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If you are interested in adventuring with your dog, you want to be well prepared. While it's fun to hike, bike and go camping with dogs, the supplies your pet requires can get heavy, depending on how long you're staying out. Why not let your dog carry their own supplies by equipping them with a dog backpack?

When you're spending time in the great outdoors, you have to bring food, water and the supplies you'll need for the adventure. Your pack is going to be heavy enough with your own supplies, and your dog is more than capable of carrying the few small things that he'll need on the journey.

Below we discuss what adventurers must know about using backpacks for dogs and how to equip their pets appropriately. We've also put together a list of five best dog backpacks that we've liked the most for hiking, camping, backpacking and other adventures.

Picking the Best Dog Backpack and When You Need It

Equipping your dog with one of the best backpacks is a smart idea. Backpacks for dogs are most usually used for holding food, water, dog toys, a blanket, an extra leash and anything else you may need to pack for your canine.

How to pick the best dog backpackOf course, you'll have to get your pooch accustomed to carrying the weight gradually and step by step, but with the right amount of training it shouldn't be a problem.

The type of doggy backpack that you choose and the essential dog supplies you fill it with will depend on the size of your dog. A good rule of thumb is to keep the weight of your dog's pack to less than 25% of his body weight.

You should also get the all-clear from your veterinarian before equipping your pet with one of these best dog backpacks. Very small dogs, senior dogs and pets with back or neck problems should not wear backpacks. Your veterinarian will be able to tell you if your dog is up to the task of carrying his own supplies.

No matter which dog backpack you choose, there are a few criteria that it will need to meet. You need to be sure that you select a doggy backpack that is:

  • comfortable for your pet
  • durable
  • weather-resistant
  • easy to adjust

Ideally, when choosing the right type and size of saddle bag for dogs, you want to check if the weight's centered on your dog's shoulders. If not, it could put too much strain on his back and cause serious health issues if worn this way.

The Best Dog Backpacks & Saddle Bags

1Ruffwear – Approach Full-Day Hiking Pack

The best dog backpacks are a practical and convenient means for dog owners to bring along their pet’s necessities during walks and outdoor adventures. Ruffwear has created this pack that offers a great fit and sleek saddlebag-style design.

RUFFWEAR - Approach Full-Day Hiking Pack for Dogs,...
573 Reviews
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It is made of high-grade fabric and comes in four attractive color combinations. Reflective trim adds visibility in low-light surroundings. The size ranges from XX-small to Large/X-large, which is easily determined by measuring around the widest part of the dog’s rib cage. Quite unbelievably, this streamlined saddlebag backpack could easily hold 8 cups of dog food plus other items in its nifty pouches. Because of its effective load distribution over the shoulders and adequate padding, this high load capacity does not restrict the dog’s movement or flexibility.

The Ruffwear – Approach Full-Day Hiking Pack for Dogs is easy to put on and off with its adjustable girth straps. The straps are Y-shaped and designed in such a way that it doesn’t chafe, or slip, or hurt the neck. The 5-point adjustment helps in getting the perfect fit for your dog’s particular build. This feature is very important when hiking or backpacking a good distance while carrying a load – it gives the dog a sense of responsibility over his provisions without hurting or causing him any discomfort.

Some buyers were not happy with the straps, saying they needed to be padded in order to reduce chaffing and prevent injury. One reviewer said that she bought this pack for her 25-pound dog and the saddlebags seemed to be too large for the pooch. She says this pack is better suited for large breeds. As with all of the best dog backpacks, reviewers say that you need to be very careful while following the measurements for this product. Some buyers claim they measured correctly, but the pack didn't sit right on their dog's back.

PROS CONS
  • Made of high-grade fabric
  • 4 colors available
  • Features reflective trim
  • Sizes range from XX-small to Large/X-Large
  • 5-point adjustment straps
  • May not fit some dogs due to straps, and some may need to be padded to reduce chaffing
  • Better suited for medium and large breeds than smaller dogs

 

2Ruffwear – Palisades Multi-Day Backcountry Pack

Another edition from Ruffwear, the Palisades Pack, showcases ingenious features to make backcountry adventures with your furry friend more comfortable and enjoyable.

RUFFWEAR - Palisades Multi-Day Backcountry Pack...
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You’ll love that this dog saddlebag has two removable collapsible water containers to ensure your friend’s hydration, saddlebags that can be removed without taking the whole harness off to ease your dog’s load during breaks in the trek, and the upgraded Web Master Harness with its four-point attachment to ensure load stability and proper weight distribution.

This is one of the best dog backpacks because it is equipped with a load compression system to secure the load in place, a V-ring with which to secure a leash, and a comfy padded handle to lift your dog over barriers or water crossings. Dog owners are amazed at the things this backpack could carry while keeping everything comfortable for the canine. The water containers ensure adequate hydration even during summer treks. The heat could get nasty, say adventurous dog owners, but cold water from the backpack keeps things cool and under control.

This feature is unique and is obviously what edges the Ruffwear Palisades over other brands and models. The Ruffwear – Palisades Multi-Day Backcountry Pack for Dogs has so much storage space and holds kibbles and packed dog food; it’s just important to keep the load even on both sides of the backpack to prevent causing discomfort to your dog.

A few users had some issues about the two tiny buckles located at the bottom of the pack that hold the bags snug to the body; they say that they’re too small for big hands. Some reviewers did note that the straps on the underside of this pack chaffed their dog's armpits. There are also reviews from buyers who thought this bag was too bulky for their pet.

PROS CONS
  • Comes with two removable collapsible water containers
  • Removable saddle bags
  • Web Master Harness has four-point attachment to ensure load stability and proper weight distribution
  • Equipped with a load compression system to secure the load in place, a V-ring to secure a leash and a padded handle to lift your dog over barriers
  • We had some issues with the two tiny buckles located at the bottom of the pack; they’re too small for big hands
  • The straps on the underside of this dog pack chaffed our dog's armpits
  • For some dogs, this pet backpack will be too bulky

 

3Kurgo Baxter Backpack

Whether it’s for running errands or for back country adventures with your furry friend, the Kurgo Baxter Dog Backpack has it all covered. Lightweight yet sturdy, this is one of the best dog backpacks as it is designed to withstand extreme weather conditions.

Kurgo Big Baxter Dog Backpack, Dog Saddlebag, Dog...
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It’s a one-of-a-kind saddle bag for dogs that boasts of 8 different points of adjustments to give any dog breed size and proportion a customized fit. This dog backpack is fitted with two large saddle bags with 4 reflective trim strips fixed in conspicuous points for optimum safety and easy visibility.

In addition, an ergonomically-lined spine support swathes the dog’s backside securely and comfortably, thereby ensuring that the saddlebag’s weight is properly distributed. It’s one of the truly more economical and highly functional best dog backpacks available now, that’s why many a dog owner highly recommends this pack in their reviews.

Buyers say it fits their dog’s frame to a tee and the saddle bags are very spacious, plus the Kurgo Baxter Dog Backpack available in a variety of brilliant colors. Dogs don’t seem to mind the weight on their back, and owners attribute this to the great design and ergonomics of the backpack. The material used, stitching and overall construction is solid and this impressed dog owners who’ve had their dog use the pack for many years now.

There were a many reviews that stated the seams of this pack ripped easily, but in most cases a replacement backpack was sent by the company. Other buyers say that the pack did not stay in place, but that could have been because of improper fitting. Overall, most negative reviews stated that this pack was not nearly as durable as dog owners had hoped.

PROS CONS
  • Designed to withstand extreme weather conditions
  • 8 adjustment points
  • Fitted with two large saddle bags with 4 reflective trim strips
  • Ergonomically designed spine support
  • Not in our case, but among other dog backpacks reviews we've noticed several that stated the seams of this pack ripped easily
  • Hard to keep it to stay in place

 

4Outward Hound DayPak Backpack

You’ll appreciate the comfort and convenience this low profile pack from Outward Hound will provide you and your dog. It’s the perfect gear for brief outdoor adventures or quick supermarket errands with your dog.

Daypak Dog Backpack Hiking Gear For Dogs by...
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A breathable mesh harness affords cooling comfort and fits great using adjustable Velcro straps for safe and secure attachment on this saddle bag for dogs. While this ranks the cheapest and smallest on our list of the best dog backpacks, it’s a compact light-capacity pack with saddlebag-style contour that delivers superior quality performance.

While smaller in size and capacity than most backpacks, this product supports 4 expandable pockets for storing food, a water bottle and other essentials. There’s a D-ring with which to attach the leash, bright colors to choose from, and reflective trims for better visibility. Small as it is, this great little dog pack can still accommodate a good 16 ounces of bottled water on each side, leaving enough room for other lightweight travel essentials to fit into the remaining pockets.

The Outward Hound DayPak Dog Backpack is ideal for short-duration activities. This little backpack allows for more mobility in your dog while he carries just enough supplies for a day. Overall, both dogs and their humans love this high-performing gear. It is different from the usual backpacks in several ways, and it was intended to be that way. It was built small so as not to hamper the dog’s movement and agility, but still allowed enough space for necessary items.

Unfortunately, the smaller size did not go over well with all buyers. Some wished that the pack offered a bit more space. Many pet owners who purchased this product say that it was not durable at all. You'll find many stories from buyers who claim the seams ripped after just a few uses. Buyers found that this backpack didn't always fit well and would tip to one side or the other. This could be an issue of improper fitting though.

PROS CONS
  • Breathable mesh harness
  • Adjustable Velcro straps provide safe secure attachment
  • Smaller in size than most similar products, which means it's also much lighter
  • Reflective trim for visibility
  • D-ring to attach leash
  • Size may be too small for some dogs
  • Not as durable as Ruffwear
  • Talking to other pet owners, other dog backpack reviews claim that this backpack didn't always fit well and would tip to one side or the other

 

5OneTigris Cotton Canvas Dog Backpacks

This is another very stylish, rugged, light-capacity dog backpack with saddlebag for your dog when you go trekking, camping or simply running errands. OneTigris has created this dog saddlebag that includes two main bags and two side bags to support your dog’s traveling essentials.

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This saddle bag for dogs is outfitted with multiple well-placed metal buckles which can alternate as a leash attachment or for carrying other necessities. The canvas is made from high-density cotton materials and constructed ergonomically to distribute weight evenly. Thus, your dog will have the opportunity to help and enjoy doing it.

The absence of stress and discomfort make activities more rewarding for your dog and worth the time spent doing them. This backpack comes highly recommended by dog owners who see their pets having fun and feeling important. It packs enough supply for a day’s activities, is well-designed to make lifting the weight comfortable for the dog, and is made of breathable material.

There aren't very many of the best dog backpacks that are made of cotton canvas fabric, which makes this a sought-after model. The trendy coffee-brown look belies the fact that it is actually priced very reasonably, too. Surprisingly, aside from its usual load-carrying purpose, a few dog owners also found the OneTigris Cotton Canvas Dog Pack to double as a calming vest or jacket. Because it fits snugly without being too hot, it has helped them greatly in calming their highly active and restless dogs.

As with many of the best dog backpacks, the saddlebags will slide to one side if the weight is not distributed evenly. Some reviewers were not happy with the quality of this product, saying that it was easily ripped and not durable enough for hiking with their pet. Other buyers were dissatisfied with the plastic buckles on the adjustable straps. They claim that they break easily and cannot withstand normal wear and tear.

PROS CONS
  • Includes two main bags and two side bags
  • Outfitted with multiple well-placed metal buckles which can alternate as a leash attachment or for carrying other necessities
  • Canvas is made from high-density cotton materials and constructed ergonomically to distribute weight evenly
  • As with many other top rated dog backpacks, the saddlebags will slide to one side if the weight is not distributed evenly
  • We were dissatisfied with the plastic buckles on the adjustable straps, they break easily and cannot withstand normal wear and tear

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5 Top Rated Best Dog Backpacks and Saddle Bags

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