Dachsund sitting on backpack while hiking

best dog backpacks for hiking

(Last Updated On: July 12, 2021)

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You’re backpacking through the wilderness with your pup. You’re miles from the nearest town, and you’re trying to make your way back before dark. Suddenly Fido begins to slow down a little. Is he injured? Just tired? What are you going to do? Pack your canine companion up in a backpack! A doggy backpack is one of the best dog hiking accessories you can invest in, particularly if your pooch is small, slow, or tires easily.

These dog backpacks have all sorts of features that will keep your pet comfortable while they help carry your stuff on the trail, too! It’s not just humans who love these things – dogs love them too because they can feel close to you while still maintaining their sense of adventure.  It’s the perfect solution for dogs with anxiety, senior dogs, dogs with mobility issues, or dogs that tend to tire out quickly. With so many options, how do you find the best dog backpack for your pup?

Dog backpacks are great for carrying your furry friend on your many adventures without sacrificing your own comfort or mobility.  Use them for traveling, hiking, or simply running errands.  These best dog backpacks have the most extensive comfort and safety features of any on the market.  And bonus, many are TSA-approved for dogs traveling in-cabin.

why get a dog backpack for hiking?

You’ve got a dog that’s slowed down a little and doesn’t want to walk too long. You love taking your pooch on trails, but when you travel cross-country, it just isn’t safe with all the big trucks, buses, and other hazards. The perfect solution: the Dog Backpack!

Carry your dog in style with many of these backpacks that are ideal for hiking. These attractive packs allow your pet to see and be part of what’s going on without the stress of carrying them around or making sure they’re never out of sight. Your pup will wag their tail up all night as you wear him comfortably right next to you while hiking, during flights, and on adventures near home.

Grey schnauzer with head poking out of a travel backpack for hiking.

things to consider

It’s important to consider all of these factors before making a decision: size, weight capacity, material composition, and features. We’ll walk through each one below!


Size is the most important factor that will come into play with relation to your dog’s comfort. Not sure what size is right? Size varies based on your pet’s weight and proportions – just measure their length from nose to root (not tip) of their tail, and voila! The perfect fit.

Be sure that if you are also using the backpack to travel via plane that your dog can sit, turn around, stand, and lay down comfortably. Buying a larger dog backpack is always better than one that is too small! If you travel with your dog, this is a must-have travel essential.

weight capacity

The weight capacity is important for the backpack to withstand use over time. Be sure your pooch is under the weight limit of the backpack.

material composition

Most dog backpacks are made from high-density foam for incredible comfort, with mesh windows to keep Fido cool.  Other things to consider are breathability if you’re hiking in hot destinations or traveling, material of the straps for your comfort, and the material of where the dog will sit.


Depending on your personal needs, you may prioritize certain features over others. For example, I don’t like to have too many things, so for me, it’s important that the backpack is TSA-approved so I can also use it for flying. If you don’t fly with your dog, this may be a moot point. Take note of the different features available on each backpack and prioritize your needs.

top 5 dog backpacks for hiking

K9 Sport Sack Air Plus

k9 Sport Sack Air Plus
100 Reviews
k9 Sport Sack Air Plus
  • The K9 SPORT SACK AIR PLUS SMALL is designed for dog breeds that weights 30 lbs and less. The K9 AIR Plus - Small will fit dogs with the length of 14-17 inches and have a girth up to 27 inches....
  • RUFF LIFE: Does your dog suffer from anxiety, depression, or have a physical disability? Or maybe just older or doesn’t have the stamina for your next big adventure. Problem solved!
  • ROUND TALL FAT SMALL: We get it! Dogs come in all shapes and sizes, and we got your dog covered! Available in 3 sizes to fit your yorkie or larger sizes for your chubby frenchie or corgi. Scroll down...
  • SPORT SACK IS THE NEW BLACK: (Tip) For all the chubby dogs out there with a few fat rolls over the collar, our Jet Black is very slimming! Jokes aside, the Sport Sack AIR PLUS is available in Jet...
  • USA-BASED COMPANY, PERFORMANCE GUARANTEED: Wrong size? No problem. Any issues? We’re here for you. Whatever the problem may be don’t worry we’ll cover it, but we’re happy to hear any good...

The K9 Sport Sack Air Plus is a portable, lightweight front-facing backpack that provides maximum comfort for your pet while out on the town. The Air Plus is the next generation of K9 Sport Sack’s original design. It has been redesigned to make it more durable and comfortable for both dogs and their pet-parents. 

This comfortable dog carrier features mesh sides for extra breathability and easy access to your pet. The K9 Sport Sack Air Plus is available in three sizes to accommodate dogs weighing less than 30lbs., providing the perfect fit for most small-medium breeds. 

An optional Booster Block can be added to the K9 Sport Sack Air Plus for additional height so your pet can see out of the carrier. A carabiner clip makes it easy to attach the backpack to your dog’s collar or harness to increase safety and security.

The K9 Sport Sack Air Plus is not TSA-approved, so don’t expect to be taking it on flights. However, it’s ideal for hiking or if you want to give your dog a well-deserved rest while out and about!

kurgo gtrain

Kurgo GTrain Backpack
1,160 Reviews
Kurgo GTrain Backpack
  • HANDS FREE PET BACKPACK CARRIER: Small dog hiking backpack is made for pets up to 25 lbs who enjoy the outdoors; interior Swivel tether latches onto harness to keep pet secure; dog travel backpack is...
  • WATERPROOF BOTTOM: Carrier backpack has a water-resistant fabric top with a water proof armorsole bottom; front facing dog backpack is stain resistant and easy to wipe clean; removable,...
  • VENTILATED, PADDED DESIGN, TONS OF STORAGE: Dog carrying backpack is lightweight, rugged and tough, yet has softly padded compartments for your pet and your belongings; comes with top and front grab...
  • TSA AIRLINE APPROVED CARRIER: Laptop bag can be used as backpack or laid on its side and used as a carry on carrier. Recommend using safety harness on your pet and attaching harness to the lightweight...
  • Age range description: All Life Stages

The GTrain is the ultimate dog backpack and travel carrier. It has a waterproof bottom, two water bottle holders, an interior carabiner for added safety, ventilated back panel, extra storage space under the top flap and a separate compartment for personal belongings.

It also features stowaway straps which allow you to convert the backpack into a pet carrier in seconds. Its adjustable padded shoulder strap allows you to carry pets up to 25 lbs. with maximum comfort.

K9 Sport Sack Rover 2

k9 Sport Sack Rover 2
28 Reviews
k9 Sport Sack Rover 2
  • The K9 SPORT SACK ROVER 2 LARGE is designed for dog breeds that weights 80 lbs and less. The K9 Rover 2 - Large will fit dogs with the length of 20-23 inches and have a girth up to 34 inches. Typical...
  • RUFF LIFE: Does your dog suffer from anxiety, depression, or have a physical disability? Or maybe just older or doesn’t have the stamina for your next big adventure. Problem solved!
  • ROUND TALL FAT SMALL: We get it! Dogs come in all shapes and sizes, and we got your dog covered! Available in 3 sizes to fit your Corgie or larger sizes for your Basset Hound or Goldendoodle. Scroll...
  • BEST DESIGN FOR SAFETY & COMFORT - The Rover 2 features adjustable shoulder/torso sizing makes this backpack more suitable than ever for all body types (as long as you can withstand the weight). When...
  • USA-BASED COMPANY, PERFORMANCE GUARANTEED: Wrong size? No problem. Any issues? We’re here for you. Whatever the problem may be don’t worry we’ll cover it, but we’re happy to hear any good...

The K9 Sport Sack Rover 2 is the perfect dog backpack for all your adventures if you have a larger breed. It only comes in sizes M – XXL, so for a similar pack for a smaller dog, try the Air Plus. It’s a great option if you are looking for a dog backpack that will support both you and your pup.

The Rover 2 has adjustable torso sizing to ensure a good fit for all body types.  It also has adjustable, padded shoulder straps to maximize comfort. The Rover 2 has padded back panels with air flow channels to help keep both you and your pooch cool on hot days. There are plenty of additional storage compartments to store some small, personal items! This is by far the best dog backpack for larger dog breeds.

Kundu Deluxe Pet Backpack

Kundu Deluxe Pet Backpack
262 Reviews
Kundu Deluxe Pet Backpack
  • ✔️Dimensions - Exterior: 13"L x 12"W x 20"H - handle adds 21" In height when fully extended. Interior: 12"L x 11"W x 18"H - Weight capacity: pets up to 10 lbs (approximate). Please see product...
  • ✔️Approved by most airlines - it's approved by most airlines, but please double check with your airline.
  • ✔️3 different ways to carry - telescoping handle, strap handle and Backpack straps provide 3 Easy and convenient carrying solutions for different everyday needs. Lots of storage - 2 large pockets...
  • ✔️Durable, heavy-duty materials - Backpack: 600D Oxford fabric with 3 ventilation mesh panels that provide a cool environment and easy visibility. Telescoping handle: industrial grade aluminum...
  • Age Range Description: All Stages

The Kundu Deluxe Pet Backpack is a top-of-the-line, high-quality, wheeled pet carrier that converts to a backpack for multi-uses.  This backpack has been designed to provide comfort and safety for all pets up to 10 pounds. It features a large storage area underneath the seat for carrying your pet’s necessities and an easy access door on each side of the handle that allows you to get your pet in and out of the pack easily. The wheels are ultra smooth, so they will not cause any strain or discomfort while pushing it around. 

It features a telescoping handle for easy portability, and stowaway straps that can be tucked away when not in use. The mesh panels are breathable and comfortable for your pet, while the padded back panel provides added comfort for you.

This travel pet backpack is suitable for everyday use or trips out of town – wherever you go, your pet can too!  TSA-approved.

WDM Pet Carrier Backpack

WDM Pet Carrier Backpack
84 Reviews
WDM Pet Carrier Backpack
  • Breathable Dog Carrier Backpack: Two-sided mesh windows and neck hole window design on the top with a drawstring design, allows your pet to keep the head extended, making it ventilated and visible,...
  • Comfortable Dog Backpack: WDM Pet hiking carrier backpack comes with both waist and chest buckles to give you extra support and prevents falling. The back and shoulder straps are equipped with extra...
  • Seven Pockets for Storage: 1.Large Front Organizer Compartment 2.Side mesh pocket 3.Pocket with zipper for extracting Tissue 4.Elastic side pocket for strong bottle 6.Belt With Two Pockets can store...
  • Large Size & Safty Pet Carrier: Size:16" *12"* 13" (L x W x H) Easily fits small /medium dogs and small/medium sized pets! Built-in safety hook to attach to your pet's collar, prevent pet from...
  • Enjoy Travel with Pets: WDM pet carrier backpack larger than other pet dog backpacks in the market, easily fit mini poodle, mini schnauzer, mini teddy, chihuahua, Yorkshire, miniature pinscher,...

WDM Pet Carrier Backpack is a super cute and comfortable backpack for your pet. The adjustable neck hole window design is controlled by drawstring, so you can see your pet at any time. The anti-scratch, breathable mesh on the top of the bag is to let air flow through freely, preventing overheating and keeping your furry friend nice and cool.

There is a water bottle holder as well as an additional storage compartment on the side of the backpack for your belongings.  It’s TSA-approved and available in three colors.

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Last update on 2021-09-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

2 thoughts on “best dog backpacks for hiking”

  1. I just adopted a golden retriever puppy 4 weeks ago. He loved traveling in his backpack but he outgrew it by 10 weeks old. I wish there was a way to buy for the bigger breeds. Great article!

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