U.S. Orders over $99 qualify for free shipping

Older K9 gear on a table in a design studio

Leveraging Older K9 Gear for Superior Upgrades

It’s our goal for each design iteration of any product to redefine excellence. So, one of my favorite things is examining our older K9 gear. The best way to improve our gear is to learn how it has worn or broken-in over long periods. Equipment has sentimental value. Handlers are rightfully attached to their gear, so we respectfully obtain older K9 gear by repurchasing from willing handlers.

Why re-obtain older K9 gear?

In the early days of Modern Icon, I designed and handcrafted gear in my basement. Modern Icon has grown, but innovation remains at the forefront of what we do. It’s important to examine our older K9 gear because we want our gear to be the best of the best and to enhance the abilities of K9 teams globally.

Older K9 collar with Modern Icon symbol and rusted V ring facing camera lens

The Original 2″ Rigid Collar

This original 2” Rigid Collar was repurchased from a K9 handler in the U.K. Our original design had one keeper, and this collar has two — whereas our newer collars have three. This collar is over 9 years old, and you can observe some wear and tear and a little rust on the V-ring. 

The coating on the V-ring oxidized and chipped over time, and while the strength was uncompromised, we wanted to improve its appearance and performance for future iterations. So, we designed a custom V-ring using high-grade stainless steel and a durable coating that protects from abrasion over time.

Additionally, the original collar was sewn flat, which caused harmless ripples in the backing; however, we wanted a perfect circle. Now, we utilize a cylinder arm, which enhances the collar’s curve.

Older Patrol Harness with visible wear and tear, white fur embedded into fabric, and sharp right-angle corners on the padding.

The First Patrol Harness

Pictured is one of the first Patrol Harnesses I sewed in my basement. I couldn’t turn corners well at the time, so the harness had hard right angles.

I didn’t have an embroidery machine, so I just included the label on the front. This harness doesn’t have much ergonomic value, and the hardware is heavy steel — though it’s the best I could find at the time.

Now, our custom V-rings are on all of our harnesses, including this one! The harness is more ergonomic. It looks sharp, clean, and even more lightweight. It sports curved edges and professional embroidery.

The oldest Rappelling Harness with visible wear, tear, and fur embedded into fabric.

Our First-Ever Rappelling Harness

Our Rappelling Harness is one of my favorite harnesses. A good friend of mine was the first to run with the rappelling harness. The one pictured is the first Rappelling Harness I made. Like the older Patrol Harness, you can see the old-school chest panel, right angles, and slightly clunky design. The rear leg straps were attached through a ladder lock, which wasn’t easy for the handler to use.

We took feedback from this first design and upgraded it with a quick-detach COBRA® buckle with an integrated D-ring. The buckle is redundant, with two tabs that must be depressed simultaneously to release. We also added COBRA® buckles to the leg straps so that it’s easier for handlers to get the harness on and off of their dog. 

We also moved the buckles higher up onto the body of the harness which accomplished two things: better balance for the harness and less contact with the dog to decrease feedback. We also added features, like a strobe light attachment point and elastic loops for chem lights.

These are just a few examples of how our design has evolved over the years. We are grateful to the handlers who parted with their older K9 gear to help improve and design gear that enhances the abilities of K9 teams worldwide. At Modern Icon, it’s our goal to provide top-tier, overbuilt K9 gear that outlasts your dog’s career. 

Want to be the first to learn of sales, new products, and announcements from Modern Icon? Join the Squad by subscribing to our newsletter today! 

Free Shipping

on domestic orders over $99

Handmade in the USA

Designed and Built

Limited Lifetime Warranty