It’s that schizophrenic time of year in the U.S. when parts of the country are still being pelted with snow while other areas are welcoming spring with open arms. But if there’s one constant that’s true regardless of where you live, it’s that we’re all contending with wild temperature swings, wet weather and seemingly endless blanket changes right now.
Having a good layering system in your blanketing arsenal can make your life immensely easier — not to mention seamlessly transition through fall, winter and spring — but how do you choose the right one? EN has extensively tested several blanketing systems this winter to take you behind-the-scenes with different features we like, and the Rambo Duo from Horseware Ireland is high on the top of our list.
With Rambo Duo, you’re armed with three key pieces to combat any surprises Mother Nature throws your way:
- A waterproof and breathable 1000D ballistic nylon outer layer that’s lined with 100 grams of fill, making it ideal for chilly nights that don’t dip down into those super cold temperatures. The outer blanket’s lining is also anti-static and anti-bacterial to keep your horse’s coat in top condition, plus the thermo-bonded filling is specifically designed for longer lasting heat retention.
- A 300-gram liner to pair with the outer layer to keep your horse warm and cozy on those extra cold nights. But this isn’t just any liner — it attaches to the outer blanket with snaps and velcro to create a perfect fit. That means no more going out to the field to find that your horse’s blanket liner has slipped and now more closely resembles a dress.
- A detachable hood made from the same 1000D ballistic nylon and lined with 100 grams of thermo-bonded filling to keep your horse’s neck warm and dry in a variety of weather conditions.
Those three pieces give you a plethora of different ways to use the system so you can mix and match depending on what best suits your horse. And that’s just the start of what makes the Rambo Duo system such an ideal choice for horse owners. Looking to some of my other favorite features, no one likes fumbling with straps on the front of a blanket, and Rambo’s patented V-front closure system makes buckling the front of the blanket a breeze.
The V-front closure system also provides a beautiful fit around the point of the shoulder, which gives the blanket a lighter, less constrictive feeling across the chest and relieves pressure on the shoulders. Mia is a big-boned Thoroughbred mare whose blankets can be tough to fit in the shoulder, but we didn’t have any problems with rubbing when she wore the Rambo Duo.
Another much-loved Rambo feature is the patented leg arches, which allow the blanket to fold around the horse’s belly to protect it from the elements and also allow good range of movement when your horse is running around the field. The underside of the blanket is secured with three surcingles, meaning even escape artists will have a tough time wriggling out of the Rambo Duo.
The best feature of the surcingles by far has to be the quick-release system. The blanket comes equipped with plastic loops that connect the surcingles. If your horse gets his leg caught in one of the surcingles, the plastic loop will break instead of the surcingle. Then all you have to do is thread a new plastic loop through the ends of the surcingle and it’s good as new, avoiding the expense and hassle of a blanket repair.
I also love the PVC-coated tail cord on the back of the blanket. We all know cleaning tail cords is not a glamorous job, but it’s so easy when the tail cord is covered in a coating like this — all the gunk wipes right off. The back of the blanket also features an oversized tail flap for added protection, along with a loop for the horse’s tail to keep it in place on windy days.
Rambo has a long-standing reputation for making extremely durable turnout blankets, and I love the peace of mind knowing that this blanket will last Mia through many more winters to come. The Rambo Duo also has a five-star rating over on SmartPak, so you really can’t go wrong with this choice.
The Rambo Duo retails for $434.99 and is available in brown with brown & cream and navy with baby blue & brown. Horseware Ireland also released a limited edition green and red version of this blanket last year in honor of the company’s 30th anniversary, so be sure to check with your local Horseware retailer if you like that color combination.
Click here to find a Horseware retailer near you, and be sure to click here to check out the full line of Rambo blankets from Horseware Ireland. How many Rambo fans do we have out there? I’m sure I’m not the only one! Let us know which Rambo is your favorite in the comments below.