A good dog bed isn't necessarily something that reveals itself until your dog has experienced a bad one. That was the case for Max, my dog, when Yeti released the Trailhead Dog Bed in 2019. He was the lucky Gear Patrol pup to put it through its paces — and we found out that it's more than worthy of the Yeti name.
During the pandemic Max was diagnosed with intervertebratal disc disease (IVDD). It raised its head one day in 2021, when he lost the ability to walk. It was questionable whether he'd need surgery, or whether he'd ever be able to walk again. The initial prescription was a month of bed rest and only walking to use the bathroom.
The Yeti Trailhead Dog Bed proved to be the perfect bed for his needs — and after the 30 days, he was actually able to walk again. And, despite having two flair-ups since, he's in great shape and acting like his old self, having been symptom-free for nine months.
While I can't attribute that recovery entirely to Yeti's dog bed, it surely played a huge role in his ability to recuperate.
The Yeti Trailhead Dog Bed: Key Specs
Dimensions: 39.4 inches x 29.1 inches x 6.5 inches
Weight: 10.3 lbs
Materials: Polyester, EVA molded polyester, polyurethane, polypropylene
While $300 is a lot to spend for a dog bed, this bed has held up for nearly three years now and is one that Max loves more than any bed he's had before — and holds up to his furious digging.
What's Good About The Yeti Trailhead Dog Bed
The Trailhead Dog Bed is made up of two components: the travel pad and the home base that it fits inside. Together, these boast nearly six inches of padding, with a comfy bolster pillow that runs around the entire edge of the rectangular bed.
It's firm yet comfortable, and provides plenty of support for Max. Even though he weighs only 20 pounds, he sleeps like a dog three times that size. (Trust me, for the first four or so years of his life he slept in our bed and took up the room of a 60-pound dog.)
It's Durable and Easy to Clean
As mentioned, it can stand up to Max's furious digging — he's put holes in previous beds after just a few months. But while it has had a few loose strings that have just had to be snipped, the quilted top of the travel pad has held up to his wrath.
Not only that, but the base is made of a hard EVA molded polyester that is most akin to a hard rubber. This means you can toss it in the dirt, dust, grass or wherever, and you'll not only be able to clean it, but it'll also withstand those surfaces. For outdoor pups, that's a pretty big plus.
You can also unzip the covers from the home base and the travel pad to machine wash them, so there's really no mess they can't handle — we've had no issues keeping the whole bed clean even when Max gets muddy outside. Plus, the base of the travel is waterproof, making it the ideal bed to travel with. (The home base bottom is water resistant and not waterproof.)
The ability for the travel pad to be its own separate sleep spot ups the versatility of the Trailhead Bed. Always traveling with the whole bed or just putting it out on the deck for Max can be unwieldy, so being able to just grab the insert and toss it down for him is a great value proposition as a second bed.
What's Less Ideal About the Yeti Trailhead
It's Expensive, and Only One Size
For the same $300, you could buy our pick for the best affordable dog bed and still have plenty left over to grab yourself Yeti's Roadie 24 Hard Cooler. It's one of the more expensive dog beds we've come across (although it does match up to Yeti's reputation for durable products), and the fact that it only comes in one size is tough for small dog owners who don't necessarily need a bed that can accomodate large dogs. It takes up quite a bit of space in smaller homes and apartments, as well, which is something that has to be considered.
Yeti Dog Bed Alternatives
The Casper Dog Bed is our pick for the best overall dog bed. It starts at $139 for the small size and goes up to $249 for the large size. Having the ability to choose a different size based on your dog's size is nice for smaller dogs that don't need the room a larger dog does. While Casper's model does have a removable cover for washing, we wouldn't recommend treating it like the Yeti Dog Bed, which can go pretty much anywhere.
Tuft & Needle's Dog Bed is similar in that it offers a removable insert and even comes in three sizes (although medium and large are mostly sold out as of this story's publication), but it lacks a bolster pillow as well as the durability of outdoor use potential. And the Ruffwear Highlands Dog Sleeping Bag is one of the more outdoor-friendly options we've seen, and will only run you up to $140.
If you're looking for high-end, the Orvis Memory Foam Couch Dog Bed might be the ultimate spend. It has a three-quarter, double stacked bolster and acts more like a couch than a bed. It also starts at $309.
Yeti Trailhead Dog Bed: the Verdict
Again, $300 is a lot to pay for a dog bed. But I do believe you get what you pay for with the Trailhead Dog Bed. It holds up to vigorous digging, it can be an indoor / outdoor bed, it has the versatility to be a good travel bed, it provides a comfortable spot with a bolster and it can accomodate any size dog. While that's not enough for every dog (and dog owner), it is tough to find another dog bed that offers everything Yeti's does.
If you don't need all those features, I wouldn't recommend spending the $300 on it. But if every one of those pros listed above is something you see your dog needing, then it's money well spent that will ensure you won't be running through multiple dog beds in the coming years.