When researching the product selection there were some obvious additions to the Mountain Dog brand portfolio however I kind of stumbled across EQDog. That stumble was quite fortuitous as EQDog, based in Denmark, stand out from the crowd when it comes to quality of product and their understanding of it's use in the real world, They are dog people and this really does shine through when you start to look at and use their products.
The reason I ended up with the Pro Harness in my hands was more to do with the fact that I was reviewing backpacks which are normally a separate product to consider, however, whilst this harness is a highly durable, light weight and breathable everyday product, it's hidden secret is that it also has in-built gear loops that an EQDog Flexpack can attach too. A very logical, smart and well designed solution. Very Scandanavian!
First on the harness, it feels well built but it still has flexibility giving your dog good comfort, I am convinced Denver, my Border Collie, could wear this all day everyday. In terms of the functionality, some extras appear here too. Firstly three points of leash connection, the traditional one at the top front with a solid metallic loop, and then two further fabric loops for multiple applications ; one of these supports sports such as man-trailing (Google it!) and the other one offers a smart place to attach a training lead on the underside of the dog's body. On that last point we have made great use of the training lead here, it keeps it low and avoids accidental trips or getting wrapped up which happens all too frequently with a conventional harness or collar. Secondly, the handle feels both strong and comfortable and easily dealt with my Collie's 20Kg mass when needed and finally (thirdly!) the Pro Harness has an additional belly strap which adds more stability when not using a pack.
The Pro Harness is available in two colours Grey/Green (in the pictures) and the slightly more expensive Grey/Reflective. Both have reflective detailing for safety there is just more of it on the latter. Sizing is from XS to L/XL but note the XS is not compatible with the backpack, obviously EQDog have a size issue here (i.e. there isn't enough dog) and in my view if the dog is that small it can probably ride along in a conventional human backpack anyway!
Moving on and focusing on the fun end of the deal, the back pack attachment. Known as the Flexpack, this comes in two sizes, small & medium. I think this naming convention is deceptive as the small is actually quite a good size pack and for my young dog would be the maximum I would put on him until he is older and more able. The capacity is 2.8 litre per side (large one is 3.2l), but on the Scandinavian theme, I was able to load 3 x packs of 500g Lurpak butter into each of the side pockets quite comfortably - and that is a lot of butter! For the test though, Denver had a few stuffed plastic bags for his load just to pad out the bags for the photo, not quite time for him to go fully loaded. The large version review with an upgraded dog (in terms of size) will be posted to this site soon.
Looks wise the flex pack looks great, the green colours with reflective elements are somewhat akin to Buzz Lightyear as are the position of the bags which are similar to Buzz's wings as they jut out of the sides. That said, it looks good, and apart from some initial spacial awareness issues for Denver, he really didn't flinch at having this mounted on his back. He was a normal happy dog running around on the fells which comes back to my statement about comfort at the top of this article.
In terms of rain, like a normal human backpack the Flexpack is highly water repellent but not waterproof. EQDog do provide rain protection covers but our review model didn't have these included so we will have to trust them on that.
Together the Pro Harness & Flexpack make a great combination for day (and small multi-day) treks and this will be an easy choice unless we are heading onto technical terrain where I will opt to carry his gear in favour of him wearing a climbing grade harness,.
Finally, I am so excited we get to represent EQDog in the UK, what we've seen so far has been highly impressive.
All opinions my own