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Best Dog Backpacks for 2020

Hiking with your dog is rewarding – you get to spend time together, both stay active and get to see some sights, too.

But it can be hard for you to carry everything, especially if you’re loaded up for the day. So, why not make your dog help you out? They are well-suited for climbing and have enough energy to carry their own gear at the very least, after all.

A dog backpack or rucksack complete with saddlebags gives them this opportunity. You can load them up with their water bottle, food and collapsible bowl while just taking care of your own essentials.

So, we have rounded up some of the best on the following list.

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    Our Top Picks

    Image Product Details
    Hurtta Outdoors Trail Pack
    • Fully adjustable
    • Also works as a harness
    Check Price
    OneTigris Backpack for Dogs
    • Plenty of option for storage
    • Heavy capacity
    • Different colours available
    Check Price
    PetSafe Kurgo Baxter Dog Backpack
    • Different sizes available
    • Can work as a harness
    Check Price

    The Top 5 Dog Backpacks & Saddlebags Reviewed

    1.
    Hurtta Outdoors Trail Pack

    Thanks to the adjustable belt, collar and chest strap, this backpack has every chance at being the perfect fit for your dog.

    It won’t move around as your dog moves, making it an ideal option if you’re off on a really active day out. There are two bags, one on each side, and 3M reflectors improve visibility in the dark.

    There is a handle on the back which will allow you to hold them to the side or closer if necessary, and the separate harness can be used for walking or as a car safety harness. The backpacks are easy to remove just in case you want to give them a break, and both bags are zipped for security.

    Features

    • Fully adjustable
    • Also works as a harness

    Specifications

    • Size: S/M
    • Colour: Black

    2.
    OneTigris Backpack for Dogs

    Great if you will be gone for the day, the 1000D nylon material with mesh lining for breathability maximises both function and comfort.

    There is plenty of room to get loaded up; a 3L pouch will keep essentials safe, and there are two 2″ x 7″ loop panels on either side for carrying water bottles or anything else which can clip on. You also get a thinner umbrella pocket as well as cross-bungee cords for strapping on extra gear.

    The zippers are hidden which isn’t just good for safety but will also prevent your dog’s hair from getting caught. Hook and loop fasteners go under the belly and around the chest, and they are solid so the bag won’t move when they do.

    There is good measurement guidance on the page before you buy so you can get the right size, but be aware that because it is so big and heavy capacity, it is best for large breeds.

    Features

    • Plenty of option for storage
    • Heavy capacity
    • Different colours available

    Specifications

    • Size: M/L
    • Colour: Black, Brown, Green

    3.
    PetSafe Kurgo Baxter Dog Backpack

    Lightweight yet tough, this saddlebag backpack has eight points of adjustment for a perfect, safe fit.

    There are two different sizes, 3.5 and 7.5L, with the lower best for dogs between 13 and 38kg, and the higher suitable for dogs between 22 and 50kg. The two different saddlebags give you the chance to balance the weight and the red colour will stand out on any dog for visibility.

    You get a handle on the back for when you have to keep them close, and there is also a rear-mounted leash hook for when they have to be on their lead.

    Features

    • Different sizes available
    • Can work as a harness

    Specifications

    • Size: 3.5/7.5L
    • Colour: Red

    4.
    DoggyDobby Dog Saddle Bags

    Made from high-tenacity and stretch-resistant fabric with reinforced stitching, and with a cushioned underside, this is a comfortable rucksack for any dogs who maybe don’t have long hair and products tend to rub.

    The buckles are covered with soft fabric to prevent rubbing on the skin, and the overall fit is comfortable on pretty much all large breeds, from Greyhound to Husky. It is one size fits all, with room for adjustment and maximum loads.

    It holds quite a bit of stuff, from snacks to toys and extras, and there are reflective strips for better visibility on the darker nights.

    Features

    • Reflective patches
    • Cushioned for comfort

    Specifications

    • Size: One Size
    • Colour: Dark Grey

    5.
    Outward Hound Kyjen 22005 DayPak

    This is a great dog backpack for any hounds who carry all they need for their grand day out.

    The two side pockets are extendable, and you get four smaller pockets on each which allows you to keep smaller items such as your keys or phone safer. Their lead can be attached directly to the D-ring on the back of the bag, and will easily be unclipped if you can let them roam free in places.

    Thanks to the blue colour, your dog will be visible with the contrasting item, and there are reflective strips down it too. It’s fully adjustable, but you should still follow the size guide as much as possible.

    It isn’t great for breeds such as Greyhounds who are a bit skinnier, and it doesn’t balance itself massively well if your dog goes from side to side, but on a positive note, it is lightweight so great for their movement.

    Features

    • Good bright colour
    • Storage opportunities

    Specifications

    • Size: M/L
    • Colour: Blue

    Buying Guide

    Maximum Capacity

    How much your dog carries should never exceed over 20% of their own body weight. For example, a 15kg dog will carry a maximum of 3kg.

    But this gives you a good guide on which to buy. Most backpacks will just give you plenty of room to load up, but you want to make sure you don’t buy a huge backpack for your small terrier which risks being overloaded.

    Also, think about where and when they will be using it. A little daytime trip will likely require less space than a big weekend of hiking in the Lake District.

    Size

    The size you see on our review is just a guide for the company who has made the product. Fitting in a Large for one company won’t necessarily mean your dog is a Large in another, so always take note of the product measurements instead.

    Most dog backpacks are usually for medium or larger breeds, so you’d struggle to get one for small or toy breeds. But they are often fully adjustable via the stomach, chest and side straps so you can make it tighter if needed.

    Colour

    Not really a big decision to make. You may want to match their other equipment such as collars and leads, or even your own coat.

    We will say that it may be a good idea to get a backpack in a contrasting colour to your dog, however. This is especially fitting if you will be in wooded, darker areas and visibility is a must.

    Other Buyers Ask...

    What can my dog carry in their backpack?

    It is a good idea to pop some treats, water and any other essentials such as poo bags or food bowls in there. Make sure everything is balanced in weight though – heavy water bottles may be best carried by you.

    They can also carry your essentials, such as your phone, keys and wallet. Be careful with this in terms of safety though – if there is a chance they will run off, or be so active that everything falls out, you may wish to reconsider.

    Are dog backpacks cruel?

    No! As long as you don’t weight them up so heavy that they can’t move, dogs actually love having a purpose. This is why many carry sticks, toys and other items on walks – they think they are helping out.

    Energetic dogs may also benefit from a weighted backpack as the extra weight will tire them out a bit more.

    Can my dog wear a human backpack?

    Not really. The idea of a dog rucksack is that the weight is spread out in the saddlebags, so they don’t realise they are carrying an extra burden, but it is also better for their body.

    A human backpack would mean the weight pressed straight down onto their spine, and the items also wouldn’t be as balanced and secure. This is not good at any time, never mind when they are very active and moving around.