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Back in the day there were limited dog vest options for waterfowl hunters. Fast forward to today, and we’re seeing some of the top brands out there produce high-quality dog vests. Now, it’s about taking those products and seeing which one best fits your hunting needs, and most importantly – the needs of your hunting partner.
We not only have to evaluate weather conditions and hunting environments, but the size and shape of your dog and how well it’s going let him/her do their job. For this reason, we’ve put together a list of the top dog vests on the market, as well as some key specifications to help you make your decision.
If you're more interested in an interactive dog vest quiz, click here. Enjoy!
Also, check out our blog ranking the Best Duck Hunting Waders!
Full Disclosure: Some of the links below may be affiliate links. If you follow an affiliate link and end up making a purchase, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.
|MOmarsh Versa-Vest Dog Vest||Rig’Em Right Bloodline Elite Dog Vest||Banded 5mm Thermoregulating Dog Vest||Browning 5mm Neoprene Dog Vest|
|Fit||Adjustable/Custom||4 Specified Sizes||6 Specified Sizes w/ Trim Option||5 Specified Sizes w/ Trim Option|
|Camo||Multiple Options||Multiple Options||Multiple Options||Multiple Options|
|Price||Around $95||Around $80||Around $40||Around $30|
|More Info.||Shop Today!||Shop Today!||Shop Today!||Shop Today!|
The MOmarsh Versa-Vest is a revolutionary new waterfowl dog vest that’s built around the idea of custom-fit and long-lasting durability. The team at MOmarsh has engineered a 6-point, multi-directional adjustment system that enables the vest to fit dogs from 35 to 100+ lbs. This allows waterfowl hunters to purchase the vest early in a dog’s life and adjust as they begin to grow.
It’s constructed of high-quality 5mm rubberized neoprene and water-repellent coated 600D poly fabric that protects the vital areas of your dog while keeping them warm. An over-sized zipper allows for hunters to easily take the vest on and off after it is initially fitted.
While the standard package includes the Optifade Waterfowl Marsh cover panels, additional cover panels are available as the seasons change and your hunting needs adjust.
What we like: Custom Fit, Adjustability, Optional Panels, Durable Fabrics, No Cutting, Raised Handle
What we dislike: New to market product
For latest prices, and more information on the MOmarsh Versa Vest check it out!
Browning isn’t typically known for its waterfowl gear, especially waterfowl dog vests. However, there’s no doubt that waterfowl hunters have found the Browning 5mm Neoprene dog vest to be a very appealing and affordable option.
The vest is constructed out of 3mm neoprene fabric to promote enhanced warmth alongside a flexible chest plate. Velcro straps and a release buckle lie on the back and sides for needed adjustment to prevent rubbing on your dog. The dog vest is an overall simple design with cost being the major advantage.
Also, important to note that at this price point durability does come into question, especially if you’re hunting is harsh conditions.
What we like: Price, Added Chest Protection, Trim Option
What we dislike: Quality, Durability, Fit Issues
For latest prices, and more information on the Browning 5mm Neoprene Vest take a look!
Rig’Em Right has always produced quality waterfowl gear, and they didn’t let up on the Bloodline Elite dog vest. The Bloodline Elite is one of the more protective vests out there with a unique 3-layer construction.
First, a 3mm neoprene covers an upper portion of the vest, with a thin layer of foam in the middle. Finally, a thicker, heavy-duty canvas lays on the outside to protect from brush and briers. Rig’Em Right added a 5mm neoprene layer across the chest to help with added warmth for the dog.
Unlike some of the other waterfowl vests, this model has a more athletic cut around the neck and between the legs for additional mobility – helping to prevent rubbing and bunching.
What we like: Added Protection, Foam for added flotation, Athletic Cut, No Cutting, Raised Handle
What we dislike: Limited Sizes, Stitching Quality Concerns
For latest prices, and more information on the Rig'Em Right Bloodline Dog Vest check it out!
Dog Vest Warmth
Waterfowl hunting in the late fall months to the freezing winter months can bring about tough conditions not only for you, but for your dog as well. The key thing to consider in these conditions is your dog’s exposure to sub-freezing water temperatures as they hop in and out of the dog blind.
While a dog’s coat does provide some protection, adding an additional neoprene layer helps keep your dog comfortable. Neoprene material traps water close to the body, allowing it to be warmed up and retained. If a neoprene layer is not available, cold water will continuously pull heat away from the dog’s body.
Dog Vest Flotation
While neoprene vests provide added warmth, it also helps your dog maintain some level of buoyancy in the water. Countless trips back and forth retrieving downed ducks and geese puts a heavy strain on muscles and joints, especially in cold water.
Providing some assistance with a dog vest will slow down the strain that occurs on tough hunting trips, allowing for your hunting partner to remain rested and alert.
Dog Vest Protection
One thing that needs to be considered when hunting flooded timbers or fields is protecting your dog from dense and inhospitable vegetation. Neoprene tends to fall short when looking to protect your dog, so something else needs to be added.
Many companies are adding thicker pads over the chest area of the vest, while others are complementing the neoprene with poly or canvas fabric. Preventing punctures, cuts, and abrasions will prolong your day of hunting, and keep your dog out of the vet.
Dog Vest Fit
Finding the best fitting vest for your dog will probably be the most difficult part of this purchasing decision. A lot of waterfowl dog vests come in limited sizes that ask you to measure the neck and chest area of your dog for the best fit.
First, this makes it difficult to buy a vest for a growing dog since a vest purchase now might not work in the future. Second, most of these vests are built for larger-size Labrador or Chesapeake Bay retrievers, which presents some problems for hunters that run smaller-size dogs.
Some brands try solving this with a “trim option” which allows waterfowl hunters to remove sections of the neck and chest for a more custom fit. Unfortunately, quite a lot of reviews do not favor the “trim option”, saying it doesn’t necessarily fix the issue at hand.
For the review of the Best Dog Blinds we've got that too!