Best Dog Hunting Vests Reviewed and Rated
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. As a serious hunter, there is a tremendous amount of time and work that’s required on your part to ensure that you’re as properly equipped as possible. Starting out as a new hunter can certainly seem like a very daunting tasks right from the get-go, and if you happen to fall in that boat, do your best to not let it overwhelm you. Even the most experienced and seasoned hunters still have new things to learn every single day, and while that may seem like an annoyance, it’s actually one of the best aspects of hunting that exists. There’s always something new to learn, there’s always a skill of yours that you can work on improving, and you’re never done learning or growing with this hobby.
Among all of the things that you need to keep in mind as a hunter, one of the most important ones has to do with your gear. Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been hunting for a few years, making sure that you’ve got the proper gear on you when you go out to hunt is one of the most important things that you can do. This not only helps to ensure that you have as enjoyable of a time as possible, but will also make you as safe as possible at the same time.
Our Top 3 Picks
- SafetyPUP XD
- 300D Fabric
- Naturally Reflective
- IMK9 Reflective
- 1000ft Visibility
When it comes to hunting gear, some items are quite obvious and others are a bit mysterious. Not all gear that exists is required, as certain gear is only necessary depending on the type of hunting trip you’re going on. For example, if you go hunting at night, a solid hunting flashlight will come in handy a great deal. However, if it’s daytime and sunny, it won’t really serve you any good purpose at all.
A lot of hunters use hunting dogs to take with them, and while this isn’t a style that everyone follows, it sure can make for some of the most enjoyable hunting you’ll ever have. Owning and training a solid hunting dog can be one of the most rewarding experiences out there, and taking him or her out to hunt with you is unlike any other hunting experience that exists. However, just like your gun and yourself, your furry friend needs their own equipment to keep them safe and happy while out on the hunt as well.
When it comes to properly equipping your dog with the gear that they need, one of the most important things that you can buy is a hunting vest for them. Hunting vests help keep your dog(s) warm and safe during cold weather and other harsh conditions, and they really are necessary for many hunting trips. However, this might be a bit of gear that’s entirely new to you. We get that, and that’s why we’ve created this guide. We’re going to go over everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the best hunting vests for your dog, including the top 10 ones that money can buy, frequently asked questions, the best brands out there, and more.
We sure do have a lot of ground to cover today, so without any further ado, let’s go ahead and get things started.
As your dog wears his or her vest a lot when they go out hunting with you, it’s only natural for it to get dirty. When this happens, you’re going to want to make sure that you clean it regularly and properly. Some vests aren’t machine washable, so make sure you check to see that it’s okay to throw it in your washing machine before you accidentally ruin it!
10 Best Dog Hunting Vests
1. SAFETYPUP XD
High visibility even in the darkest conditions
Rip and tear resistant
Reinforced stitching for extra durability
Sizing may be a bit off
2. NATURALLY SIMPLE
You won’t believe the price of this vest once you look at it, and the fact that Naturally Simple Pets was able to pack in so much into such a little price tag is simply astonishing.
Best value for money
Sizes run a bit big
3. IMK9 REFLECTIVE
The vest easily slips on and off, and there’s a large Velcro option for getting as secure of a fit as possible. The design of the vest is also incredibly unique and stylish, and looks quite a bit different from everything else on the market. Pricing could be a drawback, but again, this is a worthy investment if you have the cash to cover it.
1000+ ft visibility
Water and wind resistant
Maintains body temperature
May run small
4. PETFLECT REFLECTIVE
Velcro fasteners allow the vest to be fully adjustable, and the vest is rated to be visible from more than 500 feet away. Owners of the vest have said that it’s one of the most reflective options out there, and as good of a thing as that is on its own, it’s even more impressive when you consider the lower cost of this particular item. You may not be getting as many features as you can with some of the more expensive options out there, but for something that’s going to keep your dog safe and secure during any hunting session, this is one of the best choices you have – no matter the price.
500 ft visibility
Lightweight and breathable
5. GOOBY PADDED
The vest is machine washable for added convenience, and it comes it sizes ranging from XS, S, M, L and XL. And, as a nice bonus, there are numerous color options included as well (Blue, Green, Pink, Purple, and Red). The cost here is a bit on the expensive side of things, but the quality being offered is simply undeniably and easily worth the slightly increased cost.
Padding for extra warmth
Different color options
Low nighttime visibility
6. AVERY STANDARD
To round all of these feature out, the Avery Standard Dog Vest features flotation protection so that you can know your dog will always be as safe as possible, even if they happen to wander into a stream or river. The camouflage color means that it isn’t quite as visible as the other options we’ve looked at so far, so if that’s something of big concern to you, it could make this option a deal-breaker.
Made from 3mm neoprene
Ideal for cold climate hunting
Low visibility due to camo print
Also, the included collar makes a return with the XL option. It still offers that same great hi-visibility, and just like the other DOGOC vest, it can be easily and quickly removed so you can add your favorite collar that your furry friend has grown accustomed to wearing.
Protects against irritations and abrasions
Numerous owners for this vest have said that it’s one of the best products they’ve ever purchased for their dog, and it’s priced quite a bit lower than the DOGOC option we previously looked at. This is a vest that’s more than likely going to be best-suited for use during hot weather, so if that’s going to be the kind of weather your dog will be out with you the most in, this is definitely going to be one of your best choices.
Cooling effect for hunting in hot weather
Lightweight and breathable
Manufactured with high quality material
Sizes run big
9. DOGOC II
There’s even a collar included with this vest, and it offers fantastic hi-visibility with reflective tape. However, if you want to use a collar that you already own, it can be easily swapped out without any hassle at all. As we mentioned earlier, this vest does cost a bit more than the Remington option, but as you can see, spending a few more dollars can really make a difference in all of the features that you can get.
Made with high quality material
Owners of this vest have said that it’s lasted a great deal of heavy use, and that it’s performed surprisingly well for the affordable price that it comes equipped with. It does a great job at keeping your dog’s chest both clean and warm, and it certainly is worth taking a look at.
Two sizes (medium and large)
Full chest coverage
The use of a dog vest is important for the many advantages they offer to your pet in the face of changing weather and hunting conditions. Your dog vests should remain in one piece as you face different scenarios in your hunting expeditions.
During a hot day, a vest with an inner mesh will help your dog cool down after running around and getting exerted. The combined effects of the wind and prevailing temperature cannot be taken for granted when choosing a vest for your pet.
The preferred dog vests are the ones that the pets wear like a backpack and with a good edge on the design, they will be flexible and durable. Tactical vests are often used for military purposes and they come with accessories like extra pouches, handles, and buckles. The pouches can be used to carry along a few items as you go on your hunting sessions.
There are some qualifying criteria that should be reviewed when considering the dog vest of your choice. The same criteria were used by our team when choosing the items to include in our top 10 list.
In determining the material quality for the dog vest, you need to note that it should be one that is lightweight. This is crucial so that your dog is not laden with extra weight that will impede its movement as it forages through thickets and shrubs.
The quality of the material should be such that is sturdy so that you do not have to bother about it getting torn apart with every contact with thorns. This explains why the best-recommended dog vest is either made of neoprene or nylon.
The two mentioned materials can be used across the seasons so that when winter comes; you are not faced with a freezing dog that is too cold to run. When the dog wades through water, nylon fails to absorb water and dries out fast to keep the dog warm.
One of the advantages of a hunting vest is the provision of warmth to keep the dog safe and warm during a drop in temperature. If your dog needs to go through water bodies as you hunt, it will be necessary that the dog is kept warm after getting exposed to water. After shooting a bird, it might land in a pool of water or a pond, and this means that your dog must run and retrieve it for you.
The dog allows you the privilege of staying warm in this case and you should return the favor by procuring for it a well-insulated dog vest. Neoprene vests are noted to have inner foam linings and are often recommended for dogs that are involved in duck-hunting. If you use a boat, make sure that the vest has a handle on it so that you can easily lift the duck into your boat.
You need to take into consideration that as the dog uses the vest, it will get soiled and will require some laundry. In view of this, you are going to have to wash it. A flimsy material will wear off after a washing it a couple of times. And the more durable the material is, the better it will be worth your choice.
The use of a nylon vest is recommended as a result of the ease of flexibility, which aids the dog’s free movement. Nylon will protect the dog from thorns and thistles as it forays deep into the wild.
The fit of your dog vest is important, and closely aligned to this is the need to have handles on them. Since the variety of dog vests are pre-sized, you need a clear idea of your dog’s chest circumference while taking into consideration the front legs. You will also get some vests that are sized based on the circumference of the dog’s neck and this is a worthy indication to note. The dog’s stomach up to the fore section of the back legs also provides an index of size when choosing a vest for your dog. The right fit of vest is very important so that your dog will not end up tagging along with a drooping vest in tow. A loose vest will not offer the warmth that the dog will require when temperature changes set in. The reverse is also to be avoided as a tight grip will inhibit the dog from moving spritely and this will impose some discomfort on the pet.
A little adjustment is recommended around the dog when a vest is strapped on it. A buckle, strap or some Velcro effect will put the adjustment within acceptable and comfortable limits.
The reflective vests are the most sought-after and recommended. The reason is not far-fetched; you want to be able to spot your dog as it runs wide afield. If this is the case, you do not want to get a vest that blends with the vegetation.
Buyers of dog vests seem to have an overwhelming preference for the most visible brands and designs. Most vests will reflect differently as a result of the materials that were used in their design. Having a clear idea of the hunting scenarios for your dog will be a good indication to use when choosing your dog vest.
The cost of a dog vest falls within the $30 to $50 band for most brands. It is easy to think that the costlier a dog vest is, the better it will be in terms of durability or serviceability. This view might be wrong or inaccurate as you need to go through the indices above as a starter.
It can be frustrating to spend a lot of money on a gear that will end up as poorly serviceable. On this score, if you are going to get a dog vest that is on the high-end, make sure it is serviceable. If this becomes the case, then you will have a good return on the money you spent in procuring it.
Q. Do all hunting vests for dogs feature reflective properties?
The majority of them do. Although this isn’t necessarily guaranteed, the vast majority of hunting vests for dogs will include this. It’s still important to keep an eye out for it, but most vests you take a look at should come equipped with this feature.
Q. How can I tell if a vest will fit my dog?
All hunting vests are made differently, so the best way to go about making sure it will fit your dog is by looking at the sizing chart or list the vest. Most manufacturers offer this either on their listing on line or on their website, so finding the perfect size shouldn’t prove to be too difficult.
What steps do I need to take before buying a dog vest?
The most important thing you need to consider before buying your dog vest is the size of the dog. However, it could be difficult to just look at the dog, and then order the right vest. So, you may need to measure the dog first.
Areas you will need to measure will include the circumference of the neck. Make sure that you measure the dog’s girth at the point which is the widest from her chest. Once you have these numbers, measure the dog from the collar right to the place where the tail begins. Once you have these two measurements, it becomes easier to select the right vest for the dog from charts of manufacturer websites. Knowing the weight of the dog could also be helpful. While this information can be helpful especially when you are buying the vest online..
You’ll also need to consider the reason why you are buying the hunting vest. Mostly you are either buying it to keep the dog warm in low temperatures or you want it to be visible when you are hunting. If the idea is to keep the dog visible, then you need a color that you can see easily such as orange.
How do I know that the dog vest is fitting properly?
If the vest is full-coverage style, it should fit the belly and neck comfortably. Ensure that the fit is snug but not tight. If the vest is not getting to the base of the dog’s tail, it may actually be too small. It’s best that you select a vest that is easy to put on and take off. Most vests will also be adjustable so that if the dog gains or loses a bit of weight, you can still use it.
You may discover that if the dog is wearing a vest for the vest time, it may show a level of discomfort. This is normal, however, dogs have a way of getting used to these things in a matter of minutes.
How Do I Get My Dog Used to a vest?
When your dog wears a hunting vest for the first time, it may scratch and roll around. Train the dog to use the vest while still around the house. Once it has the vest on, ensure that it remains occupied. You can give the dog a dummy or play its favorite game with her until the dog feels completely comfortable in the vest. You may need to repeat this process for a few more times before your hunting trip.
Which material is best?
You will notice that there isn’t much variety when it comes to materials for dog vests. However, it is important that the material used for making dog vets is lightweight. Also, the material should be strong, since one of the reasons why your dog needs a vest in the first place is for some level of protection.
Most dog vests are made from nylon or neoprene. Nylon is preferable because it is breathable and also water resistant. On the other hand, Neoprene helps to keep the dog warm even when wet.
How to Make the Best Decision
So, with all of that information now laid out, how can you go about making the best decision when you go out to purchase a new hunting vest for your dog? While we dived into a lot of info, the process itself really isn’t all that difficult.
When you go shopping, you want to make sure that the vest is going to fit your dog. That should be your first thing to check out. From there, take a look at what kind of features they come equipped with. Is it going to be reflective/visible enough? Does it feature waterproofing? Is it easily adjustable? It might seem like a lot at first, but once you get started, you’ll have a general idea of what to keep an eye out for.
As for price, you don’t necessarily need to spend a lot of money for a quality vest, but doing so will ensure that you get the best of the best. It is very possible to spend a very small amount of money for something that’s still going to be very serviceable, so if you don’t have a lot of extra cash to burn, you can rest easy on that front.
At the end of the day, know what your budget is, find something that’s going to be safe and comfortable for your dog, and you’ll be all set.