Tue. Dec 7th, 2021
Brindle dog in a car buckled in with a red Sleepypod crash-tested harness

When deciding on a crash-tested dog harness, your primary concern is probably your pup’s protection. But comfort, convenience, and durability are all factors that can influence your decision.

Brindle dog in the car secured in a crash-tested dog harness

 

Why Are Crash-Tested Dog Harnesses Important?

Whether you’re taking a 10-minute trip to the dog park or traveling across the country, keeping your pet safe and secure in your vehicle is a top priority. Crash-tested dog harnesses cannot only help protect your pet from being injured in an accident, they can keep pets from distracting the driver and causing an accident!

When deciding on a crash-tested car harness, most owners are thinking about keeping their pet safe in an accident. But a good crash-tested dog harnesses will protect you and the other passengers in your car as well!

Did you know that, in a 50mph collision, an unrestrained 10-pound pet becomes a projectile packing 500 pounds of force? Or that an unrestrained 60-pound dog can inflict 3,000 pounds of force?

In some states, it’s even illegal to drive with an unrestrained animal in your vehicle. And, even in states that don’t require pet restraints, motorists driving with loose pets can still receive tickets for distracted driving — especially in the event of a collision.

With all this in mind, it’s very important that the crash-tested dog harness you choose keeps your pet in place. But you’ll also want a harness that is comfortable for your dog, easy to use, offers convenient features, and holds up well over time.

READ MORE ⇒ State Laws Require Pet To Buckle Up

Black and golden Cocker Spaniel dogs in back of car

 

Understanding Crash-Test Standards

In 2011, the Center for Pet Safety (CPS), conducted a pilot study to investigate the crashworthiness of pet travel harnesses. Based on the findings of that study CPS went on to complete a landmark pet travel harness study in 2013. Almost every harness failed their tests, and many were deemed “catastrophic failures.”

Most of the harnesses we reviewed weren’t on the market when CPS completed their 2013 study. And, while we only considered harnesses that the manufactures claim to have crash-tested, it’s difficult to determine what that means.

Unlike the regulations for child safety seats, there currently are no crash-test standards for pet car harnesses. And just because a manufacturer says they tested a harness doesn’t mean it performed well or would protect your pet or you in an accident.

The CPS continues to test and certify car harnesses for dogs for a fee at the request of the manufacturer. The harnesses that have been tested and certified by the CPS are indicated below.

Brindle dog in a red bandana in the back seat of a car

 

How We Chose

After 11+ years of traveling with our dogs and writing about the products we use, I’m familiar with the top pet brands and their standards for quality. We prefer products designed with the same attention to detail you’d expect when buying something for a human family member.

I also considered how Myles seemed to feel about each of the crash-tested dog harnesses. After all, he’s the one wearing it! I reviewed each of the harnesses to judge the fit, how easy it was to get on and off, and how comfortable Myles was riding in it.

READ MORE ⇒ How To Take A Cross-Country Road Trip With Pets

Brindle dog in the back seat of a car on a cross country road trip

Crash-Tested Dog Harnesses

I received the products discussed below free of charge. The opinions expressed here are my own.

This post contains affiliate links. See our full disclosure here.


SleepyPod Clickit Sport Harness

BEST OVERALL

Brindle dog in a car buckled in with a red Sleepypod crash-tested harness
Myles in size small Sleepypod Clickit Sport crash-tested dog harness

SHOP NOW on amazon.com: $83 – $120

Highlights

Crash-Tested and Certified by the Center for Pet Safety

Sizes Available: S to XL

Weight Capacity: 18 to 90 pounds

Installation: Pass seat belt through two loops on the back of the harness

Like all SleepyPod products, the Clickit Sport Harness is thoughtfully designed and made from the highest quality materials. The Infinity Loop design combines a padded vest, seat belt grade straps, and stress-tested buckles, to absorb the damaging forces that can cause injury in a car collision. And the three seat belt contact points provide excellent security for your dog in the event of a collision.

What We Like:

  • Simple design with no bulkiness
  • Step-in style makes it easy to get on and off
  • Double D-rings on the back are convenient to attach a leash for short walks
  • Available in a variety of fun colors
  • Durable ballistic nylon and neoprene padded vest that is easy to clean
Sleepypod S-Clip

What We’d Change:

  • The straps can be difficult to adjust
  • Might not fit deep-chested breeds like Greyhounds, Whippets, Salukis, Afghan Hounds, and Borzoi
Brindle dog in a red Sleepypod crash-tested harness with leash attached

 


Ruffwear Load Up Harness

BEST FOR ESCAPE ARTISTS

Brindle dog buckled up in the car in a crash-tested dog harness from Ruffwear
Myles in size small Ruffwear Load Up crash-tested dog harness

SHOP NOW on amazon.com: $80

Highlights

Crash tested at a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration contracted test facility for dogs up to 75 pounds

Sizes Available: XXS to L/XL

Girth Capacity: 13 to 42 inches

Installation: Pass seat belt through one loop at the back of the harness

The Load Up harness, like all Ruffwear gear, is built for adventure. This harness has been through dynamic crash testing and static tensile testing of all critical components. It features all-metal hardware with a tough polyester shell and polyester lining, so it’s both strong and durable. And the large belly panel provides ample coverage to thwart most escape artists!

What We Like:

  • Four points to adjust for size
  • Velcro tabs to hold excess straps
  • Comfortable for extended wear

What We’d Change:

  • The over-the-head design with one side release buckle requires the dog’s front paw to be fed through the harness, which makes it a little harder to get on and off
  • No rings to attach a leash
Brindle dog buckled up in the car in a crash-tested dog harness from Ruffwear

 


Kurgo Enhanced Strength Tru-Fit Harness

MOST CONVENIENT

Brindle dog buckled up in the car in a crash-tested dog harness from Kurgo
Myles in size medium Kurgo Enhanced Strength Tru-Fit crash-tested dog harness

SHOP NOW on amazon.com: $40 – $45

Highlights

Crash tested at a university testing facility for dogs up to 75 pounds at 30 miles per hour

Sizes Available: XS to XL

Weight Capacity: 5 to 105 pounds

Installation: Use included carabiner to attach harness straps to seat belt

Kurgo‘s Enhanced StrengthTru-fit harness was crash tested at a facility that maintains Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 213 for Child Restraint Systems. It features all-steel hardware for strength and durability, and comes with both front and back D-ring leash attachments. It’s the most convenient of the harnesses to install, because you can leave the seat belt buckled with the carabiner attached and just release the harnesses straps when it’s time to get your dog out of the car.

What We Like:

  • Simple design with no bulkiness
  • Over-the-head style like many harnesses you might already use with your dog
  • D-rings on the front and back make it great for walks
  • Five points to adjust for size to get a great fit
  • Machine washable for easy cleaning
  • Comes with an all-steel carabiner that makes buckling up easy

What We’d Change:

  • Nesting buckles are difficult for some people
  • On deep-chested dogs, the straps might chafe behind the front legs
Brindle dog buckled up in the car in a crash-tested dog harness from Kurgo

 


Sleepypod Clickit Terrain Harness

MOST VERSATILE

Brindle dog buckled up in the car in a crash-tested Sleepypod Terrain dog harness
Myles in size small Sleepypod Terrain crash-tested dog harness

SHOP NOW on amazon.com: $110 – $120

Highlights

Crash-Tested and Certified by the Center for Pet Safety

Sizes Available: S to XL

Weight Capacity: 18 to 110 pounds

Installation: Pass seat belt through both sides of the harness

When it comes to crash-tested dog harnesses, Sleepypod leads the pack for quality, safety, and ingenuity. Their Clickit Terrain harness incorporates the Infinity Loop design, padded vest, seat belt grade straps, and stress-tested buckles to protect your pet in a car accident. But this harness can be turned into a backpack with the optional Terrain Pack, and service or custom patches can be swapped for the reflective patches!

What We Like:

  • Step-in design for easy on and off
  • Double D-rings on the back for convenient leash attachement
  • Available in a variety of fun colors
  • Durable ballistic nylon and neoprene padded vest that is easy to clean
  • Available with the S-Clip and Buckle Shield to lock the seat belt strap in place and cover the seat belt release button

What We’d Change:

  • The straps can be difficult to adjust
  • Might not fit deep-chested breeds like Greyhounds, Whippets, Salukis, Afghan Hounds, and Borzoi
Brindle dog in Sleepypod Terrain Harness with Terrain Pack

 


EzyDog Drive Harness

MOST DURABLE

Brindle dog in a crash-tested dog harness from EzyDog
Myles in size medium EzyDog Drive crash-tested dog harness

SHOP NOW on amazon.com: $115

Highlights

Crash tested at Automotive Safety Engineering in Australia

Sizes Available: S to L

Weight Capacity: 15 to 75 pounds

Installation: Pass seat belt through two loops on the back of the harness

The Drive harness by EzyDog is the most structured and substantial of the harnesses we tested. It’s been crash tested at the Automotive Safety Engineering in Australia, which is recognized by the American, European, and Australian regulatory agencies responsible for child-restraint standards. With an ergonomic molded chest plate that conforms to your dog’s shape, straps made of vehicle-tested seat belt webbing, and aluminum alloy glides, it’s the beast of crash-tested dog harnesses.

What We Like:

  • Step-in design for easy on and off
  • Double D-rings on the back for convenient leash attachment
  • Durable and hand washable for easy cleaning
  • Webbing is marked for balanced measurements on both sides of the harness
  • Hook-and-loop tabs to hold excess straps

What We’d Change:

  • Sturdy chest plate is less comfortable for long rides
  • Wide chest plate might not be a good fit for narrow-chested dogs
Brindle dog in a crash-tested dog harness from EzyDog

 


Kurgo Impact Harness

Brindle dog buckled up in the car in a crash-tested dog harness from Kurgo
Myles in size medium Kurgo Impact crash-tested dog harness

SHOP NOW on amazon.com: $79

Highlights

Crash tested at Calspan using current PPSC testing guidelines

Sizes Available: S to XL

Weight Capacity: 10 to 108 pounds

Installation: Pass seat belt through both restraint straps on the back of the harness

Kurgo‘s Impact harness is constructed of a single piece of 4,000-pound tubular webbing and all-steel buckles and hardware, giving it strength and durability. It was crash tested up to 108 pounds at Calspan, an independent, engineering and test services company, in 2020, using current PPSC testing guidelines.

What We Like:

  • D-ring for convenient leash attachment on the back
  • Spot cleaning or hand washable

What We’d Change:

  • The harness goes on over the head, and the dogs legs must both be fed through the restraint loops, so it’s not as easy to get on and off
  • Nesting buckles are difficult for some people
  • Webbing slides through the buckles, requiring frequent re-adjustment
  • Restraint loops must be strapped down when used as a walking harness
Brindle dog sitting outdoors in the Kurgo Impact crash-tested dog harness

 


PetSafe Happy Ride Safety Harness

Brindle dog buckled up in the car in a crash-tested dog harness from PetSafe
Myles in size medium PetSafe Happy Ride Safety Harness

SHOP NOW on amazon.com: $27

Highlights

Crash tested at Kettering University Crash Safety Center for dogs up to 75 pounds at 30 miles per hour

Sizes Available: S to XL

Weight Capacity: 6 to 120 pounds

Installation: Pass seat belt through two loops on the back of the harness, or use the included carabiner to attach the loops to the seat belt

PetSafe‘s Happy Ride Safety Harness is the most affordable of the crash-tested dog harnesses we reviewed. Its simple design is similar to a typical walking harnesses with one clasp on the back, making it easy to get on and off your dog. The back D-ring makes a convenient leash connection, and the included car tether has a carabiner that can attach to a seat belt at multiple connection points. The Happy Ride harness passed crash testing at the Kettering University Crash Safety Center. The test used Kettering University’s Deceleration Sled and the materials were stress tested to 3,000 pounds of force.

What We Like:

  • Simple design is easy to use
  • Step-in style is easy to get on and off
  • Includes a seat belt tether with carabiner

What We’d Change:

  • D-ring on the back is off-center, so the harness slides around your dog’s body
  • Least durable of the harnesses we tested
  • Two adjustment points for limited sizing options
  • Enclosed instructions suggest attaching the harness to headrests and rear passenger handles as well as seat belts
Brindle dog outside in PetSafe Happy Ride Safety Harness

 


AllSafe Comfort Harness

Brindle dog buckled up in the car in the AllSafe crash-tested dog harness
Myles in size small AllSafe Comfort Harness

SHOP on 4x4northamerica.com: $144 – $207

Highlights

Crash tested in Germany according to ECE R-17 and ISO27955

Sizes Available: S to XL

Girth Capacity: 6.4 to 12 inches

Installation: Attach screw locks and two clasps to seat belt, then use swivel snap to attach tether to harness

The AllSafe Comfort harness was developed in Germany by a company with 18 years of experience in the design of Crash Tested Pet Safety Harnesses. It was crash-tested in Germany according to published safety standards ECE R-17 and ISO27955 and stress-tested to withstand a minimum of 4,410 pounds of force (sizes M, L, XL — Size S stress-tested to 2,205 lbs). It has a padded chest and back plates that mold to your dog’s body for comfort.

What We Like:

  • Harness design is simple with no bulkiness
  • D-rings on the back for convenient leash attachment
  • Constructed of high-strength polyester fabric for durability
  • Can be spot cleaned or washed by hand
  • Includes a seat belt tether with swivel snap, making it easy to connect the harness to the seat belt

What We’d Change:

  • Installing the tether is more complicated than most harnesses, requiring two clips on the seat belt and threading the seat belt through the screw locks
  • The over-the-head design with one side release buckle requires the dog’s front paw to be fed through the harness, which makes it a little harder to get on and off
Brindle dog buckled up in the car in the AllSafe crash-tested dog harness

 

Using Crash-Tested Dog Harnesses

To keep your dogs safe, their crash-tested dog harnesses should fit perfectly. It won’t help if your dog can squirm out while you’re driving. So, make sure to carefully review the manufacturer’s sizing chart and fitting recommendations. If your dog is between sizes, it’s generally best to go with the larger size so you can tighten the straps to fit.

Some dogs don’t like being confined by their seat belt, but this is about keeping him safe. It’s worth whatever effort it takes to make your dog comfortable in his car harness.

READ MORE ⇒ My Dog HATES The Car — Now What?!

Brindle dog buckled up in the car in a crash-tested dog harness from Kurgo

We recommend allowing your dog to acclimate to the new harness around the house. Then practice buckling him in, waiting a minute or two, and releasing him. Make sure to have some tasty treats!

Slowly increase the time your pet spends buckled in, and when he’s comfortable try a short drive around the block. From there, keep building the length of your trips, making sure that the first few end in “happy places” like the dog park, or a playdate with a furry buddy.

And, no matter which of the crash-tested dog harnesses you choose, get the S-Clip from Sleepypod. It will safe you from struggling with the auto-retracting seat belt every time you buckle up your pup!

Safe travels to you!

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