Ruff Wear Swamp Cooler Review
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Suki, an ActiveGearReview dog tester, got to relax in the Swamp Cooler jacket by Ruff Wear at the Teva Mountain Games in Vail, CO. She was not able to test the Swamp Cooler for too long, but in the short time that Suki had it on her back, she was a happier, albeit cooler pup!
The Swamp Cooler, as the the Ruff Wear guys and gals will tell you, is similar to a darker colored dog putting on a wet white t-shirt on. To use the jacket, simply dunk it in cool water (including a mountain stream), wring out the excess water, and put it on the dog. The jacket stores the cool water within one of its’ 3 layers and works by decreasing the body temperature of your dog through evaporative cooling: there is a mesh layer on top of the layer that locks in the water and the pores allows for slow evaporation. The inner layer is soft against the dogs fur for a comfortable fit.
The Swamp Cooler comes in ice blue, kind of a silver hue that absorbs less sunlight and therefore less heat than your pups darker fur color. The jacket is easy to take on and off thanks to buckles on the underbelly. The Swamp Cooler can be worn with a pack over top, but we didn’t opt for this because if your pup is really that hot, making them carry added gear is probably not in their best interest. But it is doable in case you are wondering.
When Suki had the Swamp Cooler on she went from heavy panting with her black saddle being hot to the touch. After a half hour of wear her panting lessened and she was cool to the touch, and not just in the areas covered by the Swamp Cooler. If it cooled her off this much at rest, the jacket will surely add some extra energy for a few more miles of hiking on a hot-sunny summer day in Colorado. We hope to get our hands and paws on a Swamp Cooler in the future.
For more info on this and other Ruffwear products, visit www.rei.com/ruffwear or www.amazon.com/ruffwear.
MSRP $49.99, no matter the size! Bonus for the big dogs. It is meant to fit kind of loose, so try it on your pup before you buy.