No matter the size of your dog, you can bet she wants to spend as much time with you as possible.
Exploring the great outdoors is no different – even if you have a small, disabled or overly anxious dog that might not be able to trek easily or all that long.
So, it’s a good thing there are plenty of backpacks specially designed to help you carry your tiny friend with you anywhere you go.
Below we highlight the 5 best dog carrier backpacks for hiking that will take you from a stroll around town to the rugged rails.
These carriers are all comfortable and make sure your dog is safe throughout your journey.
IN A HURRY?
If Gunnar was still a puppy he'd choose the Kurgo for sure and give it 4 Paws Up!
Petsfit Comfort Carrier
- SIZE (inches): 17.3x13x10.6
K9 Sport Sack
- SIZE: 4 Sizes Available
Pawaboo Pet Carrier
- SIZE: 4 Sizes Available
Kurgo Dog Carrier Backpack
- SIZE (inches): 13x21x10
PetAmi Deluxe Pet Carrier
- SIZE (inches): 12.5x10.2x16.3
The carriers we’ve selected here are made for more rugged terrain and activity than your standard carrier made for taking your pup to the vet, on an airplane, or just a standard stroll.
Of course, you can do that with these carriers, but there might be others out there that suit that purpose better.
These carriers affix to your back or the front of your chest, keep your hands free for balance and agility, come with padded straps and safety belts for ease of movement while keeping your dog secure, and feature breathable material and ventilation.
So, these are mainly for those of you who are avid hikers and campers who want to take your pup on your next adventure.
Read more... Is it safe to take your dog hiking?
Size and weight limits are determined by each manufacturer. And, it’s up to how much you can carry on your body as well!
But generally, these carriers are made for dogs 25 pounds and under, and most are for around 15 pounds and under.
Size does matter to your dog’s comfort – and yours, too! If purchasing in store, you can always bring your pup along to try it out before buying.
If you’re ordering online, check your dog’s weight and measure the chest at the widest point along with the full length and shoulder height to match up with the specific manufacturer’s size chart.
It’s important not to go by weight alone. Some dogs are tiny on the scale, but still take up a lot of space, so their overall measurements are essential as well.
Watch the video below from K9 Sport Sack to learn more about bag sizing...
I mainly decipher types by carrying position. While we call them backpacks, most of these packs can also be worn on the front of your chest – it just depends on your comfort level and security.
There are those that allow your pet to lie down in an enclosed space, which is great for hiking or long journeys. Others provide your dog the option of sticking his head out of the top.
There are also packs with a “legs out” design, where the dog’s legs are put through holes. These usually work best for shorter hikes and tiny toy breeds.
Invest in a good quality pack that’s made from durable, strong material. The last thing you want is your dog falling through!
That goes for zippers, buckles and attachments as well. They need to be secure enough to withstand rugged terrain, lots of movement, and weather changes as well.
As noted above, padded straps will ensure long-lasting comfort, and breathable material like mesh or cotton is essential if you’ll be out in any kind of heat or your dog gets hot easily.
I suppose you could for a quick stroll, but for more adventurous activities such as hiking, it’s vital you purchase a carrier backpack specifically designed for dogs.
Regular backpacks and handbags don’t have the features required to keep your pup safe and comfortable.
Some dog carrier backpacks are even designed by veterinarians who know the ins and outs of keeping your dog healthy while doing what they love most – spending time with you!
Petsfit is a loved and trusted brand for dog carriers. And this one is no different.
Your pup will love joining you on the journey – whether he wants to stay secure inside, or if you roll the top up to allow him to stick his head out to see the sides.
And the extra padded back, adjustable shoulder straps, and chest strap will keep you comfortable and feeling secure all throughout your trek.
A bit on the small side.
The K9 Sport Sack is a durable pack great for towing your dog along on your treks.
Designed for safety and comfort, the wide mesh foamtek shoulder straps keep you cool while the thick bottom rest pad keeps your canine comfortable.
The fabric is lightweight and water resistant, and the pack features side pockets for water bottles, leashes, and other things you need to take along.
With 4 sizes, 5 colors and 2 styles, it will be easy to find a K9 Sport Sack to fit your dog and your style perfectly.
Ventilation could be improved on the base model.
The Pawaboo Pet Carrier Backpack is a legs-out design for pups up to 15 pounds that comes in a ton of styles and colors.
This high-quality pack features super breathable mesh fabric to keep you and your pet cool, and fabric covered elastic offers gentle support and flexibility.
With an easy in and easy out design, it’s very convenient for you and your excited pup.
The straps could use a little more padding.
Remember when we asked about using a regular backpack to carry your dog?
This pack is when we can answer – yes!
The high-quality, rugged Kurgo G-Train functions as a comfortable traditional backpack and dog carrier all in one, complete with a separate laptop compartment and additional pockets.
Perfect for hiking, camping and traveling, this pack can hold dogs up to 25 pounds and is made from water-resistant and waterproof fabric.
Most pricey option on our list.
Watch the video below to learn about the Kurgo G Train features...
This top-quality dog carrier backpack for hiking is a go-to product for small dogs.
Designed to offer you and your pup maximum convenience and comfort during travel and hiking, it’s great quality at a reasonable price and even comes with a collapsible water bowl.
It checks all the boxes:
- Comfort for your pet with a Sherpa lined bed and multiple mesh windows for airflow and visibility
- Extra security with a safety buckle and leash
- Comfort for YOU with padded shoulder straps and breathable back mesh with moisture wicking
It's on the smaller side, especially in height, so you may want to measure your dog carefully before you purchase it.
Travel with your dog anywhere you want, because they love it – and so do you!
These dog carrier backpacks allow you to easily take your dog along for the adventure in a safe and comfortable way.
As you can see, Gunnar makes Drew do all the work but heading outdoors with your best friend is never really work! Drew buys the products and Gunnar does the testing so you can rest assured you are reading the most up to date information to make the best decision for your dog's health and well-being!