Gunner's All-Weather Kit and Cold-Weather Door Review

Jan 15, 2023

Prepping for Cold Weather

Winter is here in full-blast, and many arctic cold fronts have already swept across the country. For those of us who are chasing ducks, whether down the road or across state lines, our retrievers might be spending some time riding in a dog crate in colder weather. While there are many different options to choose from for a dog kennel for travel, we have always been fans of the Gunner Kennel G1 dog crate.

Gunner has done extensive testing on their kennels, including cold weather testing, to determine what happens inside the kennel as the temperatures drop. These tests have shown that a kennel can stay up to 20 degrees warmer than the air temps outside, but this still may not solve one of the biggest issues with winter weather - winds. Winds and the wind chill can cause hypothermia in dogs rather quickly. This is where Gunner's All-Weather Kit 2.0 comes in!

All-Weather Kit's Overall Design and Function

Notice that the cover designed for Gunner kennels is not called a "cold-weather kit", but rather an "all-weather kit" (AWK). This is because the AWK can stay installed your dog kennel throughout the year without issue. The flaps that cover the windows on the Gunner Kennels, two on the side and one on the back, can be rolled up and stored so that air is allowed to flow just as it does when the AWK is not installed.

This is an important feature because the all-weather kit does require some installation. The six bolts that hold the Gunner kennels top and bottom pieces together must be removed so that the AWK's bottom section can be placed in-between the pieces and the bolts reinstalled. These connections also have adjustable straps so that you can pull the AWK snug against the crate once the bolts are installed. This is not a process you want to have to undo when we move from duck hunting season to duck dog training season!

The windows are completely covered, however, when the AWK's flaps are down. The flaps are held down by both velcro as well as snaps located at the bottom of the flap. This keeps the flaps from having any movement when your vehicle is traveling down the road, keeping your Labrador retriever from experiencing wind temperatures that are too cold for a dog. The AWK is made of TPU-coated nylon, which seems to do a really good job at keeping out both wind as well as water from rain or snowfall.

Keeping Your Dog Warm Without Hiding Your Dog Crate

Let's admit it - Gunner Kennels look pretty rad! Who wants to take a cool looking kennel and completely hide it under a cover? One of the neat features of the AWK is that it covers the windows without covering the design of the entire kennel. You can still see the overall design, access the handles on top of the crate, and access the tie-down bars at the top corners of the kennel. The AWK also has the Gunner logo on top, matching the logo that is imprinted in the roto-molded top half of the kennel.

Does It Really Make A Difference?

While you may think that your dog is protected just by being in a crate, it is often very taxing on his body. No matter what breed of retriever you have, from longer-haired dog breeds such as Springer Spaniels to Golden Retrievers as well as double-coated breeds like Labrador retrievers and Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, they expend a ton of energy trying to stay warm. The more energy they are using to keep their bodies warm, the more food is required to replace that energy. Even high energy water dogs will get worn down trying to keep warm in temperatures that are too cold. Therefore, the AWK will make a difference not only in the comfort level of your gun dog but also the overall performance while you're on the road.

As not only a founder of Cornerstone Gundog Academy but also owner of a Labrador kennel that specializes in hunting with our labradors as well as retriever training, I can say with certainty that the Gunner AWK is a much needed accessory for traveling in cold weather.

What About the Door?

Up until recently, there were no options from Gunner to cover the ventilation holes in the door. While the crate was kept much warmer by the AWK, there was still a possibility for wind and precipitation to penetrate through the door. Gunner answered this dilemma by creating the Cold Weather Door Cover... check out CGA Founder Josh Parvin's Video Review of this new product at the top of the page!


-Barton Ramsey