Are you planning to go hiking or backpacking with your dog? Then, you’ll need a dog harness specially designed for strenuous activity. Unlike collars, which can put too much strain on your dog’s neck, a well-fitted harness provides comfort and control.
Just as you need to be outfitted with the proper gear, the right dog harness can keep your hiking companion going for miles and miles. However, with a variety of styles and designs to choose from, it’s no easy task to decide which harness will work best for your dog.
We’ve selected 10 of the best dog harnesses for hiking and along with detailed and helpful reviews, summed up our findings in pros and cons lists. We’ve also included a buyer’s guide to help you make a more informed purchase.
Our 2022 Favorites Compared:
The 10 Best Hiking Harnesses for Dogs Reviewed
1. Rabbitgoo Dog Harness – Best Overall
For best overall performance, we recommend the Rabbitgoo dog harness. Offered in six bold color choices, this harness has soft padded panels made of Nylon Oxford, which not only allow for comfort and durability but also provide air flow to keep your dog cool as they’re blazing down the trail.
The no-slip lock system employs two buckles that are easy to clasp and unclasp and hold strong when it counts. Plus, the four adjustment points create a better fit. However, be aware that some dogs who are prone to escaping may become entangled.
This harness comes with two sturdy leash attachment loops. Use the back loop for casual walks and long hikes, and the front clip comes in handy for reducing your dog’s tendency to pull. There’s also a top handle incorporated into the harness for increased control and for lifting your dog. The reflective strips help keep your dog safe in low light.
2. EcoBark Classic Dog Harness – Best Value
Our choice for the best dog harness for hiking for the money goes to EcoBark Classic dog harness. Beyond being a great value, this harness is built to provide a comfortable fit for your dog. The custom stitch cover is designed to prevent rubbing and chafing.
The double-layered mesh fabric allows for breathability and is lightweight but strong enough to endure your dog’s high activity level. With eco-friendly straps made from recycled water bottles, this harness is built to prevent your dog from escaping, though it’s easy to put on and remove with the specialized buckles.
The EcoBark Classic comes in 10 bright color choices and six sizes. It has a leash attachment on the back, but there’s no option for a front leash and no top handle. We also found that breeds with wider necks encountered problems with the fit of the collar portion.
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3. OneTigris Dog Vest Harness – Premium Choice
If you’re planning several days of backpacking and hiking with your dog, you may want to spend the extra money on our premium choice, the OneTigris tactical dog vest harness. As the name implies, this dog harness is designed for professional medical and emergency use. On the trail, your dog can carry their own supplies and first aid materials.
The OneTigris includes three MOLLE pouches, an EMT bag, a tool pouch, and a waist pack. It comes with two sturdy top handles located in the front and back. This harness is built from durable 1000D nylon and has a rather soft interior. It only comes with a back-leash attachment, however.
Keep in mind that this harness is created for medium to extra-large dogs and is not intended for extra-heavy loads. Also, you may need to regularly adjust the fit, and the weight of the bags may cause the vest to shift out of place.
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4. RUFFWEAR Front Range Dog Harness
Built for extended wear during day-long hikes, the Ruffwear dog harness offers a simple design made from lightweight and durable materials. Two foam-padded strips stretch across your dog’s chest and belly for improved comfort and load distribution.
Four adjustment straps help provide a functional fit. We found, however, that larger chest dog breeds had difficulties with the fit. Also, dogs prone to escaping may make easy work of this harness.
Ruffwear comes with two leash attachment points. There’s an aluminum V-ring on the back and a reinforced loop on the front, which helps deter excessive pulling. However, if you have a strong dog, the front loop, made only of fabric, may snap under the force.
This vest-style dog harness comes in six sporty colors and has reflective strips for your dog’s safety in low light.
5. Outward Hound 22003 Daypak
If you’re looking for a dog harness that allows you to pack supplies but without the high price tag, you may want to consider the Outward Hound daypack. This cleverly designed dog harness employs two evenly distributed pouches with four expandable pockets to provide ample room for plenty of necessary items.
This harness is built for long hikes with its breathable mesh fabric that will help keep your dog comfortable all day long. It comes with a sturdy D-ring leash attachment located only on the back, and it has a built-in top handle.
The adjustable straps help secure a better fit. As with any harness that has added storage, keeping the vest in its proper position may become an issue. Also, we learned of some dogs experiencing rubbing and chafing along the straps.
The Outward Hound Daypak comes in a choice of two vivid colors for higher visibility. It also has reflective accents for night use.
6. BARKBAY Front Clip Dog Harness
Made for a day of hiking, the Barkbay dog harness clips securely onto your dog with ease. It comes with four adjustment points, and the buckles are weight tested up to 450 pounds.
The lightweight nylon on this front-styled vest is built for durability, prevents ripping, and is weatherproof for all seasons. This harness also provides your dog with extra comfort due to its anti-chafe padding and soft, breathable mesh fabric.
Two leash attachment clips located on the front and the back are made from strong zinc alloy metal, which resists rust and scratches. However, the metal clips may not be up to the challenge of a stronger, larger dog that pulls. Also, we learned of proper fitting difficulties.
Though primarily black, the vest portion comes in six attractive color accents. Also, the straps have reflective strips for added safety. This dog harness comes with a built-in top handle for extra control.
7. Kurgo Dog Saddlebag Harness
If you’re looking for another option for a backpack design dog harness, the Kurgo dog saddlebag harness is designed for dogs on the go. Two large saddlebag-style storage bags attach to either side of the harness, which can be adjusted for better comfort, fit, and load distribution.
The two leash attachments are built for durability and performance. The rear attachment has a D-ring design that also doubles a bottle opener. The sturdy top handle, designed to help your dog over obstacles, is offered in three rugged colors and has reflective stitching for added safety.
We learned that some users encounter issues with the zippers on the saddlebags opening too easily during use. Also, you may have difficulties getting a proper fit on your dog. Overall, we found that the Kurgo works well for day hiking but may not be up to the challenge of longer trips.
8. PoyPet No Pull Dog Harness
The front clip leash attachment on the PoyPet No Pull dog harness works well to deter your dog from pulling during your hike. Both the front and rear clips are constructed with sturdy metal and are secured with reinforced webbing.
You’ll can get this harness on and off with ease with a click of the quick-snap buckle on the neckline. Two additional buckles located on the belly and four adjustable straps secure this harness in place. However, you may run into trouble properly adjusting the straps for an ideal fit. Some dogs were able to easily escape.
This harness is built for your dog’s comfort during strenuous exercise. The non-toxic mesh allows for air circulation and provides padding to evenly distribute pulling pressure. The top handle can even be used to attach a seatbelt. This harness also comes with reflective stitching.
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9. ThinkPet Breathable Sport Harness
Designed with active dogs in mind, the ThinkPet breathable sport harness comes with a variety of high-performance components, including a front leash clip to better control your dog’s tendency to pull.
The padded ventilated material is built for air flow to keep your dog cool on the go. The safety buckles attach securely and come with adjustable straps for a better fit. This harness includes a padded sturdy top handle, an additional leash attachment located on the center of the back, and full-size reflective straps.
We placed this harness second to last on our list for having durability issues, as well as proper fitting difficulties. This harness may not be able to stand up to large powerful dogs. Also, if your dog is an aggressive chewer, you may discover that this harness falls apart too easily. Finally, some dog owners do not care for the color choices.
10. Embark Adventure Dog Harness
Designed for easy-on and easy-off, you can slip the Embark Adventure dog harness onto your dog and be on the trail in no time. It’s fully adjustable around your dog’s neck and stomach for a comfortable fit. This harness has a lightweight construction held together with military-grade nylon thread.
Ideal for shorter hikes, the no-rip nylon material is built for durability, while the soft padding offers extra comfort for your dog. You can choose from three basic colors. The two metal leash attachment rings include one in the front to deter pulling. This harness also comes with a top handle strap.
We ranked this dog harness last on our list for its issues with durability and solid construction. We learned of buckles breaking and stitching coming loose. Also, it does not have reflective stitching or breathable material. Finally, the cost is a bit higher than higher-ranked products on this list.
Buyer’s Guide: Selecting the Best Hiking Harnesses for Dogs
In this brief buyer’s guide, we’ll go over the key components of a well-performing dog harness built for the open trail. From the quality of materials to added features, we’ll summarize what to consider before you and your dog start on your hike.
Key Performance Features
Hiking means that your dog will be working hard and generating serious body heat. When selecting a harness, make sure the material has enough ventilation to prevent your dog from overheating. Additionally, extra padding and a comfortable fit will prevent rubbing and chafing along the edges of the harness.
If you know that you may encounter rough terrain, make sure your dog harness has a sturdy top handle. This feature can help you assist your dog over difficult areas. Also, the edge of a sheer drop is no place to find out if the buckles and leash attachments are durable and strong. Be sure to choose a harness that comes with a solid contraction.
Backpacking With Your Dog
Certain dog harnesses featured on our list provide storage options. Keep your dog’s strength level in mind when adding the weight of supplies. While having your dog carry necessities may be convenient, be sure to start your dog out with a light load. Generally, you won’t need a load-bearing dog harness for short hikes. However, if you intend to backpack, it might be worth the investment.
The Rabbitgoo DTCW009-L Dog Harness earned our top pick as the best overall dog harness for hiking. The soft padded panels made from breathable fabric on this harness provide your dog with comfort, while you’ll enjoy its durability. Plus, no-slip lock system buckles and four adjustment points provide a secure fit. This harness is ready for the trail with both front and back leash attachments, a top handle, and reflective strips.
If you’re watching your budget and are eco-minded, consider the EcoBark Classic Dog Harness. This dog harness offers you the best value while not compromising on quality. This comfortable, breathable, and lightweight dog harness provides custom stitch covers to prevent rubbing and chafing, eco-friendly recycled water bottle straps, and specialized buckles. You can choose from 10 bright color choices and six size options.
Finally, rounding out the top three, we selected the OneTigris Tactical Dog Vest Harness as our premium choice. You may turn a few heads on the trail with this dog harness’s professional-looking design. If you’re planning to backpack, your dog can share the load with three pouches for carrying supplies. Additional features include two sturdy top handles, durable 1000D nylon construction, and a soft interior.
When you’re heading out for a hike with your dog, you want a dog harness that’s up to the strenuous, rugged task. We hope that after reading through the informative reviews of our top 10 dog harnesses for hiking, as well as the quick-reference pros and cons lists, you’ve found the best harness to outfit your dog for your next adventure. Whether it’s a short daily hike or a long trek, we hope you’ve discovered a dog harness that will provide both comfort and performance for your travel companion.
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