Saturday, December 20, 2008

Ruffwear Palisades and Approach dog backpacks

The kidz, flat out after an evening walk.. 
The dry run without load had turned out pretty okay.. 
My kidz with their new pack
The Coonster with her Ruffwear Approach pack
Sir Clifford McNaughty, last of the Polar Explorer wannabe and his new doggy backpack

My dreams to outfit our Siberian Huskies with dog backpacks were realised this morning. After patiently waiting for two years, the packs arrived with my wife from Melbourne, Australia.
We paid a premium for the items - one advanced and one intermediate backpack. After doing some extensive research, I narrowed it down to three backpack manufacturers from the US.
They were Mountainsmith, Kelty and Ruffwear. The last company, being a 100% dedicated producer of dog gear became my top choice.
Their packs - model Palisades (top-end with very high ratings) and the Approach (this one came up tops in the beginner category) were my picks. 
Each pack was sold at USD$49.95 (Approach) and USD$99.95 (Palisades). Since I didn't know anyone in the US who could ship it over to Malaysia, I made a deal with my wife to get it from abroad.
Three weeks ago, we decided to seal the deal with an on-line store in New South Wales in Australia to get the packs shipped from its location to Melbourne.
It arrived with all the stuff we've ordered plus some doggie treats thrown in. Michelle told me that she was blown away with the construction of the packs. 
We also ordered a set of leash to replace our ageing ones (it will be used as anchors).  When I fitted the packs, the kidz took an instant liking to it, especially Sir Clifford McNaughty - last of the Polar explorer wannabes. 
Our Coonkid on the other hand, resisted in the beginning, but after making some adjustments with, she too became naturally bonded with her new pack.
Naughty's Palisade's pack, which is one of the most advanced dog backpack ever made, came with a removeable harness. 
It also has a compartment with two hidration bladders. Since the Polar explorer is the strongest of the lot, he will be hauling some food and water in our trail workouts.
After a dry run at our own 1.5km circuit, I found that the front harness near the chest and shoulder area was too loose.
I made some adjustment by cutting the sewn seam and with this modification, it gave Naughty a snug fit.
This is the same with Queenie's Approach pack. Her  bag was a much simpler design. It came bare and offered two sleek and streamlined compartments to enable pooches to carry their own food and water.
I think a platypus collapsilbe canteen would suffice in place of a set of hydration bladder. 
The packs are made in the Philippines. I think it came from the same contract manufacturer who did the Camelbaks. 
Anyways, with the modifications made, our first trail will be the Gasing hill hike on Xmas, so, stay tuned!
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