Finally, a Travel Dog Bed That Isn’t Just Foam: Timberdog Ruffrest Review

Finally, a Travel Dog Bed That Isn’t Just Foam: Timberdog Ruffrest Review

I don’t know about you, but I’m automatically the most skeptical when companies self-proclaim their product as the “best.” The Timberdog Ruffrest is one of those, and being a gear junkie with an adventure-loving dog, I wanted to put that claim to the test.

We spend a lot of time outside and frequently take our dog everywhere. I was most excited to see if all the features truly functioned — i.e., made life easier — when traveling with our dog.

We hauled the Timberdog Ruffrest on camping trips and weekends away for close to a year to test this bed. The only situation where we didn’t test it was air travel. By “we” I mean, myself, my partner, and our fluffy 60-pound German Shepherd/Pyrenees mix.

It held up. Every feature is thoughtful and built with purpose (though some could use improvements). There are a ton of dog beds on the market and while the “travel” segment seems to be growing, I have yet to see anything like this one. If you travel, the Timberdog Ruffrest should be high on your consideration list.

In short: Most of the travel beds on the market are a simple pad, light and packable. The Timberdog Ruffrest is light and packable as well, but it is also fully built with more non-bed features than you can imagine. (Note: The Timberdog is light considering every function it serves; but is by no means minimalist or ultralight.) If you travel or camp with your dog frequently, you’ll be thanking yourself … and so will your pup with this one.


TIMBERDOG Ruffrest Dog Bed

Specs

  • Materials
    900D nylon, sherpa fleece, YKK zippers, and Duraflex buckles
  • Sizes available
    S, M, L
  • Dimensions
    24-34" (medium), 42×30" (large)
  • Verified weight
    11 lbs. (size large)
  • Removable/washable cover
    Yes

Pros


  • Well-designed features

  • So many functions

  • Zipper pockets to hide stuff away when not in use

  • Machine washable exterior

  • Works as a sleeping bag

  • Hanging organizer

  • Meaningful touches like reflective loops and strap

  • The dog loved it!

Cons


  • Noisy

  • Leash hardware is lower quality

  • Price

  • Durability of foam bed over time

Timberdog Ruffrest Travel Dog Bed Review

Otso sitting on the large Ruffrest in our Subaru Outback; (photo/Katie Eichelberger)

Let’s start with the overall construction of the bed. The top is fleece and has a built-in pillow when the deployable sleeping bag underneath is not in use. The full construction of this bed is made from 900-denier nylon, which has proved to be quite durable on concrete, grass, and the bottom of our pup’s metal crate. And durable enough to withstand wear-and-tear testing from our 60-pound dog as well.

Built like a suitcase, the bed unzips to expose a separate organizer with four plastic zipper pockets (two small, two large) with a Velcro strap to hang the organizer on a tree, hook, or door. The organizer lays flat inside the two pieces of foam to zip itself inside the bed for travel. 

timberdog ruffrest organizer
The Ruffrest organizer laid out inside of the dog bed ready to zip up for a weekend away; (photo/Katie Eichelberger)

The only catch? If you use the bed during travel like we do, it makes the bed lumpy and food bags can open and spill inside their zipper pockets. Otso doesn’t seem to mind. I found that we often just carried the organizer separately like we would any other bag, because of how often we were using the bed function.

Added Extras: Not Just a Bed

The devil is in the details, right? For this dog bed, the answer is yes. It’s up to you whether you care about them or not. 

Water bottle pocket. The Timberdog Ruffrest has a built-in mesh pocket stashed away in a zipper pocket, that can hold up to a 48-ounce Nalgene.

Reflective outer loops. Each corner edge of the bed has reflective loops that can be seen at night at a campsite or used to hang the bed when not in use, or for after washing it. This is a nice feature for camping for sure.

Reflective strap that doubles as a leash. As someone with a large dog that has a tendency to pull, I would not trust this reflective strap as a leash. In a pinch? Maybe. For a smaller dog? Sure. But the clip hardware that connects it to the bed (or your dog’s collar) does not seem durable at all. It’s a great concept, but falls short in my book. Even a carabiner would have been a little more trusting than this clip.

Converting the Bed Into a Sleeping Bag

Comfortable, and incorporated only for when you need it, the sleeping bag pulls out of its storage pouch and zips right onto the top of the bed. Timberdog is in the process of submitting its bags for official temperature ratings, and I also don’t want to quote how effective it seemed. Mostly, because our 60-pound floofer thrives in the cold. Some dogs might need these feature and love it, and some might need to get used to it, but ours didn’t.

There were two cons with this function. Built with the ingenuity not to have a gap in the sleeping bag so that air could get in, the sleeping bag attaches with a zipper system and buttons in each corner. However, I had a lot of trouble buttoning the sleeping bag and eventually gave up entirely.

There also appears to be a foam insert at the top of the bag, which had me concerned for any pups who are chewers. It seemed to be coated with the same outer material as the bag, and I could see it being destroyed pretty easily with certain pups.

Showing how the sleeping bag zipper connects to the bed; (photo/Katie Eichelberger)

Finally, the medium and large-size beds also have an added zipper pocket to stash outer compression straps. Combined with the sleeping bag function, there are tons of zippers along the bed. Honestly, I didn’t use this feature a ton because we’d open up the bed in the backseat for Otso to lie on during car rides. But for packing away, air travel, and just saving space in general — I can see the straps are useful.

Machine Washable

sleeping bed and foam insert
The foam inserts, the blue sleeping bag, and the outer sherpa dog bed; (photo/Katie Eichelberger)

The best news? The bed itself is machine washable. Well, for the most part. You must remove all the inside foam pieces, but those can be sprayed down and hand-washed themselves. For the outer part (that contains the sherpa fleece and reflective pieces), the directions say to use a top-load washer and never to dry it, or it will shrink. Timberdog also tested and recommends applying NIKWAX wash or wash-in to help boost the waterproof capabilities over time.

I washed ours following the directions, and it worked perfectly. 

Pay Close Attention to Sizing

Otso next to the Ruffrest size large in travel mode, for scale; (photo/Katie Eichelberger)

The Timberdog Ruffrest comes in three different sizes and three different colors. I was confident at 60 pounds, that Otso would need a large bed, and I ignored the recommendations from the owner of Ruffrest to try a medium. After seeing how large it really was, I agree. A medium would’ve fit. With the large, he has extra room to sprawl, but we definitely could’ve saved some weight, bulk, and space.

For reference, the large size measures roughly 42×30 inches and weighs a little under 11 pounds — that’s without anything in the organizer. According to Timberdog, the small weighs 4.5 pounds and the medium weighs 6.6 pounds, which seems much more manageable, also given the number of add-ons built in.

The Con: The Crinkly Foam Inserts

Our dog also was pretty hesitant at first to lie on this bed, because of the loud crinkle the cover material makes. He’s a rescue, so it’s definitely a consideration if your dog has anxiety or maybe an adverse reaction to noises, like our Otso. For over $200, it is a bummer that this bed falls into the “noisy” category.

As for the quality, I was surprised when I took the inserts out to wash the cover to find scratch marks in it, close enough to call them holes. I thought the outside was built pretty well, but the punctures appeared to break through. Consider keeping your dog’s nails trimmed, especially if they like to scratch — or if you plan to put this bed to hard use. Right now it doesn’t affect the foam, but it’s something to consider for the longevity of the bed (this is after our year of testing).

Conclusion

compressed ruffrest
My partner carrying the compressed Ruffrest; (photo/Katie Eichelberger)

On previous trips, my partner and I would haul around Otso’s massive lumpy Duluth Trading dog bed (inconvenient) or carry a Ruffwear pad with us for camping (not as bed-like). While they worked, nothing felt this durable and useful.

The Timberdog Ruffrest isn’t just a simple duffel. No, this is the equivalent of modular, packable luggage with internal compartments, functional gadgets, and versatility galore. The Ruffrest dog bed is a big upgrade to our busy travel lives, and I think it will continue to be a hit for years to come for our family.

We’ll just have to live with the crinkle noises.

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