Guru & Dog Approved: Avant Garde Retractable Leash

May 16, 2012    |    By +
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The Product: Avant Garde Retractable Leash matte collection (available now for around $30)

Where to Buy it: 26 Bars & a

The Review:  Dog approved! I was lucky enough to get to test a sample of the latest retractable leash, with the help of my schitzu Donald. We took this new product to the street and put it to the test. I also thought about whether it is a good gift and what kind of person it would be a good gift for. Enjoy my review below. And, if you’ve tried it too, please share your review in the comments!

Originality/ Uniqueness of Product: From the packaging to the leash itself this leash is modern, hip and sleek. The fact that a retractable leash can be so cute, stylish and practical is new to me! This leash is made for people who want to show some personality while parading their pooches.

Does it achieve its purpose? Although it took a few tries to get the hang of the brake & release button, the leash itself is lightweight, operates smoothly, and is easy to keep a firm grip. I look for lightweight leashes because my Donald is small, and bulky leashes just don’t work for him. So, I like this leash for smaller dogs.

How does it compare to other products? You can tell right away that this leash is made with quality and use in mind. Most other retractable leashes can feel heavier or more flimsy and don’t provide the same grip, more on that later, for easy control of your pet either. One of the designs, ‘Home is where the Dog is’, has the outline of the United States and comes with a little house sticker that you can put in your home town. How cute is that!?

Is it durable? Yes, the handle has an ergonomic grip so it’s sturdy and less likely to slip out of your hands. This is important for people who have dogs that pull or get excited and like to run ahead while jerking the leash. To test its durability I dropped the leash while walking my dog to see if it would scratch or break on impact. I’m happy to report that it didn’t break! I think this is because of its unique, smooth, rubbery finish that’s similar to what some phone cases have.

Is it a good value? The price of the leash is $29.95 and that may seem pricey but it’s worth the extra expense. It will end up lasting longer than cheaper leashes, so will save you $$ over time. The matte Collection offers a lot of features that are a notch above the rest like the ergonomic handle for better grip, the easy one button brake and release, the super smooth retracting mechanism, and the strong retractable leash itself.

If you want to be stylish while walking your dog this leash is it! I used “Keep Calm and Walk Your Dog” leash courtesy of 26Bars & a Band over the weekend and I got plenty of compliments on how cool it looked. Donald and I looked really stylish together out in Central Park!

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Meet the Gurus

Kathryn D.W.
Kathryn Drury Wagner is the senior manager of content at She was formerly the executive editor at Honolulu Magazine, and is the author of The Ultimate Guide to Shopping on Oahu. Her career has included staff positions at Country Living Gardener and Power & Motoryacht. Her latest book is "Hawaii's Strangest, Ickiest, Wildest Book Ever!"

Gwen P.
Gwen is the Editorial Curator at In addition to writing blogs, she creates gift guides, curates the site, and produces content for our social media channels. As a freelance writer, she created blogs on fashion, art, travel, health and lifestyle. A talented jewelry designer, she's also a yogi and a hospital volunteer with her therapy dog, Lilo, a Pomeranian.