10 Best Dog Carrier Backpacks (2020 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 a lot and is frustrating, especially when you feel like you are just about to start.

Fortunately, there are these carrier backpacks on the market that can save you from the frustration!

Not only that, but these packs can also come in handy if your dog has limited mobility due to age or health problems.

Below you will find the 10 top-rated front-facing and back-facing dog carrier backpacks we’ve reviewed in 2020 that allow your small cute little friend to perch on your back!

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** Best Dog Carrier Backpacks Comparison

Our Top Pick

K9 Sport Sack Air Plus

K9 Sport Sack Air Plus

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 Front Facing 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 carrier backpacks.

The K9 Sport Sack Air Plus 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 30 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. 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 accommodate dogs up to 20 pounds, and the small size is for dogs under 10 pounds.

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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 be receiving a 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 G-Train Pet Backpack Carrier 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 17 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 to provide 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 a roller bag. It has 2 side pockets, a big mesh window for good airflow and visibility, and fleece liner for your dog’s comfort. You can also unzip the sides to expand the interior space so that your dog will have 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 to keep your dog safe and comfortable while hiking. It features a zipper and elastic opening that allows your dog to fit in comfortably and the quick-release buckles for easy closure and removal. Plus, the thick shoulder pad sponge, breathable mesh, and polyester fiber material to ensure both you and your canine’s maximum comfort.

This hands-free front carrier is ideal for carrying puppies or small-sized dogs under 15 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 carrier 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 because they don’t have enough stamina, especially if the hike is challenging? And you have to stop halfway and carry them through the rest of the adventure. Or your pup simply can’t keep up with you due to joint problems like arthritis.

Knowing that your dog will potentially give up halfway on the trail, chances that you choose to leave them at home are higher. So what if your pup would still love to tag along? That’s when a dog carrier backpack can be helpful. It gives you the ability to carry them on your back when they run out of energy, and that essentially means you don’t have to leave them behind!

Dog Carrier Backpacks vs. Dog Slings vs. Dog Strollers

The purpose of a dog carrier backpack is pretty much the same as a dog stroller and dog sling carrier, which is to carry your four-legged friend who lacks stamina or has limited mobility.

The difference between these products is that dog carrier backpacks are typically made to carry small and medium-sized dog breeds, such as Corgi, Pomeranian, and King Charles Spaniel.

Dog slings are for carrying toy and small size dogs only. They are also more casual and are an excellent option for strolling around the city or leisure walking in the neighborhood.

Dog strollers, on the other hand, are more suitable for large dogs. They are perfect for transporting senior dogs or dogs with mobility problems from one place to another. And as you can imagine, they are not as practical for intense outdoor activities such as hiking and motorcycling.

Are Dog Backpack Carriers Safe?

Yes, a properly structured dog carrier backpack, 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.

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 Backpacks 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

The best dog carrier backpack needs to be comfortable enough. Think about the weight put on your shoulder, especially if you are going on an extended hike and you will be wearing it for a couple of hours. So, you would probably want to look for packs with adjustable padded straps to prevent shoulder pain. 

And the wider the strap, the better. That’s physics. The weight will fall over a larger area of your shoulder, hence less pressure. It’s pretty much like how you would pick a traditional backpack, and of course, if there are additional chest and waist straps, that would be better as that will give you extra support.

3. Ventilation, Durability, and Water Resistant Fabric

Let’s not forget that your dog will be staying inside the carrier, so their comfort is crucial. Our advice is to opt for backpacks with breathable mesh for proper air circulation. As you know, it can be very dangerous if dogs get too hot and can’t regulate their body temperature. Also, it may be a good idea to pick backpacks made of high-quality materials so that it can last longer, and the water-resistant fabric is a plus as that can prevent your pooch from getting wet. 

4. Safety Features

While it’s cool to take your dog out for rides in a backpack, their safety is more important. Thus, you will find many packs on the market these days have an interior leash ring to keep your furry friend from jumping out.

5. Storage Pockets

Whatever the reason you need to use the backpack for, 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 minimum. You will find many come with pockets on the sides, and some like the K9 Sport Sack Air Plus has a detachable storage bag, which is perfect as there is more room for you to bring extra supplies.

6. 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 wasn’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, better to always consult the airline you travel with before flying to avoid any complications.