I love a system, and the Ray Allen Manufacturing designed Nomad Interchangeable Harness System really does the trick.
This harness is one of few that is genuinely military spec and is still useful for regular pet users.
Ray Allen are well known for their quality products, so when we discussed my reviewing the Nomad IHS as a tactical harness, I definitely felt like we were going to explore one of the stronger harnesses that are available to dogs and dog parents. We fitted it for Indie, my German Shepherd, because that’s typically their target market, and Indie’s undeniably the strongest of my dogs, and he was going to give it the most rigorous testing.
This harness was sent to me for free in exchange for this review! However, no one can buy my opinion.
Introducing The Ray Allen Nomad I.H.S Harness
- 2 inch straps
- highly adjustable
- X connection points
- Versatile harness
This harness, I have to say, is one of the most adaptable and strong harnesses I've had the pleasure of testing. It's definitely designed for military use, but it works really well if you have a strong dog, and will hold any dog it fits.
Again, being Ray Allen it's designed for larger dogs, coming in a 25-36 inch chest - though they do sell extenders too....
What I Love About The Ray Allen Nomad I.H.S Harness
I do not think there is a weak point on this harness. Not a single one. Opting for the metal cobra buckles means that everything is stiched, double stiched, and secured with serious equipment.
It is good to note that this comes with the option of either a plastic GT Cobra buckles, or metal cobra buckles, if you want the super secure option, the metal cobra buckles are the load tested.
I’ve put this thing through the wringer, we’ve hiked, he’s swam (well, paddled, we’re still trying to get him to swim!), he’s done a couple of dog sports, and we’ve tested it through stores, and all sorts, to ensure that it works and it’s sturdy as possible. We’ve not had a single stitch slip, it’s not had buckles slip, it’s not chafed, it dries nicely, and it doesn’t seem to be a burden at all.
It’s A System!
One of the most beautiful things about this harness, is that you can pretty much adjust it for any situation. So I wanted to go through a little of the functionalities that are likely the most useful for the every-day dog walk.
Hot days or days where you want to minimise the weight, this is perfect, and it’s where all the core strength is for this harness. It’s great for training days, sport days, or tracking.
If you want to take advantage of the additional velcro, put on some patches displaying “Do not pet” or other just some fun slogans? You absolutely can. Alternately, this works well to help the bush hog dog, if they’re going in under all the undergrowth, and you want that extra bit of protection? This works really well.
Getting cold out there? If your dog isn’t the most fond of the cold, the woobie jacket is an additional choice that attaches into the Nomad system perfectly. It takes a little tweaking, but once it’s set in place, you’ve got no fear of it moving, or not complimenting your harness choice.
Scrambling over rocks? Going through rough terrain and want a little extra protection from ballistic nylon, then you want the skid plate. It’s a lightweight addition that adds a little more protection for your pup, whether they’re doing SAR or exploring the wilderness! It also works well to protect from snow we found.
Beyond this, there are extenders, ski patrol jackets, and then, if you really need it, you can invest in a ballistics jacket… Though most people don’t need that for their dog, it is an option. To be honest, beyond turning this into a lifejacket too, the Nomad IHS can cover you for pretty much whatever it is you want to do with your dog.
Steel all around.
Steel V-rings, the shape of the attachment points makes it really easy for attaching a frog clip, or a snaphook, though do be aware that this is 5mm of steel, so, smaller snaphooks, just won’t fit. But as part of a stronger system, for say, a large reactive dog, it’s absolutely a phenomenal choice. Personally, I’d couple it with a good frog clip leash, and enjoy the fact that this harness could probably walk a bear if it were appropriately sized!
Even the slides for the straps are all metal – and it’s the first harness I’ve ever seen like that in amongst the abundance of harnesses I’ve tested…
Ray Allen Is More Than Just Branding
A lot of “tactical” brands have zero actual credibility, and whilst they think they’re “Overbuilt” when you compare it to truly over built gear. The difference is tangible. I’m not throwing shade, at all, but Ray Allen knows dogs. They know powerful dogs, and genuinely? It’s been hard to see a flaw in anything from their muzzles to their harnesses.
The nylon in this product is has a two year warranty attached to it. Which is a wonderful thing to see that they stand by their craftsmanship (because that is absolutely what it is) – of course providing you don’t let your dog use it as a chew toy.
What I Don’t Love About Ray Allen Nomad I.H.S Harness
This isn’t a harness I would deem to be terribly affordable. At a basic price of $279.99 (and that’s for the frame, with plastic cobra buckles), this harness is definitely an investment. But the harness screams quality at every single part. There’s not a part of it that is a weakness.
Only For Big Dogs
This shouldn’t be a surprise given that it’s from Ray Allen, but this kind of caters for a malinois at smallest, so if your dog is smaller than that? This one might not be for you. These harnesses are suited for 25 inch chests at smallest, and 36 inches at largest – which is a nice variance, especially when you consider that there is also an extender clip which can add 5 inches to the strap length (good to note though that it does only come with the plastic cobra buckles…). So if your dog is still growing, this could definitely help you transition your harness.
Verdict: The Ray Allen Nomad I.H.S Harness
Do I recommend it?
Heck yeah, if you can afford it? This harness is one of the best harnesses I’ve had the privilege of testing. This is not really going to be necessary for you unless safety is of paramount concern. But if you want to know your dog is safe, like safe safe? Then the Nomad is going to give you the peace of mind you need.
If you think that the Ray Allen Multi-function harness is the right harness for your dog, then head over and buy it from them! They’re awesome people, honestly, and you won’t be disappointed.
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Author, Ali Smith
Ali Smith is the Positive Puppy Expert, dog trainer and is the founder of Rebarkable. She is passionate about helping puppy parents get things right, right from the start. To help create a puppy capable of being a confident and adaptable family member and keep puppies out of shelters.
Ali has won multiple awards for her dog training, and has had her blog (this blog!) rated as 2021 & 2022 worlds’ best pet blog!
Thanks to depositphotos.com for the images!