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 they also have a few harnesses more suited for everyday dog walks - like the Rock harness that we are just reviewing ;)
We will start with comparing the Ultra harness to the newer Rock harness for our followers who already read our Ultra harness review. We really enjoyed using the Ultra harness, but its fit wasn't ideal on Mia. The chest section was too broad and short, potentially rubbing the inside of the front legs and the armpits. Non-Stop came out with an updated design that has slight design changes to better fit medium-sized dogs.
You see the Ultra harness on the left and the Rock harness on the right in the photo below. The differences are very easy to see: the chest piece got longer and narrower, and it comes higher up on both sides of the neck. The back piece is also a little longer to keep the chest straps out of the armpits.
Although the top layer is a little darker on the Rock harness, the materials used for both harnesses are eventually the same. A trend that we see with their new products across the board is that they move away from the awesome-looking orange hardware and replace them with Aluminum D-rings. Although many loved the unique orange hardware, it was prone to get scratched up over time, while the new one is much less sensitive.
The general information on this harness will be very similar to our review on the Ultra harness. Still, we will go through everything here for anyone who starts here.
As mentioned above, the Rock harness is geared towards hiking and everyday walks, not pulling sports like most of the harnesses from Non-stop Dogwear. It is a Y-shaped harness with two buckles on the chest strap and four adjustment points for an ideal fit.
The most exciting feature of this harness is the material itself that we already loved when using the Ultra harness. They used a breathable HexiVent material instead of thick mesh padding. This is soft enough not to rub the dog, but it doesn't soak in water, is easy to clean, and is super breathable.
The Rock harness has three leash attachment points: one on the back, one no-pull-loop on the chest, and a loop below the ribcage for attaching a tracking line.
The ornage loop on the front is for no-pull correction:
The loop under the ribcage is an attachment point for tracking lines:
The harness also has an Aluminum D-ring and a handle on the back, and they used Hypalon reinforcements in high-stress areas. The harness also has a 3M reflective lining on the back piece's edges and some on the chest part.
When we got asked about the Ultra harness, we regularly said that this would be our favorite hiking harness - only if the fit would be better on Mia. Then Non-stop came out with the Rock harness, and they fixed basically everything we had a problem with!
We took this harness for many walks and hikes, and it is just perfect. The fit is finally excellent; it leaves just the right amount of room behind the armpits without sitting too far back or sliding/rotating around the dog. In addition, the chest piece is significantly narrower, so there are no concerns anymore around chafing the inside of the legs.
The HexiVent material is unbeatable if your dog likes to swim or gets muddy all the time. It's so easy to dry and clean; it doesn't get stinky and doesn't warm the dog. I could only compare it to Biothane harnesses, but those tend to slide around more and be less stable when used off-leash since they are just straps without much coverage.
While the adjustment points give you a wide range, we did have some trouble with those. Firstly, the neck-straps are highly adjustable, but they have a wide elastic section, making it hard to move the sider over them. The ideal adjustment for Mia meant that the slider needed to be right under the elastic cover. You can move the slider under or above this elastic, but it requires some struggle to pull it through. Once I set them up, they never moved or got loose, but that elastic section makes it hard to set the ideal fit if the slider needs to be right around them.
Our other problem was with the chest straps. After adjusting it correctly, I regularly had to re-adjust it because the straps kept loosening up. After testing a few harnesses, I now think this is a common problem when this shiny “seatbelt-like” material is used for the straps.
Since it was a constant problem even months after we started using it, I reached out to their team, and they recommended the solution you see in the photo below. I just needed to pull the strap through the slider one more time, making the strap's end facing up instead of down. We have used the harness with this solution for weeks now, and it seems it solved the problem. As far as I know, they are planning to update the information on their website in the future to show this solution.
• No-pull correction: While it isn't the main purpose of this harness, it can be used for no-pull training. Actually, among the Y-harnesses with no-pull rings that we tested so far, this harness (and their Line harness, which has the same basic design) worked the best.
• Running/Biking: If it fits your dog well, it is great for bikejorning, jogging, etc., as an occasional hobby, but we suggest buying proper equipment if you want to get into it seriously! This is not a pulling harness, so don't start your dog sledding carrier with this.
• Hiking: It's perfect! It has a handle on the back, doesn't soak in water, and is visible.
• City walk: Works well!
• Easy to put on/adjust: It only has two 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 besides the struggle with the elastic loop on the neck-straps. Don't forget to pull through the straps in the slider one more time to avoid sliding.
• Visibility: it has reflective stripes on the edges, but the harness got darker with the new top layer, so it isn't that visible anymore.
The Rock harness is a minimalistic-looking but unique harness that is very durable and great for outdoor adventures. This is our go-to harness for long and steep hikes, where we also expect to have muddy sections. The small handle is not sticking out too much, but it's enough to give a hand to the dog when needed. If you are looking for a matching collar, the Rock collar is also made from the same HexiVent material and perfectly matches the harness!
As always, be sure the harness is a good fit for YOUR dog. If you need help deciding, read our article on harness fitting. If it left a little more room both behind the shoulders and between the legs, this would be our go-to hiking harness so far!
You can buy all their products on their website and can probably find retailers and stores in your country.
For reference, Mia got a Medium size Rock harness.
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)