While many people would argue that their backpack is one of their most important gear items, there is one more item you might want to consider: a dog backpack. Let them carry their own snacks, water, and more by outfitting them with a comfortable and spacious backpack.
There are many options on the market, but how do you decide which one is the most durable, spacious, and feature-heavy in your price point? To make your purchase decision easier, we’ve compiled this list of the top dog backpacks you’ll want to consider for your canine companion.
If you need to know the best dog backpack in a hurry, we recommend the Ruffwear Approach Pack for its storage space, weight-stabilized forward saddlebags, and organizational system.
- OneTigris Dog Backpack
- Kurgo Dog Saddlebag Backpack
- Mountainsmith K9 Dog Pack
- Outward Hound Daypak (Budget Buy)
- Ruffwear Approach Pack (Top Pick)
- Excellent Elite Spanker Dog Pack
OneTigris Dog Backpack
|Best for organization and storage options
|Check Out On Amazon
Kurgo Dog Backpack
|Best for pullers
|Check Out On Amazon
|Ideal for ergonomic design
|Check Out On Amazon
Outward Hound Daypack
Best for nighttime visibility
|Check Out On Amazon
Ruffwear Approach Pack
Best value for the money
|Check Out On Amazon
Excellent Dog Pack
|Great storage options and space
|Check Out On Amazon
Overall Score: 82
- Extremely durable material
- Lots of attachments and lash points for organization
- Hidden zippers
- Reasonably priced
- A little heavier than some
If you’re concerned about how your dog’s backpack will wear over time, you don’t have to look further than this option from OneTigris.
The tactical backpack is made of a durable type of 1000D nylon, but it’ll still wear comfortably on your dog. The inside is lined with mesh to keep your canine companion cool and comfortable on a long hike.
If you too want a great tactical backpack like your dog, do check out my best tactical backpacks recommendations.
While some people use empty backpacks to wear their dogs out faster, many campers prefer to let their four-legged friend do some heavy lifting.
You can easily store water bottles and other small items in the storage pouches. The good news is that your dog won’t be weighed down by the backpack, as it clocks in at just one pound.
One area where the OneTigris Tactical Pet Backpack truly shines is its storage. There is a 1.1-liter pouch to store snacks and other goodies, but that isn’t all.
The side pouches have an umbrella pocket with cross bungee cords to hold some bulkier gear. Your dog will get a great workout with this backpack loaded to the max.
Each side is also equipped with a loop panel, making it easy to attach items for quick access. This includes collapsible water bowls, treats, and even toys you want to use while on your journey.
A unique feature of this dog backpack is its zipper design. It’s tucked away, making it less likely to come unzipped during a hike.
The other benefit is that it’s much more difficult for your dog’s fur to get caught in the teeth of the zipper.
This makes it significantly more comfortable and more likely that they’ll want to wear this backpack again and again.
It’s also an adjustable backpack, allowing you to fit it on just about any size dog. A hook-and-loop belly strap and Duraflex buckles make it comfortable to fit to your pooch.
Once you have it fastened in place, your dog won’t be able to move it around much, which ensures their continued comfort.
If you want a robust dog backpack that holds much of your gear, then the OneTigris might be the right fit. This pack is relatively affordable, given its comfort, durability, and storage space.
While it isn’t necessarily the cheapest thing on the market, it’s a long-lasting option from a well-known name brand that still fits nicely into a budget.
Overall Score: 84
- Excellent storage space
- Designed with comfort in mind
- Built-in harness
The Kurgo backpack is a great option for both small and large dogs. It’s made from durable fabric while remaining lightweight for your pup.
One thing to point out is that it does come with some reflective trim, making it easier to see your dog in the dark.
On the backpack’s interior is a mesh lining so that this bag is breathable and comfortable under even the hottest conditions.
Just how lightweight is the material that makes up the Kurgo Saddlebag Backpack? You might be surprised to learn just how comfortable it’ll be for your canine to carry.
The Kurgo weighs even less than the OneTigris, clocking in at just 13.4 ounces. Your dog can carry this pack long distances, especially if it’s unloaded.
This model comes in two sizes: Baxter (dogs 30-85 pounds) and Big Baxter (dogs 50 to 110 pounds). Each model has a different storage capacity, with bigger dogs being able to carry more weight in their packs.
The Baxter still boasts an impressive storage capacity of 3.75 liters, but the Big Baxter is even greater at 7.5 liters.
Each side pocket has two options for organization. The main pocket and a smaller outside pocket can store must-have items like a first aid kit, water bowl, or snacks.
One of the benefits of the Kurgo backpacks is that they come with a built-in harness for dogs who tend to pull.
The backpack has both front and rear leash attachments, depending on the level of control you need over your four-legged friend.
The chest pad even comes with a built-in bottle opener for cracking open a cold one on the trail. If you aren’t sure how your dog will adjust to wearing a backpack like this, there’s good news.
It has eight adjustment points, so your dog gets the perfect fit every time. With your dog’s comfort in mind, it has ergonomic spine support and secure straps.
This robust dog backpack is a little more expensive than some. However, you have to consider the durability, comfort, and storage space that it offers.
This is an investment into your gear and should be considered as such. If you want your dog to be comfortable on the trail on your next camping trip, the Kurgo should make the top of your list.
Overall Score: 80
- Ergonomically designed and veterinarian approved
- Durable material with reflective details
- Impressive storage capacity
- Heavier at the base weight
- Expensive for larger sizes
Dog owners who want to ensure that their canine companions are comfortable on the trail will want to consider the Mountainsmith option.
This backpack is made from 420D HD nylon ripstop PU carbonate for an extra-durable option.
If you plan to hike in inclement weather or are just worried about a wet dog, you’ll be pleased to know that the backpack is weather and water-resistant.
Much like the Kurgo, it has reflective trim so you can see your dog in dim lighting. This carries over to the front, rear, and side panels so that you never lose track of your dog, even if they are off-leash.
Unfortunately, the item’s overall weight is one area where the Mountainsmith doesn’t shine.
Your dog might be a bit more weighed down by the backpack at its base weight, even before you start to add items into the panniers.
The large size clocks in at 1 lb. 7 oz. While the small measures a single pound. This is heavier than many on the market.
Much like the Kurgo, the Mountainsmith dog backpack will have different storage capacities based on the size purchased. The large size is the most spacious, with each pannier holding up to 9 liters in the pack.
Medium takes a significant hit and holds just 5 liters in each pannier. Meanwhile, the small can hold about 3 liters.
Fit is one of the most important aspects of finding a dog backpack that’s right for your pup.
This model from Mountainsmith is approved by a local veterinarian and is ergonomically tapered to fit just about any torso shape.
The harness adjusts at four key points and features a padded strap that runs the length of the dog’s sternum. It even adjusts around the belly.
Attaching your leash is also a cinch with an included metal D-ring.
It’s extremely comfortable for your dog and is equipped with perforated EVA foam that allows the backpack to breathe and mold to its body.
Combined with the mesh panels, this backpack won’t cause your dog to overheat easily.
Because of all the bells and whistles on this dog backpack, you can expect that it’ll cost you a little more than a basic model.
When comfort and breathability are of the utmost importance, the Mountainsmith is one backpack you’ll want to consider investing in.
A larger size may be a bit more expensive, but think about all the extra room you’ll have for storage!
Overall Score: 82
- Extremely bright colors make for great visibility
- Not as much storage space as some
The Outward Hound Daypak is a great addition to your gear if you want something that’ll stand out in the woods. Made with your dog’s comfort in mind, this backpack is made of polyester and breathable mesh.
The goal is to keep your canine as cool as possible while you hike, even if they have to carry a heavy load.
It’s also important to note that it comes in an extremely bright color with reflective details so that you can see even in dim lighting or across far distances.
It’ll be extremely hard to lose sight of your companion with this backpack strapped to them.
One of the great things about this dog backpack is that it comes in at less than 11 ounces. It may not be quite as spacious as some of the other backpacks, but this is certainly an area where this pack wins.
Take some of the load off your dog with a lighter backpack, ready to fill with goodies to help them enjoy their time on the trail with you.
The storage on this backpack is split into four compartments, two on each side.
Two of these four pockets are expandable so that you can fill them to the brim with training treats, toys, extra water, and all of the accessories your dog needs on your trip.
While it may not hold as much as some other dog backpacks found here, you’ll still have plenty of space for treats.
Like any of the top dog backpacks on the market, you’ll be happy to know that this one is ready to be adjusted for the perfect fit.
It even has a durable D-ring on the back of the backpack where owners can attach their leash quickly and easily. It’s designed to make things as easy as possible for both dogs and their humans.
You’ll also find that it has a padded grab handle. This aids you in guiding the dog over rocky terrain and allows you to grab them in a hurry if needed.
Not to mention, the padding makes it more comfortable for you to do so in a pinch.
If you’re looking for a dog backpack and aren’t sure how often you’ll use it, you may not want to spend a small fortune initially.
This model from Outward Hound is a great starting point, as it’s very affordable.
Even if your budget isn’t impressive, you can still get this quality option to allow your dog to practice carrying their gear alongside you.
Overall Score: 88
- Extremely spacious with up to 14 liters
- Weight-forward stabilized saddle bags
- Great organization in saddle bags
- A little on the expensive side
- Heavier but more robust
Are you looking for something comfortable and durable for your canine? This model from Ruffwear, known as the Approach Pack, fits the bill.
The shell of the dog backpack consists of 150 denier polyester, making it tough and mostly waterproof.
However, the harness is made of a molded bonded mesh and perforated foam for your dog’s ultimate comfort. Reflective trim also makes visibility much more likely in dim lighting.
While heavy on features and storage, this backpack is a little on the heavy side. It comes in at just a fraction over a single pound.
While this might not be the breaking point for your dog, it’s a good thing to keep in mind if your dog is sensitive to carrying extra weight.
You’ll find tons of storage space in the Ruffwear Approach, with up to 14 liters of storage volume.
Remember that you never want your dog to carry more than 25 percent of their body weight. It can easily surpass this figure when you have a pack as roomy as the Approach.
Saddlebags also have vertical stash pockets close to the dog’s torso. These are the ideal spots for heavy items like extra water, so they’re closer to your dog’s spine.
It’s a great feature to help you stay organized while on the trail.
This dog backpack is loaded with features that make your dog’s carrying experience much more comfortable.
For example, it features weight-forward saddlebags that are stabilized to keep them from bouncing along your dog’s torso while walking.
Even if loaded to the brim, your dog won’t be jostled by the contents easily. Remember that there are five adjustment points, so your dog finds his perfect fit.
Padding is also prominent on both the handle and the girth straps. They’ll be much more comfortable if you need to pick your dog up or assist them using the handle.
Not to mention, you’ll have a lot more control over your dog.
If you have room in your budget for something that holds a lot of extra gear, then the Ruffwear Approach is a great investment.
It isn’t designed to be the cheapest on the market, and its durability and storage space speaks volumes.
This dog backpack is high quality and commands a slightly higher price than some, but it’s still affordable for the features you get.
Overall Score: 80
- Durable, easy-to-clean material
- Lots of organization and storage options
- Heavier base weight
- No breathable mesh
This dog backpack is one investment you’ll have for a long time. It’s constructed of very durable 1000D nylon on the exterior, but it’s soft and comfortable on the interior.
The lining of this backpack is padded to keep your dog from chafing up against the friction points. It also has neat stitching that keeps the dog backpack in pristine condition now and well into the future.
One area where this model doesn’t come in with top marks is its overall weight. It comes in at about 1.35 pounds, which is heavier than most.
If you want a bag that’s comfortable for your dog with a lot of gear, you’ll want to consider this option.
However, this might not be a great option if weight is of the utmost concern (such as if your dog has sensitive joints or back).
Perhaps the best thing about the Excellent Elite Spanker is its overall storage capacity. Each of its saddlebags has a tight strap, allowing you to secure small items.
This makes it less likely that your dog will cause a ruckus as they gallop through the woods. It also makes it less likely that items will break due to rattling around in a spacious pack.
Each side pocket has an exterior horizontal umbrella pocket secured with cross-bungee cords for extra gear storage.
Many dog enthusiasts love the Excellent Elite Spanker because it has nice adjustability. It has a quick-release buckle and some adjustment on the belly strap to keep it firmly in place for your hike.
While it may not have as many custom fit points as other packs, it’s still customizable to some extent.
This model is easy to keep clean and maintain throughout the years ahead.
The backpack has a top handle to help guide your dog through tricky spots, but it also allows you to attach a leash to the aluminum V-ring with a built-in harness function.
This makes it less likely that your canine will pull you along the trail. Go at your own pace with this easy-walk harness in the Excellent Elite Spanker model.
This is an extremely affordable dog backpack for those who aren’t sure how much they will use it. It’s still durable, stylish, and spacious, but it won’t break your budget.
Consider whether this could be a small investment before moving on to nicer (and more expensive) dog backpacks for your canine companion.
Your dog deserves the most comfortable pack you can find, especially if they’ll be helping you carry the heavy load of your shared gear.
Be sure to weigh all of the options for your beloved fur baby to come up with the one that makes the most sense.
We recommend the Ruffwear Approach Pack at the top of our list because it holds the most gear with great organization and can comfortably fit just about any dog.
However, consider which features matter the most for your four-legged friend and weigh your options!