Summer in our pack is centered around water activities. Being in the South, if you want to be outside, it’s pretty much a necessity. Because we spend so much time in and around water, water safety is a huge deal to me. Especially when you have a dog who decided to dive bomb into a pool on his first day in your house and demonstrate his less than ideal swimming skills. *cough* Ringo *cough* Not to name any names.
Whether we’re paddle boarding, kayaking, canoeing, or just swimming at the lake, I feel better knowing that my dogs have an extra level of protection if they fall in, swim to the point of exhaustion, or get caught off guard. I highly recommend working with your dog so that they know how to swim (if they aren’t a natural born water-loving dog like Boomer. The girl has gills, I swear), but having a secondary safety net is always a great idea.
*As Alcott ambassadors, we were sent an Alcott Mariner Life Jacket free of charge in exchange for our honest review. This review is based solely on my honest opinions and experiences with this product.
A life jacket has one job, to keep your dog afloat in the water and keep them safe. Our new Alcott Mariner life jacket is very effective, while not being too bulky or inhibiting fluid motions and swimming. 5 stars!
PROS: I love that the Alcott Mariner Life Jacket isn’t really bulky or obtrusive. I don’t feel like it makes Ringo hot or uncomfortable to wear it at all. The material dries pretty quickly, the straps and buckles are holding up to lots of use, and the neoprene belly section is soft and comfortable on the most sensitive area of your dog. The chin float strap is great and really helps to keep their head above water when they swim, and the handle is heavy duty enough to easily life my little meatball up onto my paddleboard or kayak when he takes a swim (intentional or not).
CONS: The only feature that we liked on our old life jacket that the Alcott one lacks is a place to attach a leash. When we go on rivers with some faster current, I like to keep a leash attached to Ringo just in case. This way if he falls in or gets away from me, I can easily grab ahold of it and pull him back to me. I like being able to attach to the jacket so it pulls from his body rather than his neck when attached to a collar. This is the one design change that I would recommend for this product.
My only other disappointment is the sizing. Ringo wears a medium and it fits just perfectly, but I wanted to order one for Roxie and Boomer and was sad to see that Alcott didn’t have size options that would work for them. Available sizes are S-L, and after measuring them, I would need an XS for Roxie’s little self and an XL to accommodate my deep chested hound. I ended up purchasing an Outward Hound jacket for Boomer and will probably do the same for Roxie, as they have a much larger size range available. Hopefully Alcott will expand their size range in the future, as I like the design of their jackets over the similarly priced Outward Hound ones.
Alcott’s life jacket seems pretty well made, especially for the price. Starting at just $26.99, it’s definitely well worth the investment. We’ve used it about 5 or 6 times so far and it’s holding up great. If you’re into whitewater or are going to use it every day, you may want to invest in something a little more rugged, but for our purposes, the Alcott jacket is perfect. For days kayaking on the lake or paddle boarding, I don’t see a reason to spend $70 or whatever on a Ruffwear or similarly priced top of the line life jacket when this gets the job done just fine!
Would we recommend this to a friend?
Yes, absolutely! If you a small to medium/large dog, love water activities, and want to protect your pup without breaking the bank, I would definitely recommend picking up an Alcott Mariner Life Jacket. Check size charts and properly measure your dog to ensure a good fit and have fun out there on the water!
For tips on teaching your pups to SUP or kayak, check out our blog post SUP WITH YOUR PUP!
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Thanks for reading!
Debbie & THE MUTTS