Ruffwear Knot-a-Collar and Knot-A-Leash Review
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The Ruffwear Knot-A-Collar is a collar that takes its’ design features and inspiration from a climbing rope. The Knot-A-Collar utilizes a 7mm rope that is not only strong, but also is packed with reflectivity that you can see from all angles on a short coated dog. The reflectivity is very subtle during the day time and is not obnoxious to look at. Aspen, one of the Airedale Terrier dog testers’ here at AGR has been putting the Knot-A-Collar to the test over the past few months.
The Knot-A-Collar is a buckle free collar. To adjust the collar there are sliding fisherman knots on each side of a aluminum belay plate, which allow you to get a custom fit. After sliding the knots you must then feed the extra rope through the aluminum belay plate to make the collar bigger or smaller. These sliding knots are hard to adjust when the collar is brand new, however over the course of a few months the sliding becomes easier. If you like to remove your dogs’ collar at times for a full neck scratch or rub down, the Knot-A-Collar is not as easy to remove as a buckle collar as you must first slide the knots towards the belay plate and then feed the rope through the belay plate and then slip the collar off by pulling over your dogs head. If you never take your dogs collar off, then this will not be a big deal for you.
There is anodized aluminum V-ring on the opposite side of the belay plate, which provides a secure place to attach your leash. The V-Ring is plenty big to accommodate every type of leash buckle, including a carabiner (which is featured in the Knot-A-Leash). While walking the dogs, we found that the fisherman knots began to move on their own, despite being tightly pulled through the belay plate. As a result, the collar would become loose and we felt that we had less control of Aspen as the collar could slip over his ears mid-walk. Therefore, we would not recommend this collar for anyone who needs to provide a lot of traction at times to their dogs collar for control or leading while walking or running. This collar would be ideal, however, for those that utilize a harness or gentle leader to walk their dogs but want a collar on at all times for identification and vaccination tags. The Knot-A-Collar is very low profile and appears very comfortable for the dogs, as it does not mat and get tangle in Aspen’s fur. Dog tags can also be easily added or removed thanks to the bent-head split ring which translates into not needing a set of pliers every time you want to adjust the tags, which is common with a standard S-shaped hook. You may also choose to add the included silicone tag silencer which keeps dog tags quiet when placed between the tags.
The Ruffwear Knot-a-Collar is available in twilight gray, lichen green, purple dusk, and red rock. Below is a size guide to help you get the correct size for your pooch. Aspen fit within the size large collar and had about 3 inches extra on each side of the belay plate. For extra large breeds, please insure that you measure your dogs neck before ordering as the collar has to be slipped over the head to get on and off. Overall, we had mixed feelings about this collar as it was comfortable for Aspen, yet we typically like to have a bit more stability to the collar if Aspen needs some pressure applied.
If you are unsure about the Knot-A-Collar, you should still check out the Knot-A-Leash because we absolutely loved this product. The Knot-A-Leash is available in two sizes, each have the same length of approx 5.5 ft (when including the handle), however they vary in the sizing of the rope use. Like the collar above, this leash utilizes super strong kernmantle rope to provide a durable, yet light weight leash option. The size small features a 7mm rope, while the large is a tad beefier by incorporating a 10 mm rope. Like the collar, this rope is packed with reflectivity, which we feel is extremely important these days with daylight savings.
The Knot-A-Leash features a locking carabiner to attach to your dogs collar and we have yet to experience any issues with this giving way. The locking feature is nice because it means that no matter the angle, the carabiner will remain attached. The carabiner itself states “max 1100 kg” and I interpret this as the max force that the carabiner can withstand, however I am unsure as to whether the attachment between the rope and carabiner would withstand that force. As for everyday use, I feel that the nylon connection, covered with rubber, has withstood Aspen’s strong 80 lbs of force when directed towards a rabbit or squirrel!
The handle of these lease features tubular webbing which is wrapped around the rope. The handle is a good size and can accommodate wearing gloves, looping through an arm, etc. The webbing does rotate around the rope, however this has not affected the comfort of the handle or control. There is a accessory loop that we use to tie bags onto. We found that the stiffness and strength of the rope teamed with the slightly shorter length of the leash equates to fewer episodes of having Aspen’s leash under his leg or tangled up, a feature that we loved.
So, if you are unsure about the Ruffwear Knot-a-Collar, you should still check out the Knot-A-Leash, which has become Aspen’s #1 leash due to its’ strength and portability. The Knot-A-Leash is available in the same four colors as the collar and allows you to mix and match with some of Ruffwear’s other collars. For more info on these and other Ruffwear products visit www.rei.com/ruffwear or www.amazon.com/ruffwear.