This Innovative Backpack Actually Carried Our 65-Pound Pittie
Even adventure dogs get a little lazy sometimes 🏔
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Sometimes you just need to carry your large dog around, whether you’re giving him a break from hiking or trying to get around your city’s rules about having dogs in carriers on public transportation.
Popping a tiny pup in a bag is easy enough, but there aren’t really any options for your giant bear of a dog.
That’s where the K9 Sport Sack Rover 2 comes in. This dog backpack carrier is built to safely carry — and support — pups up to 80 pounds. (And it doubles as a backpacking pack when your pup isn’t in it.)
Backpacks aren’t every dog’s favorite mode of transportation, and schlepping around a gigantic dog is certainly not for every pet parent.
But if you’re confident in your fitness level, have experience with heavy weights and know just what you’re getting yourself into, the K9 Sport Sack Rover 2 could be right up your alley.
So we had one of our fittest members of The Dodo team — one who’s super familiar with carrying around this kind of weight — give it a go.
The result? It actually earned our Paw of Approval! Keep reading to find out why.
What Is The K9 Sport Sack Rover 2?
The K9 Sport Sack Rover 2 is one of the few dog backpacks on the market that’s designed to hold large dogs (up to 80 pounds). It also doubles as a backpacking pack for when you aren’t planning on carrying your pup around, so it’s a handy tool for active dog parents.
Of course, it’s important to note that no backpack in the world can make carting around an 80-pound lump of a dog feel like you’re carrying a 5-pound Chihuahua. So this isn’t the sort of product you’d use to bring your dog on a leisurely stroll.
But it does serve an important purpose — for example, if you’re taking your pup on a hike where you know there are certain stretches that won’t be accessible for him, or where you know he’d appreciate a quick breather here and there. (Or if you’re trying to get around the New York City subway’s rule that all dogs have to fit in a bag to ride.)
To make all those pounds a little more manageable, the K9 Sport Sack Rover 2 has weight distribution straps on the shoulders as well as a sternum strap and lap belt for extra support around your chest and waist.
It’s got zippers on the sides to open vent panels that are supposed to keep your dog from overheating, and it’s available in three sizes — large, extra-large and extra-extra-large — since big dogs come in all sorts of different shapes and statures.
In addition to the wide-based pouch that holds your dog, the K9 Sport Sack Rover 2 also has a built-in waste bag dispenser and a detachable, multifunctional storage pack so you can bring treats and other gear on your adventures.
And whether you’ve got a backpacking trip coming up, are planning your next vacation or just want to occasionally carry your heavy dog, the K9 Sport Sack Rover 2 has 60 liters of space for all your stuff so you can use it even if you’re not carrying your dog.
With all of that in mind, we picked one of our larger Dodo dogs — who’s also getting a bit older and needs a break from being on her feet sometimes — to test out the K9 Sport Sack Rover 2 (with the help of her very active parents).
Did The K9 Sport Sack Rover 2 Actually Hold A Pit Bull?
Nala weighs in at 65 pounds, and her human was super impressed to find that the K9 Sport Sack Rover 2 could actually hold so much pup. It was clear that the sturdy straps and ripstop material were built to last, and her heavy pup wasn’t in any danger of falling.
“It's definitely durable and held Nala’s fat butt up. I wasn't worried it would rip apart. The waist strap is great to help secure weight (I always recommend waist straps for when weight gets heavy or distance gets long).” — Danielle E.
However, as mentioned above, it’s going to feel like you’re carrying around a 65-pound dog on your back since your pup can’t exactly hold on to help distribute the weight.
“I think it's important to be realistic about what heavy weight (heavy DEAD weight) actually feels like. Because Nala is just a dog and doesn't know how to help me out, her weight doesn't even out across my back, so it sits pretty much in the lower back.” — Danielle E.
And since you’ll be lifting so much weight, you’ll need to adjust your posture to keep your balance and keep your pup secure. K9 Sport Sack recommends that this backpack is best used on strenuous hikes, bike rides or public transportation, but our tester didn’t feel that it would be safe carrying such a heavy dog on a difficult trail.
“Because of the weight, you have to lean forward (totally normal for heavier weights), so this is more for flat hikes, not scrambling on strenuous hikes or trails with narrow edges.” — Danielle E.
Nala’s person absolutely wouldn’t recommend carrying your large dog on a bike or in any situation where your balance is compromised.
“I would not even consider taking Nala on a bike or roller blades in this. Any movement to the side and you'd be taken down. If I fall, Nala has literally no way to save herself.” — Danielle E.
If you’re familiar with lifting like this and confident in your strength and endurance, then less intense walks or subway rides are definitely manageable.
“I'd walk Nala around the neighborhood in it for laughs because cars who passed us were DYING and so confused.” — Danielle E.
What We Love
There were a couple things we loved about the K9 Sport Sack Rover 2.
It didn’t bother our dog
Being in a backpack isn’t for every dog. But thanks to Nala’s go-with-the-flow attitude, she was totally unbothered being in the K9 Sport Sack Rover 2.
“In true Nala fashion, she just went with it. She's very easy to get in and out because she just lays there letting it all happen.” — Danielle E.
It’s perfect for backpacking
Our human judge’s favorite thing about the K9 Sport Sack Rover 2 is that it doubles as a backpacking pack for when you aren’t carrying your dog in it.
Nala’s person used this backpack on a recent trip to Costa Rica (Nala sadly didn’t join) and was so excited that it held 60 liters of space.
“It's great for backpacking. It fit everything.” — Danielle E.
There are a ton of different compartments
The storage pocket at the bottom was a big hit, since keeping your dirty shoes separate is crucial for keeping the rest of your clothes clean.
“I really loved the separate compartment for sneakers at the bottom. It was useful for after ATVing because my sneakers were filthy. This ensured my clothes weren't a mess for the second and third legs of our trip.” — Danielle E.
And the detachable storage bag was the perfect place to put things like your wallet, keys, phone and other essentials because you can access them easily without digging through all the other stuff you packed.
“I also liked the small pack that fit into the larger one. It’s perfect for smaller items that I wanted to grab quickly without having to mess up the perfectly folded clothes.” — Danielle E.
There are also some downsides to the K9 Sport Sack Rover 2.
Putting your dog in the backpack is a whole thing
Actually getting your dog in inside it is kind of an ordeal, which is to be expected when you’re trying to put a heavy dog inside a backpack and then lift and secure it on your back.
It’s definitely doable, just expect it to take a little while — especially if you don’t have a dog as easygoing as Nala.
“Getting up is at least a two-person process. Edwin basically put Nala in the pack, laid her on her side, then got the straps on. Then I had to push Nala onto his back, and he did, like, a push-up and burpee thing to get her up while I held her against him so she wouldn't knock around. I wouldn't be able to just walk with Nala alone and then get her into this on a trail without help if she did get tired.” — Danielle E.
The ventilation could be better
Nala’s human was never concerned about the K9 Sport Sack Rover 2’s durability, but thinks it might not be the safest option in warmer weather.
“Nala was breathing pretty rapidly, so I was a little worried that it was hot inside the pack even with the vents opened. I'd definitely recommend this for cooler days (or at least not 90-plus degrees).” — Danielle E.
It might not be the most comfortable thing for your dog
And Nala might be the most easygoing dog in the entire world and wouldn’t complain about anything, but the openings for her front legs could get uncomfortable.
“The arm holes for her are pretty narrow, and because her weight falls to the bottom, her arms pull down on it ... it digs into her arms a bit because of that, but she didn't seem to care.” — Danielle E.
You have to clean it a lot
And if you plan to alternate between using this backpack as a dog carrier and packing up your own stuff, you’ll have to put a lot of effort into keeping the interior clean.
“You have to definitely intensely wash this if you have a dog who sheds and you want to switch it to a backpacking pack. It would get fur all over your clothes if you forget to do that!” — Danielle E.
The K9 Sport Sack Rover 2 costs $264.95, so it’s a bit of an investment. But it’s such a unique, durable and high-quality backpack that certain large-dog parents would have no regrets.
And despite the issues that came up, our human judge would gladly continue using it for backpacking and would recommend it for people who love traveling.
Nala’s person plans to take her for rides around the block every now and then and would also recommend the K9 Sport Sack Rover 2 as a backpack carrier for lighter dogs.
Is The K9 Sport Sack Rover 2 Worth It?
The K9 Sport Sack Rover 2 was designed for extra-fit pet parents looking for a way to carry their big dogs.
It’s secure and durable enough to support dogs up to 80 pounds, which means you could actually bring your big pittie on the subway — as long as you know what you’re getting into, putting such a large amount of weight on your back.
And when you don’t need to get your pup off his feet, the K9 Sport Sack Rover 2 is perfect for carrying just your own stuff, too.
It’s got so much space, making it great for backpacking trips or other travel adventures.
The Dodo may receive complimentary samples to test in our Paw of Approval program, but all our opinions are 100 percent our own. We only publish endorsements of products we (and our dogs and cats) absolutely love! You can find out more about our testing process here.
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