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Dog Adventures Gear Review

The Ruffwear Overcoat Fuse: a unique jacket and harness combination for your dog

Do you have a dog that gets cold in the fall and winter months? Struggle with dressing your dog in multiple layers just to keep them warm underneath his or her harness? Then the Ruffwear Overcoat Fuse may be the perfect addition to your dog’s wardrobe.

You may already know, but our resident dog, Glia, wears a Ruffwear harness on many of her outdoor adventures. But come November, we end up layering sweaters underneath her Webmaster Harness to try and provide some warmth on our hikes. This can mean a lot of layers, sometimes looks a little funny, and requires extra adjustment of the fit of her harness.

When Ruffwear announced the release of the Overcoat Fuse, we hoped this jacket would be a perfect solution to reduce the amount of layering Glia requires. And let’s be honest, even eliminating one piece of clothing for Glia makes gearing up to hit the winter trails a little less daunting.

The Overcoat Fuse arrived at our house this week and we have already taken it out on the trails. So far it fits well and is working great for Glia on our crisp fall walks (especially the rainy nights).

But before we share our complete review, check out Ruffwear’s official video for this new harness/jacket combination.

*Please note: The original article was published in October 2019, but was updated in September 2020 to include affiliate links. As an AvantLink affiliate, I may earn from qualifying Ruffwear purchases. But if you follow me on Instagram at all, you can clearly see that we are big users of Ruffwear harnesses. And I wouldn’t recommend a product on the blog that I wouldn’t also recommend to a friend.

Features of the Ruffwear Overcoat Fuse

Ruffwear highlights several impressive features of the Overcoat Fuse, including those listed below. The Overcoat Fuse has:

  • A built-in harness
  • Direct leash attachments
  • Two low profile zippered pockets
  • A weather- and abrasion-resistant outer layer
  • A soft fleece lining
  • Side-release buckles for easy on/off
  • Reflective trim for visibility in low-light conditions

Built-in Harness

Ruffwear uses an integrated webbing harness system that ensures a strong connection. This is the most unique feature of the Overcoat Fuse and arguably the main selling point.

Prior to purchasing the Overcoat Fuse, our biggest concern was that the harness aspect would fit like the Ruffwear Front Range. Like the Front Range, the Overcoat Fuse only has a chest panel and not a belly panel like the Webmaster or Flagline harnesses.

You can find out more details about why we prefer our Webmaster harness to our Front Range harness here. However, the quick answer is that Glia is able to back out of the Front Range harness. If she pulls back against the leash, the harness will come up around her head.

Happily for us, the chest panel of the Overcoat Fuse is much longer than that of the Front Range. If the straps are tightened appropriately, the chest panel ends just where Glia’s chest begins to taper upwards and the harness/jacket combo does not slip forward when Glia pulls backward. If left loose, however, the harness can slip forward.

Glia has worn her Overcoat Fuse on multiple evening walks at the time of writing this review and the harness has been sturdy and secure thus far.

Direct Leash Attachments

There are two leash attachment points on the Overcoat Fuse. The main attachment point is an aluminum V-ring on the back of the jacket/harness. The second is a reinforced webbing loop on the front of the harness. This front webbing loop is similar to the reinforced webbing loop found on the Front Range harness and the Flagline harness.

Glia and I almost exclusively use the aluminum V-ring attachment point, but many dog-walkers love the front leash attachments. The front leash attachment is a great tool for helping train a dog not to pull on the leash. With a leash attached to the front of a harness, anytime a dog pulls, then his/her body is turned sideways and away from what they are pulling towards.

As with all of our Ruffwear harnesses, both attachment points are well made and secure.

Two Zippered Pockets

The Overcoat Fuse comes with two pockets – one on either side of the jacket. We haven’t used the pockets much yet, but they are just the right size to store some extra dog poop bags or other small items. Maybe some treats or small first aid supplies.

We like the small size of the pockets. They blend in to the overall look of the jacket well.

Weather- and Abrasion-Resistant Outer Layer

One of our favorite features of this jacket is that the outer layer is made of 300 denier polyester with a water repellent finish. Glia has a lot of sweaters and jackets. But most of her water repellent jackets are too bulky to fit underneath her hiking harnesses.

So when it is cold and drizzly out, her fleece sweaters often get a little wet, reducing the amount of warmth they offer. Having a water repellent jacket/harness combination will add a lot of warmth to Glia’s wardrobe.

The outer layer of the jacket has so far proven to be stick proof and durable. Glia isn’t shy about rolling around on the ground and jumping through the brush no matter what she is wearing. And while this jacket is still relatively new, it is so far handling the abuse well.

Fleece Lining

The soft fleece lining is made out of 100% polyester (25% recycled). There is not a lot to say about the fleece lining, but it is soft and cozy.

Side Release Buckles

The Overcoat Fuse has a buckle on either side of the harness so that your dog does not have to step into this harness. Just slide the harness over his/her head and then buckle them in.

The buckles are pretty easy to work. They are also well protected underneath the durable outer layer of the jacket.

Reflective Trim

The reflective trim has been a great feature of this jacket for Glia and I. We have been using this harness on our nightly neighborhood walks. During the cold-weather half of the year, most of our neighborhood walks occur after sunset. The reflective trim makes it easier for approaching cars to see my black dog at night.

Our Favorite Features

We would definitely recommend this jacket and harness combination to any of our friends with dogs that require sweaters in the winter. The harness is well made and the jacket is durable and water repellent. It is easy to get on and off and the reflective trim helps keep dogs visible at night. We will be using this harness frequently this fall and winter.

Another added benefit is that there are finally some fun color options. While there are only three color options, one of those colors is purple. Purple is a personal favorite of mine, so I was thrilled to see an option besides blue, red or gray on a new Ruffwear harness.

What We Would Change

The neck opening of the harness/jacket is a little tight on Glia. It fits, but we wouldn’t mind another inch of space. Extra space would prevent the harness/jacket from becoming tight when she puts her nose to the ground to sniff.

Additionally, we would love it if the jacket were just a couple inches longer. Since we are using this jacket for warmth, it would be nice if the jacket extended all the way to her tail.

To be fair, Glia is right on the border of size small and size medium and we did order the small. (For reference the cut-off for sizing is 27 inches around the dog’s chest and Glia is 26.5 to 27 inches depending on her current weight.) So if your dog is on the low end of the size range, these problems might not be problems for you.

And finally, we would love a belly panel for security purposes. The overall fit is much better on Glia compared to the Front Range harness, but not quite as secure as the Flagline or Webmaster.

Interested in purchasing the Overcoat Fuse? Head over to Ruffwear.com to find this jacket harness combination and many other great products.

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