Best dog backpacks for backpacking and camping in 2017

best dog backpacks

Most dogs, like their human owners, love outdoor activities. Dog owners often prefer to take their dogs with them on their hiking, backpacking or camping trips. One of the major factors to consider is how to carry the necessities such as food and water for the dog. Dog backpacks (sometimes referred to as dog packs) are the perfect item to consider in such cases. These backpacks are specially designed gear for dogs to carry items such as their food, water and toys, and anything additional during the outdoor trip. So which are the best dog backpacks and how to pick the right one for your dog? Read on.

Picking the right dog backpacks is often a challenging task. In this article, we list some of the best dog backpacks available online. We will also look at the major factors to consider while choosing the best dog backpack for your dogs. Please note that dog backpacks are primarily meant for medium to large framed dog breeds such as Husky, German Shepherd, Terrier, Beagle, Great Dane, Mastiff, Labrador and Bernese dogs.

Best dog backpacks comparison list

Our pick of the best dog backpacks out in the market and how they stack against each other.
PictureProductWeight(ounces)Features 

Outward Hound DayPak Dog BackpackVaries from 6.4 ounces for small to 11.2 ounces for large - A light-capacity backpack with saddlebag design
- Comes in Small, Medium and Large Sizes with 4 expandable pockets
- Features adjustable straps & breathable mesh harness for maximum comfort & fit

Ruffwear Palisades PackVaries from 28 ounces for small to 33 ounces for Large - This high-end backpack is made with waterproof nylon.
- Offers features such as removable saddlebags, two collapsible water bottles, and a load compression system
- The package contains two 1-liter collapsible hydration bottles
- Can be used with or without the saddlebag as a vest

OneTigris Cotton Canvas Dog PackAround 24 ounces - One size backpack for medium to large dog, made with high density cotton.
- Comes with or without leash.
- Comes with two main zipper pockets and 2 front pockets.
Mountainsmith K-9 Dog PackVaries from 13 ounces for small to 20 ounces for large - An adjustable backpack with saddlebag design
- Comes in Small, Medium and Large Sizes with 4 expandable pockets
- Equipped with air mesh panels that provide increased ventilation to the canine body.
- Can be shipped to selected international locations
Outward Hound Kyjen Dog BackpackVaries from 10.2 ounces for small to 20 ounces for X-Large - This popular backpack has saddlebag design and is made with waterproof nylon.
- Comes in Small, Medium Large and X-Large Sizes with detachable pockets to take the load off during stops.
- Breathable meshes make it comfortable for the dog to carry the pack.
Lifeunion Backpack for DogVaries from 7.1 ounces for medium to 13.4 ounces for X-Large - Well designed saddlebag backpack made with high quality waterproof nylon
- Comes in Medium Large and X-Large Sizes
- Has 2 pockets on each side and reflective tapes for better visibility.
Pettom Two Use Dog Travel BackpackVaries from 10 ounces for small to 28 ounces for Large - Saddlebag backpack made with scratch-resistant polyester making it waterproof.
- Comes in Small, Medium and Large Sizes with 4 expandable pockets
- Can be used with or without the saddlebag as a vest.
Ruffwear - Approach Full-Day Hiking Pack14 ounces for medium - This popular backpack has weight-forward saddlebag design made with high quality waterproof nylon
- Offers 5 sizes ( XX Small to Large) and features 5 points of adjustment.
- Has 2 pockets on each side and reflective tapes for better visibility.
Pawaboo Dog Backpack9 ounces ( single medium size)- This single-size, light- capacity backpack is made with 600D Oxford cloth.
- The backpack fits a 40-60 lbs. dog perfectly.
- The backpack features two pockets on each side with adjustable straps and neck circumference
- Comes in four vibrant colors.
Kurgo Baxter Dog Backpack15 ounces for medium- This heavy duty dog backpack has a weight-forward saddlebag design, with two non-removable pockets.
- The backpack features 8 adjustment points and reflective trim strips.
- The backpack comes in six vibrant colors.
- Backed by hassle-free Kurgo Lifetime Warranty against manufacturer defects

How to pick the best dog backpacks for your dog?

Picking the best dog backpack can often be a challenging task. It is worthwhile to reiterate that dog backpacks are primarily meant for medium to large framed dog breeds such as German Shepherd, Alaskan, Terrier, Beagle, Great Dane, Mastiff, Labrador and Bernese dogs.

While how the dog would respond to a backpack would also depend upon its comfort level with a vest leash and its exact physical condition and age, there are a few factors that are worth considering before picking the best dog pack for your dog. These major factors are listed below,

  • Size and Weight of the dog
  • Building Material of the dog backpack
  • Design and weight of the dog backpack
  • Accessories and miscellaneous considerations

Size and weight of the dog

The size and weight of the dog is probably the most important criteria to consider while picking the most suitable dog backpack. Most of the dog backpack options listed above come in different sizes to cater to different sizes of dogs, however some dog packs such as OneTigris Cotton Canvas Dog Pack primarily come in a single medium/large size. The most important measurement besides the dog’s weight is the girth of the dog. Refer to the image and the following video to find the correct size of the dog.

Outward Hound Life Jackets Sizing Chart

Image courtesy:Outward Hound

Building material of the dog backpack

The building material of the dog backpack is extremely important for its durability and usage. Primarily dog backpacks are made up of high density cotton, high grade polyester or nylon. The cotton dog backpacks such as OneTigris Cotton Canvas Dog Pack provide excellent sweat absorption, but are not waterproof by default. Polyester and nylon dog backpacks such as the Ruffwear Palisades Pack and Ruffwear – Approach Full-Day Hiking Pack are fully waterproof. Cotton dog backpacks can be provided some water resistance by spraying them with waterproofing spray, but such arrangements can often be slightly uncomfortable for the dog. So depending upon the weather and your trip plans, you can pick the right material for your dog backpack.

Design and weight of the dog backpack

Most of the dog backpacks follow a saddlebag design. Some dog backpacks have evenly balanced pockets on both sides, while others such as Ruffwear – Approach Full-Day Hiking Pack and Ruffwear Palisades Pack have weight-forward saddlebag design. Depending upon the dog breed and how active your dog is you can pick the right design of the dog pack.

The weight of the dog backpack is also an important consideration. As per the standards, a dog should never carry a load more than 25% of its average weight. So lighter the backpack, better it is to distribute the load evenly. Light capacity dog backpacks such as Outward Hound DayPak Dog Backpack weigh anywhere between 6.5 to 11.5 ounces, while heavy duty, more durable dog backpacks can weigh around 25 ounces. In general, the dogs are pretty comfortable with the weight of the backpacks if they have been properly trained for outdoor activities.

In addition, many dog backpacks feature detachable pockets which can be safely removed during rest stops and bridge crossing or breaks.

Accessories and miscellaneous considerations

Most high-end dog backpacks come with useful accessories. For example Ruffwear Palisades Pack comes with hydration bottle. Some dog backpacks have leash included models also available. These additional accessories make the backpack an attractive buy as you would not have to worry about these items while planning your trip.

In addition to the accessories, some miscellaneous considerations that can help in considering the best fit are:

  • Air mesh panels and breathable back portion provides better ventilation to the dog.
  • The colour and reflective tapes can help in better visibility during evening and overnight hikes.
  • High grade zippers for pockets make it easier to open the pockets during loading and unloading.
  • 4-5 point adjustable strap arrangement at the chest and girth of the dog would help in ensuring that the backpack fits securely and comfortably to the dog.

Which are the best dog backpacks and what our picks are?

Ruffwear Palisades Pack – Editor’s choice pick for best dog backpack

best dog backpacks - Ruffwear Palisades Pack

Ruffwear Palisades Pack is really the top of the line dog backpack which provides exemplary features for a multi-day dog trip and beats its closest rival Ruffwear – Approach Full-Day Hiking Pack on this account.

This dog backpack is made with high-grade waterproof nylon and comes in three sizes – Small, Medium and Large/X-Large. The weight of the backpack varies from 28 ounces for small to 33 ounces for a large backpack.

This dog backpack features an improved webmaster harness frame with four points of attachment. It also offers features such as removable saddlebags, two collapsible water bottles, and a load compression system making it really comfortable for the dog to carry the load over a longer duration.

In addition, the dog backpack comes with two 1-litre collapsible hydration bottles and has 2 zipper pockets on each side. The dog backpack also features external loops to add additional light weight items to the backpack.

For all these reasons, Ruffwear Palisades Pack is our Editor’s pick choice in best dog backpacks.

OneTigris Cotton Canvas Dog Pack – Editor’s choice pick for best cotton dog backpack

best cotton dog backpack
When it comes to most comfortable backpack for your dog, OneTigris Dog Backpack would probably find a place among the top options, simply because of its building material – 100% high-density cotton, which provides excellent sweat absorption, especially in summers.
The OneTigris backpack comes in a single size and weighs around 24 ounces. It is advertised to fit medium to large dogs with a weight ranging from 30 to 120 lbs., meaning it would fit most outdoor friendly breeds. With a bunch of strap setups, you can adjust the saddlebag backpack safely as per your dog’s girth and weight. The backpack has a vintage look and feel and comes with two spacious main zipper pockets. Additional storage space is provided by the two front pockets which you can use to store goodies, travel bowls or small items. OneTigris offers two options for the backpack – with a leash or without a leash.
The one concern you may have with this backpack is that because it is made of cotton fabric, it is not waterproof. Still, for normal weather conditions, your dog would appreciate the comfort.
For all these reasons, the OneTigris Dog Backpack is our Editor’s pick for best cotton dog backpack.

Outward Hound DayPak Dog Backpack – Best value pick for dog backpack

best dog backpack - Outward Hound DayPak Dog Backpack

Outward Hound DayPak Dog Backpack is a decent dog backpack for its price. It is a light-capacity backpack that follows a saddlebag design.

This dog backpack comes in small, medium and large sizes with the weight varying from 6.4 ounces for small to 11.2 ounces for the large backpack. It offers convenience and storage space of four expandable pockets and a D-ring clip, which can be used to clip your dog leash.

It comes in two vibrant colors – blue and green. It’s reflective accents and vibrant colors enhance visibility. In addition, it has adjustable straps and breathable mesh harness, making it comfortable for the dog to wear.

For all these reasons, Outward Hound DayPak Dog Backpack is our best value pick choice in best dog backpacks.

Dog Backpack Accessories

One of the most common accessory to go with the dog backpack is a compact food and water bowl. These bowls come in two categories – nylon fabric based and silicone plastic based. The nylon-based bowls are extremely flexible and generally lighter than plastic based bowls. Plastic based bowls are also collapsible and dry quicker than nylon based bowls. While selecting a plastic dog bowl, always check that the bowl is listed as BPA free and dishwasher safe.

Some of the options for food and water bowls available in the market are listed below:

Another important accessory to consider is a dog hydration bottle. Such hydration bottles fit smartly in your or your dog’s backpack bottle holder and have a cup attached to the lid.

Some of the best options available in the market are listed below:

Helpful Tip: When deciding the best dog backpack, keep in the mind what the average weight of the animal for that size should be and not the weight of your dog. That way you would almost always pick the correct dog backpack.

Final thoughts on the best dog backpacks

In this post, we looked at some of the best dog backpacks available in the market. While the best dog backpack for the dog depend on personal preferences, type of activity and weather conditions, we looked at some of the major factors to consider while picking the best suited dog backpacks for your dog or as a gift for somebody else. Do let us know how you found this article and if you would want us to consider anything else. Best wishes for your next backpacking or hiking trip with your favourite pet pup!

Related posts

Best dog carriers
Best pet travel bowls
Best travel water bottles for dogs

Shop products related to best dog backpacks

Image credits:Amazon.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *