Review from The Howling Yetis / The Bikejor Bible
As evident from the image above, the Amundsen harness is striking in design. At first it’s a little difficult to determine what exactly it’s intended for. It is a full-bore sled dog harness. Not a weight-pull or Pulka-style kit as some of it’s design cues suggest.
The Amundsen is a what I’d call a seriously open-back harness. It’s quite hard to explain in a few words, but it is a power-hungry harness, benefiting sprinting over endurance for sure.
My review of the Amundsen will have to be a little skewed. The harness did not fit my dogs especially well. By all measurement accounts, we had the right size – any smaller would’ve restricted airways, and well…they don’t go any larger.
The Amundsen appears to be designed around a dog that has a larger body or a smaller neck, comparatively. Every element of it’s design suggests this is intended for a purpose-bred hound.
This is a harness for your Eurohounds and Greysters (or whatever fandangled crossbreed you’re claiming today), there’s no doubt about it. For those with more traditionally shaped sleddy breeds, I’d advise to steer clear. Whilst it is a brilliant harness, it has a clear use-case in mind, and is not an all-rounder.
How’s it feel in use?
The Amundsen provides a power transfer from dog-to-bike like I’ve never experienced. I still can’t quite believe how much difference a harness can allow a dog to put down so much more power.
For what a guestimate is worth, it’s feels like an increase in torque, in the realm of 15-20%. Which I appreciate, is huge. Note; I said feels like. I doubt it is. And that type of power increase isn’t sustainable, but it is there as an initial shock to the senses.
This all sounds very promising, but for dogs who aren’t always going hell-for-leather, the design causes a practical issue. It just doesn’t sit well under an enduring trot or gallop.
The squiffy nature of the harness when not under load, can appear to cause minor discomfort for the dog during recoup portions of a run. I don’t suspect that there’s any actual pain, but rather than manor in which the harness can move around the body causes an unnecessary distraction.
I think it’s fairly evident by this point whether this harness is a good choice for your dog; if they’re an unadulterated puller for the whole hog, then great, go for it, and reap those rewards. But if they aren’t, it’s likely not to be of any benefit, and potentially a hindrance.
The open-back nature also leads to another potential problem, this is by far one of the easiest harnesses to back-out of I’ve ever used. This isn’t a fault as such, it’s by the very nature that makes it brilliant for some dogs, also makes it less ideal for others. And it’s just something I feel uncertain purchases should be very aware of.