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 Sport harness is a bigger, sturdier version of the Adventure harness that we reviewed previously. It has wide and durable straps and buckles, a vertical support handle on the back, and two leash attachment points: a no-pull front ring & a back ring.
All straps are widely adjustable to ensure that their three sizes (small, medium, large) fit all dogs.
The material of the harness is thickly padded and soft. It is constructed from a lightweight, breathable Nylon.
The unusual pattern of the material makes it quick to dry and also provides a unique look to the harness.
The Sport harness has a longer top and bottom part than the Adventure harness. This solves one of the issues that we had with the Adventure harness and leaves more than enough room behind the armpits for free movement.
The support handle is an excellent addition to this harness. It is easy to grab but “folds down” when not used; therefore, it doesn't get stuck on something in the forest and cause injuries.
One aspect of the well-fitting harness that most people don't consider is the width of the chest part. On the photo below, you see how the sides of the padded chest part are touching the inside of the front legs. This does not cause issues for most dogs, but it's something to check if yours have sensitive skin. Even if you don't see any sign of irritation on the legs, you should keep an eye on the movement of the dog to be sure they walk and run the same way with or without the harness. It can cause joint pains if they start taking wider steps with the harness on to avoid rubbing.
An easy way to check this is to play fetch with and without the harness. If you kneel, you can easily compare the steps of the dog when they bring the ball back.
On Mia, the no-pull front ring is positioned low - almost between the legs, which makes it hard to use it effectively. On most dogs, it is easier to use if it is above the chest bone, aligned with the neck-straps and not on the chest piece. Probably it would work better on a broader and deeper chested dog or maybe on a dog who is higher up in the sizing range of the medium harness.
The only quality issue we run into during testing was the same that we experienced with the Adventure harness as well: when Mia is running off-leash with full speed (like playing fetch), the chest straps loosen up after a while. These straps do have additional rubber bands to hold the straps, which does help a little bit. If you can set the slider to the end of the strap, it doesn't slide much, but if you keep it as on the photo below, the strap slowly goes through the slider, and when the dog runs, they pull the access strap through the buckle. This will result in loosening the straps and constantly readjusting the harness. We were not able to reproduce this issue with on-leash walks, and some days it was even fine on off-leash hikes. It's hard to tell how to prevent it 100% because the problem did come back from time to time.
• No-pull correction: It has a robust 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 useful as a training tool. It would work correctly on a broader/deeper chested dog.
• Running/Biking (as an irregular hobby, buy specific equipment if you want to get into it seriously): It leaves room for the front legs, and the ring is on the back of the harness; therefore, it's suitable for giving running/biking with your dog a try.
• 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 can be used to give a lift to the dog when needed. Be sure the chest part isn't rubbing the inside of the front legs.
• City walk: Works well. The two leash attachment points and visibility is excellent for city walks.
• 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 trims, and the color itself is highly visible as well.
During our testing, the Sport harness worked well, dried fast, and did not cause rubbing on Mia at all. We like the unique material that Embark Pets used for this harness, and the color is stunning!
The sewings are strong, and they hold well so far. The rings are not scratched at all either.
We see room for improvement in the position of the front-ring, and Embark Pets is already working on a solution to find sliders with more friction to avoid the issue with the chest straps loosening.
Don't forget that this harness can be only hand washed and needs to be hung to dry! It isn't machine washable!
You can buy all their products on their website.
As always, be sure the harness is a good fit for YOUR dog. If you need help deciding, read our article on harness fitting. Embark Pets gives you a 30 Days Return that you can utilize if it doesn't seem to be the right fit. They also have a one-year limited warranty!
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)