Non-stop Dogwear was founded in Norway only ten years ago, and today you can find their products in over 1,000 stores in 22 countries. We love their passion for designing the best-fitting dog harnesses to “release their potential,” as their slogan says. Their focus is on pulling harnesses and other types of equipment for skijoring, canicross, etc. but as today they also have two harnesses more suited for everyday dog walks.
The Protector Vest is a visibility vest created for hunting dogs. The Protector product line contains two other versions of this vest: the Protector Cover is the same as the Vest but without the chest part while the Protector Vest GPS has the chest part and also a big back pocket for GPS or radio transmitters.
The Protector Vest has very visible, bright orange color and also 3M reflection lines - FYI, many of the photos were shot after sunset which shows the visibility but can fade out the colors on some of them.
A hunting-specific feature is the different colors on the two sides of the vest to show from the distance which side the dog is marking. The back corner of the vest is orange on the right side and yellow on the left side.
The back of the Protector Vest has a leash attachment point. It is a small loop thus it does not get stuck on the bushes when the dog is off-leash but it's still easy to attach a leash.
We used it while hiking and it looks durable but due to the position don't expect much control over the dog if you attach the leash there. Again, this was made for hunting dogs or for hiking, not for busy places where you want an attachment point closer to the neck for better control.
The neck part does not have a buckle so it has to go over the head but it does have an elastic band for adjustment.
The two strong buckles on the chest/belly strap are hidden inside the coat which also reduces the chances of getting stuck on a bush but also makes it a little harder to get the vest on the dog.
Besides visibility, the other most important feature of this vest is the chest part with the strong kevlar reinforcement. This protects the dog's chest from sharp branches, rocks, etc when running free. For the best protection, this part is wide which can cause rubbing on the front legs for narrow chested dogs, so be sure to check that the chest part leaves enough room for the front legs!
It can be hard to find a good quality visibility vest that has strong material and it wasn't made for cold weather but the Protector Vest is exactly like that. The material of the Protector Vest is like a strong raincoat: there is no fleece or other soft and fluffy material inside which would get dirty in the fall weather and it does not make Mia hot while running around outside on a nice, warm fall day.
As you see it on the photo below, it is visible from far away and I like that it is a tight fit so it never got stuck on anything.
While you can adjust the neck, it will still stick out a little bit - I guess to be sure it does not put pressure on the lower neck when the dog is sniffing, searching.
The big cut-outs around the shoulders might look weird compared to other vests but it does leave plenty of room for movement to be sure it's not restrictive.
To summarize our experiences with testing the Protector Vest: it is a great quality, durable and visible vest. We tried hard to find something that we did not like in it but haven't had any quality issues or design problems with it so far. ;) We will use it on more hikes and will update the review if we run into any problems!
You can buy all their products on their website and can probably find retailers and stores in your country. They have great videos for each harness on their website to show how it should be positioned on the dog.
The Protector Vest comes in five sizes from XS to XL. For reference, Mia needed a medium.
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)