Thursday, July 21, 2011

$103.95 [OllyDog Hugger]

OllyDog Hugger (in hunter green)

One of the many (many) carriers in our arsenal.  We purchased this carrier - designed by Ollydog Inc., a small company in Berkeley, California - for our cross-country roadtrip with Betelgeuse to bypass the "no dogs on trails" rule of many of our country's amazing national parks.  It comes in orange (pictured below) and green (which is the one we purchased from our local pet boutique).

This thing is great, and I have not found another carrier like it on the market.  Throwing a dog in a tote bag or sling for a subway ride or part of a hike is one thing, but hiking for miles with an 11 lbs. dog on your back is quite another.  That's where the support and comfort offered by the chest straps and wide shoulder straps on this carrier really stand out.  The hard bottom also seemed to be more stable and comfortable for Betelgeuse than some of our other bags that hug her body and can make her hot.  Bonus:  the dimensions are 15" x 7" x 17", which also make it carry-on friendly on most major airlines.

Only two complaints:  (1) for all the reasons that make this a great carrier when you must carry your dog (e.g., on a no-dogs-allowed hiking trail or in the airport), it is not the most convenient carrier to bring with you just in case you might want to carry your dog - it's just too big and bulky to carry while the pup walks on the ground; a collapsible tote bag is going to win that battle every time - and (2) I had some trouble making the straps tight enough for my smaller frame.  This second complaint was not one shared by my better half, who carried Betelgeuse in our OllyDog Hugger for most of our hot desert trek to the Delicate Arch in Arches National Park.

She was a great park citizen to ride in this backpack all day.  To make it up to her, we also took her to Dead Horse Point State Park, which is a dog-friendly state park right down the road, where she could run up and down the trails and drink out of craters to her heart's content.

The OllyDog Hugger is $103.95 on sale at the linked online retailer, and even to the author of a blog called (over)budget pet, this is no small sum.  On a cost-per-use basis, we're not getting a great deal with this carrier, which we rarely use because the pups prefer to hit the trails with their paws, but when we did need it, it was a stand out.  It's extremely high quality for a pet product (which unfortunately are often made like crap), and I like supporting small businesses making quality products like OllyDog.

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