Picture this: You are scrambling up a steep rocky incline. You have 40 pounds of gear strapped to your back. You are doing your best to keep moving onward and upward despite your lovely friend, Gravity, pulling you back down. You are using your hands for balance and momentum. Around one wrist is a leash and…HEY! IS THAT A SQUIRREL?! You are now either missing one arm entirely, or attempting to dust yourself off and rub your now bruised knees or butt, or you’ve lost your dog.
Has that happened to you? It has happened to us. And while we never had any limbs severed, Kirby has escaped and we have been knocked over. So we were in need of a solution. A hands-free solution with some wiggle room. Enter the Ruffwear Roamer Leash.This leash is phenomenal! Honestly, if there’s any piece of dog gear that I recommend to everyone I meet, it’s this leash!
The Ruffwear Roamer Leash is a stretch webbing leash that can be hand-held or waist-worn.
We use it hiking, backpacking, camping, running, walking, at the cottage, at the park, in the yard, and more! The elastic in the middle allows for a bit of tugging before you are jerked all over the place. And the adjustable handle/waist belt allows you to walk your dog hands-free or attach the leash to just about anything from a tree to a sign post to a picnic table and more. Money well spent, for sure!
The Star of the Show: The Ruffwear Roamer Leash featuring…
- Wavelength™ stretch webbing allows humans and canines to be connected, with an extended range (a.k.a. there is a little room for squirrel-chasing).
- Adjustable section of leash that makes up the waist belt. It extends to 48 inches.
- Convenient gear loop for poop bags, keys, other small clip-on items.
- Padded handle section.
- Traffic handle for quick restraint.
- Ergonomically-designed Talon Clip™ that is strong, secure and provides one-handed attachment.
- *Older model: plastic buckle. *Newer model: aluminum Talon Hook™. This is how you undo the handle/belt in order to put it on, fix it to a tree or post, etc.
What we love about our Ruffwear Roamer Leash:
- It is easy to adjust! We tend to divide and conquer on hikes, so we don’t often switch who is in charge of the dog half-way through a hike. But the leash is easy to adjust when that does happen. And it is easy to switch from wearing it around your waist to on your wrist, which brings me to my next point…
- You can wear it on your waist or wrist! The loop at the end of the leash can be adjusted small enough for just your hand to slip through, and that section is well-padded. It also extends up to 48” for the waist belt.
- It is easy to clip on! To be clear, again, we had an older model with a buckle, and that works very well for us. The newer model has a Talon hook that looks even easier to use. So, every time you stop for a break or gear up to hit the trail, leashing up is a cinch!
- It is good for more than just hiking! Due to the ease of clipping and unclipping the belt/handle and the adjustability, you can use this leash to tie your trail dog to a picnic table or tree at the park, campsite, cottage or beach.
- There is a traffic handle! Some folks are turned off by the control the pup has with the stretch factor in the leash. But there is also a traffic handle for quick restraint.
- You can easily wear it with a baby carrier or backpack! The latter is the reason we bought the leash, but the former was a pleasant surprise. When babywearing on a more rugged trail, it is reassuring to have use of both of your hands, so wearing the dog around your waist is a great way to go.
- Ruffwear is a brand made for “ruffing” it. They have taken great care in designing a product that is safe, comfortable and built to last so that your four-legged friend can accompany you on every adventure!
- The money goes to dogs & the outdoors. Ruffwear is partnered with Best Friends Animal Society and The Conservation Alliance and every Ruffwear purchase you makes helps them continue to contribute to animal rescue and the conservation of the outdoors in North America.
What we would change if we could:
- There is no lumbar support. Now, I have put some thought into this. You cannot simply make the leash nice and wide without then losing the “one size fits all” and “waist or wrist” functionality. My solution: a lumbar support add-on that you can slide the leash through. Obviously this is not ideal, and could interfere with certain backpacks, but the only downside to this leash is that it can dig in a bit and the weight is not distributed.
This is a must-have hiking accessory for dog owners. We do not hike without it. Ever. It was the best $50 we’ve ever spent on Kirby. Seriously!
To get your hands on your very own Ruffwear Roamer Leash, available in 2 sizes and 4 colours, for $50 CAD, check out See Sawyer Run or Valhalla Pure Outfitters. They have a wide range of outdoor gear for dogs from leashes and collars to packs, toys and First Aid kits.
What do you consider a “must-have” when it comes to hiking with your dog? I am always looking for new gear to try out with Kirby. Please share in the comment section below.