If you love exploring the great outdoors and also have a pet dog, there’s a good chance you’ll want to take your canine companion on your adventures. But smaller dogs may find it difficult to keep up with the long distances and may quickly become tired. That doesn’t mean that they should miss out on the fun. By using a dog carrier backpack, your furry friend can run around and explore and then sit in the backpack when his legs get tired.
There isn’t an enormous choice of dog carrier backpacks out there but there is a clear difference between the best and the worst. You’re going to want something that is comfortable, durable, and easy to carry so before you start buying, we’ve got a few handy tips for you. We’ll also be introducing you to some of the very best dog carrier backpacks on the market at the moment.
Latest update: September 2021
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Hiking With Your Dog - The Benefit Of Dog Carrier Backpacks
Getting your dog out for a walk is one of the most essential parts of his care. Yes, you could put on his lead and walk around the block, but where’s the fun in that? If you want to give your pup the best walkies then taking them hiking with you is an amazing opportunity.
Using a dog carrier backpack will allow you to carry your dog when he needs to rest and they come in different forms. There are some that totally enclose the dog and have mesh windows so he doesn’t feel restricted whereas others allow the dog to have its head and legs poking out to get a good view and still make the most of the fresh air.
For owners, these backpacks mean that you can get on with your hike or other outdoor activity hands-free while still allowing the dog to get in on the action.
With all of this in mind and seeing what a great product the dog carrier backpack is, you still need to ensure that you correctly plan for your outing. Consider where you are going to be hiking and look at local restrictions for dogs. For example, some places may not allow you to have the dog off its lead whereas others may present too difficult terrain for a small dog to safely manage.
If you’re going on a longer adventure, you will also need to ensure that you have packed everything your dog needs. This might include treats, poop bags, a blanket and not forgetting plenty of water.
Dog Carrier Backpacks: Our Top Picks
We’ve been looking at some of the best dog carrier backpacks out there and there were many that
impressed us but these five backpacks really stood out from the crowd.
If you are looking for a versatile dog carrier backpack that will work in a variety of situations then the Pecute trolley backpack is worth considering. What we really love about this one is that it is just as adept for hiking through a national park as it is for travelling to your destination by air.
It is fitted with an adjustable handle and smooth wheels; it’ll also fold down for transportation. The wheels are fitted with a cover so that when you use the carrier as a backpack, you don’t get covered in dirt. There are plenty of side pockets for all your doggy essentials too.
There are several safety features that keep the dog securely in the backpack without compromising its comfort. And speaking of comfort, the fully lined and plush interior gives your dog a cosy experience while large doors allow the dog to enter and exit the pack without having to contort itself.
We couldn’t find anything wrong with this backpack
Wide doors for easy access
Lots of pockets
Great for travel
We wouldn’t recommend opting for a cheaper backpack if you are planning a very lengthy adventure. However, if you’re heading off for a few hours on a Sunday afternoon and want somewhere for Fido to keep comfortable then this front-facing carrier is ideal. It won’t break the bank and is perfect for occasional use.
It comes with adjustable straps that will keep you comfortable and reduce strain on your shoulders. They are padded and can be worn in two ways, depending on your preference. What’s more, the buckles are incredibly durable meaning the bag won’t easily succumb to strain.
We love this backpack for warmer weather since it features excellent breathability. The material will keep your dog cool and the legs out design means that he’ll get plenty of fresh air.
Not suitable for larger dogs or long hikes
Padded and adjustable shoulder straps
BEST FOR WET WEATHER
We all know that dogs don’t mind a bit of rain but if your hike turns into a very wet one, then you're not going to want to let him get soaked. That’s where this large, comfortable and most importantly, waterproof backpack comes into its own.
With breathable materials that will resist moisture, your pet will stay safe and dry when the heavens open. What’s more, the interior of the backpack is soft and comfortable to give your pet a pleasant ride. On the outside, the padded straps give you that all important comfort and with full adjustability, you can wear the backpack in a way that feels best for you.
The backpack offers excellent versatility and can be used for both travelling and getting out into the wilderness. It’s great for longer hikes since it also features a waist strap to further relieve pressure on you.
Foldable for transport
Some parts of the interior support are a little hard and poke through
Waterproof - exterior is Oxford fabric
Good size entrance
Suitable for dogs and other small animals
Features padded waist and shoulder straps
BEST FOR TRAVEL
Are you jetting off to new plains to look for new hiking adventures? If this sounds familiar, then you will need a backpack that is airline approved and the Mogokoyo one is perfect. Not only can you take it on an aircraft but it also comes with a range of great features that offer comfort, durability and support.
The backpack allows the dog to have its head out so if your pet doesn’t like being enclosed, this is a great option. Moreover, it comes in a range of sizes making it ideal for many different breeds.
Inside the bag, there are foam panels that are designed to offer your pet superior comfort, especially on longer journeys. The breathable material ensures great ventilation which is essential on plane journeys but will also be ideal if you’re travelling somewhere with warm weather. You’ll also find that the padded straps keep you comfortable and with full adjustability, you can ensure the bag is completely secure.
Great for travel
Some users feel the backpack isn’t as secure as others.
Range of sizes
Great shoulder support
BEST FOR BIG DOGS
It is often the case that people assume dog carrier backpacks are only for smaller breeds, but some larger dogs may also benefit from this accessory. However, the choices are much more limited and often, larger backpacks don’t come quite big enough for all breeds. But the Woolala is different; coming in a choice of four sizes, it will fit dogs weighing up to 30kg.
The backpack is incredibly robust and hard wearing making it perfect for longer hikes. What’s more, with the option to attach the dog’s lead, there is added security.
If you’re carrying a bigger dog, you’re going to want the ultimate support and the adjustable, padded straps offer this by the bucketload. This one also comes with a waist and chest strap for even greater support.
Great for large dogs
Opening may be too wide for slim dogs
Triple straps for extra support
Padded inside for comfort
What To Look For When Choosing A Dog Carrier Backpack
While consumers are not overwhelmed with choices when it comes to dog carrier backpacks, what is available presents you with a variety of choices in terms of functionality, size and much more. Before choosing a dog backpack, you should consider the following points.
You must consider the fact that your dog is going to be spending a significant amount of time inside the backpack. For this reason alone, you must ensure that it is durable enough to support his weight; regardless of his size.
This means looking for things like high quality and secure zips and closures as well as durable materials that are stitched well. The seams on the inside of the backpack should be smooth so as not to scratch or irritate your pup
It is also worth considering a bag that has a washable interior as there is a chance that your dog will leave behind a mess and you’ll want to be able to clean it easily. Moreover, it’s essential to ensure that the materials are breathable, especially if you will be going on longer hikes where your dog may overheat without proper ventilation.
Back Or Front Carrier?
One of the first things to think about when deciding between a front carrier and a back carrier is your personal preference. Some people find it more comfortable using one or the other so always keep this at the front of your mind.
However, you will also need to think about the size of your dog. If you only have a small to medium sized dog then a front carrier may be suitable. But for larger breeds, carrying the dog on your front would simply be an inconvenience and would block your view. In this case, a back carrier would be the most appropriate option.
You must ensure that the backpack is comfortable for you as well as your dog. This is especially true if you will be going on longer hikes. Carrying a bag that doesn’t have padded shoulder straps or the option to adjust the straps could turn your hike into a pretty unpleasant experience.
Doggie backpacks aren’t only used for hiking. Some people will use them to transport their pet on a plane; for example, if you’re jetting off to hike in remote locations. There are situations where dogs are allowed in the cabin, although this is something you will need to discuss with the airline prior to booking your seat. In any case, backpacks for this type of travel should be compact with mesh windows so that the dog doesn’t feel enclosed.
There are also some dog backpacks that come with wheels and these are great if you would struggle to carry your pet for longer distances. However, you should keep in mind that this might give your pet a bumpy ride so you’ll only need to use these on smoother terrain, unless the wheels are more robust and have excellent shock resistance.
The size of your dog carrier backpack is largely going to depend on the size of your dog. This takes nothing more than common sense to figure out; the larger your dog, the bigger the backpack you are going to need.
However, it is also important to think about how much space the dog has inside. You want him to be secure so that he doesn’t slide around while you carry him but not so much so that he feels restricted.
It is essential to think about how you will be using your backpack. For those who are going on longer adventures, it might be useful to find a bag that has additional pockets to store your dog's bits and pieces. In this case, you’re going to also want to look for something more durable that will withstand heavy duty use.
Anyone who is heading out on a shorter trip; perhaps a gentle afternoon stroll, stopping at several pubs on the way, might be OK choosing something a little more basic.
Dogs love the outdoors and owners who love hiking love to take their pets on their adventures. But our little furry friends can sometimes get tuckered out long before we do and there may even be certain places that would be difficult for your dog to navigate. In these situations, a dog carrier backpack is an essential item.
There are a few good products to choose from but it is important to first determine your needs and select something that perfectly meets them. Once you’ve chosen your doggie backpack, you and man’s best friend will be set to explore the world, no matter what happens!