Hiking with Dogs – Which leash do you need?
Hiking in the great outdoors with your dog is a priceless bonding experience that provides a wonderful opportunity for exercise and stimulation (so many interesting smells!) Nevertheless, you might want to consider taking your adventures to the next level with the integration of a hands-free hiking leash. Here are a few examples of leashes on the martket that can optimize your hiking experience.
Petop Standard Hands Free Dog Leash
Outward Hound Hands Free Hipster
The Buddy System
Tahoe Tribe Outfitters Bungee Dog Leash
Black Rhino Premium Hands Free Dog Leash
Why pick a specialized hiking leash?
Why might you benefit from a special hiking leash for your dog? You love to hike, but you’d rather enjoy the terrain and landscape than worry about holding your dog’s leash. You want convenience and comfort without sacrificing your pup’s safety.
How will you and your best buddy be using the hiking leash?
Most hiking leashes consist of a waistband with a detachable leash, leaving your hands unburdened. This can be helpful for so many activities! Maybe you’re a runner and love to fly down the trail and holding cumbersome belongings in your hand will throw off your jogging rhythm. Perhaps you’ve got kids in tow and need your hands-free to support them as they navigate tree branches and unstable rocks. Or, you’re a leisure hiker who needs a versatile leash that can transition easily to neighborhood walks. Whatever your needs, you’ll want to select a high-quality, durable product that will withstand years of hitting the trail.
Choose Your Perfect Hiking Leash
Keep your lifestyle and needs in mind when selecting your perfect dog leash. Look for features such as elastic stretch in the leash, padded waistband, metal clasps and extra handles. Understanding your dog’s typical behavior can make the selection process easier. If they are a leash-puller, the elastic bungee feature will absorb the shock of a sudden yank by an excited pup. If you run or do longer hikes with your dog, your leash can also serve as a carrying pouch which can hold personal items, poop bags and a water bottle securely fastened to a comfortably padded belt. Will you also use the leash in urban areas? A shorter leash with no elastic stretch offers quick control when Fido suddenly gets a whiff of some delicious garbage or strays too close to vehicles. And bright colors or reflective tape will increase visibility for jaunts through both busy streets and wooded paths.
To help make your decision a bit easier, three outstanding hiking leashes are reviewed below.
Petop Standard Hands-Free Dog Leash
Available in Gray with Reflective Yellow Stripe.
The folks at Petop designed an all-amenities-included hiking leash. In addition to the standard waistband and detachable leash, the Petop leash also features two detachable pouches: one designed to hold either a water bottle or doggie treats, and one with a zipper to secure your keys and personal items. The leash attachment is constructed with a stretching bungee element, reducing the jolt of a dog who likes to pull. It also features a handle below the bungee so you can bypass the elastic to easily gain quick control over your doggie. When fully stretched, the leash reaches 75 inches long and the waistband can adjust from 20-40 inches.
- Reflective stripe on waistband for high visibility
- Extra handle on the leash below the bungee to gain quick control when needed
- Handle be used as a hand loop if wanting to convert to a handheld leash
- Smart design that features convenience, comfort, and versatility
- Adjustable from 29-40 inches, the waistband is not as accommodating for petite individuals
Outward Hound Hands-Free Hipster
Available in Blue or Green.
With its built-in water bottle holder, amply padded waistband and 3 zippered pockets, this dog leash looks like it was designed by an outdoor gear company. Unlike the Petop leash, Outward Hound’s 5-foot leash attachment does not include a bungee, meaning it will not stretch. While it might be less comfortable to hike with assertive dogs who like to go their own way, this can be advantageous in alternative situations. For example, a simple non-stretch leash works well in busy areas or with dogs who stay close beside you as you hike. The leash is 60 inches long and the waistband fits sizes 20-40 inches.
- Water bottle holder and plenty of storage space for treats, etc
- Available in bright colors
- Does not feel as durable
The zippers on the pockets are designed in such a way that makes access to pocket contents a little bit tricky.
At 10.9 ounces, it’s a bit heavy
The Buddy System
Available in Black.
As this option comes with no bungee cord or padding in the waistband, it is best suited for dogs that do not pull. And since it comes with no pockets or amenities, this leash is suitable for quick hikes close to the car. Conversely, it could also be a sleek, lightweight option for long hikes in which the hiker uses a backpack to store water and belongings. It has a loop at the top of the detachable leash, so it easily converts to a traditional handheld leash, making the transition from the trail to the streets very simple. Unlike both the Petop and Outward Hound leashes, The Buddy System uses plastic buckles instead of metal, contributing to the lightness of the product. The leash has an adjustable length from 22-40 inches and the waistband will fit any size from 22-40 inches.
- Easily converts to traditional handheld leash
- No obstructions such as pockets
- 360 degrees around the belt for maximum range of motion
- Made in the USA
- No padding in waistband
- Shorter leash
- Plastic buckles
And the best leash for hiking with dogs is…
While the Outward Hound Hipster helps you carry your gear and the Buddy System is lightweight and simple, the Petop Standard Hands Free Dog Leash stands out for its intelligent design that maximizes versatility. This convenient leash works anywhere from the woods to the ‘hood. Not too heavy, but still very strong, it feels durable and, most importantly, safe. The reflective tape offers high visibility, while the high quality construction ensures your dog is well-secured. And the elastic bungee will have your arms saying “thank you!” No more intense yanking! Your furry friend may think the Petop leash belongs to him, but it was designed for both of you!