The Best Retractable Dog Leash for your RAD Dog!

Best Large Dog Retractable Leash Featured Image

It can be a nuisance to take your dog on and off the leash every time you encounter new hikers and aren’t sure if their pups are friendly. With the leash I’m about to detail in this post, however, that issue is eliminated. So let’s get into the best retractable dog leash!

The Best Retractable Dog Leash + Collar

best rectractable dog leash light - rad dog product photo

So, let’s get on to the leash itself. They offer a variety of products, including collapsible pocket bowls, waste bags, and dog food travel bags. But today, we’re going to focus on the leash + collar combination that we’ve been so fortunate to test out on our last few outdoor trips.

The ‘Release N’ Run’ leash eliminates the need to attach and detach a leash to your dog’s existing collar. For trail runners, hikers, or other outdoor enthusiasts that bring their dogs along with them, it’s extremely convenient to eliminate this step. Your dog’s collar IS his or her leash, and vice versa.

The leash + collar combination is “designed for the mostly off-leash dog.” That means you can trust your buddy to stick around once you get on the trail or, if he/she does wander, you have the ability to recall with ease.

The leash portion automatically retracts into the collar when you let go, so you also don’t have to worry about taking your pack off to stash it away or awkwardly securing it around your waist while running or hiking.

The Nite Ize Rad Dog Retractable Dog Leash + Collar combination is available in red, black, purple, orange, blue, green, and pink, so you can pick whichever style fits your Rad Dog! Also, be sure to check out the sizing and specifications so that you make sure you order the right size for your pup!

Why We Love The Best Retractable Dog Leash

best large dog rectractable leash - rad dog hoolie 2

So, I was really excited about the “two-for-one” value of the Rad Dog leash. As many outdoor enthusiasts know, items that serve multiple purposes in the backcountry are extremely valuable and save you both time and unnecessary lugging of weight on the trail. The Rad Dog Leash fit that description, but my partner wasn’t sold until it finally arrived and we tried it out.

The first night we used it was on our way to a full moon kayak mission on Donner Lake. Our adventure pup came along, and as soon as we opened the door of the car he tried to make a beeline for the water.

But thanks to our new Rad Dog leash, we were able to snag him without having to catch a collar and then attaching a separate leash to it. We were also very impressed with the strength of the leash, as Hoolie was definitely pulling initially and (as a Boxer) he’s got some strength in those hind legs.

From that moment on, I believe she was hooked on the Rad Dog’s value and we’ve since used it on two overnight camping trips, as well as around town to take Hoolie down to the river or simply over to the local coffee shop.

For our on-the-go lifestyle, it’s also really nice to clip on his collar before we leave the house and not worry about whether we remembered the leash once we get to the trailhead!

How To Get The Best Retractable Dog Leash!

best large dog retractable leash - rad dog extended

Are you convinced to give the best retractable dog leash out there a try?

Any Questions about the Best Retractable Dog Leash?

Do you have experience with retractable dog leashes? Or have you already acquired a Nite Ize Rad Dog leash and been putting it to use?

If so, I’d love to know why you like yours (or don’t!) and what you look for in a quality dog leash! Also, if you decide to purchase a retractable Rad Dog leash after reading this review, I’d love to know how you like it after you and your pup have had the chance to get out for a few adventures!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this review of the best retractable leash light from Nite Ize and I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments section below. I’ll be quick to reply to any questions, comments, or concerns you feel like sharing!

About Rad Dog

I was initially drawn to Rad Dog by their mission statement. It’s simple, yet effective, and it reads like this: “Guided by honesty, a love for dogs, and a passion for the outdoors, Rad Dog creates quality, innovative products that give dogs and dog owners opportunities for freedom and convenience to head outdoors.”

Dog owners know that taking their pups along on adventures is always worth it. But we also know that it often involves a little more planning (or “logisticizing” as we like to call it) and it certainly requires more cleanup on the back end. So, products that make it easier for us to spend an enjoyable time outdoors with our pups go a long way towards our happiness.

It was clear that the Rad Dog team came from this mindset in developing their leashes and I love the fact that they share the stories of their OG (original) Rad Dog (Fletcher) and the New Rad Dog (Jake) in their About Us section.

Their products were inspired by early days in the foothills of Colorado and are now produced in Bellingham, Washington (a place I’ve heard great things about and have wanted to visit for some time).

A Quick Company Update

Since this original article was written, it appears that Rad Dog has been acquired by Nite Ize. That’s why you’ll only find this retractable dog leash sold by Nite Ize and not very much information out there about Rad Dog anymore!

About The Backpack Guide

Best Retractable dog Leash light Featured Image

As The Backpack Guide, I’m always looking for new trails and wildernesses to explore and I’m also interested in the experiences of others in the wild. If there is one thing I am sure of it’s that we can all spend more time enjoying and connecting with Nature.

Feel free to reach out to me directly (email below) or share your latest adventure by tagging @thebackpackguide on Instagram!

Here’s to Adventures with Pups!

The Backpack Guide

Nite Ize Rad Dog All-in-One Leash + Collar




Ease of Use





  • Two-For-One Value
  • Strong and Durable (Had It Over Two Years Now!)
  • Super Convenient!


  • Thin Leash Can Cut Hands (Make Sure You Hold The Loop. That's What It's There For!)
  • May Not Be Best For Dogs That Pull A LOT!


  1. Celeste

    This is a very impressive product. I love retractable leashes, I think they’re a great way for a dog to explore more. My only objection to this leash would be that it isn’t adjustable. I quite like having a leash that can be short when I need it to be but I can also have long to allow my dog to explore more. I would also prefer it if it was a little longer. However, I really like that the leash retracts into the collar so I wouldn’t have to hold the leash while I’m on adventuring. Thank you for sharing 🙂

  2. Lok Which

    Amazing, I really love this leash + collar function of a single product. It will really save the stress of getting a tracker and then a collar for our dogs. I will really look into getting one for swanky, adventures will be more fun taking my dog along. 

    I’ve only taken my dog hiking twice because the stress was much on me to be sincere but with this Rad dog leash+collar, I think I can always do that without stress now. I’m really excited to see how this goes. Thanks for sharing this informational article.

  3. Harvey Brown

    Hello Tucker thank you for a very frank appraisal of the Rad-dog. I had a Irish Wolfhound once and loved her  immensely and would have loved to take her with us when we went camping.  Back then they only had retractable leashes for small to medium size dogs. The Rad-dog would have been a dream.   I especially love the all in one.

  4. LearnToEarn Admin

    This is a novel idea that eliminates having to remember to take the leash with you as it’s incorporated into the collar.

    The fact that once you have finished with it, it retracts back into the collar and the dog is free to roam as they wish. 

    My only question is how do you entice your dog back to get the leash if your dog is enjoying their freedom and doesn’t listen to you calling them?

    Is there an integrated dog whistle in the collar?


    1. Post
      Tucker Ballister

      Great question! There isn’t an incorporated dog whistle in the collar, although even if there was I imagine it would be tough to use if your dog isn’t responding to your verbal calls. Rad Dog is marketing to the dog owner who can have their pup under verbal command on the trail, but might need a little added assistance to get from the parking lot to the trailhead.

  5. Luke


    I like dogs but I was never engaged so much in dog topics. Anyway, you described the rectratable leashes which is used for large dogs such as Rad dog. I like the way you represented your content and you also give us the example from practice use. Do you maybe have any experiences with leashes for smaller dogs? 

    I like your article, it will be definitely helpful for dog owners, keep up the good work!


    1. Post
      Tucker Ballister

      While I branded this as a ‘large dog retractable’ leash, there is no reason why it wouldn’t work for smaller dogs as well. Rad Dog has several collar sizes based on your pup’s size. You should definitely check them out!

  6. Karin Nauber

    This retractable leash looks like just the ticket for our adventures! Our dog Max is part Black Lab and part all fun! We’ve tried different retractable leashes with him and so far have not found one that works very well. We now have three  different broken retractable leashes! He will pull and pull until it won’t retract anymore! He is only 6 months old and has caught on and mastered many of the skills necessary to be a good dog, but walking with a leash is not one of them! Fortunately, he does “come”  when you call him!

    How well does the retracting thing work? I just need to make sure I don’t spend a lot of money and end up with another “collector’s item” to add to my other three—albeit cheaper ones. I look forward to your reply!

    1. Post
      Tucker Ballister

      I found that, because the actual housing where the leash coils and uncoils is located on the collar, rather than in the device you hold, our pup can feel the vibration of the leash coiling and uncoiling. At first, I think it caught him a bit off-guard and he was hesitant, which was actually nice because he walked much more calmly as a result. The bonus is that the leash is only about four feet long when fully extended, so your pup is still within close reach for training purposes.

  7. Kevin

    I really think this RAD DOG team has come up with some brilliant methods on intertwining dog leashes with collars, I really like the run and release collar. The fact you don’t have to attach and reattach makes it much more easier.

    I think this product is a must for any outdoor hiker or enthusiast that likes bringing their dog along on their trip. I have a dog but I’m not taking him with me he will be staying at home.

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