There are few things in life more fun than bringing your precious dog with you on outdoor adventures, be it simple walking and running errands or hiking and cross-country skiing.
We went on a quest to find the best dog carrier backpack for our dogs’ needs. As pet parents to seven fun-size dogs and puppies, we understand how challenging it is to have them keep up with us when we’re out in the great outdoors. They have such short legs that walking long distances alone gets tiring for them!
As a result…
We’ve discovered these outstanding pet carrier backpacks that make taking our babies with us anywhere we go a piece of cake!
These products have all been tried and tested with our dogs in various conditions, so you can be assured of their quality.
Along with our top picks, you’re also going to read about:
- Essential features you should look for when buying a dog backpack;
- How safe are dog backpack carriers exactly;
- The difference between dog backpacks and ordinary backpacks;
- And more…
So whether your dog is too old to walk, is disabled, or you just want to be able to bring them to places where dogs aren’t allowed, you’ll surely find what you’re looking for in our list.
Then strap yourself in!
Best Dog Carrier Backpack: Our Top Recommendations
Best Double Side Entry Dog Carrier Backpack
PetAmi Deluxe Pet Carrier Backpack for Small Dogs
The PetAmi Deluxe Carrier Backpack is the backpack carrier we recommend if you’re going to bring your pet with you on flights and long trips. It has adjustable shoulder straps with extra-thick padding and waist and chest traps, which make it easy for us to carry when traveling. It was a breeze getting our pup in and out of it with its two-side access points, and we’ve had no issues fitting the backpack under plane seats.
The interior has ample room for our pooch to sit, stand, move around, or lay on the soft, sherpa-lined bottom. We like the well-ventilated design with multiple windows and a front opening that you can unzip to give your pet a better view of their surroundings. It also has many safety features, such as an internal leash and safety buckles— these give us peace of mind, especially in crowded places where our puppy can easily get lost. As a bonus, it comes with a collapsible food and water bowl and a name tag!
- Extremely sturdy construction
- Ideal for long trips and flights
- Can hold dogs weighing up to 18 pounds
- Spacious interior
- Two side mesh doors
- Front opening for the dog’s head
- Zippers with safety locks
- Internal safety leash
- Soft, removable sherpa bottom lining
- Multiple mesh windows
- Exterior pockets
- Top handle
- Chest and waist strap
- Adjustable padded straps for shoulders
- Comes with a name tag and collapsible pet bowl
- The straps have to be properly adjusted to avoid the bottom from digging into the lower back
- Has a chemical smell out of the box (it went away in a day after we left it outside to air out)
If you’re looking for a dog hiking backpack carrier perfect for long trips and flights, then the PetAmi Deluxe Pet Carrier Backpack could be what you need.
This dog backpack carrier boasts sturdy construction. It’s made from high-quality 600D polyester material with a reinforced steel frame helping it hold its shape, allowing for more room, and preventing it from collapsing with your dog inside.
We have an 18-pound Boston Terrier puppy who hates being left alone, so we now carry her everywhere and let her join us in our outdoor adventures. We recently did a 5-mile-long hike, and we decided it was the perfect time to test out this backpack.
Right off the bat, we were impressed with the design.
Because it has two side doors, it’s easy for dogs to enter and exit the backpack. Each door has double zippers with safety locks, so they won’t come undone even when you’re on the move. The locks are especially useful for us as our pup likes scratching at the zippers. Another safety feature is the internal leash.
Our pooch was initially wary of the backpack but eventually took a liking to it, as it’s so comfortable. The interior is spacious enough for her to stand, sit up, or lie down, and the bottom has sherpa lining that provides a cozy experience for our furry friend, on top of making it easy for us to clean as it’s removable.
Multiple mesh windows also ensure breathability and good airflow, as well as give your dog a beautiful view of the outside world. We like that the front window can stay open; this allows our puppy to stick her head out and for us to give her treats or quick head pats here and there.
Not only that…
Unlike most dog carriers we’ve tried, this one has pockets for water bottles, treats, poop bags, and other essentials. And it’s not just our pup who’s comfy throughout our trips; we too! This backpack has breathable padded shoulder straps which are reflective for visibility. There are also a chest strap and waist belt for maximum support and better weight distribution— these features really made it comfortable to wear even on long trips.
As if that’s not enough…
Our Editor’s Choice also comes with a name tag and collapsible pet bowl so your dog can stay hydrated even on the go. This backpack is available in many colors.
As you can tell, we really love this backpack, except for one thing…
In our experience, the edge of the bedding can dig into the lower back a little, but adjusting the straps so that it’s not sitting too high fixes the issue for us.
Related article: Best Pet Carriers For Small Dogs
Best Lightweight Dog Carrier Backpack
Outward Hound PoochPouch & PupPak Carriers
The Outward Hound PoochPouch Dog Front Carrier is your best bet for a weather-resistant backpack perfect for camping trips to very cold or warm places. It’s made from water-resistant, strong, and lightweight nylon material and has a sturdy base for sitting and lying down. The mesh sides provide good ventilation.
Your dog can enjoy the view while staying completely safe through the cinchable opening. We also like the internal clip for the dog’s leash that ensures your dog won’t try to escape— not that our dog ever wanted to when she feels so cozy and comfortable inside! The waist belt, front pocket, and safety buckles are very nice features, as well.
- Ideal for any small and medium-sized dog
- Great for very warm or cold days
- Water-resistant nylon fabric
- Cinchable opening
- Sturdy, hard base
- Nicely padded shoulder straps
- Adjustable waist belt
- Internal safety clip
- Front pocket
- Would’ve been better if it had side pockets for larger items
- Not very comfortable when worn in front while biking
Going somewhere very cold or warm? Then the Outward Hound PoochPouch Dog Front Carrier could be the perfect companion for you and your dog.
This backpack consists of weather-resistant fabric thick enough to keep your dog warm and mesh on the sides to prevent your dog from overheating on warmer days.
We used this on our recent trip to Yosemite for our 15-pound Shih Tzu; we wanted to take her with us on outdoor activities without her being sandwiched between our larger dogs when we’re walking, and this has been perfect.
It rained unexpectedly on our first day there, and we were impressed by how water-resistant this is! We also like how versatile it is— you can wear it front or back, and the well-padded shoulder straps can also be worn in different ways. Wearing the straps criss crossed helps with stability when we’re hiking or biking.
Inside, you’ll find a safety clip that you can attach to your pet’s harness so they can’t jump out. The bottom is hard and sturdy, allowing our baby girl to sit up while taking in the view or curl up and take a nap with good support. We were also able to put her favorite blanket inside, as the roomy interior allows it.
And the cool part is…
The opening can be cinched for a snug fit and added security and safety for your dog! With this feature, and the internal harness clip, we’re confident our dog won’t fall out of the backpack, even when she falls asleep with her head poking out. It also gives our dog that feeling of being hugged all over, which is good for anxious dogs.
We appreciate the adjustable waist belt added for extra support, and it’s nice that all the weight isn’t on our shoulders when wearing the backpack. The straps on this backpack go over our shoulders and waist easily. even when wearing winter jackets.
In our experience, this backpack isn’t as comfortable when worn in front while biking. If you’re going to bring your pooch on bike rides, we suggest wearing it on the back. We also wish there were side pockets for water bottles and bigger items, but if you just need a pocket for leash and very small items, then the front pocket should be enough.
Still, we find this product high-quality, very well-constructed, and suitable for cold and warm weather, so we choose it as our Top Pick.
Related article: Are Dog Carriers Safe?
Best Budget Dog Carrier Backpack
Pawaboo Pet Carrier Backpack
Special features are great, but they can also increase the product’s price. If you just want an affordable, basic dog carrier for daily walks and short trips, then the Pawaboo Carrier Backpack will definitely do the job and do it well.
You can wear this backpack in two ways, but we like wearing it on the front— doing so makes us feel more connected to our dog, and he feels less anxious when he can see our face. It has soft padding inside, so we’re assured that our dog is comfortable in it; indeed, he now gets excited at the sight of it! It has zippers and velcro for security, and we like the color and design selection. And did we mention how budget-friendly it is?
- Very affordable
- Perfect for short trips and light-duty use
- Can be worn on the front or back
- Breathable and lightweight material
- Elastic band to ensure comfort and adjustability
- Adjustable padded shoulder straps
- Easy to put on and off dogs
- Comes in stylish designs and colors
- Makes for a great gift for pet lovers
- No storage pockets
- The straps’ quality could be better
The Pawaboo Carrier Backpack is an excellent option if you want a dog backpack carrier that will get the job done without burning a hole in your pocket. It’s also great if you just need a simple hands-free pet carrier without all the extra features.
Despite costing less than other products on our list, this one is well-designed and doesn’t sacrifice quality. The design features wide straps with padding for comfort, a fabric-covered elastic band for adjustability and support, and a hole for your dog’s tail.
This dog carrier is the one we use the most for short trips like daily walks, running errands with our dog, or when we’re taking our dogs to the vet. We have a clingy and quite anxious 9-pound Yorkshire Terrier, and this is perfect for him as he likes being held close.
It’s a breeze to put on and off our Yorkie. It fits perfectly on him— it’s snug enough for him to feel secure and comfy but still gives him some wiggle room. The front has breathable mesh material, and it’s easy for us to give him some belly rubs.
Keeping your dog safe and secured are the zippers and the fabric-covered elastic band that also provide gentle support and flexibility. There’s velcro on the sides to keep your pooch secure and prevent the zippers from unzipping, as well.
We can tell our dog is really comfortable on this as he falls asleep often during walks. This is really good for dogs who feel trapped inside large dog backpack carriers. And it also makes us feel closer to our dog!
You can wear it on the front or back, and it comes in a wide variety of colors and stylish designs.
We won’t say this is the most heavy-duty dog backpack carrier out there and it doesn’t have pockets for storage. However, we bought this for the purpose of having something light, comfortable, and simple for light-duty use, and it serves our purpose.
Also, considering its quality and good design compared to its price, it definitely deserves our Best Value award.
Related article: What Size Small Dog Carrier Will Fit Under the Plane Seat?
Best Comfortable Dog Carrier Backpack
Petsfit Soft Pet Backpack Carrier
The Petsfit Soft Pet Backpack Carrier is designed for maximum comfort with its soft bottom that holds the weight of our quite hefty Bichon Frise really well. At the same time, the four mesh windows provide great ventilation, visibility, and a pleasantly open feel. The cushion also has a zipper, so you can take it out for easy cleaning.
This backpack never squished our dog in. Even on flights, it performs well— we just take out the cushion, and it’s easier to squeeze in under plane seats. Since it’s wide and roomy, our dog can still move freely. We think the safety and comfort features are really well-thought-out in this backpack. There’s an internal safety clip, zippers on the front and top windows, and adjustable straps for shoulders, chest, and waist. It’s so cozy and comfortable that our dog even turned it into a napping spot when we’re at home!
After a fun day outside, this backpack folds into a flat, compact shape for easy storage, which is nice.
- Very comfortable both for the dog and pet owner
- Fits pets up to 22 pounds
- Extremely sturdy
- Wide and roomy
- Mesh windows on four sides
- Removable and washable soft cushion
- Internal safety clip
- Lockable zippers on top and front windows
- Ergonomic padded shoulder straps with mesh lining
- Adjustable waist and chest strap
- Padded back
- Two side pockets
- Works both as a backpack and a traditional carrier
- Easy to fold into a compact shape for storage
- A bit on the pricey side
- Only comes in one standard size
- We wish there were a handle for easier carrying
The Petsfit Soft Pet Backpack Carrier will give your pet the most comfortable and luxurious experience while traveling or hiking.
The workmanship is great in this backpack. This carrier features mesh windows on all four sides, resulting in a very open feel, which our 10-year-old Bichon Frise dog loves. Our furry friend is old now so we want to give him all the comfort he needs, and this backpack is great, as it has a super soft cushion.
Made with extra-durable 600D fabric material with metal reinforcements, this backpack is super sturdy and has held up well to a lot of abuse we’ve put it through during outdoor trips, not to mention all the scratching and gnawing from our little pups when they ride it occasionally.
We really like that we can use it as a backpack or a traditional carrier, as it can stand on its own, horizontally or vertically. The top and front windows make it easy for your dog to get in and out, and you can also leave the top flap open to give your dog a fantastic view. Don’t worry; this backpack is equipped with an internal clip for your dog’s leash, so they won’t be able to jump out! The heavy-duty zippers are lockable, as well.
This dog backpack carrier is not only comfortable for our dog but also for us. The shoulder straps are adjustable and lined with mesh for breathability, while the chest and waist buckles make all the difference for us during long hikes and walks. The back is padded, so it doesn’t hurt our back even if we use it for a long time.
And it’s so lightweight! We barely even notice that we’re carrying a dog backpack.
But it does have some minor drawbacks…
For one, it’s a little expensive. We do think it’s worth every penny for the quality and the comfort it gives both pets and dog owners, though.
It would’ve been better if it had some kind of handle for easy carrying when we want to carry it carrier-style. This backpack also only comes in one size, and it would be great if there were more size options.
Best Carrier Backpack for Small Dogs
Ytonet Backpack Carrier
The Ytonet Cat Carrier For Small Cats and Dogs is the perfect backpack carrier for bringing your small cutie to bike rides, camping, hiking, and kayaking trips.
It’s made up of eco-friendly polyester and heavy-duty mesh material that withstands your dog’s scratches, and the walls are firm enough to keep the shape. We know it’s comfortable because our dog goes all quiet, with no crying or squirming when he’s inside. Other things we like are the two-way entry, roll-up top cover that provides more headroom, back cushion, comfortable shoulder straps, anti-slip rubber feet, and the minimalist yet visually pleasing color scheme and design.
- Great for puppies, small breed dogs, and toy breeds
- Comfortable to wear
- Durable lockable zippers
- Two-way entry design
- Roll-up top flap
- Windows with strong mesh material
- Two-side storage pouches
- Removable soft pad
- Stretchable internal leash tether
- Back cushion
- Nicely padded shoulder straps
- Adjustable waist strap
- 3 Anti-slip rubber feet
- Double zippers would be nice
- We wish the back cushion were a bit longer
Looking for the best dog backpack carrier for puppies and small dog breeds? We’re telling you the Ytonet Cat Carrier For Small Cats and Dogs is definitely up there.
We have a 9-pound Chihuahua who hates being left at home, even with his fellow dogs, and we’ve been looking for the perfect backpack carrier for him. After a long search, we came across this, and we have no regrets buying it! It’s spacious enough for our dog not to feel cramped but also doesn’t have too much space that he bounces around when we’re on the move.
This backpack gives you two entrance options, one top, and one front mesh entrance— the two-way entry gives us easy access to interact with our dog. If it’s not raining or too windy, you can roll up the top flap and let your dog soak up the sun. There are also two mesh windows on both sides, which provide different viewing angles for your dog while they remain safe and secured inside.
The mesh material used on this backpack is very high-quality; it’s breathable yet scratch-resistant and not flimsy at all. We like the removable soft pad on the bottom and how stretchy the leash tether inside is.
Aside from that…
You’re also getting durable metal lockable zippers, extra-thick padding on the shoulder straps, a cushion for back support, and pockets on both sides for pet supplies, which fit our dog’s collapsible water bowl. There are heavy-duty waist straps and three anti-slip rubber feet for better stability, as well.
We feel like it’s also worth mentioning how aesthetically pleasing this backpack is. The color gray complements the black netting and zippers, and the overall look is clean and minimalist, which is great if you don’t like attracting too much attention to your dog when you’re out and about.
Even though it’s only available in one size, it can fit most puppies and small dogs.
We think this backpack would be even better if there were double zippers on the top and front windows. That’s because if our dog wants to stick his head out, we’d have to open the zippers all the way up. Sure, there’s a safety clip preventing our dog from jumping out, but it would be nice if there’s an option to open the windows partially.
The cushion on the back could be a bit longer, too, as it sometimes rides up, but it’s manageable and not a deal-breaker for us.
Best Ventilation Dog Carrier Backpack
Pet Gear I-GO2 Roller Backpack
One of our favorite dog backpack carriers for our small dogs is the Pet Gear I-GO2 Roller Backpack Travel Carrier. We really like how multi-purpose it is— we can pop it on our back, carry it as a carrier or tote, roll it behind us when we get tired, and it even doubles as a car seat for our dogs! Its versatility is useful whether you’re commuting, traveling, hiking, or running errands with your dog.
The interior expands up to 3 inches, so we’ve never had a problem fitting in two tiny dogs inside. With the multiple mesh windows providing excellent ventilation and the soft fleece liner, this carrier is very comfy, and our little Maltese puppies always get to travel like princesses. The wheels roll smoothly, and we appreciate the added features such as the top handle, pockets, straps, two leash tethers, and wheel covers.
- Versatile and multi-purpose
- Made for very small dogs
- Great ventilation
- Adjustable straps
- Top handle
- Telescoping handle
- Roomy side pockets
- Mesh windows
- 2 Leash tethers
- Removable fleece liner
- Easy to clean
- Comes with wheel covers
- On the heavy side
- We wish there were another entrance
Best Adjustable Dog Carrier Backpack
K9 Sport Sack
If you want a backpack carrier that you can fully adjust to your liking, then the K9 Sport Sack Dog Carrier Adjustable Backpack might be up your alley. This one has lots of safety buckles and adjustable straps, including cinch, upper and lower lumbar, shoulder, and sternum straps. All of those, combined with the zip-up back side, ensure not only your dog’s safety but your comfort, as well
There are also several well-thought-out little added features such as a D-ring collar hook-up, a whistle clip, side mesh panels, dual side pockets, and a velcro tab for attaching a name tag. It’s sturdy, safe, comfortable, and looks super cool— definitely a keeper!
- Highly adjustable
- Can carry pets up to 30 pounds
- Snug but comfortable fit
- Side mesh panels for maximum breathability
- Carabiner safety clip
- Ergonomic shoulder straps
- Cinch straps
- Upper and lower lumbar straps
- Extra-long sternum strap with an adjustable whistle clip
- Dual side pockets
- Padded back
- Velcro for name tags
- Quite expensive
- Not ideal for long-time usage during very warm weather
- Can be a bit difficult to put on dogs initially
And rounding off our list is the K9 Sport Sack Dog Carrier Adjustable Backpack. This carrier backpack is made with Cordura® fabric and form-fitting mesh to provide breathability.
At first, we were worried it would be too small for our 16-pound Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, but it actually fits her like a glove. Well, it’s designed to carry dogs up to 30 pounds, after all!
We like that it features lots of safety buckles, an external carabiner safety clip, and angled cinch straps, which all ensure our dog is safe and secure without being restricted.
The soft material and mesh venting panels on both sides make our dog feel comfortably snug during walks and other outdoor activities. It’s so cozy that she even falls asleep when we hike steep trails!
And it’s equally comfortable for us too…
The long sternum strap with adjustable whistle clip, ergonomic shoulder straps, and padded back make carrying the backpack a breeze. We can feed and hydrate our dog anywhere with the two side pockets that store water bottles and treats.
But if we’re going to nitpick it…
We’d say it’s not that easy to put our pooch in at first, but once in, she doesn’t wiggle out, and the fit is perfect. Also, in our opinion, it’s not the best option to use on warm days for more than an hour as it can get pretty hot inside.
Buying Guide To Selecting The Best Dog Carrier Backpack:
Value For Money
Ever bought a cheap product only for it to have, well, cheap quality? Just because a product costs less doesn’t mean you’ll get a good value for your money. On the other side of the coin, many fantastic but affordable products are available on the market that blows their competitors out of the water. For example, the Pawaboo Carrier Backpack wins our Best Value award for being simple yet super functional and, best of all, pocket-friendly. You want the best dog carrier backpack that will get you the biggest bang for your buck.
But sometimes, it’s nice to splurge a little to give your dog a very comfortable experience. The Petsfit Soft Pet Backpack Carrier has been absolutely worth it for us— with its roomy interior, soft padded bottom, and mesh windows on all sides, it basically acts as a luxury room for your dog while traveling!
Your aim is to get as much benefit, functionality, and effectiveness for the money you’ve spent on a product.
How The Best Dog Carrier Backpacks Compare In The Value for Money Category:
Since the purpose of a dog backpack is mainly for outdoor use, it’s important to pick one that can withstand various weather conditions, elements, and scratches from your naughty pup. As far as durability goes, you can’t go wrong with our Editor’s Choice, the PetAmi Deluxe Carrier Backpack.
How The Best Dog Carrier Backpacks Compare In The Durability Category:
While you should make sure you get a dog backpack with the essential features, some extra features that make the backpack super secure and ultra-comfy for you and your dog wouldn’t hurt. Some examples are a mesh window, a soft cushion, a top flap for sightseeing, chest and waist straps, a removable storage bag, and wheels.
For a backpack loaded with features, look for something like the K9 Sport Sack Dog Carrier Adjustable Backpack.
How The Best Dog Carrier Backpacks Compare In The Features Category:
Having a versatile dog backpack is great because it feels like you have multiple products for different purposes. The Pet Gear I-GO2 Roller Backpack Travel Carrier For Cats/Dogs is a great example of a multi-purpose backpack carrier— you can convert it into a carrier, backpack, roller bag, tote bag, and even a car seat for your dog!
How The Best Dog Carrier Backpacks Compare In The Versatility Category:
Ease of Use
No one wants to spend hours fitting their dog in a carrier backpack while fumbling with the straps and buckles. Therefore, you shouldn’t overlook ease of use when choosing a dog backpack.
How The Best Dog Carrier Backpacks Compare In The Ease of Use Category:
Overall Product Comparisons For The Best Dog Carrier Backpacks:
Best Dog Carrier Backpacks FAQs:
Are dog backpacks safe?
Yes, dog backpack carriers are generally safe, as they are equipped with features that ensure your dog is safe and secured, such as adjustable straps, lockable zippers, and internal leash clips.
To further ensure your pet’s safety, see to it that you follow the instructions provided by the product manufacturer. Also, look up the product’s dimensions and weight capacity limit, so you’ll know that your dog will fit comfortably inside and won’t exceed the weight limit.
Can I put my dog in a regular backpack?
While you technically can put your dog in a regular backpack, it’s definitely not advisable to do so. That’s because your ordinary backpack isn’t designed to handle dogs’ weight, besides not having the necessary features to ensure optimal safety and security. Not to mention, most regular backpacks don’t have ventilation windows, a stable base, and a soft bottom to guarantee Fido’s comfort.
How big should a dog carrier be?
This will depend on your dog’s weight and size, so always check the dimensions and weight of the backpack you plan to buy. It’s not enough that your dog fits inside; they should also feel comfortable and able to stand up, sit, lay down, and move around comfortably.
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