4 Best Dog Backpack Carriers For Hiking And Traveling With Your Pup

You can bring your pup everywhere 🎒

dog backpack carrier

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Dog backpack carriers are actually real and they’re super convenient, whether you and your pup love to travel, live for outdoorsy adventures, or your dog just needs to get off his feet every once in a while.

The Dodo spoke with Julie Burgess, a certified dog trainer for Senior Tail Waggers, to help you find the best dog backpack carrier for your pup.

What’s a dog backpack carrier?

A dog backpack carrier is exactly what it sounds like, a backpack designed to carry most small- and medium-sized dogs.

“You typically wear these packs on your back,” Burgess told The Dodo. “However, some are front packs as well.” In this way, dog backpacks function differently than typical dog carriers, which are often slung over one shoulder.

A backpack carrier can make a lot of things easier on your dog — and you —like:

  • Hiking
  • Walking
  • Biking
  • Cross-country skiing
  • Running errands
  • Giving your senior or arthritic dog a break from walking

How to find the best dog backpack carrier

Finding the best dog backpack has everything to do with your and your dog’s needs.

“Comfort is a must for both of you,” Burgess said. “Padded shoulder straps and a roomy but secure place for your dog will encourage you to take your dog everywhere you go, whether it's for work or play!”


To figure out the right size backpack, you want to make sure your pup’s snug enough that he feels secure and isn’t jostling around, but not so snug that he’s uncomfortable.

So, measure your dog and check the backpack’s dimensions to see if he’ll fit. And keep in mind that finding the perfect size can involve some trial and error.

“It might be more important to have a dog backpack carrier that has a frame of sorts to support not only their weight but also make it easier for you to carry them,” Burgess said.


When it comes to materials, you want your dog’s backpack carrier to be sturdy, durable and comfortable at the same time.

“Materials you should look for in a dog backpack carrier include nylon or polyester on the outside and ideally a removable fleece or cotton insert for easy cleaning,” Burgess said.


A dog backpack carrier should have a compartment big enough to comfortably hold your dog, but it should also have space for you to carry some other necessities, too.

“Look for pockets to secure items like treats, a water bottle, medical records and other necessities when you and your dog are out and about,” Burgess said.


Dog backpack carriers can include a lot of handy features, like:

  • Ventilation
  • Reflective straps
  • Water bottle holder
  • Removable dog hood
  • Detachable storage bag

Best dog backpack carriers

These are The Dodo’s top picks for a dog carrier backpack based on durability, comfort, storage size and any added features.

Best overall backpack carrier: Kurgo G-Train Dog Carrier Backpack

We tried this one out with our own dogs and were so impressed with how sturdy it felt that we awarded it our Paw of Approval. “The product makes a claim to hold dogs up to 25 pounds,” dog parent Laura Johnson told The Dodo. “My dog is exactly 25 pounds, and the product felt VERY sturdy.”

Best backpack carrier for comfort: PetAmi Deluxe Pet Carrier Backpack

This backpack has super-padded shoulder straps for you and a cozy lined bedding for your pup.

Best expandable backpack carrier: Casual Canine Ultimate Backpack Carrier

The front of this backpack carrier unzips to form an expandable mesh tent to give your pup some extra room to move around.

Best backpack for big dogs: K9 Sport Sack Rover 2

This backpack is specifically designed to hold dogs up to 80 pounds. To make sure it’s legit, we tried it out for ourselves, and it actually held our 65-pound pittie! “I wasn't worried it would rip apart,” dog parent Danielle Esposito told The Dodo. “The waist strap is great to help secure weight.”