coat is a soft fleece-type material. The front leg panels, which are also made from a water and wind-proof soft fabric, are designed to be flexible with a dog’s movements. This allows a dog to retain full range of motion when wearing the coat.
These wind and waterproof layers help keep a dog warm in temperature down to -20 °F. But keep in mind, many short hair dogs may need additional layers or dog boots to truly be comfortable in temperatures that cold.
The Expedition Parka has several additional features that increase the coat’s functionality. The coat has reflective trimming for increased visibility at night. The reflective piping is from 3M and has a luminous intensity of 500cd/(lx.m2). It also has hind leg straps, made from a soft fabric, to help ensure that the hem of the coat stays in place.
There is also a handy opening on the back of the coat that allows for a leash to be attached to a harness worn underneath the coat. This is one of my favorite features of the coat, as Glia almost always wears a harness when we hike. Her Ruffwear harnesses layer okay over her fleece, but it is nice to have a coat that can be worn over the harnesses. If your dog doesn’t wear a harness, the opening for the harness can be kept closed with the press studs.
I should mention that the recloseable opening for the harness is only on coat sizes 12 inches to 32 inches. Size 8 inches and 10 inches have an integrated harness as part of the coat. (Kind of like the Ruffwear Overcoat Fuse.)
Speaking of sizing, lets talk about the size and fit of the Hurtta Expedition Parka.
Sizing and Fit of the Expedition Parka
The Expedition Parka comes in 16 different sizes, with back lengths ranging from 8 inches to 32 inches. When measuring your dog for an Expedition Parka, Hurtta states that the most important measurement is the back length.
Hurtta provides a nice diagram to help you. Click on the image below to open Hurtta’s sizing chart for the Expedition Parka in a new window.
Or watch the video below for a guide on how to measure your dog for Hurtta dog appearal.
Glia measures about 21.5 inches in length, so I purchased a size 22-inch Expedition Parka for her. As I mentioned above, Glia is a long and thin dog compared to the majority of dogs, so it is a little difficult to size her well.
The 22-inch Expedition Parka has a neckline of 28 inches and a Chest circumference of 22-38 inches. Glia measures approximately 17 inches around her neck and 25 inches around her chest. So you can see that the chest circumference works well for her in the size 22, but the neckline is much larger than she needs.
Luckily, the coat has four points of adjustment. The waist/chest can be adjusted with where the strap buckles over the dog’s back. The other three adjustment points have an elastic cord that can be secured in a plastic catch.
Both the back length and neckline are adjustable by 20%. This still doesn’t get the neckline quite small enough for Glia, but it is a lot closer, as this reduces the neckline down to 22 inches in circumference.
The neckline of the coat is adjustable in two locations (around the area of the neck that a dog would typically wear a collar and at the end of the neck area closest to the dog’s head). This allows you to reduce drafts entering the neck of the coat.
The two neckline adjustments, as well as the back length adjustment (located on the underside of the coat), are stretchy elastic cords that can be secured in a plastic fastener.
To better visualize these points of adjustment, watch our short YouTube video below. Skip to around 1:50 to see me point out the adjustment points.
Movement on the Trail
If you watched to the end of the YouTube video above, then you can see Glia move around in this coat. We have been very happy that this coat does not impede Glia’s normal range of motion when hiking. She can still jump and run around without any more restraint than when wearing her harness alone.
How Warm is the Hurtta Expedition Parka?
As stated above, while the Expedition Parka is intended for temperatures from 30 °F to -20 °F, your dog’s size, age, fur type, weight, and acclimation to cold weather will affect whether or not this coat can truly keep your dog warm down to -20 °F.
On our first hike, Glia started out shivering just a tiny bit but quickly warmed up after we started moving. For dogs that need more warmth, I have heard from other Hurtta coat users that layering a fleece underneath the coat can add extra warmth. You could also consider purchasing a Hurtta Body Warmer as a base layer.
As the winter gets colder, we will likely start layering. But the coat alone is enough for Glia on hikes in temperatures above 20 °F. And even without layering, it still adds a lot more warmth than one of her fleeces alone.
Want to Purchase an Expedition Parka for Your Dog?
There aren’t a lot of stores that carry Hurtta Dog Apparel in stores, but luckily you can order the Expedition Parka from online retailers, such as Amazon. (I am an Amazon Affiliate and earn from qualifying purchases.)
If you are in Minnesota and near the Twin Cities, Copilots Dog Outfitters had the Extreme Warmer in stock last year. The two coats are fairly similar in fit, so you can always head over there to try a coat on your dog. Just check COVID policies ahead of time whenever going to any physical location.
But whether or not you choose the Hurtta Expedition Parka for your own dog, we hope you enjoy a great season of winter hiking opportunities with your pup!