Embark Pets was founded in 2015 by three friends whose goal was to create the best gear for outdoor adventures. They do rigorous testing on their products and offer a 1-year warranty that covers everything besides chewing!
The Adventure Harness is a sturdy and padded Y-harness with two leash attachment points.
The outside material of the harness is a No-Rip-Nylon, which seems to be durable so far. We tested it on multiple hikes, and there isn't a single scratch or loose thread on it.
The harness also has a simple handle on the back in case your dog needs a hand while out hiking on a steep trail.
Both the chest and the back part of the harness is padded but only the outside, orange material is water repellent. Realistically when the dog goes through mud, the grey (inner) side also gets wet, and that absorbs the water immediately. The orange side is easy to clean: most of the time, I was able to brush the mud when it dried, but properly cleaning the inside is harder - especially since the harness can be only hand washed in warm water.
The harness also has a strong no-pull ring on the front. The inside loop on the photo below is a great little detail. It is a stretchy, elastic piece that absorbs some sock when using it and smoothens out the micro tugging.
To summarize, the Adventure harness is a great-looking and durable harness with adjustment points on all straps for the best fit.
Our first problem with this harness was setting the straps properly. I spent a lot of time tightening and loosening the straps on our first walk, but the truth is that the part between the front legs and on the back is just a little shorter than it should be on Mia. This might not be an issue for other dogs, but in general, you want a bit more room behind the dog's front legs to be sure the harness is not rubbing the armpits.
If I loosened the neck-straps on this harness to move it back on Mia, it just slid around more and was positioned low on the shoulders. If I set the neck-straps properly, the chest straps come closer to the front legs, so you see either of these on all photos while I tried to find the best middle ground.
Another issue with loosening the neck-straps is that the harness will turn a lot more on the dog when the front ring is being used. The no-pull ring is already positioned a little low, which might pull the legs to the side. It works better when the neck part is a snug fit, but then again, the chest straps rubbed Mia's armpits.
If your dog is a strong puller and you mainly use the front-ring, you want to make sure that you can set the neck-straps tight enough so the dog will not step out from the harness or it will not pull the legs to the side while they also have room for free shoulder movement.
The other leash attachment point is in the middle of the back. This always gives you a better steering power if you have to pull the dog forward, but if the dog is pulling on the leash, it turns the harness more compared to a design when the leash is attached farther back on the harness. On the photo below, you see how the neck part slides up, and the chest straps go all the way to the armpits, which wouldn't be comfortable for an everyday walk for a dog who is a strong puller. Having the chest straps in the armpits makes a dog take shorter steps than comfortable and could put more pressure on the shoulder joint in the long run - but again, if you have a strong puller, you would probably use the front-ring more.
The most significant inconvenience with the Adventure harness was the chest straps loosening up when the dog is running. The material of the straps is nice and almost silky, which slowly slide out from the buckles and the sliders. On the photo below, you see the adjustment before going out and 20 minutes later after playing fetch. This requires continuously readjusting the harness, which can be annoying. We haven't seen the issue much when walking on a leash or if the dog trots but definitely shows up due to the tugging on the straps when the dog runs off-leash.
We contacted Embark Pets regarding this issue, and they are working on a solution with their manufacturer and are testing a range of sliders with more friction, so hopefully, this will not be an issue in the future.
• No-pull correction: It has a strong no-pull ring, but it was positioned a little too low on Mia even with proper neck-strap-adjustment and turned the harness too much to be effective as a training tool. It would work correctly on a broader/deeper chested dog. The front-ring even has an elastic piece to make it more comfortable to use.
• Running/Biking (as an irregular hobby, buy specific equipment if you want to get into it seriously): We would prefer a harness with the back ring attached farther back on the dog and more room behind the front legs, but you can use it to give running/biking with your dog a try before deciding to buy a more suitable gear. Be sure it is a good fit for your dog and positioned as it should be.
• Hiking: It's a sturdy and durable harness that probably lasts long, even with frequent hikes. The handle on the back usually lays flat on the harness, but there is a small chance it could get stuck on bushes. The padded parts prevent chafing on the chest, but they also collect a lot of mud. Be sure the chest straps are not rubbing the armpits of your dog, and they leave enough room for full shoulder movement.
• City walk: Works well. The two leash attachment points and visibility is excellent for city walks. Having the leash attachment point in the middle of the back of the harness provides a good steering power and control.
• Easy to put on/adjust: It only has buckles on the chest part, so you have to pull the harness over the head and then use the buckles on both sides to fix the harness. Adjusting is easy, but I also had trouble with the sliders/buckles, letting the straps loosen a bit, as I mentioned before.
• Visibility: it has reflective stripes on both sides, and both the orange and the teal colors are highly visible.
The Adventure harness is made from durable materials with the dog's comfort in mind. We run into a few design issues like the straps sliding out and the chest straps being a little too close to the front legs, but there isn't any sign of wear, tear, or loose thread on the harness after extensive testing. We especially like the vibrant colors of the harness and the strong D-rings for leash attachment.
We feel that this harness is more suited for city walks and no-pull training than for lengthy outdoor adventures. This is purely based on Mia's body type; the harness would be positioned differently on other dogs for sure. Having the chest straps close to the armpits are typical in no-pull harnesses. Since the dog is walking on a leash, they usually take shorter steps; therefore, they need less room around the shoulders. This also provides stability for the harness when the no-pull ring is used. It isn't much of an issue in the city, but you would have different priorities if e.g., you take your dog for a full-day, off-leash hike.
As always, be sure the harness is a good fit for YOUR dog. If you need help deciding, read our article on harness fitting.
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Many of you asked Mia's measurements to better understand the different products’ fit. Your best chance of finding a good fitting gear is always to measure (and remeasure) your dog. Even we grab the measuring tape before getting a new product - even though we tested a lot of them, and have a good feeling of her size by now.
I share her measurements below, but don't go ahead and order the same size just because your dog is similar to Mia ;)
• Shoulder height: 19.5 inches (50 cm)
• Weight: 37-44 pounds (17-20 kg)
• Widest chest circumference (where the most harness would have the chest strap): 25-26 inches (63-65 cm)
• Neck circumference for collars: 15-16 inches (38-40 cm)
• Back lengths: 22 inches (56 cm)