Last month we received the Trail Pack from Hurtta America to test. Xena never carried a pack before so I was a little anxious to try something new and also thrilled to have Xena carrying some of the load. We put the pack to a test and had lots of fun doing it.
This review is based on two hikes covering 18 miles on rugged terrain, crossing multiple streams, squeezing through rocks and sharp desert plants on narrow tracks carrying up to 2 lbs (including the pack weight).
Xena’s measurements for comparison
- Neckline: 18″
- Chest girth: 26.5″
- Back length: 18″
- Height: 17″
- Weight: 34 lbs
- Size: Small (neckline: 17-24 in; chest 22-30 in; waist 18-30 in)
- Weight: 1 lb
- Retail price: $100 (@Hurtta) but you can get it cheaper at Amazon.com if you have their Prime membership
- Available colors: Raven (~black)
- Designed in Finland and made in China
Design – 5/5
Hurtta Trail Pack has two separate components: harness and backpack. Backpack can be easily detached and attached as needed so you can use the harness for walks and as a safety harness for the car rides and only use the pack when you need them.
Multiple 3M reflectors made it easy to see Xena in the shades which I loved. The reflectors are useful in low light conditions and especially on dogs with dark-colored fur like Xena.
There is a handle at the back of the harness to give you more control over you dog in difficult places. A handle is a must on an active harness in my opinion.
The pack is made from Hurtta’s proprietary Hountex material matching the waterproofness and breathability of professional quality outdoor clothing. The zippers are waterproof as well.
Function – 4/5
3M reflectors worked as expected.
It was easy to detach and attach the pack once you get used to it.
The backpack remained in position when Xena moved. The key is to distribute the equal weight in the left and right pockets.
Although I had no problem using the handle on the back to help Xena overcome difficult obstacles, I’d like to see Hurtta enhances the handle in the next version to be wider and padded. It will be more comfortable in my hand and will look and feel more sturdy.
The backpack is almost waterproof. The top and the sides passed our test but the bottom did not. Also, the pocket connectors are waterproof outside but not from the inside where it goes over the harness. When the pack was submerged in the water, the backpack floated around Xena. When she got out of the water, all the water drained from both pockets. At least the water didn’t get trapped in the pockets like some other backpacks. If your dog loves water and you are really concerned about things getting wet in the pockets, place them in a ziplock bag first.
Quality and Durability – 5/5
We tested the pack in rugged conditions. After hand washing it, I noticed a very minor wear and tear on one of reflectors on the harness. There was no noticeable flaw in the product though. It is well made with high quality materials.
Fit and Fashion – 4/5
The Small fits nicely on Xena. I didn’t notice any chafing on her and her movement wasn’t restricted in anyway. She had no problem squeezing through rocks and plants, climbing rocks and running.
Unlike other backpacks on the market, Hurtta Trail Pack has the European sleek design yet the pockets are still spacious to be functional. I like that it doesn’t overpower Xena.
The pack is not available for small dogs (girth < 22″) or extra large dogs (girth > 38″). It would be also nice if the pack comes in bright happy colors.
Conclusion – 4.5/5
We tested the Hurtta Trail Pack in rugged conditions and I am impressed with its design, functionality and quality. It’s a bit pricey but the product is versatile by separating the harness from the backpack. Now Xena carries her own lunch, treats, collapsible water bowl and first aid kit. She will carry a little more later but I am slowing increasing the weight. She has a job now. Doesn’t she look proud?