hiking trail, man and dog

Top five: best dog hiking pack

Hiking with dogs is so much fun. When you bring along your furry friend you will need a few extra supplies. Treats, water, bowls, and dog food are the essentials for any day hike. If you will be in the wilderness on a longer backpacking or canoe trip, you will need all the comforts of home. Instead of lugging it all in your own backpack, why not share the load with your pup? Many dogs are proud to help out. I’ve reviewed many items to determine the best dog hiking pack for your needs.

If you are hiking with your dog and you are looking for a harness with some pockets, check out my article here. If you are using any kind of pack with your dog, always make sure that you measure your dog before purchasing. For safety, it’s important to make sure you always limit the load to less than 25% of your dog’s body weight.

Best lightweight dog hiking pack

DoggyDobby Dog Saddle Bag

If you want to go out for a few hours with your pup, a smaller pack may be what you need. This one has enough room for treats, water, dry food, and a bowl. The high-quality material is very tough and won’t tear. I like that there is a poop bag holder, making them convenient to access. Check price here.


  • durable and stretch-resistant 1000D Oxford Fabric
  • Reinforced stitching
  • The cushioned underside is comfortable for your dog
  • Soft material covers each buckle to avoid pulling on the dog’s fur
  • Top handle
  • Reflective strips
  • One size fits up to 143lbs
  • Two-year warranty


  • Your dog may become hot if wearing this in very hot weather
  • Not suitable for very small dogs

Best dog hiking pack with hydration bladders

RUFFWEAR – Singletrak Dog Pack

If you have read some of my previous articles, you know that I love Ruffwear! This brand has a fantastic reputation. They produce high-quality products that stand the test of time. This is a great way to carry your water on the trail. When I am camping where I need to pump water, I always appreciate having extra containers handy. It is also a good way to train your dog to get used to carrying a pack. If your dog is not used to being active, you can always dump out some water and work up to carrying more over time. As your dog gets used to carrying the pack, you can add more water to increase the weight over time. Over time, your pup will build up his or her strength. You can also remove water when your pup tires out. There is enough room for other essentials, and you can remove the water flasks if they are not needed. Check price here.


  • Includes 2 0.6L hydration bladders
  • Enough room for your dog treats, leash, and bowl
  • Fits close to your dog’s body and is lightweight so they have room to roam and play
  • Low profile so your dog will not get too hot carrying this pack
  • Padded chest and belly strap for your dog’s comfort
  • Aluminum v-ring and reinforced stitching at the leash attachment points


  • Straps may need some extra velcro to avoid dangling on some types of dogs

Best dog hiking pack for high visibility

RUFFWEAR – Approach Dog Pack

Another product from Ruffwear, and this one is a little different. The bright orange is visible in the woods and you will be able to spot your pup at a distance. It is also reflective. My favorite part about this dog hiking pack is that you can attach The Beacon (a safety light from Ruffwear). If you are going to be hiking very early or into the night, this might be a great choice for your dog. Check price here.


  • Bright orange or green color
  • Reflective trim and light loop to attach a safety light
  • Balanced weight
  • Five points of adjustment for a perfect fit
  • Padded handle for lifting
  • Aluminum v-ring to clip to leash with reinforced webbing


  • You will need to make sure you have the same amount of weight on both sides for optimal balancing

Best dog hiking pack for small to medium dogs

Outward Hound Kyjen Excursion Dog Backpack

This hiking pack fits dogs from 18-40lbs. It has a cute design and is sure to get lots of compliments. Smaller dogs always seem so proud of carrying a pack! They know they are helping and working hard to be a part of the team. I like that there is a pocket with a zipper to hold larger items and an unzippered pocket that you can slip treats out of on each side. Check price here.


  • Comes in two cute colors
  • Durable and lightweight
  • Easy to clean
  • Zippered and unzippered pockets on each side
  • D-right attaches to almost any leash
  • Padded chest strap


  • Be sure not to overpack this or seams may wear out faster

Best dog hiking pack with removable bags

Pettom Dog Hiking Harness Backpack Pet

I love the idea of removable saddlebags. If you are training your dog, you can remove these when they are getting tired. For a very long hike, you can also remove the packs later in the hike. It offers a little more flexibility, but making the hiking pack double as a regular harness. If you like using a harness with your dog regularly, this is a two in one product. If you are on a budget, you won’t need to buy an extra harness. Check price here.


  • Can be used as a harness by removing bags
  • This dog hiking pack is waterproof. It’s an excellent choice for canoe trips or if your dog likes to swim!
  • Breathable mesh material keeps your dog from getting too hot
  • 600D oxford material is durable
  • Reflective piping makes it visible in dark
  • Adjustable straps
  • Two side pockets with large capacity
  • Premium d-ring connects to any leash


  • Sizing chart may not be accurate, always measure your dog but use your own judgment if a size seems like it may be off

Overall best dog hiking pack

It’s hard to pick a clear winner on this one. Each of these packs serves different needs, but my favorite is the RUFFWEAR – Approach Dog Pack. I love to go camping in the backcountry, and I do like to allow my dog to go off-leash. For our next trip, we will be spending 4 days in a remote cabin that requires boating in. We often venture off to spots that are completely isolated for day hikes. Even though Thor is a large dog, his fur is black and he can blend in with shady spots pretty easily. Knowing that I will be able to spot him from far away at twilight or dawn gives me peace of mind.

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