Monday, June 12, 2017

Not A Decent Way To Control Big Dogs: The Easy Stop 16' Retractable Leash Disappoints.

The Good: Light, Easy to use
The Bad: Operating issues, Low durability, Cheap
The Basics: The Easy Stop 16' Retractable leash was no match for my Siberian Huskey.

So, I'm down to it - the final review of a product from Myah, my Siberian Husky who died back in March. She was an energetic and amazing girl and her lift was far too short. She also had a lot of different things she tried in her lifetime, which is why I had such a cache of reviews for dog products following her death. It is somewhat sad that Myah's final review is for a product that we had such negative experiences with, but after writing an initially good review and putting it in the docket, Myah pretty much destroyed the Easy Stop Retractable Leash.

Leashes are something I have not had to review a whole lot of since I got my Siberian Husky, Myah. But a little over a year ago, my Flexi leash (reviewed here!) gave out and I was in a bind to find a leash locally. At the time, I was shopping at a little local pet store and I bought a comparatively cheap lead for Myah just to get me through the weekend. "The weekend," as it turned out, lasted a whole year. The cheap leash designed for a 50 pound dog worked surprisingly well for a whole year until, the day before Christmas, Myah tugged on it the right way (or the wrong way, I suppose) and destroyed the spring inside it. Fortunately, the day after Christmas, I was able to find a new leash at the local Tractor Supply Store. Only marginally more expensive than the light, dirt cheap lead I bought a year prior, the Easy Stop Retractable Leash is actually designed for dogs up to 96 pounds (Myah is about 80 pounds now!).

Less expensive than the major brand named leads, the Easy Stop 16' Retractable Leash was $29.99 locally and if it lasts at least a year and a half, it is not actually expensive. Unfortunately, it lasted until February 25th - just under two months! - with daily use before Myah did one good tug while it was in a locked position and the locking mechanism, a key selling point and function of the leash, broke.

The 16 foot tape on the Easy Stop 16' Retractable Leash is intended for large dogs up to 96 pounds. The Easy Stop 16' Retractable Leash is produced in many colors, but we found ours in black and it looks pretty good.

For those unfamiliar with a retractable leash, the principle is simple; unlike the classic leash that is a set length, the retractable leash is essentially a handle with the leash itself coiled inside. The leash then becomes a variable length which allows one to maintain better control of their dog or allow their dog to have a little bit of free range and room to run. Retractable leashes store nicely because the spring-activated mechanism which retracts the leash pulls the leash into the housing of the handle when one is done. Virtually all retractable leashes work on that principle.

The Easy Stop 16' Retractable Leash is a below average retractable leash, despite having a few extra bells and whistles than the standard retractable leash. The Easy Stop is intended for large dogs, weighing less than ninety-six pounds. The reason for the weight restriction is the length of the leash and the gauge of the nylon leash. Even bigger dogs would be unlikely to snap this cord, unless they chewed it first. So, for big dogs, this is perfect, except that the mechanism cannot resist the full weight of a dog tugging on it. The tape might not snap, but the stopping mechanism gave out. The tape in our Easy Stop retractable leash was actually sixteen feet; with the hook, it added three and one-quarter inches. The handle is seven and seven-eighths inches long, five and a quarter inches tall and one and three-quarters inches wide), so the grip on the handle is large enough for big hands, even while wearing winter gloves.

The Easy Stop Retractable Leash is outfitted with a steel g-hook which attaches to the dog's collar. In fact, this style of hook is ideal for leashes as it cannot be slipped by the animal; it requires something or someone with opposable thumbs to press down the release and negotiate it out of the metal clasp on the collar one attaches it to. After the dog is attached to the leash, simply wrap your fingers around the grip on the handle and let the dog go! As someone with big hands, the Easy Stop's handle fits nicely in my hand and I have not felt like I could not control Myah while using this leash.

Usage of this particular retractable leash is remarkably easy and it does have a feature many other retractable leashes do not. The Easy Stop 16' Retractable Leash has a separate locking button from the usual stop. Retractable leashes are designed for controlling the length of the leash and the Easy Stop Retractable Leash is no exception. If one's dog begins to get beyond a comfortable length for the owner - or people in the vicinity - one need only press a button on the Easy Stop's handle - it is like a trigger easily activated with one's forefinger - and the leash stops coming out of the handle. The stop function was strong, right up until the moment a decent tug snapped the internal mechanisms, and Myah has not managed to slip me when I hold the stop button down.

The added feature the Easy Stop Retractable Leash has that many others I've tried do not is a locking function for the stop button which is controlled by a second button! The stop button may be held down, but the moment it is released, the dog has full reign again and the cord retracts or lets out more of the leash. But on the top of the Easy Stop 16' Retractable Leash, activated by one's thumb, is a simple slide button that locks the safety web in place. Until the lock function is released by manually pulling back the slide button, the lead is locked in place.

The Easy Stop 16' Retractable Leash came with a decent amount of promise, but it was poorly made and Myah, who never really tugged all that much, managed to make the leash worthless without actually trying as the stopping and retracting mechanism was broken unfortunately easily.

For other dog product reviews, please check out:
The Honest Kitchen Embark Grain Free Turkey Recipe dog food
Deerfield Dog Lodging
American Kennel Club Pet Bed


For other pet product reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!

© 2017 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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