As with most adventure dog owners, we strive to bring equal parts enjoyment, safety, and comfort to our canine companions. Whether that be harnesses for added visibility, paw and eye protection for harsh environments, or packs to carry EDC items, preparation is key for any extended duration in the wilderness.
Milo and I are product testers for our good friends at Whyld River, an adventure dog gear startup based in Portland, OR. For our backpacking trip to Marmot Pass, we knew we would be encountering various conditions, including snow, so we brought along their prototype Whyld River Doggie Bag (L) for product testing.
Rachel Bauman, the CEO, started this company in response to her pup River blossoming from a shy shelter dog to a confident and energetic outdoor adventurer. Together, they help support local rescues and business. Currently they have launched the Kickstarter for their WhyldRiver Doggie Bag and for every 10 units sold, one will be donated to the Portland Animal Welfare Team. The final product is scheduled to be released to the public in Fall of 2018.
Current product specs
- Large size: 50” x 36”
- Large weight: 2.5 lb
- Modular sleeping bag with a removable quilt top
- Bottom “bed” portion has a pocket to insert a foam sleeping mat (up to 20″ wide and 1″ thick, sold separately)
- Comes in a stuff sack
- Material is airy and cushiony – definitely great for comfort
- Size is perfect for our 80 lb dog to curl up on
How we used it
Milo is an 80 lb German Shepherd-Husky mix who carries his own EDC items on backpacking trips. We were hoping to see if we could rig the doggie bag to his harness pack, but could not balance it properly on his back with the edition that we had. We are now collaborating with Whyld River to create a mechanism so that this becomes possible.
We tested it at home first so Milo could get used to it. He loved using it as a regular bed, which he laid down on with the two pieces attached. However, he has a tendency to get up and move around to different spots during the night, which he has done on previous trips in a tent.
On our overnight to Marmot Pass, having a designated spot for Milo to ‘place’ and rest was very helpful. He knew that was his spot and it helped keep him out of trouble while we were busy setting up or cooking. At night, we split up the top and bottom portions and laid the bottom portion between us two humans. We used the quilt portion as a blanket and since it is completely modular, that helped us button it over his body as we saw fit. As suspected, Milo did not stay in one spot all night and ended up curling by one of our feet (probably not to be more comfortable, but out of clinginess). So we unbuttoned the quilt portion and used it as a blanket for him for the remainder of the night.
- Very comfortable: it was great to have a place for Milo to rest during the day that wasn’t in the dirt or around branches/rocks, which he tends to chew on when he gets bored
- Warm: the box pattern trapped heat, protecting him from the near freezing, low-30° weather
- Durable: the feel is thick but not too bulky. The outer material can withstand being placed on sharp terrain that includes sticks and rocks and also hold up against dog nails when walked on
- Modular: very versatile design that can be modified for different camping situations
We are working with Whyld River to improve upon the current design and material. Some things that we are discussing include:
- Weight: The next prototype will be lighter, but may sacrifice some warmth and comfort.
- Stitching: A new stitching method will be tested for its ability to retain heat even with a more lightweight material
- Seasonal bags: Different bag parameters depending on season of use
- Packability: A compression sack is in the works for those of whom space is an issue
- Harness pack: We are working on some kind of mechanism that will allow dogs to carry their doggie bag with their backpacks
- Improving snap buttons
- Color offerings
Overall, we love this bag! It’s an innovative design that takes research for human products and re-purposes it for our canine companions. In fact, the adaptability is what sets this doggie bag apart, since a traditional one piece bag probably would have been too restrictive for Milo. It definitely worth bringing along especially if your dog has trouble regulating his or her own body temperature, is anxious and needs a place that is their own, or is elderly and achy but still adventurous. We’re confident that we and Whyld River will be able to produce a superb final product that can meet the needs of every canine explorer!
Interested in becoming a product tester or want to help back this kickstarter? The first 100 pre-orders get 10% off!