4 Best Dog Hiking Packs (What To Look For?)

There are lots of gear to consider when you and your furry pal are gearing up for a hiking or camping trip. One of the best pieces of gear you can have would be a dog pack which allows your dog to take some of the burden during excursions.

Dogs also like the sense of having a job which can make them more focused and easy to manage.

Today we will be looking at the following packs:

  • Ruffwear Approach Dog Backpack
  • OneTigris Cotton Canvas Dog Pack
  • Lifeunion 2-in1 Service Dog Pack
  • Outward Hound DayPak
  • Pettom Canvas Dog Backpack

What to Look for in a Dog Hiking Pack


Packs come in a variety of sizes and most adjust via straps. Make sure that the pack is fully adjustable for the best fit possible. If possible, go with an option that provides ample padding. While you can limit a good bit of chafing by simply making sure the pack is a snug fit and the load is balanced, the padding will go a long way to helping your dog stay comfortable.

While we are talking about comfort make sure the material is right for the climate you are hiking in aka mesh and light for hotter regions and thicker insulation for colder regions.

The weight-load of a pack should be centered over the shoulders, not the loin area. Packs should taper off and end at the ribs, much like you see in dog sweaters and harnesses. Make sure you are balancing the loads on both sides or the pack will swing uncomfortably to one side resulting in chafing and soreness.


Packs should come with reflective trim or bright colors to increase visibility. In the event, you are hiking in low-light conditions, your dog gets separated from you, or perhaps the area you are hiking also allows hunting, this safety feature could come in handy to keep your dog out of harm’s way.

Almost everywhere you take your furry pal is going to require they be leashed while on trails for their safety as well as the safety of others. Some packs come with multiple ways to attach leashes, while others have just one.

Sturdy handles for when you need to help your dog over rough terrain or objects in the path. They can even be used to rescue your dog in case of a fall or if they lose their footing in the water. For more mountainous or treacherous terrain this is a feature you should consider.


A pack is very little good to you if it tears mid-hike or everything in it gets soaked. Tougher nylons and canvases resist tears better than light fabrics obviously, but you must balance that with your dog’s comfort and health in warmer regions.

Make sure you check out what others say about the pack. Look at the weather proofing. Is it water resistant? True, you can self-seal the pack much like some hikers do for their own backpacks, but having it come that way is handy.

Outward Hound DayPak

This is one of the best-selling dog packs and has earned its spot with great value and good quality. It works equally well for in-town trips or vacations. It has plentiful storage for all your dog’s necessities and some of yours as well. Make sure to use their sizing charts to ensure a proper fit.


  • Expandable pockets.
  • D-ring leash attachment.
  • Reflective accents and vibrant colors.
  • Weight is distributed over the shoulders.


  • Can rip with extended use.
  • Can scuff over rough terrain.
Outward Hound, Lightweight Dog Backpack, Hiking Gear for Dogs

Outward Hound, Lightweight Dog Backpack, Hiking Gear for Dogs

Lifeunion 2-in1 Service Dog Pack

This pack is ideally suited for training service dogs, but works equally well for dogs who spend a lot of time hiking or camping. Each of its removable packs has a Velcro backing to allow you to convert the harness for different uses. The storage and quality of the pack works beautifully for outdoor excursions.


  • Water-resistant nylon.
  • Easily removable packs to quickly adjust weight or convert into a harness.
  • Rear leash hook and large handle.
  • Four 3M reflective strips for visibility.
  • All adjustable straps for custom fit.
  • Breathable underside.


  • No sternum strap for added stability.
Lifeunion 2-in1 Service Dog Pack

Lifeunion 2-in1 Service Dog Pack

Ruffwear Approach Dog Pack

Designed to be a good solid hiking pack, the Approach gives you a good mix of comfort and stability. It minimizes the number of straps you must adjust to get a snug and safe fit for your dog. It will fit a variety of dogs so everyone in the family can have their own pack.


  • Good Load distribution with the load weight forward over the shoulders.
  • Streamlined/lightweight.
  • Padded for comfort.
  • One-handed clipping.
  • Sheltered buckles for wear protection.
  • Reflective trim
  • Integrated harness with leash attachments.


  • Does not drain water well.
RUFFWEAR - Approach Full-Day Hiking Pack for Dogs, Campfire Orange, Medium

RUFFWEAR – Approach Full-Day Hiking Pack for Dogs, Campfire Orange, Medium

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OneTigris Cotton Canvas Dog Pack

Its simple vintage look combines with its practicality. The cotton canvas is sturdy but comfortable. It fits a variety of dogs and is designed not to chafe.


  • High-density cotton canvas.
  • Two main zipper pouches.
  • Two front pockets.
  • Vintage style
  • Multifunctional for travel or everyday use.


  • Due to how the zippers close they can become snagged on brush, resulting in the pockets being pulled open.
  • Pack handles are not meant to support your dog’s weight and should not be used for lifting.
OneTigris Dog Backpack for Medium & Large Dogs

OneTigris Dog Backpack for Medium & Large Dogs

Pettom Dog Backpack

This backpack is a great value and provides comfort with its cotton canvas. It has a good fit with the adjustable chest strap and provides storage for carrying your dog essentials wherever you go.


  • High-density cotton canvas.
  • Four D-ring leash attachments
  • Two handles.
  • Two main zipper side pockets.
  • Two front pouches
  • Adjustable strap


  • It is not very durable. The neck strap breaks easily.

For overall comfort, durability and safety, the winner of this product roundup is the Ruffwear Approach. While some of the others may do better around town or for quick getaways, there are few that can beat the reliability of Ruffwear’s flagship pack.

The attention to detail in the pack shows through with little features like protected buckles and one-hand clipping. The streamlined pouches keep it from snagging on underbrush. Your dog will be comfortable on longer hikes as well with the padding and the weight distribution.

If you want a pack that can help you go the distance, then the durability of this pack will impress you. It is a favorite among backpackers for a reason, after all.

No matter what you are into, we hope this guide has helped you stumble into your new favorite pack. Get on the trails and remember to be safe.

Jackob Evans

Hi, I’m Jacob. I’ve been a professional blogger for over six years, and in that time, I’ve written countless blogs that have helped millions of people worldwide. A DVM by profession, I have treated and cured thousands of dogs, if not millions.

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