Why a Biothane Leash is the Best Leash for Hiking with a Dog
There are, literally, probably 1 million different dog leashes out there.
There are stylish leashes made of fun fabric patterns, colorful cotton rope leashes, leashes made of climbing rope, traditional nylon webbing leashes, leashes you can snap around your waist, and much, much more.
The choices are overwhelming.
So what kind of leash is best for hiking with your dog? That answer is actually pretty simple. At least it is to me. Biothane leashes!
UPDATED: September 1, 2020
What is a Biothane Leash?
Never heard of Biothane? Think of the name as the “Kleenex” of the dog-leash world.
Biothane is actually the brand name of the webbing material made by the Biothane Coated Webbing Corp. It’s a polyester webbing with a TPU or PVC coating that makes it more durable, waterproof, and easy to clean.
While, technically, a leash is not “Biothane” unless it’s made using materials sold by this particular company.
There are several nylon-coated webbing leashes out there though that are either referred to as a “Biothane” or just “coated webbing” leashes.
So, Why is it the Best Leash for Hiking with a Dog?
Biothane leashes are the best because the material will solve all of your grungy leash problems.
Biothane leashes are easy to clean, waterproof, and can look new for years.
To demonstrate, I took ours to the beach. We usually hike in the woods but, believe me, nothing puts a leash to the test like wet, gritty sand that gets into every nook and cranny, dead stuff on the beach, and salt water.
The beach is the only place I let Gretel “off leash”. Really, I let her run around to hear hearts content dragging the leash behind her.
If you’re ever tried to catch a short, rabbit-fast dog then you will understand why I leave the leash attached (in case you don’t, it’s so I can stomp on it to stop her).
As you can imagine, she drags the leash through everything and it’s a total mess afterward. There is no more rigorous test for a leash than this. Ha, ha.
See how yucky it is afterward? This is why Biothane leashes are so amazing: they are waterproof and easily clean off with a dunk in water or wipe with a wet towel.
There are several other great reasons to love Biothane leashes too.
Coated nylon webbing leashes are more comfortable in the hand than uncoated-webbing leashes because they have a smoother surface. Wet and dirty plain webbing leashes can feel like sand paper.
The thicker, softer Biothane is made to mimic the feel of leather, which makes them a great vegan leather alternative.
They are also very durable and often look brand new even after a few years of use. You won’t have to buy a new leash every year (unless you want to of course).
I won’t ever use anything else for hiking ever again. I’m serious.
I have head a couple of people over the years say that they don’t like Biothane leashes because it felt slippery to them when wet but I’ve never had an issue with that.
So what are my favorite Biothane, or coated Nylon webbing, leashes?
The Best Leash for Hiking with a Dog
So you’re convinced that Biothane leashes are the best and you want to buy one. But where do you find one?
Except for a couple of larger, mainstream companies, it’s mostly smaller, handmade shops that sell Biothane leashes.
You’re most likely to find leashed made with genuine Biothane material at small, handmade shops on Etsy or Instagram.
Below are some of the best and most reliable places to get one of these leashes that I have found.
Biothane leashes for small dogs
Note: Biothane leashes that are wider than 1/2 inch width can be to heavy for a small dog so go with that, or the narrower, 3/8 inch width, if you get one.
Unfortunately, my very favorite Biothane leash for small dogs is no longer being made.
It was made of 1/2 inch webbing (width) but was only about half as thick as traditional Biothane. This made it extremely lightweight.
I’m actually working on making a similar leash myself and will come back up and update here when they are available.
For now, these are the best Biothane leashes for small dogs that I have found.
They are the standard thickness but only 3/8 width so they are lighter than other 6-foot Biothane leashes.
Most Biothane leashes this narrow are sewn and I don’t like the look. These are the only ones I’ve found that use rivets.
Biothane Leashes for Medium Dogs
Note: These will also work for small dogs but are thicker/heavier than the ones mentioned above.
The first Biothane leashes I fell in love with were from Dog Walkies.
If I remember right, I actually heard of them through my friend at Kol’s Notes. This is what she had to say about them:
“They actually are all the things they claim they are.
The rain beads off these Dog Walkies Beta Biothane leashes like water is afraid them. They don’t soak in any moisture at all.
The texture of the material makes it easy to keep hold of the leash… A quick wash with soap and water and they looked as good as new.
They don’t hold odours which means there is none of that awful damp smell in my entry…
The hardware is high quality and sturdy and for those of you that live near an ocean, it’s salt water safe.
I’ve received more compliments and questions about leashes in the last two weeks than I have in the last six years.”
Go read her review to learn more.
Coated Nylon Webbing Leashes for Bigger Dogs
Note: The links below are affiliate links, which means I get a few pennies, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase to help support this blog (and we really, really appreciate it!)
Biothane leashes that are wider than 1/2 inch are best reserved for large and giant breed dogs because they are heavy for a small dog.
There are other, similar, leashes out there I really like but that aren’t my choice for my small dogs.
The wider width, and sometimes bigger clasp, it heavier so it can pull on a small dog’s collar or harness.
They would work great for large, and perhaps giant breeds, though.
Those leashes are:
Ruffwear Headwater™ Leash
The four-foot length works great for keeping dogs close at hand. Bright colors and reflective patterns keep people and dogs visible in low-light conditions.
It’s 3/4 inches wide and comes in 4 bright colors. The Talon Clip™ clasp at the end is lightweight and easy to use with one hand (and especially handy to use in cold weather).
OllyDog Tilden Leash
This is a six foot leash that is 3/4 inches wide and comes in six colors.
The moderate-sized, eye trigger snap for easy and secure attachment.
Waterproof Dog Leash
If you’re the kind that likes an actual carabiner on the end of the leash, get one of these. The carabiner that attaches to the dog’s collar or harness has an auto-lock feature on it.
The leash is 6 feet, 3/4 inches wide, and comes in 11 colors.
Biothane leashes, in my opinion, are the best leashes for hiking with a dog in wet or dirty conditions… which is pretty much all hiking scenarios.
Two-color Biothane Leash
If you’re looking for a Two-toned Biothane leash, check out the Mountaineer Leash from Bark Rangers.
These leashes are made by hand in the USA.
Have you ever tried a coated nylon webbing leash? What did you think?
About the Author
Hi, I’m Jessica. I’ve been studying the Dachshund breed since 2007, owned 3 of my own, and shared in the lives of thousands of others through their owner’s stories. When I’m not sharing what I know on this blog, you can find me hiking, camping, and traveling with my adventurous wiener dogs.
I love Biothane but I do find it gets slippery when wet or when I have certain gloves on (powerstretch with no griot palm is RIGHT OUT) haven’t tried the textured version, though — that might be better.
It is heavier than I like for a just-in-case hiking leash, but for long lines/tracking lines, it cannot be beat. No snagging! No absorbing water! Pretty good feel of the dog!
Hmmm… I’ve never had a problem with the leash being slippery. Even the smooth one. However, although I feel like she is going to pull my arm off sometimes, my dog is only 12 lbs. Your dogs are obviously bigger than that 🙂 I think something like the Dog Walkies would be better for you then. It’s thicker, textured, and soft so it would be more “grippy”.
Biothane is definitely the way to go for long lines.
Yeah, 50 and 70lbs. Not pullers in general, but they have their moments. Thanks for the tip.
Great post! I’m so glad you posted this because I always let my Dachshund’s leash drag when he’s “off leash” so I can grab him easily, and I’m tired of constantly cleaning his lead! I’ll have to look into this one!
Dog Walkies is back to business! I just ordered my new puppy’s collar from that store and it’s FABULOUS. I had too many leashes at home to justify ordering a new leash this close to the holidays, too, but after the new year, I’ll definitely order one of the biothane ones because I was eyeing them when I ordered the collar 🙂
We have been using the biothane leashes since I read about them from this blog a couple of years ago and we LOVE them. We especially like them for pet therapy work. When we go into a nursing home or hospital setting I wipe the leash down with a disinfecting wipe and again when we get back in the car. Thank you for the recommendation.
I never thought about that aspect. Good to know.
I love the colors of these leashes. I have mostly black and brown leashes, which get lost in a pile when I don’t put them away.
I also use EzyDog leashes – the shorter ones that keep my bigger dogs standing by my side. With reactive dogs, these have been a blessing.
I can’t use “short leashes” since my dogs are only a foot of the ground. Ha, ha #smalldogproblems. I do like the EzyDog brand though.
I agree! We have a 9.5 pound mini. My husband is 6.5 feet tall, so we need as much leash as we can find. (Yes- it’s hysterical to see him walking her! Even better that her collar and leash are hot pink!!) I am so happy to have found this site. We knew she needed more stimulation and exercise, but since she’s our first Doxie, we’ve been hesitant in what we let her do. Glad to know we can let her be more adventurous.
I love love love my biothane leash. But it is a 6 foot leash, and I just find it too long in a lot of situations. I need to get a 4 foot one. They really are the best things for wet weather. My dogs also have biothane collars, actually, which are wonderful.
Funny that I’m like “I need 6 foot!” and you’re like “6 foot sucks”. Ha, ha. If I still had my old, shorter ones I would offer to trade 🙂
We just use our regular leashes for walking. They don’t get all that dirty, just wet sometimes but we hang them up and they dry fast. We use the biothane for tracking and nose work. It’s great for tracking because we have the rivets placed where we need to know how far the dog is from us, and they clean up so well. We also need them to glide through the hand and like the slippery feel. Never heard of the other textures. Ours come from http://palominelines.com/ They ship out almost the same day and we love them.
I’m not sure any other place destroys and dirties leashes as much as the muddy and wet northwest. Ha, ha. I think road grime is worse than trail mud, and it’s more prevalent, because of the grease and chemicals it contains. Honestly though, it’s not like our leashes were being destroyed left and right, it just prefer ending up with a wet, soggy, dirty leash no times a year instead of 5 🙂
That’s cool to know about the use of rivets in the leash to gauge distance. I never thought of that.
I haven’t tried a biothane leash yet but living by the seaside, I’m well aware of how a leash can get gritty and I was hoping the biothane leash would solve that problem. So, I’m dispointed to see that the leash will still get gritty, that means my hands will too because I won’t be cleaning the leash as I walk, just when I’m back home. Right? Unless I carry a rag to clean it as I go along?? I guess the leash that doesn’t pick up wet sand doesn’t yet exist.
Also, seeing your before and after picture, I’m surprised you don’t mention that your clip was stuck after the ride it had in the sand. That is my second issue with the leash I have now so I’m definitely looking for a different kind of clip. I like your suggestions that have a carabiner clip (I have learned new vocabulary for clips tks to your post!, lol).
tks for you post!
Hi Isabel. It’s true that the leash will still get sand on it. There isn’t a leash out there that won’t happen with… unless you leave it in a drawer and never use it. Ha, ha. If I am holding the end of the leash, I find it only gets minimal sand on it. But if I let my dogs “off leash” by dropping the end in the sand for them to drag, or course it gets a lot of sand on it. When I go to pick the end of the leash back up, I find some water (salt or fresh) and give it a little dip to clean the majority of the sand off. In regard to the clip, I assume you mean the bolt clasp on the end of the leash. That end is attached to the dogs so it doesn’t get much sand on it. But sometimes it does get sand on it but I’ve rarely had it get stuck (won’t open or close properly) and, the few times that it did, it became unstuck quickly. Good luck on your leash search.