Whyld River launched a Kickstarter for its DoggyBag – a high quality sleeping bag for dogs – on Tuesday. It funded in less than 12 hours. And I wasn’t surprised!
I’ve been testing a medium-size DoggyBag for almost a month. In that time it’s a piece of gear I’ve come to really appreciate. If their tongue-hanging-out grins are any indication, my canine pack – Halley, a 9-month-old, 50-pound Rhodesian ridgeback mix, and Oscar, a 12-year-old, 65-pound black lab – agrees.
OK, maybe those grins had something to do with the leftover chicken I used to bribe Halley and Oscar into posing for photos, but still the DoggyBag is a great product. Here’s what I like about it ...
- It’s well made and durable. It’s clear that significant attention was given to product design and manufacturing. This isn’t something that was just slapped together overnight. The specific needs and behaviors of dogs were considered at every turn.
- It includes several useful and well thought-out features including snaps instead of zippers (for safety, ease of use and comfort), a draft sleeve (to insulate against wind and double as a bolster), an integrated pad sleeve (for extra ground insulation), and reflective logos (making it easier to find and set up the DoggyBag by headlamp).
- It’s versatile. In addition to using to for backpacking, it makes a great go-anywhere dog bed. Throw it in the car. Use it in the backyard. Separate the top and bottom pieces and give one to each dog ... or use one side yourself as an outdoor blanket.
- It’s filled with what seems to be substantial and quality insulation. While it’s hard to actually test out its warmth of this doggy sleeping bag in the height of summer, I don’t hesitate to believe that it will work its magic during a winter storm.
- It’s FUN ... who doesn’t love a picture of a dog in a sleeping bag?!?
- Rachel Bauman, the force behind Whyld River, is just one of those inspiring, kind people who I instantly wanted to be friends with. We actually did spend almost an entire afternoon talking on the phone.
- It has a great startup story! Rachel created the DoggyBag after her rescue dog River had a close call in frigid conditions on Mt. Hood
In terms of cons, there’s really only one I can come up with, and that’s compressibility. While the DoggyBag does stuff down fairly small into an included sack, it’s still slightly larger than my own down sleeping bag.
To be fair, my down sleeping bag cost much more than the DoggyBag (Kickstarter pricing ranges from $89 for a small to $109 for a large) and is much less durable than the DoggyBag. But in a true lightweight backpacking situation, I might be inclined to pack short-haired Halley her canine puffy jacket instead of her sleeping bag. Of course, it would depend on the weather, season and length of trip.
The bottom line: We give the DoggyBag (and Rachel) four thumping paws and a tail wag. It’s a high-quality product that fills a hole in the market and makes outdoor excursions with our furry friends safer (and more adorable)!
As soon as its available, we plan to feature and carry the Whyld River DoggyBag in Garage Grown Gear's online store. In the meantime, check out the Kickstarter, where you can pre-order the DoggyBag. It will be delivered before the holidays.