LIFESTYLE

Best Dog Carrier for Hiking: Easily Take Your Dog on a Hike

Best Dog Carrier for Hiking
Emily Young
Written by Emily Young

Dogs are man’s best friend, so why would you leave your best friend at home while you go on a hike? Maybe they’re a puppy so you’re not sure if they’re ready. Or, maybe they’re an older dog with leg issues. Whatever the reason, we understand that not all dogs can manage a full day hike. So, instead of leaving your dog at home, why not put them in a carrier?

If you thought carriers were just for babies, think again. You’ll be able to place your dog in the carrier and take them wherever you’d like. Now, if you think dog carriers only come in the form of mini-crates, hiking carriers are designed differently. Imagine taking your dog for a hike while having to carry a crate?

Dog In Dog Carrier

You’re not going to last very long. Instead, hiking carriers are in the style of backpacks where they can in the carrier either on your back or your chest. This is the best option for having your furry friend come with you and enjoy the experience as well.

So, today we’re going to show you the eight best dog carriers for hiking. First, we’ll tell you the features you need to keep an eye on while looking for a carrier and then, we’ll show and review the best hiking carriers that we feel you’ll love. Let’s take a closer look!

Our top picks

ProductAdjustable StrapsMaterialsLegs and Tail Out CarrierPrice
Pawaboo Pet Carrier BackpackYesPolyester FibreYesCheck price on Amazon
CozyCabin Comfortable Dog CarrierYesCanvas and leatherNoCheck price on Amazon
K&H Comfy Go Backpack CarrierYes600 denier nylonNoCheck price on Amazon
Petroad
Adjustable Front Backpack
YesPpolyesterYesCheck price on Amazon
Outward Hound Kyjen PoochPouchYesNylon NoCheck price on Amazon
Becko Dog Bag CarrierYesPolyesterNoCheck price on Amazon
Cosmos Front Carrier BagYesCanvasYesCheck price on Amazon
K9 Sport Sack Dog CarrierYesNylonNoCheck price on Amazon

Things to Consider Before Buying

There are a couple things you’ll want to consider before looking for a hiking carrier for your dog. While you’re looking at the reviewed dog carriers, think about your dog, your needs and theirs. This way, you’ll choose the best carrier for your lifestyle.

Know the differences

You have various carriers for dogs. Some are more versatile, designed for casual use, while others are designed for serious traveling. You want to make sure that you know what type of carrier you’re looking for. Do you need a carrier just for hiking?

Hiking Dog Carrier

We ask you this because the materials used for carrier cases differ depending on what you need it for. So, if you’re looking strictly for a hiking carrier, make sure that you stay away from crate carriers. Also, many people feel that they’ll be able to use a normal backpack instead of a carrier designed for dogs. Though we understand they may seem to be the same thing, they’re not.

These carriers are designed to provide the carrier, you, with optimal weight distribution as well as aid to help relieve pressure off your dog’s chest. So, we highly recommend you invest in a dog carrier – it’ll help both you and your pup.

Dog Carrier Backpack

Choose the right size

Size is extremely important while choosing a dog carrier. It’s important when you’re looking for a carrier that you do bring your dog with you to try it out. Now, you may think that knowing their weight is all you need to know to choose the right one, but that’s wrong.

You don’t want to rely strictly on your dog’s weight in order to choose the proper size. Remember, like humans, all dogs are different.

Instead, if you cannot bring your dog with you or if you’re ordering online, make sure you measure your dog’s chest. This will ensure that you choose the best backpack that won’t be too loose or too tight. Using a cloth measuring tape, make sure you measure around the deepest area of your dog’s chest.

Carring Dog In Carrier

If your dog is older, you want to make sure that you ask your vet about a hiking carrier. Some older dogs with existing health issues may not be able to handle being carried in a carrier.

Quality is key

We all want to save money, there’s no misunderstanding about that. However, you make to make sure  you invest in your dog carrier. This is what you’re going to be carrying your dog in. So, naturally, durability is very important when it comes to this. Make sure that the dog carrier is made of sturdy material such as polyester, nylon and canvas.

Dog In Carrier

This is all about making your investment count and at the same time, ensuring the safety of your furry friend. So if you can, get the best quality carrier that your budget allows you.

Best Products on Today’s Market

Now that we told you what you need to look out for when looking for a hiking carrier, it’s time that we showed you the eight best hiking carriers on the market.

Pawaboo Pet Carrier Backpack

Weight: 0.38 lbPawaboo Pet Carrier Backpack

Dimension: 13.25 x 9.5 x 0.5 inches

Specific features: Adjustable straps, breathable mesh, legs-out and tail-out design

Best Use: Hiking, casual walking

The Pawaboo Pet Carrier Backpack is a great option if you want a durable and sturdy backpack for your dog. It’s made of polyester fiber and breathable mesh, so you have a perfect blend of both ventilation and strength. Two mesh panels on the sides of the backpack also aid in giving your dog extra air circulation.

It comes with a hook and loop, zipper and elastic opening, so you won’t have to struggle with fitting your dog inside. You simply release the buckles on the end of the straps with one hand and slide your dog in.

What’s great about this carrier, is that it has a legs-out and tail-out design that help make your dog feel more comfortable while being carried.

This backpack carrier is also ideal for cats as well, so you’ll be able to use it for both dogs and cats. For you, the adjustable straps reduce the pressure on your shoulders and neck by keeping your dog sitting close to your chest.

PROS:

  • Durable
  • Adjustable straps
  • Legs out and tail out designed
  • One hand installation
 CONS:
  • May not be suitable for small lap dogs

Related: When you’re on your hike, you may not want to take your dog’s home water bowl with you. Most likely, it’s clunky and will take up extra space that you would rather use on something else. The Comsun Collapsible Dog Bowl is a great option is you’re thinking about saving space and making your life a little easier.

Check the price on Amazon

CozyCabin Comfortable Dog Carrier

Weight: 1 lbCozyCabin Latest Style Comfortable

Dimensions: 7.8 x 12.0 x 13.3 inches

Specific features: Breathable mesh, adjustable front hole, adjustable shoulder straps

Best Use: Hiking, casual walking

The CozyCabin Comfortable Dog Carrier is another great option for your dog. You’ll be able to ensure that your dog is properly secured in this backpack with the adjustable front hole for your dogs head. The drawstring lets you determine the amount of mobility for your dog.

It’s made out of mesh, canvas and leather, giving you a great combination of both durability and ventilation. The shoulder straps are soft and plush, relieving the pressure off of your shoulders.

A convenient feature is the buckle design inside the carrier which allows you to attach your pet’s collar to the backpack, ensuring that they won’t be able to jump out of the bag. So, if this is your dog’s first time using a hiking carrier, having this feature would give you a peace of mind and also calm your dog down. This is a great value carrier with great features.

PROS:

  • Ideal for small to medium dogs
  • Durable
  • Adjustable features, allowing you to customize the backpack
  • Breathable mesh
 CONS:
  • Head hole may not fit dogs with a more muscular frame

Related: Some people prefer their backpack carriers to have leg holes for their dogs. Neither option is better or worse, it simply depends on what makes your dog feel comfortable. The NICREW Pet Backpack is a legs-out front-facing carrier with adjustable straps.

Check the price on Amazon

K&H Comfy Go Backpack Carrier

Weight: 4.2 lbsK&H Pet Products

Dimensions: 15 x 11.5 x 14 inches

Specific features: Two carrying straps, multi-use, storage pockets, 2 openings

Best Use: Multi purpose, hiking

If you’re looking for a hiking carrier but also want a carrier that you’ll be able to use around town, then this is a great option. The K&H Comfy Go Backpack Carrier is a durable and highly versatile backpack for your dog. You can use this backpack as a messenger bag since it comes with a single strap or you have the option of turning it into a backpack by using the adjustable straps.

This is also a great option if you’ll be needing lots of storage as this bag comes with multiple storage compartments for your personal items and accessories for your pet.

The mesh window provides your pet with optimal ventilation and also includes two openings on the top, so you won’t have to struggle with taking your pet in and out of the bag. In addition, the carrier collapses easily and can be stored in its storage bag. So, whether you keep it in your car or home, it won’t take up much room.

PROS:

  • Sport style
  • Hands free
  • Shoulder strap or backpack style carrying options
  • Easily collapsible for storage
  • One year limited warranty
 CONS:
  • Not a legs out and tail-out backpack

Related: If you’re a fan of messenger bags, the Timetuu Carrier Sling is a good option. It’s ideal for smaller dogs since the bag slings across your body. Though we wouldn’t recommend this for hiking, if you’re needing a bag for casual walking in the city, then this is an option for you.

Check the price on Amazon

Petroad Adjustable Front Backpack

Weight: 0.45 lbPetroad Adjustable Front Facing Pet

Dimensions: 15 x 7 x 10 inches

Specific features: Lightweight, mesh pouch, for both dogs and cats

Best Use: Hiking and casual walking

This is another great legs-out and tail-out design, the Petroad Adjustable Front Backpack that’ll make sure your dog’s sitting comfortably and safely. It’s easy to use, made with strong polyester fabric and allows you contact with your dog while you walk.

Not all dogs will be comfortable initially using a carrier, so having them close to you will provide them with a sense of ease. You can easily and comfortably have a pet between 4-7 kg sitting in your carrier.

It also comes with adjustable straps, so you’ll be able to customize the carrier to fit your properly. This particular carrier is very trendy and simplistic in design which suits both men and women who use it. Whether you’re out and about in town or off on a hike, you’ll be able to use this convenient and compact carrier.

In addition, it’s very easy to clean, so you can easily throw it in the washing machine without hesitation. At such a great price, this is one of the best value dog carriers that you can get in the market.

PROS:

  • Compact
  • Easy to use
  • Adjustable straps
  • Easy to clean
  • Minimalistic design
 CONS:
  • Lacks storage pockets

Related: Many people complain about their carriers looking like a giant hairball after using it. Well, your dog sheds, this is bound to happen. However, the Petroad Pet Glove can help you remove excess fur and hair from your dog before you place them in the carrier.

Check the price on Amazon

Outward Hound Kyjen PoochPouch

Weight: 1.4 lbsOutward Hound Kyjen PoochPouch

Dimensions: 8 x 11 x 10 inches

Specific features: Water resistant fabric, mesh sliding, lightweight, side pocket storage

Best use: Hiking, casual walking

If you’re into hiking during the year, you’ll want a carrier that’ll be able to withstand the elements. The Outward Hound Kyjen PoochPouch is water resistant and highly durable. Rain or shine, you’ll be able to take your dog out for a hike.

For summer, this carrier offers mesh siding and a lightweight design so your dog will be kept cool while the sun’s out. You’ll be happy to know that this bag offers enough storage for you to hold all your valuables.

It comes with side pockets to hold your essentials while the larger front pocket allows you to store your keys, IDs and phones in sight. A great feature about this is the internal safety harness which allows you to clip their collar to the backpack.

In case they see a squirrel, they won’t unexpectedly jump out and cause themselves harm. The forward front design also gives you the opportunity to be in constant sight of your dog while you’re hiking.

PROS:

  • Lightweight
  • Water resistant fabric
  • Ideal for all season
  • Storage pockets
  • Internal safety harness
 CONS:
  • Not a legs out and tail out design, if this is what you prefer

Related: While you’re driving to your favorite hiking spot, your dog is probably moving around in the backseat in excitement. During the summer, your windows are rolled down, however, you can have the windows lowered without worrying about your dog. The Vastar Adjustable Seat Belt allows you to connect your dog’s collar to the seat belt, preventing them from moving around in the backseat.

Check the price on Amazon

Becko Dog Bag Carrier

Weight:1 lbBecko 3 in 1

Dimensions: 16.9 x 12.2 x 11.4 inches

Specific features: Adjustable straps, padding panels, removable bottom cover, ventilation

Best use: Hiking, casual walking

Made with polyester, the Becko Dog Bag Carrier is ideal for those who want to give their pet a safe and comfortable ride. It’s made with mesh siding that’ll ensure that your pet is kept cool during your walk. The mesh storage pockets also help to keep an eye on your valuables.

The zipped top entry makes it easy for your pet to enter and exit the backpack. What’s great about this backpack is that the EPE foam covers the side and back of the backpack for extra comfort and support while the removable bottom cover makes it easier for you to clean before storing it away.

If you’re worried about your shoulders, the adjustable straps help to alleviate the pressure while the extendable strap with buckle assists in keeping your backpack stable. Now, if you’re planning on traveling abroad, you’ll also be happy to know that this carrier is airline approved. So, no matter where you are, you’ll be able to use this carrier.

PROS:

  • Adjustable straps
  • Padding panel
  • Removable bottom cover
  • Highly breathable
  • Top entry
 CONS:
  • Not a legs out and tail out design
  • Can be quite tight

Related: If you don’t mind a slightly more expensive carrier, the Petsfit Carrier Backpack might just be a good option. It can accommodate dogs up to 15 pounds and has mesh windows for visibility and ventilation. It’s surely a sturdy and safe hiking carrier for dogs.

Check the price on Amazon

Cosmos Front Carrier Bag

Weight: 0.4 poundsCosmos Colorful

Dimensions: 10.5 x 5.5 x 5 inches

Specific features: Lightweight, canvas material, inner collar, adjustable straps

Best use: Hiking, casual walking

If you’re into hiking or just walking around town, this is a great choice. The Cosmos Front Carrier Bag is a fun and vibrant carrier for your dog. It comes with all the essentials such as adjustable straps for shoulder pressure alleviation, inner collar for extra safety and a legs-out and tail-out design.

It’s ideal for smaller dogs due to its infant-style design. If you’re in need of storage, this carrier definitely lacks the pockets needed. However, if you have your own bag with you, it’ll be fine.

The soft padded back will give your dog extra comfort while you’re walking. In addition, the head out design allows your dog to be properly held during the walk, plus, they get to enjoy the view. Unfortunately, if you’re not a fan of the print, there are no other options, however, this carrier’s print creates a vibrancy and some fun to the aesthetic.

PROS:

  • Ideal for smaller dogs (4-7 kg)
  • Soft padded backpack
  • Inner collar
  • Adjustable straps
  • Infant style design
 CONS:
  • Lacks storage units
  • One print available

Related: If you are looking for a similar legs out carrier, the COODIA Legs Out Dog Carrier is a good alternative. It features a built-in safe lock that helps prevent your pet from flopping around while you’re on the move.

Check the price on Amazon

K9 Sport Sack Dog Carrier

Weight: 1.1 lbK9 Sport Sack

Dimensions:

Specific features: Adjustable straps, water proof, washable, full-side ventilation system

Best use: Hiking, casual walking, biking, jogging

If you’re really into hiking with your furry friend, then you’ll love the K9 Sport Sack Dog Carrier. It’s great for those who love hiking throughout the year whether it’s rain or shine. This backpack carrier is waterproof and machine washable, so whether your dog is covered in mud and dirt, you won’t have to worry about them ruining the backpack.

This backpack was made to be used. It’s highly durable while also providing your pet with full side ventilation, keeping them cool and calm. This multi use backpack carrier will let you keep your pet safe while you bike, hike, jog or walk. It comes with various storage units, so you’ll be able to hold water, doggy bags, and your valuables.

The padded bottom gives your dog the extra softness and comfort that they need while hanging out in their backpack. This backpack is really designed to be the “you can do anything with this” backpack. It certainly lives up to its claim.

PROS:

  • Machine washable
  • Highly durable
  • Waterproof
  • Full side ventilation
  • Safety features
  • Easy to use
  • Storage
 CONS:
  • Quite expensive
  • Issues with straps

Related: If you prefer a legs-out and tail-out design, the GEEPET Legs Out Dog Carrier is another good option. It’s a front pack carrier with a head-out design. It comes with adjustable straps and is great if you’re hiking, biking or walking around town.

Check the price on Amazon

Final Thoughts

Now that you know about the eight best carriers, it’s time you went and tried them out. Try to bring your dog with you if possible, however, if not, make sure you measure their chest so that you choose the right size. Once you have the right carrier, it’s time to try it out.

We also have a nice research done by guys from Hiking Mastery website about best dog backpacking gear — check this out too!

Remember, your dog may not like it the first time, but, be patient. They simply need some time to get adjusted. Do you have one of these dog carriers? Or perhaps, you have a preferred product that is not featured here? Let us know in the comment section below!

About the author
Emily Young
Emily Young

Emily is originally from China where she graduated from The University of Hong Kong with high distinction learning about fashion and design. During university she opened her own magazine about Dog Fashion as dogs were always in her heart. She was surprised, when she moved to a beautiful British Columbia 10 years ago, to see many great Boutiques with dog's designer clothing and desire of pet owners to make their babies look nice.

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