Lightweight Backpacks for Dogs

Lightweight Backpacks for Dogs
Dogs can carry 25 percent of their body weight in a backpack (though this isn't recommended). If you want to take an extended day trip or multiday hike with your pet, a backpack is a good way to distribute the weight that the hiking/backpacking party carries. A dog can certainly carry its own food and water, plus other small items that will fit in the pack (first-aid kit, dog-shot records, an extra leash, poop bags, sewing kit). Lightweight packs are ideal because they allow your dog to carry more items, but be sure the pack fits your dog correctly. This means ensuring that the straps fit snug but do not constrict your dog, and that the pack's two pouches are balanced and evenly weighted. Also, start your pet off with a light pack and short hike so it can get used to the new weight.

Kelty Chuckwagon Dog Backpack

This pack has a simple, long-lasting design that has everything you need: ripstop nylon, two easily adjustable saddle bags, padded plastic buckles, a grab handle for taking the pack off or helping your pup over obstacles and through water, and a bear bell to let you and other wild animals know where your dog is. It comes in four sizes: small for 15- to 35-lb. dogs with a girth of 18 to 28 inches; medium for 35- to 65-lb. dogs with a girth range of 22 to 35 inches; large for 65- to 90-lb. dogs with a girth range of 28 to 42 inches; and extra large for 85-lb. (plus) dogs with a girth range of 32 to 49 inches. They range from 14 oz. to just over 1 lb., and they have a lifetime warranty.


Mountainsmith Dog Pack

Designed by small animal vets and members of the American Kennel Club, this fleece-lined pack has a mesh pocket on the top for items that need to be easily accessible, soft polypropylene webbing, an open back for ventilation, reflective strips for safety and a D-Ring on the harness for the leash. The belly and chest straps float to eliminate hot spots, and all three of the compression straps are adjustable, which helps to keep loads secure. The pack comes in three sizes: small for sub 40-lb. dogs with a girth of up to 28 inches; medium for 40- to 80-lb. dogs with a girth up to 34 inches; and large for dogs over 80 lb. with a girth of 39 inches. Mountainsmith also offers a lifetime warranty against manufacturer defects.

Ruffwear Palisades Pack II

This pack has a variety of features unique to dog packs, including an integrated water bladder hydration system. The two bladders, located on either side of the pack, cushion the dog from anything stored in the packs, and spouts on the sides of the packs allow easy access for filling the dog's water bowl. Compression straps secure the load and--along with the spiderweb chassis harness--help distribute weight and improve the fit and comfort. The pack is also equipped with removable saddlebags, 1680 Denier ballistic nylon construction for long-lasting durability and a grab handle to help you pick your pup up over obstacles. There are three sizes of this pack: the small pack fits dogs with a 21- to 30-inch girth (the water bags hold 10 liters); the medium pack fits dogs with a 26- to a 36-inch girth (the water bags hold 13 liters); and the large pack fits dogs with a 32- to 48-inch girth (the water bags hold 18 liters). The weight range for this pack is 15 to 120 pounds. Ruffwear offers an unlimited lifetime warranty on this pack.



Article Written By Lizzy Scully

Lizzy Scully is a senior contributing editor for Mountain Flyer magazine and the executive director of the nonprofit Girls Education International. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from University of Utah and Master of Science in journalism from Utah State University.