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Does Kakadu 'adventure mat' hold up for camping with the dog?

With the air becoming crisp and the leaves about to change, wouldn't it be nice to take the dog on a hike -- or perhaps a camping trip? Today the Unleashed Testing Panel is taking on a product made to take along on occasions like this: The Kakadu Pet Adventure Mat.

The fluffy cotton and polyester Kakadu mat is designed to keep your pet comfortable indoors or outdoors. But the company shows the mat off as something for outdoorsy people who want to bring along their dogs. The mat, which comes in a number of colors, retails for about $60.

Leslie and her Pug, Koko, tested the Kakadu mat on a camping adventure. Here's their report:

The Kakadu Pet Adventure mat is really pretty. Koko and I took it camping with us and earlier in the night while it was still above 70 degrees, Koko found it a tad too warm to sleep on and instead preferred the cool tent floor.

As the temperature dropped, the mat became more attractive to her.

The mat rolls up easily but not compactly, so we wouldn't recommend it for anything like backpacking. The cover is also not removable so washing it means washing the whole mat with the poly-fill.

The mat doesn't offer any orthopedic support, but it is soft and squishy. My ideal adventure mat would be inflatable with a removable cover -- that way I could compact it down much like a sleeping pad. Did I mention it's really pretty?

On a separate note, Koko and I camped at Codorus State Park near Hanover, PA. The park has a number of sites where pets are allowed, but I found that when I wanted to join a campfire with my friends who were in a pet-restricted site, I couldn't do it. My problems multiplied when I found that I was not allowed to leash my dog outside the bath house while I needed to relieve myself and that my pet needed to be at the campsite. I was tenting alone, so this wasn't going to work.

Needless to say, next time I go camping with Koko, I'll be seeking out more pet-friendly accommodations and if nothing else, I'll need to make sure I bring along my human companion as well.

Since the camping trip, I've found the mat is good for keeping pet hair off of a chair and for keeping the pets comfy around the house. I have also brought it to outdoor yoga class for Koko to sit on while she keeps me company.

The verdict: Two stars out of four.

The Unleashed Testing Panel took on a dog toy called The Perfect Dog Toy. Was it really all that? Read the review and find out.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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