Best Dog Saddle Bags

Taking your pup out for an action-packed weekend sounds like all fun and games until you think about carrying his water and bowl around for him all day! Well, what if I told you that he can now do it himself – with the help of a dog saddle bag or doggie backpack!

Product Details

Best Urban

Featured Best Urban Dog Saddle Bag

Commuter Pack By Ruffwear

  • Quality Built In Front/Back Clip Harness
  • Great Pocket Organization
  • Good Capacity

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Best For Hiking/Running

Featured Best Hiking Running Dog Saddle Bag

Singletrak Pack V2 By Ruffwear

  • Incredibly Lightweight
  • Superior Fit
  • Breathable, Keeps Dog Cool

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Best For Trekking/Camping

Featured Best Trekking Camping Dog Saddle Bag

Approach By Ruffwear

  • Very Large Capacity
  • Highly Adjustable
  • Extremely Durable

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What Makes A Good Dog Saddle Bag?

Size: When it comes to saddle bags for your canine companion, bigger isn’t always better. In fact, a bag that’s too large or heavy can be detrimental to your dog’s back. Opting for a smaller bag to start with is always a good idea, as it allows your dog time to become accustomed to carrying a load.

Capacity: Some doggie backpacks are downright adorable – but are they practical? It all comes down to what you intend on carrying. Are you just going to throw in a pack of poop bags and a bottle of water? Or do you want extra room for dog food or a travel-sized bed for camping trips? Consider what you will be carrying on your outing and use the pack size right for your needs. Take as little as possible, so as to not overload your pup.

Style: Are you the proud owner of a rescue pooch who has just begun to make local doggie friends? You might want to think about what that hot pink saddle bag is going to do for his street cred! Likewise, a perfectly-groomed poodle might not be keen on the bomb squad canine look! Choose a dog saddle bag that is an appropriate style for your dog breed and their abilities.

Purpose: Not just about what you are carrying, purpose also refers to the length of time the dog saddle bag will be worn, in what weather conditions, and how often. Finding a bag that suits all these needs will make training your dog to carry the bag far easier.

Waterproof/Water Resistant: Hoping to use your new canine buddy’s backpack on your next hiking weekend? What a great idea! But, for such rugged terrain, you’re going to need something that can stand up to all conditions thrown at it and a waterproof bag should be priority number one.

Durable: Our dogs love to run through the woods and chase after that squirrel – but, if he runs off with a saddle bag and returns home without it – you better hope you didn’t let him carry the house keys! Choose a product that’s well made with tough materials and you should avoid these disasters.

Washable: Dogs have a tendency to make things dirty. Whether it’s from sliding through the mud, leaping into the lake, or somehow managing to cover their bag in dog food – you can pretty much guarantee that you’re going to have to wash that bad boy pretty frequently. Make sure you choose a bag that it is at least hand washable and preferably machine washable, so you can clean it easily when needed.

Detachable Bags: Zipping on or off compartments is so handy, you won’t realize you need this feature until you’ve tried it – and then you’ll struggle to go back to anything less. Whether you want quick access to your belongings or want to give your pooch a break, this is a great solution. Look for a dog saddle bag with detachable bags if this is something important to you.

Leash Attachment Method: Are you a fan of using a harness on your dog, rather than a collar? You might be pleased to know that some dog saddle bags essentially double up as a harness – meaning you can clip your dog leash directly onto the bag.

Comfort: Finding a dog saddle bag that offers the space to carry everything is great. But the most important consideration should always be the comfort of your dog. An uncomfortable bag will not only make your adventures less enjoyable for your canine pal, but it could even cause pain or injury. A dog saddle bag with lots of padding and a built-in leash attachment can be especially comfortable for your dog to carry.

Built-in Water Bladders: Want your dog to carry his own water on your hikes? A built-in water bladder allows you to do just this while keeping the load even – which can be much more difficult to achieve when packing a run of the mill water bottle.

Finding The Best Saddle Bag For Your Dog

Fit

Your first priority for choosing a dog saddle bag is making sure that it will fit your dog. If it is too small or too big, it can cause rubbing and irritation of the skin, which, in turn – could turn into a skin infection.

Materials

Have you ever tried on clothing and found it to be itchy or abrasive? Well, that can happen for your dog, too. Try to opt for higher quality materials that are soft on the skin.

Capacity

You might think this is referring to what you need to carry for yourself – but, if your dog is carrying his own food and water, you’ll need to think about whether the bag will accommodate everything he needs.

Comfort

Bags with plenty of padding, designed to conform to the curves of your dog’s body, will usually be far more comfortable to carry for your pooch. Consider the difference in how an ill-fitting backpack and a well-fitted one feels for us humans and you’ll know what I mean.

Special Considerations

If your dog has any previous injuries, take this into consideration. There are different widths and lengths of packs available, so for dogs with a lower back injury, a shorter pack could be a good option.

Urban Saddle Bags

Urban-style dog saddle bags are for city dwellers who are looking for something with a small amount of storage and plenty of wow. These are fashionable doggie backpacks that focus on form and might not have too many benefits, such as being waterproof.

1. Commuter Pack By Ruffwear:

Commuter Pack By Ruffwear

Any pooch will look very smart in this saddle bag that comes in two colors: a lovely Cloudburst Gray and a Larkspur Purple – in fact, this bag looks more like a Scandinavian designed backpack than a dog accessory.

The Ruffwear Commuter Pack isn’t only nice to look at – it’s incredibly functional. With two large zip pockets that offer generous storage solutions, you’ll have enough room to store water bottles, some dog food, and even winter dog boots – should the weather require them, making this a good choice for owners that are often on the go for the entire day.

There are also side zip pockets and a non-slip handle – in case Mr. Pooch is being a bit mischievous – and, even better, the main pockets are weight-forward, meaning that your dog won’t feel the pack contents bouncing around, even if he’s a bit on the wilder side.

You can easily attach a leash to this pack and it’s padded, too, making it a comfortable option for your canine pal.

Features

  • Weight: 13.6-26.4oz
  • Removable Pouches: Yes
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Leash Attachment Points: 1 V-ring and 2 webbing loops
  • Sizes: X-Small, Small, Medium, Large, X-Large

PROS:

  • Generous capacity.
  • Multiple sizes are available.
  • Mesh pockets inside large pockets for easy storage and cleaning.
  • Super comfort fit.
  • Weight-forward pockets for better weight distribution.

CONS:

  • Can wobble from side to side if not balanced properly.
  • Quite a warm option for those summer months.

2. Blaze By OneTigris:

Blaze By OneTigris

The OneTigris BLAZE PACKER Dog Pack has two roomy zip pockets on each side which are perfect for storing everything from water bottles and food to toys and a first aid kit, or perhaps even a sandwich for you!

This pack is available in two color options, black and brown – so you can pick depending on which will better suit your dog, or match your jacket.

On the top of the pack, there’s a clear pocket, ideal for ID cards, and also a zippered pocket for smaller items. There’s also a V-ring leash attachment and a built-in poop bag holder. Not bad, eh?

The straps underneath that keep the backpack in place are adjustable, so both medium and large fur babies can get a lot of use out of this great saddle bag.

Features

  • Weight: 13oz
  • Removable Pouches: No
  • Waterproof: Water Resistant
  • Leash Attachment Points: Yes, V-ring
  • Sizes: Medium, Large

PROS:

  • Made from durable nylon or cotton canvas.
  • Stylish design.
  • Built-in waste bag holder.
  • Pocket for an ID card.
  • Padded for extra comfort.

CONS:

  • Seams can weaken over time.
  • Not waterproof.

3. Denver Urban By Outward Hound:

Denver Urban By Outward Hound

This is a great saddle bag option for dogs who like to do their sniffing and tail wagging in an urban setting. It’s stylish and lightweight, making it a comfortable option for city life.

The Outward Hound Denver Urban Pack has two large pockets, one on each side, which are great for cell phones and waste bags. Not to mention, the bag also has two smaller zip compartments, just in case you want to keep something extra safe, like your keys, or the really good treats!

This saddle bag comes in an earthy brown color, which looks great with everything, and it has not one, not two, but THREE straps to keep it in place during walkies. And the straps are completely adjustable, too!

On the top, next to the D-ring, is a handle – just in case little poochie needs some support or an energy redirect, and the top section is made from a mesh material to keep them cool, even in the summer months.

Features

  • Weight: 2.8lbs
  • Removable Pouches: No
  • Waterproof: No
  • Leash Attachment Points: Yes, D-Ring
  • Sizes: Small, Medium, Large, X-Large

PROS:

  • Three straps to keep the bag in place.
  • Unique and modern design.
  • Mesh for ventilation.
  • Comes in two sizes.
  • Comfortable and balanced fit.

CONS:

  • Not suitable for heavy loads.
  • Cannot be used as a harness.

Hiking/Running Saddle Bags

Hiking or Running packs are for the active dog owner who likes to stay busy. This is a lightweight option that offers enough storage space for a few hours on the go.

1. Singletrak Pack V2 By Ruffwear:

Singletrak Pack V2 By Ruffwear

This saddle bag is for dogs what the water bottle holder is for cyclists: a convenient way to stay hydrated while exercising, without being held back by weight.

Ruffwear’s Singletrak Pack comes with two BPA-free hydration bladders, which are easy to refill and fit perfectly within the bag’s pockets – where you can also keep your keys and perhaps a little water bowl, or maybe a favorite ball!

Our beloved fur babies don’t sweat like we do, so it’s vital to ensure that they don’t overheat – that’s why this saddle bag has light colors (bright blue and a lovely red) that reflect the heat from the sun and, at the same time, leave your pooch looking nice and sporty.

With no less than five points for adjustment, it’s easy to make sure that this bag fits your pup perfectly – and, should he need a hand, there’s a handle for that.

Features

  • Weight: 1.15lbs
  • Removable Pouches: No
  • Waterproof: No
  • Leash Attachment Points: Yes, V-ring
  • Sizes: Small, Medium, Large, X-Large

PROS:

  • Incredible lightweight.
  • Bright colors that are easy to spot on walks.
  • Can be used as a harness.
  • Easy to adjust.
  • Optimum fit for warmer weather.

CONS:

  • Doesn’t have the largest capacity.
  • Not available in any neutral colors.

2. Daypak By Outward Hound:

Daypak By Outward Hound

You know how your little furry friend can always tell when it’s time for a walk, whether it’s when you reach for the leash or just make a specific noise? This saddle bag may soon have that effect, too!

The Outward Hound Daypak has four pockets, which is great for keeping you and your dog’s belongings neatly organized while on the go. And, it allows you to quickly find what you’re looking for – great for when someone is a bit impatient when it comes to treats. Oh, and the pockets are expandable, too!

This handy saddle bag comes in three different sizes and two different colors: a bright blue and a vibrant green, which makes it easy to spot your furry companion when he’s running around, sniffing everything within reach.

The straps are adjustable, too, so your pup won’t feel restricted or uncomfortable and the mesh top makes sure that she won’t get too hot – brilliant!

Features

  • Weight: 10.2oz
  • Removable Pouches: No
  • Waterproof: No
  • Leash Attachment Points: Yes, D-ring
  • Sizes: Small, Medium, Large

PROS:

  • Mesh for ventilation.
  • Expandable zip pockets.
  • Weight is on shoulders, not on the back.
  • High visibility colors.
  • Great fit.

CONS:

  • No padding on the straps.
  • No XL size is available.

3. Dog Training Saddle Bag By Cesar Millan:

Dog Training Saddle Bag By Cesar Millan

I’m sure everyone with an interest in dogs has heard of Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer. Now you can buy his dog backpack. But, this is not just a saddle bag: it has some other purposes, as well.

With large zip pockets, you can throw all of your dog treats – and heck, even some treats for yourself into this pack – with room left over! With a mesh fabric at the base of the pack, this is what will be sat on your dog – allowing for ultimate breathability to keep your dog cool. There are adjustable elastic straps, meaning they expand and contract with your dog’s movements, rather than being constrictive – which makes a big difference in comfort.

So, what is it that’s so magic about this bag? Well, other than being convenient, it gives your pooch a purpose, and we all know pooches aim to please. And, if you put some weight in the bag, it will give him a tougher workout, too, which is perfect for anyone too busy to go for a long walk every day. It’s like a portable dog gym, if you will.

Features

  • Weight: 1lb
  • Removable Pouches: No
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Leash Attachment Points: No
  • Sizes: Small, Medium, Large

PROS:

  • Great for dogs with lots of energy.
  • Breathable mesh.
  • Three different sizes.
  • Padded base and elasticated straps.
  • Keeps the weight on the shoulder, not the back.

CONS:

  • Might be a bit tricky to put onto your dog.
  • No leash attachment is available.

4. Dog Travel Packs By Wellver:

Dog Travel Packs By Wellver

The Wellver Dog Backpack has two large pockets, each with a zipper and room for all sorts of things – treats, poop bags, water, more treats. It also has padded straps that are easy to adjust, so that your sweetheart can run and jump as he pleases, oh the joy!

The mesh lining ensures that your dog will stay a cool and comfortable temperature, so you can use it all year round – and if it gets muddy, just give it a wash! Easy peasy.

It comes in three different sizes and in a handful of bright colors, so you won’t have to worry about losing track of your pooch when he runs off to explore all the various kinds of sticks in the woods.

Features

  • Weight: 12oz
  • Removable Pouches: No
  • Waterproof: No
  • Leash Attachment Points: Yes, D-Ring
  • Sizes: Small, Medium, Large

PROS:

  • Lightweight.
  • Easy to clean.
  • Comes in three different sizes.
  • Has a handle.
  • Works well in any weather.

CONS:

  • Not very quick to put on.
  • Pockets might be too small for standard water bottles.

5. Crest Stone Explore By Outward Hound:

Crest Stone Explore By Outward Hound

Few things bring more joy than a dog who is loving life and living it to the fullest and there’s lots of fun to be had with the Crest Stone Explore Dog Backpack!

With this bag, you and your dog can go for walks, hikes, and run errands together – all while having all of your essentials on hand – how convenient! The two zip pockets will hold water bottles, some dog food, and a toy or two – not to mention there’s room to bring yourself a snack!

The mesh lets your beloved fur baby stay cool when the sun is out and, with the included padding adds even more comfort. Adjust the straps so that it fits perfectly and there’s even a D-ring on the front, as well as on top, where you can attach your leash.

Features

  • Weight: 15.2oz
  • Removable Pouches: No
  • Waterproof: No
  • Leash Attachment Points: Yes, 2 D-Rings
  • Sizes: Small, Medium, Large, X-Large

PROS:

  • Compression webbing that helps to balance the load.
  • Can attach leash both on front and on top.
  • Mesh will keep your dog cool.
  • Large zip pockets.
  • Colors that are easy to spot in overgrown areas.

CONS:

  • The zippers and stitches weaken over time.
  • Easier to put on with two people.

Trekking/Camping Saddle bags

With enough storage capacity for multiple day trips, trekking or camping packs feature a lightweight design and are often made from highly durable and waterproof materials. This is a good choice for adventurous dog owners!

1. Approach By Ruffwear:

Approach By Ruffwear

Can you imagine anything better than going camping in the wild, with no noise, no obligations, and no one to tell you what to do? The only thing that can make this trip better is by adding your gorgeous dog into the mix!

Having a good saddle bag makes it easy to bring your pooch anywhere you go, and Ruffwear Approach Dog Backpack is a great option. This bag was made for adventures: it’s lightweight, comfortable, and you can fit a lot into its zip pockets. There are some mini zip pockets too, for all the smaller things, like hand sanitizer.

The material is made to last and you can attach your leash directly to the bag and adjust it so that it fits your pooch perfectly. Should he need a little help, there’s a handle on the top, allowing you to give him a hand, which really comes in handy if they’ve jumped in the lake but can’t easily scramble out.

Oh, and the colors are gorgeously vibrant, with Campfire Orange, Meadow Green, and Orange Poppy to choose from.

Features

  • Weight: 1lb
  • Removable Pouches: No
  • Waterproof: No
  • Leash Attachment Points: Yes, V-Ring
  • Sizes: X-Small, Small, Medium, Large, X-Large

PROS:

  • Comes in a variety of sizes.
  • Easy to wash.
  • Lots of pockets.
  • Sturdy material.
  • Padded comfort straps.

CONS:

  • Pockets might be too big for smaller dogs.
  • Weak zippers.

2. K-9 Dog Pack By Mountainsmith:

K-9 Dog Pack By Mountainsmith

To add some excitement to your next road trip or walk with your four-legged friend, try this saddle bag – it’s both convenient and fun.

The Mountainsmith K-9 Dog Pack ticks all of the boxes for a great dog backpack, the zip pockets are roomy, the straps are padded for extra comfort, and it can be adjusted for a perfect fit – sounds good, right? Well, it gets even better!

As the pockets are connected to the top section by straps, rather than by a solid piece of fabric, so they lie naturally, which in turn allows your furry friend to move freely – and even curl up for a little nap with his bag on, should he feel like it.

There’s mesh for great ventilation and the bag comes in two colors: an Azure Blue and a Heritage Red, both with black details. The pockets are even weight-forward – the designer of this saddle bag sure knew what they were doing!

Features

  • Weight: 1.12lbs
  • Removable Pouches: No
  • Waterproof: No
  • Leash Attachment Points: Yes, D-Ring
  • Sizes: Small, Medium, Large

PROS:

  • Padding for extra comfort.
  • Allows for free movement.
  • Has a handle.
  • Comes in high visibility colors.
  • Weight-forward pockets.

CONS:

  • Weak zippers.
  • Stitches aren’t the toughest.

3. Baxter By Kurgo:

Baxter By Kurgo

If your pooch is up for carrying some of his stuff himself, the Kurgo Baxter Dog Backpack will make life easier for the both of you, you can put everything you need in the adjustable, weight-forward zip pockets. Okay, maybe not everything, but a lot!

This saddle bag comes in two sizes, but the straps that are holding it in place are adjustable, so it can fit most dogs. It also has a handle, which is very convenient should your fur baby be a little bit too eager to play with that giant, not-so-friendly-looking dog that you run into on the hiking trail.

You can choose between Black/Orange, Coastal Blue, and Barn Red – all eyes will be on your dapper chap when he’s wearing this!

Features

  • Weight: 15.5oz
  • Removable Pouches: No
  • Waterproof: No
  • Leash Attachment Points: Yes, D-Ring
  • Sizes: Medium, Large

PROS:

  • Very sturdy.
  • Adjustable pockets.
  • Can be used as a harness.
  • Lightweight.
  • Easy to put on and take off.

CONS:

  • Straps can loosen during motion.
  • Seams don’t match the sturdiness of materials.

4. Palisades By Ruffwear:

Palisades By Ruffwear

It’s not only us humans who want to bring a bag full of things everywhere we go, our furry friends also have things they’d like to have with them when leaving the house for a while – some water, a bit of yummy food, and perhaps a toy or two!

The main zip pockets of the Ruffwear Palisades Pack will hold many of these essentials when you and your pooch embark on your adventures and the zip pockets will hold smaller things – perhaps your furry companion is reliable enough to be in charge of the keys?

The straps are padded for your dog’s comfort and the bag has five points of adjustment to ensure that it fits dogs of all builds. It has both handle and leash attachments on the top and it comes with two BPA-free hydration bladders! These are especially handy, as they don’t roll around and cause shifting of weight, like a regular water bottle could.

Features

  • Weight: 1lb
  • Removable Pouches: No
  • Waterproof: No
  • Leash Attachment Points: Yes, D-Ring
  • Sizes: Small, Medium, Large/X-Large

PROS:

  • Six zip pockets of various sizes.
  • Padded for comfort.
  • Comes with hydration bladders.
  • Adjusts for all body shapes.
  • Available in three different sizes.

CONS:

  • Only one color available.
  • Pockets can’t be removed.

5. The Saddle Bag By OSPet:

The Saddle Bag By OSPet

Any dog should be able to carry his own belongings. Whether it’s water or a first aid kit, most dogs love to be useful – that’s part of why we love them so much!

The OSPet Saddle Bag Backpack is made from a lightweight, breathable material that will keep your fur baby cool and comfortable and the straps are padded, for even more comfort. Brilliant.

The zip pockets are roomy, so you can bring water, food, and other essentials on your walks – and don’t forget their favorite toy! They’re actually removable, too, so this saddle bag doubles as a harness. Aren’t 2-in-1 products the best?

With a handle on the top made out of rubber, it’s comfortable for you to hold on to. The bag is bright red with reflective strips – making it easy to spot your dog, even on hikes through the wilderness.

Features

  • Weight: 14.04oz
  • Removable Pouches: Yes
  • Waterproof: No
  • Leash Attachment Points: Yes, D-Ring
  • Sizes: Small, Medium, Large

PROS:

  • Lightweight, breathable material.
  • Visible color.
  • Removable pockets.
  • Rubber handle.
  • Roomy pockets.

CONS:

  • Can be a bit floppy.
  • The middle strap can slide out of place.

Why You Should Buy A Dog Saddle Bag

Your Dog Gets More Exercise: Do you have a rambunctious dog that you just can’t seem to tire out, no matter how many walks you take him on? Well, I am happy to tell you that having your dog carry a saddle bag and some of his belongings will help tire him out, calm him down, and have him to falling straight to sleep upon arriving home!

Makes it easier to find your dog: Have you ever had one of those moments out on the trail where you can’t for the life of you see where Mr. Waggy McTail is hiding? I know that I have. Buying a brightly-colored saddle bag helps solve this problem, especially if you happen to be walking near areas that allow hunting.

Gives him something to do: From seeing-eye dogs and sniffer dogs to sled dogs and seizure alert dogs – it’s pretty simple, dogs just love having a job to do. It gives them real purpose! Giving your dog a pack to carry will give him a sense of purpose and a job. This is especially the case for certain task-focused breeds, like collies and retrievers.

It means they can come on more trips: Are you an avid hiker but haven’t had enough room in your pack for Fido to come along on your adventures? Well, now that he’s prepared to carry his own gear, you can get ready for more adventures together. That old saying that, “life is better shared” definitely rings true here!

A discreet poop carrying method: We all know that feeling of setting off on a walk and having your dog do his business right away. You’re then forced to carry a steaming bag of poop for the rest of your “romantic stroll” with your partner. But, with a doggie backpack, we can finally say, “enough” and get our furry friends to carry their own messes!

Frequently Asked Questions

Which size should I buy?

It depends entirely on the breed and size of dog that you have. While many companies offer a rough guide for certain breeds, we always recommend getting out the tape measure and measuring your dog to ensure optimal fit. After all, having an ill-fitting pack for your dog can cause rubbing and bald patches, or even injury to the back.

What is a safe weight limit for my dog to carry?

Again, this varies by breed – with some notoriously tough canines able to carry as much as 25 percent of their own bodyweight. This is the exception, though, and the majority of dogs are only able to carry 10-15 percent of the ideal body weight for their height/breed.

Are dog saddle bags safe?

They are, indeed! As long as you buy the right size, don’t overfill it, and double check that it’s fitted correctly – you should be A-OK!

Can puppies wear them?

The minimum age for a dog to wear a backpack while carrying things inside of it is one year. For puppies under that age, you can begin to train them to wear the backpack, but no items should be placed in the pack, as their musculoskeletal structure is still growing, and excess weight during this period could be detrimental.

Won’t it hurt my dog’s back?

No. A properly-sized, well-fitted, and correctly-laden pack shouldn’t cause any problems. However, if your dog suffers from back problems or joint disease that makes carrying weight harder for them – they should not wear a dog saddle bag.

How long will it take to train my dog to carry stuff?

This depends on your training schedule, the age of your dog, and his level of obedience thus far. But, it’s usually no more than a few sessions until they’re pretty used to it!

Final Thoughts

A life filled with adventure is the best kind! So, why not outfit your furry best friend so that he’s ready for all the fun life can throw at him?

Whether you’re just planning a trip to the dog park, or want to go further afield on a multi-day hiking expedition, a dog saddle bag is a great addition to your pet gear. Not to mention, it will make your dog feel like he’s truly a part of the gang and give him a job to do!

With the added health benefits he’ll get from changing up his exercise routine by carrying some weight, you’ll also help to keep your dog healthy for the long run.

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