The Best Dog Vests: The Perfect Outfit for the Outdoors [Reviews, Features & Buying Guide]

Dog vests are a great way to keep your best friend safe while playing outdoors or simply taking a walk, but not all dog vests are the same. Some are better suited for strolls, while others are more suitable for hunting or other high-intensity activities.

Our Top Pick

While looking for the perfect vest for my buddy, I discovered the SafetyPUP XD Dog Reflective Vest. It’s the best dog vest for everyday use and hunting expeditions.

Why?

Because it looks good, keeps my dog safe and comfortable, and it’s affordable. Of course, the SafetyPUP XD Dog Reflective Vest isn’t the only dog vest worth Considering. In our dog vests review below, we’ll be looking at the top-rated dog vests for specific occasions. By the end, you’ll be able to pick the perfect one for your pup and the types of adventures you go on.

 

The Top Dog Vests Reviewed

SafetyPUP XD Dog Reflective Vest – Best Overall

This affordable dog vest is a great choice whether you are taking your dog on a stroll or an adventure in the woods. It’s durable, comfortable, and stylish.

 

Key Features

  • Reflective material to keep your dog visible in low lighting conditions
  • Available in XS to XL sizes for dogs weighing between 14 and 130 pounds
  • Made with highly durable 300D Oxford Weave fabric
  • Adjustable straps for the perfect fit
  • Mesh lining to prevent chafing and overheating

 

Whether your dog is on the street or in the woods, this vest’s high visibility color will keep him visible and protect him from accidents. Many also Consider it a great choice for hunting dogs because of the high visibility features.

With its comfortable fit, your dog can run and play without impediments or chafing. The lightweight material won’t impede your dog’s mobility while strolling or hunting. Its price is also very pocket-friendly.

You might have to try it out in a store to find the perfect size for your dog, though, the sizing is tricky.

 

Pros

  • Easy and quick to wear or take off thanks to its Velcro belly strap
  • Reinforced stitching that guarantees durability
  • 100 percent money-back guarantee
  • Affordable price
  • Easy to clean
  • Suitable for a variety of low and high-intensity outdoor activities

 

Cons

  • Only available in one color
  • Tricky to find the right size

 

The Verdict

The SafetyPUP XD is one of the best dog vests on the market, and it comes at an affordable price. It offers all the features you need for regular outings and outdoor expeditions.

 

Overall Rating – 4.8 stars out of 5

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Ruffwear Track Jacket Dog Vest

This option is similar to the SafetyPUP XD Dog Reflective Vest, but far more expensive. It’s also made with a highly reflective material, which makes it ideal for hunting outings and preventing accidents.

 

Key Features

  • High visibility reflective material
  • Available in a variety of sizes for small and large-sized dogs
  • Lightweight material for comfort and freedom of movement
  • Waterproof polyester to keep your dog dry
  • Leash attachment loop

 

I like that the material of this vest is waterproof. It’ll keep your dog dry and cozy while he’s on an outdoor adventure. Its design and lightweight material don’t impede movement, either, making it ideal for active dogs.

This vest could have easily been the best dog vest, if not for its high price, that’ll chase away most dog parents.

 

Pros

  • Highly durable materials
  • Suitable for high-intensity activities such as hunting and hiking
  • Adjustable straps for customizing the fit
  • Side release buckles that make wearing and taking it off fast and easy
  • Machine washable and easy to clean
  • Waterproof and dries quickly, meaning it’ll give your dog protection in wet weather

 

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Only comes in one color

 

The Verdict

The Ruffwear Track Jacket is a top-notch safety vest. The high price might be unattractive, but it’s a worthwhile investment if you and your dog spend a lot of time outdoors in wet conditions.

 

Overall Rating – 4.8 stars out of 5

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Noxgear LightHound Vest – Best Reflective Dog Vest

If the nights are long and pitch dark where you live, you need a dog vest that’ll keep your buddy visible at all times. That’s exactly what the Noxgear LightHound Vest offers.

 

Key Features

  • LED lights run up to 12 hours on a full charge
  • Keeps your dog visible from up to a mile away
  • Eight different colors for illumination
  • Leash attachment

 

As the best reflective dog vest, the Noxgear LightHound will illuminate your dog in the dark without impeding their vision. It is covered with an array of LED lights that will keep your dog fully visible on the darkest night and in the most crowded settings.

It’s a great accessory for keeping your dog safe on even the darkest night. This is, however, another pricy option.

 

Pros

  • Easy to charge and clean
  • Rainproof and machine washable harness
  • High visibility regardless of the conditions outside
  • Easy to wear and take off
  • Fully adjustable straps

 

Cons

  • It’s pricey

 

The Verdict

If you and your dog typically go on night outings, the LightHound is an excellent high-visibility choice.

 

Overall Rating – 4.5 stars out of 5

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Camo Pet Life Preserver Jacket – Most Affordable and Best Dog Hunting Vest

If you are looking to save money but still want a top-quality dog vest, the Camo Pet Life Preserver Jacket is a great option. It’s also suitable for hunting dogs because its camouflage design gives your dog extra stealth.

 

Key Features

  • Camouflage design for stealth while hunting
  • Provides buoyancy, which makes it ideal for dogs that go swimming, boating, and more
  • Adjustable straps for a customized fit
  • Material is super durable
  • Reflective details that keep your dog visible to other hunters, even at night
  • Material is a combination of polyester, nylon, and mesh
  • Plastic D-ring for leash attachment

 

If you’re a fan of hunting ducks, many Consider this vest to be the best dog vest for duck hunting because of its flotation features. The preserver jacket feature will increase your dog’s buoyancy, keeping him afloat while retrieving prey from the water.

The camo design and price are very attractive, too, and the mesh lining keeps your dog cool and comfortable while out on the hunt.

On the downside, the plastic D-ring for leashes isn’t very reliable. There are reports of it breaking when dogs pull.

 

Pros

  • Vest dries quickly, which makes it ideal for water activities
  • Padded straps that keep your dog comfortable and the vest secure
  • Very affordable
  • Quick-release buckles make the vest easy to put on and take off
  • Vest is available in various sizes for small and large dogs
  • Life preserver feature keeps your dog afloat while playing or hunting in the water
  • Back handle for directly controlling or helping your dog

 

Cons

  • Getting the perfect size for your dog may be difficult
  • Plastic D-ring isn’t very durable

 

The Verdict

If hunting is a passion for you and your dog, or you simply don’t want to overspend on a dog vest, the Camo Pet Life Preserver Jacket makes for an affordable yet excellent choice.

Overall Rating – 4.6 stars out of 5

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Browning Neoprene Vest – Best Neoprene Dog Vest

A dog vest with a neoprene material will keep your dog warm in wet and/or cold conditions. The best neoprene dog vest is the Browning Neoprene Vest. It offers maximum protection against chills.

 

Key Features

  • Flexible chest plate protects your dog’s chest against abrasions and cuts
  • 3mm neoprene fabric keeps your dog warm in the cold and wet
  • Adjustable straps for a secure fit
  • Attractive camouflage design for outdoorsy dogs

 

The Browning vest is the best not only because it keeps the cold away, but it’s also designed to protect your dog against injuries to his chest while playing. It won’t chafe your dog’s armpits, belly, and chest, either, regardless of how long he has the vest on.

However, the sizing on the vest is a bit limited. Very small or large dogs may be out of luck.

 

Pros

  • Available in two camouflage patterns – Mossy Oak Bottomlands and Realtree MAX-5 CAMO
  • Easy to wear and take off thanks to its front and top Velcro strips
  • Built-in protective chest plate that shields your dog’s chest against injuries
  • Back handle for pulling your dog out of the water or controlling him
  • Comfortable to wear for long periods

 

Cons

  • Getting an accurate fit for a small or extra-large dog can be difficult

 

The Verdict

This is a solid vest with essential features that’ll make an outdoor adventure safe and enjoyable for outdoorsy dogs and dog parents.

 

Overall Rating – 4.5 stars out of 5

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ThunderShirt SPORT Dog Anxiety Jacket – Best Vest for Dog’s with Anxiety

If your dog is an anxious one, the best dog anxiety vest reviews agree that the ThunderShirt Sport Dog Anxiety Jacket can help your dog relax.

 

Key Features

  • Patented design to apply gentle pressure on your dog, soothing and keeping him calm
  • Fabric of the vest is lightweight and breathable to ensure your dog’s comfort
  • Reflective trim to keep your dog visible in all lighting conditions

 

The ThunderShirt vest is effective at keeping fearful, anxious, or overexcited dogs calm. In fact, it’s clinically proven to do so and comes with a money-back guarantee. It’s also lightweight enough that your dog will be able to move freely, and breathable so he won’t get too hot.

It’s an awesome vest and really helped my dog, but it is on the expensive side of the dog vest price scale. The sizing also doesn’t go down to extra small.

 

Pros

  • Clinically proven to keep dogs calm during periods of high stress
  • Money-back guarantee
  • Lightweight material doesn’t impede your dog’s movements
  • Breathable fabric keeps your dog cool on hot days
  • Available in various sizes for small and large dogs

 

Cons

  • No size available for extra-small dogs
  • It’s pricey

 

The Verdict

If your dog is prone to anxiety, the ThunderShirt SPORT Dog Anxiety Jacket will help him relax. It’s also quite stylish.

Overall Rating – 4.5 stars out of 5

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Dog Vest Buying Guide

Benefits of a Dog Hunting Vest

If you and your dog spend a lot of time hunting, getting a hunting vest is important. A dog hunting vest will ensure your dog’s safety and give you peace of mind. Here’s how:

  • It keeps your dog visible

The last thing you want is to lose sight of your dog while hunting. Or worse, have another hunter think your dog is game and shoot at him. A good dog hunting vest will have a reflective color or trimming that keeps your dog visible in all lighting conditions and prevent accidents.

 

  • It keeps your dog warm

It can get pretty chilly outdoors, especially if hunting in a wet area or during early hours. A neoprene vest will keep your dog warm and avoid health complications.

 

  • It prevents injuries

A top-notch vest will protect your dog’s chest, abdomen, and sides against cuts and other injuries. Thorns, sharp sticks, and other inhospitable vegetation can cause such injuries. A chest plate and the durable material of the vest will keep your dog safe.

 

  • Help stay afloat

If you need your hunting dog for retrieving prey from the water, there are life preserver hunting vests that can keep your dog afloat while in the water. Such vests typically have a floatation aid that’ll help your dog get in and out of the water safely and with ease.

Not all hunting vests will have all the above features. To get one that works best for you and your dog, be sure to confirm it has all the features that cater to you and your dog’s needs.

 

Choosing the Best Dog Vest

The best dog vest will have all the features to satisfy your unique needs. This means that what works for you and your dog may not work for someone else, but at the very least, a dog vest, be it for hunting, short strolls, or other activities, should have the following features as standard.

 

  • Adjustable Straps

Adjustable straps on a dog vest ensure that you can adjust the fit of the vest to keep your dog comfortable and the vest secure. If you can’t adjust the fit, the vest may turn out to be too loose or too tight. This can injure your dog or make him less cooperative about wearing the vest.

 

  • Durable Materials

Avoid vests made from thin, flimsy materials that tear easily. Instead, look out for a vest that’s made of thick nylon, canvas, neoprene, or something equally durable yet lightweight.

 

  • Reflective Trim

Regardless of what the vest is for, it must keep your dog completely visible in all lighting conditions. It is best to go for vests with bright, highly visible colors, or at the very least, have reflective trim. This will keep your dog visible even in low-lighting conditions and prevent accidents.

 

  • Leash or Collar Access

If the vest itself doesn’t have a D-ring or other provision for attaching a leash, it should at least have an opening that’ll give you easy access to your dog’s collar or harness beneath.

 

Final Thoughts

There are a variety of dog vests to choose from for your best friend, but if you want a durable one that keeps your dog safe, visible, and comfortable, be sure to pick one from our above list of top-rated dog vests.

Also keep in mind that the perfect vest for your dog will depend on what you need it for. If I had to recommend a vest to look at first, though, be it for hunting or taking a casual stroll, it would be the SafetyPUP XD Dog Reflective Vest. It’s comfortable, pet-friendly, durable, and, most importantly, affordable.

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Gail Ramirez

Gail Ramirez

Gail is an aspiring blogger, pet lover and Greys Anatomy, addict. Gail shares her experience on Pet Fashion Week as she studies to become a qualified vet.