When’s a leash not a leash? When it’s the Ruffwear climbing inspired Knot-a-Leash that’s when. When selecting products for Mountain Dog this one picked itself for the team. First it is a highly practical and strong lead from the industry leaders. Second, it’s so climbing and outdoors inspired it virtually pulls you towards the mountains! So, it’s fair to say I like it a lot.
The leash itself is constructed of 1.5 metres of kernmantle rope which if you are not familiar means it’s interior core is covered by a woven exterior layer – the result, it is tough, durable and highly flexible rope. Add to this the reflective detail for safety, and you know you are onto a winner. This is the type of rope you can trust and many climbers and potholers do just that every day. For me though it’s comforting just to have something of this strength to restrain my dog’s ambitions to herd every animal and vehicle in site! Just make sure the collar or harness matches this capability we don't want the weakest link to win here.
At the top of the rope is a very comfortable padded handle area made of tubular webbing. A gear loop is just underneath this to attach whatever you may wish. My attachment of choice is for waste bags, but pretty much anything with a clip can sit there nicely.
At the business end of the leash is my favourite bit, a full size climbing grade carabiner. It feels solid, it performs with up to an 1100kg load, and it looks every bit as outdoorsy as you would expect, a flash of orange on the locking section pays reference to the Ruffwear logo too, small details but something that makes you feel good about the product you have purchased. It may be a tad over-engineered, but quite frankly, I don't care, this is Mountain Dog territory – it’s fab, so much so, I didn’t think I could enthuse so much about what is essentially a dog lead!
Ruffwear do give you two choices, the leash I reviewed, imaginatively named the ‘Large’, and the alternate version, predictably called the ‘Small’. Both have the same length leash, but the difference is that the diameter of the rope is 7mm versus 10mm, and the carabiner is not as large (but it still perfectly formed) on the smaller version. Add to that a range of four colours, what’s not to like?
Finally you will see a product called the Knot-a-long, same thing but less rope length for short leash situations.
All opinions my own