This is our review of the best dog backpack carrier in 2022.
Ever wanted to take your dog with you on longer walks? If you’re an avid hiker or someone who loves to take super long strolls, your dog may sometimes have a problem keeping up!
Smaller dog breeds don’t always find it so easy to keep up to speed on long stretches, meaning it may be worth giving them a helping hand along the way in a dog backpack carrier.
Did you know that you can keep your dog cool and safe in a dog backpack?
A backpack dog carrier may seem like a new invention, but they’ve been around longer than you might imagine. A top dog carrier will keep any smaller dog safe and secure on your back while you take on those long walks and trails.
In this guide, we’ll take you through the top picks for the very best in pet backpack technology and designs available online right now. I’ll also take a good look at everything you need to know before you make the right choice for your dog. After all, they’re going to need to be safe and comfortable en route, too!
In this article, we are going to be reviewing the following dog backpacks:
- Pecute Pet Mesh Opening Carrier – (Best Backpack for Dogs Under 10kg)
- Petsfit Foldable Soft Sided Mesh Pup Back – (Best Small Dog Backpack under 6kg)
- Woolala Pet Carrier Backpack – (Best Dog Backpack for Medium-Sized Breeds)
- Mogokoyo Airline Approved Puppy Carrier – (Best Dog Carrier with Window)
- Kurgo Small Pup Carrier – (Best Kurgo Dog Carrier Backpack)
- Pawaboo Pet Carrier Backpack – (Best Pawaboo Pet Carrier Backpack)
- Ruffwear Dog Backpack – (Best Backpack Dogs Wear)
- Kurgo Dog Wearing Backpack – (Top Leightweight Backpack Dogs Wear)
Our Best Dog Backpack Carriers
Whether you are looking for a large dog carrier backpack, one for carrying small dogs, one with water-resistant fabric or one with a mesh window, we have researched and reviewed the best out there. You may opt for big brands like Outward Hound if you’re seriously into cycling or hiking, but the ones below are ideal for most walkers.
Without further ado, here’s a list of the best dog carrier backpacks available for you to buy right now.
Providing your dog weighs less than 10kg, this heavy-duty dog carrier will extend and expand, meaning that if you want to give your pet a little more room and space, you can.
It’s also amazingly well-priced for such a durable unit. It keeps your dog secure and comes in two colours- blue and grey to suit your tastes.
Breathable, with a water-resistant nylon fabric, this is also very flexible, with straps that can be adjusted to help keep things comfy for you and your canine companion en route.
You can even choose to let your dog peep out while walking around if they prefer to take in the fresh air! It’s also anti-scratch and extremely hard-wearing.
- Adjustable and expandable
- Great design and ventilation to help keep your dog cool
- Adjustable straps are very easy to manoeuvre
- Storage for water bottles on the sides
- None to speak of – it’s a great all-rounder for most small pups
Ideal for smaller dogs weighing less than 6kg, this super foldable backpack is nice and firm on the bottom, made from breathable fabric.
It has a small leash attached inside, which you can connect to your dog’s collar keeping them secure and making it one of our favourite dog hiking accessories.
Small dog owners will benefit from the adjustable padded straps, too. A convenient viewing window gives your dog plenty of ventilation and lets them see what’s happening while sitting comfortably in this great carrier.
- Soft strappings for maximum comfort
- Removable interior pad and bottom
- Excellent viewing window and ventilation
- You’ll need to measure very carefully
Who says small dogs should have all the fun? The XL size in this Woolala range is ideal for animal lovers who want to take their furry friend on a bike ride or hike.
It’s made from weather-resistant fabric, which will withstand our UK weather conditions and will even be easy for you to wipe down after any accidents.
Your dog’s head can peek through the opening at the top and his paws can even rest on your shoulders; the pockets are ideal for storing essentials like water bottles and poo bags.
- An excellent option for medium breeds such as corgis and Frech Bulldogs
- Your dog is in constant physical contact with you
- Different sizes available
- Maybe not the best dog carriers great for longer journeys
This super-snazzy dog backpack is certainly amongst the better-looking mesh-based backpacks out there, and what’s more, it’s a great pack to have with you if you’re going on long or slightly unstable walks.
Take small dogs up to 3kg with you on your hikes without worrying about them breaking free or getting hurt!
Built-in polyester and offering breathable mesh for your dog to see through while you’re walking around, there’s also a great harness that helps to secure your dogs!
Two great reasons for investing in this pack are the extra strapping and the two side pocket sleeves, which will help you carry more around if you need to.
- Soft mesh window for pups to breathe and look through
- Lightweight for you and durable for your dog
- One of the best-priced dog carriers online
- Plenty of pockets and strapping for added convenience
- Only support pets up to two to three kg
This small dog hiking backpack is one of the best carrier backpacks around, and the only reason it didn’t make the top pick is the price.
You get what you pay for here, backed by a big brand that also makes dog beds, a top-rated dog car seat and many other pet accessories.
This backpack pet carrier offers light padding, back and shoulder straps, and pockets to pop a raincoat or snacks. There are also clips for walking poles.
It has a waterproof Armorsole bottom and your four-legged friend is guaranteed to feel comfy and secure with the interior carabiner which attaches to their harness.
You will also have peace of mind as this deluxe pet carrier backpack has a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects.
- Water-resistant and will last for years
- Very well organised, lots of different pockets
- Ideal for a small breed like a Jack Russell
- Pricey, but worth it if you can afford the bit extra
With over 7,000 5-star reviews, this great dog carrier backpack is ideal for holding dogs up to 15lbs in weight.
The elastic leg openings stretch to ensure a snug yet comfortable fit and can be worn either in front or on your back.
The adjustable padded shoulder straps make it comfortable for humans and the fabric-covered elastic offers flexibility for your pooch.
With almost 15,000 reviews, we can safely say you and your four-legged friend will love getting out and about with this rucksack or dog sling.
- Legs and tail can hang free
- Two side zips for easy in and out
- Great value for money
- It may not be suitable for male dogs, if you get my drift.
Ruffwear is known for its superb range of harnesses, dog hiking boots, reliable leashes, travel accessories and rugged backpacks and this one is no exception.
It boasts two large panniers with two smaller pockets, so your pet will have no trouble carrying all their gear.
It has no less than ten external gear loops for carrying things like the excellent Beacon safety light, another Ruffwear hiking essential.
There are two lead attachment points and a grab handle, which could be a lifesaver if your dog gets into difficulty. Another safety feature is the highly visible reflective trim, so Fido is visible even in the dark.
Constructed from lightweight, water-resistant material, the strong woven straps have been adapted from mountaineering technology to ensure a secure hold. Unlike some other dog carrier backpacks, it has a large capacity of 13.5-litres and zippers to close the side pockets.
This is the best dog pack for value from Ruffwear’s range, including the Palisades Pet Carrier backpack.
The Heavy Duty backpack and the Hydration pack are fantastic choices for dog owners who enjoy camping and hiking with their canine companions.
The Baxter pet backpack by Kurgo is lightweight with outstanding durability, combining value for money and functionality.
It has all the basic features you could want, including two panniers with plenty of space for water, collapsible bowls and towels.Each also has a pocket for smaller items such as poop bags. The bags are adjustable, so they can be moved to suit all sizes of dogs.
The regular Baxter dog carrier backpack is designed for dogs between 30 to 85 pounds with an impressive 3.75L of storage, whilst the larger option holds up to 7.5L of dog gear and fits dogs up to 110lbs, making it ideal for big breeds like Labradors and Rottweillers.
The harness is lightly padded and contoured to fit comfortably across your dog’s back. It boasts two leash attachment points; the handle is handy for assisting your pup over obstacles and there’s even a bottle opener on the front chest strap.
There are also two loops on the top for attaching extra gear like a torch.
The backpack harness slips easily over your dog’s head and the breathable mesh ventilation with padding keeps Fido cool even on long hikes.
What Should I Look for in a Dog Carrier Backpack?
While it might be safe to assume that any dog backpack is likely to do the same job as the next, there are actually a few differences that you should be looking for.
After all, there are different breeds of little dogs, which will still vary in terms of size and temperament, From bowling ball bulldogs to wiry puggles.
Teeny breeds may benefit from enclosed dog carrier backpacks with a mesh window, whilst longer breeds may be happy with their head sticking out of the top, whilst those who wriggle a bit may suit a dog carrier with leg openings.
What’s more, each dog has a personality and a level of comfort – so you’ll need to keep in mind which options are likely to suit your dog the best, especially if they are a bit of a prima donna and don’t like being squeezed into things!
Here’s a quick rundown of what you should ideally be comparing, contrasting and considering over the course of your shopping. There are two or three things you should always keep in mind.
You might not think that bag ventilation is that important, but your pooch needs to be kept cool and has good airflow. Some will allow you to secure your dog with their heads and paws poking out; these are only safe if they have a leash attachment inside.
Therefore, if you are looking for a dog’s backpack that seals your dog snugly and securely, make sure you choose one with plenty of air ventilation and offers a viewing window.
Look for a pet carrier backpack with breathable mesh panels, for example. Breathable mesh will allow your dog to benefit from comfort, security and ease of breathing en route.
Side pockets and storage
You don’t want lots to carry when you’re hiking or riding a bike, so having storage pockets for water bottles, poo bags and the like will keep your hands free and everything in one place.
Therefore, look for a bag with two or more secure side pockets and storage pouches. The best carry bag designs will keep your dog at the heart of the unit.
At the same time, a few handy pouches should be available for you to access if you need a protein bar or Fido needs a drink.
Safety and Security
This really does go without saying, but it’s always a good idea to look for a dog backpack that offers plenty of safety and stability. Look for a bag that provides comfortable, padded straps.
The straps on a dog bag will not necessarily be the same as those you’d find on your bag, as it’s not always easy to gauge how comfortable a dog is, especially if they are behind you on your walks.
Therefore, look for pet harness systems with a safety strap that can be easily adjusted. This means that if you do want or need to adjust or loosen them, you can
Of course, you should also look for bags with two or more straps to ensure that your pet doesn’t fall out of the pack altogether!
The best dog backpack will likely have heavy-duty liners and harness attachments that you can use to ensure your dog is always secure.
As mentioned, any small dog that you strap to your back safely will need to feel comfortable! Not only should you be looking for breathable mesh and adjustable straps, but it also makes sense to look out for padded interiors, so it doesn’t rub against their chest or the rest of the body.
It’s not just your pup’s comfort, either. You are going to haul the carrier backpack around, so make sure any dog backpack carriers you choose, be it a front dog carrier or back carrier, have either a padded waist belt or shoulder straps.
Read up on what other dog walkers have to say about the best dog carrier backpack and what items and features to look for, such as zippers and buckles, as they will be your best guides in the hunt for the ideal solutions. Always check your dog regularly during a hike to make sure they are not in any distress.
Resistance and durability
Be sure to look for a durable fabric when looking at a dog carrier backpack, water-resistant nylon, for example, when looking into the best material for your pack.
Do also look for pack designs built to withstand all kinds of weather, rough and tumble. If you’re investing in durable walking equipment for yourself, you should also do the same for your dog. It makes sense! The best backpack carrier should last for years.
Ease of access
Of course, if your dog is unhappy or starts having problems while strapped into a bag, you will need to be able to access them pretty quickly. That’s why it makes sense to invest in a suitable dog backpack carrier for easy access.
You should look for a dog pack that is easy enough to zip or unhook and check while on the route, a safety strap that unclips easily and will always be easy to clean.
Of course, there is one issue that all dog owners will likely need to anticipate, at least for the first few times of using a pack made for dogs to ride in. Some dogs get very excited – while others get pretty scared – when trying anything new. As you might imagine, this can lead to one or two little accidents.
Therefore, your pack needs to be easy to clean down and maintain, from the straps and mesh to everything in between. It’s another reason why durable nylon is such a good choice for maintenance and care.
4 Reasons Why you Should Consider a Backpack that Dogs Wear
- It’s excellent for conditioning – Choosing to add weight to dog hiking backpacks can be a great way to increase strength and muscle mass in a fit and healthy adult dog. Good muscle mass is essential for healthy joints. A backpack with the weight evenly distributed will build and tone muscle safely.
- Your pooch can carry their stuff –There’s a lot of gear to carry when you go hiking or camping, so having your best friend take some of the load can be a real help, even if it is only their food bowls and a first aid kit.
- Helps them focus – Most dogs love a job and wearing a dog carrier backpack instead of just clipping the lead to your dog’s collar can put them into work mode, making them more focused and less inclined to charge off after a squirrel
- They may lose a few pounds – If your dog’s weight is an issue, carrying a weighted dog pack on short walks can help them shed a few pounds.
- Lightweight –You don’t want a heavy dog carrier hiking backpack, especially if you have a small dog such as a Jack Russell; the best dog backpack should be constructed from a lightweight fabric, so they feel comfortable when they put it on.
- Weight distribution – Possibly the most crucial consideration. You don’t want your canine hiking buddy to be uncomfortable or suffer from chafing, so look for a backpack with two panniers on either side. Also, check how far the pack sits on your dog’s back. You want the pack to sit close to the dog’s shoulders so there is no strain on their back or rear end.
- Adjustability – Some packs have saddlebags sewn into the dog carrier’s actual body. These have limited adjustability, so be sure to choose the correct size. Others have panniers that can be moved using adjustable straps and accommodate dogs of all shapes and sizes.
- Waterproof – A weather-resistant back for dogs is essential as you don’t want them weighed down and saturated with water should you need to cross water or get caught in a downpour.
- Features – some doggy rucksacks have extra features, loops where you can attach additional MOLLE pouches, reflective stitching, and even attached bottle openers, so look out for ones that may come in useful.
What Can a Dog Carry in a Backpack
Most canines, even small dogs, are strong enough to carry their provisions when hiking; below are some things you can pop into a carrier backpack.
- Collapsible travel bowls are lightweight and don’t take up much space in the pack.
- Water – Your dog needs plenty to drink when hiking, especially in warm weather, to keep them hydrated and prevent them from overheating. Of course, if there is a reliable water source, you can fill up the bottles as you go; be sure to filter any water from rivers or streams, as like humans, dogs are susceptible to parasites like giardia.
- Food – A kibble dog food high in protein is best as your four-legged friend will be expending a lot of energy, especially on long hikes.
- First-aid supplies – You should always carry some essential first aid gear in case of accidents; bandages, antiseptic spray, tweezers, scissors, eyewash and pain relief gel are a few to consider.
- Poop bags – Essential wherever you travel with your pooch
- A dog drying towel – These are made of microfibre, extremely lightweight and perfect if you get caught in a downpour or to dry off muddy paws before stopping off at the pub
Most dog carrier backpacks are not very large, so the owner needs to carry large items like clothing and bedding.
How Much Weight Can a Dog Carry?
How much weight a dog can carry safely depends on several factors, but the most important things to consider are your four-legged friend’s breed, fitness, and age.
Bear in mind that most adult dogs can happily carry around 15% of their body weight. Some larger breeds like a Bernese Mountain dog or Newfoundland can carry up to 30%, whilst smaller dogs can only carry about 10%
Older dogs obviously can’t carry as much; check your dog regularly for signs of fatigue during the hike and adjust the weight if needed.
Tips for Getting Your Dog Used to Wearing Backpacks
Start by letting your pooch get used to wearing the backpack in the house or garden with little or no weight in the panniers, then begin going on short walks with them wearing the pack.
As your furry friend gets stronger, you can gradually increase the weight in the dog carrier backpack and distance; before you know it, Fido will be adept at carrying his gear on the trail.
Are Dog Carrier Backpacks Safe?
Yes! the top dog backpack carriers are built to be safe for everyday use.
All dog bags should be designed and made with safety in mind. Certifications and regulations should be easy to find either in the bag’s marketing or through manufacturer websites. Also, again, do make sure to read up on everything that other reviewers and users have to say about your chosen dog carrier backpack.
Safety for dogs while strapped into bags is paramount. So this is the most important consideration you look into while shopping around. It might be tempting to go for the cheapest option on the market, but there is not always that guarantee you’re getting the safety and security your dog demands.
Is it worth risking their safety by saving a few pounds? Probably not.
What’s the Best for Carrying Puppies?
We wouldn’t recommend the above products for puppies; see our list of dog sling reviews that would be better suited.
What Brand Makes the Best Backpacks?
While looking into different dog backpack designs, you’ll probably find that more than a few manufacturers and brands pop up now and again. A popular brand such as the Proplums Dog Carrier Backpack with its detachable storage bag, free collapsable water bowl and booster pad is always one worth looking into.
Outward Hound and Pet Gear are brands that crop up repeatedly in our guides. However, the best recommendation is word of mouth, so check the reviews to ensure you invest in a backpack carrier that will keep your dog comfortable.
For this guide, we’ve looked at a wide variety of bags and pack options. Your needs may vary from other people’s and other dogs, too!
However, rest assured that the products we’ve lined up for you are the best bags and packs for dogs available online right now.
Investing in a backpack carrier for your dog or dogs? Dogs love taking on adventures, but you’ll need a reliable bag or carrier if you want to give your dog a bit of a break on longer trips.
There are several reasons you may need a pet backpack carrier – you may have a small dog who can’t endure long hikes or a senior dog that would love to accompany you but hasn’t got the energy he once had
Brands such as Outward Hound and Pet Gear are great options for dog backpack carriers, but if you want our recommendation, we like the Pecut Pet Mesh Opening Carrier as it’s excellent value and a good size for most small dogs.
Look at two, three or all six of my picks above and see if you can find the right pet carrier backpack for your dog. If you want to take a look at a wide variety of other dog training equipment, be sure to see our main page.