DefenceX System Airflow detachable fly rug: first look

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  • DefenceX System Airflow detachable fly rug


    • Style:
    • Fit:
    • Ease of use:


    • Feels like very good quality
    • Detachable neck cover
    • Padding at withers for extra comfort
    • Great for summer showers


    • Chest straps which buckles are attached to do not adjust
    • May be a little tight on chunkier types


    DefenceX, Hy

    Price as reviewed:


    DefenceX waterproof fly rug

    My first impressions of the DefenceX waterproof fly rug were very positive. The rug, which is silver with a navy and red trim, feels and looks like good quality, and it is nice and light to put on. It costs £79.99, which sits in the mid-range price tag of this rug category.

    The 6ft3in size fit my 15.2hh Connemara x Irish sports horse mare well, which I was pleased to see as I found the 6ft3in StormX fly rug was a bit on the small side in length. It’s worth noting my horse is quite petite in the chest and I think chunkier breeds would find this DefenceX fly rug a little neat and could have to go up a size.

    This waterproof rug claims to be ideal for the warmer weather offering protection from flies and light rain. It features a 600D top section and mesh lower section that promotes airflow. The rug feels well made and I’m confident will serve my horse well during summer showers.

    Other features include a detachable neck cover which make this rug very versatile and I would be happy using it as a lightweight summer sheet. The neck cover is a generous size and appears to stay put while my horse grazes. I like that it comes with clip-fastenings instead of velcro for joining it to the rug, which makes it very speedy to put on and remove – while the front of the neck cover features two velcro fastenings.

    The rug comes with deep shoulder guests, adjustable cross surcingles and a fillet string, as well as lovely padding at the withers for added comfort.

    DefenceX waterproof fly rug wither

    The biggest downside I found with this waterproof fly rug is the chest fastenings. These clip fastenings offer three D-ring options, however the straps themselves cannot be altered so on my horse they sit very loose, which leaves room for them to catch on something. This is a point I noted in the DefenceX System 200 turnout review, too. I would love to see this brand alter this design in the future but otherwise I think this range has a lot to offer. With that said, for a horse with a wider chest these straps may fit better.

    DefenceX waterproof fly rug chest fastenings


    Initial thoughts – This rug is a good price, comes with lots of features and my initial feeling is it will serve my horse very well during summer. It’s really good quality but the non-adjustable straps at the chest let it down for me personally.

    View now at viovet.co.uk or equus.co.uk

    What is a first look review?

    These are our first impressions of a piece of kit or clothing based on spending some time with it. We will have had our hands on it and given it a really thorough going over before trying it on ourselves or our horses and using it. The information we can give you after this first look will give you some sense of what it’s like to use, even if it’s only an initial view. As soon as we’ve given it a more thorough test, we will update the review with a full scoring and additional thoughts.

    Find out more about how Horse & Hound tests products

    Who tested this fly rug?

    Becky Murray started freelance writing for Horse & Hound in 2016 alongside other equestrian titles, before joining the H&H news team in July 2018. She was made senior news writer in January 2022. During her time at H&H she has reported on a broad range of topics across the equestrian industry including welfare issues, veterinary studies, FEI Tribunal hearings, rider safety, and road safety campaigns. In 2019 she attended the national Strangles Symposium and the Scottish welfare conference.

    Becky was part of the home remote reporting team for the Tokyo Olympic Games and the European Showjumping Championships and has reported from Morris Equestrian, the Royal Highland Show and Blair Castle International Horse Trials. She also regularly contributes to the weekly H&H podcast.

    Based in north Scotland, Becky learnt to ride at the age of five. She got the showjumping bug with her 13.2hh older pony Phoenix, who used to particularly enjoy a chase-me-Charlie. She went on to compete in British Showjumping and riding club activities as a teenager with her pony Sparkle. After losing two horses in 2015 to illness and injury, Becky is now producing two Irish mares, Ruby and Chloe, and hopes to get back in the showjumping ring in the future. She also has two miniature Shetland sisters, Mootie and Poppet, who keep her on her toes.

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