Published on: 11/02/2019, updated on: 10/14/2021

The Best Dog Backpack: Packing in Style [Rating, Reviews & Buying Guide]

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Do you and your dog love the outdoor life? My best bud and I do too!

But one day, while lugging my backpack up a hill with my dog running ahead of me without a care in the world, I decided it’s time he started carrying his own provisions. This led to my discovery of the Mountainsmith K-9 Dog Pack.

Top Pick

The Mountainsmith K-9 Dog Pack is the best dog carrier backpack on the market. It’s durable, has lots of pockets, and lets my dog carry loads without restricting his movement or fun.

Of course, the Mountainsmith K-9 Dog Pack isn’t the only dog backpack worthy of a spot among the best dog backpacks. In our dog backpack review below, you’ll find a full roundup of the best dog packs on the market. By the end, you won't have trouble picking the best one for you and your pup.

Here are some other great options:

  1. OneTigris Blaze Tracker Dog Pack
  2. Ruffwear Approach Full-Day Hiking Pack
  3. Outward Hound Daypak Dog Backpack
  4. PAWABOO Dog Backpack
  5. Service Dog Harness with Detachable Backpack

The Top Dog Backpacks Reviewed

Mountainsmith K-9 Dog Pack – Best Overall

Mountainsmith K 9 Dog Pack 1 1

If you need an all-purpose backpack for your dog, the Mountainsmith K-9 should be on your list. It’s not the least expensive dog pack, but it is a worthwhile investment.

Key Features

  • Available in three sizes for dogs between 25 and 120 pounds
  • Reflective trim
  • Made of 420d HD Nylon Rip-Stop PU Carbonate
  • Metal D-ring attachment for a leash
  • Two zipped pouches on the sides
  • Four-point adjustable chest harness
  • Padded sternum strap

Aside from being a dog pack, the Mountainsmith K-9 Dog Pack also serves as an adjustable harness with a metal D-ring attachment on the back for your dog’s leash. Its pouches are also quite roomy, and it is durable, comfortable to wear on long walks, and has multiple features to ensure you and your dog have a lovely day outdoors.

Its most valuable feature is its lightweight material that’s lined with mesh panels. These keep your dog cool and prevent chafing. With its two big pouches on the sides, your dog can comfortably lug around provisions for the both of you.

It’s available in various sizes and has adjustable straps to ensure your dog gets a comfortable and secure fit, too. However, it is a bit pricey. The money is worth the quality the pack offers, though.


  • Available in three different colors
  • Breathable mesh lining provides excellent ventilation for your dog’s comfort
  • A tough top handle for direct control of your dog
  • Expandable pockets
  • Material dries quickly
  • Adjustable


  • Pricey
  • No size for extra-small dogs

The Verdict

Even with its few shortcomings, this is still the best dog backpack you can get for adventures, be it around town or in the wild outdoors.

Overall Rating - 4.8 stars

Mountainsmith K9 Dog Products

OneTigris Blaze Tracker Dog Pack – The Best for Stylish Dogs

OneTigris Dog Pack Hound Travel Camping Hiking Backpack Saddle Bag Rucksack for Medium & Large Dog (Black Vesion 1.0, One Size:(Neck:16"-26",Chest:30"-42"))

If your dog is fashion-forward, this is the best dog carrier backpack to go for. It looks tactical yet stylish, meaning your dog is going to be one handsome bloke when wearing this bag.

Key Features

  • Made of 1000D water-resistant nylon
  • Secure storage spaces
  • Velcro patches on the sides for adding attachments
  • Two adjustable belly straps and one neck strap for the perfect fit
  • Two large side pockets to hold all your dog’s stuff
  • V-ring attachment for your leash
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Aside from being pretty to look at, this dog pack is also highly functional. It has enough storage spaces to carry everything your dog will need for an outdoor adventure. There's space for some of your stuff, as well. It also has a built-in waste bag dispenser and a visible ID card holder for easy identification of your dog.

On the downside, the sizing on this option is a bit limited—very small or large dogs may be out of luck.


  • Secure hook-and-loop closures for its two saddlebag-style pockets
  • Lots of pockets for small items, including a clear top panel for ID
  • Durable, water-resistant nylon material
  • Stylish design
  • Padded underside for your dog’s comfort
  • It’s made with durable materials


  • Only available in one size for dogs between 55 and 100 pounds
  • It may become heavy if it gets wet
  • No reflective trimming

The Verdict

The price is reasonable considering the impressive quality of the bag, but if your dog is less than 55 pounds or more than 100 pounds, this backpack may not be for you.

Overall Rating - 4.6 stars

Ruffwear Approach Full-Day Hiking Pack – The Best for Outdoors

RUFFWEAR - Approach Full-Day Hiking Pack for Dogs, Campfire Orange, X-Small

If you need the best dog backpack for hiking or some other outdoor adventure, this pack comes highly recommended. It’s tough. It’s rough. It’s highly functional, but wow, is it expensive.

Key Features

  • Available in three sizes for dogs with a chest width between 17 inches and 32 inches
  • Big saddlebags that can hold up to 12 liters
  • Non-slip, padded, adjustable straps that minimize chafing
  • Pockets and external gear loops for stashing as many necessities as your dog can carry
  • Sturdy top handle for better control over your dog
  • Aluminum V-ring attachment for a leash
  • Five adjustment points for the perfect fit

The quality of this pack matches its price. It’s rugged yet comfortable enough for your dog to wear all day without discomfort or other troubles. The lightweight material prevents chafing and keeps your dog cool, and its pockets are large enough to hold all types of stuff

Unlike other dog packs that are made for medium to large dogs, the Ruffwear Approach has sizes for even extra-small dogs, too.

It would, however, be nice if this bag came in color options other than orange and green. That is, in addition to a lower price tag.


  • The design of the backpack evenly distributes weight so that your dog can carry loads with ease
  • Durable yet comfortable fabric
  • Available in extra-small to extra-large sizes for all dog bodies
  • Reflective trim for optimal visibility in all lighting conditions
  • Lots of storage space for different sizes of stuff


  • The attached bags are not removable
  • Expensive

The Verdict

If you and your dog spend a lot of time on outdoor adventures, you definitely should consider getting the Ruffwear Approach if you can afford it. It’s durable, comfortable, and has enough features to make your next outdoor adventure more convenient.

Overall Rating - 4.8 stars

Outward Hound Daypak Dog Backpack

Outward Hound Daypak Dog Backpack Hiking Gear for Dogs, Medium, Blue

The best part about this affordable pack is it doesn’t compromise on quality or functionality. The design of the pack is basic, but it has everything your dog will need to have a great time while carrying his share of provisions.

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Key Feature

  • Available in three sizes
  • Adjustable straps and buckles
  • Reflective trim for better visibility
  • Two zippered compartments and outer pockets on each saddlebag
  • Metal attachment for a leash

The Outward Hound Daypak’s saddlebags are expandable, which means they can carry more stuff than you think. Each saddlebag is split into a small and large zippered compartment so that you can compartmentalize items, too.

You can get it in one of three sizes, depending on your dog's size or body type. Each size is adjustable to give your dog the perfect fit and full mobility.

Unfortunately, though, it is not waterproof and may not be ideal in all weather conditions or locations depending on what you plan to store in it.


  • Lightweight
  • High functionality thanks to its variety of pockets
  • Lined with breathable mesh to keep your dog cool and prevent chafing
  • Top handle for guiding or controlling your dog
  • Available in various colors
  • Durable materials


  • Not waterproof
  • Hard to find the right size

The Verdict

This is one of the best dog carrier backpacks available and at an affordable price. If you need something basic with no special features, this pack will suffice.

Overall Rating - 4.5 stars

PAWABOO Dog Backpack – The Best Budget Pick

Pawaboo Dog Backpack, Pet Adjustable Saddle Bag Harness Carrier, for Traveling Hiking Camping, Medium Size, Orange & Gray

This is the best dog backpack for dog owners who are trying to save money. You can get the black and gray version for well under $20. That’s a steal Considering that the bag doesn’t compromise on quality and has all the necessary features.

Key Features

  • Adjustable harness for the perfect fit
  • Made with high-quality breathable 600D Oxford cloth
  • Available in one size for medium-sized dogs
  • Expandable pockets
  • Leash attachment on the back

The low price makes this dog backpack a great bargain. Its lightweight material makes it suitable for walking, shopping, hiking, and more without inconveniencing your dog. Load both sides with a few items, and your dog won't even notice it's there, thanks to the perfect balance of the bag.

Wearing it and taking it off is also easy thanks to its straightforward strap and buckle arrangement. However, this option is only available in one size and may not fit very small or large dogs.


  • Very lightweight
  • Spacious pockets for storing all types of stuff
  • Adjustable straps and neck circumference for the perfect fit
  • Soft padding and breathable harness that prevents chafing and other discomforts
  • User-friendly buckles that make it easy and quick to take off and put back on


  • No sizes for large or small dogs
  • Not waterproof

The Verdict

This is the most affordable best dog backpack that you can get without having to worry about quality or functionality.

Overall Rating - 4.5 stars

Service Dog Harness with Detachable Backpack – Best Harness/Dog Backpack

Service Dog Vest With Hook and Loop Straps and Detachable Backpacks - Harnesses In 7 Sizes From XXS to XXL - Service Dog Harness Features Reflective Patch and Comfortable Mesh Design (Red, Small)

This is primarily a harness, but it comes with detachable backpacks. You can easily modify it to suit your outing needs by either taking off or attaching the backpacks.

Key Features

  • Detachable backpacks
  • Adjustable belly buckle for the perfect fit
  • Sturdy handle for optimal control
  • Metal D-ring for a leash
  • Durable nylon material
  • Reflective straps
  • Available in various sizes ranging from extra-extra-small to extra-extra-large

There are so many size options available for this harness that you won’t have trouble finding the perfect fit for your dog. Its sleek design makes it suitable for service dogs, and its convertible design also lets you save money on buying a separate harness and backpack. Strangely, its price is more affordable than most standalone backpacks and harnesses, making it a great bargain.

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Some buyers report that the Velcro easily falls apart, though.


  • Works great whether your dog is a service dog
  • Sturdy and durable
  • Top handle for direct control of your dog or attaching him to a seatbelt
  • Mesh lining makes it comfortable enough to be worn for extended periods
  • Removable saddlebags
  • Affordable price
  • Available in three cool colors


  • Not a lot of pocket options
  • It needs more Velcro or tougher Velcro

The Verdict

A great two-in-one product, dog pack, and harness, at a friendly price.

Overall Rating - 4.5 stars

Dog Backpack Buying Guide

Do You Need A Dog Backpack?

A dog backpack is much like a human backpack. The only difference is a dog wears one while a human wears the other.

A dog backpack typically has a saddlebag located on each side of the dog’s body for a balanced weight. With such a pack, your dog can carry his supplies when heading outdoors. Some packs also double as a harness that you can attach a leash to.

Without a dog backpack, you’ll have to carry all of your dog’s food, water, life jacket and other supplies when going camping or hiking. This means more work for you when your dog can actually help.

A dog backpack is especially useful if your dog is big or high energy. Carrying his own supplies will give him all the exercise he needs and tire him out for a peaceful night’s rest.

Bear in mind that your dog should never carry a loaded bag that weighs more than 25 percent of his body weight.

How to Choose the Best Dog Backpack

The best dog carrier backpack for you and your pal will have the following features as standard:

Size - The best pack for your dog will be available in a size that fits your dog’s body type. It’ll also have adjustable straps that can be tightened or loosened for the most comfortable fit.

Carrying Capacity - The bag should have pockets big enough to carry the supplies you have in mind, but be sure not to overload your dog as this can lead to injuries or health problems.

Breathability - The pack should be lined with mesh that’ll keep your dog cool and prevent chafing.

Leash Attachment - The pack should have a D-ring or V-ring where you can attach a leash.

Padding - Padding in the straps, front, and back are also important for preventing chafing and keeping your dog comfortable.

Reflective - The pack should have a reflective trim so that you can easily identify your dog in low light conditions. For optimal visibility, get a bright-colored bag.

Final Thoughts

There are a variety of dog packs to choose from for your best friend, but if you want one that’s durable, comfortable to wear, and can carry desired loads, be sure to pick one from our above list of best dog packs.

Just remember that the best dog backpack for your dog will depend on your dog’s size and the type of outing you’re going on. The Mountainsmith K-9 Dog Pack is ideal for most dogs and owners, not just because it’s durable, but also because it’s pet-friendly, comfortable, and offers various storage options.

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