Literally. Ok, below freezing now.
It looks like the typical sunny blue sky of a day in Bend, OR so the cold was unexpected. Bend is warning us all that WINTER is COMING. Probably not the best day to get pictures for this hands-free Hipster Leash that I've been meaning to review. I've run with it several times but just hadn't had any pictures yet so I attempted (and mostly succeeded) in doing that today. A couple of things made this run less than ideal for photos:
1. I only have one glove because I lost the other. Note to self: must replace! My hand was so cold!
2. The kids are off school so we attempted a "family run" where the girls were on a bike and our five-year-old son was bundled up in the stroller. Um, this did not go so well. First of all, my son couldn't get over the fact that we asked him to wear a coat with a hood even though he had a new hat on. What?! You can't wear a hooded coat WITH a hat. His rules. Since we didn't want him to freeze, we made him wear the coat anyway. This only made him really mad that he had to go on this stupid run in the first place. Then he was really annoyed that we stopped before the trail to have his dad snap a few staged pictures of a leash...of mom running with a leash...for a blog review...all ridiculous stuff that was spoiling his fun play time in a warm house. I explained that he had a choice to run himself, ride his bike, or sit in the stroller bundled up. Giving choices wasn't working. Then the whining started. All of them. Including me. A chorus of whining. A half mile into the run and my husband and I gave up and split up. The plan: I would take the dog for the first run and then I'd pass the baton and he'd head out when I got home. That worked for a minute until the dog started tracking his master's (I'm second master) scent and heading home even though I was running the other way. I'd call...he'd come...we'd run a few strides...and he'd be back to hunting my husband down. I gave up. I'll run long tomorrow. Freezing or not. I can wear a sock on my hand.
This brings to me to the running with my dog and Hipster Leash review.
If you would have asked me a year ago if I wanted a dog, I would have said: NOPE. Nada. No. No thank you. I grew up with dogs (that was plenty), love to travel, and just didn't want the added responsibility of a dog to care for. However, I knew the time was coming where we'd be in our mostly forever house and then we'd have to keep our promise to the kids and get a dog. We found the PERFECT fit for our family. I had no idea I'd love a dog this much. He's bigger than I thought I wanted but he's amazing in every way:
- Great runner! He loves running as much as we do...probably more. A true runner dog. He will run miles and mile and miles. His favorite is on the trails where he can be off leash. He runs laps around us...sprinting in and out of trees, tracking trails, cooling off in the waters, and yet still close enough to listen for our call. And when we need him to run right next to us, he is quick to listen.
- Loving. So so good with the kids! My middle daughter uses him as a pillow.
- So well-trained (he was like that when we got him!)
- A fun dog. He loves to swim, play fetch/catch with balls and pine cones.
- Faithful and funny.
- Loves car rides and rides with his kids to and from school on most days.
- Easy to train...smart!
- Protective but not mean. He will bark at the things that are legit and he is loyal loyal!
Okay, before I start sounding like one of those crazy dog people (at least to those that don't have a dog), I'll skip to the leash part. For the most part, I prefer to run leash-free but that's not always something that can happen. For one, if we aren't on trails, it is just plain illegal. It's not polite IMO...I think unless you're in an area where unleashed dogs are expected and allowed, you should have your dog leashed. A big black dog running free down the sidewalks of the neighborhood isn't cool. And even though my dog is a great running partner and good listener, if a squirrel dashes across the street, you bet he will fly after that thing and up the tree after it! This is no good when there is traffic to run into. A LEASH is necessary!
A few things about leashes and running:
- They make running awkward .
- If you have a big dog who can run three times as fast as you, a leash can be even more awkward if the dog is excited and not wanting to go slow enough for you (this takes training).
- Running is much better HANDS-FREE!
When I was asked if I wanted to try out and review this hands-free Hipster Leash I was all about it! Not only am I a new dog owner and excited about new dog gear, but I was really annoyed by my leash. My only concern with my dog and this leash was that I might get pulled on my face if I used it at the start of a run where he was really excited. But worth the try.
After several test runs with this leash, I'd recommend it for:
- small to medium size dogs.
- more casual runs where you're main goal is to get out and get you and your dog exercise but not necessarily wanting to go a certain pace or run with the very best form.
- hikes or brisk walks with your dog.
- a large dog if the dog is good on a leash and/or older and slower.
Pros and Cons
Pros of the Hipster Leash
- Hands-Free. It's nice to run, hike, walk, and jog hands-free!
- Pockets for keys, phone, or other personal items. The back pocket will fit a phone, gel packs, ID, or other smaller items.
- An option to pull out a mesh holder for a water bottle or even better with my dog....a ball! Or two! This is great for when we run a route off trail where there are not pine cones to toss at the dog parks.
- Adjustable leash length.
- Adjustable waist strap.
- The belt is soft and comfortable and fits nicely around the waist.
- Help running up the hills. :)
|The back of the belt. This pocket olds a phone but not too much more. The belt is soft and comfortable. looks much like a fanny pack. Ha!|
|Besides the hands-free part, the pouch to hold the ball (two in this picture) or water is my favorite. This dog and his ball...GAME ON. I eventually needed to hide the balls so he would actually RUN!|
|He says: "Ok, enough of the stupid pictures...give me my ball!"|
|A pocket for keys. Or whatever floats your boat. Notice the one glove. The other hand froze.|
|Where the leash hooks on. You could even probably turn the leash around and have this on the other side.|
Cons of the Hipster Leash
- If you want good lean-forward running form, this can be difficult to attain if you have a dog that is pulling you. For my first few runs with this leash, I found myself digging my heels in a bit and leaning back. Once we adjusted to the leash, there was less pulling and I was able to have a more relaxed form.
- The belt seems to come in one size and I could have used a smaller size to make it tighter. Also, my oldest daughter wanted to use the leash but it was way too big and wouldn't adjust down any more.
- The leash it comes with is rather thin. I would have liked a thicker leash for my larger dog. At one point on the trail, he pulled harder to get ahead near another dog and the leash came off the hook where it attaches. Luckily, my dog just came back when called and I hooked him back up.
- The leash is adjustable but it never really gets very long.
- I might like to see the attachable leash be made out of a stretchy material that would make for less pulling on the belt.
- Having more room in the back pocket might be nice for hikers who want to put a phone AND something else.
Do you have a dog? Are you a runner? Do you have a runner friend who has a dog and you think this would make a good gift?? This might just be a great addition to your Christmas list or birthday ideas. Well, here's a chance to get one to try for free. Giveaway time! Gosh, it's been years since I've done a giveaway on this blog. What's happening?!
I'll keep it simple. Goodness knows I hate the song and dance of entering a giveaway. If you want to enter the giveaway do ONE, SOME or ALL (your choice) of the following and leave a comment so I know you entered.
- Tell me why you want to win a Hipster Leash. For yourself or someone else.
- Share this review on your blog, fb, twitter, or whatever. Sharing on social media is obviously better for me as a blogger (for networking, etc.) However, pass the computer across the room to your mom or send to a friend in email even. Sharing is sharing. But tell me you did.
- Tell me something funny or interesting. Like a funny story about your dog. Or about your dog on a run.
I'll announce a winner by November 20th!