Dog Backpack For Hiking

Best Dog Backpack for Hiking

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There’s nothing quite like going on a hike with your precious pooch. Your pup will enjoy frolicking through the mountains while you can take in the wonderful fresh air.

It’s also a fantastic bonding experience. The only problem is that when you bring your dog hiking, you need to bring extra gear.

Bringing extra gear with you that you need to carry can weigh you down quickly, but there’s a solution. All you need to do is buy a dog backpack!

With this, you can put your furry friend’s treats, gear and water inside of a small backpack that your dog will carry.

These are super handy for hikes with your pet, but how can you get the best one for you and your dog? Read our guide to find out! 

In a hurry?

Top Pick: Kurgo Baxter

Kurgo Baxter

Introducing the Kurgo Baxter, one of the most comfortable and versatile dog backpacks on the market! This affordable backpack comes with a ton of adjustability options, so you can truly get the perfect fit for your dog.

The backpack comes with a padded spine support. This is ideal since it means that your dog will feel more comfortable while carrying the backpack.

It has two roomy saddlebags on either side, and you can keep a wide range of stuff in these, such as treats and bowls, and so much more!

There are even small pockets on the side where you can put items that you need to reach more easily such as poo bags and training treats.

During the summer months, your dog will be thankful for the mesh on the backpack. This mesh makes the backpack very breathable, so your dog will be cool even in hot weather.

If you’re walking in the night you will be pleased to see the highly visible mesh too. Of course, it’s best not to have this backpack on rainy walks, since it isn’t waterproof.


  • Padded spine
  • Lots of room for items in the bags
  • Mesh construction


  • It isn’t waterproof

Second Pick: Ruffwear Approach Dog Pack

Ruffwear Approach Dog Pack

The Ruffwear Approach Dog Pack is one of the most popular dog backpacks on the market. It’s not hard to see why! It’s clear that this backpack has been lovingly made for your dog. 

Your dog will be comfortable while wearing this backpack thanks to the adjustable straps. With these, you can adjust the backpack to your liking.

You will get tremendous stability too, and the integrated harness is a nice touch. It consists of light materials that are incredibly durable, so your days of worrying about basic wear and tear are done.

Again, this backpack comes with smaller pockets where you can keep your little items that you need to access quickly. If your pooch can handle the weight, it’s also possible to strap a dog bed onto the top of the backpack.

You’ll have two leash attachment options too for extra convenience. The lack of padding on the strap for the chest is somewhat disappointing though.


  • Lots of room
  • Plenty of adjustment options
  • Smaller pockets included


  • Doesn’t have any padding on the chest

Third Pick: OneTigris Hoppy Camper Dog Pack 2.0

OneTigris Hoppy Camper Dog Pack 2.0

For rougher hiking environments, you’ll be hard pressed to find many dog backpacks better than the OneTigris Hoppy Camper Dog Pack 2.0.

This is certainly one of the most affordable dog backpacks out there, but it has so much to offer that you will truly be blown away by the value you’re getting for your money.

This backpack screams durability – you could throw rocks at the backpack and it will still remain unscathed.

So the next time your dog feels like chasing after a squirrel in the bushes while you’re camping, you can feel safe in the knowledge that their backpack isn’t going to disintegrate in the blink of an eye.

It comes with two main packs where you can keep your key items like bowls and water. Naturally you will have smaller pockets for the little items too.

The dog backpack comes with rear and front leash attachment points, and it fits your dog like a glove thanks to the adjustability options.

It doesn’t consist of reflective materials though, so you will need to be careful if you are walking your dog in the dark.


  • Comes with leash attachment points on the rear and the front
  • Comfortable
  • Very durable – ideal for rough environments


  • Doesn’t consist of reflective materials

Fourth Pick: Ruffwear Palisades Dog Pack

Ruffwear Palisades Dog Pack

If you’re looking for a premium option, it’s certainly worth considering the Ruffwear Palisades Dog Pack. This backpack is ideal for when you want to travel for long periods of time with your furry friend in tow.

The backpack comes with a fantastic 24 L weight capacity, so you can carry a lot of items with it. There are smaller options available for the smaller dog’s too.

It’s possible to remove the saddlebags too when needed. All you need to do is unclip them – there’s no need to take the harness off.

There are also a few straps on the chest that help to ensure that the backpack doesn’t slide around on your dog’s back.

What’s especially great about this backpack is that the visibility is incredible. If you are out in the night, people will see your dog without trouble thanks to the red color. The price of the backpack is perhaps the only problem.


  • Large weight capacity
  • Easy to remove the saddlebags
  • Secure


  • Expensive 

Final Pick: Outward Hound Day Pack Dog Backpack

Outward Hound Day Pack Dog Backpack

If you’re just getting started with dog backpacks or you want to hike on short journeys, it’s definitely worth investing in the Outward Hound Day Pack Dog Backpack. This backpack is incredibly cheap too, and durable to boot.

The bag is rather lightweight, but it has big pockets on the sides that will allow you to carry a lot of gear. You can even expand the bigger pockets.

On the back there is a breathable mesh, helping to keep your dog cool while you’re out walking together. This makes it perfect even for the hottest days. The backpack comes in a range of sizes, so it can fit many different dogs.

This is truly an incredible backpack for your dog. The smaller pockets on the side are also a nice touch, since they will allow you to access vital gear much more quickly.

The only real issue is that there isn’t any chest padding on the backpack, which is a little disappointing.


  • Very affordable
  • Comes in lots of different sizes
  • Large pockets
  • Breathable


  • Doesn’t have any chest padding

Best Dog Backpack For Hiking Buyer’s Guide

Choosing the right dog backpack is essential! There are a couple of things that you need to think about when choosing your dog backpack for hiking. Read on to find out more! 

Size and Capacity

The very first thing to think about is the overall size and the capacity of the dog backpack that you are buying.

The single most important thing to think about when it comes to buying a dog backpack is ensuring that your dog is comfortable.

In order for your dog to be comfortable, you need to make sure that they have a backpack that is correctly sized for their body. You also don’t want your dog to be carrying more than they can comfortably manage.

Comfort isn’t the only thing that’s important here, either. You also need to think about where you will be hiking. If you’re going on a short hike near to your house then you may not need to get a huge backpack.

For a longer hike that spans a few days, it may be better to get a larger backpack. Make sure that you measure your dog in advance, since this will give you an indication about the bag size that you should invest in.


Hiking can take a huge toll on your dog backpack, so it’s important to make sure that it’s durable.

It should be able to withstand any wear and tear. It should be well built, and should come with all of the necessary features to protect it from the elements.

Ultimately, you don’t want to have to replace the dog backpack in a few months because it’s been damaged while you are hiking, so spend a little extra money on a quality construction.


You can control a lot of things when you’re hiking, but there’s one thing that you can’t control: the weather.

Sure, you can check the weather forecast on an hourly basis, but there’s always a chance that the forecast could be wrong.

With this in mind, it’s best to ensure that your dog backpack is waterproof. You don’t want the backpack or the items inside to be damaged, after all!

In addition to this, check that the zippers have been covered by waterproof flaps since this will stop the water from getting into the backpack through the seams.

Adjustability and Stability

Dog backpacks are designed somewhat differently to backpacks for humans. A dog backpack will be strewn over your pet’s back, with one bag positioned on either side of the body.

For this reason, you will need to make sure that the bag doesn’t stop your pet from moving correctly as they walk. Ensure that the weight is distributed properly on your dog. 

One thing that can help to make the backpack more stable is having a few adjustability options. You should have the ability to make the backpack a perfect fit for your individual dog.

Make sure that you can adjust the fit and the straps on the backpack based on your dog’s level of comfort and size. 


You will usually find that a dog backpack doesn’t weigh a lot. Most options weigh roughly two pounds or possibly less. You need to consider the basic weight of the backpack, and consider the amount that you are planning on putting in it.

It’s important to ensure that you have some additional space inside the backpack. With that being said, there’s no need to get an exceptionally large backpack if you don’t need the additional space.

Make sure that you don’t get a backpack that’s too big for your dog to carry.

Likewise, it’s important to remember that your dog may not be capable of carrying as much when they are older, so don’t pile too much weight on your dog’s aging bones. 

There are a couple of things that can impact the weight of a dog backpack. Things like zippers and straps, extra departments and fancy features can all influence the overall weight of the dog backpack.

Make sure that you remember that every single feature will most likely add extra weight – consider whether it’s worth weighing your dog down for that feature.

Leash Attachment Points

Your dog may be very well trained, but there are some situations where you will need to put your pet on a leash. For this reason, you should ensure that the backpack has a leash point somewhere.

You will find that the vast majority of dog backpacks will come with two attachment points – one of them will usually be on the back by your dog’s tail and the other one will be towards the front by your dog’s neck.

At the minimum though, you should look for one with an attachment point that’s on the front.

Value for Money

Dog backpacks can range in terms of price. Some of them are very cheap, whereas others can cost a lot of money.

You will usually find that you have to spend more money on backpacks that come with extra features. You can get some fantastic backpacks for a low price, however. 

With that in mind, you shouldn’t buy the cheapest option on the market, since it may not have the level of quality that you’re looking for.

Look for something that’s a high quality and is comfortable for your dog that doesn’t cost you too much money.

Frequently Asked Questions

How far can dogs hike in a day? 

Ultimately the answer to this can depend on the dog. Smaller dogs may not be able to walk for quite as long as a large dog. In general though, your dog can hike for around 5 to 10 miles without much trouble.

Of course, it’s still important to check in on your pooch as you walk. Make sure that they have plenty of water and give them a little rest every now and again while you walk. 

Is it safe to hike with a dog?

Yes, it’s perfectly safe to hike with a dog! It’s important to keep an eye out for your little puppies and elder dogs though. It can be a little more challenging for old and young dogs to walk on challenging hikes.

You should also be careful to avoid hiking in exceptionally hot weather, since you don’t want your dog to have heat stroke. You should always be vigilant when hiking with your dog.

Are dog backpacks good for dogs? 

It’s only natural to worry that a dog backpack may not be good for your pooch if they have never used one before. As it happens though, there are plenty of benefits to having a dog backpack.

For starters, when your dog wears a backpack it gives them something extra to carry. This means that they get more tired after the walk and they can build more muscle in turn.

It can also help your dog to feel like they’re being useful. It’s great for your dog’s sleep too – you won’t have to deal with your dog’s barking waking you up after they’ve hiked with their backpack, that’s for sure! 

How much can I put in the dog backpack?

It’s best to avoid giving your dog more than 25% of its weight to carry. Older dogs and puppies may not be able to carry as much as this either, so that’s worth keeping in mind.

It’s worth keeping an eye on your dog to see how they’re managing with the weight. You could even take them for a short trial walk before the hike to ensure that they can deal with the weight.

What should I put in my dog backpack?

There are a range of different things that you can put in your dog backpack – it depends on your dog and the kind of hike that you’re going on.

In general, it’s a good idea to at least put some treats and waste bags in the backpack. Even tiny dogs can carry these, so they’re a safe bet.

If your dog is bigger and you have more space, you can put bowls, food and water in the bag too. It honestly just depends on what you need.

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