BEST LARGE DOG TRAVEL HARNESS FOR YOUR CANINE CO-PILOT
Which is the best large dog travel harness for you best buddy?
Traveling with a large dog presents interesting logistical problems. Indeed, the sheer size of a Labrador or German shepherd means your first thought may well be “Where to put the dog?” rather than their safety in transit.
However, overlooking their safety could be costly in the event of a crash. In an accident at 30mph, a dog’s weight is multiplied around 30 – 60 times. This means a 50 kg Rottweiler travels forward with an equivalent mass of 3,000kg (or three adult polar bears!) Ouch!
So spare a thought for how your large dog is restrained in transit. There are several options, such as crates, grills, and hammocks each with their own pros and cons.
For a combination of safety and convenience a travel harness makes good sense, so let’s look at the best large dog travel harnesses to keep your canine co-pilot safe.
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When buying a travel harness look for quality of materials, crash test certification, and functionality. Because of the larger mass of big dogs in a crash, it’s harder to find a crash test approved harness than it is for a smaller dog.
Our top recommendation for large dog travel harness based on a combination of proven safety and value for money is:
- Easy Rider Travel Harness for Large Dogs (see review below)
However, let’s take a closer look at all the other contenders.
EzyDog Large Dog Travel Harness
Max Chest 49-106cm (19-42″)
This gold-standard product is a yardstick against which all other large dog travel harnesses are measured. It is crash tested (and passed) to European ECE regulation 16. This incredibly detailed regulation covers human safety restraints, oversees all aspects of construction from the materials used to how easy buckles are to fasten. Crucially, the restraint has to secure the canine passenger in the seat, in the event of a crash (something not all harnesses do).
LIKESOne of only a select few harnesses certified to keep a large dog from becoming a missile in the event of a crash
DISLIKESThe price tag makes this a considered purchase. However, it is salient to ask “What price is safety?”
The main drawback to this travel harness for large dogs is the price, but given the testing and superior materials involved, it’s easy to understand the value. For the pet parent who truly prizes safety above all else, this is definitely a harness worth giving serious consideration.
Easy Rider Crashed Tested Travel Harness
*Doggy Dream Team top choice for safety and value*
Large – Max Chest 61-96cm (24-38″)
X Large – Max Chest 66-109cm (26-43″)
This Easy Rider travel harness is an impressive piece of equipment. Not only has it passed safety tests and been independently certified by crash testing facilities at Kettering University, Michigan, US, but it’s also a competitive price.
LIKES– An impressive safety profile- A range of sizes including large (61 – 96 cm girth) and extra-large (66 – 109 cm girth)- Fantastic value for money at an awesome price point
DISLIKES– Actually…none. It doubles as a walking harness, is super safe, and affordable. What’s not to like?
This harness is simplicity itself and easy to put onto a dog. The breastplate is padded for extra comfort, indeed, the harness is lightweight but strong which makes it ideal as a walking harness.
But none of these features are a compromise on safety. Kettering University used the same tests for human safety restraints and passed this harness to keep a large dog safe in a crash.
We like the fact that the harness is secured to the car by passing the seatbelt through to loop on the back of the harness, without the need for an additional safety tether. This is convenient for you and safe for your canine passenger.
It’s hard to improve upon perfection! Other than make the harnesses in a range of fashion colours, it’s hard to see how the design and value could be improved upon.
Bergan Dog Car Harness System
The Bergan car harness system comes in large and extra-large sizes. It is a sturdy harness that uses a tether to secure it the dog to the vehicle.
LIKES– The tether allows the dog to move around and find a comfortable position- Useful to stop your dog wandering inside the car- Suitable as a walking harness
DISLIKES– Some pet parents found their dog chewed through the webbing rather easily- Crash tested…but failed
Like a dog choosing between two bones, we feel conflicted about this product. On the one paw it is well made and does an excellent job of securing the dog into the car. But on the other paw, when you read the small print the harness failed its safety crash test.
This means the harness has its uses, which is to secure the dog in one spot to stop it distracting the owner. Securing the dog is important (and in fact all the law requires when it comes to dog restraint in transit.) Thus, the Bergan harness is better than not having a travel restraint but in terms of safety, there are safer products out there.
More expensive than the safer Easy Dog harness, there are better options available for less money. This is a good harness for anchoring a large dog but be aware its value lies in reducing driver distraction rather than dog safety in the event of a crash.
RAC Dog Car Restraint
Amazing value for money and doubles as a walking harness…however…this is an anchor point harness rather than a product guaranteed to keep your large dog safe in a crash.
LIKES– Wow! How can they sell them at this price? This is cheaper than many ordinary walking harnesses and yet suitable to anchor your dog to stop them wandering and causing a distraction in the car- RAC branded which gives quality reassurance- Soft nylon for comfort fit- Available in sizes up to XL and Jumbo
DISLIKES– Be aware of this harness’s limitations in the event of a crash- Some sizing issues.
Again, this harness is a bit of a puzzle. Endorsed by the RAC it’s a natural conclusion to assume it conforms to the highest safety standards. Although well-made and excellent value, it does not pass safety crash tests.
Yes, the wide webbing does help spread the impact, but not it doesn’t conform to ECE regulation 16. Indeed, when reading the packaging with safety standards in mind, the products makes no claims to this effect.
What this RAC harness does excel at is securing your dog in one spot in the car. Again, this is all that is required by law, in order to reduce driver distraction. As a cheap harness that means car travel with your dog meets the legal standard you can’t go wrong.Overall Value
Buy this harness rather than leave your dog loose in the car, but don’t depend on it to save your dog’s life in a crash.
Kurgo Tru-fit Travel Harness
When tested by the Centre for Pet Safety this harness failed as can be seen in this video.
Once again, this is a harness that finds its niche as a restraint that aids in reducing driver distraction. However, as a means of stopping your dog becoming an air-borne missile you will be disappointed.
Travel harnesses with such a good safety profile are few and far between. The brilliant thing about the Easy Rider is that it offers that elusive combination of proven safety and an affordable price tag.
LIKES– Designed with reference to human mountaineering harnesses, which means a great fit for your dog- Doubles as a walking harness
DISLIKES– The metal fixings are prone to rust in contact with water- Failed crash tests
This is a strong sturdy harness which makes for an exceptionally comfortable walking harness that gives you good control over the dog. However, crash testing showed weaknesses such as not anchoring the dog in the seat, tearing of the material around the neck, and failure of the metal fixings.
This makes it one of those harnesses which helps you comply with the legal requirement to restrain your dog, but without necessarily keeping them safe in a crash.
*Doggy Dream Team top choice for safety and value*
This is a useful harness with many strong design features that make it comfortable to wear for the dog. The manufacturer describes it as “Strengthened”, but the buyer should be aware of its limitations in a traffic collision.
The added momentum a large dog has during a traffic collision, place extra strains on safety equipment. It’s asking a whole lot more of the material and hardware when they have to stop 3,000kg of kinetic energy moving forward as opposed to a small 5kg dog with a mere (!) 300kg worth of kinetic energy. This means it’s tougher to find a crash tested product that passed.
With safety for pet pal firmly in our minds, DDT has no hesitation in recommending two outstanding products:
- Ezy Dog
- Easy Rider
So what’s stopping you from making your dog safe in the car? Act now to ensure your best pal stands the best chance of walking away uninjured from a crash.