Skip to main content

The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

The 6 Best Dog Backpacks for Hiking and Beyond

Hiking golden retriever dog with backpack standing on a cliff overlooking a mountain valley.

Hikes are always better with a dog. And, some pups are even willing to carry their own load, whether it is water and snacks for a day hike or food and bedding for a multi-day adventure. While not every pup is up for hauling a stash on a hike, fortunately, there are plenty of dogs who are up for the challenge – and for outdoorsy hounds, there are a variety of backpacks that offer a blend of durability and comfort.

Planning a hike with your dog? Here are the best dog backpacks for you next hiking or outdoor adventure. And we also rounded up the best hiking daypacks and backpacks for humans.

Related Videos

Related Guides

Ruffwear Palisades Pack

Ruffwear Palisades Pack.

Ruffwear has a history of designing gear for working dogs, including guide dogs and avalanche rescue dogs, and, their canine packs reflect the company’s focus on comfort and function. For pups tagging along on extended expeditions, there’s Ruffwear’s Palisades Pack. Available in three different size options, the pack features a form-fitting harness with five different points of adjustment, along with detachable saddlebags. The pack also comes with easy-to-stash hydration bladders, and, for quick access to trail necessities on the go, the saddlebags feature external zip pockets and gear loops perfect for hanging food or water bowls.

Kurgo Baxter Dog Backpack

Kurgo Baxter Dog Backpack.

Kurgo got its start designing products to keep antsy pups safe in moving vehicles, and has continued to expand, producing a wide range of gear for active dogs on the go. And, for trail hounds, there’s Kurgo’s Baxter Dog Backpack. Offered in two sizes, the pack features two zippered paneers, both outfitted with exterior stash pockets and reflective trim for added visibility. And, eight different adjustment points help ensure a comfortable fit. As an added bonus, there’s even a bottle opener attached to the pack’s padded chest plate.

Mountainsmith K-9 Dog Pack  

Mountainsmith K-9 Dog Pack.                   

Mountainsmith has been crafting packs for outdoorsy pups for more than 40 years — and their K-9 Dog Pack features plenty of touches inspired by four decades of experience. To cater to pups large and small, the pack comes in three sizes and features both a padded chest harness with four points of adjustment, along with a back harness. For days the weather doesn’t cooperate, the rip-stop nylon pack is also water-resistant, to help keep gear dry.

Read more: Best Adventure Dog Breeds for Active Outdoorsmen

EzyDog Summit Dog Backpack

EzyDog Summit Dog Backpack.

EzyDog offers a wide array of gear for high-0ctane dogs, including shock-absorbing leashes, life-jackets, and harnesses for active pups, so naturally, their Summit Dog Backpack includes plenty of features for athletic mutts on the move. Offered in three sizes, the pack includes two saddlebags with wide-mouthed tops for quick-and-easy access to gear, along with waterproof zippers, and reflective trim for hikes in low-light conditions. Plus, for pups with a tendency to pull, there are sturdy, D-ring leash attachments both in the front and on the back of the pack. For a little flourish, Velcro strips on either side of the pack also make it easy to add personalized patches or labels, like name tags.

Ultimate Direction Dog Vest

Ultimate Direction Dog Vest.

Specializing in creating performance-improving products for self-propelled endurance athletes, including hydration packs and handheld water carriers, Ultimate Direction brings the same approach to crafting gear for adventurous pups. And, for mutts on the move, Ultimate Direction’s Dog Vest is a streamlined system for carrying trail essentials. Made from rip-stop nylon, the pack features two expandable pockets (with a 10.3-liter capacity in the largest size), each is also outfitted with external zippered compartments for smaller items. Two rings offer the option to attach a leash on the front or back, while the multi-point harness helps ensure a comfortable fit. And, the vest even comes with an easy-to-stash collapsible dog bowl.

Ruffwear Front Range Day Pack

Ruffwear Front Range Day Pack.

For shorter adventures, Rough Wear’s Front Range Day Pack features a streamlined design with plenty of space to store gear on extended day hikes or trail runs. For comfort and stability, the slender, form-fitting saddlebags attach to a harness with five different points of adjustment. For quick access to gear, the pack features internal pockets to keep essentials safely stashed. And, to help keep frisky pups in check on the trail, the harness features leash attachment points both on the chest and back.

Read more: The Best Dog Breeds for Runners

Editors' Recommendations

Winter camping: Everything you need for a safe trip
Winter camping: Quiet trails, pristine campsites and long nights stargazing, what's not to love?
winter camping tent snow sunrise

If you've never experienced winter camping, then you may not know what you're missing out on. Sure, summer camping is far more popular, but that's half of what makes winter the perfect time to stay out under the stars. Quiet campsites, empty trails, and easy access to the golden hour — no four a.m. starts just to see the sunrise. Winter camping is special, but only if you're fully prepared and know how to stay safe.

In the summer, a forgotten sleep pad, a stove that doesn't work, or a dead set off headlamp batteries are irritating, but they're more of a funny anecdote that you hope not to repeat. But in the winter, any one of these could be the start of the end — to your camping trip, hopefully, rather than you. Sub zero temperatures, long periods of darkness, and trails hidden with snow all make winter camping more challenging and more treacherous, so here are a few things you can do to stay safe this winter and still get out under the stars.

Read more
Camping gear 101: the must-have equipment for everyone
Camping gear tips: We bet something on this list will make it into your pack this winter
Two camping tents covered in snow on a mountain in winter.

Winter doesn't have to be the end of your camping season. Sure, during the summer, many of our camping gear tips focus on staying lightweight and trying to be as minimalist as possible. In winter, some of this goes out of the window. After all, winter camping means more than just throwing in an extra insulated jacket and a few beanie hats. It means long nights under the stars, freezing temperatures, and changeable weather to contend with.

Now, we haven't put together this list of the best winter camping gear as an exhaustive camping packing list, and what you take with you will depend on your camping style. Are you going roadside and camping from the car? Or do you need to haul everything ten miles over a mountain pass to get to your remote real estate? Either way, there will be something on this list for you, we almost guarantee it.

Read more
Get the best snowboard boots for comfortable connection
These snowboard boots will keep you in control on the mountain all day long
person snowboarding down a mountain with a wake of snow behind them.

Your snowboard boots are a vital link in the chain that connects your body to your snowboard. But more than that, they're where your feet will be for hours at a time when you're on the slopes. If you've moved on from rental boots already, you will know that having your own boots not only keeps you more comfortable throughout a day of snowboarding but also keeps your feet warmer and drier and gives you much greater control over your snowboard.

But when picking your perfect snowboarding boots, there's more to it than just finding a pair that looks great and fits your feet. Different boots suit different snowboarders. If you're a hard-charging carver, you'll need a pair of boots to match. Likewise, if you love sending spins and tricks, you need a softer and more playful pair of snowboard boots. We've picked out the best boots for various snowboarders this winter, so you can spend more time on the mountain and less time finding the perfect snowboard gear.

Read more