Winters get cold in my home state of Minnesota. With all of her fluff, my little cavalier mix seems to do fine most days. However, my short-coated terrier mix gets cold as soon as temperatures are below 40 degrees F.
For several years, she wore hand-sewn fleece sweaters, but recently I have been able to upgrade her winter apparel. And in this post, I want to share a direct comparison of her two warmest coats: the Ruffwear Furness Dog Jacket and the Hurtta Expedition Parka.
If you want to read an in-depth review of either jacket, here are links to individual review posts:
- Ruffwear Furness Jacket Review
- Hurtta Expedition Parka Review: A High-Quality Winter Coat for your 4-Legged Best Friend
But if you are trying to make a decision between these two jackets, keep reading for a direct comparison.
Quick Feature Comparison
|Furness Jacket||Expedition Parka|
|Materials||-Shell: 50 Denier cire nylon with DWR finish|
-Insulation: 250g post-consumer recycled polyester
-Lining 30 denier polyester
-Storm Sleeves: 4-way stretch polyester/spandex
|-Durable 100% PES 300D Surface Fabric|
-Soft Finish 100% PES technical 135g knitted lining
|Care Instructions||Wash in cold water, gentle cycle. Hang to dry||Machine wash warm. Hang to dry.|
|Low Light Visibility||Light Loop Attachment for “The Beacon”|
|Multiple reflectors, luminous intensity 400-450 lx/m2|
|Weather-proofness||Water-repellant DWR finish and weather-guarded zipper||“Waterproof”, laminated fabric. Taped seams.|
|Sizing||6 sizes from XXSmall to XLarge based on chest circumference.|
Chest circumference sizes 13 inches to 42 inches.
|16 sizes based on back length. From 8 inches to 32 inches with a few sizes designed for odd-shaped dogs like Dachshunds and French Bulldogs.|
|Adjustability||Adjust around the neck and waist.||Adjusts around the neck (in two places) and waist. There is also a back length adjustment point.|
*At the time of writing this post, around $130
*At the time of writing this post, around $90
While both jackets are high quality with full coverage fits, they are fairly different styles and you and your dog may prefer one fit over the other.
The Ruffwear Furness Jacket has a solid neckpiece that needs to slide over a dog’s head. The dog then needs to step into each of the sleeves before you can zip the jacket up.
The Hurtta Expedition Parka also has a solid neckpiece that slides over the dog’s head. However, this jacket does not have sleeves, so it simply needs to be buckled around the dog’s body. This makes the Expedition Parka a little easier to get on and off.
However, since you are not likely to be putting the jacket on and off frequently in cold conditions, it may be more important to consider how the jacket fits once it is on the dog. So let’s take a look at the coverage.
For reference, Glia is about 40 pounds, with a chest circumference of around 26 inches and a back length of 21 inches. Since she was on the edge of sizes, I went with the larger size in both jackets for more complete coverage. In these photos, she is wearing a size M Twilight Gray Furness jacket and a size 22-inch Beetroot Expedition Parka.
Both jackets have thick fabric around the neck, but the Expedition Parka provides about twice the neck coverage of the Expedition Parka.
Both jackets have adjustable neck widths. The Furness has a single adjustment at the base of the neck. Because the neck area of the Expedition Parka is longer, it has an adjustment at the base of the neck and another at the top of the neck opening. I do not have that area cinched very tight in any of the photos, but if you are worried about cold air drafting down your dog’s neck, know that you can close that tighter.
Although the Expedition Parka provides more neck coverage, the Furness Jacket provides a sleeve that covers more of the front legs. You can see that the StormSleeve of the Furness jacket reaches below the level of Glia’s elbow. The Expedition Parka has a soft fabric extension over the front legs that covers the shoulders but stops above the level of the elbow.
For back leg coverage, the jackets are about equal. The Expedition Parka has longer leg flaps, but they tend to shift a little more side to side so don’t always provide a lot better coverage. Also, in the size 22 (which is admittedly a little large for Glia) the back leg straps that could be fastened around her thighs (her legs have to be lifted so she steps into them) are too baggy. When Glia squats to pee or gets up from rolling in the snow, she sometimes gets her paws stuck in this strap.
Below you can see the back leg coverage of both jackets. In the second set of photos, you can see the back leg straps. Glia is wearing the straps in the Furness, but you can see a strap dangling next to her leg in the Expedition Parka photo.
For dogs with a bigger thigh or a short back to body width ratio, this likely isn’t a problem. But for Glia, I have to tie the strap up and out of her way. On the Furness Jacket, the straps line up better with her thighs. They can be easily worn or snapped up out of the way during use.
Below you can see how I have tied the straps of the Hurtta Expedition Parka so they are more out of the way. You can also see the snaps designed to hold the back leg straps on the Ruffwear Furness Jacket. The snaps are a great design feature of the Furness.
The other obvious difference that you can see in the photo above is the amount of chest/belly coverage. The Furness has more complete coverage around the dog’s chest and front legs. Both jackets leave the belly exposed, which is necessary for male dogs to be able to urinate while wearing a jacket.
As a side note, if someone wants to come out with gender-specific dog clothes, my female dogs would likely appreciate added belly coverage.
Warmth and Waterproofness
Honestly, it’s hard to subjectively determine which coat is warmer than the other. Glia is very comfortable in both down to around 20 degrees F. She typically shivers when standing still in both jackets when it gets much lower.
I did try to assess the temperature under the jackets, but I may need to invest in a Bluetooth temperature sensor at some point to get more real-time numbers.
For the numbers I do have right now, I took Glia on a hike in -2 °F weather. It was a short hike, I promise, and Glia wore her boots and really wanted to go.
For the first half of the hike, she wore her Ruffwear Furness. For the 2nd half, she wore her Hurtta Expedition Parka. After wearing each jacket for at least 5 minutes, I used a cooking temperature probe and stuck it under the jacket. I checked the temperature at the leash portal, the neck opening, and the chest area of the jacket.
At the leash portal, I pointed the probe toward Glia’s back end. Same with the neck opening. At the chest, I pointed the probe forward and did have it also under the Flagline harness that she was wearing under both coats for this hike.
|Leash Portal||59-62 °F||48 °F|
|Neck Opening||69 °F||65 °F|
|Chest||76 °F||69-77 °F|
Based on the numbers above, it seems like the Furness might be a little warmer where it is covering the dog (but the Expedition Parka has a little more coverage). However, I do want to try this again on a day when it’s a little warmer and easier to stand still. I am not 100% sure the leash portal reading on the Expedition Parka is accurate.
Additionally, I would also like to use a sensor I can attach to Glia’s harness and potentially her collar so the sensors can stay in place through a full hike for more accurate testing.
As far as weather-proofness, both jackets hold up really well to rain and not as well if your dog is wading through slush. The sleeves of the Furness can get a little damp and the design of the Expedition Parka does allow some slushy snow to contact the dog’s chest.
When I hung both coats in the shower and turned the water on for a couple of minutes, neither coat soaked through the outer layer. I was worried about the Expedition Parka as it didn’t look like it was repelling water. But happily, the inner layer was completely dry when I checked it afterward.
Below is a photo of both jackets after spraying them with water.
Next, here are photos of the pieces of paper towel I hung on the hangers while I was running water over the coats. The paper towel in the Expedition Parka is a little wet, but that is because it shifted and touched the bottom of the bathtub. Some water was wicked up the towel, but the paper towel was not wet on top.
And in this photo, you can see how the sleeve of the Furness jacket picked up more water than the other outer material. The sleeve was partially laying against the floor of the tub.
Weight and Packability
And finally, for those of you looking for a warm dog jacket that you can carry along with you to use when needed on winter or cool weather adventures, I did check the weight and packability of both jackets.
|Dry Weight||0.78 lbs||1.1 lbs|
|After my “weatherproof test”||0.93 lbs||1.48 lbs|
As you can see above, both jackets are fairly lightweight but the Furness is the lighter of the two. It is also the more compressible of the two.
I was able to fit both jackets into Glia’s Front Range Day Pack. The Furness jacket also fit in her Groundbird Gear pack, but I couldn’t quite close the Groundbird pack around the Expedition Parka.
Which Jacket is Right for Your Dog?
Although I am very impressed with the Ruffwear Furness Jacket, I still find myself reaching for the Hurtta Expedition Parka more often. Here are the reasons why:
- I like the color of the Expedition Parka better.
- It is easier to put on compared to the Furness.
- It also seems like Glia moves more freely in the Expedition Parka as it does not have sleeves.
That being said, the Furness Jacket offers better coverage of a dog’s chest and shoulders. And when it is bitter cold out, that extra coverage likely translates to extra comfort and warmth. I know that I certainly appreciate some shoulder and upper arm coverage on cold days.
If you are interested in purchasing, both coats are available on Amazon.com. I am an Amazon Affiliate and earn from qualifying purchases. These earnings help support the blog and allow me to purchase more dog gear to review. For those of you who shop at REI or Ruffwear.com and are interested in the Furness Jacket, I have also included affiliate links to those online shops.
Ruffwear Furness Jacket
Hurtta Expedition Parka