I just put my new leashes from Stunt Puppy to the test by bringing them on my road trip to Colorado. Though they have only 1 week in use, I'm sad to say there are several flaws. Many positives, too! I'll spell it all out below.
After much research and popular feedback (read the full discussion here), I decided on the Stunt Puppy Everyday Leash. I wanted a versatile leash that would work well for hiking, camping, and traveling. Something that would feel good in my hand and be durable enough to hold up on adventures. I got a black leash for Mica and a silver for River. These replaced my existing neon green and pink mesh leads from PetSmart that I'd been using for over a year (and were not performing). See photo below.
In this unsponsored gear review, I'll be sharing a bit about the company, the features of the leash, and my own opinions on pros and cons of this product. I am passionate about transparency and honesty, so I don't think I'll ever do sponsored posts (where a company either pays the writer money or provides free products or a drastic discount or other incentive to write about their product for exposure and publicity). There's just too much margin for being swayed by an incentive to write about something. I really want to stay true - so you'll always be confident that you're getting my thoughts and nothing else. :-)
Designed in Minnesota and manufactured in the USA, this company has a cool story. Local, down-to-earth feel and integrity oozing out of their website, I was immediately attracted to the company and their products. Not only that, but their products are really neat. Collars and leashes are their bread and butter, and I appreciate that they focus in so narrowly. It means that they're dedicated to quality by not spreading themselves too thin. Each leash that I looked at had a unique purpose and something to differentiate it from the other products. I have to say, shopping on their website was a fun experience, and I was really excited to receive my leashes in the mail. They were also very responsive on social media. My leashes shipped promptly and arrived very quickly. The attention to detail, down to the tags attached to the leashes, was evident in the entire process.
You can read more on their story here.
Straight from the StuntPuppy website: SPECS
5 foot adjustable-length leash to make any size you need
Traffic loop at base to pull `em close when you need to
Best-in-class Duraflex Rock Lockster® buckle
Adjustable-length handle for temporary tie-out, waist loop or over-the-shoulder loop
1” black swivel snap hook for easy clipping for human hands
Five colors - Black, Blue, Red, Orange, and Silver
Made in USA
Read more on their design here.
The hands free feature has been really handy. By belting the leash around my waist, I could easily navigate the hotel lobby bringing my gear into and out of the building. It kept my dogs close but not too close with my arms full. This was a great benefit because they stayed right with me and I could get everything in one trip.
I also used the hands free waist belt option when hauling gear to and from my walk-in campsite. I arranged it so that both dogs were on my left side - they like to walk side by side. When I tried having one on either side of me, they would invariably try to cross in front of me or get tangled.
The type of nylon used in this product is indeed soft and feels really nice on the hands. It would not chafe if used in the over-the-shoulder mode or around a bare waist.
I do like the traffic leash feature - a short loop near the dog that allows you to get a hold of them if need be. I haven't used it yet, and my dogs are a bit too short for it to be effective unless I am crouching, but I like having the option on the trail.
The buckle that allows the leash to convert from handle to waist belt to anchor to over-the-shoulder is of good quality and performs well. Easy to open and close, sturdy yet light, I had no difficulties using it. The material also slides well through it to convert the length of the loop, yet would never budge an inch from where it's placed.
Worked well for hiking when in hand loop mode. I liked having a strong, reliable leash attached to my dogs' harnesses while hiking in Colorado. When we had to navigate rough terrain, I could easily "choke up" on the leash by holding on right above the buckle and then let the leash back out again once we were in the clear.
Pretty! The black with blue stitching is damn sexy. The silver is nice, too. I was really excited when they came in the mail, and I've gotten many compliments on the black leash. It goes great with Mica's dark blue collar.
Waist belt on top of the Rocky Mountains. We were resting at a pullout on Trail Ridge Road, sitting on top of a rock wall on the edge of the road. Below us, the mountain dropped off dramatically. With tiny chipmunks popping up everywhere, I wanted to be sure my dogs didn't fall off the ledge going after them. Having them belted to me as I sat with them was great. They were wearing harnesses so that, in the event of a poor decision, they wouldn't hang themselves. But I really appreciated the security of having them attached to me in such an unstable environment.
Ok, this leash is not perfect, and some aspects are actually a bit disappointing. It isn't performing quite like I was hoping and I may be expanding my search for a new leash.
The snap. Not my favorite. First of all, it's not all that easy to use. The snap is marketed as being a one-hand closure. With one of the leashes I bought, it works fairly well. The other I have issues with and rarely can get it to snap the first time I try. It's just not smooth. Another issue with the snap is its weight. This thing is heavy. I worry about clunking my dogs on the head when I grab the leashes from my table to put them on.
My last criticism of the snap is that, after only a week, the black patina is worn. Now, I'm a function over form type person, but looks are important to you, you would be quickly disappointed with the chips and gaps in the black color of the snap. I'd have to say that the snap is the main reason why I don't care for this leash. I want it to be easy and uncomplicated to leash up and get going, and I have to spend more time than I'd like getting geared up. The weight bothers me too. Lastly, and this is super minor but I'm crazy detail-oriented, it's difficult to tell which end is which when I grab the leash off the table because both the buckle and snap are black.
Hiking in hands-free mode. When I have the leashes belted around my waist, my dogs have to walk right by my side. There isn't enough room/length for them to walk ahead of me. On the trail, which is usually narrow, we can't all 3 walk side by side. Also, my dogs are used to walking on a loose leash directly in front of me on the trail. They were disconcerted having to walk right next to me and often they had trouble navigating since they were outside the edge of the trail. I ended up unbelting and going to just a hand loop. This mode worked well, and I liked having a durable strong leash hooked to their harnesses.
Pottying. The leash is only 5 feet long, so even with the buckle undone and at full length, I would have liked a full 6 foot leash to allow my dogs enough room to roam and potty. Also, it feels weird just holding half of a buckle while I let them do their business - what I need to do in order to give them the full length of the leash. I'm probably going to get just simply slip leads for my apartment to take my dogs outside.
Overall, these are great, well-made leashes. I love the variable length and option to tether a dog quickly and easily. You CAN operate the clip with one hand (I just may not be the most coordinated), and these will hold up to life on the trail quite well I'm sure. I've been nothing but impressed with the company. But I can be a perfectionist when it comes to gear! I want those quality pieces that will last years and years and perform exactly the way I want them to. Because when I'm traveling solo or out on the trail in bear country or doing water crossings or who knows what else, I want to trust my gear completely and know it intimately.
There you have it folks. I'll keep you updated as I continue to put this leash to the test. If you have any questions at all or want to share your own experiences with this product, please comment below!