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Thread: Neoprene Vest Disagreement

  1. #31
    Senior Member tzappia's Avatar
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    In order to accommodate various sizes would some type of internal drawstring(s) help snug the vest?
    Tony C. Zappia
    www.tonyzappia.com
    FTCH Adirondac Tea for Two WC, ** (Tea), 2009 GRCA National Specialty Derby win, Open Win
    (Fireside) Field of Emeralds (Emme)
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  2. #32

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    woolandvest.jpg
    A vest and a used military wool blanket ($20 from a military surplus store) to keep him warm between retieves. As any outdoorsman knows, wool retains much of its insulating value even when wet. Put me in the extra cautious catagory.

  3. #33
    Senior Member tzappia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 36bound View Post
    woolandvest.jpg
    A vest and a used military wool blanket ($20 from a military surplus store) to keep him warm between retieves. As any outdoorsman knows, wool retains much of its insulating value even when wet. Put me in the extra cautious catagory.
    That's the idea behind the S.U.G.A.R. Coat. I have one and really like it.
    Tony C. Zappia
    www.tonyzappia.com
    FTCH Adirondac Tea for Two WC, ** (Tea), 2009 GRCA National Specialty Derby win, Open Win
    (Fireside) Field of Emeralds (Emme)
    Heads Up Winter Storm Warning (Ice)

  4. #34
    Junior Member Hogw1ld's Avatar
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    At the bottom of this post is something that Rick Hall posted on duckhuntingchat. Unlike Rick, I had to have my wife add bar stitching at the ends of the new seams. The "glue" held, but the neoprene wanted to tear behind it.

    My pup appreciates it:


    The only time it doesn't fit snug all over is if she is sitting kind of hunched over:



    Not much you can do about that. We hunt in some nasty stuff. I keep her out of the water unless she is working. Never had a problem. I forgot her vest once and could tell a huge difference in her comfort level.


    ailoring a DogVest

    Getting an off-the-shelf vest that actually fits your dog correctly (snug everywhere, but not tight anywhere) would be a remarkable fluke. Even with a design like Cabela's wide Velcro fastener that affords an inch or two of adjustability zippers don't, the vest won't be fully functional without tailoring.

    The drill is to buy the correct chest size and break out a marking pen, straight edge, scissors and a can of "neoprene cement," like Block Surf (not Aquaseal or Goop or any other substitute), and go to work.

    With the vest on the dog, pinch out the excess material and mark both sides where the pinched material meets and the tip of the triangle the pinch creates.

    Take the vest off the dog, and using the straightedge, draw lines from each "pinch" mark to the "tip" mark, which will create the triangular "dart" that needs removed with your scissors.

    Having removed the darts of excess material, you're ready to close the gaps they created. This is where using neoprene cement, which melts the neoprene edges and essentially welds them together quickly enough that it's no strain to hold them together while it works pays off. Other types of adhesives will require stitching to hold the new seam edges together while they dry and perhaps even for support. I have never had an unstitched neoprene cement seam separate.

    You'll also likely need to remove some material that will otherwise chaff Pup's arm pits and an opening around a male dog's penis. Don't worry about cutting beyond the bar tacking on a vest's stitched seams, as on a properly made vest the stitching is really just eyewash for buyers, rather than necessary.

    May sound complicated, but it took me longer to type that than it would have to properly tailor a vest.

  5. #35

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    I have used a vest for years and think that they definately help keep my dog warmer than without a vest. He wears his most of the season as long as it is not too warm out (which it usually isn't). When it is really cold I even leave it on in the heated truck on the way home just to warm him up.Then when we get home his momma sometimes has warm blankets out of the dryer to cover him up with. He is pretty spoiled but when he spends all morning retrieving ducks out of the river with ice chunks in it, I think he deserves it.I have also been looking at the S.U.G.A.R Coat lately as my dog just turned 11 and I think it would be nice for the boat ride in and out and also when things are slow in the blind.Back to the original post if you are looking for input on a vest, one thing that I would not recommend is a zipper. They are a pain. Plus they do not let you adjust how they fit from time to time. I would prefer just a nice wide piece of velcro that would allow some adjustment.

  6. #36
    Member Yellow Dog's Avatar
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    That's crazy to even think that a neoprene vest doesn't help and could be counterproductive. It just doesn't even make common sense. That is unless the vest is loose fitting on the dog where water can get down in.

    With that being said, I still take extra caution when hunting my dog in cold weather. I don't let him stay out in the water very long and I towel his exposed areas off completely after each retrieve. I also use a SUGAR coat which helps to keep the cool air off of him as well. I highly recommend a SUGAR coat!
    JoKen's Sir Lucas Bartholomew - "Lucas"
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  7. #37
    Senior Member scully's Avatar
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    If the vest is snug fitting it does help! I have an old cabelas vest that when removed my dogs fur is almost totally dry under it! The key is that it must be properly fitted!

  8. #38
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    Back in my younger days here in So Cal we used to get our dive suits custom made. I wondfer if there are any dive shops that would be interested?

  9. #39
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    There presently is not a vest commercially available for dogs that keeps the water out very well (& with a dog's fur it is unlikely under even the best design intents). Every dog I have ever seen in a vest gets wet under the vest while in the water. But the purpose or claim of any of the current vests available is not to keep the dog dry. That is not to say that current vests are ineffective. I think a dog vest can help a dog stay more comfortable in cold hunting conditions & can also protect from unseen snags etc. However, the most effective means to keep a dog from hypothermia is to provide a place where the dog can be entirely out of the water & out of the wind except when retrieving. A vest will never help a dog that is expected to sit or stand in the water - and hypothermia is virtually guaranteed in prolonged cold water conditions if the dog can't get out of the water entirely. I have hunted with several guys with dogs who expect their dogs to remain in the cold water for hours hunting & they have the false perception that a vest will help in that situation. So yea, have your dog wear a vest in cold or rough conditions. It will provide comfort and scratch protection, but don't expect that vest to allow your dog to hunt any longer or stand in the water.

    As for design, regardless of how effective a design improvement may be, there will always be commercial considerations. That means if the improvements cost more money most folks aren't going to buy them.
    David Didier, GA

  10. #40
    Senior Member BobOwens's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the comments(I read them all)- I'm glad I'm not the only person who thought wearing s vest is crucial to our dog's safety. The main issues my vest will fix will be the fit and durability. Some of the ideas that were thrown out are great and need to be considered. My first prototype will be in before Christmas. We'll break it in hard and take what we learn to the drawing board. Next round will go to a bunch of pro trainers to put on multiple dogs and a few hardcore hunting guides. Should be exciting!

    I think the main thing we, as hunting dog owners, need to be aware of it that our dogs are designed to go all out! They won't quit until you do and that's how we want them! We have to have a head on our shoulders, recognize the dangers of cold water & frigid temperatures and protect the dog at all costs. I'd be crushed if something happened to him and I could have prevented it!

    These vests are a great tool and as long as they fit properly, they can allow you and your dog to remain in the field doing what you enjoy. Thanks for the comments, ideas, and two cents.
    Bob Owens
    President- Lone Duck Outfitters
    "Sharing Your Passion For The Unspoken Bond"
    www.loneduckoutfitters.com

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