product design

DIG: Behind the Design of the New Trail Runner™ Collection

As a runner with a dog sidekick, trying to combine the two can sometimes be a bit clunky. It’s taken me years to find my own favorite running gear, and finding gear for my canine companion that rivaled my own has been a challenge. And since off-leash runs just aren’t in the cards for us all the time, I’m always on the lookout for finding an on-leash setup that keeps us in sync and moving together with little interference.

Ruffwear’s Trail Runner™ Belt, Trail Runner™ Leash, and Trail Runner™ Running Vest have changed how my dog and I run together. Here's a bit about the design and details that have made all the difference.

Woman and dog trail running together with a mountain in the background

Meet the Trail Runner™ Belt & Leash: Hands-Free Running at its Finest

The Trail Runner™ Belt and the Trail Runner™ Leash are game-changers for logging those miles as a team on leash. The lay-flat design of the running belt is reminiscent of the latest well-loved running belt designs: light padding for comfort, stretch storage for essentials like a phone, keys, pick-up bags, or a soft flask, and a comfortable bounce-free running experience.

To really make sure it’s bounce free, we had our human wear testers run with it and pay attention to its movement while running with their dog both on and off leash. Sure enough, the lay-flat design and snug fit ensure that there’s no bounce no matter how you choose to run with your dog.

Close up of trail runner belt zip pocket with woman putting a snack bar in the pocket

The dog is in the details on this one: there’s a separate leash attachment strap that’s compatible with most leashes with a handle. The strap unclips with an easy-to-use side-release buckle, and you thread the strap through the handle of your leash and clip it back in. Voila — a secure and hands-free running setup.

Studio picture of trail runner belt with leash

The Trail Runner™ Leash is our favorite leash to pair with this belt. It has a dynamic, shock-absorbing design and is the optimal length for running (long enough to give your dog some room, short enough so neither of you are tripping over it).

Paired together, the Trail Runner™ Running Belt and Leash make for a fun run. It's a hands-free way to create a smooth ride even if you and your dog aren't totally matching each other's stride, and it’s a system that’ll have you both excited for your next run.

Man and dog trail running together at sunset in the mountains

The Trail Runner™ Running Vest: Canine-Carried Hydration for the Long Haul

Chances are, you have a favorite running vest. One that fits well, holds your water, doesn’t bounce all over, and maybe even adds a little spring to your step with its “cool factor" (it's okay to admit it).

The Trail Runner™ Running Vest is just that – but for your dog. It opens up new territory by making it easy and comfortable for your running buddy to carry their number one trail essential: hydration.

Close up of dog wearing a hydration vest, and human putting a soft flask of water in the pocket

Mindful design and material choices keep the vest breathable, balanced, and bounce-free. The chest and belly panel are made with an open air mesh material, allowing light, air, and water to pass through easily. The chest and core is where pups transfer a lot of heat, so having that extra air flow makes all the difference when they’re building up heat on the trails. And if they do get wet, they won’t get waterlogged or bogged down mid stride. If you look at popular human running vests, you’ll see very similar material choices — air mesh and stretchy shell fabrics — but we’ve put those in strategic places to account for what a dog needs.

Two zippered side pockets with nozzle notches hold the two included Hydrapak® soft flasks secure, close to their body, and balanced. You can stash a bowl (like our ultralight, ultra-packable Trail Runner™ Bowl) and pick-up bags in the smaller top zippered pocket.

Woman putting small dog bowl in the pocket of the dog's hydration vest

For on-leash running, there’s a reinforced webbing tow loop at the rear of the vest. It’s a strong leash attachment point, optimally positioned for dogs that like to take the lead and maybe even give you a bit of a pull.

Dog wearing a hydration vest and woman running on-leash on a rocky trail together

Made to Move: Prioritizing Comfort & Mobility

Every piece of gear designed by Ruffwear is created with the end-user in mind. With our Trail Runner™ Collection, that’s dogs and humans.

When it comes to running, non-restrictive gear is key to letting dogs (and their humans) move naturally. That’s what keeps you both comfortable and looking forward to your next run – and the one after that, and the one after that.

A man runs with two dogs on leash next to a woman running with a baby in a stroller

Both the Trail Runner™ Belt and the Trail Runner™ Running Vest come in various sizes and colors to meet the needs of different dog and human runners.

Ruffwear’s new Trail Runner™ Belt, Leash, and Running Vest are game-changers for runners, seasoned or new, getting out and covering ground with their tail-wagging sidekicks. They’ve been trail tested and dog approved, inspiring confidence for any adventure you and your dog have ahead.

Ready, set…. Run!