5 Best Dog Hiking Harnesses 2019: Gear for Your Active Dog
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5 Best Dog Hiking Harnesses 2019: Gear for Your Active Dog

  • Last Updated On: April 22, 2019
  • / Supplies & Accessories
  • / By Drew & Gunnar

If you and your four-legged friend like to spend free time exploring the great outdoors, then you probably love going hiking with your dog among other activities.

When heading out to the trails, a good hiking harness is an essential piece of gear to ensure the safety of you and your dog. With so many options to choose from, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with deciding on one that will work best to keep them happy and safe.

Below we highlight the 5 best dog hiking harnesses available in 2019, and things to look for when picking your favorite, to get you and your pup enjoying your next trek as soon as possible.

IN A HURRY?

Gunnar's Favorite Harness is the Ruffwear Front Range

Ruffwear Front Range Hiking Harness

Best Dog Hiking Harness Snapshot

Name

Overal

Rating

Category

Cost

Ruffwear Front Range Hiking Harness

Ruffwear Front Range

Best All-Around

on Amazon

Ruffwear WebMaster Dog Harness

Ruffwear Web Master

Best for Extreme Hiking

on Amazon

Expawlorer Harness No-Pull

Expawlorer No-Pull

Best for Small to Medium Dogs

on Amazon

EzyDog Convert Harness

EzyDog Convert Trail-Ready

Best for Comfort and Control

on Amazon

Pettom 2-in-1 Saddlebag Backpack and Vest Harness

Pettom Dog Saddle Backpack & Vest Harness

Best 2-in-1 Option

on Amazon

Why is a Hiking Harness Important?

If going out on a short trail walk, then a simple leash and collar – or even a regular training/walking harness will suffice.

But, there are a few differences when it comes to hiking harnesses that make them more stable, durable and flexible to allow your dog to move more easily and with greater safety.

Some also include a padded handle for lifting your pup up over rough terrain along with these other sought out benefits...

  • Are durable to last a long time and withstand heavier wear-and-tear
  • Feature clips and leash attachments that are heavy-duty and rust-resistant
  • Are made to swivel and work with a lead to keep your dog from getting tangled
  • Give you the capability to control your dog
  • Provide a sense of security and comfort, preventing pulling, running and jumping
  • Perform with even weight distribution leaving no strain on the dog’s body

Things to Consider When Choosing a Harness for Your Dog

Perfect Fit for Size: Sizing plays a big part of keeping your dog secure and comfortable in the harness of your choosing.

Too small can restrict breathing and/or create chaffing sores where the material rubs and digs into their skin. On the other hand, if a harness is too big, your pup will be in danger of slipping out of it and running off, or getting caught on trail debris and injured.

For the best fit, measure your dog’s girth, which is the widest part of his rib cage.

Use a soft tape measure to get the size exactly right. And then match it to the manufacturer size chart, as sizes can defer among different brands.

Make sure to watch Ruffwear's instructional video below to learn how to determine the proper harness size for your pup!

Function and Mobility: Select a harness for the type of outdoor adventure you have planned. If you know you’ll be on a trip with multiple hikes, select a harness known for long-term comfort.

If you also know you’re planning on tackling the roughest terrain, look for one with an agility handle to help your pup over the tricky obstacles.

For all types of hiking, the harness should be as lightweight as possible to allow your dog to move with ease.

And, if you have added storage pockets, make sure the weight will be dispersed properly to keep from dragging your dog down.

Material and Durability: Whatever the conditions it may be outdoors, the dog harness must be capable of enduring – whether that means it cold or hot, dry or muddy.

Look for material that is easy to clean, brightly colored with reflective trim for easy visibility in light or dark, and waterproof for rainy days or wet areas.

Additional Features: Will you need a backpack for your dog? Some harnesses come with backpacks already attached, some hiking harnesses allow bags to be attached, and some like the Pettom mentioned above come with a 2-in-1 flexibility of both.

Keep in mind the size of your dog, his temperament (is he a working dog or not so much), and how long you’ll be hiking (which will determine how much supplies you’ll need to bring).

Some harnesses/packs also include ID windows and compartments for easy identification.

Gunnar's Top 5 Dog Harnesses for Hiking

1. Best All-Around: Ruffwear Front Range Harness

The Ruffwear front range harness offers all-day adventure fun with its lightweight, soft, durable material.

A convenient design makes it easy to get on and off, and it’s offered in bright, easily visible fabric with reflective trim to help your dog stand out in both day and night.

The two leash attachment points offers comfort and control for easy walks and hikes and helps a pup in training learn not to pull.

FEATURES

  • 1
    5 sizes (XXS–L/XL) and six colors for an easy, custom fit with style
  • 2
    4 points of adjustment for a customizable fit with padded chest and belly panels for all-day comfort and equal load distribution
  • 3
    2 reinforced leash attachment points for a secure connection with reinforced webbing to stand up to pulling
  • 4
    ID tag pocket and reflective trim for added safety and visibility
  • 5
    Durable aluminum v-ring for a safe and stable connection

CON

No handle to easily lift your pup up over obstacles.

Watch how to fit and adjust your Front Range Harness below...


2. Best for Extreme Hiking: Ruffwear Web Master

This secure, multipurpose harness is perfect for adventurers and designated working dogs and is built for helping your dog up and over any obstacle or rough terrain.

Durable construction with a lightweight feel makes it the perfect choice for year-round use.

It also features load-balance dispersion and an extra belly strap, so you can be sure your dog feels safe and secure on the trails – and doesn’t have a chance of escaping the harness.

FEATURES

  • 1
    5 sizes (XXS–L/XL) and 5 points of adjustment allow for a custom fit to your dog’s frame
  • 2
    Padded chest and belly straps allow for extended comfort
  • 3
    2 reinforced leash attachment points keep your dog connected with ease
  • 4
    Padded handle to maneuver your dog up and over any obstacles you may come across
  • 5
    Reflective trim to add visibility in low-light situations

CON

If kept too loose, it has a tendency to twist slightly to the side attached to the leash. Make sure to measure your dog around the widest part of her rib cage to ensure the best fit.

Watch how to adjust your Web Master Harness below...


3. Best for Small- to Medium-Sized Dogs: Expawlorer No-Pull Harness

The Expawlorer is a front-range no-pull harness that offers a comfortable and ergonomic design ensuring it’s easy to fit and put on/take off.

Its durable quality and soft material allow secure control, with a widened leash ring to make a firm connection at the two attachment points.

FEATURES

  • 1
    5 sizes (XS–XL) and 3 colors offer a flexible fit and style
  • 2
    Handle included to help with control in an emergency on the trail, and an easy seat belt attachment for security while riding in your car
  • 3
    Heavy-duty, reflective trim nylon with soft lining to prevent rubbing and chafing; mesh fabric conforms to your dog’s body to minimize gaps and constriction while permitting air flow to reach your dog’s skin.
  • 4
    No-pull design eliminates pressure from your dog’s neck preventing possible neck, spine and windpipe injuries – even if your dog makes a quick move to chase a squirrel
  • 5
    Most effective on small and medium dogs

CON

No leg loops like some models include.


4. Best Comfort and Control: EzyDog Convert Trail-Ready Dog Harness

Made with a breathable, sturdy material, this harness is perfect for trails, biking or city walks.

It’s fully adjustable and removable with one click – combining comfort, functionality and style.

All you and your dog need to focus on is having fun in the great outdoors – this harness will take care of the rest.

FEATURES

  • 1
    7 available sizes to ensure an easy fit for any active dog
  • 2
    Tear-resistant outer layer prevents wear-and-tear while a soft cotton lining keeps your dog comfortable and happy
  • 3
    Reflective strips on the front and back for increased safety and visibility
  • 4
    Stainless steel, rust-proof D-rings, magnetic traffic handle, and adjustable for any situation
  • 5
    Convert is ready for sidebags, service tags and mounted led’s

CON

None!!

Watch how to fit your EzyDog Convert Harness below...


5. Best 2-in-1: Pettom Dog Saddle Backpack & Vest Harness

This two-way harness is ideal for multi-day back-country adventures with features like a load compression system and night reflecting protection.

It works well with any leash attachment and is easy to adjust and securely fit any dog.

Its waterproof material makes it perfect for hiking during the wet season, and the high-capacity removable bag is ideal for overnight camping.

FEATURES

  • 1
    3 sizes available (S–L)
  • 2
    Waterproof durable, scratch-resistant polyester material outer layer with integrated reflective trim to keep an eye on your dog, even in low-light visibility environments
  • 3
    Breathable and cooling middle mesh material for comfort and easy movement that dries quickly
  • 4
    Very well padded with large bag capacity that is easy to remove; construction is sturdy with high-quality double-stitched buckles
  • 5
    Handle on back can better control the movement

CON

Bulky; sizing can be confusing


Wrapping It pUp...

When taking your dog on a hike, a hiking harness adds comfort and safety for every adventure. You can’t go wrong with the Ruffwear Front Range or Webmaster, and the other three brands mentioned are all top-notch as well.

These harnesses are not only durable, but comfortable, safe and highly useful.

Plus, as long as the harness fits your dog well, and your dog is trained to hike with it, then there’s no end to the amount of enjoyment you’ll exploring the great outdoors.

Did we pick one of your favorites? Or do you have another one to add for our readers? Let us know in the comments!

About the Author Drew & Gunnar

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!

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