In a rush and just want my recommendation? I think the ICEFANG Tactical Dog Harness is a great choice.
If you use a service dog, or are a hunter or a wilderness hiker, a tactical harness may be the best thing you can provide for your dog. Apart from the range of items a tactical harness enables your dog to carry, they also perform some important safety tasks.
The main consideration is the quality of the harness. If it’s poorly constructed or not fit for purpose, it could do more harm than good and put you, and your dog in danger.
In this article, I’m reviewing the following tactical dog harnesses.
- Auroth Tactical Dog Harness
- Rabbitgoo Tactical Dog Harness
- OneTigris Tactical Dog Training Vest
- ICEFANG Tactical Dog Harness
- Tri Cloud Sports Dog Tactical Harness
What is a Tactical Dog Harness?
Basically, they are a harness that is designed to have things attached to it, either by hooks, pockets, straps or PALS (Pouch Attachment Ladder System) webbing. This is rows of heavy-duty nylon stitched onto the vest. Having PALS webbing means you can attach MOLLE (MOdular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment), such as multi-tools, knives, water bottles, water bowls, first-aid kits and pouches.
Features to look for in a Tactical Dog Harness
Heavy duty nylon, with sturdy nylon stitching. Look for 1000D nylon. If your dog is wearing a loaded harness, you don’t want it to fall apart during a hike. You also don’t want to put your hound at risk by having various bits of equipment falling around their body and feet.
They are not usually brightly colored, but darker shades or camouflage. This is just a conventional design, since many of these harnesses are made with the military in mind.
Tactical harnesses have one or two handles on the back. This is so you can lift your dog over rough terrain, water, gates, fences and vegetation.
Durable But Light
If you start off with a heavy harness, by the time it’s loaded with equipment it could become unpleasant for a dog who is not fitness trained to use one regularly.
Padded But Breathable
It’s essential that when your dog has a loaded harness, they don’t suffer friction injuries to the skin. There needs to be enough protection, without being too hot and restricting.
Which Harnesses Do Real Military Dogs Use?
Special Operations Dogs need to have a harness that has been tailored for a perfect fit. They need to be light, between 1.5 and 3 pounds. This is because they carry a huge amount of equipment, including a special dog first-aid kit.
The harness will need to have an attachment point with the capacity to hold the dog’s weight, including the loaded harness. Rappel straps are attached at this site. This is for when the dog is being lowered from a height, or a helicopter. Rappelling straps are part of the kit for military dogs. These are the type of straps used for abseiling.
The dogs will need to be able to carry mission equipment like lights, radios and cameras. They’ll also need front and back handles for lifting these large working dogs.
This harness is easily fitted to your dog, and adjusted with two quick-release buckles and four fully adjustable shoulder and chest straps. The material is 900D nylon with sturdy stitching for extra durability.
There is a no-pull front ring with a load capacity of 1200 lbs, and a further leash attachment at the back of the harness. One durable handle is fitted at the front for lifting your hound over obstacles. There is good padding at all the pressure points, so when the harness is loaded your dog should be comfortable. Breathable mesh helps keep them cool.
Two strips of PALS webbing mean there’s ample room for a few MOLLE attachments.
- Well made
- Easy to fit
- PALS webbing may not accommodate MOLLE attachments adequately
- Plastic clips break
- Small sizing
Made from 1050D nylon, this harness is heavy-duty and military standard. Three sizes and three colors means plenty of options for medium to X-large dogs.
The Rabbitgoo is easy to fit and fully adjustable with four quick-release buckles and five straps at the shoulders, chest and belly. Two sturdy metal buckles are fitted for leash attachment. Reinforced handle at the front of the harness for easy lifting in unsafe situations.
The PALS webbing on both sides accommodates MOLLE attachments. This is a well padded harness, with breathable mesh so your dog is protected at pressure points, but still able to have the ventilation.
- Military 1050D nylon
- Reinforced stitching
- MOLLE capable
- Straps a little short
- Buckle underneath flimsy
This harness is described as ‘military style’ and comes in four colors and two sizes; medium and large. The material is durable 1000D nylon, with padding for comfort and a soft, breathable mesh lining.
Fully adjustable with four quick-release buckles, and a top handle for lifting your hound. One leash attachment point at the front, and a full length 9″ by 2″ heavy duty loop panel at the top for ID badges and one 3.5″ by 2″ panel on the neck strap.
- Durable material
- Fully adjustable
- Good build quality
- Plenty of room for patches
- Sizing variances depending on dog breed
- Stitching can be weak
- Handle unreliable and unsafe for carrying dog
The Icefang has six adjustment buckles, two metal and four plastic. The metal fixtures are at the chest, and they have a 1000 lb load capacity. This is to ensure the safety of your dog if they pull hard on a leash or vest. The plastic buckles, however, have a 250 lb limit, so if your dog weighs more than that, including the loaded harness, it’s probably not safe to lift them, or lower them from a height.
There are two 1″ strips of PALS webbing on each side. Plenty of room for MOLLE attachments. One strip of loop panel is also sewn along the back of the harness.
A no-pull front clip and a leash clip on the back of the harness gives you scope to choose what you need for control. The durable handle is well made and secure, although the plastic buckles under the belly also provide the weight limit for lifting.
- Good quality materials
- Looks good
- Generous MOLLE attachment points
- Handy loop panel for patches
- Strong stitching
- Can be ill-fitting, depending on your dog’s breed
- Buckles can fail
The Tri Cloud is made from 1000D nylon, so is durable and tough. It has a padded neck strap for comfort, and mesh for breath-ability on all contact areas.
There are three, quick release buckles and adjustable straps for easy fitting. This harness is camouflage, so definitely looks the part. There is a sturdy carrying handle at the front of the harness.
There is the MOLLE system on both sides of the harness, with a wide, velcro band on top for patches. Extras included are leash, three pouches, three patches and a collapsible water bowl.
- Good quality nylon
- Excellent customer service
- Plenty of room for attachments
- Looks professional
- Reports of stitching breaking
- Slides around when dog running
All these harnesses have some great features. For me though, safety first for my hound and for that reason the ICEFANG Tactical Dog Harness is my choice.
The Icefang fulfills all the criteria for a tactical dog harness. I like the generous MOLLE system, and the extra velcro band for patches. It has excellent load-bearing capabilities and strong stitching, so I’d feel confident that my dog is safe.
This harness looks great. There are some attractive color choices. It has a soft lining for comfort, and six adjustment points makes it easy to fit well. It is extremely durable and well made. I think this product is great value, and of all the harnesses I’ve looked at, this one is superior for comfort and fit.