Perfect Thing

And why we can't live without it

This $15 Bowl Changed How I Hike with My Dog

The Ruffwear Trail Runner bowl is a worthy addition to any dog owner’s kit

The $15 bowl that changed the way I play outside with my dog. (Emily Reed)
Photo: Emily Reed

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The Ruffwear Trail Runner bowl is a worthy addition to any dog owner’s kit

My dog Charlie might be the most outfitted dog in all of New Mexico. Collars, dog beds, GPS trackers, seat protectors, you name it—Charlie has tested a lot of gear. So it’s pretty significant when a product comes along that truly excites me (and him). When I saw the Ruffwear Trail Runner bowl ($15) at Outdoor Retailer this summer, I knew it was going to change how Charlie and I play outside.

What’s so revolutionary about a dog bowl? Well, the Trail Runner weighs only 0.8 ounces. That’s less than a slice of bread, five quarters, or six sheets of paper. It’s pretty freaking lightweight. Plus, the bowl packs into its own exterior pocket and is about the size of a golf ball when stored fully. It stashes easily inside the small hip pockets on my Osprey Tempest 20 pack and even in the back pocket on my leggings when I’m out for a fast hike or run.

The polyester fabric is coated with a plastic material that is PVC-free and makes the bowl completely watertight. When I’m done using the bowl for the day, I make sure to unfold it and let it air-dry completely to prevent bacteria from growing inside.

If you are outside with your dog multiple times a week, this bowl is a worthy addition to your kit. Plus, it won’t add more weight to your pack than the PB&J you made for lunch.

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Filed To: Hiking and Backpacking