Dogs are often referred to as “Man’s Best Friend”. They are lovable, loyal, and a great outdoor companion. Dogs motivate their owners to get outdoors and many people are very satisfied to see a happy dog smile and wag its tail. Even if you know how to pack a backpack the right way and have invested in hiking backpacks, your dog can help you carry the load.

The best dog backpack would match the size and weight of your dog, ensuring they have a good balance of gear. You wouldn’t want to overload them, but a few small items can help ease your pack load and give your dog purpose. It can be overwhelming when you have to choose a backpack for your dog, especially when sizing and fit is important. A backpack can be a fun addition to your hiking checklist and gear list. Here, we have a list of top rated dog hiking pack choices and a guide to help you determine what is best for you and your pup.

With the best dog hiking pack, you and your furry companion can get outside more and hike the trails with ease.

How To Choose A Dog Backpack – Buying Guide


Whether you are going for a short hike, trekking a long trail, or want to spend a few nights in the outdoors, there are some features that you should watch out for, when purchasing a backpack for your dog. When it comes to choosing a dog pack, you can be easily overwhelmed by the variety of options and styles available.

It is extremely important that the backpack suits your dog, so that they aren’t being dragged down by weight. As well, you want your dog to be comfortable when using the backpack, but still hold all the gear. Extras like pockets and compartments can help you stay organized and be functional. Comfort and safety are important for your pup, so spend the time to find a backpack with the perfect fit and correct amount of storage. It is important that your backpack is also durable, so that you can use it for multiple trips and throughout the years. The best dog pack for backpacking will have you and your pup ready to hit the trails with all the gear you need.

Balance and Stability

Dogs are agile creatures naturally. Nature has made dogs into an efficient machine but adding extra weight can throw off a dog’s natural balance. In order for your dog to maintain their balance, you want a stable backpack. Most dog backpacks are in a saddlebag design, which means that there are storage compartments on both sides of the body.

You want to find the right design, because pockets that are too big means that your gear is free to roll around inside, which can further hinder your dog’s natural stability. You don’t want running and exploring to become an exhaustive chore. Instead, the best hiking backpacks for dogs will be snug against their body and have a tight fit.

Saddlebags that have the same design, mirrored on both sides, can be packed more evenly, which balances both sides of your dog. You want your gear to be tightly packed into the pockets, so that there isn’t free space for it to move around. The harness should hold the backpack on your dog snuggly, but you also don’t want it to be suffocating or uncomfortable.

A backpack that is also well balanced and stable, should give your dog the ability to still move freely and naturally.  You don’t want your dog to be restricted in any way, so that they aren’t accidentally injured on the trail.


Along with balance and stability, it is extremely important that the backpack is comfortable for your dog to wear. You should inspect the backpack harness from all the straps to the corners and the seams. Imagine how it might feel against your body, especially for up to several hours. You could experience it rubbing, irritating, or cutting into the skin.

Even the most comfortable straps and webbing, can dig into skin after a couple hours of non-stop use. The most common irritation spots are the neck, chest, and armpits. You want to be sure that the harness does not have any sharp corners or abrasive edges.

You should also consider the comfort regarding the temperature of your dog. A fabric that breathes is better to help your dog maintain their heat and to prevent them from overheating. Dogs have fur, so they already stay warmer than we do.

By adding a backpack, you are making a way for heat to stay trapped in their body. A top-rated dog pack will have thick padding for comfort that has mesh on the inside for breathability.


There are a few different safety points that you should look for in a backpack for dogs. First, you want to ensure that the backpack can withstand the pull of your dog and second, makes your dog easily visible so you can find them, or a hunter can recognize they aren’t a game animal.

The best way to ensure that the harness is strong enough to withstand the strength of your dog is to look at the stitching and webbing of the seams, as well as the buckles. You want to have strong stitching throughout the backpack, but the most important points are the leash attachment ring and the chest area.

A top rated dog hiking pack should have three layers of stitching on the piece that secures it in place to ensure that the leash attachment ring does not get torn off by the force of your dog pulling.

The chest area is also a point where a lot of force can be applied and you should be attentive to any loose stitching or torn webbing. The chest area should be secure like the seatbelt of a car.

You should also pay attention to the buckles of the dog day pack. Cheap buckles are prone to breaking, which can mean a loose dog. Plastic buckles are strong enough, but you should be sure that no pieces are broken and that there is a strong click when you snap it in. Metal buckles can be stronger but are more prone to rust and corrosion over time.

Lastly, packs for dogs should be bright colors with reflective pieces that make your dog highly visible. Should your dog break loose from you, it is easier to spot a bright color. It is also safer for your dog to be highly visible in the outdoors, so a hunter does not confuse it with a game animal.


As discussed in safety, there are certain points that make a backpack harness safer for your dog, but this also makes for a quality dog backpacking for hiking. A quality dog day pack will have strong and durable stitches, webbing, buckles, and padding. The best dog hiking pack will have multiple layers of stitches. A single layer of stitching really isn’t strong enough for the pull of a dog, so look for a lightweight backpack that has multiple stitching layers.

Once you have found a high quality base in those features, you should consider if your dog day pack is durable enough to withstand the wear and tear of multiple uses. You may want to look at features like zippers and the material that makes the majority of the body to determine if it can withstand the rugged outdoors.

Storage Capacity

The storage capacity of your dog saddle bag will be dependent on you and your dog. You will have to determine what gear you’d like your dog to carry and if they can easily manage the weight. Remember that adding too much weight can overwhelm your dog and exhaust them faster, especially if you are taking a long trip.

You should also pack the gear so that both sides of your dog are even in weight. It is easier for your dog if the weight is equal on both sides. To help keep the weight even, the dog day pack should have the same size pockets on both sides and there should be a snug fit.

Pockets and Compartments

The main purpose of a dog pack for backpacking is to help lighten your load on the trail. It is important that packs for dogs have quality pockets and compartments for you to organize and pack your gear. Firstly, the pockets and compartment should be spacious enough to hold your gear, but not be overwhelmingly large that your dog struggles to carry the backpack.

The pockets and compartments should also add protection for your gear against dirt or water on the trail. Your personal gear should be kept safe, even as your pup treks through dirt, sand, and mud.

Another way to determine whether the pockets and compartments would work for you is to check the reviews. Many owners will write how the pockets and compartments did or did not work for them. This can help you determine if the backpack would suit your needs and fit your dog.


The best dog hiking pack will be durable. It would be extremely frustrating to invest in a backpack harness, only to have it break after the first use. You should look for high quality materials that are strong and durable. The best dog hiking pack needs to withstand the rugged use of the outdoors. The construction should be strong enough to withstand the outdoors and the pull of a dog.

However, the best backpack for dogs manufacturers will have a warranty that backs up their product. Companies claim their dog day packs are durable, but should your dog saddle bag ever fail, you should be able to claim a warranty. You want the best of the best and durability makes for great packs for dogs.

Size and Strength of the Dog

The size and strength of the dog will determine the fit, storage capacity, and durability of the backpack harness. Dogs come in many different sizes, so companies should offer multiple sizing options for their packs for dogs. From small dogs to extra large, you should be able to find a harness that fits your pup and is suitable for an outdoor adventure.

Remember that the size and strength of the dog will also affect the storage capacity of the dog day pack. Larger dogs will be able to manage more weight and therefore, more gear. Smaller dogs would not be as strong as larger dogs and could not carry the same weight equivalent.

It is also important that the backpack harness matches the strength of the dog. A pulling dog can put a lot of force on the harness of the backpack, so larger dogs will need to have a durable design.


A dog day pack needs to be functional. You shouldn’t ask your dog to carry gear unless it has a purpose. It is also a waste of your money, if you buy a pack and it isn’t functional. The main purpose of the pack is to allow your dog to carry smaller sized gear items to help lighten the load on you.

The best backpacks for dogs will be functional and have features that are functional too. One additional feature that can be very helpful is to have a strong handle on the back of the harness, so that you can easily lift your dog, if needed.

Ideally, you want your dog day pack to be functional enough to be used for every trip and a piece of gear that both you and your dog enjoy using.


Q: Why my dog needs a backpack?

A: A dog backpack is not necessarily needed, but it can become a useful piece of gear for both you and your pup. If your dog has some small gear items that they use like a jacket, boots, food, extra leash, or dog life jackets, they may not need to use them all the time. Instead of you having to find the room, you can have your dog carry their own gear. Or if you are overwhelmed by the gear you must carry in your pack, you can delegate small items to your dog. A backpack is a great way to give your dog purpose on your trip to the outdoors.  Your dog can easily carry a small load to assist you so that you feel more comfortable too.

Q: Are dog backpacks safe?


If you spend the time to find the best dog hiking pack, yes, it is safe. Dog backpacks can be easily added to your dog camping gear. High-quality dog backpacks will be safe for your dog to use and you shouldn’t have to worry. However, you can help ensure that you have found a safe backpack harness for your pup by following our buying guide. By considering the various features and ensuring that they are durable and well-constructed, you will likely have found a very safe backpack.

Q: Can a dog backpack be used with harnesses?


Yes, but it will ultimately be dependent on the design of the backpack. Many dog day packs are designed to be used over a dog’s harness for hiking. However, not all feature the same design, so you should check the backpack to see if it is compatible to be used with a harness.

Many manufacturers should provide the information, but if you can’t find it you can check the reviews to see what other customers have said about the backpack design.

Q: How to clean a dog backpack?


There is not one general way to clean a backpack. You should look at the manufacturer’s provided information or guide to determine the best way to clean your specific backpack design. There should always be instructions that offer you the best way to maintain and care for your dog’s backpack. However, if you learned how to clean a backpack you have, the steps are similar. However, a great way to determine the best care is to read the reviews and see if others have successfully cleaned their dog backpacks.

Globo Surf Overview

One of the great ways to bond with your dog is to spend time in the great outdoors. Hiking and backpacking with a dog can be a great bonding experience. When it comes to packing and managing your gear, your pup can be of great assistance to you by helping to carry small items. If you are experience or using a hiking guide for beginners, the best thing is that your four legged friend will be eager to join you.

By investing in a top rated dog hiking pack, you and your pup can happily explore the woods and hike the trails with all the gear you need. The best backpack for dogs will be durable and long lasting to ensure that you and your dog can explore for years together.

More Backpacking/Hiking Reviews:

More Backpack Reviews:

Do you own one of the dog backpacks that made it onto our list? Let us know how it has worked for your outdoor needs in the comments section below.

Globo Surf Dog Backpacks Reviews

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Rated 5/5 based on 1 customer reviews
5 5 1
I was a bit reluctant to put a backpack on my dog but after reading your guide I decided to give it a try. My dog Rex loves it. He feels like he really takes part in every hike.

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Globo Surf
My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!