The Dog Gear Reviews

Kurgo K9 Excursion Running Belt

Kurgo K9 Excursion Running Belt Review

As summer winds down and we head in to winter, I thought we’d take a few weeks to discuss the gear we brought on the trip: what we loved, what we’ll ditch next summer, and what we still need. The first item up is something I didn’t think I would need, but has proven to be a pretty cool addition to our gear closet. As of right now, I’m hoping that these gear posts can grow and expand over time – the more we use an item, the more we’ll know about it.


1510-October-101I used the Kurgo K9 Excursion Running Belt ($30) a few times this spring, while we were in California building the bus. We haven’t used it too much while on the road, because we generally choose to visit areas where Hilde is allowed to roam off leash. However, sometimes places we expect to be off-leash turn out to be otherwise, and this running belt is perfect for those cases.

Earlier this week we went on a quick run up Long Canyon, off the Colorado River just out of Moab, Utah. 50 yards in we came across this sign. I love letting Hilde run freely off leash (actually, I don’t think anything makes me happier than seeing her zoom along a trail!) but I know that if she saw any sheep, big or little, she would want to chase them.

You might think that this is no big deal – sheep get chased all the time, right? Actually, it’s a pretty big deal. When prey animals get chased by dogs, even friendly dogs, they use up valuable energy. In certain places and seasons where food is hard to come by (like the desert) this energy reserve (or lack thereof) could mean life or death down the line. So, end of soapbox, we saw that sign and immediately got Hilde on her leash.

If you’ve ever run with your dog on a waist leash, you probably know how nice it is to have your hands free. However, you might also know how annoying it can be if they pull, digging into your waist or jerking you around the trail. Hilde’s not “100% puller” like some dogs, but if she gets excited or sees something interesting up the trail she can really jerk me around. This belt relieves those problems and makes running with Hilde on a leash much more enjoyable.

Kurgo K9 Excursion Running Belt Review

Paired with the Kurgo Quantum Leash (pictured, $20), Hilde gets a full 6 feet of freedom – much more than she would if I just had a leash wrapped around my waist. This means she has +/- 2 extra feet to get ahead, sniff things out, and then catch back up with me before she runs out of slack, which makes both of us happy!

The belt is much wider than just a leash, similar to the hip belt of a backpack. This means that any pressure on the leash gets distributed over a larger area, so I don’t feel it as much.

Kurgo K9 Excursion Running Belt

Opposite direction pull tabs make it easy to adjust the size, too!

Speaking of pulling, it comes with these nifty leash attachment sliders that dampen the shock when Hilde decides there’s something interesting to see on the other side of the trail.

Kurgo K9 Excursion Running Belt Review

The pocket on the back is juuuuust barely big enough for a Kate’s Real Food bar, a handful of poop bags, and my Patagonia Alpine Houdini rain jacket. This was just a short trip, and I was able to fit everything in, but it was a tight squeeze! On a longer day I would probably empty the belt (to be honest, the water bottle is a little clunky for running) and wear my Patagonia ForeRunner vest in addition for extra storage.

Kurgo K9 Excursion Running Belt Review

The pocket even has a little hole so you can easily get at your poop bags.

Kurgo K9 Excursion Running Belt Review

Overall, I think the belt is a great addition for people who like to run with their dogs, especially if you go on shorter runs in places that require your pup to be on a leash! See it on »



  • Wide belt distributes pressure
  • Sticky rubber lines on inside keep it from riding up
  • Big buckle + easy to adjust straps, similar to backpacking hip belts
  • Basic storage for poop bags, small snack
  • Leash connection ribbons help dampen jerky movements


  • Water bottle connection is bouncy – might just be that I’m not used to running with water on a belt.
  • Dog can’t “swing” all the way around, you have to step over the leash if they go behind you
  • Limited storage, need to wear a pack in addition for longer excursions


Do you want to try out the Kurgo K9 Excursion Running Belt? Leave a comment below with your favorite #WalkingYourDogWeek story below. We’ll pick our favorite and send you a belt to try out!

Kurgo K9 Excursion Running Belt Review

Now that’s a happy dog!


Disclaimer: This post is made possible by Kurgo, who gave us a lot of free gear when Hilde won the Kurgo Live Your Adventure Contest. However, all opinions and recommendations here are our own! 

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  • Such a cute pic of you two! I could actually use something like that around town (although it would be nice for hiking and trail running too). Juneau usually does great off-leash, even around town, but the squirrel situation is crazy downtown this year. Two weeks ago we were jogging in our neighborhood and she couldn’t resist going after a squirrel across the street. She took off before I could grab her collar and chased it up a tree. Thank goodness there were no cars around. I’ve kept her leashed every night since.

  • Definitely have to look into this! We’d love to be able to hike with both pups and have our hands free for photos or, especially in my case, grabbing tree trunks to keep from tripping up or down the path. (Not entering the giveaway – just sharing that the product seems pretty cool!)

  • Jessica Rhae

    My dogs can never be off leash because they are hounds and don’t have a reliable recall. I’ve always just wrapped a leash around my wrist but I am thinking more and more about trying a hands-free leash to see if it would work with them. They are very short so I feel like that ads a complication (because of the angle of the leash) but it’s worth a try. It would be nice to free up my hands to take more pictures 🙂

  • Dani Schwegel

    My corgis love off leash walking. They’re absolute champs about staying close, coming when they’re called, and not chasing other animals if I tell them, “No.”. The best walking story I have is I was at a campsite with Ein & Tesla and they’re walking off leash when a group of 4 ducks comes waddling up to us. Now their favorite thing in the whole world to chase is ducks. I tell them they’re not allowed to chase these ducks, so they don’t. The ducks keep getting closer; obviously use to being fed by people. The dogs are excited…until the ducks continue to get closer, and closer, and closer. Now the dogs are started to get a little scared.

    They’re the chasers, not the ones being chased; so the dogs take off galloping up the trail ahead. The ducks must sense the ultimate cosmic shift in their standing on the power ladder and give chase quacking happily. Poor dogs.

    The dogs loop back around and hide behind my legs using me a human barrier between them and the ducks; whining for salvation. I shoo’d the ducks away; but for the rest of my camping trip the dogs would NOT leave the tent if they saw the ducks in our campground.

  • Deb Schmalshof

    Walking Mattie story. Her favourite walk is in Home Depot. She knows the stores by sight and if you ask if she likes Home Depot, she starts barking like crazy. The biggest problem, at two stores they know her name, but not ours. She’s also a hiker and loves to be off leash whenever possible. She’s a wader too. Part beagle, part Bassett she’s a shallow wader..

  • Shelby Childs

    #Walkingyourdogweek Buster is a Chow/Border Collie rescue that I adopted four months ago and he’s been amazing since day one. He used to try to run away at every opportunity but he and I have been diligently working each day on being off-leash and he’s made amazing improvements. Today made all of the hard work worth it when he came to me while in the field without being called, turned his face upward to lick my face, and then scampered off for more adventuring. Seeing him happy, confident, and exploring his world means everything to me.