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Riggins and His Pack Review the P.L.A.Y. Outdoor Collection

I let the dogs have their way with the Toss & Float Toy, the Deluxe Training Pouch, and the Outdoor Dog Tent.

Wendy Newell  |  Apr 13th 2016


Between hiking and camping, Riggins and I spend a lot of time outdoors. We are always looking for fun and helpful products to bring along with us on our adventures. The nice people over at P.L.A.Y. (Pet Lifestyles and You) sent over a few items — the Toss & Float Toy, the Deluxe Training Pouch, and the Outdoor Dog Tent — from their new Outdoor Collection for us to try out.

P.L.A.Y. was started by owners Will and Deb after a struggle to find their own sweet Pug, Momo, a bed. Nothing on the market seemed to have all the things they wanted: high quality, great design, planet-friendly materials, and, of course, ergonomic comfort for Momo. After a ton of research, they made their own, and their business has grown to include beds of all shapes and sizes and to allow them to offer other dog products, including those found in the Outdoor Collection.

My sweet Riggins in the Dog Tent. Ready for adventure!

My sweet Riggins in the Dog Tent. Ready for adventure! (Photo by Wendy Newell)

When we first got the products, there was no doubt about their quality. Each item is very durable and obviously made to last. More important, at least to me, is that they are adorable. The Outdoor Collection comes in a ridiculously cute dog pattern that shows silhouettes of happy pups playing. Each item comes in either a brown or cream background with the pattern in a very stylish orange, tan, and brown.

Toss & Float Toy

My new friend Hazel brings back the Toss & Float. (Photo by Wendy Newell)

My new friend Hazel brings back the Toss & Float. (Photo by Wendy Newell)

Riggins doesn’t go in water, at least not for any length of time. He fell in my friend’s pool as a puppy and has had a fear of water ever since. Add to that, he isn’t a fan of fetch (he prefers running and getting the thrown item without bringing it back) nor of tug of war. This means this adorable toy wasn’t for him.

No worries, though. I’m a dog sitter and had a ton of dogs ready to try out this great product. I grabbed two and headed off to a local hike, which includes a waterfall. Once at our destination, I happily pulled the Toss & Float from my daypack and threw it into the pond at the base of the fall. The Golden Retriever and Dalmatian I had with me just stared at it and then began chasing each other around. Luckily we met Hazel, a playful Pit, who was happy to go retrieve it for me so I wouldn’t have to wade in and get it myself.

Hazel has had enough with posing for pictures she is ready for me to toss her new toy. (Photo by Wendy Newell)

Hazel has had enough with posing for pictures and is ready for me to toss her new toy. (Photo by Wendy Newell)

Hazel loved the toy and had a blast chasing it into the water. The toy itself is hefty enough that a strong pup like Hazel can play with it all she wants without it falling apart. I have no doubt that if you have a retriever in your family, she would love to play with the Toss & Float.

Deluxe training pouch

P.L.A.Y.'s Deluxe Training Pouch (Photo by Wendy Newell)

P.L.A.Y.’s Deluxe Training Pouch (Photo by Wendy Newell)

Despite being a dog owner and dog sitter, I’ve never owned a training pouch. I should have; it makes life so much easier. Not only does it keep your dog’s attention, it also makes it really easy to reward good behavior quickly enough to help your dog learn.

The deluxe training pouch really earns its name. Not only is it an easy-to-access drawstring pouch, but it also comes with a belt that you can put around your waist or over a shoulder (or through your belt loops if you prefer to wear it that way), a nifty place to hold and dispense your poop bags, and a secret pocket to tuck keys or other small items. The pouch even has a built-in squeaker to gain your pup’s attention, although that was not needed for Riggins. As soon as he figured out what was in that pouch, his attention was all mine.

Riggins knows where the treats are! (Photo by Wendy Newell)

Riggins knows where the treats are! (Photo by Wendy Newell)

Granted, I haven’t used other training pouches, but I can’t imagine there is one that is better and more thoughtfully constructed than P.L.A.Y.’s deluxe version.

Outdoor dog tent

Riggins and his pal Nikko hang out together with the dog tent. (Photo by Wendy Newell)

Riggins and his pal Nikko hang out together with the dog tent. (Photo by Wendy Newell)

Can you think of anything more adorable than a tent just for your dog? Me either! It really is the cutest thing I have ever seen. When I first got it, I popped it up in my office, crawled in, and closed my eyes for a bit. A couple days later, I figured it was time for Riggins and his friends to give it a try, and we all headed to the backyard for a little urban camping.

As any tent camper, like Riggins and I, will tell you, putting up your tent can be the most exhausting part of your outdoor vacation. Luckily the dog tent is super simple to construct. You just pull two strings at the top until everything pops into place. You position the end of the poles into the corner of the tent and use the stakes provided to secure it to the ground.

"Mom get out. That's our tent!" (Photo by Wendy Newell)

“Mom get out. That’s our tent!” (Photo by Wendy Newell)

The first time I put it together, for my office siesta, I had just come home from working out and it was a breeze to snap everything into place. When I erected the tent for the pups I had just woken up, so it was a lot more difficult. Apparently it all depends on how strong you feel at that moment.

Once it is up, it is the bee’s knees. I tossed in a familiar dog bed for comfort. Riggins and his friends didn’t hesitate to crawl in and make themselves at home. The dog-level windows all the way around the tent allow your pup to see what is happening. That’s very important to Riggins since his job while we are camping is to stay on high alert at all times.

Windows on all sides. (Photo by Wendy Newell)

Windows on all sides. (Photo by Wendy Newell)

Personally, I wouldn’t feel comfortable having Riggins in his own tent all night. I prefer to have him curled up next to me, keeping me safe. Still, the dog tent is a wonderful addition to our camping gear and will give Riggins and even my niece a place to curl up for a little nap out of the elements.

The tent would be perfect for any place that you need to give your dog some shelter, like a dog-friendly beach or park. Not only is it functional, but the dog tent is so darn cute your pup will be the envy of the campground!

Dogster scorecard

Quality: P.L.A.Y.’s Outdoor Collection reflects the brand’s desire to produce only the highest-quality products.
Style: The collection’s pattern and color scheme is trendy and adorable.
Function: Each product is expertly designed for a specific purpose with the user and pet in mind. Extra kudos to the Deluxe Training Pouch and its multipurpose functionality, which makes it the only thing I need when out for a walk with the dogs.
Creativity: Anyone who makes a dog tent for my sweet camper Riggins gets an A+ in creativity in my book.
Value: Toss & Float Toy, $17. Deluxe Training Pouch, $19.90. Dog Tent, $119. P.L.A.Y.’s Outdoor Collection pricing reflects their quality while still remaining affordable.

Bottom line

Riggins and I were extremely happy with the P.L.A.Y. products the company sent over for us to try. I realize your dog doesn’t need a dog tent, but if your pup is a camper like Riggins, he should have it, if for no other reason than to be the most stylish dog at the campground.