Our Picks for Best Dog Backpack Carrier for Hiking & Travel

Dog backpack carriers enable us to safely take our pup children with us on all of our hiking adventures. We want you to have all the information you need to choose the right one for you. Here, we will tell you about our favorite, the PetAmi Deluxe Pet Carrier Backpack, and four others we recommend. 

PetAmi Dog Backpack Carrier for Small Large Cat,...
  • LARGE ROOMY DOG BACKPACK CARRIER: PetAmi Cat Carrier Backpack measured 12.5" x 10.2" x 16.3" (L x W...
  • VENTILATED CAT CARRIER BACKPACK: Our pet backpack has well ventilated design for optimal airflow,...

What Makes A Backpack Carrier Worth Purchasing?

Pick the Right Size 

An important place to start is picking the right backpack carrier for your dog’s size. To determine what size backpack carrier you should buy, you’ll want to measure two things: length and height. To find the length, you will need to measure from your dog’s neck to the base of their tail. Their height is measured from the bottom of their feet to the top of their shoulders. 

We generally think larger is always better. We buy king size beds for just ourselves so we can stretch out and we like to buy bigger houses knowing we won’t use half of the rooms. 

Bigger is not always better though when it comes to dog backpack carriers.

If your dog is small, don’t get them an extremely large bag assuming they’ll love having the extra space. You don’t want your dog flopping around inside the bag while you’re trying to walk. You also don’t want to choose a bag that is too compact or you’ll give your dog a solid case of claustrophobia. 

Weight Capacity

This is a big one. Don’t buy a backpack carrier knowing your dog exceeds the weight capacity. Your dog won’t get his feelings hurt when you go up a size. 

If your dog weighs more than the bag’s intended weight capacity, you risk having the bottom rip out of your backpack. This can not only cause minor injuries and stress from the fall itself but can be potentially life-threatening if you’re hiking somewhere that is elevated far off the ground. 

That’s a nightmare none of us want to experience.

Padding In All The Right Places 

If you’ve ever been in school and had to carry a backpack full of textbooks, then you know how awful it can be to carry heavy loads over long distances, especially if it feels like you’re lugging around a flimsy sack. 

A good dog backpack carrier should be comfortable for you and your pooch so you can trek all around your favorite national park without either of you suffering. Extra padding in the shoulder straps and the back of the backpack will make your hike much more enjoyable. 

The thickness and strength of the padding should be balanced with the weight of your dog. If your dog is on the heavier side, you’ll want to consider a bag with a little more padding in the straps. For your pup’s comfort, you will want a padded insert at the bottom of the inner compartment. Your dog will be thankful. 

Security Features 

Internal Security Clip

There is one security feature that is a must in any dog backpack carrier. An internal leashed security clip should always be something to look for when choosing a bag. Security clips can be attached to the dog’s harness or collar to keep them securely in place.

This means that if for some awful reason your bag were to rip open, your dog would be kept inside. The security clip also allows you to open entry flaps so your dog can get a good look at the world without escaping.

Zipper Buckles

A second security feature that is highly recommended is a security buckle or locking mechanism for important zippers. These added security features normally lock or clasp over the zipper to keep it from shifting and will keep the bag closed if the zipper were to rip or break. 

Some backpack carriers also have bottoms that zip out so you can easily take out any padded materials that need cleaning. If available, a zip-out bottom should have a security buckle. 

Keep the Air Flowing 

Sweating is generally part of the hiking process. We expect it and normally prepare, but our dogs can’t do much to protect themselves from excess heat. Overheating is a health hazard for your dog, so you’ll want to have plenty of ventilated spaces for your dog inside your backpack carrier. 

Most high-quality backpack carriers will have one or two ventilated mesh flaps on the front of the bag and then ventilated sides. Keeping your dog cool and comfortable should be a priority when choosing a backpack carrier. 

For your own sake, you’ll want to pick a backpack carrier with breathable material in the straps and back of the bag. This will help keep you feeling strong and motivated for the miles ahead.

Durability and Design

If you’re an avid hiker then you will want to examine the durability of your potential backpack carrier. There are a number of backpack carriers on the market that are made with water-resistant or waterproof materials. 

You may want to also consider a backpack with a tough but easy to clean outer surface. No matter what your backpack is made of, you’ll want to check the stitching used along the zippers, straps, and handles, if a handle is included in the design. Multilayered stitching and the use of thick threads are always a plus.  

In terms of the overall design, if you like to take longer hikes, then you’ll want to find a backpack carrier that includes pockets or zippered compartments for storage. If you’re more of a casual hiker who likes to walk long enough to feel the breeze and break a sweat, then storage may not be as important to you. 

Finally, backpack carriers with multiple entry flaps for transferring your dog in and out of the bag are convenient design features. You may also like having the extra flaps so your dog has several ways of looking around. Most bags with multiple points of entry will have a flap at the top and one at the front.

To see just how awesome it is to have a dog backpack carrier, watch this incredibly cute video of a dog having the time of her life in New York City. 

Our Top Five Dog Backpack Carriers for Hiking 

PetAmi Deluxe Pet Carrier Backpack [Our Top Pick]

PetAmi Dog Backpack Carrier for Small Large Cat,...
  • LARGE ROOMY DOG BACKPACK CARRIER: PetAmi Cat Carrier Backpack measured 12.5" x 10.2" x 16.3" (L x W...
  • VENTILATED CAT CARRIER BACKPACK: Our pet backpack has well ventilated design for optimal airflow,...

Our favorite, the PetAmi Deluxe Pet Carrier Backpack, is an excellent option if you’re an avid hiker, traveler, or like to take long outdoor strolls. Your dog will appreciate the all-over ventilation on long hot treks, and they’ll get to enjoy the view from all angles.

It’s designed with a sturdy frame and extra safety features like an inside leashed clip and outside security buckle. If your goal is to give your dog the most comfortable and safest ride, then this is the backpack carrier for you. 


  • Ventilated front flap and sides
  • Sherpa-lined interior 
  • Option for buckling backpack into a car seat as an added safety feature 
  • Two-way entry system 
  • Stylish design with up to twelve color options
  • Safety strap inside backpack to keep dog from escaping while entry flap is open
  • Entry flap has an additional buckle to secure the zipper for additional safety
  • Firm structure allows for a roomy ride and prevents bag from collapsing
  • Thick padded shoulder straps for personal comfort
  • Backside of the backpack is designed with moisture-wicking mesh 
  • A waist and chest buckle included for extra personal back support
  • Side pouches and front pockets for small items
  • Collapsible water bowl included
  • Designed with durable high-grade polyester 
  • A small pocket with an included pet ID card 
  • Carrying capacity of 18 pounds


  • Designed as a pet carrier backpack only, so additional space for personal items is limited
  • Not ideal for medium-sized dogs or pups on the heavy side 

Petsfit Comfort Dog Backpack Carrier

Petsfit Pet Backpack Carrier Easy-Fit Dog Travel...
  • DOG CARRIER BACKPACK DIMENSIONS: With roomy space, This Petsfit pet backpack dimension is 13.5"L x...
  • KEEP YOUR PET COMFORTABLE:Our dog backpack equipped with a firmly reinforced structure to prevent...

The Petsfit Soft Pet Backpack Carrier is another great option for hikes with your best buddy. Similar to our top pick, the PetAmi Deluxe, the design includes ventilated side panels, an inner leashed safety clip, and padded shoulder straps.

However, this backpack is designed especially for the utmost amount of comfort for both you and your dog. It is also designed to make hiking trips and other outdoor activities a breeze and stress-free. 


  • Inner leashed clip inside to keep pets securely inside
  • Padded felt bottom for additional comfort for your dog 
  • Two-way entry for easy access
  • Padded shoulder straps for personal comfort
  • Removal bottom to make the backpack collapsible for easy storage 
  • Ventilated front and top flap, along with ventilated sides 
  • Chest and waist strap for extra back support for strenuous hikes
  • Carrying capacity of 15 pounds
  • Top handle for easy lifting 
  • Padded back for added personal comfort 
  • Hand washable
  • Weighs less than 4 pounds
  • Four color options
  • Stylish comfortable design
  • Front mesh window can be rolled up and secured for extra airflow or to allow your dog a peek around


  • Designed to carry only small or extra small dogs 
  • No pockets or added space for personal items or storage 
  • Few color options
  • Several pet owners complained that the top handle stitching came apart after little use
  • A few hikers reported that the corners of the bag are stiff and caused lower back pain or dug into their hips after walking for long distances
  • The zipper on the bottom of the backpack does not have an additional safety mechanism to help prevent zipper failure

Kurgo G-Train Backpack Carrier

Kurgo G-Train - Dog Carrier Backpack for Small...
  • Holds dogs up to 25 lbs
  • Comfortable for long hikes and walks

If you want a backpack carrier that allows you to take your dog on hikes and can also hold all your personal items, then this is a backpack you’ll want to check out. The Kurgo G-Train Backpack Carrier is designed for it all.

It’ll carry a dog up to 25 pounds, hold your water, camera, laptop, raincoat, and your pup all at the same time. This bag can tackle a rainstorm and is comfortable enough that you may decide to make it your daily commuter bag. 


  • Carry capacity of 25 pounds
  • Stylish design
  • Waterproof bottom so you won’t have to stress about sitting it on the ground
  • Backpack is made with stain-resistant fabric 
  • Dirt or debris is easy to wipe off
  • Interior pad can be machine-washed 
  • TSA approved for airplanes
  • Lightweight design
  • Inner compartments are padded for your dog’s comfort
  • Plenty of room to store your personal belongings 
  • Lifetime warranty for manufacturer defects
  • Shoulder straps can be stowed away inside the bag 
  • Padded back and shoulder straps for personal comfort
  • Interior harness attachment to keep your dog secured inside the bag
  • Mesh ventilated flap to help keep your dog cool 
  • Bag is designed specifically for long hikes with your dog
  • Gives your dog a full view of the world around them


  • Few color options 
  • On the more expensive side
  • You cannot completely enclose your dog in the bag

K9 Sport Sack Air Plus

K9 Sport Sack | Dog Carrier Adjustable Backpack...
  • The K9 SPORT SACK PLUS 2 MEDIUM is designed for dog breeds that weights up to 30 in (13 kg). The K9...
  • RUFF LIFE: Does your dog suffer from anxiety, depression, or have a physical disability? Or maybe...

If you’re looking for a backpack carrier that has a lot of color options and styles, then this is a great bag to consider. There are several size options for this bag. They have backpacks designed specifically to accommodate each size, with carrying capacities ranging from 30 pounds to 80 pounds.

Each size bag has a different model name, but for our article, we are going to focus on the K9 Sport Sack Air Plus. The Sport Sack Air Plus is considered their medium size backpack and has a carrying capacity of up to 30 pounds. It’s stylish and comes in a variety of colorful options. It’s water-resistant and has added side pockets for additional storage. 


  • Carrying capacity up to 30 pounds
  • Backpack is designed for outdoor recreational use 
  • 60-day warranty for manufacturer defects or size exchanges 
  • Detachable storage bag for personal items
  • Adjustable side pockets 
  • Padded back and shoulder straps for personal support and comfort 
  • Lightweight design 
  • Ventilated sides to keep your dog comfy during your trek
  • Safety ring for collar or harness hook up for added security
  • Velcro side for adding a name tag, reflective strip, or whatever else you can velcro to it
  • Includes a whistle clip 
  • Bag has an attached handle for ease of use while carrying 
  • Durable thick pad for your dog to sit on while riding 
  • Elastic straps for clipping items like water bottles or portable water bowls for your dog 
  • Comes in many colors 
  • Stylish design


  • Does not have a completely enclosed space for your dog
  • Does not include a chest or waist strap 

PetAmi Premium Backpack Carrier 

PetAmi Small Dogs and Cat Backpack Carrier,...
  • VENTILATED CAT & DOG BACKPACK: This pet backpack carrier measures 11.5 x 9 x 16 inches (L x W x H)....
  • BREATHABLE SOFT PET CARRIER BACKPACK: The pet tote bag carrier backpack for small dogs comes with...

A second PetAmi backpack carrier made our list because it’s a simplistic affordable version of our favorite, the PetAmi Deluxe Pet Carrier Backpack. Despite the low price, the Pet Ami Premium Backpack Carrier does not skimp out on any of the necessities.

It’s light, well ventilated, and crafted from the same high-grade polyester used for the Deluxe version made by PetAmi. If you’re needing a backpack carrier and do not have the extra funds or time to save up for a more expensive bag, then this is an excellent alternative. 


  • Designed for comfort, durability, and convenience 
  • Crafted with high-grade durable polyester 
  • Nine color options
  • Four points of ventilated mesh that your dog will thank you for
  • Sherpa bedding inside for your dog to rest easy on
  • Collapsible bowl included with a keychain ring for attaching to the backpack
  • Comes with waist and chest straps for added support
  • Side pockets for small personal items or water bottles
  • Safety strap inside the bag to keep your dog secured 
  • Padded shoulder straps and breathable back mesh for personal comfort 
  • Lightweight
  • Affordable price
  • Top entry flap for convenience to make transferring your dog in and out of the bagless stressful  


  • Only able to carry up to 8 pounds
  • Is not designed with a great deal of storage space aside from the two side pockets

Let’s Sum It All Up

The PetAmi Deluxe Pet Carrier Backpack is our favorite because it includes everything on our list of necessities and a few extras. We love the inner safety strap and outside security buckle, as well as the two-way entry system’s added convenience.

We liked the additional comfort features, including a comfortable sherpa-lined bed for your dog, and padded straps and back cushioning for you. We love that it includes space for personal items and a collapsible water bowl, just as an extra thank you from the manufacturer. 

A great quality dog backpack carrier will make safety and comfort a priority. Padded straps, breathable materials, and security clips, buckles, or locks are features you will want in your backpack carrier. Above all else, make sure it’s a tool your dog and you will both enjoy. 

Whether you like to hike where it’s flat and simply smell the wildflowers or you’re an avid fan of spelunking, you know what your lifestyle requires and what your dog can safely enjoy.

If our five recommendations are not the right fit for you, then we hope that the information we provided will help you find the perfect backpack carrier that your dog will be begging to take a ride in.

Last update on 2022-12-10 at 22:23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API