10 Best Dog Backpacks | December 2016

10 Best Dog Backpacks
Best Mid-Range
Best High-End
Best Inexpensive
Water? Check. Treats? Check. Pooper scooper? Check. You need a ton of stuff when taking your dog out for a walk, or even on longer hikes. So why not let your pooch carry its own things in one of these handy and functional dog backpacks. Skip to the best dog backpack on Amazon.
The ABO Aussie comes in a classic forest green hue in 3 different sizes, ranging from small to extra large, to cover dogs between 20 and 80 lbs. It is 100% cotton, so it's gentle on dogs and humans with fabric allergies.
  • machine washable on low
  • material is comparable to army duffles
  • stitching may come loose if over packed
Brand ABO Gear
Model 20234
Weight 16 ounces
Rating 3.8 / 5.0
The Cesar Millan backpack is engineered to keep weight near the front of the shoulders, where larger dogs have the most power. If your dog loves the beach, you'll love the summer colors, and that it can hold a collapsible water bowl.
  • snug fit helps dogs stay calm on walks
  • stays in place even when running
  • adjusting the straps can be difficult
Brand Cesar Millan
Model pending
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0
The Lifeunion Saddle Bag is perfect for a day of shopping with your dog, as it's large enough to carry treats, a water bottle, plus your keys and cellphone. Three integral clips hold the bags securely to your dog.
  • comfortable enough for finicky dogs
  • no hanging items that dogs can tear
  • not entirely waterproof
Brand Lifeunion
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 3.5 / 5.0
The EzyDog Summit is comfortable, highly functional, and features an innovative chest plate that keeps your furry best friend feeling secure. It also has a leash caddy on the back, so you can store the leash when your dog roams free.
  • waterproof zippers that won't rust
  • ripstop material on the pockets
  • straps can slip during active walks
Brand EzyDog
Model 807203117029
Weight 1.2 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0
The Kurgo Max features external pockets, so you can quickly access important items, as well as two pockets that sit closer to the dog's body. If you're hiking to a picnic, you'll love the included bottle opener.
  • won't loosen as your dog moves
  • accommodates dog food and a leash
  • longer fur can get caught in the clips
Brand Kurgo
Model 01161
Weight 1.4 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
The OneTigris Cotton Canvas has a cool, vintage look, and a brown hue that doesn't show dirt. It is also very useful with easy-pull zippers, and Velcro straps that hold the outer pockets in place.
  • canvas material won't irritate most dogs
  • fits broad shoulders nicely
  • durable through every type of terrain
Brand OneTigris
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.1 / 5.0
Strong, waterproof, and designed with a smooth interior mesh, the Doggles BPEXLG-09 is ideal for dogs who like to play in the water, or roll around on the ground. It even fits dogs over 100 pounds.
  • reflective stripe and trim for night
  • has a quick assist handle
  • ideal for camping
Brand Doggles
Model BPEXLG-09
Weight 14.4 ounces
Rating 4.4 / 5.0
This Ultimate Trail has a side-hanging main compartment, so it puts less strain on your dog's back. Plus the part that touches your dog is extra padded for comfort. And the red hue makes it easy to spot your dog in the dark.
  • waste bag dispenser is included
  • it can be used as an everyday harness
  • modeled after working dogs harnesses
Brand Canine Equipment
Model PE-67303002
Weight 14.4 ounces
Rating 5.0 / 5.0
The budget-friendly Outward Hound DayPak comes with a clip for a leash, and has expandable pockets, so you can fit all of your dog's and your valuables inside. It's also made from breathable mesh, so your dog won't get too hot.
  • accommodates up to 16.9 oz water bottles
  • adjustable straps for larger chests
  • great for long hikes
Brand Outward Hound
Model 22003
Weight 12 ounces
Rating 4.9 / 5.0
With a foam-padded chest and several points of adjustment, the Ruffwear Singletrak is designed to make any shape or size of dog happy. It even includes belly straps, so it sits very securely on your pup.
  • allows dogs to be agile
  • made from sturdy materials
  • 2 collapsible water bottles are included
Brand Ruffwear
Model 50301-045LL1
Weight 12 ounces
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

Buyer's Guide

Companions With A Purpose

Dogs have been considered companion animals for centuries. One possible theory for the evolution of this relationship suggests that wild wolves wandered into human encampments thousands of years ago. By doing this and remaining bold, yet friendly, an emotional connection was forged between humans and wolves, leading to the eventual domestication of the animal that would spur the species on to branch off into many of the common breeds we recognize today. This connection between dog and human shows no signs of changing anytime soon. As dogs are pack animals, they appreciate having a job to do. This can involve herding, chasing a toy, acting as a service animal, or simply tagging along on a camping trip. For that reason, it makes sense that a dog should be equipped with his own backpack to carry his own gear (and yours) when following you on the trail or going for a walk.

The majority of backpacks geared for pooches are designed for almost any size or type of dog and easily fit over their bodies in the same way a saddle is placed over a horse. Aside from the obvious need to store extra gear on an adventure with Fido, backpacks made specifically for him serve several unique purposes. First, let's begin with the idea of training. If you've ever owned a dog, you've probably noticed that through repetition of certain behaviors, or using particular objects over time in your dog's presence, this will condition him to associate those objects with specific emotions or follow-up actions like a reward. I know, for example, that when I take out a ball (or even say the word ball) around my dog, he goes crazy and gets very excited. Why? Because he knows that playtime is coming. The same can be said for the backpack. Not only will it put the dog into working mode, but he'll learn to associate it with an upcoming adventure or the desire to go for a walk. For that reason, it can be a valuable training tool. On the same note, using the backpack as a tool will improve your pet's ability to focus by giving them a job to do. This level of focus carries over into leash training should a dog have a tendency to become aggressive or pull when on leash, further establishing the backpack as a means to calm the animal.

Secondly, adding a backpack into your pup's exercise routine provides a release of excess energy. Loading the pockets with things like soup cans, books, or even his own toys and food will add some healthy weight and intensity to his workout. The amount of weight inside the backpack should be equivalent to a fraction of the dog's total weight, so that he's not burdened with too heavy a load.

Thirdly, a backpack makes your pet mobile. By mobile, I mean that because the dog can carry both your things as well as his own, it's easier for him to go on trips in the same way a hiker can trek through the wilderness during a camping trip with a sleeping bag and other objects in tow.

Finally, the backpack will call the right kind of attention to your dog, making him easy to spot and preventing him from getting lost on the trail. Many packs are equipped with reflective strips, which come in handy when walking on dark streets at night.

It's All About The Dog And Your Circumstances

Before you decide to invest in a backpack for your furry friend, be aware that comfort, safety, durability, and ample storage space should all be among your main considerations. Remember that your pet is just as vulnerable to the outdoors as you are, so consider a backpack with extra padding to minimize impacts and with breathable mesh to keep him cool when exercising. Some of the best backpacks are made from sturdy cotton and nylon materials to prevent rips or tears.

When going camping or hiking together, additional features to keep in mind include built-in hydration systems and deep side storage pockets that allow Fido to carry his own food and water. When feeding and watering him on the trail, this can free up additional space, while simultaneously lightening the load he's forced to carry. One must decide how many dividers the pack will need to store and keep food, water, and other objects separated.

If you plan to travel in the rain, snow, or darkness, ensuring that your choice is brightly-colored, waterproof, and equipped with some type of reflective striping is beneficial for keeping your dog from getting wet or lost.

Discuss weight issues with your vet before fitting your dog with a backpack. Depending on their size and bone structure, some breeds can carry up to 25% of their own weight, while others have more difficulty. Long-legged breeds tend to have an easier time carrying larger loads and absorbing impacts than those with short legs. Always measure the deepest part of your dog's chest to ensure a proper fit from a backpack's straps and fastening buckles. After all, his comfort and ease of mobility should remain two of your top concerns.

If you want to maintain reliable control over your pooch, definitely look for an option with an available leash attachment and a built-in top handle, which allows you to hold onto your pet if you're crossing shallow rivers and need to grab hold of the dog quickly.

A Brief History Of The Dog Backpack

The history of the modern backpack itself is a difficult one to pinpoint, mainly because so many different types and styles have popped up at different times within a variety of cultures. For centuries, man has employed sacks, baskets, or bags carried on his back, with the earliest reference dating back to 3,300 B.C. and belonging to Ozti The Iceman. Unfortunately, Otzi's backpack was not very well preserved.

By contrast, the first well-preserved backpack, called Sekk Med Meis, came from Norway in the 1880s and translates to bag with a frame. It was essentially a wooden frame to which a rudimentary sack was tied and used to store personal goods for travel. It wasn't exactly the same style as today's modern backpacks, with multiple zippers and reflective striping, but this object marked the evolution for the modern applications of the backpack.

The militarization and mechanization of World War I at the turn of the 20th century afforded the backpack the more common functions for which it is still known and used today.

In 1922, Lloyd F. Nelson patented the Trapper Nelson backpack, based on early Native American pack designs and built for hunting purposes.

By 1952, a husband and wife duo named Dick and Nena Kelty began to manufacture backpacks out of their California home. Their design was characterized by an external aluminum frame that ran the entire length of the backpack with an integrated hip belt for improved weight distribution.

The dog backpack became more prominent by the turn of the 21st century with the same basic idea of using heavy cottons, breathable mesh materials, and sturdy side pockets to allow one's furry friend to carry some of the load while accompanying his owner on any number of adventures.

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Last updated on December 15, 2016 by multiple members of the ezvid wiki editorial staff

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