Dog backpacks are different from dog slings in that they affix to your back, or on the front of your chest and allow your dog to sit upright with legs and head out.
They allow you the maximum amount of movement while keeping your dog secure against you and easily accessible.
When to Use a Dog Carrier Backpack
Dog backpacks are best suited for high-impact activities like biking or hiking, but can be used around the house as well.
Kurgo G-train Backpack
Of all the packs on this list the Kurgo G-train stands out the most. It’s ability to function as a traditional backpack and dog carrier propel it to the top of the list.
K9 Sport Sack
Read our full review of the K9 Sport Sack here. If you’ve struggled to find a hiking pack for a medium to large size dog definitely check it out (they also have small dog sizes as well).
Top 13 Dog Carrier Backpacks
|Rank||Picture||Name||Where to Buy|
|1||Kurgo G-train||See it on Amazon|
|2||K9 Sport Sack AIR||See it on Amazon|
|3||Petsfit Comfort Dogs Carriers||See it on Amazon|
|4||Outward Hound PoochPouch Front Carrier for Dogs||See it on Amazon|
|5||Pawfect Pets Soft-Sided Pet Carrier Backpack||See it on Amazon|
|6||PAWABOO Pet Carrier Backpack||See it on Amazon|
|7||NICREW Legs Out Front Dog Carrier||See it on Amazon|
|8||Homdox Dog Carrier Backpack||See it on Amazon|
|9||CozyCabin Dog Carrier Backpack||See it on Amazon|
|10||COODIA Legs Out Front Dog Carrier||See it on Amazon|
|11||Pet Gear I-G02 Roller Backpack||See it on Amazon|
|12||PetAmi Delux Pet Carrier Backpack for Small Dogs||See it on Amazon|
Dog Carrier Backpack Reviews
1. Kurgo G-train Backpack
The Kurgo G-train Backpack offers incredible comfort for you and your pet of up to 25 lbs on every hike. Water-resistant fabric on top keeps your dog dry in light rain. A waterproof bottom allows you to set the backpack down without having moisture seep in.
This backpack is very well ventilated to keep your dog cool and comfortable. It is padded for long-lasting comfort. This carrier is approved for Airlines so you won’t have to worry if you want to take your dog on a flight as well. A lifetime warranty by Kurgo can set your mind at ease.
Best for: Dogs who hate to get wet
2. K9 Sport Sack – The Original Dog Carrier Backpack
The K9 Sport Sack is a durable pack great for towing your dog along on bike treks. The wide mesh foamtek shoulder straps keep you cool while the 20mm thick bottom rest pad keeps your canine comfortable.
The fabric is lightweight and water resistant, and the pack features side pockets for water bottles, leashes, and other things you need to take along.
Read our full review here.
Best for: midsize to large dog breeds
3. Petsfit Comfort Dogs Carrier Backpack
With a multi-strap backpack design, the Petsfit Comfort Dogs Carrier Backpack supports dogs that weigh up to 15 lbs. The oxford cloth fabric is easily cleaned and the removable padding can be washed.
With a strap at the waist and the chest, you’ll feel your pet is secure. A front entrance and top entrance allow for accessible entrance and the mesh panel walls allow supreme ventilation.
Best for: dogs who who always get dirty
4. Outward Hound Kyjen PoochPouch Front Carrier
Another front carrier pack option is the Outward Hound Kyjen PoochPouch. Mesh sides allow for optimal airflow while the water-resistant nylon panels keep your dog safe and dry.
The padded straps, back, and bottom layer are comfortable for your dog and your shoulders. Suited for dogs up to 15 lbs., this is a great backpack option for small breeds.
Best for: best “head out front” backpack for small breeds
5. Pawfect Pets Soft-Sided Pet Carrier Backpack
This versatile carrier lets your little dog or cat who is under 10 lbs see everything that is going on around them without having any risk of escape. Claw proof mesh and heavy-duty zipper buckles keep your pet from breaking out of the multiple mesh windows or convenient access doors.
A leash tether is available as well in case you’d like to open the top and let your pet put their head out. Comfortable, removable fleece pads are easy to wash by hand and give your dog plenty of comfort.
You’ll be comfortable as well, thanks to the extra thick padding on the completely adjustable shoulder straps and on the lower back for lumbar support. The entire backpack folds flat for easy storage. This carrier backpack is airline approved so you can take your dog on all of your adventures with you.
Best for: “escape artists”
6. Pawaboo Pet Carrier Backpack
This top-rated Pawaboo Pet Carrier Backpack is available in eight different patterns and three sizes for a custom dog backpack.
Made to fit pups up to 15.5 lbs., the Pawaboo is made from breathable mesh and canvas for durability and maximum comfort.
Velcro, zipper and elastic leg openings stretch for comfort and release buckles on the end of the straps ensure quick install. The legs and tails out design keeps your pet safe and comfortable, while keeping your hands free for maximum movement.
Best for: best “legs out” backpack for small breeds
7. Nicrew Legs Out Front-facing Dog Backpack
The Nicrew Dog Backpack is a front-style carrier excellent for small pets weighing from 4 to 22 lbs. Four size options let you choose a custom fit for your dog.
Zippered sides and a velcro neck closure allow for easy wearing and comfort. The mesh panels keep your dog cool, yet safe, as you hike or bike with them in tow.
Best for: best “legs out” backpack for breeds between small and midsize
8. Homdox Portable Dog Carrier
The Homdox Portable Dog Carrier comes in sizes small to extra-large and the largest size can support dogs up to 22 lbs. Reflectors and bright colors add to visibility for others around you on your walks.
This carrier frees up your hands for tasks while keeping your dog safe and securely strapped close.
Best for: small dogs and owners who want a splash of color
9. CozyCabin Comfortable Dog Backpack
This soft mesh and oxford fabric CozyCabin Comfortable Dog Backpack is a high quality carrier for your small dog 12 lbs. or lighter.
The buckle interior design connects with your dog’s collar to keep them secure, which the mesh window lets them see what’s going on outside or peek their head through on your journey.
With multiple collar and sizing options, you’re sure to find a great fit.
Best for: great “head out” backpack for smaller breeds
10. COODIA Front Pet Dog Carrier
The stylish COODIA Front Pet Dog Carrier comes in patterned designs and in four different sizes. With zippers on both sides, you’ll be able to safely and easily load your pet into it for walks.
The built-in safe lock protects your dog from flopping or lunging out of the carrier and makes this harness carrier great for biking, shopping trips, and nature walks.
Best for: escape-proof small dog with legs out
11. Pet Gear I-G02 Roller Backpack
The Pet Gear I-GO2 Roller Backpack is a wonderfully multi-functional product which has five separate uses. Use this carrier backpack as a backpack, a carrier, a car seat, a tote, or a roller bag. Adjustable straps and a telescoping handle make it easy for you to adjust the fit regardless of how you want to carry the backpack.
Side compartments are provided for you to store anything you may need to bring along. The wide mesh window on the front and either side allow your dog great visibility and airflow. An interior tether keeps your dog safe if you would like to roll up the window.
Best for: multi-functional
12. PetAmi Delux Pet Carrier Backpack for Small Dogs
The sturdy PetAmi Deluxe Pet Carrier Backpack is designed to make bringing your pet anywhere easy and stylish. A well-ventilated design gives your dog plenty of airflow. Two entryways allow for effortless access.
You can zip up the mesh window to offer your dog more headroom and visibility, utilizing the included safety strap and buckle so that your dog will be comfortably contained. This backpack offers a firm structure that gives security to dogs who feel nervous without solid footing. Extra thick padding on the back and shoulder straps, as well as chest and waist buckles, provide extra support and comfort.
Best for: sturdiness
What to Look for in a Dog Carrier Backpack
Consider your dog’s body type and personality
There is an extraordinary variety between dogs’ body types, from dogs who are long and slender to stocky dogs built like little bowling balls, and everything in between. The best carrier backpack for one body type may not be best for another. Very small dogs with delicate limbs may benefit from a carrier that allows them to sit inside and look out a mesh window. Dogs with long bodies and necks may like a backpack carrier that allows them to stick their heads out. Dogs who are very wiggly inside a carrier may benefit from a carrier that allows them to stick all four legs and head out.
Adjustable Leg and Head Openings
A proper dog backpack style should allow adjustment to the shoulder straps, leg openings, and head openings to ensure your pet is safe and comfortable. Too tight would restrict their circulation over time, while too much room could risk their safety.
As with any wearable dog gear, you’ll want to ensure the fabric is cool and nonrestrictive on your dog. Without ventilation, they could more easily overheat.
Weather Resistant Fabric
If using your backpack carrier outside, try to find a style with weather-resistant If it starts to rain, your pup may not be too happy if they get rained on.
Many pet backpacks come with added storage pockets for small items. Since you’ll be carrying your dog on your hikes, you’ll want some added storage on their pack so you won’t have to haul additional (poop) bags or supplies.
Frequently Asked Questions
Note: Leave a comment below, if you have a question, and we’ll get it added to the list.
Q: How long can a dog spend in a backpack carrier?
A: The time that your dog can spend in their carrier varies dramatically by dog and carrier, but as a rule, it is a good idea to give your dog a chance to get out of the carrier and stretch their legs every hour or so. Make sure to check on your dog regularly to be sure they are breathing comfortably and do not seem too hot or restless.
Would love to send you some samples of the various models of K9 Sport Sack’s forward facing backpack carriers for review. Looks like you reviewed one of the earliest models.
Outdoor Dog World says
Just shot you an email, Josh. Thanks for reaching out.
I could try them out and review them? I would love to. Not sure which one to get. That would sure help.
Char willey says
We are going on a family canoe trip. We gave a Maltipoo who is 10 pounds and also a therapy and diabetic alert for for me. I want get in a front dog carrier. Which one would be the best and safest fir her and us.
Eric Senatori says
I’m looking at a backpack as well and was looking at your K9 Sport ones, probably a large in the air model- i have to measure to make sure. I’m not sure my dog will go for it but there are times where I think it would be beneficial for me. I’d love so test “sample” as well if possible 😉 It is hard to find one that will work for a 28lb dog so I really like that yours is rated for dogs that size.
Mainly one want because I take my dog everywhere and when I do travel I like to go on tours. Some tours allow ogs but you end up carrying the dog more than they walk (because my dog has a mind of her own) so I want to just have her in a backpack and walk the tour with her…..
Outdoor Dog World says
I’d definitely consider the K9 Sport packs, especially for dogs over 20 lbs. I will warn you that carrying ~30 lbs on your back “everywhere” will definitely be tiring, no matter what pack you go with. But as far as comfort for medium/large dogs, I think K9 Sport packs are currently the best.
Matthew J Garcia says
I’m currently in the market for something I can use to carry one or two of my 3 dogs with me while riding my scooter around town. They are all small dogs.
The problem is that I am finding very little information for pet carriers in for scooters/motorcycles or backpacks in general. There are options out there but the market is seriously lacking. What I do find is not very visually appealing either.
Information is needed, I don’t know what to buy any more today than I did a month ago. I need pup safety and comfort, storage for pup supplies, a compartment for my stuff(Laptop and paperwork mostly), storage for my incidentals, the ability to be be used as a backpack and mounted on my scooter would be ideal but either one would suffice. And finally it absolutely must be under $100 and it absolutely must look cool. Everything I find looks so foul.
Do these work for jogging too? I’m getting a Maltese soon and want to take her jogging with me, however, because of her size she might need to be on a carrier for most of the trip. I wouldn’t want the up and down motion of the running to bother her.
Looking for a small to medium size backpack dog carrier. Not a strong back (nor slenter body 😅) so I need a sternum strap as well as a waist-strap. What would suit our needs the best?
Outdoor Dog World says
I’d recommend taking a look at the K-9 Sport Sack. It depends on what size/style you go with, but they have a mixture of nice waist/sternum straps.
Rosie Swanson says
I’m looking for a carrier for hikes etc for my chorkie x russell puppy, currently three months. Tiny, pretty strong, wriggly, ideally would like him on front of me! 🙂
Lily Rose says
Really very nice article. I also need one of the best bag for my dog. But I do not know that which one is the best so your post helped me a lot. Thanks