When the weather is perfect, there’s nothing like going on a long hike in a beautiful nature area. The only thing that would make it better is if you could go hiking with your furry best friend. The good news is that you can!
With backpacks designed to carry dogs, you can now go on hikes even with dogs who may have ailments or older dogs who get tired pretty easily. Not only are these bags suitable for hiking, but you also get to have your buddy nearby while you both enjoy the wonderful experience of a hike on a beautiful day.
The market is full of options, though, so just to make sure you didn’t go barking up the wrong tree, we decided to do the research for you. We’ve reviewed the 10 best dog backpack carriers. Let’s get started!
A Quick Look at Our Favorites in 2020:
The 9 Best Dog Backpack Carriers for Hiking:
1. K9 Sport Sack Dog Carrier – Best Overall
The K9 Sport Sack is a wonderful dog carrier because it is made for pups of all shapes and sizes. Whether it is a tiny little dachshund or a 60-70-pound cutie, you’ll be able to bring your furry friend on any hike you go. This product is meant to be worn either on the front or the back, depending on what your pet prefers. If you decide to wear it on the back, they will get to see the same views you do. If they are on the front, you’ll be able to hug your buddy all the way to the end of your hike.
This product is also great for animals who have a hard time getting out of the house, either due to physical or mental ailments or just old age. Since your pal will feel hugged inside the Sport Sack, it effectively works as a thunder jacket, effectively calming dogs who are more anxious. You don’t even have to take your dog hiking — with this backpack, you can take your dog everywhere! The Sport Sack is perfect for the mountains of Colorado or the subways of NYC.
There are certain durability concerns with this bag, and you might want to pre-soak this bag, as the colors tend to bleed if it gets wet. On that note, this product is definitely not waterproof.
2. Ytonet Dog Backpack Carrier — Best Value
This backpack carrier might be preferable to certain dog owners because instead of hugging your pet, this acts more like a mini crate that you wear on your back. Through the mesh panels, you’ll be able to see if your fuzzball is taking a nap or just taking it easy. With the design, however, it can only fit dogs up to a certain size, so anything over 20 pounds will be too big, no matter how much your mastiff still thinks it’s a lapdog.
This bag has conveniences for owners too! Using the side pockets, you can store everything you need for your pet, including a leash, bathroom bags, and of course, treats! There are two entrances with this bag, so your dog can have options, and if you decide to open up the, you can attach a leash to the bag in case your dog tries to jump out (gotta get those squirrels!). Ytonet is not discriminatory either: Not only do these bags hold pups, but they also hold kittens!
While this backpack has a bunch of adorable functional features, it isn’t without flaws. It isn’t the most comfortable bag to wear, but there are ways to adjust it. Considering the price range, it’s hardly a gripe, and we think of this carrier is the best value dog backpack carrier.
Kurgo has made a wonderful bag for carrying your pet, which is why it is our premium choice on this list! Able to carry pets up to 25 pounds, this bag is not only great for bringing along your companion, but it is fashionable as well. You can transform this bag from a backpack to a traditional carrier by just flipping it on its side. This bag also has all the pockets you could ever need, so you can carry all the treats your doggo deserves.
As we all know, accidents happen, but Kurgo has you covered there as well. The bottom of this bag is waterproof and easy to clean, as well as being stain resistant. The bag itself is well ventilated for the comfort of your canine, but it is also padded in all the right spots for a comfortable carry. This product is TSA approved and comes with a lifetime warranty when purchased from an authorized seller.
While we think that this is a wonderful backpack for carrying your pet, there are a few concerns about its weight threshold . While the manufacturer claims that it can carry up to 25 pounds, we have found that 15 pounds is a more reasonable size for this particular backpack. There are also certain issues of factory defects, but if your bag comes with one, you can always utilize your lifetime warranty.
4. PAWABOO Pet Carrier Backpack
The bag is fully adjustable, as it comes with buckles for a quick release if your pet should get uncomfortable or just wants to go play. With all that said, there are issues with this bag not being exactly comfortable for the dog or the human. Getting your pet into this bag can be a bit tough, and the shoulder straps have a tendency to fall off the human easily. Fortunately, Pawaboo has a wonderful customer service team and can help you with any problems that you might have.
5. PetAmi Deluxe Pet Carrier
This bag from PetAmi is made to be a hybrid of a carrier and a backpack. With its structured design, your pet will have plenty of space to peek out the top window or take a nap if desired. The bag itself is ventilated with two mesh windows on the side and one at the front of the bag, so your doggy can get the view they want!
Made with 600D high-grade polyester, this bag is meant to stand the test of time. It’s also available in nine different colors. The shoulder straps are padded and then padded again to allow for maximum comfort, and there are buckles that wrap around your chest and waist for support. If that wasn’t enough, this bag also comes with a collapsible water bowl and an ID tag.
While all the features on this bag are top notch, unfortunately, the zipper construction isn’t. It’s quite the shame because if the zippers were more durable and of a higher quality, it might be higher on our list, but more importantly, it would be more safe for your best friend.
6. Mogoko Dog Carrier
This bag is made for those who have smaller dogs of 10-15 pounds. The best way to describe this bag is that it is a rucksack for your pet! Made with mesh and EPE-padded foam, this has a drawstring opening neck hole for ventilation, so your dog can see where you both are going.
There are pockets on each side to store all your pet’s needs. The rope on the inside can be attached to your dog’s leash so if things were to come loose, they still wouldn’t be able to get away. The bottom cover of this bag is removable, which makes it easy to clean. There is a buckling waistband, and the shoulder straps are 100% adjustable so you can be as comfortable as your pet!
Unfortunately, there seems to be an issue with durability. The shoulder straps on this don’t handle the dog’s weight very well, and you might find yourself in a scary situation, as the straps have a tendency to snap. It’s possible to reinforce them, however, depending on your level of industriousness.
We think you’ll like:
7. Petsfit Soft Pet Backpack Carrier
This is a decent bag with a solid design that looks a bit like a birdhouse. It comes with all the classic features of a backpack for your dog: side windows made of mesh for ventilation, a hole up top so your doggy can peek through, and a solid base for them to nap on. Because of the bag’s sturdy walls and floor, your pet will feel like they are in a tiny home on your back.
This bag comes with a front entrance that your pet will simply have to step over to enter. The back is padded, as are the shoulder straps. For extra support, you can use the chest strap and waist strap. The material is a 600D Oxford cloth on the outside and a 230D polyester interior with a hexagonal mesh.
This bag is widely loved by people who use it. So, why it is so low on our list? Inexplicably, the pets hate it. Once inside the bag, they seem to do just fine, but most pets have no desire to get into this bag and will fight you in order to stay out!
8. Pawfect Pets Soft-Sided Pet Carrier
This bag is designed to be escape proof, and your pet will probably be able to tell, considering how small the mesh windows are. The good news is that it is designed to be comfortable — for the human. The shoulder straps are extra padded, with more padding on the back to make this feel nice whether you are riding a train or mountain biking. If you want to take your pet on an even longer trip, this bag is approved by several airlines, though you’ll probably want to doublecheck before you go. This bag is made specifically for very small dogs, as in toy breeds only.
However, this bag is narrow and not super comfortable for your pet, and it also might be dangerous. The zippers are not of the highest quality, and there is a tendency for the bottom of this bag to fall out altogether.
9. Lifeunion Dog Carrier Backpack
This product is a knock-off of our top pick from K9 Sport. It actually holds up decently well compared to the original. Able to hold dogs of up to 40 pounds, this bag also has side pockets to carry all your pet’s needs. Your dog won’t really be able to move in this, as it hugs them like a glove, but it still allows for them to come on any adventure with you. If you have a larger dog, you might have to make modifications for their legs to fit. So, why is this number 9 on our list? Lack of originality!
While there are important purchases out there, we all know that the most important ones are those we make for our loved ones, and who do we love more than our pets? With a dog carrier, you can take your pet wherever you want, but since this list is focused on hiking, it’s good to take note of certain aspects.
Obviously, comfort for you, the owner, is important, but comfort for your pet is arguably more important. When they are in these carrying bags, they are at the mercy of your movement, and you wouldn’t want to do anything to get them hurt. Certain bags offer more freedom of movement for your pet, but we have found that the bags that hug your dog may actually be better for strenuous activities.
While bags that hug your pet generally make for a better extended hiking experience, they typically lack the storage space for extras like leashes and water bowls, which could be important if you plan on going on longer hikes.
Not all bags are meant for the ruggedness of hiking, so you will want to thoroughly research the durability of the bag you are buying. There are reviews of certain bags where the animals will just fall out of them. This could be dangerous and is not a position you want to put your pet in.
The more you look for carriers for your dog, the more you realize how practical you need to be. There are many bags that will give you a variety of options when it comes to comfort for both you and your pet, but if you are hiking, you want to make sure you have as strong a bag as possible. We hope that with these reviews, we’ve mitigated some of the work in finding such a bag.
While we think that there is something nice to be said about every item on this list, there are wonderful products at the top of our list. Our prime pick from K9 Sports is great for those who may have bigger dogs. Of course, you can’t beat the value of the bag from Ytonet, which is basically a pet hotel on your back. We were thrilled to be able to put together this resource for you and your furry friend, and we wish you the best of travels in the future!
Featured image credit: Kurgo Dog Carrier Backpack for Small Pets, Amazon
Emily started this blog out of pure passion. She LOVES her 3 dogs; Chew Barka, Cooper & Nelson, and spends countless hours every day playing with them.
When she’s not nerding out on dogs, you’ll find her on a snowboard or in the kitchen baking chocolate brownies.
She’s been featured in PetAware, Dogtime, and ModernDog.
- A Quick Look at Our Favorites in 2020:
- The 9 Best Dog Backpack Carriers for Hiking:
- 1. K9 Sport Sack Dog Carrier – Best Overall
- 2. Ytonet Dog Backpack Carrier — Best Value
- 3. Kurgo K01909 Dog Carrier Backpack — Premium Choice
- 4. PAWABOO Pet Carrier Backpack
- 5. PetAmi Deluxe Pet Carrier
- 6. Mogoko Dog Carrier
- 7. Petsfit Soft Pet Backpack Carrier
- 8. Pawfect Pets Soft-Sided Pet Carrier
- 9. Lifeunion Dog Carrier Backpack
- Buyer’s Guide