Your dog probably already has a well-worn collar and leash. You may be wondering why you should purchase a separate harness specifically designed for hiking. Normal leashes and collars are great for long or short walks on flat surfaces, but they do not provide much control over your dog on steep or rough terrain.

In fact, a collar allows your dog to move in any direction that it wants to while on the leash. This freedom of movement can be extremely dangerous on uneven or steep paths and sheer rock faces.

best dog harness for hiking

In contrast, the best dog harness for hiking goes around your furry friend’s chest and front legs. This design may be more comfortable for your hiking buddy, and it can also discourage your pet from pulling. Additionally, these harnesses come with a number of straps that you can use either to help secure or to lift your dog up while on the hiking path.

While a normal collar only has one size adjustment, dog hiking harnesses can have five or more individual adjustment points. This feature means that you will be able to better customize the harness’ fit to your dog’s unique measurements,

Are you interested in purchasing a hiking harness for your dog? Read on for our top 10 list of some excellent options to consider when you’re searching for the best dog harness for hiking.


RUFFWEAR Palisades Multi-Day Hiking Backpack with Hydration Bladders

RUFFWEAR Palisades Multi-Day Hiking Backpack with Hydration Bladders

RUFFWEAR’s Palisades backpack and harness can help you take hiking with your furry friend to the next level. This may just be the best dog harness for hiking that is out there. The backpack comes with two side saddlebags that can carry between 14 L (small) and 24 L (large/extra-large) of gear. When not in use, you can easily remove these bags and still have a functional dog walking harness.

If you anticipate taking your dog with you on extended hiking or camping trips, then this harness might be the best option for you. It comes with two bladders that can hold up to 1 L of water each. These containers can help you and your hiking companion stay hydrated while on the trail.

Please note that your dog will need to get used to carrying the saddlebags. The small harness weighs 1.75 pounds and the large or extra-large option weighs 2.15 pounds without gear. RUFFWEAR suggests that you let your dog get used to wearing the saddlebags and then slowly work up to a maximum load of 25% of your dog’s body weight.

Pros

  • Includes two one-liter water bladders to keep you and your pet hydrated on the trail.
  • Removable side saddlebags for when you do not need to carry gear.
  • Bags include a bungee-based compression solution to keep everything in place while hiking.

Cons

  • Heavy for some dogs; it may take time to build up to carrying a full load of water and gear.
View on Amazon
View on Walmart
RUFFWEAR, Palisades Dog Pack, Multi-Day Hiking Backpack with Hydration Bladders, Red Currant, Large/X-Large
230 Reviews
RUFFWEAR, Palisades Dog Pack, Multi-Day Hiking Backpack with Hydration Bladders, Red Currant, Large/X-Large
  • Great for multi-day trips: Take an extended weekend with the Palisades Pack; High-volume saddlebags let your dog carry all their trail necessities (and a few extra treats too)
  • Versatile: Attach the saddlebags with the secure aluminum hardware and compression system for easy carrying while hiking; Remove the bags and leave on the harness for hanging around the campsite

Outward Hound’s Lightweight Dog Daypack

Outward Hound's Lightweight Dog Daypack

Outward Hound’s daypack is one of the company’s most popular and is a strong contender for the best dog harness for hiking. It has four pockets that you can use to carry your keys, identification cards, money, and other essential items that you need while on the trail. You can also carry a collapsible bowl to give your furry friend something to eat or drink while hiking.

Outward Hound constructed this harness from breathable mesh. This material not only makes it easier for your pet to move around but also allows for increased airflow while you are outdoors. You and your hiking companion may be able to remain on the trail for miles at a time with this harness.

The pack comes in three alternative sizes in two different colors. It will fit dogs with girths between 16 and 32 inches.

Pros

  • Four expandable pockets to hold doggy bags, treats, your cell phone, or other items while on the trail.
  • Long foam and fabric handle spans the length of the harness.
  • Breathable mesh to help keep your dog cool while outdoors.

Cons

  • Only three sizes, which may not be suitable for very large dog breeds.
View on Amazon
Sale
Outward Hound DayPak Green Dog Saddleback Backpack, Medium
4,025 Reviews
Outward Hound DayPak Green Dog Saddleback Backpack, Medium
  • HIGH-QUALITY HIKING GEAR: The Outward Hound DayPak is one of our bestselling and most popular dog backpacks. Lightweight and convenient, this pack can comfortably fit extra essentials you may need while exploring the great outdoors.
  • FOUR EXPANDABLE STORAGE COMPARTMENTS: This saddleback dog backpack is designed with two storage compartments on each side for even weight distribution and plenty of room for food, water, training accessories and more.

RUFFWEAR – Web Master Multi-Use Support Dog Harness

RUFFWEAR - Web Master Multi-Use Support Dog Harness

RUFFWEAR’s web master harness features a five-point adjustment system that will enable you to fit it comfortably but securely on your dog. It also includes lightweight foam padding around the chest and midsection straps that keep your pet secure but also allow for a full range of motion. The straps and other key points on the harness also have reflective trim to help your dog stand out while on the trail.

This harness also has a built-in loop that can hold the Beacon™, a proprietary waterproof safety light. This rechargeable light (sold separately) clips quickly and easily into the web master harness and provides additional light for you and your dog while on the trail. The harness also includes a loop on the back that you can use to help lift your dog over obstacles while hiking.

Pros

  • Five unique sizes from extra small to extra-large can fit dogs with chests between 13 and 42 inches.
  • Reflective material already built into the harness.
  • Two separate leash connection points increase its versatility while hiking, jogging or working outside with your dog.

Cons

  • No built-in pockets or pouches to carry essentials while on the trail.
View on Amazon
RUFFWEAR, Web Master, Multi-Use Support Dog Harness, Hiking and Trail Running, Service and Working, Everyday Wear, Red Currant, Medium
4,521 Reviews
RUFFWEAR, Web Master, Multi-Use Support Dog Harness, Hiking and Trail Running, Service and Working, Everyday Wear, Red Currant, Medium
  • Super secure: Anatomically designed for canine companions with a nose for adventure; Ideal for challenging terrains, working dogs, service dog handlers, and amputee dogs
  • Lift and assist: Made for maneuvering, the padded, reinforced handle is designed to safely and comfortably help your dog up and over obstacles

OneTigris Tactical Dog Harness Vest with Handle

OneTigris Tactical Dog Harness Vest with Handle

OneTigris manufactures its tactical dog harness is from military-grade 1000D nylon. It also features four separate quick-release buckles that can help keep your dog safe and secure during your hike. The company tests the “D”-ring dog leash clips with up to 170 pounds of force, which means that they are unlikely to break under most normal conditions.

The top of the harness includes a control handle and separate loops to hold ID tags. You can even attach moral patches or other lightweight pins to support your favorite military or emergency services groups.

The side also has reinforced stitching that you can use to attach pouches or other small bags to the harness. Best of all, the material is durable and waterproof, which is perfect for spending a significant amount of time outside.

Pros

  • Full one-year warranty and responsive customer support.
  • Sizing system considers your pet’s neck size, girth, and length.
  • Integrated bungee cords can hold a water bottle or a small umbrella.

Cons

  • Fewer adjustment points than similar hiking harnesses.
View on Amazon
Sale
Tactical Dog Harness,No-Pull Dog Vest with Leash Clips,Dog Harness Adjustable for Hiking Training Outdoor Dogs(Ranger Green, Medium)
7,697 Reviews
Tactical Dog Harness,No-Pull Dog Vest with Leash Clips,Dog Harness Adjustable for Hiking Training Outdoor Dogs(Ranger Green, Medium)
  • ❤SIZE INFORMATION:Our tactical dog harness is made from Durable 1000D nylon with Padding for a comfortable fit. M: 16"-23"(Neck); 24"-32"(Chest); 10"(Back) L: 18"-25"(Neck); 27"-36"(Chest); 11"(Back)
  • ❤EASY ADJUSTABLE:Adjustable Dog Harness with a Top handle for traffic control, 4 quick release buckles for easy on and off while providing extra security;and one leash attachment point at the front.

Chai’s Choice Rover Scout High Performance Harness Backpack

Chai's Choice Rover Scout High Performance Harness Backpack

A military veteran founded Chai’s Choice in 2014. The company is named for the founder’s beloved Rhodesian Ridgeback. The Rover Scout high performance harness backpack is made with DuPont’s plant-based Cordura® fabric.

Chai’s Choice designed this harness to be highly durable and to function in harsh weather conditions. It even has an integrated dog-tracking device with a QR code. This technology can help you track and find your pet in case he gets lost while on the trail.

The harness’s other components are also made from top-notch materials. It features Duraflex buckles, mesh for airflow, strategic ergonomic padding, and aluminum alloy leash clips. It is also highly adjustable to ensure a good fit for your medium or large-sized dog.

Pros

  • Has two removable pouches that you can use for your pet to carry gear on your hike.
  • Military-grade buckles and breathable mesh padding.
  • 3M’s proprietary reflective material helps ensure your pet is visible even in low light situations.

Cons

  • Only fits medium to large-sized dogs with girths from 22 inches to 42 inches. There is no option for small breed dogs.
View on Amazon
Chai's Choice - Rover Scout High-Performance Tactical Backpack - Dog Harness with Dupont Cordura Waterproof Fabric and MOLLE Accessories, Dog Carrier Backpacks for Service Dogs (Medium, Black/Red)
232 Reviews
Chai's Choice - Rover Scout High-Performance Tactical Backpack - Dog Harness with Dupont Cordura Waterproof Fabric and MOLLE Accessories, Dog Carrier Backpacks for Service Dogs (Medium, Black/Red)
  • Military Grade Dog Harness: Tactical backpack made with industrial strength and extremely durable Dupont Cordura Waterproof fabric to endure the most extreme conditions.
  • Service Dog Vest with MOLLE accessories: 2 Detachable (7" x 5") MOLLE pouches with MOLLE straps and durable SBS Zippers.

Rabbitgoo Dog Harness

Rabbitgoo Dog Harness

Rabbitgoo designed its harness from breathable mesh to keep your dog cool and dry during a long hike. It also includes two adjustable neck and two adjustable chest straps to provide a snug fit.

The nylon oxford material is highly durable and is resistant to rain, sleet, and snow. Rabbitgoo intended this product for year-round use in four seasons. Furthermore, the harness’s distinctly reflective stitching will help you in your dog stand out, even at night.

This option also includes two different points where you can attach the leash. The ring on the chest helps to stop your dog from pulling during a training walk or a hike. However, once your dog gets the hang of being on the leash, you can then use the ring on the back for a more leisurely experience.

Pros

  • Available in four sizes they fit dogs with neck diameters between 13.8 inches and 30.7 inches.
  • Nine different color options including a very bright blue, orange, yellow, and lime green.
  • Two different leash attachment points, one on the chest and one on the back.

Cons

  • Rabbitgoo recommends handwashing this harness.
View on Amazon
View on Walmart
rabbitgoo Dog Harness,No-Pull Pet Harness with 2 Leash Clips,Adjustable Soft Padded Dog Vest,Reflective No-Choke Pet Oxford Vest with Easy Control Handle for Large Breeds,Orange (L, Chest 20.5-36')
107,975 Reviews
rabbitgoo Dog Harness,No-Pull Pet Harness with 2 Leash Clips,Adjustable Soft Padded Dog Vest,Reflective No-Choke Pet Oxford Vest with Easy Control Handle for Large Breeds,Orange (L, Chest 20.5-36")
  • Large Dog Harness - Recommended Breeds: Medium to Large Dogs, such as Golden Retriever, Huskie, Labrador, Alaska, German Shepherd, Akita, etc. Please measure the size carefully before purchasing this present for your puppy. Make your puppy stand out with this Bright Pumpkin Harness!
  • No Pull, No Choke - Our non-pulling dog harness is specially designed with 2 metal leash rings for safer dog walks. Use the chest attachment clip to stop your dog from pulling on walks, perfect for dog training or dogs who tend to pull. The back one is great for casual walks, jogging, hiking, etc

Kurgo Dog Saddlebag Backpack

Kurgo Dog Saddlebag Backpack

Kurgo’s dog saddlebag backpack is another top contender for the title of the best dog harness for hiking. Many of the other options on this list only have four or five adjustment points. This harness has eight customizable parts. Even the side saddlebags can move up or down depending upon the size of your dog.

While this harness only has two different sizes, it can fit dogs between 30 and 80 pounds (the Baxter) and 50 to 110 pounds (the big Baxter). The saddlebags can also carry between 3.75 L and 7.5 L depending on which size harness you buy. These bags will give you plenty of space to bring treats, food, bowls, and other necessary items for your furry friend’s next outdoor adventure.

You can also use the leash ring on the chest as a bottle opener while you are camping or hiking. The harness also includes a reinforced handle on the back in case you need additional control of your hiking friend. Its reflective threads also make it easier to keep an eye on your pet when it gets darker.

Pros

  • Chest pad has an integrated bottle opener.
  • Small harness’s saddlebags can carry 3.75 L of gear. The large harness’s saddlebags can carry a load of 7.5 L.
  • Lifetime warranty protects you against manufacturing or quality issues.

Cons

  • Saddlebags are not removable.
View on Amazon
View on Walmart
Sale
Kurgo Dog Saddlebag Backpack, Back Pack Dog Harness, Hiking Pack for Dogs, Packs for Pets to Wear, Camping & Travel Vest Harness, Reflective, Lightweight, Baxter Pack For Medium & Large Pets
1,199 Reviews
Kurgo Dog Saddlebag Backpack, Back Pack Dog Harness, Hiking Pack for Dogs, Packs for Pets to Wear, Camping & Travel Vest Harness, Reflective, Lightweight, Baxter Pack For Medium & Large Pets
  • Lightweight and comfortable: Durable Saddlebag for dogs is lightweight, making sure your dog is comfortable; 2-sided dog pack provides enough space for all Fido's essentials, including food, treats, Doggie bags, first aid supplies and travel bowls
  • Integrated harness: backpack for dogs can also be used as a harness; features rear mounted leash hook to attach dog walking leash when the dog needs to be on leash, can also be used as bottle opener; dog backpack also features 2 side pockets for extra storage

EXPAWLORER No Pull Dog Harness

EXPAWLORER No Pull Dog Harness

The EXPAWLORER may be a good choice for you if you’re looking for an entry-level training or hiking harness. Its breathable nylon mesh material will keep your furry friend cool while outside. Best of all, the front leash ring will discourage pulling.

This product also comes with an ergonomic handle for added control while hiking or while walking in crowded areas. You may also be able to use this handle with the seatbelt to help keep your dog secure while in the car. The double quick-release buckles also allow you to quickly remove the harness after your outdoor excursion.

Your purchase will also include a retractable leash that can extend for up to 16 feet. This length may help you train your dog to remain within a specific distance from you while you are on the trail. However, we would not recommend that you use the full 16 feet of length while hiking through challenging terrain.

Pros

  • Comes with a 16-foot retractable dog leash.
  • Four easily adjustable sliders on the straps to customize the fit
  • Ergonomic handle for greater control while hiking or training.

Cons

  • Only available for dogs with girths between 16.5 inches and 34 inches.
View on Amazon
EXPAWLORER No-Pull Dog Harness with 16ft Retractable Dog Leash - Adjustable and Soft Mesh Harness, Reflective No-Choke Pet Vest with Easy Control Automatic Dog Leash for Outdoor Walking for Large Dogs
564 Reviews
EXPAWLORER No-Pull Dog Harness with 16ft Retractable Dog Leash - Adjustable and Soft Mesh Harness, Reflective No-Choke Pet Vest with Easy Control Automatic Dog Leash for Outdoor Walking for Large Dogs
  • 🐕‍🦺 Most Cost-effective Combination - If you buy a harness, then you must need a leash! But if you buy them separately, you need to spend a lot of money and you lost your time. We have helped you solve the problem! Our package includes 1 x daily walking harness, and 1 x heavy duty retractable leash, once you receive the package, you can enjoy walking with your dog immediately, you no longer need to wait for another package.
  • 🐕‍🦺 Best Features of the Harness - The harness is adopted with premium military-standard nylon, it will last a long time for use. The harness has breathable air mesh, it will keep your dog always cooling. The soft mesh lining can play the role of breathing and cushioning at the same time, gives the dog maximum comfort and protection, [NO FUR FRICTION]. Besides, it has reflective lines which make sure your dog is visible in dark.

ICEFANG Tactical Dog Harness

ICEFANG Tactical Dog Harness

The ICEFANG Tactical Dog Harness is another great option to use when you’re out hiking with your pup. This harness includes a no-pull front clip to help you safely control your dog on a trail. It can also be used when training your dog to walk next to you instead of ahead of you.

This product has Molle panels sewn onto it. Badges or other identifying information can be attached to these panels to help you quickly identify your dog in a crowd.

Each side of the harness also has clips sewn into it. You can attach gear to these hooks to reduce the load that you need to carry when you are out hiking. The harness is available in four sizes (for chests between 22 inches and 39 inches) and six different colors.

Pros

  • Metal buckles for increased durability.
  • Four different sizes for dogs with between 22-inch and 39-inch chests.
  • Molle straps allow you to attach patches to the harness for easy identification.

Cons

  • Not intended for use with a long lead line or tie out.
View on Amazon
Sale
ICEFANG Tactical Dog Harness with 2X Metal Buckle,Dog Walking Training MOLLE Vest with Handle,No Pulling Front Leash Clip,Hook and Loop for Dog Patch (L (28'-35' Girth), Coyote Brown)
17,606 Reviews
ICEFANG Tactical Dog Harness with 2X Metal Buckle,Dog Walking Training MOLLE Vest with Handle,No Pulling Front Leash Clip,Hook and Loop for Dog Patch (L (28"-35" Girth), Coyote Brown)
  • [Tips & Care instruction]:1:This Harness is not to be used with a tie out,Do not put it on your dog unsupervised ; 2,Please refer to our size chart,Make sure match up your dog's measurement ,Do not choose the size base on dog's weight or guess ; 3:Burn and solidified the end of strap if necessary ,Make Sure the end of strap is not fraying; 4: Washing: Wash hands with detergent,rinse with clean water and dry it
  • [2x METAL BUCKLE]: 2 x Metal Buckle (1000 lb Proof-Load Test ) on Dog Shoulder Position which the most Load Bearing Point When Dog Pulling, 2 x POM buckle (250 lb Proof-Load Test ) on belly Position;Sewing by Bartack and X in Box Pattern on Each Joint and Heavy load Point

Pawaboo Pet Carrier Backpack

Pawaboo Pet Carrier Backpack

You may have noticed that many of the other harnesses on our list only start after the sizes of 16 inches. If you have a smaller dog, then Pawaboo’s pet carrier backpack may be a good choice. This backpack allows you to carry dogs with girths as small as 14 inches on your back or on your chest.

Pawaboo made this backpack out of lightweight fabric and mesh that helps keep your pet in place and comfortable while you are walking, hiking, or biking. It has four holes for each of your furry friend’s legs and a slot at the bottom for his or her tail. It also has elastic straps covered with fabric around the openings for added security.

A zipper on each side allows you to completely open the carrying pouch. You can easily load and unload your pet before, during, and after your hike. The included padded straps are adjustable and can help better distribute the weight on her shoulders and back.

Pros

  • Dual side zippers to quickly get your pet in and out of the backpack.
  • Great design for small puppies and dogs.
  • Breathable and stretchy mesh to keep your dog cool while outside.

Cons

  • Maximum recommended dog weight is only 15 pounds.
View on Amazon
View on Walmart
Pawaboo Pet Carrier Backpack, Adjustable Pet Front Cat Dog Carrier Backpack Travel Bag, Legs Out, Easy-Fit for Traveling Hiking Camping for Small Medium Dogs Cats Puppies, Small, Black
17,564 Reviews
Pawaboo Pet Carrier Backpack, Adjustable Pet Front Cat Dog Carrier Backpack Travel Bag, Legs Out, Easy-Fit for Traveling Hiking Camping for Small Medium Dogs Cats Puppies, Small, Black
  • 【Recommended for 5LB < Small Dog & Cat < 18LB 】: Pawaboo dog carrier backpack is designed for carrying small dogs/cats, we highly recommend for puppies less than to 18 LB (The larger dog may bring too much weight-bearing for the owner). Please DO measure your pets and choose according to the size chart (fig.2).
  • 【Considerate Detail-oriented Design】: Legs-out and tail-out design keep your pet safe and comfortable; Hook and loop, zipper and elastic openings allow you to fit your dog inside comfortably; Quick Release Buckles on the end of straps ensure quick installation with just one hand.

Final Thoughts

Now that you’ve read through our reviews, you should have the information you need to select the perfect hiking harness for your dog. While we like all of the products we reviewed above, our top pick for the best hiking dog harness is RUFFWEAR’s Palisades pack.

It comes with two BPA-free, collapsible bladders that can hold up to 2 L of water. The removable saddlebags also include a compression system to help keep your dog’s travel bowls, treats, and other hiking essentials secure while on rough terrain.

Save It For Later

Best Dog Harness for Hiking #pupnfriends