Did Gus NEED a new winter blanket? When it comes to tack and horse equipment, "need" is a very subjective term. The only thing I like better than buying horse stuff is buying horse stuff massively on sale. So when I found out that Net Equestrian was having a huge clearance on Rambo blankets right before Christmas, I couldn't resist.
The Rambo Duo from Horseware of Ireland is advertised as a 2-in-1 system. It comes with a 300g stable liner, 100g waterproof outer shell, and a detachable hood. When fully assembled it's warm enough for even the worst of Ontario winters, and offers the flexibility of changing layers depending on the temperature. Rambo blankets are well-known for being tough and durable, and are backed by a great manufacturer's warranty. They are also known for being really, really expensive.
Major Canadian retailers have the Duo regularly priced from $550 - $570, way outside my budget, even for a horse who is pretty gentle on his blankets. But Net Equestrian was offering it on clearance for $219 U.S. A quick Google search turned up a promotional code for an additional 10% off (FACEBOOK10 in case it still works!) and with 87 being one of just three sizes they had left in stock, Gus' new snowsuit seemed meant to be.
To take advantage of free shipping within the U.S. I had it delivered to a mailbox service I use in Lewiston, NY, just across the Queenston / Lewiston bridge near Niagara Falls, about an hour's drive from my home. I picked it just in time for a nasty cold snap with bitter winds and lots of snow - perfect time to test the blanket out on my freshly clipped horse!
The outer liner looks very well constructed with a tough 1,000 denier nylon. The navy blue colour with reflective trim is simple and looks great on a handsome chestnut (if I do say so myself). The 87 fits well lengthwise and gives good rear coverage, thanks to an oversize tail flap, and good belly coverage, thanks to the leg arches and three belly straps. The liner is surprisingly lightweight for something with 300g of fill.. The blanket arrived with the liner already attached to the shell, and the hood was easy to secure to the shell with two velcro closures. The hood provides ample protection for his neck - important to me since Gus has a trace clip in the winter.
Because of the flexible layering options, durable construction and attractive design I think the Rambo Duo is a very good product. If you can find it on super sale, Gus and I recommend it - so far. We'll see how it weathers the rest of the winter and let you know if anything changes.
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