Ruff Wear Top Rope and Hoopie Collar Reviews
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Every dog owner knows the importance of a high-quality dog collar, which is why I look to Ruff Wear when I am buying for my favorite pooch, Bentley. Ruff Wear understands active owners with active dogs.
Bentley is a very active, 97 pound Black Lab Mix. He is now 3 years old, but like every Lab, still acts like a playful puppy. Bentley is always up for an outdoor adventure, whether it is hiking up a mountain, going for a trail run, sprinting through the snow, or chasing squirrels. Bentley doesn’t know the meaning of slowing down. Ruff Wear’s Top Rope Collar was a terrific choice for Bentley’s active lifestyle.
The Top Rope Collar has a very appealing, outdoor-adventure design made from soft-yet-strong tubular webbing. The collar comes in 4 different colors (green, blue, red, and purple) and has a continuous reflective stripe throughout that both looks nice and helps with visibility at night. Bentley is all black, so I especially appreciate reflective properties that help me, and others, see him at night.
The Top Rope Collar has an aluminum, V-ring leash attachment point. I love that Ruff Wear kept the leash attachment point and the ID tag attachment point separate. On my old collar, the leash attachment point was also where the ID tag was located. I cannot tell you how many times I accidentally hooked his leash to the ID tag split ring. Bentley would inevitably take off sprinting after something and the split ring would open, which left me hanging on to his leash while Bentley was dashing down the street. The V-ring stays perfectly positioned on top of Bentleys neck because of the opposing weight of the all-metal buckle underneath his neck, so I always have easy, quick access to hook his leash. The aluminum is strong and durable, so I know Bentley will not be able to break free from me. The ID Tag is located on the side of the collar and has a silicone tag-silencer attached. The tag silencer is a great extra feature, one you will appreciate if you have multiple dog tags on the collar.
The all-metal Talon Buckle is what sets the Top Rope Collar aside from others. The large metal buckle has superior smoothness & strength. There is no way Bentley would be able to pull hard enough to break this buckle…and trust me he has tried! The buckle is curved, so it follows Bentley’s neckline instead of sticking out. The buckle is very sturdy but is easy enough to open with one hand when I need to take his collar off.
The metal buckle was initially my favorite feature of the Top Rope Collar, but after 2 months of wear, I started to notice he had patches of hair missing on his neckline. I took the collar off and loosened it a bit. I thought maybe it was too tight. Bentley’s hair continued to rub off. Unfortunately I loved the collar so much that I couldn’t part with it, so I started taking the collar off at night to give his skin a break. After a few weeks of doing this I decided this was not a viable solution. The metal buckle had worn his hair completely down to his skin in 2 perfect lines. Bentley never seemed to be bothered by the collar, but this was not acceptable to me. I contacted both Ruff Wear and Altrec (where I purchased the collar). I have nothing but good things to say about the customer service at both places. They both cared about my satisfaction, and Altrec returned my Top Rope Collar with no hassle. Since I loved everything about the Top Rope Collar, except the chaffing, I opted to replace it with the Hoopie Collar. The Hoopie Collar has a lot of the same great features of the Top Rope, but with a different closure system.
The major difference between the Top Rope Collar and the Hoopie Collar is the buckle. The Hoopie Collar has a plastic, side-release buckle, instead of the metal buckle. You lose the strength of the metal buckle, but for me, the side-release buckle works just fine, and I have found no other chaffing spots on Bentley’s neck. The side-release buckle is very durable and is also easy enough to open with one hand when I need to remove his collar.
The Ruff Wear Hoopie Collar has a variety of color options, including a few patterned ones. Unlike the Top Rope Collar, however, the Hoopie does not have the continuous reflective stripe throughout the collar. On the plain colors, they replaced the reflective strip with a simple stitching line. It is still very attractive, but in the switch I sacrificed the safety that the embedded reflective stripe provides.
The Hoopie Collar also has the aluminum V-ring leash attachment point. The only difference is that, on the Top Rope Collar, the V-ring is positioned on top of the collar, and on the Hoopie Collar it is positioned on the bottom. As long as the V-ring is there, I’m happy, the location of the V-ring has not made a convenience difference for me. The Hoopie also has the great feature of the separate ID tag attachment point, as well as the silicone tag silencer.
Both the Top Rope Collar and the Hoopie Collar are wonderful; if you need the strength of the metal buckle, the Top Rope is a great product, just keep an eye out for ‘buckle-rub’ that could potentially result if your dog is a heavy-puller. The Hoopie has most of the same great features, but is slightly less expensive with its traditional side-release buckle. I purchased a size Large in both collars, which fit perfect around Bentley’s neck.