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If you’ve ever strolled down your local pet store’s clothing aisle, you might be disappointed if you’re looking for a fall or winter vest that is both warm and light. They’re either warm and bulky, or are so thin you might as well dress your dog in one of its summer outfits and call it a day. And chances are if you happen to find the holy grail of vests, it isn’t available in your dog’s size or in colors that would render your dog virtually invisible at night; black or blue, although fashion-forward, are not the best choices for night strolls.
Helen Kulaga from Collar (the makers of the amazing PULLER training rings) aims to change that. Her dream is simple: To make lightweight vests for the modern pooch available in the size you need. They’d be easy to put on and take off, and they’d be offered in different colors which will make your dog the star of the show, even at night. After experimenting with different kinds of ultra-light nylons, Helen sewed her first prototype and AiryVest was born.
In order to make her dream come true, Helen Kulaga has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise enough money to make a large minimum order required from factory partners. Although there is no minimum pledge, $20 will guarantee you one AiryVest in the color and size of your choice. The more you pledge, the more AiryVests you will have delivered to your home in January 2016, wherever your home may be.
If you’re worried your dog won’t like wearing it, AiryVest has got you covered. They’ve done their research by talking to dog owners, dog behaviorists and veterinarians about the best way to implement clothes into a dog’s life. The conclusion is that the best time to introduce things such as sweaters and vests is during puppyhood training. However, if you weren’t able to convince your dog about clothes when they were pups, all is not lost. The key is to make the clothes easier to put on, which means simplifying the clothes design altogether.
Rather than attempting to push your dog’s head through a tiny hole, Helen has implemented something truly revolutionary to make dressing your dog a breeze: a zipper. Sounds simple enough, right? Yet most of the vests and sweaters available today don’t have this tiny little device that makes the experience so much less traumatizing for your furry friend.
When putting on an AiryVest, think of how you dress yourself: One arm in, then the other, zip it up and voila, you’re done. The zipper zips from top to bottom, which eliminates those few frustrated moments trying to find the zipper near your dog’s belly. If that doesn’t win you over, how about the fact that it is so light, your dog probably won’t even feel it? The AiryVest weighs a total of 45 grams (1.6 ounces) – that’s equal to one golf ball.
The AiryVest is made of ultra-lightweight nylon fabric and is filled with a synthetic nylon, which is similar to down in that it keeps your to keep your dog warm but retains its shape even when its wet. This also means Airyvest is naturally hypoallergenic – one less thing to worry about when you’re purchasing a vest for fall, winter or early spring.
AiryVest is available in three different colour combinations: black and blue, blue and lime as well as lime and orange. Besides those ultra-bright colors to keep your dog safe on night walks, every AiryVest also has a reflective logo on the vests neck to enhance visibility.
The vest covers your pooch’s back, chest and most of its neck – oh, and did I mention this magical wearable is reversible? Yes, this means your dog can strut his stuff in lime green in the morning and then do the switcheroo to orange for his afternoon walk. All the females will swoon in his wake… but not really because dogs are partially colorblind. Oh well, you can’t win them all!
If you’d like to receive your AiryVest, be sure to go to kickstarter.com and fund this stylish and functional campaign before time runs out.
Diana Faria is a freelance writer who loves to write about all things dog- and bird-related. She’s been around pets all her life and her longest relationship was with a 17-year-old peach-faced lovebird named Panchoe. When she isn’t writing about the furry friends in our lives, she’s making her black-capped Caique, Max, Instagram famous. She’s also a pillow for Kika, her short-tempered yet cuddly Chihuahua/Dachshund.