Best dog carriers for backpacking and camping in 2017

best dog carriers

Most dogs, as mentioned in the article on dog backpacks, love to go with the owners on hiking, backpacking or camping trips. While dog backpacks provide an excellent gear for dogs to carry items such as their food, water, and toys, they are primarily meant for medium to large framed dogs only.

For small dogs and puppy, dog carriers are the best way to carry your dog on outdoor trips. The major advantage with such carriers is that it gives the dog owners a perfect hand free way of carrying the pup with them along with the dog accessories and toys.

It is worthwhile to note that though front side or back side dog carriers are primarily meant for dogs, they can also be used for cats. Some carriers provide an adjustable design which makes them suitable for dogs and cats both. So which are the best dog carriers? Read on to find out.

Picking the right dog carrier backpack/front pack is often a challenging task. In this article, we list some of the best dog carriers available online. We will also look at the major factors to consider while choosing the best dog carrier for your pets. It is important to note that pet carriers are primarily meant for pets which are not more than 15 pounds, as carrying additional load may make it difficult for the owner to carry the pet over longer periods.

Some of the supported breeds include Shih Tzu, Corgi, Miniature Pinscher, Chihuahua, Yorkshire terrier, Pomeranian, Mini poodle and Teddy cups.

Best dog carriers comparison list

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

Outward Hound Kyjen PoochPouch Front Carrier For DogsVaries from 16 ounces for small to 24 ounces for medium - A popular front carrier pack made with Water-resistant nylon fabric
- Comes in small and medium size for dogs weighing up to 15 pounds.
- Padding in straps, back & pouch bottom creates comfort for you and your dog
- Features adjustable straps & breathable mesh harness for maximum comfort & fit

K9 Sport Sack AIR Dog CarrierVaries from 6.4 ounces for x-small to 14.4 ounces for large - This dog carrier features a smart backpack design made with waterproof material
- Comes in X-Small, Small, Medium and Large Sizes.
- Has features such side meshes for ventilation, and adjustable straps
- The latest version includes an upgraded easy pull-zipper, dual side pockets and a safety D-ring for collar hook-up.
- Optional Booster blocks available for undersized dogs.

ColorPet Front/back Pet Carrier8 ounces for large - This pet front carrier is made of soft polyester, so it is lightweight and comfortable for pets
- Can be used as front or back carrier.
- Single sized carrier suitable for pets weighing from 8 to 14 pounds.
- Has features such side meshes for ventilation, and adjustable straps
OLizee Portable Pet Carrier BackpackVaries from 5 ounces for small to 12 ounces for large - A pet carrier is made up of high grade cotton canvas and can be used as front or back carrier
- Comes in Small, Medium and Large Sizes with mesh design for ventilation
- Suitable for pets weighing from 5.5 pounds to 12 pounds
- Features adjustable straps so carrier can be used for dogs as well as cats.
Pettom Front Cat/Dog BackpackVaries from 8 ounces for small to 16 ounces for X-Large - This front carrier features an intelligent design with collar lock.
- Comes in Small, Medium Large and X-Large Sizes for dogs weighing from 4 to 14 pounds
- Features adjustable straps so carrier can be used for dogs as well as cats.
Pet Carrier Hands Free Dog CarrierVaries from 4.8 ounces for medium to 10.4 ounces for Large - This front carrier is made up of soft and light polyester material with colourful strips to shine
- Comes in Medium and Large Sizes for pets weighing from 5 pounds to 15 pounds.
- It features a top opens Velcro design and zipper on both sides making it convenient to open and clean
OSIR Dog or Cat Pet Carrier BackpackAround 24 ounces - This carrier features a backpack or one side design and made with water resistant polyester.
- Single sized carrier which is suitable for pets up to 15 pounds.
- Features adjustable straps so carrier can be used for dogs as well as cats.
AerWo Dog Cat Pet CarrierVaries from 13.6 ounces for small to 16 ounces for Large - This front carrier is made with a combination of sandwich mesh cloth and pearl wool.
- Comes in Comes in Small and Medium Sizes for pets weighing from 5 pounds to 9 pounds
- Features adjustable straps so carrier can be used for dogs as well as cats.
COODIA Front Pet CarrierVaries from 9 ounce for small to around 16 ounce for XL- This front carrier features wide, adjustable straps which allow it to be used as front or backpack carrier.
- Has built in safety lock for safety and a zipper front zipper pouch for storage.
- Backed by one year manufacturer warranty.
NICREW Legs Out Front Dog CarrierVaries from 5.6 ounces for small to 8 ounces for XL- Smartly designed, front dog carrier with an easy on/off design.
- Upgraded version has wider adjustable straps and shoulder pads.
- Has side mesh panels for better ventilation.
- Available in two colors and four sizes.

How to pick from the best dog carriers for your dog?

Picking the best dog carrier can often be a challenging task. It is worthwhile to reiterate that pet carriers are primarily meant for pets which weigh not more than 15 pounds, including cats and dog breeds such as Miniature Pinscher, Chihuahua, Yorkshire terrier, Pomeranian, Mini poodle and Teddy cups. In addition to this, there are a few factors that are worth considering before picking the best carrier for your pet. These major factors are listed below,

  • Size and weight of the dog
  • Building material of the dog carrier
  • Design and weight of the dog carrier
  • 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 carrier. Many dog carrier options listed above come in different sizes to cater to different sizes of pets, however some dog carriers such as ColorPet Front/back Pet Carrier and OSIR Dog or Cat Pet Carrier Backpack primarily come in a single medium/large size.  The most important measurement besides the dog’s weight are the girth of the dog and gap between legs. Refer to the image below to find the correct size of the carrier for your dog (or cat).

Dog sizing

Image courtesy:OLizee Pet Products

Building material of the dog carrier

The building material of the dog carrier is extremely important for its durability and usage. Primarily dog carriers are made up of high-density canvas cotton or high-grade polyester. The cotton dog carriers such OLizee Portable Pet Carrier Backpack provide excellent air circulation for your dog but are not waterproof by default. Polyester backpacks such as the K9 Sport Sack V2 Dog Carrier and ColorPet Front/back Pet Carrier are water resistant (though not fully waterproof).  In addition, the polyester dog carriers are more scratch proof when compared to cotton carriers.

Design and weight of the dog carrier

Most of the dog carriers follow either a front or a backpack design. Some special dog carriers such as OSIR Dog or Cat Pet Carrier Backpack also have a smart one-sided lay-up design for travel. Depending on the dog/cat breed and how active your dog is you can pick the right design of the dog carrier.

The weight of the dog carrier is also an important consideration.  As per the standards, a person should avoid carrying a pet any heavier than 15 pounds, carrying additional load may make it difficult for the person to carry the pet over longer periods. So lighter the dog carrier, easier it is for the owner to carry it. Lightweight carriers such as OLizee Portable Pet Carrier Backpack weigh anywhere between 5 to 12 ounces, while heavy duty, more durable dog carriers can weigh around 24 ounces.

In addition, many dog carriers feature adjustable mesh sides for proper ventilation and adjustable straps so that they can be used with different dog sizes and even with cats.

Accessories and miscellaneous considerations

Most dog carriers come with useful accessories. Dog carriers such as K9 Sport Sack V2 Dog Carrier  feature mesh side pocket which is handy for storing water, snacks and other necessities. Some front carriers such as provide additional features such as Pettom Front Cat/Dog Backpack and AerWo Dog Cat Pet Carrier provide a clip to connect pet’s collar directly to the carrier in order to prevent the pet from jumping out of the carrier.

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

K9 Sport Sack AIR (Version 2) Dog Carrier review – Editor’s choice pick for best dog carrier

best dog carrier - K9 Sport Sack V2
K9 Sport Sack AIR Dog Carrier, the second-generation version of the best-selling Original Dog Carrier Backpack is undoubtedly the top of the line dog carrier which provides some excellent features.

This dog carrier features a smart backpack design made of waterproof material. It comes in X-Small, Small, Medium, and Large Sizes, with the weight of the carrier varying from 6.4 ounces for x-small to 14.4 ounces for a large carrier, and can support dogs weighing anywhere from 5 pounds to 20 pounds. Some people were even able to fit their 25-pound dog in it.

It has adjustable padded straps, making it easier to adjust the carrier on the shoulder of the pet owner. There have been a lot of upgrades and improvements to the latest version. The AIR model has a much improved easy-pull zipper that does not make the dog uncomfortable. It also has as a safety D-ring for safely hook-up the dog’s collar in the carrier while on the move.

Another major improvement is the addition of side meshes for better air ventilation for the dog. The carrier also features extra padding on the bottom for extra comfort to the pet and the owner. And to add to it, it also contains side pockets for storing some snacks or a pet water bottle.

The manufacturer has even introduced booster blocks for large and small-sized carriers to support your undersized dogs.

The K9 Sports Sack AIR dog carrier comes in 7 vibrant colors, so there are a lot of options to pick. Moreover, the dog carrier is backed by a 30-day quality guarantee.

For all these reasons, K9 Sport Sack AIR Dog Carrier is our Editor’s pick for the best dog carrier. Whether you are looking for a backpack dog carrier for outdoor trips or a stroll around the city, this dog carrier is a perfect choice.

Outward Hound Kyjen PoochPouch Front Carrier For Dogs – Best value pick for dog carrier

best dog carrier - Outward Hound Kyjen PoochPouch Front Carrier

Outward Hound Kyjen PoochPouch Front Carrier is a popular front carrier pack made with Water-resistant high-quality nylon fabric and comes in gray and blue color. Though it is advertised as a front carrier, it can be worn on the back as well by adjusting the straps.

It comes in small and medium sizes with the weight of the carrier varying from 16 ounces for small to 24 ounces for medium. The carrier pack is suitable for dogs weighing from 5 to 15 pounds.

It has a front pocket to store some necessities for the dog. In addition, the dog carrier features padding in straps, back & pouch-bottom making it comfortable for the owner and the dog. It also has adjustable straps & breathable mesh harness for maximum comfort & fit

For all these features and its price, Outward Hound Kyjen PoochPouch Front Carrier For Dogs is the best value pick in best dog carriers.

ColorPet Front/back Pet Carrier – Best multi-design dog carrier

best dog carrier - ColorPet Front/back Pet Carrier

ColorPet Front/back Pet Carrier is uniquely designed to act as a perfect front or backpack dog carrier. Because of its ultralight design and multiple modes, it deserves a reference as the best multi-design dog carrier.

This pet carrier is made of a high-quality polyester blend, so it is waterproof and extremely comfortable for pets. In comes in a single size, equivalent to medium/large carrier and is suitable for pets – dogs and cats weighing 8 to 14 pounds.

It features side meshes which provide great ventilation. In addition, it features adjustable shoulder straps and hook plus loop closures for safety and comfort of the pet.

For all these reasons, ColorPet Front/back Pet Carrier is the best pick for multi-design dog carrier.

Helpful Tip: When deciding the best dog carrier, keep in the mind what the actual weight of your dog is and how active your dog is in the enclosure. That way you would almost always pick the correct dog carrier.

Final thoughts on best dog carriers

In this post, we looked at some of the best dog carriers available in the market. While the best dog carriers for the dog depend on personal preferences, type of carrier and weather conditions, we looked at some of the major factors to consider while picking the best suited dog carriers for your dog or as a gift for somebody else. Some of these dog carriers are also suitable to carry cats. 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!

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