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9 Best Dog Backpack Carriers for Hiking in 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

A dog hiking backpack

When the weather is perfect, there’s nothing like going on a long hike in a beautiful nature area. The only thing that would make it better is if you could go hiking with your furry best friend. The good news is that you can!

With backpacks designed to carry dogs, you can now go on hikes even with dogs who may have ailments or older dogs who get tired pretty easily. Not only are these bags suitable for hiking, but you also get to have your buddy nearby while you both enjoy the wonderful experience of a hike on a beautiful day.

The market is full of options, though, so just to make sure you didn’t go barking up the wrong tree, we decided to do the research for you. We’ve reviewed the nine best dog backpack carriers. Let’s get started!

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A Quick Look at Our Favorites in 2024

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
K9 Sport Sack Trainer Forward Facing Dog Carrier Backpack K9 Sport Sack Trainer Forward Facing Dog Carrier Backpack
  • Ventilated side panels encourage airflow for your dog
  • Padded shoulder straps are comfortable
  • Decent price
  • Best Value
    Second place
    PetAmi Deluxe Backpack Dog & Cat Carrier PetAmi Deluxe Backpack Dog & Cat Carrier
  • Inexpensive
  • Plenty of cushioning on the straps and around the back
  • Well-ventilated for your dog
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Kurgo G-Train Dog Carrier Backpack Kurgo G-Train Dog Carrier Backpack
  • Fiberglass frame means the bag retains its shape
  • Waterproof, dirtproof bag material
  • Roll-up top panel lets your dog see out
  • Jespet Dog & Cat Carrier Backpack Jespet Dog & Cat Carrier Backpack
  • Large opening door makes it easy to get in and out
  • Padded straps and handles are comfortable
  • Mesh panels ensure good airflow
  • K9 Sport Sack Air 2 Forward Facing Dog Carrier Backpack K9 Sport Sack Air 2 Forward Facing Dog Carrier Backpack
  • Rest pad offers greater comfort for your dog
  • Fuzzy side panel allows the fastening of lights or accessories
  • Padded and adjustable shoulder straps make carrying easier
  • The 9 Best Dog Backpack Carriers for Hiking

    1. K9 Sport Sack Trainer Forward Facing Dog Carrier Backpack – Best Overall

    K9 Sport Sack Trainer

    The K9 Sport Sack Trainer Forward Facing Dog Carrier Backpack is a forward-facing backpack with padded straps to provide additional support and protection for the shoulders while a waist strap keeps the bag securely against the wearer. Ventilated side panels allow air to flow through the backpack, keeping your dog at a reasonable temperature.

    A side pocket is ideal for holding a water bottle or other accessories. The bag is lightweight, so is suitable for long hikes in potentially challenging conditions but is strong enough to keep your passenger secure and comfortable. There is a 30-pound maximum recommended weight.

    Reasonably priced, the K9 Sport Sack is our choice as the best overall dog backpack carrier for hiking, but it is difficult to actually get the dog in the backpack, so it won’t be suitable for dogs that wriggle or are unconfident about getting in that kind of space.

    Pros
    • Ventilated side panels encourage airflow for your dog
    • Padded shoulder straps are comfortable
    • Decent price
    Cons
    • Difficult to get your dog in

    2. PetAmi Deluxe Backpack Dog & Cat Carrier – Best Value

    PetAmi Deluxe Backpack Dog & Cat Carrier

    Made from polyester, the PetAmi Deluxe Backpack Dog & Cat Carrier is a durable backpack that has ventilated side panels and a ventilated back panel so there is plenty of airflow around the inside of the carrier. Chest and waist straps secure the bag to the body so that it doesn’t flop or flail around while you’re walking. Not only does this make it easier for the person carrying the bag but it also ensures a more comfortable journey for the dog. Comfort is further ensured with padded straps and a padded back. An internal strap enables you to safely strap the dog inside and prevent escape.

    The PetAmi Deluxe Backpack Dog & Cat Carrier is cheap and the best dog backpack carrier for hiking for the money. However, the mesh is easily destroyed by active dogs or those who like to chew, so it is best for placid dogs.

    Pros
    • Inexpensive
    • Well-ventilated for your dog
    • Plenty of cushioning on the straps and around the back
    Cons
    • The mesh panels are susceptible to clawing and chewing

    3. Kurgo G-Train Dog Carrier Backpack – Premium Choice

    Kurgo G-Train

    The Kurgo G-Train Dog Carrier Backpack is a premium option with a design inspired by tactical backpacks. It uses a frame made from fiberglass rods, which give the bag greater structural rigidity to give your dog room and to ensure that the backpack is easier to carry. The material is waterproof and dirtproof and the shoulder straps can be tucked away, and the bag carried by hand if your shoulders and back need a rest.

    The bag is expensive, but it is rugged, and it includes a roll-up panel at the top as well as a ventilated panel to offer good airflow. It has a maximum load capacity of 25 pounds and, although you should check before flying, it is airline-approved so it should be fine to take on the plane.

    Pros
    • Fiberglass frame means the bag retains its shape
    • Roll-up top panel lets your dog see out
    • Waterproof, dirtproof bag material
    Cons
    • Expensive

    4. Jespet Dog & Cat Carrier Backpack

    JESPET & GOOPAWS Pet Backpack Carrier

    The Jespet Dog & Cat Carrier Backpack is a bucket-shaped backpack that has enough space for a small dog to get in and turn around. It has a large mesh door to make it easy for you to get your dog in and out, while mesh paneling ensures that the temperature doesn’t get too high inside.

    The shoulder straps and handles are padded, making carrying easier and more comfortable, and it does have a waist buckle to help spread the load.

    The backpack is reasonably priced, but it is only designed for small pups so it can only take dogs up to a maximum weight of 16 pounds. It also only relies on a zipper to keep your dog confined and some pups may be able to figure out how to escape.

    Pros
    • Large opening door makes it easy to get in and out
    • Mesh panels ensure good airflow
    • Padded straps and handles are comfortable
    Cons
    • Only has a 16-pound weight limit
    • Clever dogs might figure out the zipper

    5. K9 Sport Sack Air 2 Forward Facing Dog Carrier Backpack

    K9 Sport Sack Air 2

    The K9 Sport Sack Air 2 Forward Facing Dog Carrier Backpack is the updated version of the K9 at the top of the list. It has a rest pad that allows your dog to sit more comfortably and an adjustable chest strap to keep them in position. You’ll also find a sturdy D ring that you can attach to a leash or harness for security. Ventilated panels ensure a good flow of air around the interior.

    For the wearer, the backpack has comfortable shoulder straps that can be adjusted to an appropriate size and a fuzzy fastener on the side that offers a great place to put lights, reflectors, or other accessories. The backpack is more expensive than the original and most others on this list, but it does have some features that might benefit certain dogs.

    Pros
    • Rest pad offers greater comfort for your dog
    • Padded and adjustable shoulder straps make carrying easier
    • Fuzzy side panel allows the fastening of lights or accessories
    Cons
    • Pricey

    6. Mogoko Dog Carrier Backpack

    Mogoko

    This bag is made for those who have smaller dogs of 10-15 pounds. The best way to describe this bag is that it is a rucksack for your pet! Made with mesh and EPE-padded foam, this has a drawstring opening neck hole for ventilation, so your dog can see where you both are going.

    There are pockets on each side to store all your pet’s needs. The rope on the inside can be attached to your dog’s leash so if things were to come loose, they still wouldn’t be able to get away. The bottom cover of this bag is removable, which makes it easy to clean. There is a buckling waistband, and the shoulder straps are 100% adjustable so you can be as comfortable as your pet!

    Unfortunately, there seems to be an issue with durability. The shoulder straps on this don’t handle the dog’s weight very well, and you might find yourself in a scary situation, as the straps have a tendency to snap. It’s possible to reinforce them, however, depending on your level of industriousness.

    Pros
    • Easy to clean
    • Made from breathable EPE-padded foam
    Cons
    • Lack of durability: the straps easily break

    We think you’ll like:


    7. Petsfit Soft Backpack Carrier for Dogs

    Petsfit

    This is a decent bag with a solid design that looks a bit like a birdhouse. It comes with all the classic features of a backpack for your dog: side windows made of mesh for ventilation, a hole up top so your doggy can peek through, and a solid base for them to nap on. Because of the bag’s sturdy walls and floor, your pet will feel like they are in a tiny home on your back.

    This bag comes with a front entrance that your pet will simply have to step over to enter. The back is padded, as are the shoulder straps. For extra support, you can use the chest strap and waist strap. The material is a 600D Oxford cloth on the outside and a 230D polyester interior with a hexagonal mesh.

    This bag is widely loved by people who use it. So, why it is so low on our list? Inexplicably, the pets hate it. Once inside the bag, they seem to do just fine, but most pets have no desire to get into this bag and will fight you in order to stay out!

    Pros
    • 600D Oxford cloth, 230D polyester
    • Comfortable carry
    Cons
    • Animals do not want to get in

    8. Pawfect Pets Dog Backpack Carrier for Hiking

    Pawfect Pets

    This bag is designed to be escape-proof, and your pet will probably be able to tell, considering how small the mesh windows are. The good news is that it is designed to be comfortable — for the human. The shoulder straps are extra padded, with more padding on the back to make this feel nice whether you are riding a train or mountain biking. If you want to take your pet on an even longer trip, this bag is approved by several airlines, though you’ll probably want to double-check before you go. This bag is made specifically for very small dogs, as in toy breeds only.

    However, this bag is narrow and not super comfortable for your pet, and it also might be dangerous. The zippers are not of the highest quality, and there is a tendency for the bottom of this bag to fall out altogether.

    Pros
    • Extra-padded shoulder straps
    Cons
    • Very low-quality zippers
    • Possibly dangerous for your animal

    9. Lifeunion Dog Carrier Backpack

    Lifeunion

    This product is a knock-off of our top pick from K9 Sport. It actually holds up decently well compared to the original. Able to hold dogs of up to 40 pounds, this bag also has side pockets to carry all your pet’s needs. Your dog won’t really be able to move in this, as it hugs them like a glove, but it still allows for them to come on any adventure with you. If you have a larger dog, you might have to make modifications for their legs to fit. So, why is this number 9 on our list? Lack of originality!

    Pros
    • Carries up to 40 lbs.
    Cons
    • Knock-off

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    Buyer’s Guide: How to Find the Best Dog Backpack Carrier for Hiking

    While there are important purchases out there, we all know that the most important ones are those we make for our loved ones, and who do we love more than our pets? With a dog carrier, you can take your pet wherever you want, but since this list is focused on hiking, it’s good to take note of certain aspects.

    Comfort

    Obviously, comfort for you, the owner, is important, but comfort for your pet is arguably more important. When they are in these carrying bags, they are at the mercy of your movement, and you wouldn’t want to do anything to get them hurt. Certain bags offer more freedom of movement for your pet, but we have found that the bags that hug your dog may actually be better for strenuous activities.

    Extras

    While bags that hug your pet generally make for a better extended hiking experience, they typically lack the storage space for extras like leashes and water bowls, which could be important if you plan on going on longer hikes.

    Durability

    Not all bags are meant for the ruggedness of hiking, so you will want to thoroughly research the durability of the bag you are buying. There are reviews of certain bags where the animals will just fall out of them. This could be dangerous and is not a position you want to put your pet in.

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    Our Verdict

    If you love to take your dog walking, but their little legs can’t always cope with the difficult terrain or they get tired before you do, a backpack offers a convenient and simple way to carry your pup. It needs to be comfortable for you as well as your dog and it should also be secure and stable. Ventilated panels improve airflow and prevent your dog from getting too hot.

    We found the K9 Sport Sack Trainer Forward Facing Dog Carrier Backpack offers the best combination of affordability, security, and comfort. The PetAmi Deluxe Backpack Dog & Cat Carrier is also a good quality carrier that is comfortable for dogs and their holders while having a lower price tag.

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