Things to Consider
When it comes to dog packs, there is no shortage of options out there; and knowing which one is best for your dog can be a very tough decision. This guide was created to help you through the decision making process based on our own experience. We carry what we feel are the best options on the market based on quality, fit and features.
The first thing to consider is the intended use of the pack. Will you be using it for day hikes, overnight adventures, or simply to add some weight to your dog's exercises and give them a job to do? For example, if you are planning to go on multi-day adventures such as backpacking, a larger, more integrated dog pack such as the
Ruff Wear Palisades Pack™
is recommended. This pack offers the flexibility of removable saddlebags which detach from a great walking and lifting harness, as well as integrated water bladders, larger pockets, waterproof zippers and a compression system that cinches the saddlebags against the dog’s body. Alternately, the Approach Pack
is a good option for shorter trips, single night adventures, or if you are using a pack as part of your dogs exercise routine.
Fit is also very important. Matching a pack to your dog's size and frame are key and looking for a pack with saddle-bags that attach to a sturdy harness frame will keep the pack and load secure a prevent discomfort as well as saddlebag shift. All Ruff Wear packs include the Ruff Wear Web Master harness as a base. It has 5 points of adjustment for just the right fit and is an excellent harness in and of itself (definitely one of my favorite).
Next, think about the features you need in the pack. Here are some of the key features we look for:Key features to look for
- A breathable back panel that disperses the load while providing ventilation.
- Design that puts the weight forward - more over your dog's shoulders instead of the center of the back. This makes carrying more comfortable and will prevent injury
- Gear loops
- Self-repairing waterproof zippers with easy-to-grab zipper pulls
- Tough leash attachment points.
- Reflective trim that allows you and others to see your dog in low-light situations, keeping them safe as the sun goes down and before it comes up.
Lastly, but equally as important is the ease of keeping the pack clean. Look for fabrics that resist wear and keep out dust, dirt and rain. Packs with waterproof zippers are a must in my book. Synthetic fabrics are both UV stable and resist dirt and abrasion, reducing premature failure.*Tip - It's recommended that your dog carry no more than 25 - 30% of their body weight in their dog pack. If your dog is new to dog packs, start with a light load and work up to a heavier load as your dog gets accustomed to wearing the pack.Go to comparisons of the packs we carry