If you’re on the move and your dog cannot keep up, or you’re in an area that’s not safe for your pooch to be on the ground, a backpack dog carrier is just the thing. Most dog carriers require one hand to carry, but backpack carriers allow both your hands to be free, plus keep your pooch safe from harm too.
Backpack carriers are also a great option for puppies or senior dogs that cannot walk long distances and get tired easily. Backpacks allow them to still come on a long walk, hike, or commute and get some socializing in. Of course, backpack carriers can put some strain on your back, and you’ll need the carrier to be as comfortable and supportive as possible, both for you and your pooch.
The market is full of options, though, some more comfortable than others, and it can be difficult to choose the right one without physically trying it on with your pooch inside. We rounded up nine of our favorites to help you narrow down the options and choose the best dog backpack for you and your pooch. Let’s get started!
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites – 2022 Update
The 9 Best Dog Backpack Carriers
1. K9 Sport Sack Air Plus 2 Forward Facing Dog Backpack — Best Overall
|Dimensions:||11 x 10 x 19 inches|
|Colors:||Black, gray, mint, mustard|
The K9 Sport Sack Air Plus is our top choice overall, coming in 4 different colors and 3 different sizes. The carrier is suitable for hikes, casual walks, and bike rides, with comfortable padded shoulder straps, plenty of padding, and ventilation. The bag also comes with a detachable storage bag for snacks and treats, plus two mesh side pockets for added ventilation and storage space. The backpack can support dogs up to 23 inches long weighing up to 40 pounds.
The only issue we found with this bag is the lack of waist support straps, without which it can be uncomfortable using the bag with heavier pooches.
2. PetAmi Airline Approved Backpack Dog & Cat Carrier — Best Value
|Dimensions:||5 x 12.5 x 10 inches|
|Colors:||Black, gray, navy, purple|
The PetAmi Backpack Dog Carrier is Airline Approved and the best backpack dog carrier for the money according to our research. The bag has 4-sided access with a well-ventilated design that will keep your pooch cool while traveling. It’s made with thick, durable, high-grade 600D polyester with soft, Sherpa bedding on the inside for ultimate comfort. Lastly, the pack has chest and waist buckles for added support with padded shoulder straps.
While this carrier is airline-approved and great for traveling, the straps are not highly padded and begin to hurt your shoulders after only a few minutes of use.
3. K9 Sport Sack Rover 2 Forward Facing Dog Backpack — Premium Option
|Dimensions:||27 x 11 x 6 inches|
If you’re an avid hiker or traveler and looking for a premium backpack for your pooch, the K9 Sport Sack Rover 2 is about as good as it gets, albeit pricey. This pack has almost everything you’d ever need in a dog backpack, including a removable storage bag, storage pockets, side pockets, detachable dog hood, and webbing loops. It also has ergonomic, adjustable shoulder straps with a sternum strap for added stability, plus adjustable hip support straps complete with pockets too. The largest size is rated to carry dogs up to 80 pounds, so you can even carry dogs as large as Boxers, Huskies, and Collies.
4. KOPEKS Deluxe Backpack Dog & Cat Carrier
|Dimensions:||13 x 17.5 x 20 inches|
|Colors:||Pink, black, gray|
|Material:||Heavy-duty 600D oxford fabric|
This Deluxe Backpack Carrier from KOPEKS is not only a backpack, but also has a telescoping handle with smooth wheels and a standard strap handle. It’s approved for most airlines and can carry dogs up to 18 pounds in weight and is well ventilated with zippered access points and storage pockets on each side. It’s made from tough 600D oxford fabric with a soft, plush interior to keep your pooch comfortable.
While we love that this backpack is multifunctional, the shoulder straps are not well padded, and the dimensions overall are a bit awkward for a backpack.
5. Kurgo G-Train Airline-Approved Dog Carrier Backpack
|Dimensions:||5 x 10 x 21 inches|
The Kurgo G-Train Dog Backpack is airline approved and made from lightweight, durable polyester to withstand plenty of travel with your 4-legged friend. It’s suitable for dogs weighing up to 25 pounds, with a ventilated back panel to keep you and your pooch cool. It also has a padded laptop compartment, two water bottle sleeves, plus an Armor-sole bottom that’s waterproof and easily wipes clean. The interior pad is removable and machine washable for easy cleaning, plus the bag can be used as a traditional carry bag too!
Several customers reported that the zippers on this bag were very easy for their dogs to open, and so it’s best for very relaxed dogs only. Also, while it’s rated for dogs up to 25 pounds, they’ll be a very tight fit at that weight, and realistically anything under 20 pounds is ideal.
6. Outward Hound PoochPouch Dog Carrier Backpack
|Dimensions:||13 x 11 x 7.5 inches|
|Material:||Polyester, nylon, mesh|
The PoochPouch Dog Backpack from Outward Hound is suitable for dogs up to 20 pounds, with ergonomic padded shoulder straps and three large storage compartments for treats and accessories. The bottom pouch pad is removable for easy cleaning and the back and sides have mesh fabric for comfortable ventilation. The entire bag is made with water-resistant nylon to make it easy to clean and durable in bad weather.
This bag only comes in one size, which a few customers reported was too small for dogs at 20 pounds. Also, the bottom of the bag has very little support and sags under strain, and the bag is a bit flimsy overall.
7. Jespet Dog & Cat Carrier Backpack
|Dimensions:||17 x 13 x 12 inches|
|Colors:||Gray, dark blue|
This compact dog backpack from Jespet can hold dogs up to 16 pounds in weight and is airline-approved. It has ventilated top and back panels made from mesh, plus padded shoulder straps and handles, and side pockets for treats and accessories. It’s made from durable polyester that can withstand plenty of travel and hiking and comes in 2 different colors to suit your unique pooch. Lastly, it contains a comfortable, removable, washable fleece pad.
A handful of customers reported that the zipper on this bag is of poor quality and broke after only a few months of use. Also, the shape of the backpack is awkward and not comfortable to carry for long periods.
8. Mr. Peanut’s Aspen Series Airline Approved Backpack Pet Carrier
|Dimensions:||18 x 11 x 9 inches|
The Aspen Series Dog Carrier Backpack from Mr. Peanuts is airline approved, with 4 mesh sides for ventilation and a removable cozy, faux fleece bed to keep your pooch comfortable. The shoulder straps are padded for extra comfort while carrying, and there are several storage compartments including one that fits a laptop or tablet. It’s suitable for dogs up to 14 pounds in weight, plus there’s a convenient name tag ID holder, and when the bag’s not in use it folds up easily for convenient storage.
This backpack is a bit flimsy and won’t stand up on its own, even with your pet inside. Also, the shoulder straps are not very well padded and are not great for long carrying sessions. Plus, it’s suitable for very small dog breeds only.
9. Pet Gear I-GO2 Escort Dog & Cat Carrier Backpack
|Dimensions:||14 x 9 x 19 inches|
The Pet Gear I-GO2 Escort Backpack is an innovative 5-in-1 backpack, tote, carrier, car seat, and roller, making it an ideal travel companion for small dogs. It has a telescoping handle and wheels for pulling around airports, and comfortable shoulder straps for when you need hands-free traveling. The bag has a built-in tether for extra safety and extendable sides for added comfort. Lastly, there are two side storage pouches for treats and accessories.
This backpack is very small, and not suitable for dogs over 10 pounds or so. Also, it’s uncomfortable when worn as a backpack as the wheels tend to dig into your bag, and the straps are not very well padded.
Buyer’s Guide: Selecting The Best Dog Backpack Carrier
Whether you’re hiking, traveling, or simply strolling around the neighborhood with your pooch, a backpack carrier is a great accessory, especially for puppies or senior dogs that cannot run or walk for long distances. Of course, the backpack needs to be comfortable for both you and your pooch, plus durable and well-built enough to hold your dog’s weight.
Here are some factors to look out for when choosing a backpack dog carrier:
Naturally, the backpack you choose needs to be able to comfortably hold not only your dog’s weight but their length too. Be sure to check the dimensions of the pack to make sure your dog is not too big, as well as the maximum weight limit for the backpack. If you have a larger breed of dog, finding a pack that can fit them can be challenging, and measuring beforehand is essential.
Since you’ll be the person carrying the backpack around, you’ll naturally want it to be as comfortable as possible, but you’ll want your pooch to be comfortable too! Try and look for packs with padded shoulder straps and some form of padding inside for your dog. Also, top-loading zippers make getting your dog inside the bag far easier.
Dog Backpack Design
Some dog backpack carriers are designed for just that; carrying your pooch on your back. Others have a more multipurpose design that integrates wheels or carrying handles too, allowing the bag to be transported in other ways. These are great, but if you’re looking specifically for a backpack it’s better to go for a backpack-only design as they’ll be more padded and easier to use. This is because telescoping arms or wheels on multipurpose bags can hurt your back, and these bags are usually less padded overall as they are made for multiple uses.
Dog Backpack Durability
Dog carrier backpacks are not cheap, and you’ll thus want one that’s as durable and long-lasting as possible. Usually, you get what you pay for, but it also depends on the brand and the materials used. If you have a larger dog you may want to go for a more expensive backpack with higher quality components that can take the extra weight. With smaller breeds, their lighter weight is less likely to put a strain on the pack and so you can get away with cheaper materials.
Conclusion: Best Dog Backpack Carrier
The K9 Sport Sack Air Plus is our top choice of backpack dog carrier overall! The carrier has comfortable padded shoulder straps, great ventilation and also comes with a detachable storage bag for snacks and treats, plus 2 mesh side pockets — ideal for casual walks, hiking, and travel.
The PetAmi Backpack Dog Carrier is Airline Approved and the best backpack dog carrier for the money according to our research, with 4-sided access and a well-ventilated design, plus is made with thick, durable, high-grade 600D polyester with soft, sherpa bedding on the inside for ultimate comfort.
If you’re an avid hiker or traveler and looking for a premium backpack for your pooch, the K9 Sport Sack Rover 2 is about as good as it gets. This pack has almost everything you’d ever need in a dog backpack, tons of storage space plus ergonomic, adjustable shoulder straps and adjustable hip support straps complete with pockets too, and the largest size is rated to carry dogs up to 80 pounds!
There are a ton of dog backpack carriers available on the market and finding the right one for you and your dog can be a challenge. We hope our in-depth reviews have narrowed the options and helped you find the perfect carrier for you and your pooch!
Featured Image Credit: MabelAmber, Pixabay