OUTDOORS

Best Dog Backpack: Dogs are Everywhere

Best Dog Backpack
Dennis Owens
Written by Dennis Owens

Dogs are everywhere. Many of us have that four-legged best friend that we want to bring with us on our adventures. And more than likely, they want to come along with us. But, we don’t want to carry their food, water, and supplies. The best solution is a dog backpack – make them carry their own load.

Of course, there are many things to consider when getting a pack for your dog. We will take a look at some of the elements and features of a dog backpack. Then, we will review the best dog backpacks available.

Things to consider

Safety First: The Black Eyed Dog Knows My Name

Make sure your dog is healthy and strong enough to carry a pack. A thorough check by your vet may be a good idea. Especially to check the knees, elbows, hips, and back. Cardiovascular considerations need to be checked as well. Carrying a backpack can be very beneficial to your pet in terms of strengthening, improving stamina and endurance.

Hiking with dog

But it can be detrimental if your dog is already suffering from some common ailments such as hip dysplasia or osteoarthritis can affect dogs and bring them a lot of pain. Hiking with these conditions may make it worse. Check with your vet just to be on the safe side.

Design: The Jingle of a Dog’s Collar Would be a Good Rig

In this area, you need to take into consideration your breed of dog and get a pack that is designed for that breed. The pack should evenly distribute the weight with the least amount of pressure on the back.

The shoulders should carry most of the weight. There should not be any straps or anything that hangs down and could hinder the gait of your dog.

You want him to be able tomove unencumbered; to walk, run, sit and lay down naturally with the pack on. You will also want to consider what you want your dog to carry – capacity.

Materials: I’m a Dog and I Like Socks

Just as we buy our packs with special fabrics, straps, and padding, so it is for our dog. The fabric should be water-resistant, yet breathable. Also, consider where are you going. Wide open trails or forests with thickets and brush? Depending on the type of hiking you will do can help you determine if you need a sturdy, robust fabric.

There should be adequate padding so there is no chaffing. It is nice to have reflective elements just in case you are out at night with your dog.

Size & Weight: My Dog’s Bigger Than Your Dog

Find a backpack that fits snugly, but not too tight. The weight your pet carries should not exceed 25% of the dog’s weight, and that is the high end. So, if your dog weighs 75 pounds, he should not carry more than 18.75 pounds. If they have never backpacked before cutting the weight in half, so about 9.25 pounds in this case.

Dog hiking with backpack

The best practice is to let you dog wear an empty pack and walk with it until he gets used to it. Then gradually add weight so it can build up its strength and stamina. As they get used to the pack you can begin adding weight over longer walks and hikes. This is really a season of training for your dog before you go into the wild blue yonder.

The Backpacks: You Ain’t Nothing But a Hound Dog

Kyjen Outward Hound
Kyjen Outward Hound Dog Backpack Saddlebag

Sizes: M & XL

Ease of Use: Yes

Fabric: Extra strong nylon

Reflective Elements: Yes

Leash Attachment Point: Yes

Single Haul Handle: Yes

The Outward Hound backpack drapes over the dog’s back and then is strapped on with harness-type straps. It is easily put on and taken off. The straps are adjustable to fit your dog.

The medium size is good for dogs weighing between 18 and 50 pounds. The extra-large accommodates dogs 80 pounds and heavier. Because of the great weight span be sure to try the pack on before purchasing or make sure there is a great return policy if you need to return it.

The pack is easily removed when the dog needs a rest. It has two large pockets, one on each side of the dog. The straps are padded for comfort and placed so as to eliminate chaffing problems. There is padding that runs the length of the pouches on either side. There is padding on the chest strap and the body straps.

The pouches have two-way zippers for each access. There is a handle on top for ease of carrying, placing on the dog and removing from the dog. There is a leash attachment on the top of the pack. The reflective elements run the length of each pouch.

Check the price on Amazon

Outward Hound Kyjen 22012

Outward Hound Quick Release Backpack Saddlebag Style Dog Backpack

Sizes: S-XL

Ease of Use: Yes

Fabric: Water resistant

Reflective Elements: Yes

Leash Attachment Point: Yes

Single Haul Handle: Yes

The Kyjen 22012 has a range of sizes so it should be easy to find the size that fits your particular dog. A small will work with dogs 15-30 lbs. and a chest measurement of 26”. A medium will work with dogs 31-55 lbs. and a chest measurement of 31”.

The large will work with dogs 55-85 lbs. and a chest measurement of 36”. The extra large will work with dogs 85-100 lbs. and a chest measurement of 41”.

The two pouches are detachable from the harness; this is convenient for times when you want to take the load off but still use the harness. The harness has a mesh vest so it fits snugly to the dog but allows for plenty of ventilation. There are two mesh pockets in the vest which is perfect for a walk in the park. There is a nice large handle for removing and carrying the backpack.

The pouches only have one-way zippers. The bright color options and reflective elements will keep your dog visible day and night. The fabric is a sturdy water resistant synthetic.

Check the price on Amazon

Granite Gear Alpha

Granite Gear Alpha Dog Pack

Sizes: S-M-L by capacity and chest girth

Ease of Use: Yes

Fabric: 210-denier nylon Cordura

Reflective Elements: Yes

Leash Attachment Point: Yes

Single Haul Handle: Yes

The sizing on the Alpha Dog Pack is a little different. They go by thecapacity of the pouches as well as chest girth. A small 8-Liter size fits a chest measurement of 26-29”. A medium 12-Liter size fits a chest measurement of 29-32”. A large 16-Liter size fits a chest measurement of 32-35”. The reviews mention this pack runs large so make sure to do the proper measuring before buying.

The two pouches of this pack are rhomboid-shaped so the larger end is at the shoulders (where the dog is strongest) and tapers toward the tail end. The back support is fleece lined. The pouches are made of heavy 210-denier nylon Cordura which is very robust and sturdy. There is plenty of padding in all the right spots on the harness.

The pouches on this pack have convenient 2-way zippers. They also have reflective elements. The harness portion has adjustable straps to get a good fit.

Check the price on Amazon

Lifeunion Saddle Bag

Lifeunion Saddle Bag Backpack for Dog

Sizes: M-L-XL

Ease of Use: Yes

Fabric: Soft waterproof nylon

Reflective Elements: Yes

Leash Attachment Point: Yes

Single Haul Handle: Yes

The Lifeunion pack comes in three sizes. The medium fits a dog with a chest measurement of 21-31”. The medium is good for chest measurements of 26-37”. And, the large fits dogs with a chest measurement of 32-50”.

The pouches are large capacity with two zippers each to get into separate areas of the pouches. The harness is adjustable and the webbed straps have padding. The pouches on this pack are designed to ride over the shoulders mostly, where the strength of the dog lies.

This pack has some reflective elements for easy visibility at night. Adjustable straps help fit the harness snugly to your dog to reduce the chance of any chaffing.

Check the price on Amazon

Ruff Wear Approach

Ruff Wear Approach

Sizes: XXS-XL (5 sizes)

Ease of Use: Yes

Fabric: Extra strong nylon

Reflective Elements: Yes

Leash Attachment Point: N/A

Single Haul Handle: Yes

The RuffWear Approach pack comes in five adjustable sizes. This range of sizing will allow you to get a much better fit for your dog rather than packs that have less sizes but bigger ranges. The pack sizing goes by chest measurements (girth). XXS – 13-17”, XS – 17-22”, S – 22-27”, M – 27-32”, and L/XL – 32-42”. The harness of the pack has 5-point adjusting, helping to get the best fit for your dog.

The pouches are easy access and have plenty of capacity for overnight trips. It features a “weight forward” design where the shoulders take the brunt of the weight, thus saving your dogs back. The handle on the back is sturdy enough for you to lift your dog while in the harness. This could come in handy in certain situations where you dog may be stuck on some brush or something.

There are reflective elements built into the pack for easy visibility. The pouches have two zippers for better organization on your trip.

Check the price on Amazon

Ruffwear – Palisades Multi-Day

Ruffwear - Palisades Multi-Day Backcountry Pack

Sizes: S-M-L/XL

Ease of Use: Yes

Fabric: Extra strong nylon

Reflective Elements: Yes

Leash Attachment Point: N/A

Single Haul Handle: Yes

Chest girth is the sizing mechanism on this pack; S – 22-27”; M – 27-32” and L/XL – 32-42”. The adjustable straps make for an easy fit. The saddlebags are removable from the harness, which is great when you want control of your dog without the extra weight.

This high-tech Palisades Multi-Day Pack has two collapsible water bags and a compression system so the pack ill sit nicely on the dog. The 4-point harness helps to distribute and stabilize the load. Stash pockets and external gear loops are another nice features of this pack. You can attach extra things to the pack such are car keys or collapsible water dish.

The reflective elements will help you keep track of your dog even at night.

 

Check the price on Amazon

Kurgo Baxter

Kurgo Baxter Dog Backpack

Sizes: 30-85 lbs.; 50-110 lbs.

Ease of Use: Yes

Fabric: Ripstop Nylon

Reflective Elements: Yes

Leash Attachment Point: N/A

Single Haul Handle: Yes

The Kurgo Baxter Dog pack uses weight as the determining factor in size; 30-85 lbs. or 50-110 lbs, these are the two sizes. They are named Baxter and Big Baxter. There are 8 adjustment points to get the perfect fit. A great feature is the lifetime warranty. This pack will most likely be put to the test, so a lifetime warranty is very generous.

The pouches of this pack are constructed to fit a water bladder in each one. The water bladder can be up to 3.75 liters each. Keep in mind that water is heavy, so don’t burden your dog with more than he can really carry. If you don’t use the bladder, then you have an extra pocket for other items.

There are reflective elements on this pack that will help with the visibility of your dog. This is essential as dawn or dusk can be hard times to see, but the reflective strips will help you keep an eye on your furry friend.

Check the price on Amazon

Conclusion: It’s a Dog’s Life

On Monday morning when you are headed out the door to work and your dog is lying by the fire it is easy to think, I wish I had a dog’s life; lounging around all day with no responsibilities.

But dogs are very loyal and that becomes their responsibility. They want to be by your side at all times. They want to be your companion, friend, and protector. Some dog breeds were made to work.

Dog hiking in his doggie backpack

These types of dogs make great backpackers because wearing a pack gives them a responsibility, a job, and they can have fun too. Given a choice, most dogs would choose running through the countryside with their master over almost anything. And after running all day, they want to curl up at your feet and rest.

This is what we love about dogs, their loyalty, and companionship. The fact they will go with us no matter what is really quite remarkable. So, with those thoughts in mind, give your dog a life; a life beside you on the trail, a life with a backpack fitted just for him, a life of fun and adventure. He’s there waiting to hear those words…

Comeon Shep, let’s go!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dennis Owens
Dennis Owens

Dennis Owens is a graduate of National Camping School and REI Outdoor School. He knows everything about what gear to take with you, how to plan your trip to stay safe and what to do if you get lost in the mountains. We are lucky to have Dennis with us as he is a ‘walking encyclopedia’ when it comes to the wilderness.

  • Mike Smith

    Granite Gear makes some of my favorite stuff. Both my wife and I are rocking the Granite Gear crown2. Our duffel is Granite as well. I hadn’t thought to look to them for a dog pack. I bet they would have to sponsor me then, haha! In all seriousness, they are a great company dedicated to conservation and creating unbelievably high quality gear at fractions of the price of higher name brands.

    • Dennis Owens

      I agree with your points! Their product are quite durable as well and the price are within my budget. The dogs looks quite comfortable with their packs, so make sure to get the right size for your pooch.

  • Mark Williams

    I ‘ve had a dog pack for my old girl for years. Just some cheapo thing I got at a petstore. It’s starting to fall apart, and I’m looking at a new one. I like the Ruffwear brand you posted here, I would like the ability to take her packs off when she gets tired, or pick her up by a handle in a sticky situation. As they get older, we need to be more prepared to take care of them.

    • Dennis Owens

      Thank you Mark! Yes, check out Ruffwear and see if it fits you and your dog’s needs. Investing on a new one will give you more value for your money and Ruffwear is a great choice. Yes, It is quite important to ensure that they are always safe with the right gear.

0
0
Total
0
Shares