What’s the Best Dog Backpack Carrier

backpack carrier for hiking

Do you love going on long walks, adventures, or hikes with your dog?

Or do you want to take your dog on the subway in a city like New York?

Maybe you like the idea of putting your dog on your back and jumping on your bike?

If yes is the answer to any of these questions, then you have landed in the right place.

In this post, we will review the best dog backpack carrier to carry your dog in.

We have done some digging and found what we think are the top five doggie carriers you can buy.

We then did a detailed review of each one looking at the pros and cons of each different pet carrier backpack.

The post is broken up into two sections. Firstly we have a quick comparison chart in case you are in a rush.

Then after that, we will go into detail on each one of the dog backpack carriers. Let’s get started.

The Best Backpack Carrier for Dogs – In Brief

As mentioned, if you are in a hurry, this chart gives you a brief description of our top five recommended carriers, with our own in house Pupster Passion star rating.

The score is out of five stars, so five out of five is the highest possible score.

(You won’t see anything under four stars as we do not want to waste any of your time on inferiors pet products.)

Dog CarriersPupster Passion
Team Rating

5 stars
Kurgo Dog Carrier Backpack for Dogs. Check prices...

4.5 stars
K9 Sport Sack Dog Carrier Backpack. Check prices...

4.5 stars
PetAmi Deluxe Pet Carrier Backpack for Dogs. Check prices...

4.2 stars
Outward Hound PoochPouch Front Carrier For Dogs. Check prices...
The links in the chart go to Amazon. Star ratings are given by Pupster Passion based on research. They are independent of the star rating on Amazon.

The Best Backpack Carrier for Your Pet Dog – In Depth

(We may receive a commission if you purchase from these links).

Now it is time for the in-depth, detailed pros and cons as we look for the best backpack dog carrier for your and your pet pooch.

Kurgo Dog Carrier Backpack for Dogs | Pupster Passion Rating:

5 stars

5.0 Stars

How much does it cost?

We liked this Kurgo dog backpack carrier so much that we gave it five stars out of five.

What did we like about it so much? Why did we give it such a high score? Why is it so good for hiking?

Let’s find out:

Pro Paw UpPros:

  •  This hands-free dog carrier backpack from Kurgo is designed for hiking but is just as good any time you need to carry a dog of up to 25lbs on your back). You could probably get away with a dog heavier than this, just not by too much).
  • It has an internal swivel tether that latches on to a harness safety strap to stop your dog from escaping the backpack.
  • This dog backpack carrier is airline and TSA approved (please always double-check with the airline before flying).
  • The lower section of the carrier backpack is a waterproof armorsole bottom to stop any accidents from leaking out.
  • The bag is made from an easy to wipe clean, stain-resistant fabric with a removable, machine-washable interior pad.
  • For your comfort as you carry the dog, it has padded shoulder straps, a top carrier handle, a ventilated back panel, adjustable straps for the hips and sternum, and load lifter straps (to balance the weight).
  • For your dog’s comfort, it comes with a roll-up mesh window, breathable mesh side, and top panels, and a soft paneled carry compartment for your dog to sit in.
  • These design features, built increase comfort for both you and the dog, make this the best dog backpack carrier for hiking of all the ones we have reviewed.
  • The shoulder straps are stowaway. So that if you are not going hiking and want to a normal handheld pet carrier, you easily can, and they are not getting in the way.
  • This dog backpack carrier comes with a handy zippered side pocket to carry stuff for you and the dog.
  • It has two water bottle holders, so one for you and one for your pooch.
  • You can comfortably wear this, the other way around, as a front dog carrier, so the dog is carried on your chest.
  • This is useful as you can see the dog and they can see you. Which can help reassure them if they get nervous or bored.
  • This carrier comes in two colors, black and bright red.
  • The backpack comes with a hassle-free Kurgo Lifetime Warranty against any manufacturer defects but only if the carrier has been bought from an authorized seller.
  • This is an excellent product, ideal for hiking and great for normal day to day dog carrying. We are delighted to give it our top recommendation as a backpack for small dogs.

Con Paw DownCons:

  • Sadly this dog backpack carrier is only suitable for use as a backpack for small dogs.
  • It is too small for medium-sized dog breeds, which is really a shame as it is such a good product, and ideally, it would be available for more dog owners to use
  • We would like more colors to choose from. The black and red look really cool, but it would be even better if there were more color options for us to pick from.

K9 Sport Sack Dog Carrier Backpack | Pupster Passion Rating:

4.5 stars

How much does it cost?

The K9 Sport Sack is another really well-made pet carrier backpack. Let’s take a look at its features, pros, and cons:

Pro Paw UpPros:

  •  Suitable for everyday walking, hiking, the subway, riding on a bicycle, or motorbike, take your dog with you wherever you go.
  • To keep you comfortable on your trips, the carrier comes with multiple weight distribution straps (all adjustable around the chest and waist), a padded back with airflow, and a secure carabiner safety clip so you can relax knowing your dog can’t escape.
  • To keep your dog comfortable, the carrier comes with mesh sides, venting zippers, leg openings, a detachable doggy hood, temperature regulating fabric, and a padded dog carrying section with a collar enclosure at the top.
  • The carrier has two side pockets, a removable storage bag, and hip strap pockets for your convenience.
  • This pet carrier backpack is available to purchase in multiple different sizes to get the perfect one for your dog.
  • The largest size can cope with dogs up to 80lbs in body weight, which is very impressive (as long as you can cope with that weight on your back).
  • It also comes in eighteen different colors so that you can your dog can travel together in style.
  • Made by KP Sport Sack USA based company.
  • You can wear this a front or back carrier for dogs. It is totally up to you; it works great either way.
  • If you buy this K9 sport sack on Amazon from the seller K9 Sport Sack,” it is backed by a 60-day quality guarantee. (That specific seller must sell it, or the warranty will be voided).

Con Paw DownCons:

  •  Some customer reviews on social media from dog owners say that the K9 sport sack dog backpack carrier isn’t a great fit around larger men’s chest and waist. So if you are a big dude (or are buying it for one), please check dimensions before purchasing.

PetAmi Deluxe Pet Carrier Backpack for Dogs | Pupster Passion Rating:

4.5 stars

How much does it cost?

The manufacturers of this pet carrier backpack call it “Deluxe,” does it deserve such a fancy-sounding title?

Let’s take and look at see if it lives up to the hype:


Pro Paw UpPros:

  •  This is a really great option for everyday carrying, using on the subway, on a motorbike or bicycle.
  • The pet carrier section of this backpack multiple mesh windows for ventilation and for the dog to enjoy looking out of.
  • It also has thick, cozy, sherpa-lined bedding and is designed with more room for the dog to either curl up and sit up and enjoy the ride.
  • Your dog will be safe in this dog backpack, the dog’s section is reinforced to stop it from getting squashed, and it has a safety strap and buckles to stop your pet from being able to escape.
  • For your comfort, the shoulder straps are adjustable and come with thick padding. It also has comes with both waist and chest buckles to give you extra support.
  • The backpack also comes with waist and chest buckles to give you extra support.
  • It has a front pocket and some side pouches to store essential pet supplies and doggy necessities.
  • Also, a collapsible water bowl for your dog so you can make sure they stay nicely hydrated.
  • The backpack is made from durable 600D high-grade polyester fabric for a long-lasting product.
  • It has an ID badge just in case you lose it.
  • You have twelve really cool color schemes to choose from.
  • The pet carrier backpack measures approximately 12.5″ by 10.2″ by 16.3″ (Length x Width x Height), so perfect for puppies and small dogs.

Con Paw DownCons:

  •  This is a backpack for small dogs only. It isn’t big enough for larger breeds. Please check the dimensions above before buying.
  • Probably not the best dog carrier for hiking. It is not as rugged as some other options, and as it is quite deep, this could but extra weight on your back, which is not ideal for walking very long distances (even with a small dog).
  • You could wear this as a front dog carrier, but it might be a bit clumsy due to its size and shape.

Outward Hound PoochPouch Front Carrier For Dogs | Pupster Passion Rating:

4.2 stars

How much does it cost?

Unlike the other carriers we have reviewed, this one is a front dog carrier instead of a backpack.

So the shoulder straps go on the other way round to normal, and the dog sits in the carrier on your chest.

How does it compare to the dog back carrier design? Let’s find out:

Pro Paw UpPros:

  • At the cheaper end of the price range for dog backpacks, this one is still worth considering.
  • It works great worn on the front or back so you can pick which works best for you and your dog.
  • The carrier has lightweight, breathable mesh panels to keep your pet nice and cool on hot days and fleece pads for extra comfort.
  • The rest of the bag is made from durable, water-resistant nylon fabric, and it has a zippered pock for you to your stuff.
  • Padded shoulder straps help to spread the weight evenly across your body.
  • The dog has a safety harness to keep them safe inside the backpack that is easily clipped onto their collar and a drawstring top to keep them nice and snug.
  • You can pick from Blue or Grey color.
  • You can buy this pet backpack in Small and Medium sizes, so if suitable for medium and small dogs.

Con Paw DownCons:

  •  While this backpack comes in small and medium-size options, it might not be suitable for what you may think of as medium dog sizes.
  • So please check the dimensions before you purchase. It is a great backpack for small dogs but maybe not the best option for chunkier breeds!
  • The build quality construction of this does not seem as good as some of the more expensive options. So perhaps not the best dog carrier for hiking or camping.

Dog Carrier Backpacks A Buyer’s Guide

Now that we have gone through the dog backpack reviews, next, we want to share our buyer’s guide with you.

Below is a list of the most important pet carrier features you need to focus on and consider when making your choice.

  1. Size of your dog and the backpack.
  2. How adjustable is it?
  3. How good is the security and safety of your pet?
  4. Price and value for money.
  5. The quality of construction.
  6. What types of fabric is it made from?
  7. Is it water-resistant?
  8. Does it have handy side storage pockets?
  9. Does it come with any sort of warranty?
  10. What colors can you buy the backpack in?
  11. Can you wear it on your front or back?

Size of your dog and the backpack

To make sure you get the most from your new backpack, so suggest you take the time to measure your dog carefully, following the sizing instructions, and then double-check before buying.

Especially if you are taking your dog hiking, you want a really comfortable fit for both you and the dog.

How adjustable is it?

Again, important for your comfort, does it have adjustable straps? Are they padded? Is there an adjustment for the dog’s carrier section?

How good is the security and safety of your pet?

Will your pooch be securely clipped into the backpack with safety straps so that even great escape artists can’t break free to chase after some squirrels?

Price and value for money

Cheapest is not always best, especially with pet products and even more so if you are hiking with your dogs.

You need to weigh up the cost versus build quality and other features.

The quality of construction

How well made is it? Does it get good customer reviews? Have the manufacturers put thought and effort into buying a decent product?

What types of fabric is it made from?

It is made from Oxford fabric? Nylon? Does it have mesh siding air holes for ventilation? Does it have a screen window for the dog to look out of?

Is it water-resistant?

Can you use the backpack in different weather conditions?

This is especially important if you are using the dog carrier for hiking. On long hikes, the weather cans change quite easily.

Does it have handy side storage pockets?

Do you get handy pockets to store bits and bobs you need for yourself and your dogs?

Does it come with any sort of warranty?

Do the makers of the dog carrier back up their product with any sort of money-back guarantee?

What colors can you buy the backpack in?

Looking good matters (to us, at least, if not our dogs).

Can you wear it on your front or back?

Ideally, you would be able to choose from both. Some dogs prefer the front and some the back.

Hopefully, this guide will help you to make sure that you buy the very best dog carrier backpack for your dog.

As the carrier has to be comfortable for both you and the dog and also safe enough to carry your pet, we think it is worth taking a little extra time to make sure you get a good product for your money.

Frequently Asked Questions

Next, if for us to look at and answer some of the most common frequently asked questions.

These come up very often, and understandably so, loving dog owners want to make sure that their canine companions are safe and comfy:

  1. Why Use a Dog Backpack for Carrying Your Dog?
  2. Are Dog Carrier Backpacks Safe?
  3. How Can I Get My Dog Get Used to Being in a Carrier Backpack?

Why Use a Dog Backpack for Carrying Your Dog?

There are three main reasons you might need to use a backpack pet carrier for your fur baby.

You might want to take your dog on walks, a hiking trip, bike rides, or other journeys that are too long for their legs to cope with.

So using a pet carrier backpack allows them to come with you without being worn out.

In some areas such as New York City, dogs are only allowed to ride on the subway if carried in some sort of container or bag.

So a dog backpack is an ideal way to take your dog on the subway without getting into trouble.

Or maybe you want to take your dog on bike rides. Again a backpack is ideal for this; as long as you take sensible precautions (see below), it should be safe for both of you.

Finally, your dog may be temporarily or permanently disabled, maybe they just had surgery at the vets, or possibly they are suffering from canine hip dysplasia.

Being able to put them in a safe pet carrier backpack and take them out for walks will make a big difference to the quality of your dog’s life.

hiking with a dog

Are Dog Carrier Backpacks Safe?

Yes, using backpacks to carry dogs can be very safe as long as you take certain essential precautions to ensure that both you are your dog are not at risk.

1 – Firstly, you must take the time to get your dog very well accustomed to being carried in the backpack.

You must have total confidence in your dog’s behavior when carrying them.

We suggest practicing in your home, and it is then a good idea to take them on walks close to your home before you try anything adventurous like going hiking or riding on the subway!

2 – Next, you need to make sure that your dog cannot escape from the pet carrier unexpectedly. This is particularly important if your dog is an accomplished escape artist!

3 – Finally, you need to make sure that the dog carrier backpack is a good quality pet gear product that is safe enough and strong enough to get the job done.

If you follow those three steps and also be thoughtful and careful whenever you use the backpack to carry a dog, then you are doing everything you can to avoid any unnecessary accidents and keep your dog safe.

NOTE – If you are planning on using it as a car seat carriers, then double-check that it has been a safety test for car seat use.

How Can I Get My Dog Get Used to Being in a Carrier Backpack?

Some dogs will very happily and safely sit right in a backpack, but others may take some time and training to get used to it.

As with all dog training, the process should be step by step, slow and repetitive, with treats and praise being used to reward good behavior as you go.

So this is how you should approach raining your dog to get used to a dog backpack carrier, let them smell it, let them sniff it, place them in it on the floor, then pick it up.

Just take it one step at a time and feed them praise and treats as you go.

Review Conclusion – What is the Best Dog Backpack?

Ok, so to wrap up this review asking what the best dog carrier is? Here is the link to our top rated pet dog carrier.

Some Final Inspiration (and Cuteness!)

Before we finish this post, we decided to share this super cute video showing lots of different cats and pet pooches all being carried in a pet carrier back pack and going on adventures with their owners.

Some super cute pets are transported around all sorts of different places on their owner’s shoulders in a dog backpack carrier.

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