Dogs can carry some of their effects, such as food and water, in small packs strapped on their backs. This ensures you are relieved of heavy luggage when you are hiking. A good pack for your dog should match its size and weight and should have a perfect balance to feel comfortable for your dog. Below is a list of top packs for your dog.
OneTigris Saddle Dog Backpack
Ruffwear Approach Dog Pack
1. OneTigris Saddle Dog Backpack
The OneTigris Saddle Dog Backpack is a lightweight backpack option that is not only durable but also water-resistant. It is made of 1000D nylon and features a padded underside for added comfort. Each unit comes with two zippered side pockets each with a hook and loop for easy closure. The backpack also has a built-in waste bag holder. It also has a triangle-ring attachment for the dog leash and an ID card window.
- Triangle-attachment for dog leash
- Bottom drainage hole to release water
- ID card window
- Low profile design
2. Ruffwear Approach Dog Pack
The bag comes with easy-access stash pockets where you can carry your hiking gear. Each backpack is designed lightweight, durable and comfortable for your dog. It offers a great balance point and load dispersion for added comfort. It has a handle that you can use to lift your dog or assist it carry the pack. On the bag are an integrated harness and a V-ring leash attachment. Its straps are non-slip.
- 5-point adjustment
- Stash pockets
- Integrated harness
3. Outward Hound Kyjen Dog Pack
This pack sports a detachable design where you can remove a compartment during a rest stop. The design allows you to keep the harness and the straps on during a rest but relieve your dog of the load. It features side pockets to carry your gear as well as a built-in water bottle holder. Its super tough nylon construction ensures durability.
- Reflective accents and bright colors for visibility
- Removable design
- Multiple zipper compartments
4. Mountainsmith K-9 Backpack
This backpack can be adjusted on four different points. It sports a chest harness and a padded sternum section for your dog’s comfort. When strapping it on, you can adjust the back of the harness, the chest and the belly strap. For your gear, the pack has two zippered pannier pockets. At the top are a haul handle and a D-ring for leash attachment.
- 4-point adjustable
- Leash attachment D-ring
- Reflective trim
- 2 zippered pockets
5. Kurgo Baxter Adjustable Backpack for Dogs
This is a lightweight backpack designed for comfort and durability. It comes with large enough pockets providing ample space for your gear. It comes with an integrated harness and a leash hook and two side pockets. The handle on top of the bag is padded for comfort and has a reflective trim attached on it. Its harness has sizes available both medium and large dogs.
- Padded handle for comfort
- Two side compartments
- Integrated harness
6. Ruffwear Palisades Dog Backpack
This 2-pound Backcountry Pack sports removable saddle bags; this way, you dog can rest without you removing the straps and the harness. Its web master harness ensures the load is stable on your dog’s back and that there is perfect weight distribution. Besides, the pack comes with collapsible hydration bottles each with a 1-liter capacity.
- Harness frame
- Saddlebags are removable
- Comes with hydration bottles
7. Ruffwear Singletrak Dog Backpack
This backpack sports a low-profile design allowing it to rest close to the dog’s body for great agility and movement. It is designed as a hydration backpack thanks to the two soft sided collapsible 0.6-liter water bottle pockets. These water bottles are BPA and taste free. There are two other pockets that fit small gear and hiking essentials. For a great fit, the pack has five adjustment points. The pack’s chest and belly straps are padded for added comfort.
- Comes with side water bottles
- 5-point adjustment
- Comes in three sizes
8. Lifeunion Adjustable Dog Backpack
This backpack is designed durable, lightweight and waterproof. It is made of 600D polyester with adjustable straps and a padded underside for comfort and great fit. The backpack sports 2 side zippered pockets. On the top of the bag is a rubber handle that you can use to lift your dog. There is also a D-Ring attachment for dog leash. Each backpack is constructed durable with a buckle closure on the side pockets and abrasion resistant zippers.
- Rubber handle
- Buckle closure
9. Lalawow Harness Canvas Backpack for Dogs
The Lalawow backpack is a high density dog pack option that is comfortable and durable. It is easy to hand wash or machine wash thanks to its canvas design. It has four pockets; two zipper bags for your gear and two side bags. Each bag has four D-ring buckles. When shopping, you will need to measure the chest circumference of your dog for a snug fit.
- High density construction
- Hand or machine wash
- Fits medium and large sized dogs
- 4 D-ring buckles
10. EzyDog Summit Dog Pack
The EzyDog Summit Dog Pack is designed for rugged use. It is made of a durable polyester shell with a soft cotton lining. The unit features a fully adjustable harness with a snug secure fit. Each pack comes with two saddle packs and an easy access external pocket. The bag comes with two reflective strips, a traffic handle and a welded D-ring.
- Soft cotton lining
- Very comfortable
- 2 saddle bags and 1 external pocket
Dog Hiking Pack Shopping Guide
A good backpack for your dog must feel comfortable. There are many factors that contribute to the comfort of a pack including:
Balance and Stability: Most backpacks are designed with saddlebags on either side to enhance comfort and stability. Choose a design that is not too big that your gear rolls inside. The backpack should fit snugly on the dog’s body. Ensure that the backpack does not restrict your dog’s movement.
Weight and Adjustability: When hiking, you want to keep light; this should be the same for you dog. While most dog backpacks are light – with most weighing 2 pounds – some are bulky and uncomfortable for you dog. Besides weight, ensure that the pack is adjustable for a snug fit; a 4 or 5-point adjustable pack is great for medium and large sized dogs.
Capacity: A backpack’s capacity should match with the dog’s carrying ability. So much weight can overwhelm your dog, as such, choose a bag whose capacity your dog can manage. Again, check the compartments available on the bag and their ease of access. Some bags come with added features such as water bottle holders.
Ruggedness and Durability: Lastly, ensure the backpack can withstand rugged use while on trail. Most packs are made of polyester or nylon for durability. Besides being durable, a good backpack should be waterproof.
What should you carry when hiking with your dog?
It really depends on terrain, time, distance, water sources, wildlife, sunlight exposure, etc. And while your dog won’t be able to carry most of these things, he’ll definitely be able to help out.
Below is a list of some of our favorite items to pack on hikes:
- Hammock with bug net
- Costco Down Throw
- Rainfly II tarp
- Sawyer Squeeze
- Go Stove, wind screen, cup & Fuel
- Swiss knife w/scissors
- Boker Small folder
- Extra AAA batteries
- Power pack
- Small flashlight and headlamp
- Extra socks and drawers
- Leash for Jack
- Gorilla Tape
- Waterproof matches
- Semi auto S&W .38
- Bug spray
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why should my dog carry anything during hikes?
A: A good backpack gives your dog purpose when on a hike. Some of the dog items such as rain jackets, boots, extra harness and water may not be used all the time. Instead of you finding a spot to stash them in your pack, your dog can carry them.
Q: How much weight can my dog carry?
A: Medium and large sized dogs can carry up to 25 percent of their body weight. Some large breeds can carry up to 10 percent more while some medium sized breeds are not bred to carry any weight.
Q: Can my puppy where a dog backpack?
A: It is recommended puppies and dogs under 18 months have more restrained/controlled exercise until growth plates close and they are less vulnerable to injury. You can read more details about what’s appropriate based on your dog’s breed/age here.
When you dog is comfortable with a good quality backpack, you will be comfortable too seeing that you only carry a fraction of your gear. Take your time and pick the right backpack.