A year ago, we were provided with three Spartan harnesses to review by the kind folks over at https://sportypaws.co.uk/. Unfortunately, the test, didn’t go too well. Musher (the company that manufactures these harnesses) had created something with a fantastic design, but a critical flaw – the adjustable buckles came undone incredibly easily.
A month ago, Sporty Paws were brilliant enough to send us the new and improved Spartan harness for further testing. Whilst it is still early days, we can say, that the previous flaw is gone, and what remains is a truly fantastic product.
Below we have provided a rough summary of our thoughts on the new and improved harnesses, along with our video review with some additional content.
The Musher Spartan harness is a fully adjustable multi-sport style harness geared towards canicross, bikejoring and dogtrekking with an extra emphasis on helping tackle challenging obstacles with your dog (hence the large handle on the dogs back).
As with everything we’ve seen from Musher so far, the quality of these harnesses was excellent on both tests, albeit a problem with the adjusting buckles themselves stopped us from reviewing these properly first time round.
With the buckle issue now completely resolved, these are a really high quality product, especially considering their price-point.
This is review is going to be broken down in to a few key sections to help you understand more what these are about, and where they sit amongst other competitors. Without doing head-to-head tests, suggesting that these are either better or worse than a specific other harness would be drastically unfair, so everything here will be to give you an indicator of their performance within the general harness market.
And the first item to discuss, is market position. This fits thoroughly in the short / multi-sport harness category, and marks highly in all key areas (price, quality and fit). I won’t say that this harness is as good as a custom made-to-measure, because in reality is almost never possible of an adjustable harness – but this one is really close to that high fit level.
Suitability – as a trekking harness, I am really very impressed, the weight, adjustment and the control handle are all exactly what I look for in a trekking harness. Something that gives the dogs more comfort over performance.
For canicross and bikejor – if you wanted one harness to do everything, then this absolutely fits the bill. But as a dedicated canicross or bikejor harness, I think their Seppala harness wins out, at least for northern breeds. There’s certainly nothing wrong with the Spartan in this regard, but I don’t believe it optimised to get the most out of running at great speed, and the additional material – handle, adjustment clips etc, are just something to get snapped when weaving technical trails at speed. But on the switch side to that, if I were considering bikejoring somewhere busier, where I may want to be able to dismount and keep the dog next to be and more controlled while negotiating other trail users…I absolutely would use the Spartan in that scenario. Perfectly suited to a more casual bikejor or canicross user perhaps.