10 Best Dog Carrier Backpacks for Hiking [2021 Guide]

10 Best Dog Carrier Backpacks for Hiking

You love taking your dog out on hiking adventures with you (who doesn’t?), but there’s one little detail that needs addressing – how can I carry my dog around?

Choosing the perfect backpack to carry dogs around is important for a variety of reasons. Maybe you are looking to spend more quality time with your dog, your dog needs more exposure to the outdoors but cannot be walked on a leash, or your dog is elderly and has limited mobility.

Regardless of the reason, your dog backpack should meet certain standards, such as being safe. In addition to being safe, your dog backpack should also be comfortable for your dog.

A quality backpack will allow your dog to relax for extended periods of time, breathe easily, and clearly see what is going on around them. It’s an adventure after all! Your dog will surely love to experience new places as much as possible.

Before we get started, don’t forget to check out these dry shampoos for dogs. These waterless dog shampoos will allow you to keep your pooch smelling fresh in between hikes.

Quick Picks: Best Dog Backpack Carriers

In a hurry? Here are our quick picks of the best dog carrier backpacks for specific pet owner needs.

Overall Best Dog Backpack Carrier: K9 Sport Sack Dog Carrier

Best Dog Backpack With Windows: Pecute Expandable Pet Carrier

Best Dog Backpack Carrier for up to 25 lbs: Kurgo Dog Carrier

Best Front-facing Dog Backpack Carrier: Pawaboo Pet Carrier Backpack

Best Backpack With Interior Leash: PetAmi Deluxe Pet Carrier Backpack

10 Best Dog Carrier Backpacks

Best Overall | K9 Sport Sack Dog Carrier

Best Dog Carrier Backpacks: K9 Sport Sack Dog Carrier - Best Overall Carrier

The K9 Sport Sack carrier is a fully ventilated and veterinarian-approved backpack that is adjustable to your dog. Coming in various sizes, you are very likely to find a fit that works for your dog.

If you happen to have a dog that suffers from anxiety, depression, or a physical disability, this dog backpack will do wonders for you. With a 60-day quality guarantee, you can feel secure in your purchase.

Features:

  • Detachable storage bag
  • Over 5 different safety/failsafe features
  • Adjustable dual side pockets
  • Neoprene lined front leg holes
  • Padded backside and elastic shoulder straps

Dog Sizing Chart:

LengthGirthSizeCommon Breeds
10-13 inup to 23 inX-SmallChihuahua, Maltese, Teacup Yorkie, Pomeranian, Papillion
14-17 inup to 27 inSmallCavalier King Charles, Mini Dachshund, Toy Poodle
17-20 inup to 28 inMediumJack Russell Terrier, Lhasa Apso, Pug, Havanese, Schipperke
20-23 inup to 31 inLargeBeagle, Corgi, French Bulldog, Mini Golden Doodle, Sheltie
* All sizes of the K9 Sport Sack AIR are rated up to 30 lbs.

Best Budget | Outward Hound Poochpouch

Best Dog Carrier Backpacks: Outward Hound Poochpouch - Best Budget Carrier

The Outward Hound backpack carrier is perfect for small to medium-sized dogs. Take your dog along for your next adventure with this budget-friendly carrier. Water-resistant nylon fabric combines with a ventilated interior to keep your pooch comfortable while they enjoy the view.

Features:

  • Hands-free for stowing your dog
  • Cooling mesh siding for warmer weather
  • 1 front zip pocket storage for treats and toys
  • Interior safety clips that attach to your dog’s collar
  • Water-resistant nylon fabric

Dog Size: This product is intended for toy, small, and medium-sized dogs. The small size will accommodate dogs 10 lbs and under. Upsize to medium for a max load of 20 lbs.

Best 25 lbs or Less | Kurgo Dog Carrier

Best Dog Carrier Backpacks: Kurgo Dog Carrier - Best Carrier for Dogs 25 lbs or Less

Don’t be surprised if your dog starts jumping into this Kurgo dog carrier of its own volition. This well-padded and breathable dog backpack allows your dog to poke their cute little heads out during your adventures.

Feel free to grab this backpack for airplane trips as it is TSA airline-approved. Attach your dog to the bag using a safety harness and make your flight without a worry.

Features:

  • Stowaway straps for multi-functionality
  • Adjustable and padded for comfort
  • Interior carabiner attaches to harness
  • Mesh ventilation for air circulation
  • Waterproof bottom with removable, machine-washable interior pad
  • TSA airline approved
  • Lifetime Warranty

Dog Sizing: For small cats and dogs under 25 lbs.

Best Front Carrier | Pawaboo Pet Carrier Backpack

Best Dog Carrier Backpacks: Pawaboo Pet Carrier - Best Front Backpack

The Pawaboo Pet Carrier is our favorite legs-out and tail-out design due to its safety and versatility. You can switch between front-facing and backside all while keeping your pet comfortable.

Due to its lightweight design and portability, you can carry your small dog (or cat!) along on your next biking, hiking, camping, and park outing. As an added bonus, your dog will look absolutely adorable in this. Photo-op, much?

Features:

  • Adjustable padded strap to relieve the burden off your shoulder and back
  • Thickened sponge padding for comfort and ventilation
  • Fabric covered elastic for flexibility
  • Two side zippers
  • 2 snap buckles and points
  • Leg-out and tail-out design for pet comfort

Dog Sizing:

SizeChest GirthFront & Rear Leg DistanceLeg CircumferenceWeight Suggestion from Buyers
S14 in3 in6 in< 5lbs / 2kg
M16 in4.5 in8 in5-9lb / 2-4kg
L19 in5.5 in9 in9-13lb / 4-6kg
XL21 in6 in10.5 in13-15lb / 6-7kg
*Recommended for small dogs under 15lb

Safest Option | PetAmi Deluxe Pet Carrier Backpack

Best Dog Carrier Backpacks: PetAmi Deluxe Pet Carrier - Safest Dog Carrier Backpack

Your pet will travel safely and comfortably in this PetAmi dog backpack due to its firmly reinforced structure. The sturdy design of this carrier allows for a spacious travel experience without the risk of collapsing.

The PetAmi deluxe carrier is made with durable 600D high-grade polyester and comes in many different colors. Choose from black, dark gray, heather gray, heather taupe, light blue, light gray, pink, royal blue, and red.

Features:

  • Safety buckle and leash for maximum security and escape prevention
  • Breathable padded shoulder strap and back mesh
  • Moisture-wicking mesh material
  • Sherpa lined bed with reinforced structure
  • Multiple mesh windows for airflow and pet visibility
  • 2-sided access points for entry and exit
  • Includes a name tag I.D. and a collapsible bowl for water or food

Dog Sizing: Ideal for small dogs and small to medium cats. Has a weight capacity of up to 18 lbs.

Backpack Measurements: 12.5 x 10.2 x 16.3 inches (L x W x H)

Most Expandable | Pecute Pet Carrier Backpack

Best Dog Carrier Backpacks: Pecute Pet Carrier - Most Spacious and Expandable

The Pecute dog carrier backpack is ideal for owners concerned about their pets becoming claustrophobic in their backpack. With an expandable back design, this backpack increases its size by 90%.

Increase your pet’s sense of security further with this carrier’s sturdy removable bottom with comfy padding. Flip it over during the summer for a cooling and breathable bottom. When not in use, simply fold the backpack up for convenient storage.

Features:

  • Zip openings on both sides for easy access to pets
  • Collapsible dog carrier backpack capable of expanding to allow pet movement
  • 4-side breathable mesh windows for optimal ventilation
  • Non-toxic, chemical-free, breathable
  • Lightweight, durable, and portable
  • Double-sided use pad
  • Equipped with safety belt
  • Adjustable shoulder straps and buckles

Dog Sizing: Best for dogs and cats up to 18 lbs. Be sure to measure your pet to make sure they fit comfortably within the dimensions of this backpack.

Backpack Measurements: Regular size is 16.5 x 13.8 x 11 in. Expanded size is 16.5 x 13.8 x 24.4 in. Product weight is 1.6 kg.

*Notable con: This backpack cannot be machine washed. Only wiped with a towel.

Best Camping | SlowTon Pet Carrier Backpack

Best Dog Carrier Backpacks: SlowTon Pet Carrier - Best for Camping and Outdoors Activities

Have a Houdini-like dog with a knack for escaping from its carriers? The SlowTon backpack has got you covered! With a plastic clasp on each zipper, you can be assured your mischievous pet isn’t going to escape.

Besides, this backpack is super comfortable so they may not even want to. With thickened padding on the lower back part, your pet will enjoy an even support and feel secure.

Features:

  • Extended sponge pad that supports and protects your back
  • Adjustable safety belt to prevent pets from escaping
  • Foldable and easy to store
  • Additional storage for multiple functions
  • Weight distributing and comfortable for you to wear
  • Fantastic ventilation and visibility
  • 4 anti-slip rubber foot bottoms
  • Transparent card holder for your puppy’s ID

Dog Sizing: This bag supports up to 16 lbs. See backpack measurements to make sure your dog fits the dimensions.

Backpack Measurements: 16.5 x 13 x 11.4 Weight: 3.09 lbs

Best Head Out Design | Mogoko Comfortable Dog Carrier Backpack

Best Dog Carrier Backpacks: Mogoko Comfortable Dog Carrier - Best Head Out Design

Want an adorable peep-hole design that allows the world to see your pup’s cuddly face? The Mogoko dog carrier secures your dog while allowing them a little extra freedom.

With padded panels and a removable bottom cover, you know your pet is going to feel as cozy as they look. A mesh front and side pocket also gives you some space to store your essential dog traveling items.

Features:

  • Ventilated head out design
  • Durable and non-toxic materials
  • Elastic mesh window
  • Adjustable straps with buckle
  • Waistband design to reduce shoulder pressure
  • Side pockets
  • Inside hooks for your pet’s collar
  • Airline approved and great for outdoor trips

Dog Sizing:

SizeLengthHeightWidthRefer Back LengthRefer Weight
M10.6 in13 in6.3 in12-14 in0-7 lbs
L11 in15.5 in7.4 in14.5-16.5 in7-10 lbs
XL11.4 in17.5 in8.6 in17-20 in10-15 lbs

Backpack Measurements: 14.88 x 12.05 x 1.57 inches Weight: 1.01 lbs

Best for Grocery Store & Park | SlowTon Sling Pet Carrier

Best Dog Carrier Backpacks: SlowTon Sling Backpack Carrier - Best for Grocery Store and Park

Want a more casual option for going out to the park or grocery store? The SlowTon sling carrier allows you to carry your dog around in a tote bag fashion.

This design gives you the security of a front-facing bag with some of the comforts of backpack style. The strap of this bag can be adjusted for varying heights, making it great for everyone in your household to grab and use.

Features:

  • Sponge padded shoulder strap
  • Adjustable strap
  • Adjustable opening
  • Easy to store

Dog Sizing: This sling bag is suitable for pets up to 13 lbs but will work best for dogs ranging from 5 to 12 lbs. For dogs or cats weighing less than 7 lbs, a light blanket will help them to feel more secure.

Backpack Measurements:

  • Shoulder Strap Length: 17.72 – 35.43inch / 45 – 90cm
  • Front Zipped Pocket: 7.1 inch * 7.1 inch / 18cm *18cm
  • Item weight: 11.9 ounces / 338g

Best Transparent | Henkelion Backpack Carrier Bubble Bag

Best Dog Carrier Backpacks: Henkelion Backpack Carrier - Best Transparent/See Through Bubble Backpack

Have a dog so cute that you want the world to see them at all times? The Henkelion backpack carrier allows you to do just that! This airline-approved bubble backpack comes in several colors that you’ll love.

With a space capsule appearance, you’ll have a fun talking point for friends and strangers. Best of all, you will enjoy the benefits of an open-looking design without the security risks.

Features:

  • Unique space capsule appearance
  • Backpack and front pack style
  • Ergonomic and durable design
  • Safety belt
  • Adjustable shoulder straps
  • Breathable holes

Dog Sizing: This carrier supports up to 10lbs. Please see backpack measurements to ensure your dog fits the product dimensions.

Backpack Measurements: Size: 12.2*11.4*16.5 inches

Material: PC shell, oxford fabric

How to Choose your Dog Backpack Carrier

Depending on where you will be bringing your dog, there are some things you should think about. Airplane travel, camping trips, and casual trips to the grocery store will be better suited to certain backpacks over others.

Features to Consider

  • Shoulder strap comfort
  • Entry/exit points on the backpack
  • Waterproof materials
  • Non-toxic materials
  • Machine-washable materials
  • Front vs back carrying options
  • Windows
  • Size
  • Colors
  • Bottom support

Front vs Back Dog Carrier

The decision to use a front vs back dog backpack is primarily preference. If you are worried about seeing your dog and ensuring they are safe, a front carrier might be your best option.

On the downside, front carriers can be more difficult on your back over time. It can also cause people to have balance issues while hiking.

A back carrier is ideal for those who will be doing plenty of hiking as you can lean forward a bit while walking. Try out both to find out what works best for you and your dog.

Dog Carrier Size

Most carriers come in an extra small, small, and medium option. Most people do not look to carry a large or extra large dog on outings so there aren’t a lot of options available to purchase.

We have included a large option below for those of you looking to carry your large dog.

FAQs About Dog Backpack Carriers

Here are the most common questions about dog backpacks.

Where Can I Bring my Dog in its Carrier?

  • Subway
  • Hiking
  • Camping
  • Grocery Shopping
  • Cycling
  • Parks
  • Some Restaurants

Are dog carrier backpacks safe?

For most healthy dogs, backpack carriers are safe. Puppies and elderly dogs may have issues being in a carrier. For all cases, it is best to consult with your veterinarian.

Do Dogs Like Being Carried in a Backpack?

Each dog has its own personality and you won’t know if they like being in a backpack until you try! In many cases, dogs will be happy to be in a backpack since it means they can go out with you more.

Have an Extra Large Dog? Here is the Best XL Backpack Carrier

K9 Sport Sack Rover (30lbs-80lbs)

Best Dog Carrier Backpacks: K9 Sport Sack Rover 30lbs-80lbs - Perfect for Extra Large Dogs

Sometimes we have a big dog and happen to want to carry them too. That’s okay! Maybe your dog is elderly or has a physical disability. This backpack will let them go along for the ride on your outings.

However, if your dog does have a disability, be sure to ask your veterinarian whether it is safe for them to be in a backpack.

Final Thoughts

Backpacks are such a great way to make sure your dog is included as much as possible in your life. Those camping trips, grocery store visits, and restaurant outings really add up.

Instead of leaving your dog at home for extended periods, take them along in a backpack for dogs. They’ll surely be grateful!

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