So you’re looking to suit up your 4-legged hunter, but not sure what’s the best dog hunting vest? That’s exactly what we will dive into today.

On a long duck or geese hunt, there’s no question that a gun dog can be your best friend making your hunt that much more exhilarating, while also making the hunt easier on you. To do things right, you’ll want to properly suit up your furry companion with the best hunting dog vests possible, particularly if you will be out in duck swamps while waterfowl hunting.

In a rush for time? Check out our Top 5 Best Dog Hunting Vests or Click Here To See Our #1 Choice.

Rank on ListImageNamePriceCheck Price and Reviews
#5SafetyPUP XD Dog Reflective Vest$
#4BINGPET Dog Reflective Hunting Harness Vest$
#3RUFFWEAR Track Jacket$
#2Avery Boater Dog Parka$
#1 **EDITOR'S CHOICE** Browning Neoprene Dog Vest$

On those sub-freezing winter days, aren’t you happy when you’re out in the field knowing that you’re dressed properly, and warm? Those harsh, cold winter temperatures don’t only impact us humans, but can also seriously affect your dog by causing them to lose body heat. And, as your loyal hunting companion, don’t you think that they deserve the right clothing and gear, just like you do, especially if they are going to routinely retrieve for you through that cold, icy water?

Well, you have to know what to look for, and believe me I know, with so many options on the market it can be pretty overwhelming for which vest to choose. This is also not something that you want to wait to last minute to decide on, and you’ll want to have this figured out ahead of time, so you’re ready for the duck season opener. Why? Your dog will need time to adjust to the feel of it.

Just like you need certain gear to be properly equipped for your hunts, your dog does as well to protect them from harm and harsh conditions. I’m going to help you ‘wade’ through your options to help you choose the best dog hunting vest for your right hand pal.



SafetyPUP XD Dog Reflective Vest

As you might guess from their name, SafetyPUP has designed a blaze orange reflective vest that not only is very form fitting for different sized dogs (small to extra-large), but one of the best hunting dog vests on the market.

Depending on the size of your dog, SafetyPUP has an option for small dogs (22 pounds to 34 pounds and a chest diameter of 22 inches to 27.5 inches), medium sized dogs (35 pounds to 60 pounds with a chest diameter of 24.5 inches to 30.75 inches), large sized dogs (61 to 100 pounds with a chest diameter of 27.5 inches to 35.75 inches) and x-large sized dogs (100 pounds to 130 pounds with a shoulder diameter of 27 inches to 34 inches and a chest diameter measuring 35 inches to 42 inches).

One of the most important things you’ll want to look for in a quality dog hunting vest is not only the quality of the materials, but the durability of it too. This vest is constructed with 300D Oxford Weave fabric and stitching which is great to help protect it from rips and tears. For the inexpensive price tag, that attention to detail is worth mentioning as a poorly constructed vest will tear at the seams at the first bit of use.

The vest is highly reflective with a sharp blaze orange color – serving a dual function for both hunter’s who want their dogs to be seen in the wilderness, as well those in suburban areas who want their dog to be visible to traffic. The vest is created with adjustable straps and dual-sided fabric that makes it comfortable for pro-longed usage by your hunting companion.

For the price this is one of the best value-buys on this list. It is also a very good vest for winter and cold day as it does a very effective job retaining heat.

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon


BINGPET Dog Reflective Hunting Harness Vest

Fourth on our list is an inexpensive hunting vest from BINGPET. If you’re not sure of the right size of your dog by an arbitrary “small – medium – large” scale, BINGPET offers a convenient size chart to show the best-fitting vest for your dog based on their body length, chest girth, and neck girth.

BINGPET’s hunting vest is made from PVA and air mesh panel, which I discuss more in the buyer’s guide part of this review. This is a good choice to consider because the light material won’t weigh your dog down after a long day in the sun, or while running, and it will allow their skin to breathe so that they don’t overheat. I also noticed that this vest utilizes side buckles, which not all vests have.  Like a good vest, BINGPET works to help cool your dog off by reflecting the heat that it absorbs.

One trick people do with this hunting vest: on a hot day, in order to keep your dog cool, you can pour cold water on the vest which will help to keep your dog more comfortable for a longer hunt. The construction is also very good that it won’t tear at the seams on the first hunt. This would not be my go-to hunting vest, but if you need a dog vest for multiuse, and not just hunting (like for hiking, a reflective vests for late-night walking, and so forth), this is a dog vest certainly worth considering.

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon


RUFFWEAR Track Jacket

RUFFWEAR has put out a very good hunting vest, and makes it third on our list for one of the best dog hunting vests that you can buy. It is made with waterproof polyester fabric, blaze orange for high visibility and reflectiveness, it is a very lightweight “track jacket” while still providing support, and is made in several different sizes.

One complaint with some reflective and blaze orange vests is that their color fades with time, which makes their effectiveness and use minimal over the long-term. Long term users of this vest have said that the opposite is true with this vest that even with age, its color does not fade, which is an important consideration depending on what you need your dog’s vest to do. These are very reflective vests.

There are numerous sizes to fit dogs from 13-22 inches in girth to 32-42 inches in girth (measurement around rib cage). The vest is very sturdy made out of tough polyester and well stitched and crafted together. This vest will hold-up through wear and tear and should help to keep them cool in the summer.

A very good option by RUFFWEAR.

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon


Avery Boater Dog Parka

Avery Outdoors is well-known as a top brand in hunting gear, and this list would not be complete without Avery leading the ‘pack’. They have made an extremely high-quality dog parka with the “Avery Boater’s Dog Parka”.

This is a super well manufactured parka that you won’t have to worry about ripping or wearing out after just a few uses. There are some very cheap reflective vests on the market that will tear. This parka is built for durability and serious hunting excursions.

 This parka’s toughness and durability starts from its design. Avery has used 5mm neoprene, which is discussed in more detail in the buyer’s guide below, but this thickness helps insulate and protect your dog while diving and running into unknown waters. Avery has used strong interior webbing to serve as a harness to withhold your dog’s weight. This parka is equipped with a zipper and cold-weather pull tab, as well as slot handles to easily grab your dog while in the water in to your boat.

Duck hunting in the winter can be FREEZING for your dog, especially when diving in to below freezing water. The parka does a wonderful job keeping their chest warm and their internal temperature warm. Hypothermia can be a very serious concern for your canine if they have no protection, and this parka does an impressive job helping to keep a dog warm on a freezing day.

For the money, this is hands down one of the best dog hunting vests available.

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon


Browning Neoprene Dog Vest

Topping our list is the Browning Neoprene Dog Vest by SPG Outdoors. I like this vest for several reasons when it comes to (duck) hunting, and hiking with your dog. It’s a neoprene chest protection vest which means it’s built for absolutely durability and toughness. If your dog is diving into icy waters, or unknown water where there could be sticks or potential hazmats or threatening objects that could poke your dog, a thick chest protector is crucial. That makes the chest plate protection critical that many vests and parkas fail to include.

The Browning Neoprene is adjustable with a “hook-and-loop” top and front closure so it can conform snugly to your dog – and Browning also has several different sizes that you can choose from. This vest also is constructed with heavy-duty nylon stitching and has seam bar tacks upholstering it.

A neoprene dog vest is going to be most useful if your dog is making retrievals, and if you are hunting in the winter. These are insulated and protective vests that can hold up to harsh environments and terrain. It will help to keep your dog warm and protected from the elements, however, this specific vest will not serve as a life vest in the water. It also will be overkill on a warm day as your dog might overheat, versus one of the above lighter vests.

All in all this is one of the best dog hunting vests available, and if you are looking for it primarily for duck hunting with your dog, then you should strongly consider this vest.

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Best Dog Hunting Vest Buyer’s Guide – Choosing The Right One for Your Dog

First, why does my dog even need a hunting vest?

Just like you need certain gear to be properly equipped for your hunts, whether it’s a duck hunt, deer hunt, or a wild hog hunt, your dog needs the proper gear as well to protect themselves from both harm and the harsh conditions. A quality vest will offer a dog protection from sticks, stumps, abrasions, ultimately from any potential hazards that can hurt your dog. When diving in to the water to retrieve, your dog doesn’t necessarily know what is in the water. This vest offers a layer of chest protection, which in some cases, can even be life-saving.

dog hunting vest

Why a dog vest? In simpler terms:

  • Hot day: vest will help to keep your dog cool after a long day of running and hunting
  • Cold day: vest will help to keep your dog warm from losing body heat
  • Protection: from limbs, debris, wires, briars, sticks etc. from causing potential (life-threatening) puncture wounds

Choosing the Right Dog Hunting Vest

Do you have a small Boykin? Or a large Chessie? You need to purchase accordingly.

What is right for you and your dog is largely dependent on a case-by-case basis. It will depend on what you need your dog’s hunting vest for, and the type of elements that you will be enduring. Will you be hunting the warm early season? Or, will you be braving the elements in the cold later season?

Are you going duck hunting – and your dog making retrievals in the water? Or, do you simply need a vest that is reflective so that you can spot your dog, and not necessarily for body-temperature regulation?

For instance, if you are hunting or hiking in the summer, then a vest that is suited for freezing temperatures and wind protection to help maintain a dog’s internal heat is not necessary. So, you need to pin-point the exact usage of the vest, and the types of conditions and elements you expect.

Tactical dog vest: similar for military use – come with more functionality like extra pouches and handles.

What are the different types?

Tactical Dog Vest: These are more heavy-duty vests. These are typically sturdy harnesses, and crafted from strong materials. The goal of a tactical dog vest is to withstand different elements and conditions, offer insulation, and durability. These are generally more geared for military use and have more functionality like additional handles to grab on to, pouches, etc.

Neoprene: Will explain more below. These are traditional duck and waterfowl hunting dog vests.

Orange blaze dog vest: In other words, these are reflective dog vests. If you’re not concerned about the temperature, and merely worried about visibility during a hunt or hike, a reflective blaze orange dog vest will make your dog the most noticeable and is your ideal fit. These are lightweight and dynamic for a gun dog to move freely.

Materials Available:

  • Nylon
  • Neoprene


  • Some hunters love nylon for its water resistance properties. Because of its construct, it won’t be soaking wet as your dog emerges from the water, and dries quickly. While durable, nylon is lightweight and thin, which has the benefits of not restricting your dog’s motion, but again, it’s “thin”.


  • A lot of dog hunting vests and parkas typically have neoprene these das
  • It is made with an insulation that helps to trap a dog’s heat from escaping, keeping a dog warm when wet and cold in the winter.
  • It works similar to a wet suit in that the neoprene helps to trap and keep out the water, while retaining the heat in the chest of your dog
  • These are well-insulated vests
  • Neoprene is also buoyant which in turns makes swimming easier and less tiring for your dog, as it will naturally float
  • Chest/under-body “armored” which means that it helps to provide puncture protection from sticks, wires, or anything else that might get in the way.

You’ll want a Waterproof Dog Vest

This will be more dependent on what you need your dog’s hunting vest for. But, if you are hunting waterfowl, and your furry hunting companion will be running into the water to retrieve your catch, then it’s important that the vest is water proof.

Both in the water, and when the dog gets out, a waterproof vest will help keep them warm. Neoprene vests are waterproof, and have inner foam lining that provides this insulation.


As you can imagine, durability is key with this type of hunting gear.

Think about it, a dog hunting vest is not fine China; it will be used, and it’s going to take some abuse. So, you want to find a vest that is rugged and durable. High-quality vests won’t fall apart after 1 or 2 hunts. Durability also means sturdy. A quality vest should not tear from a thorn, shrub, or sticks in the water. This will come down to the craftsmanship of how well the vest is stitched together, and thick vs thinness

 A flimsy vest can, and will tear/fall apart making it completely useless for you. That’s the type of vest that will fall apart right after washing.


Well, if your dog’s vest gets muddy and unsanitary, it’s likely you’ll want to wash it.

I recommend a 5mm neoprene vest for max durability.


This only matters depending on your need. In some situations, blending in is important. In that case, think ahead to the backdrop, and buy a vest accordingly.

  • Camo: blend in to the wetlands or forest

If your Dog is Swimming, Then You Want Buoyancy

Some vests will be buoyant because of the materials used, others will not be. Just like the importance of a water proof vest, buoyant vests are equally worth considering. If you hunt in deep water, you can feel more at ease that if your dog were to get into any kind of trouble, this feature will help keep them afloat, and more time for you to help, if that was necessary. Buoyant vests will enable your dog to swim and float easier. Some will have floating pads.

Thus, a major reason why I look for these types of vests.

Lightweight Material

You want your dog’s vest to be lightweight, as you don’t want your dog to feel like their being bogged down with a heavy vest while running. All that will do is slow down your dog. So, lightweight material is important in a hunting vest. Heck, would you want to be strapped down with a heavy backpack, and then be forced to run for hours?

Weight will interfere with your dog’s movement, so prioritize a light vest.

The Sizing NEEDS to be right!

I would argue more than anything else that the fit is the most important thing.

A quality hunting dog vest will cover most of your dog, running from the dog’s stomach to the back legs. A size too big will be baggy and droop around for your dog. Too tight and your dog might not even be able to fit into it.

Most vests are already presized, and you might see it as “S M L XL”. You’ll need to measure your dog first, and then use the manufacturer’s sizing chart to figure out which is the right fit. You can get this by measuring your dog’s chest and neck circumference.

Why does fitting matter?

If you have a male dog, and the size is not right, your dog might not even be able to go to the bathroom to relieve themselves without urinating the vest. A vest too big won’t hug the dog’s belly, and fail to provide warmth and heat for the dog in the cold (since it won’t trap in their heat). A super tight vest will prevent a dog from sprinting and running easily, making it very uncomfortable

More probable than not, you will need to make several adjustments regardless. This is why many hunters like using Velcro

Most likely will need to make several adjustments regardless, such as using Velcro or a strap to adjust the vest slightly. Make sure you look at the sizing chart before buying. It can take time for your dog to adjust to the feeling of the vest – not necessarily a bad fit.

Measuring tips: measure the circumference of the dog’s neck, girth of chest, from collar to tail


If you’re not duck hunting and your dog will not be in the water, most hunters still opt for a dog hunting vest for their reflective properties. If for nothing other than visibility. A reflective dog vest will help to make your dog visible to anyone nearby. This is a common feature in most vests. Spotting your retriever in thick brush can be very difficult otherwise. For pure visibility look into a blazing orange dog hunting vest (to make your dog visible from a large distance) – great for the safety of your dog.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.