10 Best Dog Carrier Backpacks (2023 Reviews): Carry Your Pup While Hiking, Walking, & Traveling!

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Whether it is going on a hike or just a walk, your furry friend gets tired very quickly.

That has slowed you down and is frustrating, especially when you feel like you are just about to start the adventure and your fido has already reached its limit.

Fortunately, you don’t have to be stuck in this situation anymore because a dog carrier backpack can come to the rescue and help you carry your faithful canine companion on those long, exciting journeys.

Below you will find the 10 top-rated front-facing and back-facing dog carrier backpacks we’ve reviewed in 2023 that allow your small cute little friend to perch on your back!

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Product Types of Carriers Weight Capacity
K9 Sport Sack Air Plus 2 Back carrier, Front-facing 40 pounds
Outward Hound PoochPouch Front Carrier Front carrier, Front-facing 10 pounds (S)
20 pounds (M)
PetAmi Deluxe Pet Carrier Backpack Back carrier, Back-facing 18 pounds
Petsfit Soft Pet Backpack Carrier Back carrier, Back-facing 22 pounds
Kurgo G-Train Pet Backpack Carrier for Hiking and Traveling Back carrier, Back-facing 25 pounds
Texsens Backpack Pet Carrier Back carrier, Back-facing 15 pounds
Nicrew Legs Out Front Dog Carrier Front carrier, Front-facing 4.5 pounds (S)
9 pounds (M)
12 pounds (L)
15 pounds (XL)
Pet Gear I-GO2 Roller Backpack Back carrier, Back-facing 15 pounds
Pawaboo Adjustable Legs Out Front Pet Carrier Front carrier, Front-facing 9 pounds (S)
13 pounds (M)
16 pounds (L)
18 pounds (XL)
CozyCabin Latest Style Comfortable Pet Carrier Back carrier, Back-facing 6.6 pounds (M)
8.8 pounds (L)
12 pounds (XL)

** Best Dog Carrier Backpacks Comparison

Our Top Pick

K9 Sport Sack Air Plus

K9 Sport Sack Air Plus 2

Best Overall Performance

PetAmi Deluxe Pet Carrier Backpack

PetAmi Deluxe Pet Carrier Backpack

Most Comfortable

Kurgo G-Train Pet Backpack Carrier

Kurgo G-Train Pet Backpack Carrier

1. Our Top Pick - K9 Sport Sack Air Plus 2 Dog Backpack Carrier

K9 Sport Sack Air Plus
Photo Credit : K9 Sport Sack

K9 Sport Sack is one of the most trusted brands when it comes to dog backpacks.

The K9 Sport Sack is designed specifically for outdoor activities like hiking, walking, and biking. It features ventilated side panels so that your pooch doesn’t get too hot, and pressure-relieving shoulder straps, and a padded back panel to ensure your comfort. It also has 5 different security features to keep your dog safe.

Apart from that, this high-end forward-facing dog carrier backpack comes with adjustable dual side pockets and a detachable storage bag to give you extra space for carrying essentials. It can hold dogs weighing up to 40 pounds and is an excellent option for your next adventure.


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2. Best Value - Outward Hound PoochPouch Front Carrier

Outward Hound PoochPouch Front Carrier
Photo Credit : Outward Hound

I’m sure you have heard of this famous outdoor pet products manufacturer, Outward Hound, founded in 1992.

As its name implies, this front-facing dog carrier backpack allows you to carry your furkid on the front of your chest while hiking. Made of weather-resistant nylon fabric to ensure it is durable, combined with mesh siding for good air circulation and drawstring to achieve a snug fit. Also, it has a supportive waist belt that helps distribute your dog’s weight evenly, plus the padded shoulder straps for your comfort.

The Outward Hound PoochPouch Front Carrier has a large front pocket with inside pockets to stow small items like keys, poop bags, etc. What’s more, it comes with an interior safety clip that allows you to attach it to the collar to keep your pup safe. It has 2 sizes available, in which the medium size can support dogs up to 20 pounds, and the small size is for dogs under 10 pounds.


What We Like


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3. Best Overall Performance - PetAmi Deluxe Pet Carrier Backpack

PetAmi Deluxe Pet Carrier Backpack
Photo Credit : PetAmi

PetAmi was founded in 2017 and provides a wide range of pet products.

The PetAmi Deluxe Pet Carrier Backpack is made of 600D high-grade polyester and offers plenty of room for your pooch to move around. It features a 2-way entry, a zip-up mesh window that allows your furkid to stick their head out, and sherpa lined bedding for their maximum comfort. Also, it includes a safety strap and buckles to secure your dog and prevent them from escaping.

Additionally, the back and shoulder straps are padded and come with chest and waist buckles for extra support. Not to mention, it has pouches on the sides and a big front pocket for storing essentials. You will also get a free collapsible pet bowl, which allows you to give your pup water when they are thirsty.

This back-facing dog backpack carrier is suitable for dogs up to 18 pounds and has 9 colors available.


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4. Runner-Up Overall Performance - Petsfit Soft Pet Backpack Carrier

Petsfit Soft Pet Backpack Carrier
Photo Credit : Petsfit

Petsfit has been around since 2006, known to provide innovative and functional pet products.

This dog carrier backpack is made of 600D Oxford fabric and has 4 large mesh windows to ensure adequate ventilation, plus a soft fleece mat to make sure it is comfortable for your dog. Other than that, it has an adjustable waist and chest straps for extra support, designed to reduce the burden put on your shoulder.

The Petsfit Soft Pet Backpack Carrier has 2 entry points, one on the front and the other on the top, and has 2 side pockets for storing snacks. Not only that, but it can also be folded flat for easy storage.


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5. Most Comfortable - Kurgo G-Train Pet Backpack Carrier for Hiking and Traveling

Kurgo G-Train Pet Backpack Carrier
Photo Credit : Kurgo

Kurgo was founded in 2003 and is known to be the leading pet travel and safety products manufacturer in the United States and Canada.

The Kurgo Dog Carrier Backpack is lightweight, durable, and can carry dogs up to 25 pounds. It has a waterproof bottom and water-resistant fabric top, designed to protect your dog from getting wet and is very well ventilated thanks to the side and top breathable mesh. It also has a roll-up mesh window for visibility, and all compartments are softly padded.

Additionally, it comes with a carabiner clip on the inside that allows you to attach the harness for safety purposes. That is to prevent your furkid from jumping out of the pack, especially when they get overly excited. What’s more, this hands-free back-facing backpack is a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and airline-approved backpack carrier, meaning your furry friend can fly with you in-cabin!


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6. Best Ventilation - Texsens Backpack Pet Carrier

Texsens Dog Backpack Carrier
Photo Credit : Texsens

Texsens is an international company that provides all kinds of products, and their dog carrier backpack is one of the best on the market.

As soon as you look at this back-facing backpack pet carrier, you know it has excellent ventilation. Not only the PVC mesh on all 3 sides can provide superior airflow, but your dog will also enjoy 180-degree views while perching on your back. You notice there’s also a skylight window that you can roll down. The purpose of that is to allow you to interact with your pup without taking off the backpack.

On top of that, it comes with chest straps to reduce the weight put on you and prevent the shoulder straps from slipping. The Texsens Dog Backpack Carrier is also durable, scratch-resistant, and can carry dogs up to 15 pounds.


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7. Best for Budget - Nicrew Legs Out Front Dog Carrier

Nicrew Legs Out Front Dog Carrier
Photo Credit : Nicrew

Like the Outward Hound PoochPouch Front Carrier, this carrier gives you the ability to tote your canine on the front of your body while hiking.

It is made of breathable cotton and polyester fiber for your dog’s comfort, with side zippers that allow you to get your pup in and out with ease. Plus, the elastic design at the neck area provides sufficient flexibility and extra comfort. It also has wide padded carrier straps to ensure it won’t cut into your shoulder.

Additionally, the Nicrew Legs Out Front Dog Carrier has a built-in leash ring and heavy-duty buckles for extra safety. It comes in 4 sizes from small to extra large and is available at an affordable price.


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8. Best for Traveling - Pet Gear I-GO2 Roller Backpack

Pet Gear I-GO2 Roller Backpack
Photo Credit : Pet Gear

One of the most reliable brands, Pet Gear, is an outdoor pet products manufacturer founded in 1936, committed to providing premium products for pets.

The Pet Gear I-GO2 Roller Backpack is a multifunctional backpack that gives you the ability to convert it into a carrier, tote, car seat, or roller bag. It has 2 side pockets, a big mesh window for good airflow and visibility, and a fleece liner for your dog’s comfort. You can also unzip the sides to expand the interior space, so your dog has extra room to move around when at rest.

Not to mention, there are 2 tethers on the inside that can be attached to your dog’s harness for added safety. And with the telescoping handle, you will have the ability to pull it like a suitcase, making it perfect for travelers.


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9. Pawaboo Adjustable Legs Out Front Pet Carrier

Pawaboo Pet Carrier Backpack
Photo Credit : Pawaboo

If you didn’t already know about Pawaboo, this company offers high-quality pet supplies at a competitive price.

The Pawaboo Front Pet Carrier has a considerate legs-out and tail-out design, much like a baby carrier, to keep your dog safe and comfortable while hiking. It features a zipper and elastic opening that allows your dog to fit comfortably, and the quick-release buckles for easy closure and removal. Plus, the thick shoulder pad sponge, breathable mesh, and polyester fiber material ensure both you and your canine’s maximum comfort.

This hands-free front carrier is ideal for carrying small dogs or puppies under 18 pounds. It is also lightweight, portable and has many different fashionable colors available.


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10. CozyCabin Latest Style Comfortable Pet Carrier

CozyCabin Latest Style Comfortable Pet Carrier
Photo Credit : CozyCabin

At first glance, you know its high-quality sandwich mesh design can keep your furry friend comfortable while allowing them to perch on your back. It is made of scratch-resistant canvas and has excellent ventilation. And like most dog backpacks, it comes with adjustable shoulder straps to allow for a snug fit.

The CozyCabin Latest Style Comfortable Pet Carrier has an adjustable big front hole, which your pup can easily stick their head out and enjoy the views. Additionally, there is a buckle on the inside that you can use to connect with the collar to ensure safety. It has 3 sizes available and is ideal for small size dogs.


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Dog Backpack Carrier

Why Buy a Dog Carrier Backpack?

Have you been in a situation where your dog can’t keep up with your pace, especially when you are out on a strenuous hike, because of their short legs or because they don’t have the energy to continue?

If you have a toy or small dog, you can probably carry them in your arms the rest of the way. And, even then, it can be quite tiring after some time.

However, if you have a slightly bigger breed, you might be out of luck. Carrying a big, heavy dog in your arms would be nearly impossible. Even if you did manage to, how long or far would you be able to carry them? 0.25 mile? 0.5 mile? 1 mile? What if the trail is longer than that? And yes, while you can frequently rest and wait for your canine friend to catch up, that would be quite a hassle and time-consuming.

Knowing that your dog may give up halfway on the trail, the chances are that you’ll choose to leave them at home the next time you plan for a hike. But what if your pup wants to tag along?

That’s exactly why investing in a dog backpack is such a great idea! They make it possible for you to bring your pupper along on all your outdoor adventures and allow you to explore new places completely stress-free! And with one of these, you don’t have to constantly take breaks to wait for your four-legged pal to catch up or carry them in your arms, as you can easily give them a lift in the dog pack and continue your trip.

Dog Backpacks vs. Dog Slings vs. Dog Strollers

When it comes to carrying your pup, there are three main options: dog backpacks, dog slings, and dog strollers.

Dog backpacks are the most common and popular choice, as they provide a comfortable and secure way to transport your pup with you on any outing. They also make it easier for you to bring along supplies like water bottles, treats, and poop bags without having to worry about bringing additional bags.

Additionally, dog backpacks look stylish and can be paired with any casual outfit for an effortless but put-together look! However, they can only carry small and medium-sized dog breeds such as Corgi, Pomeranian, and King Charles Spaniel.

Dog slings are great alternatives. These are designed for smaller dogs and toy breeds, usually feature a single strap, and come in various fabrics, colors, and styles.

Dog slings are more casual and are an excellent option for short walks, strolling around the city, and leisure walking in the neighborhood, and of course, they are also perfect for quick errands or trips to the vet. However, if you plan to go on longer walks, hikes, bike rides, or any other physically intense activities, it’s best to stick to a dog backpack.

Lastly, dog strollers are the best option for senior dogs, disabled pets, larger breeds, and those who cannot handle longer walks or hikes due to physical limitations or health issues. They allow your canine to travel in comfort, as they are designed with bigger and roomier seating areas and come with various features such as brakes, shock absorbers, and adjustable handlebars.

Dog strollers have always been popular amongst pet owners but have become more so recently as people look for a comfortable way to take their pooches out and about. Plus, they are great for taking unvaccinated puppies to the vet and exposing them to new environments in a safe and controlled way. Keep in mind, though, that strollers are bulky and can be heavy, so they are not the best choice for people who want to travel light.

Back Carriers vs. Front Carriers

There are two main types of dog carriers on the market, back carriers, and front carriers. Unsure which one to pick?

Here are some of the pros and cons of each type.

Back Carriers

Back carriers are a more popular option for hiking, especially the forward-facing type as your canine will be able to see the same thing as you see. Also, it makes more sense to carry your dog on your back. And when you hike uphill and bend forward, your pup will be leaning against your back, which makes the climb a lot easier.

The flip side of back carriers is that they are more expensive. And because your cute little friend is sitting on your back, it will be harder to keep an eye out on them. Plus, you will need to be more careful when putting it on and taking it off to keep them from falling out.

Front Carriers

Front carriers, on the other hand, are more suitable for leisure walking. You can better interact with your fido, give them more attention, and easier to check on them to see if they are safe, comfortable, and enjoying the trip.

This type of carrier is, however, not as suitable for hiking. Not saying that you can’t, but if you are hitting trails with plenty of uphills and downhills, the extra weight on the front of your body can make the hike harder. Also, they usually don’t come with enough pockets for carrying food and water.

Best Dog Carrier Backpack Buyers’ Guide: Important Features to Consider

There’s no doubt that we all want the best for our furkid and certainly want them to be safe and comfortable. And to help you make an informed decision, make sure you read on to understand how to pick the best dog carrier backpack.

1. Size and Weight Capacity

Sizing is one of the most critical aspects that you need to pay attention to, as having a backpack that is too small can affect the air circulation. Also, different size backpacks can carry dogs of different weights. Make sure you pick the right one.

2. Padding, Waist and Chest Straps

Think about the additional weight you’ll be carrying when you tote your pup in the dog back. So the one you choose needs to have adjustable padded shoulder straps. The wider the strap, the better. That’s physics. The weight will fall over a larger area of your shoulder, hence less pressure.

Otherwise, your shoulders and back may pay the price, especially if you are going on an extended hike and will wear it for a couple of hours.

And if the dog hiking backpack carrier has a waist and chest strap, all the better. That way, the weight will be spread over to your hips, not just your shoulders and back. And you’ll feel more balanced and secure too.

3. Ventilation

Not only is your comfort crucial, but your pup’s is also of utmost importance. And as you may have already known, it is very dangerous for dogs if they get too hot and can’t regulate their body temperature. So, make sure to opt for backpacks with breathable mesh for proper air circulation.

4. Durability

And ideally, you’ll want to pick the ones made of high-quality materials like nylon and polyester. These materials are known for their strength and durability, ensuring the carrier can withstand wear-and-tear from frequent use, doesn’t get torn or damaged easily, and can last for many years.

5. Safety Features

It is also essential to ensure that your pup stays secure while in the pack. Look for features such as an interior leash ring and closure latches or zippers so they won’t jump out.

6. Storage Pockets

Whatever the reason you need to use the backpack, whether it’s for hiking with your dog or just walking around the nearby areas, you will want to be able to carry their food and water bottle at the very least.

So, storage compartments are a must-have feature. Preferably, it should have side pockets so you can quickly access your pup’s essentials without taking the pack off. Some even come with a detachable storage bag like the K9 Sport Sack Air Plus 2, which is perfect as there is more room for extra things such as tick removal tools, poop bags, and snacks.

7. Airline Approved

If you travel a lot and like to bring your four-legged friend along, some carrier backpacks are airline approved like the Kurgo G-Train Pet Backpack Carrier. Yes, there are indeed many airline-approved pet carriers out there, but isn’t it nice if you only need to pay once for a product with more functions? Keep in mind that the airline’s pet policy can change over time. So, always consult the airline you travel with before flying to avoid any complications.

Best Dog Backpack Carrier FAQ

1. Are dog backpacks safe for dogs?

Yes, properly structured pet carrier backpacks, such as having the right size, adequate ventilation, and safety clip is safe. You should also inspect the pack before each use and make sure to zip up all entry points before stepping outside.

2. Are dog backpack carriers good for dogs?

Yes. A well-ventilated, secure backpack carrier is good for your pup. It allows them to tag along on adventures, be it hiking, running, or biking, giving them the opportunity to explore new sights, sounds, and smells without having to over-exert themselves. And in cases where your canine cannot keep up with you due to old age, lack of stamina, disabilities, or injury but still wants to join in on the fun, a dog carrier backpack will help make that possible.

3. Do dogs like to be carried in a pet dog carrier?

Yes. Most dogs love being carried in a pet carrier. In fact, you’ll see lots of tail wagging as soon as you pull it out of the closet. That’s because they know it means they get to go on an exciting adventure with their favorite human! And being carried in a pet carrier also allows them to experience things they otherwise wouldn’t. What could be better?!

However, it is important to note that they may be confused or afraid about being put into a backpack carrier at first, and that’s simply because it’s new to them. So, it’s essential to introduce your dog to the carrier slowly, give them treats, lots of reassurance and praise, and make it fun! Also, ensure you do a few test runs before heading out on a longer adventure. With enough practice and patience, your pup will soon associate the pet carrier with good things, look forward to being carried around in it, and be happily ready to go.