For invigorating exercise, mental health, and genuine fun, hiking is an excellent activity. But, as is the case with most things, it’s even better if you can share the experience. But you don’t have to drag your unwilling friends or significant other out to the trails if they don’t have the same appreciation for the activity as you – so long as you have a dog.
Yes, man’s best friend can make an excellent hiking partner. But, like you, they’re going to need some good gear to get the job done right. And that’s especially true if you’re going to be hitting the hills for more than a short out-and-back. Thankfully, dogs well-suited for climbing often have enough energy and chutzpah that they can actually carry their own gear (or some extra for you that doesn’t quite fit in your pack). But, in order to get the job done, your pooch is going to need something in which to haul said gear. Thankfully, there’s a whole range of hiking backpacks designed specifically for K-9s. And we’ve rounded up the 10 best on the following list.
Outward Hound Kyjen Dog Backpack
If you are looking for the ultimate in simplicity and ease, you can find that in Outward Hound’s Kyjen dog backpack. This no-frills saddle bag is about as straightforward as they come – offering convenient dual pockets, bright materials with reflective accents, and internal organization for all the necessary gear.
Outward Hound Dog DayPak
Built to be simple and comfortable, Outward Hound’s DayPak is sleek, stylish, easy to use and adjust, and offers plenty of comfort – even for dogs with unusual builds. Wrapped in a lightweight mesh, this pack is both breathable and water-resistant, but it still has plenty of space in the dual saddle bags for everything you could want to carry on the average day hike.
Lifeunion Dog Supply Backpack
Whether you like to take your dog hiking or you just need a reliable gear-carrying harness for your service animal, the Lifeunion Service Dog Supply Backpack is an excellent carry option. It’s made from water-resistant 600D double-layer polyester, offering excellent durability and lightness, and also has a soft mesh-lined underside for breathability and comfort.
Pawaboo Dog Backpack
Easy in both form and function, this dog backpack from Pawaboo has an adjustable harness marked by a complement of click-in straps – making it super easy to take off and put back on again, whether you need to make adjustments or just give your pooch a rest. It’s also made from very comfortable and breathable 600D Oxford cloth, so your dog can carry it around in comfort, even with a full load of gear.
Kurgo Baxter Dog Backpack
One of the highlights of Kurgo’s Baxter dog backpack is that it doesn’t limit you to just outdoor usage. This is, in large part, because both of the saddle bags are removable – meaning you can use the harness alone on a day-to-day basis. It also has an easy-grab reinforced handle and reflective liner for increased visibility in low light conditions. And, of course, when you do want to hit the trails, this dog bag has plenty of room for all the necessary supplies – from water, to baggies, to snacks, and everything in-between.
OneTigris Tactical Dog Backpack
If you’re the kind of person who likes a tactical edge with all your gear, why should your dog’s pack be any different? It doesn’t have to be if you get the OneTigris tactical dog backpack. Built from 1000D water-resistant nylon, this military-inspired saddle bag features dual hook-and-loop closure storage spaces, has a built-in waste bag dispenser, an I.D. card holder, and velcro for the addition of patches and/or other attachments.
Mountainsmith K-9 Dog Backpack
One of the larger packs on our list, Mountainsmith’s K-9 saddle-style dog backpack features an exterior built from a combination of 210D ripstop nylon and 420D Duramax nylon – making it both resistant to water and incredibly durable for even the most ambitious of adventures. It also has an adjustable belly strap for security during use, a vet-approved ergonomic torso shape, air mesh side panels for increased breathability, and an easy grab haul handle down the spine.
Outward Hound Crest Stone Explore Pack
Lightweight, breathable, and comfortable – these are just a few of the highlights of Outward Hound’s Crest Stone Explore Pack. The compression saddle pack features a durable mesh top, is done up in high-visibility bright green, has spacious internal storage, and compression webbing to ensure the load is properly balanced. It also has a reinforced back handle so you can snatch your pooch quickly and easily if they are in any danger.
Ruffwear Approach Dog Backpack
Featuring a five-point adjustable harness ideal for safety and security, the Approach day pack from Ruffwear was designed for even the most intense adventures. It features a durable nylon exterior that’s both tear- and water-resistant, has dual aluminum leash attachment points connected by nylon webbing loops, and has a padded back and balanced saddle bags for your mutt’s comfort. Even better, it’s reflective – perfect for low-light situations – and has a built-in light loop for the brand’s optional beacon attachment.
Ruffwear Palisades Dog Backpack
As you might imagine, all of the bags on our list are excellent options for day-long hikes with your dog. But, if you want to take your pooch out for a more extended period of time on the trails, you can’t do better than the multi-day hike-friendly Palisades from Ruffwear. This backcountry pack features collapsible hydration bags (with nozzles and everything), load compression straps, removable saddle bags, a padded grab handle, and secure leash attachments. If you’re headed out on a big adventure with Fido in tow, you can’t do better than this.
Best Hiking Dog Breeds
There’s not much use in looking at dog backpacks if you don’t yet have a dog. Find the ideal pooch for your outdoor adventures on our list of the best hiking dog breeds.