Dog Gear Reviews Gear Reviews

Dog Gear Review: Ruffwear Cloud Chaser Soft Shell Jacket

Every outdoor enthusiast has had the “is this really worth it?” gear dilemma. You see a technical shirt for $80 dollars and ask yourself if it’s really that much different than an athletic shirt from Target. Maybe you’re considering a down jacket, and the price range is $50-$400. How do you know that the $400 jacket isn’t just a bunch of marketing hype with a fancy logo? In my opinion, the only real way to know is to test it…but that’s just not financially possible for most of us. Hence, we rely heavily on the reviews of others to guide us.


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Cloud Chaser Jacket


At first I was hesitant to review dog gear, as I didn’t think there would be much of an audience. Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of dogs on the trail who look cold, and sadly unprepared. It’s clearly no fault of their own, and maybe their owners just don’t know how much functional gear is out there for their pups. When I started hiking with Isla, I vowed that I wouldn’t spare any expenses for her that I wasn’t willing to forego myself. The first piece of kit I bought for her was the Ruffwear Cloud Chaser Soft Shell Jacket. Ruffwear makes a lot of really great gear, and the Cloud Chaser is no exception. This will be the first of many reviews for dog gear, as I hope to increase awareness and enhance the hiking experience for dogs and dog owners everywhere.

Isla in Her Storm Chaser
Isla in Her Storm Chaser

The Storm Chaser Jacket is a softshell that’s designed to keep a dog comfortable in rain, snow, and cold. This jacket is also windproof which really helps when hiking in the mountains during the winter. The jacket goes on very easily with two holes for Isla’s front legs, and a full length zipper on the left paw side of the jacket for quick changes. The top panel of the jacket is your standard softshell, whereas the bottom panel is a coated fabric to help shed water, snow, and dirt. We’ve tested the bottom panel extensively in a multitude of conditions. The most notable experience was a hike in fairly deep snow. Isla is not a tall girl, so a lot of that snow was brushing against her belly on the hike. Not only did she stay very warm, but she was completely dry. As for the waterproofness of the top panel, it works very well. I’ve taken Isla out in a few storms now, and although the panel looks slightly absorbent, she was complete dry underneath. I’m not sure how long this jacket can be exposed to a downpour before any seepage, but if I have a chance to test this, I’ll leave an update.

Staying Warm on the Summit
Staying Warm on the Summit
The Little Musher
The Little Musher

The inside of the Cloud Chaser is insulated to keep your dog warm in cold conditions. I like to pair the Cloud Chaser with a fleece underneath in really cold conditions to make sure Isla stays warm. The side zip is really nice in this situation, as you can use a layer system and make quick adjustments based on the conditions. The overall jacket is made of a four way stretch material that has proven very comfortable on countless outdoor adventures. The raglan sleeves only add to this comfort, and do a nice job of keeping in warmth. There are reflective elements on the jacket that work very well. So if your dog is off leash at night, a quick scan with the headlamp makes them light up!

Freezing Temps at Flower Lake
Freezing Temps at Flower Lake
Isla on the Water
Isla on the Water

For anyone looking to get their dog a quality softshell that will last a long time and keep their dog warm, look no further than the Storm Chaser. It’s definitely not cheap at $79.95, but if the adventure calls for you to be wearing a $100+ down jacket, do the loving thing and make sure your dog is warm too. Dogs are beautiful creatures, and our best friends. They will follow us to the end of the earth no matter what we do, regardless of the conditions. Take care of your pets, and they’ll return the favor 10 times over.


Support Trail to Peak by purchasing this jacket on Amazon using the link below:

Cloud Chaser Jacket


Isla Gives the Storm Chaser 4/4 Paws!
Isla Gives the Storm Chaser 4/4 Paws!

6 comments on “Dog Gear Review: Ruffwear Cloud Chaser Soft Shell Jacket

  1. This is a great review of the Cloud Chaser!

  2. David Lottmann

    Great review. Any lead on dog goggles? A French Canadian couple had their labadoodle summit Washington in -48 wind chills a bit over a week ago. Owners has face masks/goggles but that poop pup was without…. not sure if a dog would wear goggles.

    • Hello, David. Thanks for reading! Wow, with -48 wind chills, that doodle must be a trooper! For Isla, I bought a pair of Doggles for when we’re at high altitude. It’s tough to keep them on her face all the time, so I only put them on when it’s absolutely necessary. As long as I keep her moving she doesn’t try to take them off, but if I stop for any breaks, she paws at them. The other tough thing is they accumulate condensation inside the lenses with certain weather conditions. I’ve been meaning to get a review up for the Doggles, I’ll try to finish it soon.

  3. Hi Drew,

    Thanks for the review. One question, did your dog suffer any chafing on her legs? I’ve read many reviews on the Powder Hound jacket that mention this issue. Wondering if it’s the same with the Cloud Chaser. Thanks in advance.

    Rey

    • Hey Rey. Isla has been wearing the Cloud Chaser for a few years without issue. There aren’t any rough seams on this one, so I can’t see there being any chaffing.

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