When it comes to reviewing tactical harnesses, the Modern Icon Tracking Harness is one that must be considered.
Modern Icon are another of those brands that are kind of … an Instagram brand. And as a result, I kind of thought that there wouldn’t be that much to them – until I seen people recommending the collars and leashes (which are a much more affordable but still “luxury” price level.
So I started digging into them.
Finding that they were all made in the US, that the equipment was considered military grade, and then that these things actually performed well? I started considering that they might be more than just great Instagram marketing.
So, I reached out and Modern Icon actually said that they weren’t interested in having their product tested – but luckily – I know you guys better than they do and I persisted. Because to me? Something that’s trusted for military dogs can be a fantastic option for a large, strong dog who has developed reactivity and for a family who are scared for their dog.
I tested it.
Here it is, the result of that testing. So let’s get into it.
This is not a sponsored post, however, this harness was provided at a discount. It doesn’t change my opinion though!
Introducing The Modern Icon Tracking Harness
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The Modern Icon Tracking harness is a minimalistic tactical harness used with military dogs, police dogs and search and rescue dogs. It is US made and represents a phenomenally strong type of harness you might like to consider for your large breed dog.
Pros & Cons
ProsStrongClimbing grade claspsVery adjustableMilitary grade materialTwo attachment pointsHandleMOLLE systemMinimalistic designIntelligent, considered designUS MadeConsHeavyExpensiveNot reflectiveNo front attachmentBig dogs only.
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What I Love About The Modern Icon Tracking Harness
There is a lot to love about this harness, but I’ll try and keep it brief because this harness is phenomenal.
Two attachment points
Two, gorgeous stainless steel attachment points for a leash run along the back – sadly there isn’t one on the front for training a loose leash, but it’s not designed for that. It’s designed for tracking. And the first point is for normal walking, and the rear point is for tracking.
This harness can stand up.
And I don’t mean that metaphorically, I mean that literally. It’s the first harness that I’ve experienced that literally stands on it’s end it you let it. Most harnesses fold flat, this one doesn’t. Sure it means it’s extra storage space, but it also testifies to it’s strength and security.
It is a little difficult to fit because of this – all the straps are velcro? So it takes a bit of tinkering to get a proper fit, but once it’s right? It’s like an extension of your dog that fits like a glove.
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The Materials Are Second To None.
From strong buckles, to doubled/tripled nylon webbing secured with velcro along the entire length, to stainless steel attachment points and clever stitching? This harness has been developed with strength and total in mind – and when you see as many harnesses as I do? Trust me you can see the difference. There may be no frills, but Modern Icon have crossed the t’s and dotted the i’s where this harness is concerned.
This is the best kind of handle that harnesses tend to use, aka one that runs along the spine. This allows the harness to represent minimal snag risk when you’re dog is free or moving through brush or low areas.
Whilst I’m not typically a huge fan of them – this one is actually appropriate!
From having the fastening buckles only on one side to stop collision with the knees of the handler, to knowing exactly how the harness functions, how it’s designed and responding to it’s customers with exactly the right information to support them – Modern Icon know their product, their purpose and how it should be used – which is more than a lot of harness manufacturers and it gives me huge respect for them because that’s rare these days!
This harness is exactly what it needs to be, no more, no less.
It’s not trying to cover everything you might need from a harness, instead it’s just chosen to be phenomenal at exactly what it wants to be.
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What I Don’t Love About The Modern Icon Tracking Harness
Even by tactical harness standards. For example the OneTigris Metall k9 tactical harness weighs in at 764g (1.7lbs) and the Tracking harness tops it at 1118g (2.5lbs) and a 354g (0.8lbs) difference. Yeah, that’s some serious weight for a harness that’s “just a skeleton” with minimal padding.
And worse! If we then thing that the ruffwear flagline is Xg and equally long and similarly featured? That’s a huge freaking difference.
Yet, every gram of that difference is added strength. It’s added security. So is it worth it? I think so.
Limited to big dogs
My hounds who are 75lbs are the smallest that could wear this. If you have a medium or smaller sized dogs? This harness just wont work. Normally, actually Indie (90lbs German Shepherd) is at the upper end of the harness scale for pretty much everything we test, but in this instance? His chest fit a medium. In heinsight, I should have gone for the large (because his body is a little longer than average) but I was trying to optimise for the hounds too.
It’s not cheap!
This is the single most expensive harness in my line up of harnesses, and there’s a huge difference in price between this harness and my second-most expensive – i.e. about $200. It’s hugely pricey and a massive investment. Yes, it’s got a lifetime warranty on it (which I would expect at this price!) and it’s ridiculously good, but that’s such a high price point.
So, this is probably because the harness is not designed for road walking or for high visibility, but it’s also nice to have the option? This said, you could attach some high vis patches on the velcro or attach lights to remedy visibility issues if needed.
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Do I Recommend Modern Icon Tracking Harness?
If you have the money and are concerned about safety? Absolutely.
This harness is a serious piece of kit, but it’s phenomenal. Honestly, now I have it, everything seems flimsy by comparison. It’s also now my “Go to” harness for Indie. Not because I’m worried, but because it removes any doubt about my gear choice.
Its downsides are really limited, and the only ones that cannot be overcome is the fact that it doesn’t exist for smaller breeds (though it’s likely a good thing given the weight) and it’s expensive.
Not sure the Modern Icon Tracking Harness (And use code “Remarkable”!) is for you, or would you like to find the perfect leash to go with this? Why not go see how it ranks compared to other harnesses?
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Author, Ali Smith
Ali Smith is the Positive Puppy Expert, dog trainer and is the founder of Rebarkable. She is passionate about helping puppy parents get things right, right from the start. To help create a puppy capable of being a confident and adaptable family member and keep puppies out of shelters.
Ali has won multiple awards for her dog training, and has had her blog (this blog!) rated as 2021 & 2022 worlds’ best pet blog!
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