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13 Best Dog Backpacks for Hiking in 2023

best dog backpack for hiking

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Hiking is one of the best ways to experience the great outdoors with our pooch. But then, letting him tag along on a trek can be quite challenging. There’s the fact that we need to ensure his safety and comfort while hiking.

Our pooch may love hiking as much as we do. But we need to make sure he has all his essentials packed and ready for his dispense. But since we already have our hands full, we might as well let him carry his own essentials.

Aside from our own supplies, our canine buddy also has his own set of must-haves. To take some load off of our backs, we can simply invest in a dog backpack he can use for our next hike. To make our search easier, we can check some of the best dog backpacks  reviewed by the experts.

13 Best Dog Backpacks for Hiking

Here’s a list of the best dog backpack for hiking to buy today:

Best Dog Backpack for Hiking: Ruffwear Approach Dog Pack

Key Features:

  • Reflective trim
  • Light lop for The Beacon
  • Strong aluminum V-ring
  • Reinforced webbing loop leash
  • Comes in 3 colors and 4 sizes

One of the best dog backpacks in the market is the Ruffwear Approach Dog Pack. The quality of this backpack is one reason why many pet parents prefer this backpack for dogs. The backpack ensures trial testing for each product, giving us assurance of its quality.

We like how the fit can customized to further fit our pooch’s body. The backpack may be lightweight, but it is equally durable and longer lasting. The best part is we can use the padded handle to pick up our pooch, helping him navigate tricky terrains on his first hike.

Best of the Rest: Mountainsmith K-9 Dog Pack

Key Features:

  • 4-point adjustable chest harness
  • Padded sternum pad
  • 2 pannier compartments
  • With zippered accessory pockets
  • Padded tubular grab handle
  • Single adjustable belly strap
  • Comes in 2 colors and 3 sizes

If we are after the best-fitting backpack for dogs in today’s market, then we can rely on the Mountainsmith K-9 Dog Pack. Designed with the help of a local veterinarian in Colorado, we can be sure about this dog backpack’s fit and quality. The adjustable back harness together with the 4-point adjustable chest harness ensures maximum comfort and a perfect fit.

The backpack is very easy to wear for dogs. It can accommodate and guide larger breeds thanks to its single-haul handle. Its reflective trim also helps our pooch see better in low light.

Runner-up: Kurgo Baxter Backpack for Dogs

Key Features:

  • 2 paniers
  • Integrated harness
  • With rear mounted leash ring
  • With 2 side pockets
  • Large handle
  • With reflective trim
  • Comes in 4 colors and 2 sizes

The Kurgo Baxter Backpack is a lightweight backpack that is also affordable and functional. It has all the basic features we can ever look for a dog’s backpack. The harness easily slides over our pooch’s head while the front buckle secures it in place.

The backpack offers 2 spacious paniers with a large pouch each. Like the straps, the paniers are adjustable. This backpack is great for dogs between 30 and 85 lbs.

Best for Short Walks: OneTigris Dog Saddlebag

Key Features:

  • 2 side paniers
  • Double zip pouch
  • Water-resistant 1000D nylon
  • Padded underside
  • With hook and loop closure pockets
  • V-ring for leash attachments
  • Top zipper has clear ID card window

Designed for working dogs, the OneTigris Dog Saddlebag looks sleek and professional. This is perfect for service dogs thanks to the ID card design and loop panel. Not that the paniers are better suited for daily use.

This can be our dog’s go-to backpack during regular walks to the park. It can hold some water, his snacks, and our phone and keys. We like how its built-in waste bag makes grabbing a bag easy for a quick cleanup.

Best Budget: Outward Hound DayPak Dog Backpack

Key Features:

  • 4 expandable storage compartments
  • Breathable mesh fabric
  • Adjustable straps
  • Nright, visible colors
  • Comes in 3 colors, 4 sizes, and 3 styles

Another backpack worthy for short walks and daytime hike is the Outward Hound DayPak Dog Backpack. It has a breathable mesh body, adjustable straps and soft mesh lining designed to keep our pooch comfortable even during the hot weather. Its two saddlebags are perfect for his essentials.

The backpack makes carrying our pooch effortless. Its D-ring is perfect to attach any leash. It is also made from lightweight materials to ensure our pooch won’t have a hard time carrying the bag and all those extra weight. 

Best for Warm Weather Hiking: Wellver Dog Backpack

Key Features:

  • 2 roomy compartments
  • Padded chest straps
  • Breathable middle mesh
  • Soft mesh lining
  • Adjustable straps
  • Comes in 2 colors and 3 sizes

The Wellver Dog Backpack is perfect for dog owners who are not fans of rugged, outdoorsy backpack for dogs. This can be a great choice if we are introducing our pooch to shorter walks and hikes. He can use this even during a warm weather thanks to its breathable mesh materials.

We like its lightweight washable design. This makes it easy for our dogs to carry and effortless for us to clean. Since it comes in 3 sizes, we can find out what fits our large pooch.

Best Bargain: OneTigris Hoppy Camper Dog Pack 2.0

Key Features:

  • 2 adjustable straps
  • 2 main side compartments
  • With semi-open pockets
  • High-density cotton canvas
  • Comes in 2 sizes and 3 colors

This tactical-inspired dog backpack is designed to help dogs carry their essentials even on rough terrains. The OneTigris Hoppy Camper Dog Pack 2.0 holds well against anything our pooch can come up against on the trail. The best part is that the interior lining of the backpack is made from mesh fabric, keeping him feeling cool and comfortable.

Its two main compartments are perfect for storing his essentials. We can use the top handle of the backpack to hold and control our pooch while on a hike. If we are after quality, this is one backpack for dogs we can’t afford to miss.

Best for Medium-Sized Dogs: OneTigris Blaze Tracker Dog Pack

Key Features:

  • Water-resistant 1000D nylon
  • Padded underside
  • 2 main zipper compartments
  • Hook and loop closure pockets
  • Adjustable straps
  • V-ring for leash attachments
  • Top zipper packet has clear ID card window
  • Comes in Coyote Brown in size Large

The OneTigris Blaze Tracker Dog Pack is perfect for medium to large-sized dogs. Many pet parents are in love with this backpack thanks to its durable, comfortable, and water-resistant construction. We like that this backpack comes in neutral colors, making our pooch look cool and stylish.

The backpack already comes with a built-in waste bag holder, V-ring for lease attachments, and an ID card window. Now, we don’t need to worry since he will always have identification with him in case he wanders around during a walk or hike.

Best for Tiny Dogs: Doggles Dog Extreme Backpack

Key Features:

  • Waterproof fabric
  • Tough stitching
  • Reflective striping and piping
  • Comes in 5 sizes

Our stylish pooch will look even better with the Doggles Dog Extreme Backpack on his back. It comes in 5 sizes, which means we can find the perfect no matter the size of our pooch. This also means we can buy one for our tiny fur baby.

It is made from durable and waterproof materials. It won’t impede our dog’s movement since the straps sits higher on his shoulders. The top handle is another feature worth mentioning since this helps us have a better control over our pooch when we are outdoors.

Best for Extra-Large Dogs: 2PET Dog Backpack

Key Features:

  • Comes in 2 colors and in size Large
  • Adjustable, comfortable harness
  • 2 roomy saddles
  • Zippered mesh pockets
  • With plastic water bottle holders

Our extra large canine buddy will surely give the 2PET Dog Backpack a thumbs-up if he can. The backpack is very easy to put on while its spacious saddlebags makes carrying his essentials a breeze. We love that this bag comes in 2 cute colors.

This backpack is one of the best reviewed backpacks online meant for extra-large breeds. Its one-click harness is adjustable, making it effortless to guide our pooch on the right trail. Its reflective piping also helps us easily locate our pooch while he explores the view.

Best Value: Go Fresh Pet 2-in-1 Pet Dog Harness and Hiking Backpack

Key Features:

  • Harness and dog backpack in one
  • Padded harness
  • Ripstop polyester and breathable fabric
  • D-ring leash attatchment
  • Comes in 2 sizes

The Go Fresh Pet 2-in-1 Pet Dog Harness and Hiking Backpack is one of the best hiking backpacks in the market. Don’t be intimidated by its price for its quality is actually better than other backpacks in the market. It is lightweight and comfortable, meant to be worn by dogs even during the warm summer weather.

Its quick-release buckles makes removing the bag from pooch quite effortless. The reflective trims boost our pooch safety. If we want a more affordable backpack for dogs without sacrificing the quality, this is one option we can rely on.

Best in Style: Outward Hound Denver Urban Pack

Key Features:

  • 2 large expandable pockets
  • 2 zip side pockets
  • Breathable mesh fabric
  • Top handle
  • Adjustable straps
  • D-ring leash attachment
  • Comes in 3 styles, 3 colors and 4 sizes

Compact, lightweight, and spacious. These are the three best words to describe the Outward Hound Denver Urban Pack. It does not take much space on our pooch, giving him more freedom to move while walking.

Its expandable pockets can accommodate a day’s worth of his essentials.Its adjustable belly straps ensures he can breathe properly while ensuring the backpack stays in place. The top handle makes for convenient handling while the D-ring leash attachment gives is another feature that makes our lives a little bit easier. 

Most Durable: EzyDog High Performance Summit Dog Backpack

Key Features:

  • Breathable, ripstop material
  • Waterproof zippers
  • Flop-top opening panel
  • D-rings leash attachment
  • Reflective trim
  • Built-in paddle handle
  • Comes in 3 sizes

For dog owners wanting an extra durable backpack, this is our answered prayer. It is made from ripstop materials for extra protection. It features handy storage, a saddlebag style, and durable zippers and D-rings.

The built-in carry handle is padded for maximum grip and control. Guiding our pooch over tricky obstacles will now be a breeze. With the backpack, we can better peace of mind knowing he’s got his essentials secured in a trendy dog backpack

Things to Consider When Buying a Dog Backpack

There are many things we ought to keep in mind when shopping for a backpack for our pooch. Here are the most important ones.

Load Dispersion

We need to find a dog backpack that evenly carries load on both sides. This way, our pooch will stay comfortable and easy to move. This will also reduce the chances of injury.


Our pooch requires a backpack that can carry his gear. But we also need to consider the kind of activities we will engage with our pooch andfor how long. The longer the hike or walk, the more capacity he needs to carry his essentials.


Our pooch should not carry more than 25% of his own weight. We need to consider the maximum weight the bag can carry along with our dog’s capacity. It pays to keep an eye on our canine buddy to ensure he is not carrying more than he can manage, especially on long hikes.


It is best to find a dog backpack with waterproofing. This way his essentials won’t get wet in case it rains or he falls in a puddle. We also want to make sure that the zippers are water-resistant, or else these will only rust in no time.


Our budget will determine how much of a dog backpack we can afford. But know that there are also affordable ones in the market that serve their purpose and more. it would be better if we can find a balance between functionality and price when shopping for his backpack.

Leash Attachment Points

There will be times when putting on a leash on our pooch is needed. Thankfully, most dog backpacks come with leash attachment points. This eradicates the need to bring in his collar while still being able to control him during the hike.


Fit is extremely important when looking for a dog backpack. The dog backpack we must invest in should be comfortable, have adjustable straps, and can offer a perfect fit. This way, we can prevent his discomfort during longer hikes.


Not all dog backpacks have a fixed 1-piece construction. Some will have limited adjustment points while others have fabric running along the back of our pooch. We should go for one that is very adjustable to best accommodate his size and shape.

Backpack Type

Almost all dog backpacks are saddlebag types. But there are also carrier bags. Many pet parents choose saddlebag types since these bags are designed to evenly distribute the weight on our pooch’s side, preventing discomfort and back injury.


Dog backpacks come in different designs. Most are lined with reflective trips. Others have few straps while others have robust, padded straps.

Some dog backpacks have a handle on the back meant for picking up the pooch while others are only meant to guide dogs. Others have breathable mesh fabric while others have none.

Keeping in mind the design can influence our pooch’s comfort. We need to consider the type of activities he will use the bag for as well as the special design before making a choice.

Packing Tips for Dog Backpacks

It can be tricky to pack his first backpack. To make it easier for us, we need to ensure his backpack and gear won’t exceed 25% of his body weight. We also need to consider the items we will put in his back as every item costs an additional weight.

We must not forget his food, collapsible food bowl, and water when packing the dog backpack. The same goes for his waste bags, treats, and favorite toys. He will require more food and water during long hikes and warm weather, so be sure to pack enough.  

Frequently Asked Questions

How much weight can a dog carry on his back?

As a general rule, dogs should not carry more than 25% of their body weight. Dog backpacks often weigh under 2 lbs. Using a dog pack weight calculator will make it easier for us to gauge how much weight he can carry.

Are backpacks good for dogs?

The short answer is yes. Dog backpacks often put dogs in work mode. This means they take on the job of carrying his essentials and will stay more focused during the walk or hike.

His backpack, with its gear as additional weight, gives our pooch additional exercise. He will need to exert more effort when walking or hiking. The extra exercise can tire him out, and helps build endurance in the long run.

For our pooch to benefit from his backpack, we should avoid overstuffing his backpack with unnecessary load. We must stick to the recommended weight and ensure the backpack is secured while he wears this. This way, we can avoid potential injuries caused by too heavy backpacks.

How do I measure my dog for a backpack?

We have to measure our pooch to get an accurate measurement for his backpack. First, we need to use a measuring tape and measure his girth by measuring around the fullest part of his chest just behind the front legs. Then, we measure their neck and the length of our pooch from their nape to the base of his tail.

We also need to consider his current weight. In case he falls between 2 sizes, the better choice would be the size up.

What do I put in my dog’s backpack for hiking?

For regular walks, you can settle for waste bags, a few treats, and some water. For longer walks and hikes, you can bring his collapsible food bowl, dog food, water bottle, treats, and waste bags. It all depends on how long we will stay out with our pooch, what activities we will partake in, how much weight we can carry, and how much gear his backpack can accommodate.


A dog backpack can be a great investment even if we only go for walks to the park and short hiking adventure. We can free ourselves from his essentials and allow him to be the one carrying his gear. This will also help them stay focused and behaved while hiking.

These are just a few reasons why buying our pooch his own backpack is a great idea. We get to prepare him for longer walks ahead, give him the extra exercise, and make sure we don’t forget anything he might need while outdoors. Thankfully, many dog backpacks can be a good choice no matter the size and requirements of our pooch.