7 Best Dog Backpacks for Hiking and Camping: 2020 Reviews and Guides

If you have a dog and you want to take him to anywhere you go such as camping, hunting or hiking, you may need something to help you carry your pet’s stuffs. And dog backpacks are ideal options for you. Once you use these amazing backpacks, you can bring your wingman to anywhere you want. It is very convenient and easy to use. Thus, you can feel less responsible when taking pets along and your dog will also gain a number of benefits from that. 

What are the best dog backpacks? Reviews of the 7 Best backpacks for dog

There are a number of dog backpacks on the market. However, you need to find the best one that can support your dog the most. According to a survey, there are 7 kinds of backpacks recommended for you.

Ruffwear Approach Pack for Dogs

best dog backpacks

Ruffwear Approach Pack is durable in long term so you will not need to change different bags for your dog

The Ruffwear Approach Pack is a weight-forward bag designed well for your dog. It is super convenient, easy to access and suitable for overnight adventures. You can put lots of items inside the pockets and your dog can carry comfortably.

The Ruffwear Approach features for lifting, leash walking and pulling. Thus, you can easily keep an eye on your pet at any environments, even it is a low-light visible one.

In addition, the straps on this bag are very easy to adjust. As a result, you can customize into any levels you want until your dog feel comfortable while walking.

There are 5 sizes for you to choose, ranging from XX-small into X-large. The XX-small is from 13 to 17 inches, the X-small is from 17 to 22 inches, the small is from 22 to 27 inches, the medium is from 27 to 32 inches and the large/X-large is from 32 to 42 inches. Just remember to take your dog’s measurements before deciding to buy one of them. By doing this, you can choose the right size for your lovely dog.

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Outward Hound Kyjen Dog Backpack

This backpack takes your dog’s weight off during its rest stops. There are 3 bright colors listed as blue, pink and orange so you can see your dog easily even it is at night.

The pockets are large, which means your dog can carry a number of things like a water bottle or different kinds of food. And the bag is suitable for dogs weighing between 15 and 19 pounds with 12 to 25 inches of girth. You can buy it on Amazon.com.

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Outward Hound Backpacks Hiking Gear for Dogs

Outward Hound Backpacks have a cooling mesh to keep your dog cool all the time. The reflective piping along with bright color helps you realize your pet easily. The straps are adjustable so your dog can do multiple activities comfortably. In case you have a lot of stuffs to keep and you need your dog to help you carry a couple of things, you can put them in the expandable pockets of your dog’s pack and they will not be dropped out. There are 2 colors (green and blue) and 3 sizes for you to pick up.

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Mountainsmith K-9 Dog Pack

Mountainsmith K-9 Dog Pack is rated 4 stars on the web. It has 2 pannier compartments, a sternum pad, a tubular grab handle and a single belly strap that is easy to adjust. In addition, there is an air mesh panel to increase ventilation so your dog can feel comfortable when wearing the pack.

There are 3 sizes: small, medium and large. The design is unique which can make your pets look more fashionable. Mountainsmith K-9 Dog Pack has caribe blue, azure blue and lava red. It is suitable for big load and is perfect for hyperactive canines.

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Ruffwear-Palisades Multi-day Backcountry Pack for dogs

It is also a great product from Ruffwear. It has spacious saddlebags and hydration bottles. Thus, in case you and your dog go for multi-day adventures, you can bring various kinds of stuffs. There is also a master harness attached with 4 points that can bring comfort and stability for your dog to carry the pack.

At the rest stops, you can give your dog freedom of movements thanks to the great saddlebags that are easy to remove. The compression system ensures the dog to keep things safely even while it is running so fast.

best dog backpacks

This product has spacious saddlebags and hydration bottles/ Ph: amazon.com

There are also 2 collapsible bottles, a secure leash attachment and a padded handle in the Ruffwear-Palisades Pack. The 3 sizes: small, medium and large/X-large are measured exactly like the Ruffwear Approach Pack mentioned above.

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OneTigris Cotton Canvas Dog Pack

This pack is made with high quality materials like cotton canvas. Besides being an useful bag, it can also create a sense of fashionista for your dog. In the two sides of the bag, there are two semi-open pockets. Thus, your dog can keep water, snacks, dog food holder and waste disposal bags in such a secured place. The pack handles of the bag is not created for lifting but for everyday use, they are such great options.

This is a multi-functional backpack which means it is used for multiple purposes. Your dog can use it for travelling, hiking, camping, backpacking trips, long trails walk or even just for walking everyday. The net weight of the pack is 600g/21oz and it has 3 adjustable straps that fit well for large and medium dogs.

best dog backpacks

 OneTigris Cotton Canvas Dog Pack is a multi-functional backpack which means it is used for multiple purposes

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Pawaboo Dog Backpack

Pawaboo Dog Backpack may be the one having the most stunning color of all the packs in this article. So, you can find your dog easily at anywhere it goes. The spacious pockets enable you to put so many stuffs such as foods, drinks or keys.

The pack is stable so it can stay balanced on the back of your dog, which helps your dog play freely without any obstacles.

best dog backpacks

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How to choose the best backpack for the dog?

After knowing how dog backpacks work, you may come up to the question that how to choose the best one that suits your needs. It is not a hard question. This article will give you some useful tips.


At the beginning, your dog may not get used to wearing something on its back. Therefore, you need to find a backpack that is light enough. After a couple of times, you can gradually add in some other things. Then, in long term, your dog will be able to wear all of its necessities without the support of you.

Best dog backpack

you need to find a backpack that is light enough for your dog to wear at its first time trying this kind of stuffs

Almost all of the pet owners prefer minimalist packs because of their simple design. Even their dogs go hiking and camping with them or they just run around the neighborhood, purchasing a lightweight backpack will be the best option.


Of course, there is no fixed size for dog backpacks. They vary a lot in order to fit different types of dog breeds. Thus, you need to choose the right size for your dog. But it is not enough. You will also need to find a bag that has adjustable straps.

Dog backpacks with adjustable straps enables you to adjust the bag on your dog correctly. In order to do that, you will need to measure the girth and the chest of your dog. After knowing what is the right fit for your dog, you will be able to fit the bag.

Remember not to make the bag too loose or too tight. If it is too loose, the bag will soon fall off when your dog is running or walking. Meanwhiles, in case it is too tight, your dog may feel uncomfortable to play around. The best choice is to make the bag fit around your pet’s body.

Load and efficiency

Besides being lightweight and adjustable, an ideal dog backpack should be load and efficiency. This means the pack needs to carry at least your dog water bottle and some other essentials. In addition, the load on the pack also needs to be distributed equally so that your dog can carry its thing much easier.

Always check out if the straps are putting too much strain on the neck of your dog or not. By doing this, you can make sure your dog may not get hurt by wearing its backpack. Your pet’s condition always needs to be paid attention to.


Anyone having a dog usually wants to train it with some tricks. However, whatever type of trainings you use, you need to get advices from the vet. It is because you may not know whether your dog may have health issues or not. In this situation, a vet can provide you some tips. What you have to do is to pay attention to your dog while hiking with it, then ask the vet for more information.

If you have just bought backpack for your dog, you should let your dog carry it without putting anything inside first. After your dog get used to having the bag around, you can put other things. However, the ideal amount of weight is from 10 to 12 percent of your dog’s total weight. If you put on too much stuff that is over the ideal weight, it will be a burden on your dog’s back. That is the reason why the first advice to choose the best backpack is to find a lightweight one.

The guide above is so general. In case you want to make sure about the right load your pet should wear, you can drop by a vet and ask him about this. Sometimes, your dog can carry heavier or lighter load but you need to ask the vet to guide you at this problem.

How do dog backpacks work?

Dog backpacks are becoming more and more popular nowadays. They allow your dog to do the good workout by wearing the pack. Then, this can change the behaviors of your dog. Your dog will not depend on you so much but it can do its own parts. And you sometimes can put some little things inside your dog’s backpack and he will not mind helping you. In long-term, once your dog is trained well, you and him can go on more further trips with lots of fun activities.

How to train your dog to use the backpack correctly?

It will be useless if you have a good backpack but your dog does not know how to use. Therefore, now it’s time for you to learn some basic tips in order to train your dog. It will not be easy at first but keep trying until you are successful.

First of all, let your dog walk along with the backpack in short sessions. You may have to cut your walk in half just because your dog is wearing its very first backpack. After time to time, you can gradually put more stuffs into the pack and your dog will not mind but keep carrying the pack.

Second, choose a pleasurable time to train your dog. You should not rush your dog at the beginning but give it some treats. By doing this, your dog may not feel overwhelmed when carrying something on its back. It is very important to develop the muscles for your dog. So, you need to be patient in order to get better results.


Final thoughts

Different types of backpacks have different pros and cons. But the backpacks mentioned above are truly the best ones for hiking and camping on the market until now. They can satisfy almost all of the features that one backpack should have. Therefore, you will not need to worry about the quality of them. Depending on your dog characteristics and your own demands, you can know which is the right option for you.

However, the Ruffwear Approach Pack for Dogs (check price) would be the ideal choice if you can just buy one for your dog. It is durable so your dog can use for a long time. There are a lot of positives comments about this product in terms of price, quality as well as the total outlook.

Nevertheless, this article just give you some suggestions. It is your decision whether to buy any of backpacks mentioned above.

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