Non-stop Dogwear was founded in Norway 10 years ago, and today you can find their products in over 1,000 stores in 22 countries. What I love in them is the passion for designing the best fitting dog gear that does not restrict their movement at all to help them “release their potential” - as their slogan says.
This dog jacket was developed with some of the world’s best mushers (including Iditarod musher Dallas Seavey) and is now often seen in competitions. It was designed to keep dogs warm even in extreme cold while not restricting the movement when wearing it above a pulling harness.
The Blest Jacket covers more of the dog than any other coat that we tested before. It keeps the main muscle groups warm while it isn’t bulky at all.
This coat was previously called the Primaloft Long Distance Jacket, which refers to the insulation material inside the coat. The jacket has three layers: a waterproof (8 000 millimeters), wind-resistant rip-stop shell outer material, the Primaloft inside material, and an inner lining made with a smooth rip-stop to avoid chafing.
The jacket has a loop at the back, close to the neck, which can be used to attach a leash to it - similarly to the Protector Vest that we tested before. It is not something that you would want to use in a busy city with a fearful/reactive dog since the dog could slide out from the coat. The loop is strong enough to leash the dog while passing someone on an off-leash trail, but doesn't give you much “steering power” since the coat can still slide around on the dog.
The logo on the jacket is reflective, but the jacket itself doesn’t have reflective edges so it's less visible than the Black Jacket.
The Blest jacket doesn’t have elastic loops going around the back legs to hold the jacket in a place like the Non-stop dogwear Beta Pro Raincoat that we reviewed before. The coat stays in place well on most days, but you can also secure it to a long pulling harness or the pulling line/leash by using the velcro loop at the end to prevent it from blowing over in the strong wind.
The Blest Jacket also has an additional windbreaker that protects the dog’s genitals. This is more important for male dogs in case of extreme cold. This “genital guard” is the piece right before Mia’s back legs on the photo below - the one that hangs a little lower. It’s great because you can quickly add or remove it with velcro to adjust the level of insulation. The long velcro parts over the back legs give you the option to position this windbreaker where needed for your dog.
The Blest jacket is an ultra-light and packable race coat for dogs operating in freezing temperatures. It was made for active dogs, but it is also great to keep your dog warm when taking a break on cold days.
This jacket does not have buckles, the neck and chest part is fixed with strong loop and hook fasteners. The chest part has a wide range of adjustment, while the neck only allows smaller adjustments.
We used this jacket over the winter for hikes on cold days. Mia ran through bushes, woods, but still, the soft-looking outer material looks like new. She also had it on during a few playdates when other dogs jumped on her, but they still did not manage to rip the material. After these playdates, we had to wash the coat that you can do in the washing machine on max 30°C (86 Fahrenheit). Tumble dry on a low temperature or just hang to dry.
Looking from the side, it might seem that the jacket is restricting the shoulders, but the coat is open on the front, allowing free movement.
As you see on the photo below, the velcro belly strap of the coat is a little too long for Mia, and it sticks out on the left side. She could have been okay with a smaller size, but don’t forget that this coat was meant to be used over a pulling harness. When we used it above the Freemotion harness, we loosened the fit, and that way the velcro strap was just fine. Having a larger size also provides extra coverage for her hips and her back, where she tends to have issues on cold days.
We were surprised how light and tight-fitting this coat is on Mia. Based on the coverage and the description, we expected something bulkier with a thicker insulation layer. This is the jacket that you can easily put in the bottom of your pack and grab it when needed.
Our only wish is to have a way to prevent the coat from blowing over on windy days. Of course, the coat was designed for sled dogs where attaching the jacket to the back of a pulling harness (like a Freemotion harness) is a perfect solution. That doesn’t help much, though, if you are using it, e.g., on a hike - without a long harness. And again, this is only a small issue since the jacket stays in place well under “normal” conditions, it merely flips up in strong wind.
Since we tested the Black Jacket and the Blest Jacket at the same time, we wanted to write about the differences as well to help to figure out which one to pick for your dog.
Both jackets provide about the same amount of warmth. The blue Blest Jacket has a much warmer fill but has less filling than the black one. This makes the Blest Jacket perfect for hiking/camping because it is even lighter and packable. Both jackets could go over a long pulling harness, and both have a loop at the end of the coat to attach to the harness to prevent the wind from blowing it over.
The Black Jacket is excellent for city walks because the reflective parts are highly visible at night. It can also be a better choice for short-haired dogs because of the extra chest coverage.
The Blest Jacket may be better for thicker coated dogs who may not need the chest coverage but still need to keep the big muscle groups warm. We like that the Blest Jacket covers more of the dog, which is excellent against the windchill. Mia has joint issues, and it seems that she is doing better on cold, windy days when wearing the Blest Jacket.
The Blest Jacket is an incredibly high-quality coat. It is durable inside-out, easy to keep clean, easy to wash, easy to adjust.
This is a perfect coat for long hikes, mushing, etc. for those unusually cold days.
You can buy all their products on their website and can probably find retailers and stores in your country. The coat is coming in 4 sizes at the moment.