Welcome to our very first review on The Firefox Fables! I’ll start by stating that this harness was sent to me by Tyker in return for some photographs. However, it was my decision to write this review, and what follows is 100% my honest opinion. Those of you who follow us on Instagram (@lokithefirefox) will know that I care an awful lot about anything to do with Loki – from knowing exactly what’s in her food, to checking out how suitable a chew or toy is, to being very thorough about making sure harnesses/coats/collars/etc. fit correctly and don’t impede the little firefox in any way. So if I had any concerns about this harness, I’d tell you! Tyker are a new company based in Edinburgh – they offer a range of products with an emphasis on the adventure, quality and durability (find them on Instagram at @tykerstore). Having got the formalities and introductions out of the way – what did we think of the Tyker ‘Vinson’ harness? Read on for our full review and a 15% discount code!
This is what I would describe as a ‘general use’ harness – i.e. it is not designed for a specific activity (e.g. canicross/bikejor) or engineered to hold weight (like harnesses designed to take dogs scrambling/climbing are). It is a Y-shaped harness with a padded chest piece and webbing straps. The description on Tyker’s website does say that it is a “non pull harness”, but unlike aversive harnesses that are designed to tighten/cause discomfort when the dog pulls, this one does not. I’ve had a chat with Tyker about this, and what they mean is that it is simply designed to manage pulling by removing the pressure from the neck to the chest. Retailing at £17.99, this comes in well below the prices of some of the more popular adventure brand harnesses, and I’d strongly argue that the design and construction is far beyond other harnesses in this lower price bracket.
Let’s start with what I like most about this harness – adjustability! The side straps that go around the chest are adjustable in length, and the range is quite large, so although the harness only comes in small, medium and large, you should be able to tailor the chest straps to your dog. What I was pleasantly surprised by, was that the strap that the chest piece sits on is also adjustable. From the smallest size setting (which worked for Loki), it can be lengthened by 10cm, which is great for dogs with deeper chests.
What the Y-shaped design and adjustability mean, is that if properly fitted, your dog should have full range of movement and be very comfortable in this harness. As you can see in the image below, the Y sits on the front of Loki’s chest, the front straps sit high enough not to impede the shoulders, and the chest strap is far enough back not to catch under the arms.
Another thing that I like about this harness is that the webbing is padded at key pressure points – under the belly and the front straps. The stitching is very strong (trust me, I’ve given it a good tug in the spirit of rigorous testing!) and I’m very confident that this harness will last a long time. The whole thing is machine washable and although I’ve not tried it, I’d expect that it would dry very quickly, given the materials used. Loki had a good run around in long, wet grass with this harness on, and I found that it didn’t hold too much water, which is great.
We’ve been using the Tyker Vinson for a little while now, and on the whole I have nothing negative to report. However, there are one or two things that may make the harness unsuitable for dogs of all shapes and sizes. Firstly, the chest padding might be too wide for dogs with very narrow fronts. It’s 13cm at its widest point (6.5cm across the narrow part at the bottom of the Y), and that’s really the widest I would go with Loki’s petite frame. The length of the section that sits on the dog’s back is not adjustable, so if it doesn’t sit properly on your dog, then this just isn’t the harness for you. However, Tyker offer free delivery and returns in the UK, so there’s no harm in buying one, trying it on, and sending it back if it doesn’t fit. The last thing is that due to the design of the harness, you have to pop it over your dog’s head to put it on. This isn’t an issue for Loki at all, but I do know some dogs that aren’t comfortable with this. To summarise:
- Chest padding may be too wide for some dogs
- Length along back is not adjustable
- Has to go over the dog’s head to be put on
To conclude, I genuinely think this is the best harness you can buy under £20. As you can see from the picture above, smiles all around from Lokimon (plus a guest appearance from her beloved Beco ball!). Tyker are an exciting new company with good kit that doesn’t break the bank. Having chatted to them a lot over the past few weeks, I can honestly say that they are super friendly, accessible, and happy to take on feedback from dog owners. If you have any further questions about this harness, get in touch with us or with Tyker directly! As mentioned at the start of this post, they also offer a whole range of other products. Loki already has her eye on their Primaloft® travel bed 😉
If you want to give the Vinson harness a try, here’s a 15% discount code: SCLTYK15
(Full disclaimer: I’m not earning anything from sales using this code!)