small white dog in dog backpack carrier

Top five: best dog backpack

If you came here looking for a backpack to attach to your dog, rather than one for putting your dog in, I’ve got you covered in this article.  This article focuses on backpack style dog carriers for smaller dogs.

Being active with a small dog can be challenging. Smaller dogs get tired out faster. If you are planning a camping trip, you must consider that a small dog won’t be able to hike for miles and miles with you. But, this doesn’t mean you have to leave Fido at home. Before your next outdoor adventure, check out the best dog backpacks for carrying your pooch!

Best airline approved dog backpack

Kurgo Dog Carrier Backpack for Small Dogs 

If you are going to be taking a flight, an airline-approved carrier will make things easier. Even if your next adventure is only a mile away from your home, this will be a good option for future air travel. Speaking of flexibility, the window for your dog’s head to stick out of can be zipped shut. Of course, don’t do this with your dog inside! Converting this into a regular daypack might be useful. For example, if you want to hike or boat with your dog walking beside you to your campsite. After you have removed your gear, your pack is ready for day hikes with your four-legged friend. Check price here.


  • Airline approved
  • Converts to a regular backpack when your dog is not being carried
  • Safely harness 
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Waterproof bottom
  • Ventilated and padded for your dog’s comfort
  • Many zippered pockets for storage
  • Straps can be tucked in for airline travel
  • Stain-resistant


  • May not be suitable for all budgets

Best dog backpack for long backpacking trips

PROPLUMS Dog Carrier Backpack 

If you are looking for a dog carrier for a very long hike, you may need the flexibility to wear on the front or on your back. With your dog on your front, you can easily fit a regular pack on your back for supplies. I also like that there are a chest and waist straps for additional support. Check price here.


  • Available in three colors
  • Chest strap and waist strap
  • Designed to be worn on the front or back of the body
  • Dog bowl holder and bowl included
  • Booster block included 
  • Waterproof
  • Leg holes for pups who play with your hair when


  • Sizing may be inaccurate, recommended to go a size up

Best dog sling

YUDODO Pet Dog Sling Carrier

If you have a dog weighing less than 14lbs or even a cat who you want to bring out and about, you might like this option. My favorite feature is the small mesh phone pocket on the strap so you will have easy access to your phone. You won’t have to be distracted by zipping open a pocket if your phone rings. Check price here.


  • Breathable mesh
  • Soft and durable fabric
  • Comfy padded strap
  • Convenient phone pocket
  • Adjustable


  • Can be awkward to put on your dog
  • larger phones may not fit in the phone pocket 

Best dog tote

TOMKAS Small Dog Cat Carrier Sling 

While the product title says sling, I would definitely consider this more of a tote. It can be worn as a purse on one shoulder, or across the body as a sling. I like the design of this bag, and it looks very comfortable. The fabric is reversible to make this look good with all of your outfits. This is not water-resistant, so it may not be ideal for multi-day hikes. But, this would be a good choice for visiting a park or beach. Check price here.


  • Reversible
  • The phone pocket has a zipper to secure your phone
  • Leash strap for security
  • Available in three sizes 
  • Available in three colors
  • Comfortable and soft
  • Machine washable
  • Can also be used for cats
  • Adjustable


  • Designed for dogs up to a maximum weight of 10lbs
  • Not waterproof

Cutest dog backpack

Coppthinktu Dog Carrier Backpack

Just look at this dog backpack! The red and blue stripe design is my favorite. It’s just so gosh darn cute. If you have a fussy or fidgety dog, this might be a good option. With this dog backpack, your dog’s legs are out so they won’t feel too constrained. I also like that it is designed to be worn on the front, so you can see your dog at all times. This would be comfortable to combine with your regular daypack too. Check price here.


  • Canvas material is very sturdy 
  • Can be worn on the front or back
  • Fits dogs up to 20lbs
  • Leg holes to allow your dog to feel less constrained
  • Hole for tail
  • D-ring to clip onto collar for security
  • Money-back guarantee 
  • Since the legs are not constrained, your dog won’t get too hot
  • Very affordable


  • Not waterproof
  • Not ideal for very small dogs since it is one size fits all

Best dog backpack overall

My favorite of all the dog backpack carriers is the Kurgo Dog Carrier Backpack for Small Dogs. it is sold at a slightly higher price than some of the other options listed here. But, it seems worthwhile. At the time of writing this article, it includes a lifetime warranty. Whenever possible, I like to select products with an extended warranty. Usually, this suggests the product is of a much higher quality. This is especially important for hiking and camping equipment. The last thing you want is a malfunction or broken product on the trails. I also like the bright red color, which will help you to be more visible when hiking. Camping in Canada means I need my gear to be as waterproof as possible. You never know when the weather can change suddenly. You may encounter a summer afternoon thunderstorm or early fall flurries. For traveling on an airplane, this is a great option. I love that the straps can fold in so it can comfortably fit under the seat of an airplane or you can carry it by hand. 

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