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Ruffwear Highlands dog pad – a review

Updated: Apr 13

Ruffwear highlands dog pad_review
Ruffwear highlands dog pad medium size


At puppy school, they first teach you to introduce a "place" to your puppy. This place could be simply created with a towel, a mat, a small rug or a bucket, where your puppy can rest, feel safe, and stay calm. I absolutely love this approach, and it works wonders for Milton. This trick has become essential since Milton and I enjoy an active life together. We love going to the mountains and the sea and occasionally having a picnic in the park or dining out in restaurants. Even if it's just a day out, I try to pack as much as possible so that Milton can feel comfortable no matter what we decide to do. Whether it be taking a stretch period of time on the beach or a spontaneous visit at the beach club, he will be able to accompany me in comfort, making the day enjoyable for the both of us. Taking a travel mat becomes essential. I have gone through several different travel mats, whether retail purchased or a simple towel from home. I would choose a different mat depending on the occasion and the anticipated environment. It is fair to say that I haven't found the absolutely perfect and the most versatile travel mat yet. However, I recently found something I am pretty satisfied with and would like to share a short review. 


I recently purchased the Ruffwear Highlands dog pad and am pretty happy. The design of this dog pad is very similar to a hiking seat pad. It has an accordion folding system and a Velcro strap to secure it in the folded position. The Ruffwear Highlands dog pad is made with waterproof material in the bottom, which gives it a rugged, durable touch and feel and is anti-slip. The padding is filled with synthetic down, which offers insulation from the hot or cold surfaces. Although the padding is thin, it provides a soft memory foam cushion feel. The top surface is built with micro-suede, which feels super smooth and makes it very easy to clean. What are the things we love about Ruffwear Highlands dog pad? 


Ruffwear highlands dog pad fold up nicely.
Ruffwear highlands dog pad folded

  1. The Highlands dog pad from Ruffwear is quite versatile. Although this travel mat is clearly designed with a hiking and camping scenario in mind, I also found it quite handy in the city. The Netherlands can be pretty cold and humid at times. Sometimes, I would sit on a terrace at a bar on a dry day, but the ground was still moist and uncomfortable for Milton to feel settled. The well-insulated dog pad makes it comfortable for the dog to lay on, regardless of season. 

  2. It is very transportable. We have a size M Highlands dog pad that folds into a 29cm x 13cm x 11cm rectangular pillow. Due to its sturdiness, it is not as soft and foldable as a piece of fabric, but it is very light (only 340g), and I don't mind tossing it in my backpack for a day out. 

  3. The dog pad can be used as the base layer of a bed when travelling. Whether camping or staying in a hotel, this pad provides a well-insulated and padded place for your dog. Add a small blanket on top, and there is your dog bed. Ruffwear also sells a dog sleeping bag to make this a complete set. We don't have that product because we are not campers. However, I saw it in the store, and it looked so cozy that I almost bought it myself. 


I wish that Ruffwear could tweak a couple of minor features in design.  

  1. A carrying shoulder strap or a carrying case with a strap. Although I don't mind tossing it into my backpack, a shoulder strap would be helpful when we go into the city taking only my small purse. I would still like to have the travel mat with me somehow. 

  2. It only comes in grey colour. Can we have more colour options?


I remembered chatting with store staff about the dog travel mat options in the market, and we both agreed that there hasn't been a "perfect" solution yet. Some of the travel mats are too large or too thin. Many focus on design but not functionality or with functionality but not transportability. The Ruffwear Highlands dog pods have our vote for now, but we hope to see more versatile products that cover the needs of outdoor and city lifestyles, aesthetics, and functionality. 


Using Ruffwear highlands dog pad on patio in Amsterdam.
Ruffwear highlands dog pad on patio

Another travel dog mat that we love is the one we purchased years ago from a local entrepreneur, P.A.W. It's an entirely different type of travel mat, made with 100% Texel wool and folded into a bag. It's pretty fashionable, and we use it a lot in the winter. I will write a separate review on that later. 


Do you also have a travel mat or pad for your dogs? Which one do you use, and do you like it? 




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