4 min read • By Leena Chitnis, Founder, Timberdog®
Before I thought up the RuffRest, I searched the internet for a dog sleeping mat and found it strange that the only images that popped up were of roll-up dog sleeping mats, taco-shaped sleeping bags, or car seat covers for dogs. “Where’s the comfort in that?” I asked aloud while scrolling, as I was sure that someone had created something more substantial by now. I saw a some options out there, but nothing appreciably versatile, as I needed a dog sleeping mat to be.
As pet parents, we are always trying to balance comfort with minimalism, especially in a portability context. Often, one is sacrificed for the other; i.e., a streamlined product can translate into an experience devoid of comfort. That’s why we need our travel gear to be multifunctional: we want to pack just a few things, while having each item execute the most.
I noticed that the dog sleeping mats out there provided no warmth, support, or elevation to protect your pet from the ground. If you’re out camping, for instance, the cold, damp earth is going to win every time, going straight through your dog’s mat or sleeping bag. I should know. When I was a novice camper, I went out without a sleep pad and the earth sucked the heat right out of me as I tried to get some shut-eye in my “winter” bag. It was not only a miserable night, but a dangerous one, and I ended up hightailing it to my car at 4 a.m to blast the heater.
I started to think. Why shouldn’t our dog sleeping mats be more substantial? Taking it a step further, I thought - why not also build in a multifunctional quality? Why should I have to choose between a thin, uncomfortable mat, or hauling my dog’s unwieldy foam bed from home for comfort? Furthermore, why must we carry a separate dog blanket and everything else in a piecemeal manner? There had to be a dog bed out there that did it all - provide a padded sleeping experience, a built-in sleeping bag for coziness, and a suitcase-style opening to carry all of our dogs’ things. An ultimate - yet highly portable - travel pet bed.
THE RUFFREST ULTIMATE PET BED BEATS DOG SLEEPING MATS HANDS DOWN
I looked at thousands - yes, thousands - of dog beds, both indoor and outdoor, before creating the RuffRest with the aggregate of features I believed to be the best and most regularly-used by dogs and pet parents. In fact, I know those features are the most-used because I took my hunch to online dog forums and conducted multiple focus groups. And just for fun, I added a few “nice-to-haves” for dog parents, as well.
I wanted my dog, Kashi, to have luxury when traveling and camping and for me to be able to have the packing experience be hassle-free. One night, I scribbled on the backs of some past-due bills at the kitchen table, and very quickly, RuffRest took shape. To this day, I’m so glad that I was not trained as a designer, because this allowed me to create boldly, without technical fetters. In fact, I was rejected by scores of highly-trained industrial designers and manufacturers when I showed them my sketches. It can’t be done, they said dismissively. Due to the bed’s 16+ features, one expert even laughed and called it a ‘kitchen sink’ before hanging up on me. But I persevered. I knew that if I needed such a useful, portable dog bed, others would, too.
RuffRest combines all of the best elements from your search for a dog sleeping mat and then some. It elevates your dog and provides insulation from the earth, while providing warmth from a built-in blanket that converts into a sleeping bag. It opens like a suitcase to store items, but not haphazardly: a see-through organizer allows you to compartmentalize your dog’s items and find them easily, so you never have to search through bags again. The organizer can also be hung up in your hotel room next to your things, or folded up to keep inside your tent. And for the forgetful or minimal person, the shoulder strap handily converts into a leash, with reflective stitching so that drivers can easily avoid your dog.
Unlike any other dog sleeping mat or pet bed on the market, RuffRest also has built-in safety features. The colorful trim around the bed doubles as a zipper hood to keep your dog from chewing on zippers. The accents on all four corners of the bed are carabiner loops with reflective strips, so you won’t trip over the bed after dark. And every organizer comes with a large medical ID card - necessary for those times when you have to leave him with friends. All the emergency information they need is right at their fingertips.
Today, RuffRest has gone from a dream to reality, and is individually-crafted from the best materials: memory foam, military-grade tactical nylon, and sherpa fleece. And its modularity allows you endless configurations for anywhere you venture with your pup: as a durable camping dog bed, a portable hotel sleeper, an office nap station, and pretty cool Van Life digs. It’s even flight-friendly for your trips abroad.
I have put so much detail and heart into this design for the past five years, because creating and innovating is my passion. But to do it for my dog, Kashi, who completely changed my life, RuffRest continues to be a labor of love. I hope you and your beloved pet can sense this when you use RuffRest, or any of the products from Timberdog. We strive to be ahead of the pack, because our dogs aren’t just our best friends. They’re family.
Photo Credit: Marc Prefontaine
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