When you and your dog step out into the great unknown, it’s probably best if they carry their own weight. After all, your hands are probably already pretty full as it is. Whether you’re going for a walk in town, hiking rough terrain, strolling the countryside, or camping in the woods—one of these saddle bags are sure to come in handy. Your dog will benefit from the extra weight, burning off more energy quicker. And you won’t have to worry about toting around too many things at once.
If you’ve been thinking about adding a pack to their collection of accessories, we did the hard work for you. We hand-picked 10 excellent saddle bags and gave honest reviews about what we found. This should make your purchase way easier and save you quite a bit of time, too.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|Model||Price||Sizes Available||Editor Rating|
|S M L||4.60/5|
|XS S M L XL||4.55/5|
|Mountainsmith||S M L||4.25/5|
|EXCELLENT ELITE SPANKER||One size||4.10/5|
The 10 Best Dog Saddle Bags — 2020
1. OneTigrisDog Pack Hound — Best Overall
When it comes to our favorite selection, the OneTigris Dog Pack Hound has our vote for the win. This is made of a durable material that is heavily stitched to prevent breakage. There is plenty of room in both pouches for storing water, treats, and other necessities. Each one measures 2 x 7 inches.
The belt strap fastens underneath at the midsection. It’s also easily adjustable, so you can fit it to your dog appropriately. The zippers are hidden, so you don’t put your dog’s fur when you zip it up. There is a reinforcement handle for you to gain control. There is also a UTX-Duraflex clip to attach leashes for casual walking.
It stays centered on the dog well, even with vigorous movement. However, if you size inaccurately and the fit is off, it can cause the material to rub the dog’s skin.
2. Wellver Dog Saddle Bag — Best Value
If you want a functional saddle bag but don’t want to pay a ton of money, Wellver Dog Saddle Bag is the best dog saddle bags for the money. It comes in three sizes, and you must refer to the sizing chart to be sure which to order. We reviewed the yellow and gray selection, but it also comes in three additional color choices to cater to your style preference.
It’s both lightweight and durable, so your dog doesn’t have to lug around extra weight because of the saddle. It’s made from breathable mesh for optimal comfort. It’s also washable, so if your buddy gets a little dirty on the hike, you can clean it up—no worse for wear.
This isn’t the most durable saddle bag on the list. With vigorous movement, it can come apart over time if there is too much pressure on the seams, so consider this if you want something durable.
If you want quality and you don’t mind a high price tag, the RUFFWEAR 50102-801M Approach Pack is our premium choice. This pack comes in two bright color choices and four sizes. With proper measuring, it can fit all dogs from toy to giant breeds. It’s a very lightweight design, making the transition to wearing the pack easy if your dog is new to the task.
There are five total points to adjust for the best fit possible. There are plenty of pockets and external loops so you can connect other items if need be. The straps are non-slip, so once the pack is fitted, you won’t have to worry about it becoming lopsided.
It also comes with reflective trim on the outside, so if you’re taking a trip in at dusk or in the dark, you can be detected by passersby. For smaller dogs, this pack portion may still be quite a load for them. Sometimes, depending on your dog’s build, it may be bulky as well. So, consider the actual pack measurements when ordering.
4. Mountainsmith K-9 Dog Pack
Another great selection we found is the Mountainsmith K-9 dog Pack. This stylish bag comes in two color selections and three size options. It’s nicely padded for comfort while wearing. Mountainsmith had sled dogs in mind when they created the fit for this pack. They wanted to be sure it wouldn’t slip, even with rough wear.
It comes with four adjustable points so you can appropriately attach it to your dog. The sternum strap is nicely padded to prevent unnecessary rubbing or irritation. The two pocket pouches on the side are perfect for all your dog’s goodies.
While the sizing chart is very accurate, be careful when ordering to avoid returns or exchanges. Otherwise, this unisex pack is perfect for both casual and heavy use.
5. EXCELLENT ELITE Dog Saddle Bag
The EXCELLENT ELITE SPANKER Dog Saddle Bag is definitely a product worth mentioning. While it only comes in one size, which is big enough for a medium to large size dog, it does have a very smart design. It’s compartmentalized very well for all your carrying needs. It also has four separate color choices so you can choose the one that matches their coat best.
It is made of extremely hard-wearing nylon material. There are adjustable straps to create a snug yet comfortable fit. Inside the pouches, there are ways to secure the items, so they aren’t constantly moving around, creating unnecessary rattling. It also has a leash attachment in case you want to walk your dog for a time.
If the harness is not attached appropriately, it can cause rubbing or irritation. So, do be careful it isn’t free moving or loose on your dog.
6. Outward Hound Daypak Dog Backpack
Next, we have the Outward Hound 22003 Daypak Dog Backpack. They make these bags in three size choices and two color options so you can buy the one you like best. It’s made from a very breathable mesh so your dog can get proper airflow—preventing overheating.
This pick is not bulky on the body, so it doesn’t fit awkwardly or cause discomfort. It has adjustable straps so you can secure it to your pup for a non-slip fit. It also has the reflective strip ideal for night hikes or other evening time events.
Chaffing is common with this pack, so make sure to measure as accurately as possible. Unfortunately, due to the style of the bag, it may fit some dogs but rub on others. Keep a lookout for any signs of skin irritation, especially under the front legs.
7. Kurgo K01586 Dog Saddlebag
The Kurgo K01586 Dog Saddlebag is a decently clever design, coming in three lovely color choices and two sizes. The side pouches are removable, so you can use or not use one or both at your leisure. There are a total of eight different adjustment points, making it one of the best fitting packs on the list.
It doubles as both a backpack and harness. If you remove the pouches, you can simply use the design as a regular harness—making it multipurpose. The straps seem a bit loose, which could potentially cause rubbing or skin irritation.
Kurgo also provides a lifetime manufacturer defect warranty, which is a really comforting offer if something out of your hands goes amiss.
8. Lifeunion Adjustable Dog Saddle Bag
Coming in toward the end of the list is the Lifeunion Adjustable Dog Saddle Bag. There are eight varieties to choose from and three different sizes. This selection is very durable, made of thick polyester material. It is also waterproof, so you can take it across creeks and other damp areas without saturating the contents.
It even comes with its very own poop bag holder for times when you need to clean up public messes. They give you 15 bags upon purchase to get you started. The rubber handle is nicely made, and it has a leash attachment for walking.
Even with appropriate sizing, this bag can cause rubbing with certain builds. The stitching is also not nearly as reliable as some of the other selections on the list. Use discretion when you purchase, as it will work very well for your dog—or not at all.
9. Cesar Millan CM000SM Dog Backpack
The Cesar Millan CM000SM Dog Backpack is here at our number nine slot. Sorry big dogs. This pack only comes in small and medium sizes. It does have bright colors, so your dog is easily visible. The pouches have various compartments so you can store treats, drinks, and toys on the go.
Cesar Millan is devoted to making pets their best selves. So, this bag was created to help the dog feel like they are doing a task, alleviating boredom, and anxiety. That is especially true for smaller breeds. It can, of course, also work for hiking and long walks.
It is stitched quite poorly, and the quality isn’t nearly as commendable as our other eight choices previously mentioned. This can cause the item to fall apart prematurely, leading to repurchase. The warranty terms are not clearly stated, so it’s unclear as to whether or not the issue would be covered.
10. Petsfit Dog Saddle Bag
Lastly, we have the Petsfit Dog Saddle Bag. It definitely isn’t the best pick we found, but it does have some things to offer as well. There is only one size, which is medium—and it only comes in one color. If you wanted more options, this is not the pack for you.
It fits over the back and straps on under the belly. It’s easy to put on. However, it will rub quite easily if you don’t adjust the size just right. The pockets are quite tiny as well, so you won’t be fitting too many items in there for storage.
The overall design looks very stylish, and it’s moderately durable. However, the other picks have it beat when it comes to quality and usefulness.
There are probably very few things your dog loves more than coming with you on an adventure. If they have their favorite humans, new smells, and plenty to look at— they will be perfectly content. When they come on long adventures, they may need to bring a few things along and pull their weight. A dog saddle is a great way to let them tote their own treats and hydration while you keep a few grams out of your own backpack.
It’s pretty aggravating to spend time researching a purchase just to have it backfire. When you’re looking to buy a saddle bag for your dog, the main question you want to be answered is— is it going to last? You can seem to find reviews of those who had no such good experiences with particular brands but look at the overall positivity factor.
A saddle bag should be able to withstand the moderate-intensity and frequent trips without issues. The material should be well-stitched and capable of withstanding the weight and wear. If you want to clean it, you could first make sure it won’t fall apart on you in the wash. In short, you’ll want it to be worth the investment, so you don’t have to prematurely purchase again.
If you’re packing enough for a few hours, water is an essential resource for your dog. You may also want to pack some treats or even a meal, depending on how long you plan to be out. Poop bags are a must if you plan on being somewhere where cleanup is required.
Making sure your bag can hold up with the amount of weight you estimate is essential. You will want it to keep together without the straps coming loose or stitching coming unwound. Just be sure to understand that your dog isn’t a small donkey, and you should probably travel as lightly as possible without overloading them.
Most bags will have their weight limits in the description, so this shouldn’t be an issue. Just make sure to read thoroughly before you make any final decision.
If your dog will be wearing this contraption for several hours, comfort is imperative. After all, you want your dog to be enjoying themselves and not overwhelmed by the load. A bag attached that is made of particular materials may irritate your dog’s skin. If they have a reaction to dyes or the feeling of the material, it can cause adverse reactions.
As a consequence, your dog may experience rashes, hot spots, or blistering. After the first use, it’s important to look under the arms, or anywhere the bag touched to make sure there’s no irritation. Sometimes, if the pack is washable, washing before use can eliminate potential irritants before they pose a problem for your pooch.
To extend on the comfort factor, most of that will come down to having an accurate fitting.
A saddle too loose or too right can be a recipe for an unhappy pooch. They may give you signals they aren’t happy or that they’re even in pain. All bags come with a sizing chart and visual demonstration to show you how it is supposed to fit and how to measure.
Measuring your dog will be more likely to ensure success so they can enjoy the wild outdoors with you and not wind up with some unwanted effects from the wear. The loose-fitting can cause chaffing, rubbing, blistering, and irritation. If you don’t have the right placement, it can also cause the pack to fit in a crooked fashion, causing pressure unevenly on the back.
We still stand by our number one—OneTigris Dog Pack Hound. It has every feature that makes a saddle bag great from adjustable straps, durable material, tough stitching, sizable pockets, and leash attachments. It fits ideally if you measure beforehand, and it looks pretty fashionable on the go, too.
If that didn’t work, the less expensive Wellver Dog Saddle Bag is our next best pick. It’s lightweight, washable, and affordable—and we think you’d love it. Even if the quality doesn’t hold up as well as some others, remember you cut the cost in half, so you won’t lose out a lot on the initial investment. But we don’t think you’ll have that problem.
If you want to pay up for optimal function, the RUFFWEAR 50102-801M Approach Pack is our premium pick. It is incredibly durable and able to withstand a large amount of rugged wear. It has a non-slip design, so it isn’t sliding around on your dog, irritating the skin. It also has reflective strips to show up when the sun goes down.
Hopefully, these reviews have helped you weed out the saddle bags that aren’t worth your time so you can make a final purchase.
Featured Image Credit: RUFFWEAR, 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 Comparison of Our Favorites
- The 10 Best Dog Saddle Bags — 2020
- 1. OneTigrisDog Pack Hound — Best Overall
- 2. Wellver Dog Saddle Bag — Best Value
- 3. RUFFWEAR Approach Pack — Premium Choice
- 4. Mountainsmith K-9 Dog Pack
- 5. EXCELLENT ELITE Dog Saddle Bag
- 6. Outward Hound Daypak Dog Backpack
- 7. Kurgo K01586 Dog Saddlebag
- 8. Lifeunion Adjustable Dog Saddle Bag
- 9. Cesar Millan CM000SM Dog Backpack
- 10. Petsfit Dog Saddle Bag
- Buyer’s Guide