A feature from the October – December 2022 issue of The Vizsla News.
We are heading into winter here in Colorado, so I’ve been pulling out the winter gear me and my girl gang keep on rotation. Over the years I have figured out what keeps my Vs warm without restricting them from going all out. Finding warm clothes for me that do the same is also super important as there is nothing worse than the ‘marshmallow man’ feel of being overdressed, but still trying to chase your red heads around.
Splurge – MERRELL Women’s Moab 3
Smooth Mid GORE-TEX®- $175.00 – merrell.com
Ok, I’m super sad my Moabs have held up so well be- cause these are V colored!! I use these hiking boots year round, but they are sometimes too toasty in the summer. I love the ankle support and my lighter, low-rise summer boots just can’t compete. These boots are waterproof and easily strap into snow shoes. They are super comfortable and provide amazing traction.
Save – SHULOOK Women’s Waterproof Hiking Boots $56.99 – amazon
These boots seem to have all the same features: mid-rise, waterproof, and good traction. With over 100 reviews they average 4.5 stars and the price is certainly hard to beat for all the features!
Splurge – WOMEN’S PINION DOWN SWEATER $259.00 – Stio
I’m OBSESSED with this jacket. It’s insanely warm and super low profile. In the photo I’m showing Cheeky at a Scent Work trial in Nebraska where it was something stupid like 10 degrees outside. Anyhow, it WAS SO cold that day, and I was blissfully warm in what looks like a pretty light jacket. And if you are thinking about buying, let me know…I can send you a refer a friend link that will save you $50!
Save – EDDIE BAUER Women’s CirrusLite Down Jacket $77.40 – Eddie Bauer
This puffer jacket boasts an overall 4.5 rating with almost 1500 reviews! If you are environmentally conscious it also has a recycled shell and lining, making it an eco-friendly option for warm winter wear. Reviewers also say that it fits well over mid-weight layers, making it the perfect budget friendly option for adding warmth without the bulk!
I’ve been dating a legit Colorado Mountain Man and have been keeping track of what he keeps in rotation too. I’m incorporating those observations here for the guys in our group!
Splurge – CRISPI NEVADA LEGEND GTX
$440 – Crispi
His Crispi boots seem to be his favorite no matter what. Easy to see why — the best soles (Vibram), insulated, ankle support, and water repellant. Reviews are good too, 5 stars with many comments “BEST boots ever”. If you are going to splurge, it should always be on shoes!
Save – IRISH SETTER MEN’S CANYONS $89.99 – Sportsman’s Guide
These boots also boast many of the features of the Crispi ones — Vibram sole, Ankle support, and waterproofing. Reviewers brag about the scentban which actually works to fight foot odor! With the smooth leather, they are a breeze to keep clean and look great too!
Splurge – SITKA JETSTREAM VEST – $209 – Sitka
Another fave of my new Mountain Man? This Sitka vest. Since he is accustomed to living in the high country, when he comes down to Denver, he just pairs this vest over short sleeves, in our balmy 40 degree weather. The vest is designed to be layered and delivers on core warmth with both windstoppping technology and gore-tex insulation.
Save – STORM CREEK DIMITRI MICRO-FLEECE-LINED SOFTSHELL VEST $70 – Bass Pro Shops
This vest is a good substitution for the Sitka one that also boasts windstopping technology. It’s also waterproof and fleece lined adding to the ability to keep your core warm. Finally it features zippered hand warmer pockets!
And finally, the gear I use to keep my girlies warm!
Splurge – CHILLYDOG COAT $70.42 – $129.95 Chilly Dogs
My foundation bitch, Halo, came from Kathy Rust in Fargo, ND, where she is a professional at keeping dogs warm in the bitter cold. So, I asked Kathy for her recommendation. And hands down, she recommended ChillyDogs out of Canada. I get the Great White North model and love that it doesn’t restrict movement or have annoying back leg straps. And they have over 70 five star reviews! I highly recommend using their sizing consultation; the first time I bought one, I would have ordered one that was 2 sizes too big!
Save – Gooby Sweaters – $21.34 – Amazon
Okay, so maybe you need both the save and splurge items in this category, because, lets be honest…if you are going to over buy on something, it’s going to be on dog stuff, right? I *ADORE* these Gooby fleece sweaters. The XXL fits my bitches perfectly. Easy on, easy off. Chilly days indoors, the girls wear them all day. Early fall, bring on the sweaters. They come in a million colors and I promise you will adore them too!
Splurge – RUFF WEAR GRIP TREX – $39.95 (will need 2 sets!) – ruffwear.com
I don’t often boot my dogs, but if the snow is deep, or if it’s super cold, boots are the answer. The problem with boots is keeping them on. I’ve had good luck with the Ruff Wear ones, but I also use vet wrap and duct tape. Drop me a note if you need the tips! I also order the Ruff Wear socks ($14.95 per pair) to add some extra warmth and prevent rubbing. Make sure to use their sizing video.
Save – PAWZ BOOTIES – $19.99 – pawzdogboots.com
I was introduced to these booties when staying in NYC for Westminster several years ago. The Pawz company had left a whole box with the doorman of my Aunt’s building and asked that he pass them out to any dogs headed out. They are overly easy to put on and totally stay put. They are basically like little balloons! They don’t do much to keep their toes warm, but they do protect from sidewalk salt and getting snowballs in their pads.
As always, whether you decide to save or splurge, hopefully there are some winners here for everyone! Hope you all have a wonderful holiday season.