The Best Dog Backpack for Hiking: Enjoy Outdoor Adventures With Your Pup
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Taking your dog on a hiking adventure? It’s only fair that he carries his own provisions. That was the thought I had before beginning my search for the best dog backpack for hiking.
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Our Top Pick
After a lot of experiments, I finally found the perfect dog pack – the RUFFWEAR Palisades.
This dog backpack is built tough for the outdoors and comes with every necessary feature to keep your dog safe and comfortable while carrying supplies.
Of course, the RUFFWEAR Palisades isn’t the only top-rated hiking dog pack I came across during my search.
In the best dog hiking pack review below, we’ll be looking at the best dog packs on the market and why they’re special. By the end of the review, you’ll be able to decide which best one is for you and your pup’s needs.
Do you and your best bud enjoy spending hours and days exploring the outdoors? If so, what you need is a dog pack that your buddy can wear for hours without discomfort. As the best dog backpack for hiking, that’s exactly what the RUFFWEAR Palisades is.
Durable grip handle on the back
Two collapsible 1-liter capacity hydration bottles
Two leash connection points
Anodized aluminum V-ring for leash attachment
Made with abrasion and chew-resistant rip-stop nylon
Available in sizes for small to extra-large dogs
My favorite thing about this bag is the collapsible hydration bottle. It isn’t something you normally see on a dog pack, and it's extremely useful for keeping your dog watered while out on your long outdoor adventure.
This is a multi-day hike-friendly pack that can double as a harness. It comes with load compression straps, removable saddlebags, collapsible hydration bags, a secure leash attachment, a grab handle, and more.
With this pack, your dog can comfortably and securely carry his share of provisions for a whole day without issues. And just as important, the pack looks fantastic.
All that wonderful does come with a premium price, though. This option might not be within the budget of many dog parents.
Durable pack made with tough materials
Plenty of storage space
Mesh lining for ventilation and to prevent chafing
Reflective trim for optimal visibility in low light
Comfortable for long or short outings
Can double as a harness
May be too big for smaller dogs
This dog pack is ideal if you’re looking for comfort and functionality for both you and your dog. If you regularly spend a lot of time outdoors with your dog, the high price is a worthwhile investment.
Here’s another great option from RUFFWEAR. It’s just as stylish and effective as the Palisades but offers fewer functions at a lower price. For instance, it doesn’t have collapsible water packs.
Durable and waterproof material
V-ring for leash attachment
Doubles as a harness
Weight-forward saddlebag design for efficient load carrying
Two points of leash connection
Available in extra-small to extra-large sizes for all dog sizes
The first great thing about this dog pack is how good it looks. The second thing is how easy it is to put on and take off your dog. It has lots of storage space and can be worn for long hours without issues. It is also water-resistant and highly durable, making it a great choice for a rough and tumble adventure.
This dog pack comes highly recommended if your dog is a big fella or if you’ve got a lot of supplies to carry. The pack has big pockets that can hold a lot of stuff and is designed for comfort during extensive outings.
Available in different sizes for small, medium, and large-sized dogs
Durable back handle
Made with 420d HD Nylon Rip-Stop PU Carbonate
Metal D-ring attachment for a leash
Four-point adjustable harness with a padded sternum strap
This dog pack offers the same quality and functionality as the options from RUFFWEAR, but at half the price. It also has a vet-approved ergonomic design and well-placed mesh material to prevent chafing and keep your best bud cool on the go.
That it’s available in three colors and sizes is also a nice bonus, though that sizing doesn’t extend well to very small dogs—not that many Chihuahuas are off hiking mountains.
Works great as an all-purpose dog backpack for hiking
Made with durable, water-resistant materials to protect the pack’s contents
Padded straps and lightweight materials for comfortable wearing on long walks
Vet-approved ergonomic design
Mesh material prevents chafing and keeps your dog cool
Large expandable pouches on the sides can hold a lot of content
Available in three different colors
It’s not the most affordable backpack, but the price is worth it
Getting the perfect fit for a small dog can be difficult
This pack can double as an adjustable harness, which makes it ideal for long outdoor outings without discomfiting or restricting the mobility of your dog. It’s also a great alternative to Ruffwear Palisades and Approach if you want to save money.
This is one of the best dog backpacks for hiking not just for its stylish design, but also its durable build and comfort features.
Made with 1000D water-resistant nylon
Secure storage spaces
Velcro patches on the sides for adding attachments
Two large zipped side pockets to hold all your dog’s stuff
V-ring attachment for your leash
Three adjustable straps for a comfortable fit
Quick-release buckles for quick and easy wearing and taking off
ID cardholder at the top for the easy identification of your dog.
The OneTigris Canvas Bag has a lovely design that looks and works great. The built-in holder for waste bags is also a great feature that eliminates any excuses for littering. This option would be suitable for everyday use, not just outback adventures, which is a cost-effective touch. It’s also padded and available in multiple colors.
If your dog is a little guy, a long hike may be more than his little legs can handle, but with the PAWABOO Pet Carrier Backpack, this isn’t a problem.
Expandable elastic pockets for carrying supplies and/or your dog
Easily adjustable straps for the most comfortable fit
Made with breathable mesh and polyester fiber materials
Ensures ventilation and prevents chafing
Suitable for dogs that weigh less than 15 pounds
Legs-out and tail-out design keeps your dog comfortable
The PAWABOO Carrier is the best dog backpack carrier for hiking hands down. It lets you comfortably carry your little guy when he gets too tired or when crossing difficult terrain. The hands-free pack has an expandable pocket that can safely seat a small dog and let him enjoy the outdoor experience with you.
The pack carrier is comfortable for both humans and dogs, ensuring your little guy won’t be left out of the outdoor experience. Keep in mind, though, it’s only suitable for dogs that weigh less than 15 pounds
Made with breathable, durable and comfortable materials
Allows for maximum air circulation while your dog is in the pack
Designed to hold your dog securely while you are on the move
Very affordable price
You can wear the pack either on your back or on your front if you want to keep an eye on your little guy
Only dogs under 15 pounds can be carried in the pack
This carrier bag is super affordable and a great choice if you don’t want your little guy to miss out on an outdoor experience just because he has small legs.
Last but not least on our list of best dog hiking packs is the Kurgo Dog Backpack. This lightweight pack is designed to not get in your dog’s way while he explores the outdoors and has fun.
Eight adjustment points for customizing the fit
Available in one of two sizes for dogs weighing between 30 and 110 pounds
Comes with a saddlebag on each side
Designed to distribute weight evenly
Mesh lining and a padded chest for your dog’s comfort
Leash hook on the back also doubles as a bottle opener
Reflective trim for optimal visibility in low lighting
If you don't want your dog wandering too far from you, you'll be happy to know that this pack also doubles as a harness. Just attach a leash to the back, and your dog won't be able to wander into the great unknown.
That dual function leash hook on the back is cool, but my favorite thing is the lifetime warranty that comes with the pack. If at any time you notice a defect with the pack, you can return it for a refund.
As a small qualm, though, the straps connected to the adjustment points can become confusing.
Several color options are available
Doubles as a dog harness and backpack without making any adjustments
Has enough space in both saddlebags to hold a variety of provisions
Lightweight and comfortable material that will keep your dog comfortable during prolonged wearing
Hassle-free Lifetime Warranty against manufacturer defects
Available in various colors to match your dog’s style
The Kurgo Hiking Pack is one of the best dog carrier backpacks at a reasonable price. It also has various interesting features that give it an edge over most competing bags.
Overall Rating - 4.6 stars out of 5
Dog Backpack Buying Guide
Features the Best Dog Pack Must Have
If you want the best dog pack for hiking for your best friend, make sure it has the following features:
A dog pack must be the perfect size to fit your dog without issues. If it’s too loose, the pack might fall off or hamper your dog’s movements. If it’s too tight, it might injure your dog. Aside from being the right size, make sure the pack has adjustable straps so you can customize the fit to suit your dog’s needs.
Easy to Wear
Putting on the pack or taking it off should be straightforward and require as few steps as possible. The pack should also have padding for your dog’s comfort and prevent chafing during prolonged wearing.
The bag should have enough storage space to carry the types of provisions you intend on taking on your adventure.
If the pack is made with durable materials, you can expect to use it for years without issues.
The material of the pack similar to the dog life jacket shouldn’t just be durable, but also breathable for your dog’s convenience. Mesh lining adds breathability to a pack, minimizing chafing and keeping your dog cool by allowing air to circulate close to your dog’s body.
Waterproof and Quick to Dry
This feature is especially important if you intend to take your dog to wet areas or if it might rain. The waterproofing of the pack will keep the provisions on the inside safe.
If the entire pack isn’t made with reflective materials, it should at least have reflective trimming or patches. This will keep your dog visible in low lighting conditions, preventing accidents and other mishaps.
Are Dog Backpacks Safe for All Dogs?
Backpacks are only suitable for dogs who have the bodyweight to carry them or are fit enough to manage the extra weight.
Puppies still have a developing skeleton. Wearing a backpack on such a dog can cause injuries and stunt his growth. Senior dogs also shouldn’t be wearing backpacks because it puts too much stress on their already fragile joints and can cause injuries.
Also, avoid wearing a backpack on your dog if he has heart issues, breathing problems, arthritis, or similar health conditions.
There are a variety of dog packs to choose from for your best friend, but if you want a durable one that your dog can wear with ease, be sure to pick one from our above list of best dog backpacks for hiking.
Just remember that the best dog pack for your dog will depend on your dog’s size and what exactly you intend to carry in the pack. The RUFFWEAR Palisades is ideal for most dogs and dog parents, not just because it’s durable, but also because it’s pet-friendly, comfortable, and offers various storage options.
You can also check out our roundup post of the top winter jackets that are both comfy and durable.
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