Best dog backpacks for town or trail

Best Dog Backpacks

One of life’s greatest pleasures is taking our dogs for a long walk or hike. Not only is it good for us, but it’s one of the highlights of our dog’s day. But carrying everything we need for our own needs and our dogs can add a lot of weight to our backpack.

So why not let our dog do some of the work too? The best dog backpacks give our dogs a safe way of carrying their own supplies. Water, food, waste bags, toys, and anything else your dog needs on a day trip or multi-day hike can be stored in a doggy backpack.

And in much the same way as carrying additional weight increases our muscle tone. The same applies to our dogs. Equipping our dogs with a dog hiking backpack provides an extra workout. In fact, it can be a great way of tiring a high-energy dog without the need for extra walks.

When to avoid a Dog backpack

Dog Backpacks aren’t suitable for all dogs, though. Always check with your veterinarian if your dog can carry its own kit. Dogs with neck or shoulder problems, senior dogs, and small dogs should steer clear of wearing them even if your dog is given the all-clear.

As a general rule, a dog hiking backpack should not exceed fifteen to twenty-five percent of your dog’s body weight, and you’ll need to get your dog used to carry a dog backpack before any weight is added. Once your dog is happy to wear a backpack, weight can be added and increased gradually.

How to choose the best dog backpacks

When choosing the best dog backpack, there are several things to consider, as backpacks vary depending on what you’re going to be doing with your dog.

For instance, a dog pack designed for a casual day hike might not need to be as robust as a dog hiking backpack meant for long treks or multi-day camping. Once you know what type of walks you and your dog are taking, there are some other things to consider too;


Without a doubt, getting the right size dog backpack is the single most important consideration. Most manufacturers have their own sizing guide, but your dog’s girth, neck, and weight are the most common measurements needed. A good fitting backpack should fit snugly but not too tight. If your dog falls between sizes, opt for the larger size and adjust down.


Investing in a backpack with durable, adjustable straps will keep the pack secure when your dog’s on the move. Look for quality materials and wide padded straps. Thin straps and inferior materials are more likely to cause chafing. The more points of adjustment a dog pack has, the more it will accommodate dogs of all shapes and sizes.


Weight might not be so much of an issue if you’re taking a day hike. But if you regularly go on long or multi-day hikes with your dog, weight and bulk are important considerations.

Dog backpacks for hiking need a more streamlined design, so they don’t restrict your dog’s movement. You also want the bulk of the weight to sit between your dog’s shoulders rather than their middle or lower back to prevent injury.


A good quality dog backpack should last you a lifetime. Look for well-stitched seams and rip-stop nylon or cotton canvas materials to ensure long-lasting wear and tear.

Top tips for choosing the best dog backpacks

Fit and comfort should be at the forefront of your choice of dog backpack. But it’s also worth remembering that a walk with a weighted backpack is much harder for your dog than without it.

In fact, a fifteen-minute walk with a full pack is roughly equivalent to a thirty-minute walk without one. So give your dog time to get used to it. Build weight up gradually over short distances until your dog is fit enough to hit the trail.

Always weigh your dog’s pack before setting off. It’s easy to go over the weight limit, and it’s important to keep your dog from being overloaded. If you take the time in the beginning, then there’s no reason why your dog can’t comfortably carry their own supplies on your trek.

So here are our top picks for dog backpacks. Whether you’re looking for a day pack for a casual trek or something more robust for a longer trek, we’ve got it covered. If you want a quick pick, we like the RuffWear daypack but for more detailed reviews, read on;

Outward Hound daypack
  • HIGH-QUALITY HIKING GEAR: The Outward Hound DayPak is one of our bestselling and most popular dog backpacks. Lightweight and convenient, this pack can comfortably fit extra essentials you may need...
  • FOUR EXPANDABLE STORAGE COMPARTMENTS: This saddleback dog backpack is designed with two storage compartments on each side for even weight distribution and plenty of room for food, water, training...
  • BREATHABLE MESH & ADJUSTABLE STRAPS: The DayPak doggy backpack is thoughtfully constructed to keep your pet comfortable with breathable mesh fabric, adjustable straps, and bright colors for high...

This lightweight saddlebag design from Outward Hound is designed for light use. It nether the less has four zippered expandable pockets for all your dog’s bits and pieces. This pack is made so that the weight is distributed over your dog’s shoulders rather than their back keeping the extra load where it should be.

The breathable mesh material makes it ideal for warm or damp conditions, and reflective strips keep your dog safe when the sun goes down. This daypack features a padded handle and integral D clip and has adjustable straps to ensure a good fit.


  • Lightweight
  • Breathable
  • Compact
  • Plenty of pockets
  • Weight distributed over the shoulders -where it should be
  • D ring on the back to clip a leash to
  • Varying sizes and colors available


  • Durability issues
  • Pockets not removable
  • Material not very robust
  • No padding on the straps, so it may cause chafing

Ruffwear full-day hiking pack
  • Hike, camp, and explore: Share more adventures and go further with the Approach Pack; It allows your dog to carry their gear and gets them excited about hitting the trails
  • Trail-ready: Stash treats, bowls, and more in the pockets and on the external gear loops; Reflective trim and a light loop for The Beacon (sold separately) provide visibility in low-light conditions
  • Balanced weight: Designed with weight-forward saddlebags that help stabilize pack contents for easy, comfortable carrying; Be sure to limit the load to 25% of your dog’s weight

Thanks to its weight forward, streamline saddlebag design, and lightweight materials, this full-day hiking backpack for your dog by Ruffwear is a comfortable and durable choice for long treks or overnight campouts.

With four zipped pockets, two small and two large, there’s plenty of room for everything. What’s more, this pack has an integrated harness with 5 points of adjustment, reflective trim, and a padded handle on top so you can help your dog over larger obstacles.

The chest strap is well padded, as is the adjustable belly strap, and there are two points of attachment for a leash that are durable and well stitched.


  • Great fit
  • Padded straps
  • Integrated harness
  • Name tag on the inside – useful if your dog wanders off.
  • Available in five sizes and four high visibility colors


  • Balancing the weight evenly is a challenge.
  • Not waterproof
  • You have to remove the backpack to adjust the straps
  • Pockets are bulky when filled

Baxter backpack by Kurgo
  • Hiking Backpack for Dogs to Wear - Saddlebag for dogs is lightweight & comfortable. The 2-sided dog pack provides enough space for all your pup’s essentials, including food, doggie bags, first aid...
  • Dog Harness & Backpack in 1 - Backpack for dogs includes an integrated dog harness with rear mounted leash ring to attach pet leash. Rear d-ring can also be used as a bottle opener. Hiking dog back...
  • Reflective, Includes Padded Handle - Dog hiking backpack has a large handle for extra control over your pet, or to assist them over obstacles. Dog pack includes reflective trim for visibility in the...

Lightweight and water-resistant this backpack is designed to withstand extreme weather conditions. The Baxter dog backpack by Kurgo has eight adjustment points to ensure a perfect fit. What’s more, it’s got padded ergonomic spine support that contours to your dog’s back. Providing ideal weight distribution between the two saddlebags.

Just like the Ruffwear pack, it has a handle on top that enables you to help your dog over the more rough terrain. Not only that, but this backpack comes with a rear-mounted lead attachment for dogs that doubles up as a bottle opener for human companions.

What we really like about this Baxter dog backpack is the saddlebags are adjustable. They can be moved up and down based on your dog’s size, which is really useful if you have a short-legged dog.


  • The eight points of adjustment mean that a perfect fit is easier to achieve
  • Handle on top is useful for more difficult terrain.
  • Reflective strips are great in low visibility.
  • Two sizes and three colors available
  • Kurgo lifetime warranty against manufacturer defects


  • Seams are weak and rip easily.
  • The zippers open front to back, which means they can come undone when your dog runs through the undergrowth
  • The leash connector is at the back of the pack, which means much less control.

Elite Spanker saddlebag
  • This dog saddle bag backpack is made of high quality 900D Nylon and zippers material with neat stitching and soft padded lining to prevent chafing for your dog's skin and hair with a comfortable fit....
  • Dog backpacks for hiking the front straps can adjustable dogs neck and adjustable belly straps with UTX-Duraflex quick release buckle; YKK zipper molle system on the backside can add more items you...
  • Dog camping backpack capacious side pockets: Suitable for carrying water, dog food, treats, toys, and you can put your phone, keys, Each side pouch comes with an exterior horizontal umbrella pocket...

Lightweight and comfortable with high adjustability, this backpack is perfect for an all-day hike. With soft-lined adjustable straps, it has two saddlebags large enough for all those essentials. This dog backpack comes with everything your dog needs for a comfortable trek. We really like the storage on this pack as it also features zipped pockets for extra security.

It is available in four colors and is best for large dogs. It has a leash attachment and safety handle for challenging terrain and comes with a 100% Quality Warranty offering a replacement or full refund within 90 days.


  • Plenty of room in the pockets
  • Good padding on the straps
  • Safety handle for rough terrain


  • Limited points of adjustment
  • The straps slip and need tightening up on long walks
  • Not waterproof

OneTigris dog saddlebag
  • 【OneTigris HOPPY CAMPER Doggy Backpack 2.0】Size Large: 21"-31.5"/53-80cm (neck), 29"-36"/74-91cm (chest), 9.8"/25cm (back); Net weight: 19.7oz/560g; 2 adjustable straps fits for medium & large dog
  • 【Dog Backpacks for Dogs to Wear】Two main zipper side compartments with semi-open pockets for carrying dog food holder, water, snacks, wast disposal bags, etc.
  • 【NOTE for Dog Hiking Pack】 The handle is not used for lifting up your dog; Dog expert: For most dogs, 10% to 12% of their body weight is a good starting point. This would be 5 to 6 pounds for a 50...

This OneTigris Dog Saddle Bag is probably one of the best-looking packs on the market. Made with strong cotton canvas and a breathable mesh lining, it’s not just a pretty face.

With two large zipper pockets and two semi-open pockets perfect for a water bottle, it’s got plenty of room for all your dog’s needs. What’s more, it has two connectors for a leash, as well as a padded top handle.


  • The material is sturdy.
  • It looks great
  • The storage bags are well-positioned.


  • Very long straps, so once adjusted, the excess flaps around
  • No reflective element
  • Not waterproof

Singletrak hydration pack by Ruffwear
  • Ready for adventure: Take a day trip or a long hike with the Singletrak Pack; It lets your dog carry their necessities while still being able to explore and play
  • Just the essentials: The side pockets fit the 2 included 0.6-liter collapsible, BPA-free hydration bladders with enough room left for treats, pick-up bags, and a small leash
  • Low-profile: Features a minimalist design that fits close to your dog’s body so they can move freely; The oversized handle allows you to easily help them over tough terrain

Another Ruffwear dog hiking backpack. This time a low-profile hydration backpack with inbuilt collapsible water bottles. Foam padded chest and stomach straps make them comfortable to wear. Along with five points of adjustment, allow a customizable fit.

Stash pockets, reflective trim, and low profile saddlebag design make it perfect for trail running. The color helps reflect heat on warm days, and the water bottles contribute to keeping your dog cool too.


  • Durable
  • Low profile, perfect for running
  • Plenty of room
  • Great adjustability
  • Reflective – great for visibility


  • Collapsible bottles don’t carry a lot of water.
  • Plastic leash clip rather than metal, not as robust
  • Leash loop is in the middle of the pack, which is great if your dog runs in front but not so good for control

Summit backpack by EzyDog
  • UNIQUE BACKPACK AND HARNESS IN ONE: Going on hikes with your dog will be fun with the Summit backpack for dogs! Features flip-top opening panniers to give you storage and a sturdy D-ring in the front...
  • INNOVATIVE DESIGN FOR OUTDOOR SAFETY: Designed with reflective trim to increase nighttime visibility and a built-in padded handle which allows for quick control when going over obstacles, while an...
  • BREATHABLE MATERIAL FOR ALL-DAY COMFORT: Our dog hiking backpack is specially designed and extensively tested to offer the most comfortable fit for your furry friends! Its breathable material...

These dog backpacks from EzyDog are the perfect backpacks for dogs when the weather is warm. The breathable mesh upper allows airflow to your dog’s back, which keeps your dog cool even in hot weather.

What’s more, the chest strap is well-padded helps keep your dog comfortable, while the Ripstop material keeps your dog’s items secure and dry.

There’s a padded handle to help you help your dog, as well as two leash attachment points, one at the front and one on top at the back. Not only does this pack have reflective strips to protect your dog in low light and ensure good visibility. But also an ID sleeve for your dog’s details in the easy to access pouches. Finally, the quick-release front Messenger panel allows easy access to items used most often.


  • Quick-release messenger-style packs for easy access
  • Padded safety handle
  • Waterproof zippers
  • Lots of compartments
  • Reflective trim


  • Not waterproof
  • Straps work loose and can cause chafing.
  • Dogs can pull the pack off by backing out of it.
  • The fit is tricky to get right.
  • It needs more adjustment points.

Best dog backpacks for Town and Trail

So there you have seven of our top choices of the best dog backpacks for hiking. From a trot around town to an overnight Trek, there’s a dog hiking backpack perfect for the job.

Be patient with your dog if they’ve never worn a dog pack before and build the weight up gradually. Just like us, overloading your dog with additional weight is likely to cause injury or at least discomfort.

Ensuring a good fit and evenly distributing the weight between the bags means that both you and your dog can hit the trail in comfort.

Last update on 2023-09-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API