Best Dog Backpacks for Hiking of 2022

Dog backpacks are exceptional accessories because they give dogs feel proud of themselves and allow them to take part in many outdoor adventures with us.

Although it seems that they excessively weigh down our four-legged friend, encumbering him in his movements, the best dog backpacks for hiking are designed to distribute the weight evenly, without burdening the animal and hindering in any way his movements.

Best dog backpacks for hiking in 2022

Our selection is based on practical experience, customer ratings, quality standards met, and of course our test reports. We will show the best dog backpacks for hiking in 2022 sorted into handy categories:

1. Outward Hound 22003 Day Backpack – Best Overall

Outward Hound 22003

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Pros

  • Good value for the money
  • Four expandable storage pockets
  • Reflective accents for high visibility
  • Available in different colors
  • Padded grab handle

Cons

  • No front clip
  • Be careful to keep the weight balanced

The Outward is your dog backpack of choice if you’re ready for going on a day hike. It allows you to pack all your dog supplies, including your first aid kit! It can insert weights or objects and allows your pup to comfortably carry extra gear and essentials while on the go!

Outward DayPak doggy backpack is thoughtfully constructed with breathable mesh fabric, which keeps your pet warm and comfortable. This Hound backpack is widely adjustable on the dog’s back by using straps. It is removable from the harness, so it can be removed for a break.

The dog bag is equipped with 2 saddlebags (one on each side), reflective strips, and a hand handle on the top. The color is highly visible so you can stay worry-free day or night.

It is lightweight, convenient, and designed with two storage compartments on each side for even weight distribution. It also has plenty of room for food, water, training accessories, and more.

2. EXCELLENT ELITE SPANKER Dog Backpack for Hiking

EXCELLENT ELITE SPANKER

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Pros

  • Capacious side pockets
  • Dual adjustment and fixation
  • Left-right Symmetric Design
  • Multi-functional
  • Versatile

Cons

  • Aluminum V-ring is not good enough

This nylon dog backpack has been padded for comfort. And it is one of the best dog backpacks for hiking which consists of several pockets to have all the items you need at hand when hiking. For this purpose, the backpack was equipped with magnets in order to be able to carry other objects.

It is made of high quality and durable nylon material with neat stitching and soft padded lining to protect your dog’s skin and hair. The EXCELLENT ELITE SPANKER could be ideal for your dog to carry their own things when hiking, and you can put your phone, keys or small EDC items in the zip pockets.

The front straps are adjustable and equipped with a magical sticker to add patches you like. This model has Adjustable belly straps with UTX Duraflex quick-release buckle, which make it convenient.

The molle system on the back help you add more elements you want. The strap has a metal V-ring for adding a dog leash to keep your partner close to you and have more control.

3. Cesar Millan – Best Medium Dog Backpack for Hiking

Cesar Millan

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Pros

  • Convenient size for medium dogs
  • Easy to get on (just slip it over the dog’s head)
  • Good craftsmanship quality
  • Breathable and compact

Cons

  • Strap is a bit short and tight for large dogs

This dog backpack features two large side pockets that are attached to the dog with buckles. All straps are elastic and adapt to the dog’s movements. The main strap attaches to the chest. Cesar’s medium size dog backpack for hiking is recommended for dogs between 20-40 lbs (9-18 kg).

The Cesar Millan dog backpack is made from strong, durable material to keep up with your active dog. Its breathable mesh padding keeps your dog’s skin cool and comfortable.

It is also waterproof for extra protection against the elements. The reflective strips ensure better visibility in low light hours or at night. A center buckle ensures additional stability for the contents of the bag. The strap is adjustable and features double stitch re-enforcement and elastic to adjust to your dog’s movements.

This saddle bag can hold your personal items, such as keys, mobile phones, or weighted elements for a tougher challenge.


4. Ruffwear Orange Poppy Approach Full-Day Hiking Pack for Dogs

Ruffwear Orange Poppy Approach

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Pros

  • Durable and comfortable
  • Efficient load carrying
  • Non-slip straps and sheltered buckles
  • Excellent harness and reflective trim
  • Sturdy handle and metal D ring
  • Large side pockets

Cons

  • A bit expensive
  • The bottom material is pretty rugged

The Ruffwear Approach Dog Pack features a weight-forward saddlebag design that provides your dog with a comfortable way to carry the essentials for your trip. This item is suitable for large and heavy dogs. And it serves as an emergency backpack, allowing dogs to be transported if you are injured along the way.

The backpack is also convenient to carry, and easy-access stash pockets are perfect for often-used items. The capacity is ideal for overnight adventures.

It is made of lightweight materials and components that allow comfortable fit and long-term durability. The padded and comfortable handle offers an optimal balance point with good load dispersion for controlled and comfortable lifting.

Its integrated harness features provide for leash walking, lifting, and pulling. The harness can be adjusted according to the weight and size of the dog. The reflective trim allows you to keep an eye on your dog, even when the visibility is poor.

5. OneTigris Dog Backpack – Best for Medium & Large Dog

OneTigris Dog Backpack

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Pros

  • Multifunctional dog harness backpack
  • Easy to adjust for different size dogs
  • Upgraded no-slide, snug-fit structure
  • Breathable and very comfortable
  • Durable pockets

Cons

  • D ring isn’t available on the back
  • No handle on top

Thanks to its comfortable design and fully adjustable hooks, the OneTigris dog backpack fuses attractive design with the functionality and safety of a professional trekking backpack. It is structured to fit like a jacket on the dog and hugs it softly preventing the weight from falling to one side.

The side bags are spacious and equipped with internal and external pockets. The lightweight, waterproof fabric with reflective parts, and above all, the numerous padded parts with a breathable structure make it an outstanding choice at an affordable price.

It has two side pockets with semi-open compartments for dog food, water, snacks, etc. It has 2 adjustable straps, making it suitable for medium and large dogs. However, it is not lightweight (1560 g).

This backpack for the dog is available in different sizes. Each individual size can also be adjusted with Velcro fasteners so that the wearing comfort is increased. The carrying strap is buckled around the chest. Overall, its cotton canvas with high density provides your beloved dog with a better grip and does not hurt the fur.

6. Kurgo Baxter Dog Saddlebag for Hiking – Best for Medium & Large Pets

Kurgo Baxter Dog Backpack for Hiking

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Pros

  • Back handle for easy control
  • Front and rear leash attachments
  • Total eight adjustment point
  • Tiny zip pockets on each bag
  • Solid built quality

Cons

  • Sizing is way small

Kurgo Baxter is very comfortable to wear for a dog. It is designed to distribute the weight closer to the dog’s shoulders where the force is strongest. The Baxter is a beautiful deep red model with many reflective details in lightweight waterproof material.

This hiking backpack for dogs has an integrated harness and a top handle that allows you to grab the dog at any time with ease. It is equipped with a rear hook which can be used with a leash. This also acts as a bottle opener. These backpacks for medium-sized dogs are available in 3 colors and are fully adjustable.

Kurgo dog hiking backpack is made of strong and durable material to keep up with your active dog. The breathable mesh padding ensures a comfortable fit. The reflective stitching will increase visibility in the dark.

n the side pockets, there is enough space for personal items such as keys, cell phones or other items. However, the saddlebags aren’t removable.


Best Dog Backpacks for Hiking Buyer’s Guide

Before choosing a dog backpack for hiking, it is essential to know in detail about the product and its characteristics. The market is saturated with more or less attractive models but not all of them are really adequate and we don’t want our dog to feel forced inside the harness, especially if we want him to accompany us on long and beautiful excursions in the mountains where the dog will have to carry it on its back for many hours and we cannot risk that the weight is poorly distributed or that the straps irritate the skin:

Here we show what needs to be considered when buying the best dog backpacks for hiking:

Size and dimension

Each dog has its own model, which is why there are different categories:

  • Dog backpack for small dogs
  • Backpacks for medium-sized dogs
  • Dog backpack for large dogs
  • Backpack up to six kilograms

However, it is important that the dog feels comfortable and has enough cushioning. Models where the dog only has its legs free should only be used for a short time.

Capacity

It refers to the carrying capacity of the dog hiking backpack. When we evaluate this aspect we must think about the main use we will make of the dog backpack. If we want to buy it to take a vacation of a few days, it is preferable to choose a model with a larger capacity. However, a smaller and lighter backpack will be more than enough for a day hike.

Weight distribution

We must check that the product has 5 adjustment points to be able to distribute the weight equally inside the dog backpack if we want to prevent the harness from moving and overturning throughout the journey. We will also have to choose a hiking backpack for dogs that does not load the weight directly on the animal’s spine.

Waterproofness

Even if the fabric is waterproof we will have to carefully check the closure points such as the zippers. A good backpack for dogs will have to protect the objects closed inside the side bags from water and atmospheric agents and will be equipped with protection systems against infiltration.

Removable side bags

Dog backpacks are based on the harness principle and placing them on the dog can require some effort as we will have to adjust them to his body. So you recommend you choose models that have removable side bags to detach them when the dog is at rest and leave him free to lie down without encumbrance and avoid overloading him with weight.

Without the removable panniers, we will have to remove and put the harness back on continuously, a very tiring process for both us and him, as well as dangerous if we are in a steep or potentially hazardous outdoor area and our dog is left without hooking up to us.

Compression system

It is used to keep the side bags well attached to the body, preventing them from dangling downwards and becoming uncomfortable for the dog. In this way, our companion will be able to move freely in a completely natural way, even in the wildest nature.

Let’s not forget that a dog backpack can be used as a normal harness attached to a leash even in normal everyday walks, not just on exceptional occasions.

Attachment points for the leash

The dog backpack should have at least one attachment point for the leash and possibly also other attachment points in different positions. This is useful either for moving the leash or for attaching important accessories.

Integrated water connections

Needless to say, it will be essential to bring water with us to water our dog. A proper backpack for dogs will have spaces prepared in which to put one or two bottles of water.

In case our dog backpack is not equipped with these accessories, make sure to carry a light and possibly foldable water bowl that can be attached to the backpack.

Front loading bag

The dog’s torso is the area with the greatest strength of the body therefore it is absolutely safe and advisable to choose a dog backpack for hiking with a front load.

Reflective surfaces

We choose a dog backpack with some kind of reflective surface, but it is an important aspect for the safety of our pet. If we lose sight of it due to the dark or simply because it is hiding in some bush, the reflective parts will make it more visible. If you plan on taking long hikes in the wild, you might also consider a GPS tracking system to prevent it from getting lost.

Material and weight

A dog backpack must be robust and at the same time offer good ventilation. Therefore, the sides are often made of mesh to ensure perfect air circulation. The rest of the dog backpack is often made of nylon, polyester and other water-repellent materials.

It goes without saying that it is essential to choose a dog backpack that can be easily washed. It is a tool that will come into direct contact with all the elements of nature. Besides this, for ease of cleaning, it would be better to choose a tear-resistant material, with UV filter, waterproof and dirt repellent.

The weight is largely negligible because a dog backpack usually weighs a maximum of two kilograms.

Conclusion

The dog backpack is an essential accessory for you while hiking with your dog. Whether it’s a backpack, a dog belly bag or a shoulder bag, there are dozens and dozens of models of dog backpacks you can find online.  Hope this guide helped you find the right dog hiking backpack for hiking.

We’ve researched hard for you, reviewed all of these hiking packs and summarized them. Have any questions? Feel free to ask us in the comments.

FAQs

What are the advantages of dog backpacks?

The dog backpack has variants advantages:

  • There is a dog backpack that is used to carry equipment like humans.
  • This is a backpack with two pockets, so the weight is equal on each side of the dog’s body. Such backpacks are filled with objects and support the outdoor fan.

Are dog backpacks good for the dog?

A backpack can support the dog in several ways. They can feel proud of themselves because they are able to carry their own accessories on their own. It is a stimulus to positive behavior due to the good mood generated by the sense of pride. Dogs with anxiety benefit from the sense of protection generated by the slight compression of the tissue around the body.

Are dog backpacks for hiking safe?

Dog backpacks for hiking are safe products for our pets and in most cases dogs will soon get used to wearing them, greatly appreciating them. Obviously, we will have to avoid overloading the panniers with weight.

How does wearing a backpack help my dog?

Carrying a backpack helps build muscle mass and thus leads to a healthier life. They also help build confidence and positivity in the dog who will feel proud of himself. The feeling of “embrace” generated by the harness will also serve the dog to soothe it in case of anxiety.

From what age can the dog wear a backpack?

For small or medium-sized dogs, we expect them to reach at least 18 months of age. For larger breeds of dogs on the other hand expect them to be at least 2 years old. When you start introducing the dog backpack to the animal, remember that it will always be necessary to consider a first training period.

Do dogs like to wear a backpack?

Backpacks are not just an element of practicality. Most dogs like to wear a backpack when walking, hiking or vacationing with their owner. There are very few dogs who cannot accept that they have something on, and despite training, they will not be able to overcome the mistrust.

How much does a good dog backpack cost?

The price of a dog backpack depends on the variant. If the dog is to be carried while hiking, the price for the backpack is between 30 and 150 dollars. A backpack carried by the dog costs 50 dollars on average.

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