There’s a lot of advice when it comes to gear for your dog, but what’s the deal with the Icefang Tactical harness?
I love quality gear for my dogs, I love testing stuff, seeing how they compare to other harnesses on the market. The benefit of this? Is that I can share all of my findings with you guys! This way you can learn if these harnesses work for you, if they don’t, and what you might want to consider.
Tactical harnesses are a harness designed to protect your dog and for hard terrain. They often come with the flexibility to implement the MOLLE system often used in the military. This means you can quickly turn these harnesses into a backpack, or just carry their favourite toy.
Please note this is NOT A SPONSORED POST. I paid for this harness myself!
These harnesses are modelled after those used in the military and in protection work, and so are made to be incredibly robust. In German Shepherd circles? When someone comes looking for harness recommendations, this one gets banded around a lot.
So I wanted to check it out! For me… and for you guys – so that we all know how appropriate this harness is!
Introducing The IceFang Tactical Harness
✅ On leash
✅ Front attachment
✅ Sturdy Clips
✅ MOLLE system
❌ Not crash-tested
❌ No reflectives
❌ Not appropriate for hot days
For protection work and such, handles are great, and even for control when it comes to walking roadside, or containing – a reactive dog… Handles are useful! But I will say, I did find myself slipping my hand inside the harness as opposed to using the handle? I don’t know if this is my habit as opposed to the functionality, but it is true!
For those of you who are fans of a handle? This one is for you!
The Cobra Style Metal Buckles
The Icefang has two (or four) Metal Buckles that are 1000lbs Proof-Load Tested – you can pick the icefant in a two or fource clip version, as I work with a lot of reactive dogs – I was particularly keen to try the 4x metal buckle. And this sort of security? Makes me feel safe. Whilst there is minimal way for me to actually test this (If you know how, tell me!!).
If you don’t want to carry a water bottle. If you want the adaptability to turn your dogs harness into a backpack with a tried and tested system that the military use. Why? Because it means they have total flexibility with gear.
Whilst we’re not arming your pet for combat (heaven forbid!) it does have a great aesthetic, and you can make some great use out of it too – if you know how (and YouTube is an awesome place to start!)
Solid Metal Clip
I love the leash attachment point, not only is it branded (kudos! I love seeing great business decisions like this too) but it is really freaking sturdy!! I’m seriously impressed at how well this performs, the fact it comes to a point and spreads to a few inches which means that the force is genuinely in the leash.
Solid Metal Front Clip
This has to be one of the sturdiest front d-rings I’ve seen on a harness (at least so far!) and I’m loving that they’re genuinely considering their market well enough to know that these are powerful animals that they’re trying to contain with the harnesses, the buckles, the strap and all the leash attachment points – because the harness is only as strong as it’s weakest point, and only as reliable as it’s weakest point. Which means a lot when you’ve got a big dog and they’re potentially not everyone’s bestest best friend.
I love how hardy these harnesses are, branches, thorns, water (Though it does absorb, and take quite a while to dry, I will warn you!), nothing leaves a problem for the icefang harness.
It Comes With A One Sheet!!
I love this. I was so freaking impressed to see that it arrived with a fitting guide and a recommendation that the straps are cut to a proper length and seared to seal the strap too – it’s something that’s not often recommended? And I don’t think it’s well known about either! But the Icefang comes with this great single page that’s double sided and shows you how to fit the harness and how to feed the straps back through eachother, and how to seal them up to!
I had planned on sharing this with you – buuuuut Shelby decided to spill a glass of water over it.
Who Needs This?
People Who Like Military Styling
Mr Rebarkable is ex-army, and I know it appeals to him because as soon as this harness arrived, he started grabbing his old water canteen and showing me how Indie could now wear it if we wanted him to. I loved that. So I can imagine for the military enthusiasts, or people who geek out over these kinds of things like Mr Rebarkable, this harness will be a bit of a hit!
Dog Parents Who Do A Lot Of Leash Walking
If your dog is on leash a lot and has a short stride quite naturally, you may not find this harness a problem!
I love, love, love, love, the security factor. The metal clips on this? Are so superior to most things on the market – especially at this price point, which I think is wonderful. With 1000lbs (453.5kg) of force for a breaking point, it becomes really reassuring!
Who It’s Not For.
Dogs Who Need A Greater Range Of Motion
Running, playing, etc are all things that the structure of this harness inhibit – which really surprises me? This is a tactical harness? It’s meant to be something that a dog can chase and do bitework in? But this affect gait to such a degree, that I would not be happy to see any dog wearing this for anything but an easy heel.
Room For Improvement
More Range Of Movement
Despite being a Y-shaphed harness, the shoulders go down really far, the chest piece is broad, and the underneath goes quite high… this means it covers a lot of the shoulder and makes it really limiting.
I can see the difference in Indie’s movement when he’s wearing this harness and trotting along in a walk. It’s quite limiting and I’d hate to see the impact on his running.
Make It Less Easy To Slip
If pup pulls the wrong way, I have a feeling that it’s ‘solid’ enough that it could slip pretty quick. Icefang do other harnesses that have a tummy strap (which usually makes them escape-proof!), but I do wonder if it would be something that goes through both pieces….
It’s Heavy, Like Really Heavy.
The single heaviest harness I’ve picked up to date. Now, I know that that is to be expected given the structure, the metal clips and the plethora of velcro patches, but it weighs a whopping 750g (1.7 lbs) – which is almost 4 times the weight of the ruffwear front range when both are fitted for the same dog – and astonishingly almost 2% of Indie’s body weight – bear in mind now, I advise when wearing a backpack, that you go up in weight increments of smaller amounts than 750g at a time. This is a lot of weight.
The Position Of The Leash Attachment
I love the shape and strength of the back-leash attachment point? But the position of leash attachment is really close to the shoulders, to the point that I wonder if it’s between the neck. Which to me would imply that this puts pressure on more like a collar than a harness. Now, I won’t claim to be an expert on this particular matter? But I don’t particularly like it.
I’d Be Wary Of Hot Days
Whilst I am always wary of hot days with a double-coated dog (poor Indie doesn’t enjoy the Maryland summers!) adding on a big, padded, extra layer like this, as well as the weight? Is a significant undertaking. Please opt for something lighter weight in the summer.
Do I Recommend It
Whilst I really like a lot of features on this harness? There’s one that kind of ruins it. Which really sucks!! So… Regretably…
No, I wouldn’t really recommend it to the vast majority of dogs. The limited scope of movement is something that I really don’t approve of. It’s something that I can see creating issues with dogs, and something that I would prefer were different.
Where Can You Get One
If you do like the sound of it? I can totally see why, because they do look cool – and they’re available for next day deliver on amazon prime – and the 4x metal buckle Icefang harness is currently $42.99. Pretty reasonable in my opinion!
Reminder – I sincerely doubt they’re good for your dogs bone structure in the longer term!
If you want to investigate other options for harnesses? Why not check out Dog Products Reviewed by Rebarkable -Recommending Only The Very Best! to find the best product for your dog.
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’s worlds’ best pet blog!
Please note this is NOT A SPONSORED POST. I paid for this harness myself!