Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Product Review: Martha Stewart Step-In Harness

The Martha Stewart Step-In Harness is a Petsmart exclusive. It is constructed from nylon webbing with a decorative ribbon overlay. This harness is available in a variety of colors and patterns, and four different sizes to fit dogs with chests 9-39" around.
Photo by Erin Koski

Like the Kong-brand products that aren't treats and toys, the Martha Stewart products are Petsmart exclusives intended to capitalize on a famous brand name. While I find the colors and patterns of the Martha Stewart products to be adorable, they often have flaws.

I just don't feel like this harness is all that well thought-out. Many of the Martha Stewart products make me think they were designed by people who were told "make a dog harness that's different". It's not different to solve an existing problem with step-in harnesses, it's just designed different for the sake of being different.

Photo by Erin Koski
This is a size Medium harness, designed to fit dogs with chests 13-23" around. That's 10" difference. Darla is about 21.5" around, so this harness should fit here with more than an inch to spare, right? Unfortunately, the front strap is seriously lacking in adjustability.

Like a lot of nylon harnesses, the strap ends are very bulky. They are doubled over and sewed for an inch where they attach to the hardware. There is also a plastic keeper by the ring to keep the strap from gaping. The doubled section of the strap will not fit through the adjustment slider or the keeper, so there is this triple-thick section that eliminates several inches of adjustment.

The different-for-the-sake-of-being-different part of the Martha Stewart harness is that there is one of these bulky adjustment things on either end of the front strap, with the center strap sewn down in the middle. Each side only adjusts about 1", for a total of 2" difference. It's pretty short. The result is that the buckle tends to sit on the back of the dog's neck, in front of the shoulders.

Pros: Lots of cute colors and patterns, with bows and flowers adorning some of the current models.

Cons: Size range is significantly smaller than advertised due to excessively bulky strap ends.

Bottom Line: This design probably works better on a larger scale where the doubled section doesn't comprise two thirds of the strap.

Have you used any of the Martha Stewart products from Petsmart?

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