The Good: Made in the USA with rock climbing rope makes this leash more durable than most (and a ton of cool color options!).
The Bad: Because of the material the leash is a little heavier than most leashes and not quite as pliable (for wrapping around your hand, etc.)
The Pawtom Line: The quality of the leash material (climbing rope) combined with the cushy grip and ability to switch to a short handle makes this leash perfect for any strenuous outdoor activities (i.e. hiking).
Courtesy of Rope Hounds we recently tested the Twist & Shout (4′) Urban Leash.
We hike a lot in Oregon, and have always seen lots of climbing rope leashes. Many homemade, some made by companies like Rope Hounds or Ruffwear. And even though we’re climbers as well, it wasn’t until recently that we actually used a climbing rope leash with our dogs.
First thoughts: this leash is A LOT tougher feeling than most other leashes we’ve used.
Let’s talk durability
As we mentioned above all Rope Hounds leashes are handmade in the US with “durable rope and enhanced trigger hardware.”
Typically in the past, with regular cloth leashes, you’ll get a few issues over time:
- Handle/connector coming undone at seams
This is less likely to happen with a climbing rope leash. The rope is stitched together, but it’s also protected by a plastic splitter (you can see it in the bottom right of the picture below).
Not to mention, on any hikes where you’re “scrambling” with your dog (an example is the Cathedral Rock hike in Sedona) a typical leash is way more exposed than this leash.
Is it comfortable to walk with?
So, I tested this leash with my wife. And the following day (when we weren’t testing) I just assumed she’d revert back to old leash. But she didn’t…
I looked over and she was hooking Story (our Carolina Dog) up to the Rope Hounds leash. When I asked her why, she said “I just love how squishy the handle is.”
Truth be told I also prefer this leash over our old leash (a Ruffwear Slackline). But it’s not because of the squishy leash handle. I actually prefer what Rope Hounds refers to as the “urban handle”. It’s a shortened handle about 1 foot long that allows you to walk with your dog at your side comfortable.
The only downside is there is no adjustment between about 4′ and 1′. With at traditional cloth leash you can wrap it around your hand to shorten it up to exactly where you want it. It’s possible with the climbing rope, but a little more awkward to do.
Any other features worth noting?
In fact there is!
Just below the handle (you can barely see it in the pictures above) is a bottle opener. We don’t drink, so it wasn’t originally much use to us. However…we found it’s the perfect place to tie a poop bag!
Would we actually recommend it?
If you’re mostly taking your dog for walks around the neighborhood, it’s not likely you needed the added benefits of a climbing rope leash. Unless it’s a purely aesthetic choice (which makes sense because there are over 50 color options!) you’re probably fine with a more traditional leash.
However, if you do a lot of hiking or camping with your dog, definitely consider a climbing rope leash. I don’t know when our next hike is slated, but we’ll definitely be using this leash for more strenuous outdoor adventures.