Selecting a life jacket for your canine companion is a bigger decision than simply choosing between red or green.  Like the vast selection of human PFD’s found in your local kayak shop, there are many canine life jackets to choose from.  The amount of buoyancy, type of activity, size of the dog, and the dog’s swim ability are all good things to consider when choosing a canine flotation device.

Ruff Wear has two choices for canine life jackets–the Portage Float Coat™, a recreational life jacket, and the Big Eddy Float Coat™, a performance float coat.

While both life jackets are engineered to float dogs in a natural, horizontal swim position, there are some key differences.

The Big Eddy

The Big Eddy Float Coat™

The Big Eddy Float Coat™ is our performance life jacket, with unique features ideal for experienced swimmers that frequent the water.  The features are:

  • Contoured neck straps – for maximum comfort and front leg mobility
  • Tough ballistic nylon exterior – resists wear and tear from rocks and floating debris
  • Heavy-duty materials  – to withstand sand, chlorine, and salt
  • Reinforced handle  – for repeated heavy lifting
  • Twice the reflective  – for maximum visibility in heavy-traffic areas and low light

The Big Eddy is available in sizes XS, S, M, and L.

The Portage

The Portage Float Coat™

The Portage Float Coat™ is our recreational life jacket, designed to accommodate a wide range of dog shapes and sizes.  This float coat is ideal for the occasional swimmer, or dogs who are new to the water.  Features include:

  • Extended size range – to accommodate a wider range of dogs
  • Assistance handle – for help lifting dog up and out of the water
  • Reflective trim – for enhanced visibility

The Portage is available in sizes XXS, XS, S, M, L, XL.


Check out this handy chart for the features and benefits of both Ruff Wear life jackets:

Big Eddy Float Coat™ Portage Float Coat™
Intended Use Dogs that swim frequently and are agile in the water The occasional swimmer, or new to the water
Flotation ✭✭✭ ✭✭✭
Extended size range ✭✭ ✭✭✭
Abrasion-resistance ✭✭✭ ✭✭
Stands up to salt, sand, chlorine, etc. ✭✭✭ ✭✭
Reflectivity ✭✭✭ ✭✭

✭✭✭ –   Built for it

✭✭     –   Good

✭        –   Not Ideal

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