Hiking in the winter is…amazing.
Even if you don’t enjoy cold weather it’s worth a few snow hikes each year. The scenery is unreal. Everything is quiet and still and majestic.
I grew up in Florida, so it wasn’t until several years ago, when we moved to Oregon, that I got the chance to take my dog on an epic 8 hour snow summit of South Sister Peak.
Unfortunately we didn’t have a lot of winter gear for Story, our dog. Fortunately it was early June, so it wasn’t too cold, but if I had to do it over I’d definitely bring either a harness or jacket and pair of boots for Story.
Hurtta Summit Parka
The Hurtta Summit Parka is like a doggy version of a high-end winter coat.
With superior protection from the elements, and full coverage for your pup, this is an excellent coat for extreme cold temperatures where you’ll be on active hikes.
Designed to take advantage of your dog’s natural thermal insulation capacity, the Hurtta is an efficient way to keep their body temperature stable while out in the cold.
It protects all of the most important muscle groups with coverage, while keeping the chest and abdomen area warm and insulated.
It’s made with a water-resistant, breathable coating and high-visibility 3M reflectors for maximum visibility in sleet or snow.
Pros: Full coverage coat, comfortable, machine-washable.
Perfect For: Just about any size pup that likes hiking, even in the cold!
Ruffwear Powder Hound
Our top recommendation for warmth is the Powder Hound. This hybrid jacket offers the warmth of synthetic insulation with the range of motion of technical stretch fabric. The sleeved style provides full coverage for maximum warmth and full range of motion.
It sounds like the Powderhound would be a great option for you in the powdery snow, though if it is going to be very wet, the Cloud Chaser is our insulated jacket with the most weather-proof materials.
The Quinzee is another great choice, with synthetic insulation and side buckles. The vest-style fit and neck zipper provide a custom fit for different dog shapes.
It also packs down into it’s own stuff sack, making it a fantastic option where packability is priority.
Top 7 Winter Hiking Jackets for Dogs
|Rank||Picture||Name||Where to Buy|
|1||Hurtta Summit Parka||See it on Amazon|
|2||Ruffwear Quinzee||See it on Amazon|
|3||Ruffwear Powder Hound||See it on Amazon|
|4||Ultra Paws SnoJam||See it on Amazon|
|5||Ruffwear Climate Changer Fleece Coat||See it on Amazon|
|6||EzyDog Element Jacket||See it on Amazon|
|7||Alpine All-Weather Dog Coat||See it on Amazon|
Winter Dog Hiking Jacket Reviews
We talked about our top 3 picks: Hurtta Summit Parka, Ruffwear Powder Hound, and Ruffwear Quinzee above. Now let’s take a closer look at the remaining competitors.
4. Ultra Paws SnoJam
This Ultra Paws Dog Winter Coat offers your pet ultimate cold-weather protection with the features of a high-end doggy coat.
The outer shell is waterproof, and the inner shell is covered with a super-soft fleece lining. With an adjustable turtleneck, you can ensure your pup is kept warm and snug. Reflective piping allows for visibility at night and in low-light situations.
Seven sizes and two available color options let you find the custom fit for your furry best friend.
Pros: Warm, durable, turtleneck.
Perfect For: All size breeds that need some cold-weather protection.
5. Ruffwear Climate Changer Fleece Coat
The lightweight and versatile Ruffwear Climate Changer Fleece Coat is made with recyclable polyester that provides warmth without the bulk of a heavy coat.
The sleeved style allows for maximum range of motion while keeping your pet’s abdomen and holder of heat, warm.
The side zippered closure allows for easy removal. Quick-drying and layerable, this jacket will keep your pooch warm on crisp, fall walks.
Pros: Sleeved, lightweight.
Cons: May not be warm enough for extremely low temperatures; even though it’s quick-drying, it’s a fleece jacket, so while great for warmth would not be ideal in wet conditions.
Perfect For: Dogs that need a little warmth to be urged outside.
6. EzyDog Element Jacket
Sleek and made for all seasons, the EzyDog Element Jacket is an excellent versatile coat for cold weather.
Made from 600 denier with Oxford polyester panels and lined with comfy fleece, this coat is wind and waterproof to keep your dog dry on sleety day walks.
The side panels are reflective for added visibility, and the waterproof access zipper to attach a leash is hugely convenient. Quick release side buckles and adjustment points make for a custom fit.
Pros: Leash attachment, reflective, warm.
Cons: No arm or neck coverage.
Perfect For: Any size pup that needs protection from crisp, rainy weather.
7. Alpine All-Weather Dog Coat
The colorful Alpine All-Weather Dog Coat comes in a record nine sizes to fit any pup with a liking for snowy hikes.
Designed with a tough, waterproof outer polyester, multiple center layers for insulation, and warm, fuzzy fleece-lined center, these all-weather coats keep your pup warm and dry in the coldest of weather.
A fur-lined collar protects your dog’s neck and the adjustable drawstring hugs to their form and prevents wind from seeping in.
The reflective lining adds visibility, along with the three bright colors options. It even has a D-ring leash attachment with it’s own cover.
Pros: Stylish cold weather protection.
Cons: With the warmth of this coat, the temperature would have to be rather low for your pet to be comfortable.
Perfect For: Snow pups weighing anywhere from 4 – 120 pounds.
How do you know when your dog needs a winter jacket?
We asked a vet and they give us 3 cool (and somewhat funny) tricks to tell if your dog needs a winter coat:
- Stick your finger in their ear. If its cold, they need a coat.
- If they pick a paw up and hold it up, they are cold and need a coat.
- Put a coat on them. If they chew it up, they weren’t cold!
Winter hiking tips
Last, but not least, we spoke to several winter hikers and here’s a few tips they had:
- No cotton. Be sure no cotton is in the mix. Cotton when wet draws heat away from body.
- Many inexpensive fleece fabrics are not wind resistant nor water resistant, which limits their effectiveness outdoors.
- Male dogs definitely need a special cut so belly is covered (and the organs from that side) but pee flies free.