Sunday, October 26, 2014

Product Review: Ruffwear Roamer Leash, 2014

The Ruffwear Roamer is a leash made from stretch webbing. This year's model features Ruffwear's patented Talon Clip that allows it to be attached and removed with one hand. The current Roamer comes in four colors and two sizes, medium stretches from 5.5 to 7 feet, large stretches from 7.3 to 11 feet.
Photo by Erin Koski

I've owned a couple of Roamer leashes for several years now, and found them pretty neat. My original leash makes a great gangline for attaching to a pulling harness, and works ok for running though I find it a bit long. My biggest complaint was that my first Roamer leash was beginning to lose its stretch, the elastic was getting all worn out at the end near the clip. I've been having a lot of fun contacting companies about their products, so I went ahead and shot Ruffwear an email. I mostly just wanted to let them know that their product appeared to have a shelf life, given that my leash was only used occasionally and was basically in mint condition. Their response was to request a picture, and when I sent it they declared it to fall under their lifetime guarantee and sent me enough store credit to replace my leash.

This new Roamer is a fantastic improvement, they basically fixed all of my issues with the original. My size medium leash is the perfect length, long enough for running but short enough to not drag on the ground. I really like the Talon Hook on the handle portion, it doesn't require squeezing to open. I mostly wear this as an over-the-shoulder leash, which keeps Briz close enough to stay out of trouble. I love the new Wavelength stretch webbing, but time will tell whether it holds up or does what every stretchy this eventually seems to do. Seriously, nothing stays elastic forever.

Pros: Perfect length for hands-free use, absorbs shock nicely. The new custom hardware is sturdy and easy to use even when my hands hurt. It comes in pink!

Cons: Not everybody loves the Talon Hook on the handle, and the handle/belt section fits perfectly on my 5'3" 140lb body so may be too small for larger people to use the same way.

Bottom Line: The new Roamer gets a whole lot more use than my original. I still use the old one for teaching Ulysses to pull, but the new one also works as an everyday leash.

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