The 7 Best Dog Backpacks For A Day In The Great Outdoors

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Whether you’re going for a walk in the neighborhood or a long hike in the nature with your pup, both of you need certain essentials like food, water, and a few treats. That's where the best dog backpacks come in: They have adjustable straps and padding to comfortably fit your canine companion, and they evenly distribute weight so your dog can help carry any necessities. And of course — they’re designed to withstand all kinds of weather.

When choosing the best dog backpack for hiking and other adventures, you’ll first want to take your dog’s measurements to ensure a proper fit. While each of these backpacks has adjustable straps, sizes vary by manufacturer, so consult size charts to verify before hitting the "add to cart" button. And in terms of style, most options have saddlebags that rest on either side of your dog, which you'll want to fill equally for even weight distribution, but if you’ve got a small dog, you can choose a tiny, oh-so-cute backpack with just enough room for the basics.

Each of these picks is made from durable materials and includes leash hooks as well as handles that can help you lift your dog over rough terrain. You may also want features like water-resistance or padded straps and breathable mesh for comfort, or upgraded extras like built-in hydration bladders or even a backpack that doubles as a life jacket for aquatic activities.

Whichever style you choose, remember that most dogs can carry 10% to 20% of their body weight, and it’s important not to go above that range. (Keep in mind that very small dogs might not be able to carry anything at all.) And, in the end — if you decide you'd like to carry your pup instead, you can always opt for a lightweight dog carrier backpack that's comfortable for both of you. With that in mind, these are the best dog backpacks on Amazon that’ll help you and your pup adventure together.

1. The Overall Best

The Ruffwear Approach dog backpack has earned an impressive rating of 4.7 stars from Amazon reviewers, and it’s versatile enough to use on daily walks or longer trips. The pack features an integrated harness with five adjustment points for a secure fit around your dog’s chest and abdomen, and the straps are padded for comfort. The form-fitting saddlebags allow for even weight distribution, and the zippered pouches are perfect for stashing snacks and a few other essentials. The padded handle lets you stabilize and lift your dog over rough terrain, like rocks and small streams, and there are two leash connection points: a sturdy aluminum V-ring and a webbing loop.

Made from durable nylon material, the pack also features reflective trim so you can easily spot your dog in low light. Reviewers note the pack is water-resistant, but not waterproof, and you can choose from three colors: orange poppy, meadow green, and campfire orange.

  • Available sizes: X-Small, Small, Medium, Large/X-Large

According to an adventure dog owner: “My Boxer (and I) love this backpack! We use it all time when we go hiking or even on our daily walks to give her a job to do. It has large pockets so that she carries everything we need on our day hikes except the car keys. We've even used it when we go on vacation to pack everything she'll need for the trip.”

2. The Runner-Up: A Best-Selling Pick That's Less Than $40

This cotton canvas dog backpack is super stylish and functional, so it’s no surprise that it’s a best-seller on Amazon. Available in black, brown, and ranger green, the pack features two zippered saddlebags with semi-open pockets on the exterior, and the padded mesh underside provides comfort and breathability. For safety, there’s a sturdy lift handle and two leash attachment D-rings, but there aren't any reflection points and the pack is not water-resistant.

There are adjustable neck and chest straps to fit medium and large dogs — but this option only comes in one size, so it's not the best choice for small pups.

  • Available sizes: Large

According to an adventure dog owner: “Fitz has hiked and ran miles with his pack on and loves it. While the material isn’t rain proof, it did protect my phone from a torrential downpour we got caught in during a hike. Dirt and mud easily brush off after it’s dried. Zippers feel strong and sturdy. Very pleased, and anticipate it lasting us a very long time.”

3. The Best Budget

The Wellver dog backpack is the most wallet-friendly pick on the list, and it’s available in 10 colorful, stylish designs. The lightweight pack is made from durable, water-resistant ripstop polyester with a breathable mesh lining, and there are thick padded straps for extra comfort. The neck and chest straps are adjustable, and the two side pouches have plenty of space for food, waste bags, and other necessities. Other features include a D-ring leash attachment and a flexible lift handle, but — one drawback — there are no reflective accents, so it's best for daytime trips.

  • Available sizes: Small, Medium, Large, X-Large

According to an adventure dog owner: “I have a border collie puppy, he is about 6 months old and little over 30lbs. I bought a medium one for him. Once I got through tightening straps it fit perfectly and will grow with him for a long while. I put food on one side and his treats on the other. He wasn't sure of it at first but loved it after we got a little into the trails. It has held up to a few hikes and he doesn't try to rip it off."

4. A Backpack With A Breathable Mesh Harness

If you do a lot of summer hiking or live in a warm weather climate, you might want to consider this dog hiking backpack made with a breathable mesh harness to keep you canine cool. The backpack has a zippered and expandable saddlebag on each side, with an open exterior pocket, so you can quickly grab a treat for your pooch. The straps are adjustable, but — in order to keep the pack lightweight and cool — they don't have as much padding as some other options. The bright, water-resistant pack features reflective accents, as well as a sturdy lift handle and D-ring leash attachment to give you great control. It's available in green and blue.

  • Available sizes: Small, Medium, Large

According to an adventure dog owner: “It has held up well to our outings and thanks to the mesh lining it is not [too] hot to use here in Texas. This is a nice piece of equipment that is comfortable for the dog.”

5. A Pack That Comes With Hydration Bladders

Keeping your pup hydrated on your hike is a breeze with the Ruffwear Singletrak dog backpack. It comes with two 0.6-liter BPA-free water bladders, which fit into the zippered saddlebags on each side, and the low-profile pockets are still roomy enough to hold a few treats and other essentials (like these collapsible food and water bowls). There are foam-padded chest and belly straps keep your canine comfy, and the five adjustment points offer a secure fit. The water-resistant pack also features a lift handle for better control and traversing obstacles, along with V-ring and webbing loop leash attachments. Reflective trim provides visibility in low light, and the backpack is available in two colors: blue dusk and red currant.

  • Available sizes: Small, Medium, Large/X-Large

According to an adventure dog owner: “I love having water on hand on our long walks. This hydration pack is the perfect size. I can easily also fit poop bags, a water bowl, and my wallet/keys.”

6. A Tiny Pack For Treats & Waste Bags

If you have a small pup or just want to get your pooch used to wearing some adventure gear, opt for this mini dog hiking backpack, which has just enough room for treats, waste bags, and everyday essentials. The durable nylon backpack is water-resistant and features a breathable mesh lining to keep your pooch from overheating. There are adjustable straps and a D-ring leash attachment, as well as one (super) helpful feature: an interior waste bag pocket with a handy retrieval point outside the backpack, making it super quick and easy to grab a bag and clean up after your dog. Keep in mind, though: There are no reflective points on the backpack, so it's best for daytime adventuring.

  • Available sizes: Extra-Small

According to an adventure dog owner: “Great product!! I have a small dog (13lbs) and was looking for a hiking backpack that was small enough for him to carry. This backpack is the perfect size for him! It fits him perfectly and he finds if very comfortable. I was very surprised at the amount of space and pockets provided.”

7. A Backpack Life Jacket For Water Safety

If you’re spending the day at the beach or out on the water, this dog backpack life jacket can help keep your pup safe. Not only does it have two saddlebags for essentials, but it also features two removable foam inserts for buoyancy. And it's versatile too: The flotation inserts can be removed, so you can simply use it as a lightweight backpack even when you aren't near the water, and you can also remove the side pouches if you just prefer to use it as a life vest.

The lightweight backpack has a waterproof zipper and breathable mesh base layer, but if you have a swimming breed that's eager to jump into the water, you may want to remove the contents of the pouches first since they're not 100% waterproof (although one reviewer noted that a plastic zippered bag is included).

There are adjustable straps, two metal leash attachments, a sturdy lift handle, and reflective accents. Plus, your dog is easy to spot thanks to the backpack’s bright orange color.

According to an adventure dog owner: “Easy to put on and adjust for my dog and he swam great with it. I also used it to go hiking. Piker (my dog) carried our sandwiches and water bottles. Also great for stowing first aid items. Great for the woods and trail during hunting season because of the hi-visibility orange color.”