About Embark Pets
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!
About the Illuminate Reflective Set
The Illuminate Reflective Set consists of an adjustable H-style harness, a collar, and a leash so you can have a complete matching, high-visibility set. They are made up of Nylon Webbing with an ultra-reflective material allowing the dog to be seen from over 300 feet away by car headlights.
The harness is strength tested, surpassing national pulling strength guidelines by over 100 lbs in every size. For example, the medium dog harness has a pulling strength of 402 lbs (182 kg).
The harness has one plastic buckle on the chest strap, and all four straps offer a wide range of adjustments for the ideal fit. There is one leash attachment point on the back of the harness.
The leash and collar perfectly match the harness in material, width, and style. The leash is 5 feet long and comes in two widths: 3/4" (2 cm) and 1" (2.5 cm), while the collar comes in three sizes.
Illuminate Reflective Harness Review
The Illuminate Harness is a minimalistic, low-profile harness that still provides good visibility. Zulu was in a weird puppy stage when we received it, so the neck section was too big for her for months (as shown in some of the photos) even though she was in the middle of the chest circumference range of the size chart.
Even though the harness has only one buckle, it still stayed in place fairly well and didn’t rotate much during off-leash times. This might be because the whole harness is very light or because the slider on the opposite side of the buckle balances out the asymmetrical weight.
The connection of the neck straps to the part between the front legs is on a ring which allows the neck straps’ angle to accommodate the dog’s neck, which is a nice touch to make the harness more comfortable for dogs with a different built.
The Illuminate harness provides a good range of motion for the shoulders, and the simple webbing between the front legs prevents chafing on the inside of the legs. The webbing is padded, but the narrow design cannot distribute the weight on the chest as well as a harness with a broader chest plate - which might chafe the legs in return. Using only a webbing between the front legs also allows more room for the harness to slide to the side when pulled by the leash, but the rotation still wasn’t significant on Zulu.
Functionality Review of the Illuminate Reflective Harness
No-pull correction: It doesn’t have a no-pull ring. Technically you could attach the leash to the front ring holding the straps, but it was not designed to be used that way.
Running/Biking: This is not a pulling harness, but you can use it if the dog is running in a heel. The lack of padding makes it unsuitable for pulling sports.
Hiking: It’s a sturdy and durable harness that probably lasts long, even with frequent hikes. The streamlined design minimizes the chance of the dog getting stuck on something in the woods, while you can still use the back webbing to lift the dog if needed. The harness dries fast and doesn’t collect much mud, so it’s a low-maintenance option for muddy hikes.
City walk: Works well; the visibility is excellent for evening walks in the city.
Easy to put on/adjust: It only has one buckle on the chest strap, so you have to pull the harness over the head and then lift one leg to pull it over the strap before securing the harness with the buckle. Adjusting is easy, and the sliders stay in place well after adjustment.
Visibility: Highly visible!
The Illuminate Set was a great choice to get Zulu used to wearing a harness. The minimalistic design is comfortable for gear-shy dogs who don’t mind the fuss of putting on a harness with only one buckle. I like that it dries quickly and is very light, making it an excellent option for summer adventures.
The leash is also padded and is more “rigid” than most leashes; however, I had less trouble with it getting tangled in Zulu’s legs.
The biggest selling point of this set is clearly its visibility which is outstanding not only in complete darkness but also in low-light situations.
Where to buy
As always, be sure the harness is a good fit for YOUR dog. If you need help deciding, read our article on harness fitting.
Disclaimer: this review contains an affiliate link, which supports Dog Gear Review if you purchase the product after clicking on it without costing you anything extra. Using affiliate links will never compromise us writing unbiased, honest reviews!
Zulu’s measurements at 6-months
Many of you asked for the dogs’s measurements in reviews to better understand the different products’ fit. I share Zulu’s measurements below, but always double-check your pup’s measurements before ordering!
Shoulder height: 17.7 inches (45 cm)
Weight: 22 pounds (10 kg)
Widest chest circumference (where the most harness would have the chest strap): 20 inches (50 cm)
Neck circumference for collars: 11 inches (28 cm)
Back lengths: 16 inches (40 cm)