Update: We ended up passing this jacket on to a follower, because it was starting to get pretty worn and we have so many other jackets!
Kurgo sent this jacket to us in size Small, Green/Gray back in the spring right before summer heat set in, so we didn’t get to try it out until fall! We’ve put it through its paces over the last four months.
Sizing and colors: XS (15-20″ girth) – XL (35-45″ girth) in Blue/Orange, Green/Gray, and Red/Gray.
The Loft is a lightweight, “reversible” quilted shell designed for use over a harness, with a zippered port in the shoulder area. I thought it would make a good layer over some of Robin’s fuller-coverage sweaters without adding a lot of bulk around the legs.
The jacket is made of quilted nylon with a thin layer of synthetic insulation. Its harness port is zippered and has quite a bit of hardware – two zipper sliders each with a pull on the reverse side as well to accommodate the “reversibility” (discussed below). This, combined with the stiffness of the zipper area, makes it unsuitable for use under a harness, but doesn’t seem to bother Robin otherwise. The jacket has reflective piping in a wavy pattern around the harness zipper; it’s a small surface area but is fairly visible.
This is a great jacket for layering: the big armholes fit well over a sleeved underlayer, and it’s close-fitting enough to work well under a bigger, bulkier coat. The jacket slips over the head and fastens at the belly with a wide velcro panel (no foot-feeding necessary). Velcro is effective for adjustability, but because it tends to catch on fleeces and knits, I greatly prefer jackets without it.
Robin’s wearing a size Small, which is intended for a girth of 19-26″ and a neck circumference of 15″. His girth ranges between 18.5″ and 19.5″, but the XS, which is supposed to fit up to 20″ girth, is way too small, so take the size charts with a grain of salt. The Small fits short in the back but looks fine- according to the product description, it’s designed to be this way (although it might fit very short for dogs in the upper end of the girth range). Coverage-wise, this jacket is a little lacking; the armholes are large and it’s cut low in the neck. However, it layers fantastically- Robin’s usually not happy about wearing more than one jacket because of the bulk, but he doesn’t even notice the addition of this one. Overall it’s an athletic, flattering cut.
It’s slightly restrictive when fastened because there’s no stretch in the material. I’d like to see an elastic panel near the fastener on each side to allow for a little give during movement. Robin acts uncomfortable indoors since it’s tight when he’s sitting down, so I fasten it more loosely and then he tends to get the exposed velcro stuck to blankets.
I think the harness zipper is ingenious. A zipper is much more convenient than the typical hole-with-flap harness port because of the increased flexibility for different harness designs, and most of his jackets (especially Ruffwear) don’t have any harness openings. Don’t layer a harness over this jacket since the zippers will dig in- the port isn’t big enough to accommodate the handle on Robin’s Webmaster, so I use a different jacket underneath on cold days when I won’t be removing layers.
As much as I hate velcro, the simple design of the jacket with no clips, zippers or step-through construction makes it one of the fastest to put on, and I reach for it constantly when we’re heading out at night.
Kurgo touts the jacket as reversible, but it’s only reversible if you’re willing to dig velcro hooks into your dog’s belly and, depending on your dog’s size, the extra flaps will hang down. The hook side of the velcro is located on the chest panel (see below), so when the jacket is reversed, the hooks face the dog. To make it functionally reversible, they’d have to redesign the fastener since hooks will always be facing the dog on one side or the other. I would consider this jacket “lined with contrast material” rather than “reversible” – I’m only knocking one point off the functionality because it works great when not reversed.
Build Quality: 3/5
The cut and design of this jacket make it best as an outer layer or a single layer for high-level activity, but unfortunately the materials just don’t stand up to that kind of wear. Kurgo calls their shell material “rugged Microtomic Ripstop” but four months of occasional wear has put quite a few snags into the material and a little hole in the zipper tape (the velcro itself also snagged up the inside). So far, all of the snags are surface wear and haven’t created any holes, but the quilting and the binding is also starting to come undone. While the jacket construction seams are small and tight, the quilting has larger, looser stitches that snag and break easily. There are loose threads all over the green side, especially near the neck.
The construction of the jacket is pretty good, and from a short distance away it still looks nice, but it will be looking pretty worn by the end of the season.
I reach for this jacket frequently since it’s a great layer over other jackets and is quick to put on, but it’s looking worn and I’m disappointed in the materials. I’d love to see an updated version with a tougher design and a different fastener.
Best for: An outer layer or warm-up layer, a standalone for moderate temperatures or high activity, neighborhood walks.
Not ideal for: Cold weather alone, indoor use due to the velcro, off-leash use in underbrush.