Even as we revel in the winter wonderland that is currently Central Oregon, we can look forward to the days when Spring will have sprung, wild flowers pop, and the pack here at Ruffwear makes the transition from cold-weather recreation to warmer weather pursuits. As a friend once shared with me, “It’s a great day for the race.” At that time, I recall agreeing with his comment and then I thought aloud, “What race was in progress?”, to which he replied, “A great day for the human race.” Ah yes, a great day it is indeed.
The cooler months here in the Northwest – base camp for Ruffwear – give us the opportunity to hunker down during the shorter solar days and concentrate on a laundry list of R&D projects as well as improvements for current products. This season we have several projects that have come to fruition.
To start with, we have completely revised our Swamp Cooler™. We reworked the pattern to provide better overall coverage, enhance the fit and stepped up the performance. By focusing on the materials we built into our cooling coat, we created a cooler functioning and looking coat, as well as increased the duration of time the coat holds water used in the evaporative cooling process. The result is extended cooling that allows dogs and humans to make the most out of our warmer days.
On our Approach Pack™ we have revised the padded assistance handle, color coded our zipper pulls and added convenient top loading stash pockets. While all of these are “nice-to-have” conveniences for us humans, our four-legged friends will enjoy the overall reduced weight and improved webbing padding and fit.
A new offering in our quiver of leashes is our Slackline Leash™, Ruffwear’s foray into creating the right length leash for a plethora of activities. Waist-worn or hand-held, adjusting from 6ft to 3.5ft and then back to 6ft, the Slackline benefits from a traffic handle and Ruffwear’s Talon Clip™. The Slackline picks up the slack so you don’t have to.
Back by resounding requests is our Chain Reaction™ Collar, Ruffwear’s limited correction training collar that allows for gentle corrections with an audible cue, all while providing comfort and convenience for everyday neck wear. This is the walking collar of choice for my Australian Cattle Dog, Mavis.
Over the years, Ruffwear’s design team has spent a fair amount of time around webbing looms and I have to say that it has been time well spent. With the knowledge we have picked up through this on-the-job experience, we have developed an improved tubular webbing construction, a process we call TubeLok™. This webbing construction allows us to weave a strong, durable, creative design, while putting a comfortable webbing in your hands, beauty and brawn all in one. Our thinking is when our dogs are on a leash, we are on a leash, so why not make the experience pleasant for all. You will find Ruffwear’s TubeLok webbing construction on our Chain Reaction Collar, Top Rope™ Collar and Slackline Leash offerings.
Our revised Lunker™ has been re-envisioned from the core out. We started with post manufacturing waste foam from the footwear industry and form a center core that provides just the right weight for long tosses. By reworking the pattern and the rope handle connection we have reduced seams and improved overall durability. One of the best features about the Lunker is that when it is time to retire, the whole Lunker can be sent to PLUSfoam® to be recycled and begin life anew through PLUSfoam’s® comprehensive recycle/repurpose program.
While we were at it, we took a good long look at our Hover Craft™ and discovered a few ways to improve the flight, durability and aesthetics, while increasing the fun to be had. In the process, we improved our patterns and construction. These continual improvements allow Ruffwear to drive progress and put our best foot forward, all while reducing our environmental footprint.
So there you have it, a slice of life in a product development season here at Ruffwear. What does this all mean for our four legged friends you ask? More grand times out and about, heading down the trail and out exploring…a great day for the race indeed, the two-legged as well as the four-legged.
Lap it up,
Leader of the Pack
See the whole new product line up HERE