Coats and vests for dogs are not only adorable, but they can also help keep your canine safe and comfortable too. Unfortunately, many of these garments have one big problem: They are impossible (or at the least impractical) to use in conjunction with a harness and leash.
However, a few coats and vests either come with a built-in harness or feature a hole (typically called a portal) you can thread a leash through.
We’ll share the best dog coats with built-in harnesses or harness holes, as well as the pros and cons of these types of garments, below.
Best Dog Coats and Vests with Built-In Harnesses or Harness Holes: Quick Picks
- Gooby Padded Vest Dog Jacket [Best Overall Dog Coat with Built-In Harness]: Rear-mounted metal D-rings and a breathable design make this jacket-style harness an excellent choice for most dogs.
- Kurgo Loft Dog Jacket [Best Overall Dog Coat with Built-In Harness Holes]: Keep using your dog’s favorite gear with this reversible warm coat featuring rear access slits for attaching a leash to a harness or collar beneath.
- Idepet Dog Coat with Leash Anchor [Most Affordable Dog Coat with Built-In Harness]: This budget-friendly coat-harness boasts bright colors for improved visibility and a water-resistant exterior for keeping your canine comfy.
- SGODA Dog Cooling Vest [Best Dog Cooling Coat with Built-In Harness]: Made with a tri-layer cooling system and dual alloy rings for leash connection, this lightweight vest is perfect for four-footed summer adventures.
The Pros and Cons of Coats with Harnesses or Harness Holes
As mentioned above, some coats and vests are designed to be easy to use with a harness, or they come with some type of built-in clips you can use to attach a leash.
But while these types of garments can provide considerable convenience, this simple design change can alter the way the vest or coat works.
Accordingly, there are a few things you’ll want to understand before purchasing one. For example:
- Coats and vests with leash portals may allow your dog’s fur to get wet. This isn’t a problem with all coats and vests that include portals, as some come with flaps or zipper closures to help keep the opening as small as possible.
- You can’t use a coat with a built-in harness at all times. Unless you live in a very cold place or have a very small dog who is always in need of a coat, you won’t want to use the coat or vest every time you take your dog for a walk. This means that you’ll still need a stand-alone harness, rather than a coat with a harness built into it.
- The holes may fray and suffer damage over time. Any opening in a coat or vest is susceptible to fraying, and this may cause garments with portals to fall apart prematurely. Portals are usually subjected to more friction than any other part of the coat or vest, so they are especially vulnerable to this kind of damage.
- Sewn-on leash rings may not be as strong as a standard harness. If the stitching rips free of the coat, you may find yourself watching your dog run down the street untethered. Given this possibility, most manufacturers don’t recommend using these types of vests and coats for dogs who are strong pullers.
The 11 Best Coats and Vests with Harnesses or Harness Holes
Many canine coats are available, but not all of them can be used with your dog’s existing harness or used as a harness. Here are our picks for the best dog coats with built-in harness holes or harnesses.
1. Gooby Padded Vest Dog Jacket
About: Gooby’s Padded Vest Dog Jacket is an all-around solid piece of doggy gear with its rear-mounted leash attachment of dual metal D-rings and lightweight, yet cozy construction. It secures with a zipper and safety snap located on your dog’s back, making putting the vest on and taking it off a breeze.
- Made with water-resistant nylon and stuffed with polyester fill for warmth
- Zipper guard helps prevent pup hair from snagging in the zipper
- Cropped underside leaves the potty zone open for business for males and females
- Machine washable for simple upkeep
- Offered in 12 color combinations, including Red Solid, Pink Solid, and Purple Solid.
- X-Small (13″ Chest Girth)
- Small (16″ Chest Girth)
- Medium (18.25″ Chest Girth)
- Large (20.25″ Chest Girth)
- X-Large (23″ Chest Girth)
- Quality received praise from most pet parents
- Doggos seem to find it comfortable
- The coat’s exterior is water resistant
- Rear zipper closure makes for easier dressing and undressing
- Sizing can be tricky, so triple-check the manufacturer’s size chart to ensure a good fit
- Some pet parents experienced quality issues with the vest’s snap
2. Kurgo Loft Dog Jacket
Kurgo Loft Dog Jacket
A reversible coat that keeps canines cozy while still allowing access to harness connection points.
About: The Kurgo Loft Dog Jacket is a stylish, reversible, and adjustable coat that keeps your dog warm and provides access to your pup’s harness hookup point via a rear-positioned zippered portal. Reflective piping offers added visibility, making for safer walks in lowlight conditions.
- Made from quilted Microtomic and 140 GSM Polytech filler material
- Outer layer is water resistant
- Slips over the head and fastens with Velcro for a snug fit
- Lightweight design for comfortable wear
- Available in 5 colors, including Chili Red/Charcoal, Ink Blue/Seagrass, and Coastal Blue/Orange.
- Extra-Small (15” – 20” Chest Girth)
- Small (19” – 26” Chest Girth)
- Medium (25” – 33” Chest Girth)
- Large (30” – 38” Chest Girth)
- Extra-Large (35” – 45” Chest Girth)
- Zippered harness portal provides easy access to your dog’s harness hookup point
- Fit allows for comfortable, natural mutt movement
- Backed by a lifetime manufacturer’s warranty
- Some owners reported poor durability
- Sizing was tricky for some doggos (size up if you have a deep-chested breed)
3. Idepet Dog Coat with Leash Anchor
About: Idepet’s Dog Coat with Leash Anchor is a cost-conscious jacket harness with a water-repelling outer layer and back-mounted D-rings for attaching a leash. The bright and bold color-block design also increases visibility during walks or outdoor play.
- Made of nylon and cotton
- Secures with a rear zipper for easy dressing and undressing
- Machine washable; tumble dry
- Lightweight, sleeveless design lets doggos move comfortably
- Available in 6 multi-color designs, such as Green, Yellow, and Black.
- X-Small (6″ Neck Girth, 10.8″ Chest Girth, 7.2″ Back Length)
- Small (8″ Neck Girth, 12.7″ Chest Girth, 9.2″ Back Length)
- Medium (10.8″ Neck Girth, 16.3″ Chest Girth, 11.9″ Back Length)
- Large (12.3″ Neck Girth, 17.8″ Chest Girth, 13.1″ Back Length)
- X-Large (13.9″ Neck Girth, 20.6″ Chest Girth, 15.5″ Back Length)
- Pricing is super affordable
- Pet parents report this lightweight jacket is a breeze to put on and take off
- Can withstand machine washing and drying
- Sizing runs small (intended for small breeds)
- Doesn’t provide as much insulation as other canine coats
4. Gooby Fleece Dog Vest
About: The Gooby Fleece Dog Vest is a comfortable and attractive garment that’ll keep your pup warm and looking great when the winter winds are howling. Easily hook up your dog’s lead to its back-mounted O-ring and enjoy your cool weather walk.
- Made of 100% polyester
- Easy-to-wear pullover design
- Machine washable for fuss-free cleaning
- Open bottom allows for mess-free pottying
- Offered in 26(!) colors, including Turquoise, Lavender, and Peach.
- Extra-small (11” Chest Girth)
- Small (13.25” Chest Girth)
- Medium (16” Chest Girth)
- Large (18.75” Chest Girth)
- Extra-Large (22” Chest Girth)
- Pullover design is simple to put on and take off
- Fleecy fabric keeps canines warmer than slick nylon options
- We love the number of color options available
- Not a good choice for use in wet weather
- Not intended for strong pullers
5. SGODA Dog Cooling Vest
About: The SGODA Cooling Vest keeps your dog cool during summer walks, and it is ready to work with your dog’s leash right out of the box with dual rear-mounted zinc-alloy D-rings. The three-layer design works to keep your pup comfortable in warm weather through evaporative cooling — just soak the vest with water and let it do the rest.
- Nylon exterior stores water, the middle layer keeps your dog dry, and the mesh core distributes coolness across your pup’s body
- Reflective strips make for better visibility during walks
- Zipper and Velcro allow for an adjustable, comfortable fit
- Solid exterior blocks out the sun to protect your pooch
- Available in a single gray shade with lime accents
- XX-Small (12” – 14” Chest Girth)
- X-Small (14.5” – 17.5” Chest Girth)
- Small (17.5” – 20” Chest Girth)
- Medium (20.5” – 24” Chest Girth)
- Large (24.5” – 28” Chest Girth)
- X-Large (28” – 32” Chest Girth)
- XX-Large (32.5” – 39.5” Chest Girth)
- Pet parents praise this canine vest’s cooling capability and ease of use
- Can be re-soaked to “recharge” the vest, even while your doggo’s wearing it
- Quality of stitching and other small details earned high marks with owners
- Must be hand-washed and hung to dry
- Pricing is a little high compared to other options
6. Didog Waterproof Dog Winter Jacket
About: Faux fur lining in the turtleneck portion of Didog Waterproof Dog Winter Jacket blocks out the bite of winter, while the removable harness with dual D-rings and a buckle fastener keeps him safely tethered to your lead. The rear zipper also makes for convenient dressing and undressing, with an included guard to protect your pup’s skin and fur from snags.
- Made of vinyl and faux fur
- Reflective lines for added nighttime visibility
- Water-resistant against rain and wet snow
- Adjustable belly straps allow for a customized fit
- Available in 3 colors: Gray, Blue, and Pink
- 23″ Chest Girth, Back Length 19″
- 25″ Chest Girth, Back Length 21″
- 28″ Chest Girth, Back Length 22″
- 29″ Chest Girth, Back Length 24″
- 33″ Chest Girth, Back Length 28″
- Most dogs appear snug and warm in the coat, particularly slim sighthounds
- Pawrents report this jacket is high-quality and durable
- Both the vest and detachable harness are easy to put on and take off
- No size options for small breeds
- Some owners experienced issues with the zipper’s quality long-term
7. ThinkPet Winter Coat for Dogs
About: Insulate your floof during cold weather walks with ThinkPet’s Winter Coat for Dogs, a tall-collared getup that allows easy access to your dog’s collar or harness through a rear zippered opening. Made with three layers, this coat is also reversible, with one side featuring wind and water-repelling polyester and the other being a warm, cuddly fabric.
- Made of polyester and fabric
- Adjustable hook and loop belly fasteners provide a snug fit
- Reflective piping offers extra visibility during night walks
- Open-collar neck also allows users to attach a lead to front-clip collars and some harnesses
- Available in 14 colors, including Turquoise, Yellow, and Gemstone Blue.
- X-Small (16″ – 17″ Chest Girth, 9″ Back Length)
- Small (17.5″ – 19.25″ Chest Girth, 11.5″ Back Length)
- Medium (18.75″ – 20″ Chest Girth, 12″ Back Length)
- Large (21.5″ – 22.25″ Chest Girth, 14″ Back Length)
- X-Large (22.25″ – 25.25″ Chest Girth, 15.25″ Back Length)
- XX-Large (25.5″ – 28″ Chest Girth, 17.25″ Back Length)
- XXX-Large (26.25″ – 29.25″ Chest Girth, 19.25″ Back Length)
- XXXX-Large (30″ – 32.5″ Chest Girth, 22″ Back Length)
- Quality and value are frequently praised by owners
- Allows access to both collars and harnesses at multiple points
- Reversible nature essentially gives you two coats in one
- Velcro issues experienced by some users made the coat hard to remove
- Some owners felt the sizing ran small
8. Chai’s Choice Dog Harness Vest Combo
About: Your pup can conquer the trail in Chai’s Choice Dog Harness Vest Combo, a waterproof accessory with dual aluminum alloy D-rings for leash attachment. It secures with a back zipper and a snap for easy dressing and removal.
- Made of durable Dupont Cordura fabric
- 3M reflective material offers visibility in lowlight conditions
- Includes a belly bungee band for a snug fit
- Sleeveless, lightweight design made with canine comfort in mind
- Available in 3 colors: Orange, Purple, and Black.
- XX-Small (10″ – 11″ Neck Girth, 12″ – 14″ Chest Girth)
- X-Small (11.5″ – 12.5″ Neck Girth, 14.5″ – 17.5″ Chest Girth)
- Small (13″ – 14.5″ Neck Girth, 17.5″ – 20″ Chest Girth)
- Medium (15″ – 17″ Neck Girth, 20.5″ – 24″ Chest Girth)
- Large (17.5″ – 19″ Neck Girth, 24.5″ – 28″ Chest Girth)
- X-Large (19.5″ – 22.5″ Neck Girth, 28″ – 32″ Chest Girth)
- XX-Large (23″ – 30.5″ Neck Girth, 32.5″ – 39.5″ Chest Girth)
- Most owners report the vest is well-made and durable
- The coat’s cut allows for natural dog movement
- Great size selection to choose from
- Pricey compared to other harness-coat combos
- Some owners of male dogs ran into piddle issues with the bungee’s belly placement
9. VIZPET Dog Raincoat
About: Keep your canine’s core dry and warm with VIZPET’s Dog Raincoat, a pup parka featuring a waterproof slick nylon shell and a soft fleece interior. The rear slot allows easy access to your dog’s harness or collar beneath.
- Made with a waterproof windbreaker nylon
- Reflective strip and bright colored patch for improved visibility at night or in the rain
- Secures with two Velcro straps — one across the chest and one on the belly
- Lightweight, breathable construction
- Offered in Blue and Green.
- Small (10″ – 12″ Neck Girth, 15″ – 19″ Chest Girth, 13″ Back Length)
- Medium (12″ – 15″ Neck Girth, 18″ – 22″ Chest Girth, 15″ Back Length)
- Large (16″ – 18.5″ Neck Girth, 23″ – 27″ Chest Girth, 19″ Back Length)
- X-Large (18″ – 22″ Neck Girth, 26″ – 31″ Chest Girth, 22.6″ Back Length)
- XX-Large (19″ – 23″ Neck Girth, 32″ – 37″ Chest Girth, 26″ Back Length)
- XXX-Large (24″ – 27″ Neck Girth, 34″ – 42″ Chest Girth, 29″ Back Length)
- Water-wicking material keeps canines dry
- Large selection of sizes
- Affordably priced, even for large sizes
- Comes with a 60-day manufacturer’s guarantee
- Leash attachment slot positioning is incompatible with some harnesses
- Belly band location can be an issue for male dogs needing to potty
10. Ruffwear Overcoat Fuse Jacket Harness
About: Versatility is the name of the game with the Ruffwear Overcoat Fuse Jacket Harness, featuring leash attachments on both the back and chest, letting you pick which works best for your pulling pup. Cleaning the harness is also convenient — just toss it in the washing machine on a gentle cycle using cold water and hang it to dry.
- Made with a water-resistant shell and polyester fleece interior
- Aluminum leash connection points with reinforced webbing for increased strength
- Side-release buckles allow for easy dressing and removal
- Features 2 zippered pockets for storing poop bags and other small accessories
- Offered in 6 colors, including Canyonlands Orange, Purple Rain, and Evergreen.
- XX-Small (13″ – 17″ Chest Girth)
- X-Small (17″ – 22″ Chest Girth)
- Small (22″ – 27″ Chest Girth)
- Medium (27″ – 32″ Chest Girth)
- Large (32″ – 36″ Chest Girth)
- X-Large (36″ – 42″ Chest Girth)
- Choice of two leash connection points, including a front-mounted clip that’s great for pullers
- Built-in pockets are great for stowing poop bags
- Quality received high marks from owners
- More expensive than other options
- Some pet parents wish it had more coverage and insulation for cold weather wear
11. VOOPET Warm Dog Jacket
About: Protect your pooch from the wind and cold with VOOPET’s Warm Dog Jacket, made with a detached hood and cozy fleece lining. Securing in place with easy-to-use Velcro straps and chest snaps, dressing your barker in the coat is quick and convenient.
- Made with waterproof PVP exterior, cotton filling, and polyester fleece interior
- Rear opening for attaching a leash to your dog’s collar or harness
- Can be machine washed and dried or spot-cleaned by hand
- Optional elastic loops in the rear can prevent hound Houndinis from slipping the coat off
- 7 color options include Purple, Rose Red, and Black.
- Small (12″ Neck Girth, 11″ – 18″ Chest Girth, 10.75″ Back Length)
- Medium (13″ Neck Girth, 13.5″ – 20.25″ Chest Girth, 12.25″ Back Length)
- Large (14″ Neck Girth, 15″ – 22″ Chest Girth, 14.5″ Back Length)
- X-Large (15.3″ Neck Girth, 16.9″ – 24″ Chest Girth, 16.25″ Back Length)
- XX-Large (16.3″ Neck Girth, 18″ – 26″ Chest Girth, 18.25″ Back Length)
- Detachable hood can be worn to protect your dog’s head from the cold or removed for his comfort
- Affordably priced
- Adjustable fit and material quality earned praise from pet parents
- Hood doesn’t fit every doggo’s build (some heads too large, some necks too long, etc.)
- Intended for small dogs only
Things to Look for When Purchasing a Harness-Compatible Vest or Coat
As with purchasing any pet product, you want to be sure to select a high-quality vest or coat. This means looking for a vest, sweater, or coat that exhibits as many of the following features and characteristics as possible:
Most owners would like to save as much money as possible when purchasing a vest or coat to use in conjunction with a harness, but you don’t want to select a garment made from substandard fabrics in the process.
Ideally, the liners should be made of a comfortable material, such as fleece, and the outside should be made from a durable material, such as nylon or polyester.
Leash Portals Should Have Sewn Edges
As mentioned above, leash portals can fray easily, so be sure to avoid models with leash portals that do not include stitching around the edges. Stitching doesn’t guarantee that the portal won’t ever fray, but it will certainly help ensure it lasts longer.
You always want your dog to be as visible as possible, especially while going on walks after dark. You can do so in a number of ways, but selecting a garment with reflective or high-visibility trim is probably the easiest way to keep your pooch safe. Brightly colored coats also aid in visibility.
Even the daintiest of dogs will dirty their garments over time, and to keep the vest or coat looking its best, you’ll want to wash it regularly.
Most vests and coats can be hand-washed in cold water and allowed to drip dry, but the best products can be machine washed and dried without too much wear and tear as a result.
The Benefits of Coats and Vests
Whether they are designed to accommodate harnesses and leashes or not, coats and vests can provide a number of benefits for your dog. Some of the most important include:
Coats and vests help keep your canine warm. Even though they’re covered in a thick layer of fur, dogs can still get chilly when the temperatures drop. This is especially true of small or thinly built breeds that have relatively high surface-to-volume ratios.
Coats and vests can also help your dog keep his cool. Some vests are designed to help keep your dog cool while enjoying the great outdoors. You’ll just need to wet the vest before putting it on your dog. As the water evaporates, it creates a cooling effect, which will lower your dog’s body temperature.
Coats and vests can help improve your dog’s visibility. Many coats and vests feature reflective stitching, reflectors, or fluorescent colors to make it easier for motorists to see your dog. These are great for walking with your dog at night or in inclement weather.
Coats and vests can protect your dog’s coat from dirt and rain. Coats and vests won’t keep your dog’s head or paws clean, but they can help keep the bulk of his fur cleaner and drier, particularly when walking or playing in wet weather.
Coats and vests are adorable. They may not suit the tastes of every dog or owner, but it is pretty hard to argue that many pups look too cute for words when wearing a coat or vest.
Finding the Right Coat for Your Dog
Selecting the right dog coat with a harness or harness holes starts with knowing your walking woofer’s needs. Coats come in a wide range of cuts, colors, and materials, so knowing these basics can cut your search time in half.
Consider the following when looking for a potential coat-harness combo for your dog:
Coats with Harness Holes vs Coats with Built-In Harnesses
When deciding between a dog coat with a built-in harness and one with harness holes, take your four-footer’s temperament and training into consideration. This ensures you select the safest product for your dog.
Coats with built-in harnesses aren’t as strong as everyday harnesses, so they’re best for calm, older dogs who aren’t reactive and walk nicely on a lead. Walking a dog with one of these who is reactive or who pulls isn’t recommended, as they can break the device with enough force.
Dog coats with harness holes are best for dogs who must walk with a strong harness of their own underneath the coat. Reactive canines, bouncy puppies, and dogs who pull fall into this category. These are also necessary for dogs who require special devices like lift harnesses and escape-proof harnesses.
Your Dog’s Shape
Dogs come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, which can make finding the right coat-harness combo tricky, particularly if your pupperino has unique features like a large chest or broad shoulders. Stockier breeds like pit bulls and bulldogs usually struggle with coat legholes, especially. Coats that fit too tightly can lead to decreased range of motion and skin irritation. On the other hand, lankier breeds like whippets may struggle to find a coat that doesn’t gap tremendously around the waist.
Look for coats with adjustable straps whenever possible. These usually feature multiple points of adjustment throughout the coat, ensuring a fit customized to your dog’s frame.
Waterproofing or No Waterproofing
Waterproofing prevents material from absorbing water, which could lead to a wet woofer. Accordingly, waterproof finishes are preferred for dogs often walked in wet weather or for those who take part in outdoor adventures where puddle encounters may occur. The water will simply bead or “wick” off of the fabric.
Water-resistant fabrics are similar but aren’t guaranteed to stay completely dry, especially during rain events. These are OK if you want something that can handle a quick spritz but aren’t recommended for use in falling rain or wet snow.
Lastly, coats with no water protection will soak through if exposed to water, leading to a wet, cold doggo underneath. Fleece usually falls into this category. These are best for use in dry, cool weather.
Insulated jackets preserve your dog’s core body heat. Filled with materials like polyfill, cotton, or down of varying thickness, a warm dog coat like this is great for colder weather. Some coats also include fleecy inner linings for extra warmth. These fleece-lined finds are ideal for short-coated or lanky breeds like greyhounds and Dobermans.
Some dogs need more coat insulation than others, depending on breed and location. For example, a husky doesn’t need as much coat stuffing as a Weimaraner. Similarly, a Lab in Georgia doesn’t require as much warmth as a Lab living in Maine.
Too much coat insulation can lead to dangerous overheating, while too little leaves your dog exposed to the cold.
Neck Coverage vs No Neck Coverage
Like insulation, neck coverage shields your floof from the cold. Dog coats can include neck areas that match the fit of the rest of the coat as well as turtleneck styles that are more form-fitting. Turtlenecks are better for preserving body heat in cold weather, but they may not be comfortable for every canine. They may also simply not work with your dog’s build, with stockier breeds like bulldogs often finding them too narrow to wear at all.
Do you use a coat or vest to keep your pooch comfortable on walks? Have you found a good model that works with your pup’s harness? Tell us all about it in the comments below.