About Non-stop Dogwear
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, functional dog products to help “release their potential,” as their slogan says. Their focus is on pulling harnesses and other equipment for skijoring, canicross, etc. but today, they also have a few harnesses more suited for everyday dog walks.
Why would a dog need a life jacket?
While life jackets can be a lifesaver for many dogs in many situations, not all dogs need one. So how do you know if it would be helpful for yours?
Let’s start by talking about dogs with medical conditions, joint issues, or just bad swimming techniques that need a life vest’s extra help. There are also dogs doing hydrotherapy as part of their rehabilitation, where life jackets are regularly used. It’s clear that these dogs can benefit from a life jacket that helps them keep in a proper swimming position and let them safely enjoy some low-impact exercise.
How about a healthy young dog? They can benefit from a life vest the same way as small kids who can already swim. If you take your dog on a boat or kayak, they can unexpectedly fall in the water, and the cold water can cause shock to their body. Accidents can also happen when dogs jump in the water or play around it, hit their heads, and lose consciousness. It’s also possible for a good swimmer to enjoy their water time too much and not stop when their muscles get tired. This can cause muscle cramps that can be fatal if the owner cannot get to the dog in time.
Many people think that life jackets are just fancy gadgets and our dogs (and wolves) lived happily without them in the past. While this is true, we also have to keep in mind that our dogs’ lives have changed so much. We take them with us on longer trips on the water on a SUP or kayak; we train them in dock diving; we take them to dog beaches where we play fetch with them all day. All these are very different situations from a dog (or wolf) just enjoying some time around the water by themselves. These changes in their lifestyle require new solutions from our side as well to help our dogs safely accompany us on all these adventures ;)
The details of the Protector Life Jacket
The Protector Life Jacket is a truly unique and innovative life vest. Most life jackets are bulky and “rigid,” so Non-stop put the freedom of movement in the center of the design concept to create a safe and comfortable product.
The SAFE-R buoyancy construction makes the dog very stable in the water, while the split side panel sections make turning much easier. The foam panels are placed higher up on the side than their previous Safe Life Jacket because that’s where they help the most with buoyancy while they don’t create unnecessary resistance under water.
Another new feature is the HexiVent material on the back that makes the Protector Vest breathable. This helps with drying and avoiding overheating if, e.g., the dog wears the vest in the sun on a boat.
The vest has one leash attachment point on the back (the blue loop), and two additional (orange) loops on the sides that can be used during a water treadmill session for rehabilitation or to control direction while swimming.
There is also a sturdy, easy-to-grab handle on the top to help lift the dog back into the boat or SUP. A wide belly section goes under the dog to distribute the weight while lifting them, which is adjustable and secured by both a velcro system and straps with buckles.
The inside of the life vest is lined with a mesh material that makes it more breathable and comfortable. The life vest dries very fast and doesn’t soak in water, keeping it light even while wet.
Protector Life Jacket Review
The Protector Life Jacket is a truly innovative life vest that creates a new standard on the market. I liked its features when the first videos and photos came out, but it still exceeded my expectations in real life.
Every detail of this life vest is well-made, tested, thought-through, and shows that it was designed by people who wanted to bring something excellent to the market.
I like to have a life jacket on Mia because she loves the water but has a weird swimming technique and usually swallows a lot of water when swimming without a vest. I also like the additional safety of a life vest because of all her health issues - a floatation vest gives valuable extra time when you need to rush into the water to help a dog.
The Protector Life Jacket gives just the right amount of support that helps to keep her head above water without making her swimming technique awkward. The split panels make it feel much more comfortable, and Mia has an easier time turning and moving both onshore and in the water.
Since both the neck and chest straps are adjustable, it’s easy to create an ideal fit for most dogs. This Protector Life Jacket is minimalistic where that’s beneficial, while it’s packed with extra features that no other life jacket offers on the market at the time of this review.
I really like how it doesn’t restrict Mia and gives her shoulders plenty of room to move. The neck straps go high enough to clear her shoulder area while the jacket stays in place perfectly, even with the dog running around on the beach and getting in and out of the water, shaking, etc.
For a reference, Mia needed size 5, which is the same size we used from the Line harness and the Freemotion harness, so if you have any of those, it’s probably a good starting point to figure out your dog’s size.
This exceptional life jacket keeps the dogs safe and comfortable, makes lifting them from the water easier, and is highly visible. This life vest fits like a glove, is not bulky, doesn’t restrict movement, and dries incredibly fast, which are all crucial features when thinking about the ideal life vest.
We barely have a review without mentioning cons for a product, but so far, I couldn’t find any cons to bring up while using the Protector Life Vest. Since we received the life vest at the end of summer, We will continue using it through the end of this season and at the beginning of the next one to ensure we properly tested it out. We will update the review if we encounter any quality or functionality issues as we go, but we are impressed with the design and quality so far!
Where to buy & Code
You can buy all their products on their website and probably find retailers and stores in your country.
We are happy to announce that we have an ongoing collaboration with Non-Stop Dogwear! You can use the code “DogGearReview” to get 20% off sitewide globally! Using affiliate links will never compromise us in writing unbiased, honest reviews, while it is a way for you to support our work while also getting a discount.
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)