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Walkies!! The Flexi Vario Lead Review

Flexi Vario Lead Review

Could the Vario System from Flexi been the must-have, go anywhere do it all lead system for all you dog lovers, hikers and walkers?

Walkies!! The Flexi Vario Lead Review WalkHikeClimb

 

 

 

 

 

Dogs have been a constant in my life, from as early as 3years old.  I’m sure I’m not alone as in the UK around 25% of households have a dog as a pet which equates to over 8million.  When out walking, dogs are a very welcome and familiar site.  In fact, I can’t think of many occasions when out in the mountains that someone somewhere hasn’t appeared with their faithful companion at their side.  My own dog is the ripe old age of 14, so his days of running up the sides of mountains are long gone albeit he still loves  ambling around in open spaces.

With ownership of dogs come great responsibility, not only to the dog itself but to other people and animals around them.  Whether that be clearing up your dogs mess or putting them on a lead near livestock, it’s important to ensure you take the right equipment and items with you; unfortunately for a lot of people this isn’t always the case.  The new Vario System from Flexi is a brilliant innovation, offering a complete modular system for all occasions.

Flexi are a global organisation of innovators with a vision to produce products of high quality which address the real needs of their users.  Here’s what Manfred Bogdahn (Founder and CEO) has to say about Flexi.

Millions of happy dog owners around the globe use a unique innovation from Germany, the Flexi retractable dog leash.  As the inventor of the retractable leash, our creative vision has set the global standard. We have established ourselves as the market leader in more than 90 countries. In 2010, flexi was given the status “Brands of the Century” by the “German Standards” commission. We are very proud of this award because it puts us in the category of the most successful companies in Germany which have set a milestone based on an exceptional idea and entrepreneurship.  We are continually faced with great opportunities brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems. We accept this challenge and will continue to do everything in our power to shape the future with our visions.

From the humble beginnings of their first prototype in the 1970’s.

Walkies!! The Flexi Vario Lead Review WalkHikeClimb

Through to the modern day Vario System.

Walkies!! The Flexi Vario Lead Review WalkHikeClimb

Flexi offer award winning solutions for cats, dogs and other small animals all the way up to a tape lead capable of supporting a dog up to 60kg’s in weight!

The Vario System offers freedom with control whilst ensuring you and your beloved pet remain safe and secure…

 

 

What’s unique about the Vario system (available in Mini, Small, Medium and Large) is it’s ability to adapt to all seasons and situations with a wide variety of accessories.  The Vario System products (available in a cord or tape version) are exceptionally well made and engineered.

The 5m medium tape version we’re testing comes with the Vario Flexi-Lead itself and a chrome snap-hook and safety collar

Walkies!! The Flexi Vario Lead Review WalkHikeClimb Walkies!! The Flexi Vario Lead Review WalkHikeClimb

 

 

 

 

 

Flex Vario

  • 5 m tape leash
  • For dogs up to max. 25 kg
  • Short-stoke braking system
  • Soft-grip
  • Chromed snap hook
  • Product weight: 290 g approx.
  • Multi-belt link system
  • Customized handle adjustment system
  • Can be customized with functional accessories

In addition to the Vario lead itself, we were lucky enough to be provided with a number of very useful accessories, including the Soft Stop Belt, LED Flash Belt, LED Lighting System and Multi-Box.

Walkies!! The Flexi Vario Lead Review WalkHikeClimb Walkies!! The Flexi Vario Lead Review WalkHikeClimb

 

 

 

 

 

We love the Multi-Box as it allows you to carry poop bags (or treats!) easily to clear up any mess after you dog and the LED Lighting System is superb.  Both of these items can be attached or removed as and when required!

The Soft Stop Belt can be used to avoid jolting of your dog, which is very useful with younger or more excitable animals.  The LED Flash Belt is exactly that, another level of visibility with various modes of operation.

The Vario System uses a linking mechanism, making it easy to attach your lead of choice before you walk or even on the move when it starts to get darker for example.

Walkies!! The Flexi Vario Lead Review WalkHikeClimb Walkies!! The Flexi Vario Lead Review WalkHikeClimb

 

 

 

 

 

You can find Full details of all these accessories under the “First Impressions” tab.

All the products come with full instructions which are worth reading, providing details of how the Vario system should be used.  There’s even a video which highlights the safety aspects of the Vario system to ensure you don’t suffer any mishaps.

All in all the Flex Vario System has been a joy to use; as my dog is now 14years old and more than a little deaf, being able to let him wander about without worrying he won’t hear me (or others / traffic) is a real bonus.  Especially when you’re walking in fields with livestock.

Having that control over your pet whilst giving them some freedom to roam is a fantastic idea, and with the Flexi products you know you’re investing in something that’s been carefully designed and manufactured to a high standard.

Check out the Flexi homepage for details of the Vario and their other great products

Flexi Lead Homepage

Before taking your dog for walk it’s important to check you have all the various items required for an enjoyable and safe journey; lead, plastic bags, torch, treats.  Wouldn’t it be great to roll all of these items into one convenient package?

Walkies!! The Flexi Vario Lead Review WalkHikeClimb

 

 

 

 

 

Well… that’s exactly where the Vario System from Flexi comes into play.  This modular system offers every conceivable accessory you could imagine in a single unit.  It’s so simple to use and the multi-belt quick release leash system reduces any fiddling around should you need to change leads on the move

It all centers around the Vario retractable lead itself

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Even this come with a chrome snap-hook and safety collar, meaning you’re ready to go straight out of the box.

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The innovative multi-belt system couldn’t be easier to use

Walkies!! The Flexi Vario Lead Review WalkHikeClimb Walkies!! The Flexi Vario Lead Review WalkHikeClimb

 

 

 

 

 

meaning whichever lead you choose, attachment and removal is one easy step away.  All of the accessory leads adopt the same approach, therefore there’s no need to purchase additional linkages in order to make them fit.

The Vario retractable leads themselves (available in cord or tapes variants) come in all different sizes and indeed colours.  Sizing runs from Mini for cats, dogs or other animals up to 12kg in weight, right up to the Large (taped) system which can withstand a dog of up to 60kg.  There’s literally something for everyone.

Talking about size, even the palm size of the user is taken into account with an adjustable wheel on the handle which moves a “trigger” section to fit your grip more securely.  Kudos Flexi!

Walkies!! The Flexi Vario Lead Review WalkHikeClimb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beyond the base unit itself is is the beating heart of the Vario System; a world of accessories for all occasions.  We were fortunate enough to be able to test both the LED Flash Belt and Soft Stop Belt

Walkies!! The Flexi Vario Lead Review WalkHikeClimb

 

 

 

 

 

LED Flash Belt

This is a high visibility lead for use in dark or difficult conditions ensuring you and your dog can be easily seen.  Along the length of the lead itself is an LED strip

Walkies!! The Flexi Vario Lead Review WalkHikeClimb Walkies!! The Flexi Vario Lead Review WalkHikeClimb

 

 

 

 

 

The frequency of which can be controlled from a little box which also doubles up as the battery compartment.

Walkies!! The Flexi Vario Lead Review WalkHikeClimb

 

 

 

 

 

This work exceptionally well; living in a semi-rural location there’s no lighting whatsoever just beyond my house and I can testify this lead works very well.   I’ve also had numerous comments and queries from fellow dog walkers, who have been impressed with the system overall.

As the end of the lead is the ubiquitous chrome snap-hook with the other end housing the multi-belt clip mechanism.  No skimping on quality components here!

Walkies!! The Flexi Vario Lead Review WalkHikeClimb Walkies!! The Flexi Vario Lead Review WalkHikeClimb

 

 

 

 

 

Features

  • For high visibility
  • Red LED light
  • 3 options: continuous light and flashing light in slow or fast frequency
  • Incl. batteries
  • Available in sizes S-M and L
  • Suitable for VARIO S, M and L

The construction and addition to detail is second to none, even the stitching is reflective providing even more levels of conspicuity.

Soft Stop Belt

The soft stop belt is a great product for younger or more excitable dogs to prevent jolting.  Flexi do not advocate using their system with dogs that are not well trained, however the soft stop belt is a great way of addressing that issue or just making sure you’re furry friend doesn’t get a big surprise when you run out of lead!

Along it’s length is a concertinaed and elasticated section which acts a bit like a bungee and dramatically reduces any jolting.

Walkies!! The Flexi Vario Lead Review WalkHikeClimb

 

 

 

 

 

As with the LED Flash Belt, the stitching is highly reflective offering good levels of visibility.

Consistent all the way down the line, the Soft Stop Belt has the same quality chrome snap-hook to attach to your dog, with the multi-belt clip mechanism at the other end.

Walkies!! The Flexi Vario Lead Review WalkHikeClimb Walkies!! The Flexi Vario Lead Review WalkHikeClimb

 

 

 

 

 

Features

  • Belt to avoid jolting of the dog
  • Available in sizes S, M and L
  • Suitable for VARIO S, M and L

We also tested the Multi-Box and the LED Lighting System

Walkies!! The Flexi Vario Lead Review WalkHikeClimb Walkies!! The Flexi Vario Lead Review WalkHikeClimb

 

 

 

 

 

All of the customisable elements have been well thought out and engineered, rather than being just a clumsy after thought.  It’s only when you start to use and examine these in detail you get an understanding of the excellence at work.

Multi Box

The multi-box is a complete no brainer for me and such a great idea.  It can be used for treats or, more likely, storage of little plastic bags to clear up after your dog.

Walkies!! The Flexi Vario Lead Review WalkHikeClimb

 

 

 

 

 

It can then be fitted snugly and securely to the retractable lead itself ready for use

Walkies!! The Flexi Vario Lead Review WalkHikeClimb

 

 

 

 

 

Features

  • Stores treats or poop bags
  • Suitable for VARIO, New Classic S, M and L

I’ve used this happily since testing began and it is such a great piece of kit.  Just wish I’d thought of it first!  Then even provide a little grommet (no reference to the friend of Wallace!) if you want to store treats which will stop them falling out.  Excellent!

Walkies!! The Flexi Vario Lead Review WalkHikeClimb

 

 

 

 

 

LED Lighting System

Similar to the Multi-Box and indeed all the Vario System accessories, the LED Lighting System address another level of safety and security when walking your dog.  It’s something akin to a front and rear light on a bike, utilising LED technology for both power and longevity.

Walkies!! The Flexi Vario Lead Review WalkHikeClimb Walkies!! The Flexi Vario Lead Review WalkHikeClimb

 

 

 

 

 

The front and rear elements can be switched off independently of each other which is a nice touch.  The rear red light flashes steadily without being too off putting to the users, whilst the front light is on constantly and provides quite a strong beam; certainly enough to warn others of your position as well as lighting up the terrain just ahead of you.

Attaching couldn’t be easier via the supplied high-impact, Velcro, adhesive disc.

Walkies!! The Flexi Vario Lead Review WalkHikeClimb

 

 

 

 

 

This means you can either hold the lighting system in your hand, like a torch, or attach it to the retractable lead itself keeping your hands free.  I found having the Multi-Box and the Lighting System on the Vario Retractable lead very useful and adds nothing to the overall weight itself.

Walkies!! The Flexi Vario Lead Review WalkHikeClimb

 

 

 

 

 

Features

  • With front and red back light which can be switched on and off individually
  • Easy to attach with velcro tape system
  • Incl. batteries

All in all we’ve been hugely impressed with the Vario System from Flex.  The design excellence, thought and addition to detail that’s gone into the product and accessories to is of a very high standard.  The items themselves are extremely well made, robust and have a quality feel about them.  I love it!!

Walkies!! The Flexi Vario Lead Review WalkHikeClimb

 

 

 

 

 

It’s rare that we get products to test that seem to tick every box, but this could just be one of those occasions.   The Vario System from Flexi is an outstanding product.

On test, the Vario (Taped) System Lead In Medium

Walkies!! The Flexi Vario Lead Review WalkHikeClimb

 

 

 

 

 

  • 5 m tape leash
  • For dogs up to max. 25 kg
  • Short-stoke braking system
  • Soft-grip
  • Chromed snap hook
  • Product weight: 290 g approx.
  • Mulit-belt link system
  • Customized handle adjustment system
  • Can be customized with functional accessories
  • 6 casing colours: anthracite, blue, brown, pink, red and turquoise

Soft Stop Belt

Walkies!! The Flexi Vario Lead Review WalkHikeClimb Walkies!! The Flexi Vario Lead Review WalkHikeClimb

 

 

 

 

 

  • Belt to avoid jolting of the dog
  • Available in sizes S, M and L
  • Suitable for VARIO S, M and L

LED Flash Belt

Walkies!! The Flexi Vario Lead Review WalkHikeClimb Walkies!! The Flexi Vario Lead Review WalkHikeClimb

 

 

 

 

 

  • For high visibility
  • Red LED light
  • 3 options: continuous light and flashing light in slow or fast frequency
  • Incl. batteries
  • Available in sizes S-M and L
  • Suitable for VARIO S, M and L

Multi-Box and LED Lighting System

Walkies!! The Flexi Vario Lead Review WalkHikeClimb Walkies!! The Flexi Vario Lead Review WalkHikeClimb

 

 

 

 

 

Multi-Box

  • Stores treats or poop bags
  • Suitable for VARIO, New Classic S, M and L
  • 6 colours: anthracite, blue, brown, pink, red and turquoise

LED Lighting System

  • With front and red back light which can be switched on and off individually
  • Easy to attach with velcro tape system
  • Incl. batteries
  • Suitable for VARIO, New Classic S, M and L

Walkies!! The Flexi Vario Lead Review WalkHikeClimb Walkies!! The Flexi Vario Lead Review WalkHikeClimb

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s rare that we get products to test that seem to tick every box, but this could just be one of those occasions.   All of the various options and accessories integrate seamlessly into the Vario System and actually enhance the usage of the lead itself.  Whether you have a small, medium or large dog there’s something here for everyone.

Walkies!! The Flexi Vario Lead Review WalkHikeClimb

 

 

 

 

 

As rules around dog walking are getting stricter and our roads becoming busier and more congested, the Vario System offers freedom with control whilst ensuring you and your beloved pet remain safe and secure.

The Vario System from Flexi is an outstanding product.

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