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Are you looking for a dog jacket but can’t decide which one to buy?
Maybe your dog hates going outside in the rain?
Or needs something to stay warm during the cold months?
Are you tired of always toweling off your dog’s back to keep him or her from bringing water into the house?
If any of these scenarios ring a bell, I would recommend a waxed-cotton dog jacket or coat.
Why Waxed Cotton?
According to Wikipedia, “Waxed cotton is cotton impregnated with a paraffin or natural beeswax-based wax, woven into or applied to the cloth. Widely used from the mid-19th century to the mid-1950s, the product, which originated in the sailing industry in England and Scotland, became widely used by many for waterproofing.”
Waxed cotton has been used for decades in clothing and other applications because it’s very good at shedding rain and blocking wind. Add a lining for warmth and you have a durable and reliable garment for wet, rainy days.
The downside of waxed cotton is that it isn’t breathable like materials such as GORE-TEX. But that’s less of an issue with dogs because they don’t perspire through their skin like humans do. Instead, they rely on panting as their primary means of heat regulation.
Therefore, a waxed-cotton jacket can be very effective keeping your dog dry and warm. And waxed cotton is made to stand up to heavy use, while keeping the elements at bay.
Barbour Dog Jacket vs. Orvis Dog Jacket
Deciding which waxed-cotton dog jacket to purchase shouldn’t be difficult. But there are several to consider before buying one. I’ve tried to gather as much information about two of the leading dog jackets as possible, so you can buy with confidence.
Let’s compare waxed-cotton dog jackets from Barbour and Orvis. Both companies have a long-standing reputation for producing high-quality outdoor- and lifestyle-geared apparel. Each offers a variation of a waxed-cotton dog coat that may or may not be right for your dog.
Barbour is a British company that’s been making waxed-cotton products for decades. And it has a reputation for producing high-quality outerwear. It’s no surprise that the company’s waxed-cotton dog jacket is popular with fans of the brand.
Barbour touts this jacket as waterproof, windproof and thorn-proof. Since the jacket primarily covers the back and sides, your dog’s undercarriage won’t necessarily be immune to thorns and other natural obstructions in the landscape, so take that into account. If you spend a lot of time afield in thick, thorny brush, a skid plate with chest protection is worth considering.
It features a tartan lining, corduroy collar, adjustable buckle and adjustable hook-and-loop neck closure. It comes in four sizes and one color.
Not that looks count for everything, but this is a very nice looking dog jacket. And many customers have also commented on how stylish the jacket is and how it looks great on their dog.
But I wouldn’t buy this jacket on looks alone. There are some design issues that must be addressed. The belly strap is fastened with Velcro and is susceptible to coming loose. That’s not the end of the world if you see the belt dropping off your dog, but if you notice 5 minutes later, finding a dark green belt in the woods or brush can be challenging at best.
Also, the buckle needs improvement. What happens is that the strap often slips if tension is applied. As a result, the jacket tends to turn sideways and ends up needing to be “reset.”
Some customers note that they can’t find a jacket that fits right due to the 4-inch differences between the sizes.
Others say this is a great-fitting jacket that keeps their dog dry, is extremely durable and keeps the pooch from bringing the outdoors inside.
SIZING (from Base of Neck to Base of Tail)
- Small: 14 inches, for dogs 15 to 25 pounds
- Medium: 18 inches, for dogs 25 to 40 pounds
- Large: 22 inches, for dogs 40 to 55 pounds
- X-Large: 26 inches, for dogs 60 to 85 pounds
- Excellent water-shedding capability to keep your dog dry and dries quickly
- Lightweight and easy to put on
- High-quality waxed cotton fabric and styling that lives up to the Barbour standard
- Competitive price
- Frustrating buckle design that allows jacket to shift from side to side and not stay closed
- Small belly strap doesn’t offer much underside protection and sometimes comes loose
- Sizing falls in between for some dogs, leaving the back end of the body exposed
- Straps should have more holes for custom fit
- Lining isn’t easy to clean
See Current Price
The Orvis Quilted Waxed-Cotton Dog Jacket is another sporty-looking dog coat that’s designed to keep your dog’s back dry and protected, from water, cold and while afield.
Like the Barbour jacket, this coat is available in four sizes. If you prefer color choices, Orvis offers it in either navy blue or green.
One notable difference with the Orvis jacket is sizing. The coats tend to run longer and larger. The small is 3 inches longer than the Barbour small jacket, and is intended for slightly larger “small” dogs, while the medium runs 2 inches longer; the large is 1 inch longer than the Barbour coat. The X-Large is 1 inch shorter than the Barbour.
Customers whose dogs have larger chests and rib cages have noted how well this jacket fits compared to others they’ve tried. And the extra belly fabric helps keep undercarriages drier, too.
And while this jacket provides better overall top and bottom coverage, some customers still couldn’t get the “right” fit for their dog. In fact, the top complaint with this jacket is about sizing
And because the underside is wider than some jackets, it can be a hindrance for male dogs when they need to urinate.
Still, this is a very good waxed-cotton dog jacket that would work well in rainy/snowy, colder climates, where extra warmth is important. It’s durable, well-made and a great buy for the price.
SIZING (from Base of Neck to Base of Tail)
- Small: 17 inches, for dogs 18 to 34 pounds
- Medium: 20 inches, for dogs 26 to 40 pounds
- Large: 23 inches, for dogs 40 to 60 pounds
- X-Large: 25 inches, for dogs 60 to 85 pounds
- Highly water resistant
- Soft and very warm fleece lining
- Velcro closures are easily adjustable for a great fit
- Wide belly strap
- Excellent value for the money
- Sizing can be problematic for some dogs
- Jacket might be too heavy for dogs in moderate climates
- Velcro closures may come loose if your dog is very active while wearing the jacket
See Current Price
My top pick for a waxed-cotton dog jacket goes to Orvis. Even with its potential flaws, it has an overall better strap design, better overall coverage and is also less expensive than the Barbour coat. And if your dog is a bit skittish, consider that some customers say the Orvis jacket even works like a “thunder coat,” and that it seems to give their dogs a sense of security and calm. No matter whether you choose Orvis or Barbour, be sure to measure your dog’s back length and find the proper length for the best neck-to-tail coverage.