Is your furry hiking partner a healthy adult dog? If your dog is a working breed, an athletic dog or just a high-energy dog in general, these are all good reasons for trying a dog backpack.
Sometimes I want Xena to help me with carrying gear on our longer hikes. She takes extra water and some of her gear in her backpack. She is happy to do so because sharing is caring!
It’s recommended that your dog carry no more than 25% of its body weight in its dog pack. If your dog is new to dog packs, start with a light load and work up to a heavier load as your dog gets accustomed to wearing the pack.
- Brand: Ruffwear
- Available sizes: Small, Medium, & Large/X-Large
- Available colors: Blue Dusk & Red Currant
- Retail price: $89.95
- Made in Vietnam
- Weight & Capacity:
|Small||0.7 lb (0.32 kg)||183 in³ (3 L)|
|Medium||0.91 lb (0.41 kg)||201 in³ (3.3 L)|
|Large/X-Large||1.05 lb (0.48 kg)||287 in³ (4.7 L)|
Design – 4.5/5
From the Ruffwear website:
- Customizable fit with five points of adjustment allows for a full range of motion
- Low-profile side pockets conform to the body, allowing dogs to be agile
- Oversized handle for easy lift-and-assist
- Two leash attachment points: anodized aluminum V-ring and webbing loop
- Foam-padded chest and belly straps for comfortable, extended wear
- Two 0.6-liter collapsible, BPA-free hydration bladders
- Low-light visibility with reflective trim and light loop for attaching The Beacon™ (light sold separately)
Now, my observations:
This backpack is designed for day hikes.
Small is designed to fit small-sized and most of the medium-sized dogs. This is normal for Ruffwear products.
A customizable fit is achievable by adjusting five webbings near the shoulders, chest, and belly. The harness is not detachable.
The reflective trim is right above the neon-colored zipper on each side for safety.
The light loop can be used with any safety light.
Function – 4/5
The oversized handle is comfortable for easy lift-and-assist and feels sturdy when in use.
Blue Dusk is a bright blue color. The blue and neon green color combo is vibrant and happy. It pops in the wilderness. The backpack kept Xena visible at all times.
The reflective trim and the zippers work as expected.
The low profile side pockets are just big enough to hold the 0.6-liter collapsible hydration bladder on each side. Xena carried one 0.6-liter collapsible hydration bladder on one side and a treat bag, lunch, and a small pet first aid kit on the other side. There was no room for her small collapsable bowl so I hooked it on the V-ring instead.
I found it easier to place the full hydration bladder in the pockets when the backpack wasn’t on Xena yet.
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Quality – 5/5
The backpack is made with high-quality, durable material. It looks and feels well-made and sturdy.
We tested the pack in rugged conditions. Xena had no problem squeezing through rocks and sharp desert plants as well as climbing and running. The backpack had a tendency to shift on to her right side because the water bowl kept favoring her right side when she moved. Xena’s right side is dominant so this was somewhat expected. There is no noticeable flaw in the product.
Fashion and Fit – 4/5
Xena’s chest girth measurement is 26.5″. In Ruffwear, she wears a size Small. Measure around the widest part of the rib cage to get the correct size. Ruffwear Singletrack Pack does not come in XS.
With the five points of adjustment around the shoulders, chest, and belly, it is easy to customize the fit. Xena’s movement wasn’t restricted in any way and I didn’t notice any chafing after a hike.
Balancing the weight of the side pockets so it’s not pulling to one side is crucial for a comfortable fit and reducing the risk of injury while making sure your dog carry no more than 25% of its body weight in its dog pack.
Overall – 4.4/5
There is a variety of styles and types of dog backpacks on the market. Ruffwear Singletrack Pack is an excellent option for longer day hikes when you want your furry adventure partner to carry extra water or when you want your pup to carry his water, a bowl, and a ball to a park. The low-profile side pockets can hold 1.2 liters of water using the two BPA-free collapsible hydration bladders that came with and a few additional small items like treats, a poop bag, and a key. It makes a great day pack for whatever outdoor activity you and your pup love to do together!