Best Hiking Backpacks for Dogs

10 Best Hiking Backpacks for Dogs in 2021 – Buyer’s Guide

(Last Updated On: January 7, 2021)

Hiking with your dog has lots of advantages for both of you. It’s an excellent workout, it gives you precious bonding time and it introduces you to nature’s beauty. Getting your dog the best hiking bag to wear will provide a layer of value to your pet, as it gives him a focused challenge and lets him feel useful.

When you’re hiking, your canine friend will bring his own water, food, treats, and needs with a dog hiking backpack. Using a hiking backpack for dogs will also help settle them down and give him a great workout if you go for a walk. Thankfully, dogs who are well-suited for climbing also have the stamina to bring their own equipment. If you decide you want to carry them instead, then simply get a dog carrier backpack.

In a Hurry? The test winners after 9 hrs of research

Outward Hound Kyjen Dog Backpack

Outward Hound Kyjen Dog Backpack – Best Value

Why is it better?

  • The interior designs of the pouches are well-thought and very functional
  • The velcro makes it easy to remove the weight when wanted
  • Designed so weight is towards the dog’s shoulders – where it should be
  • Elastic inside to hold water bottles or something from jostling around

RUFFWEAR - Palisades Dog Backpack and Harness for Hiking

RUFFWEAR – Palisades Dog Backpack and Harness for Hiking – Premium Pick

Why is it better?

  • The daisy chains are quite handy
  • The water bottles and their designated pockets are great
  • The clips are protected to prevent pinching when you close them
  • The small pockets on top are perfect for holding small items that you don’t to have to dig for, like poo bags or snacks

Best Hiking Backpacks for Dogs – Overview

There are several choices out there, but will you know how to pick the best? There are so many degrees of consistency, flexibility, and longevity that getting overloaded will be quick. This is why we have done the hard work for you, reviewing all available best hiking backpacks for dogs and summing them up in this easy-to-read guide. By the time you and your dog are done, you both will be out on trails in no time!

Hiking Backpacks for Dogs Reviews

1. Outward Hound Kyjen Dog Backpack – Best Value

Outward Hound Kyjen Dog Backpack

Whether hiking on a trail or just strolling around town, the best way to enjoy the outdoors is with your best friend by your side. And with the Outward Hound Kyjen Dog Backpack, canine companions can finally carry their own weight. This pack features roomy saddlebag compartments, mesh pockets, durable zippers, and a harness that easily adjusts to the perfect fit.

Reflective accents increase visibility in wild places; and, interior pockets and an elastic water bottle holder allow dogs to carry essentials on hikes and camping excursions. Made with sturdy, super-tough nylon material, this pack makes it easier to gear up and go together.

Key Features:

  • Interior water bottle holder and mesh pockets
  • Removable pack takes weight off the dog during rest stops
  • Reflective accents and bright colors for high visibility
  • Convenient pockets for carrying food and water
  • Interior water bottle holder and mesh pockets
  • Designed for dogs weighing 15-19-pounds with a girth of 12-Inch – 25-Inch

Specifications:

  • Brand: Kygen
  • Dimensions: 14″ H x 9″ W x 7.5″ D
  • Weight: 0.65 lbs
Pros
  • The interior designs of the pouches are well-thought and very functional
  • The velcro makes it easy to remove the weight when wanted
  • Designed so weight is towards the dog’s shoulders – where it should be
  • Elastic inside to hold water bottles or something from jostling around
Cons
  • No “D” ring on the harness portion

2. RUFFWEAR – Palisades Dog Backpack and Harness for Hiking – Premium Pick

RUFFWEAR - Palisades Dog Backpack and Harness for Hiking

The RUFFWEAR – Palisades Dog Backpack and Harness for Hiking makes multi-day backcountry adventures possible with features like removable saddlebags, two collapsible water bottles, and a load compression system. This fully-featured dog pack uses a modified Web Master Harness frame with four points of attachment to ensure load stability and comfortable weight distribution.

It’s recommended that your dog carry no more than 25% of their body weight in their dog pack. If your dog is new to dog packs, start with a light load and work up to a heavier load as your dog gets accustomed to wearing the pack. The Palisades Pack is available in 3 sizes. Select the correct size based on your dog’s girth (measurement around the widest part of the rib cage).

Key Features:

  • Includes hydration bottles and spacious saddlebags
  • Web Master Harness
  • Reflective trim
  • A secure leash attachment point 
  • Padded assistance handle

Specifications:

  • Brand: Kygen
  • Capacity: 14L
  • Dimensions: 15″ H x 10″ W x 9″ D
  • Weight: 1.85 lbs
Pros
  • The daisy chains are quite handy
  • The water bottles and their designated pockets are great
  • The clips are protected to prevent pinching when you close them
  • The small pockets on top are perfect for holding small items that you don’t to have to dig for, like poo bags or snacks
Cons
  • While the wraps on the straps are nice for keeping the extra strap from hang in down and getting peed on, they don’t really offer any padding

3. OneTigris Dog Pack for Hiking

OneTigris Dog Pack for Hiking

Do you like to go hiking or go for a walk weekly with your lovely dog? If yes, come and get this perfect gift — OneTigris Dog Pack for Hiking for your best friend. This backpack for dog is designed with the dog’s ultimate comfort in mind, that’s why we choose premium canvas material. Taking this on you two’s travel, you never worry about cumbersome stuff carrying, and your dog will be joyful to have a job to do.

Consideration also has been given to the practical applicability. Made of comfortable cotton canvas material, will not make your dog feel tired of wearing it and hurt fur. It also comes with spacious zippered pockets for your pet’s supplies.

Key Features:

  • Made of comfortable cotton canvas material
  • Elastic band on straps
  • 2 main zippered pouches
  • 2 semi-open front pockets

Specifications:

  • Brand: OneTigris
  • Dimensions: 10.6″ H x 9.8″ W x 2.2″ D
  • Weight: 1.32 lbs
Pros
  • The canvas has some heft to it and is a nice heavy weight
  • When attached, does not slide off your dog
  • Adjustable to your dog’s size and comfort
  • Roomy side pockets
Cons
  • There is a hook to hold your leash on the back side of this pack, it looks like it’s made of cheap plastic

4. 2PET Dog Backpack for Hiking

2PET Dog Backpack for Hiking

The 2PET Dog Backpack for Hiking features a strong & sturdy yet soft & comfortable harness. The harness itself is easily adjustable & includes snap-hooks for instant locking or unlocking. It also has a top handle for easy carrying. Roomy, Detachable Saddles. These backpacks for dogs also feature detachable saddles on either side.

These can be attached to the harness with Velcro belts. They contain spacious mesh pockets with elastic holders so that you can let your pet carry small water bottles, toys, poop bags, food accessories & other stuff. The gripping of the bag has been made in such a way that it fastened with the body of the dog and does not slip off.

Key Features:

  • Easily adjustable one-click harness
  • Includes two roomy detachable saddles
  • Zippered mesh pockets
  • Elastic water bottle holders

Specifications:

  • Brand: 2PET
  • Weight: 0.76 lbs
Pros
  • Durable material, can take a bit of moisture
  • Handle makes it easy to carry
  • Detachable saddle bags are handy so you don’t have to remove the entire contraption when you and your pup are at rest
  • Has added hardware to keep straps neatly tucked out of the way
Cons
  • No “D” ring to hook a leash to

5. Mountainsmith K-9 Dog Pack for Hiking

Mountainsmith K-9 Dog Pack for Hiking

A hike is just not the same without your four-legged best friend. Grab your Mountainsmith K-9 Dog Pack for Hiking, and hit the trail with this “dogonomically” correct gear hauler. Mountainsmith consulted a local Golden, CO sled dog veterinarian to assist with the designs to ensure a proper fit that will maintain comfort all day long.

Often times, dogs proudly take on the responsibility of carrying their share of the load and can make a significant difference in the weight of their pack. Be sure to use the fit guide to find the proper size and fit of your pack. They always recommend erring on the smaller side.

Key Features:

  • Made with 420d HD Nylon Rip-Stop PU Carbonate
  • 4-point adjustable chest harness 
  • Independently adjustable back harness for a custom fit
  • Pannier compartments with zippered accessory pockets
  • Padded tubular grab handle

Specifications:

  • Brand: Mountainsmith
  • Dimensions: 12.25″ H x 8.25″ W x 3″ D
  • Weight: 1.3 lbs
Pros
  • Proven comfortable
  • Relatively easy to adjust
  • Easily cleaned in the washer
  • Seems sturdy
Cons
  • No “D” ring to hook a leash to

6. EXCELLENT ELITE SPANKER Dog Pack for Hiking

EXCELLENT ELITE SPANKER Dog Pack for Hiking

Are you ready to have a good time with your dog? With EXCELLENT ELITE SPANKER Dog Pack for Hiking, you and your dog can go together when hiking, camping, long trail walks, backpacking trips, exploring, traveling or everyday use this multi-functional dog backpack. There is a tight strap in the bag so that the items can also be well fixed rather than constantly shaking while the dog is running.

The dog backpack saddlebag has two main zipper side compartments for carrying dog food holder, water, snacks, waste disposal bags, etc. This dog saddle pack is suitable for most kinds of medium and large breeds: shepherd, bulldog, Alaska, Husky, Labrador, etc.

Key Features:

  • Made of high quality1000D Nylon
  • Adjustable belly straps 
  • Each side pouch comes with an exterior horizontal umbrella pocket
  • Padded top handle
  • Cross-bungee cords for strapping on extra gear

Specifications:

  • Brand: EXCELLENT ELITE SPANKER
  • Dimensions: 7″ H x 2″ W x 10″ D
  • Weight: 1.6 lbs
Pros
  • Easy to get on and off with just one well-placed buckle
  • Build quality is good and sturdy
  • There is built in ways to have your dog carry extra gear with the adjustable external bungees
  • Velcro is strong and holds side patches securely
Cons
  • The chest strap material is high quality but slippery

7. Daypak Dog Backpack Hiking Gear For Dogs

Daypak Dog Backpack Hiking Gear For Dogs

The Daypak Dog Backpack Hiking Gear For Dogs is a day-tripping dog lovers delight that allows your pup to comfortably carry extra gear and essentials! A light-capacity pack featuring saddlebag-style design, it’s ideal for both quick getaways and everyday errands with your dog. Enjoy the convenience and storage space of 4 expandable pockets.

When you’re ready to roll, simply attach your pup’s leash directly to the DayPak’s D-ring clip. Explore new ground with Outward Hound Gear! This high-quality performance gear will keep your pup safely equipped for every new adventure!

Key Features:

  • Breathable mesh provides airflow
  • Comfortable adjustable straps
  • 4 expandable pockets
  • D-ring clip

Specifications:

  • Brand: Outward Hound
  • Dimensions: 12.1″ H x 8.5″ W x 1.5″ D
  • Weight: 0.63 lbs
Pros
  • Material is easy to clean
  • Straps are easy to adjust
  • The handle it convenient for if you need to grab your dog real quick
  • When fitted correctly, it stays right centered on the dogs back and doesn’t slide around
Cons
  • The pack is not waterproof

8. Kurgo Dog Saddlebag Backpack

Kurgo Dog Saddlebag Backpack

Get Fido packed up and ready to go with this lightweight, tough, custom-fit Kurgo Dog Saddlebag Backpack. Great for everyday use or backpacking adventures with your dog. Built strong to withstand rugged outdoor conditions, it has 8 different adjustment points to get the proper fit for any dog. It includes a rear-mounted leash hook that works like a harness for pups that need to be on their lead.

The ergonomic padded spine support contours to the dog’s back for a comfortable fit and provides weight distribution for the two saddlebags. The pet backpack offers space to store all of your canine’s travel essentials such as food, treats, toys, first-aid supplies, and travel bowls. Includes a large handle to help dogs over rock scrambles or extract them from water. Available in two sizes and comes in Barn Red, Coastal Blue, or Black/Orange.

Key Features:

  • Large control handle
  • Saddlebags for storage
  • Leash attachment
  • Reflective trim

Specifications:

  • Brand: Kurgo
  • Dimensions: 20″ H x 10″ W x 1″ D
  • Weight: 0.96 lbs
Pros
  • The saddle bags are large enough to hold a “normal” sized water bottle
  • Very lightweight material, so the back pack itself isn’t adding too much weight
  • Straps are adjustable
  • Side pockets don’t hang too low
Cons
  • If no weight in the pockets it tends to slide to the side

9. RUFFWEAR – Approach Pack for Hiking

RUFFWEAR - Approach Pack for Hiking

The RUFFWEAR – Approach Pack for Hiking is an everyday pack with excellent performance, fit, and functionality. It provides dogs with the ability to efficiently carry a load, generating instant four-legged motivation to explore. The integrated harness enhances fit, pack stability and overall performance.

Radial cut saddlebags create a passive compression system that is form-fitting and better load carrying. Combined with the lightweight materials and a streamlined design, the Approach Pack is comfortable and allows dogs to carry trail necessities. Great for day hikes and overnight adventures.

Key Features:

  • 5 points of adjustment
  • 2 leash attachment points
  • Padded handle
  • Non-slip straps
  • Pockets and external gear loops

Specifications:

  • Brand: Ruff Wear
  • Dimensions: 23.2″ H x 12.6″ W x 1″ D
  • Weight: 0.5 lbs
Pros
  • Lots of straps ensures secure fit
  • Soft padding in sensitive areas
  • Great handle and leash hook
  • Lashings to tie things
Cons
  • Each side has only one pocket

10. Denver Urban Pack Lightweight Hiking Backpack for Dogs

Denver Urban Pack Lightweight Hiking Backpack for Dogs

The Denver Urban Pack Lightweight Hiking Backpack for Dogs is a day-tripping dog lovers delight that allows your pup to comfortably carry extra gear and essentials! A light-capacity pack featuring saddlebag-style design, it’s ideal for both quick getaways and everyday errands with your dog. Enjoy the convenience and storage space of 4 expandable pockets—and, when you’re ready to roll, simply attach your pup’s leash directly to the DayPak’s D-ring clip.

This compression saddle bag works great for dogs and their humans that love to hike! A mesh top keeps dogs cool and a high visibility green color allows them to be easily spotted on the trail. This hip, lightweight dog pack is perfect for casual city outings with your pup. Comfort was not compromised for style in this dog pack, with easily accessible and adjustable belly straps to maximize fit and balance.

Key Features:

  • 2 large + 2 smaller zip pockets
  • Adjustable belly strap 
  • Dual D-ring clip for easy leash attachment
  • Breathable mesh material at the top

Specifications:

  • Brand: Outward Hound
  • Dimensions: 15″ H x 13″ W x 2″ D
  • Weight: 1.2 lbs
Pros
  • A ton of storage despite being sleek
  • Two huge stuff pockets on each side
  • Separate zippered pockets
  • Strong leash attachment
Cons
  • Like any pack, if you overload one side with water it begins to favour that side

Buying Guide

Materials

Your dog can walk over all kinds of terrain and through several natural hazards, so it makes sense to make sure the quality for the hiking bag is sturdy and abrasion-resistant. Your dog can even end up wandering in the rain or fording a small creek. When this is the case then a hiking pack made of a lightweight waterproof or water-resistant material is worth choosing. Bear in mind that cotton, canvas or other natural fibers are capable of storing heat, slowing down the bag and increasing the weight your dog requires.

Functionality

All compartments have safe fastenings. Know your dog is brushing the track around gravel, trees, and other obstacles. Without your knowledge, a loose cover may cause contents to fall out. With little dogs, a handle centrally located over the shoulders can be prudent. This way, should you bump into some major hurdles, you can just get down and give them a boost!

Comfort

They’ll be on their feet as long as you are, so if they’re off-lead, they’ll actually walk much further. A good hiking dog bag will enthuse the dog to come to camp in better shape and they’ll be looking forward to the next trip! The perfect configuration would have the pack lying on the dog’s head, with all of the weight over its front. When the pack is set so far back it will place undue pressure on the spine of your dog.

Weight

Typically, when it comes to dogs, power and weight are closely related. Some agree not to expect a seasoned dog to carry more than 25% of its own body weight. Overestimating the power of your dog could do irreparable harm to them, and it is often best to follow a cautious approach.

Age

Puppies who tend to mature into their bodies should not be burdened with a weighted hiking bag. One good way to familiarize the dog at six months of age is to equip an empty hiking bag for them to carry around the house or yard. It is recommended to start filling up the hiking pack slowly after they have passed their first birthday to build up their strength and endurance.

Frequently Ask Questions

How much weight can a dog carry on their back?

This depends on a number of factors, but the dog’s breed and age are the most important elements. For certain breeds, 15% of the bodyweight of the dog is okay. Some larger dogs can hold up to 30% of their body weight while smaller dogs can only do 10% of their body weight. Older dogs should hold less than the recommended weight so you don’t place too much burden on them.

Is wearing a backpack good for a dog?

A dog often goes into working mode while wearing a pack and taking on the task of carrying his or her own weight. A bag includes extra training for the dog, too. After a walk, this additional work will wear the dog out so he or she’ll rest at home. It also helps develop stamina for longer hikes during training. A bag has to be properly fitted and not overfilled for a dog to reap such benefits. A poorly fitting pack can cause severe chafing, whereas a pack that is overweight can cause joint discomfort and even injuries.

Conclusion

We hope this guide was helpful for finding the best hiking backpacks for dogs as well as our guide on features to look for in a hiking backpack for dogs. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this guide, feel free to let us know in the comments section.