Red Bark Shop was born out of Adele’s journey with Whiskey, her first dog, who was later joined by Bourbon - both of them Vizslas. A former visual effects movie artist and photographer, Adele’s life took a turn towards outdoor adventures and backcountry camping, leading to a shift from city life to the mountains. What began as a yearly calendar project evolved organically into an assortment of products, including hiking hats and the sought-after Bravehound sweaters that she imported for sale in North America.
About the Bravehound Technical Gilet Canine Vest
The Red Bark Shop’s Bravehound Technical Vest is designed to fit skinny long dogs like Vizslas, and Pointers, and they are sized for medium dogs and up. It has a high “turtle neck” design, big leg openings, and a zipper all along the back until the neck section (doesn’t fully open the jacket).
The vest’s bottom features a 5k/5k membrane for durability and protection, with upcoming versions set to be upgraded to an even more resilient 10k membrane. The rest of the vest is composed of a blend of 80% wool and 20% acrylic yarn, providing a balance of warmth, breathability, and durability.
Bravehound Technical Gilet Canine Vest Review
The Bravehound Technical Gilet Canine Vest is a very well-made, high-quality vest. The durable bottom part can handle running through bushes and can repel the dew while the back section provides elasticity, and breathability.
The zipper on the back is big enough to be convenient to use and the leash hole on the neck section provides access to the collar. As the zipper only goes to the neck section, you need to pull it over the head and then pull through the legs before zipping the vest in place.
The S vest is a loose fit on Zulu (that is the smallest size it comes in) but this works well as I can layer their Wool Sweater under it as needed or use it separately when she just needs a bit of extra coverage. On bird dogs, the vest is a bit more form-fitting although it is still not a snug fit on most dogs.
See the below photo for the with the Bravehound Bird Dog Sweater under it:
The large leg holes provide a good range of shoulder movement however they go across Zulu’s shoulders. This is more prominent on Zulu as the vest is a bit big on her making the vest sit lower on her neck. I have seen it providing a good fit on some dogs and sitting a bit low/in the armpits for others so it really depends on the dog’s proportion.
As this is not a rigid harness and there is no force pulling it backward like in the case of a cross-shoulder harness, it shouldn’t cause issues for most dogs just something to keep an eye on and evaluate how freely your dog moves while wearing it.
One thing to consider if you also have a dog who sheds heavily is that you might run into the hair sticking to the top section of the coat. This was only annoying as I could only remove them one by one, and was unable to just brush them off from the material. This is not a significant issue by any means, it just makes the otherwise elegant-looking vest a bit disheveled looking.
The Bravehound Technical Gilet Canine Vest is a well-made, versatile vest that we used heavily over this season and didn’t run into any quality issues. An XS size would definitely fit Zulu better but as the S was the smallest size, we made this one work. I liked how it is a fully functional standalone vest while it also seamlessly fits over their sweater allowing to easily layer up.
Where to buy
Many of you asked for the dog’s measurements in reviews to better understand the different products’ fit, so I’m sharing Zulu’s below for reference.
Shoulder height: 19 inches (50 cm)
Weight: 29 pounds (13 kg)
Widest chest circumference: 24 inches (60 cm)
Neck circumference for collars: 14 inches (35 cm)
Back lengths: 18 inches (46 cm)