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The 10 Best Dog Carrier Backpacks for Hiking, Biking & More [2023]

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Amar Hussain

Amar Hussain

Senior Content Contributor

Countries Visited: 63U.S. States Visited: 9

Amar is an avid traveler and tester of products. He has spent the last 13 years traveling all 7 continents and has put the products to the test on each of them. He has contributed to publications incl...
Edited by: Keri Stooksbury

Keri Stooksbury


Countries Visited: 41U.S. States Visited: 28

With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now Editor-in-Chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...

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Perfect for keeping your 4-legged friend with you wherever you are headed, these hands-free dog carrier backpacks allow your pooch to take in some seriously cool views, even on long hikes or rough terrain.

Whether you choose to wear the carrier on your shoulders like a backpack or on your front like a baby carrier, your 4-legged friend will love to be able to come along for the ride.

Things To Consider With Dog Carrier Backpacks

Dog carriers come in lots of shapes and sizes. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

Depending on your dog’s size and breed, there are numerous things to consider before investing in a new backpack carrier for your dog to enjoy.

Carry Options

Choose a dog carrier with padded and adjustable straps. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

While some carriers are designed to keep your dog fully enclosed, others have a more flexible approach that allows your pooch to pop their head and legs out while you carry them.

These types of backpack carriers usually come with adjustable straps and leg openings to ensure that your dog stays comfortable and well-supported without them feeling restricted when all tucked in.

While some doggy travel bags look like regular purses or backpacks, others are designed to sit flush against your chest like a front-facing baby carrier.

Bottom Line: Slings bags are also popular as they allow smaller breeds to sit comfortably by your side, and fully-enclosed carriers may be a little bit more cumbersome but offer more space for your pooch to enjoy.


Most dog carriers have a built-in safety strap. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

Every pet owner wants to be sure that their 4-legged friend is totally safe and well-protected. Most carriers come with sturdy loop attachments that your dog’s leash can be fixed to, and superstrong zippers, reinforced bottoms, and fully breathable designs all help to ensure that these carriers are perfectly safe for your dog to ride in.

It is not only the obvious safety features that will keep your dog happy while you walk. Wearable carriers can also help older pets or those with low stamina to enjoy greater distances and ease the anxiety of nervous pets who like to stay by your side.


Most dog carriers have soft liners that can be removed for easy washing. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

Dogs love to feel comfortable, and your pet carrier should offer them a little touch of luxury as they travel. With soft liners that can be removed for easy washing (in case of accidents), windows for better views, and adjustable holes for little legs and heads to poke out of, most carriers will make your dog feel like a king or queen for the day.

In terms of practicality, the carrier your choose should be made from breathable material to prevent your dog from feeling hot and stifled, and the carrier should offer enough room for them to sit upright.

Material and Durability

Breathable fabrics are a must as your pet will need to be kept well-ventilated. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

Your dog carrier will need to be strong enough to support the size and weight of your 4-legged friend while still being lightweight enough to be carried on your back over longer distances.

Breathable fabrics are a must as your pet will need to be kept well-ventilated, and synthetic materials that are water-resistant and easy to clean make them more suitable for use all year round.

Carriers with solid bottoms and firm stitching offer increased durability, and for your own comfort, padded shoulder straps and additional sternum straps make light work of even the chunkiest of pups.

Water Resistance

As you will be using your pet carrier to take your dog with you on outdoor adventures, some protection against the elements is a must. Most synthetic materials will offer a layer of waterproofing, which will also make them easy to wipe down should accidents happen.

Hot Tip: While they may not be completely waterproof, offering some protection for your pup in wet weather and damp conditions will allow you to enjoy outdoor adventures with your dog all year round.

The 10 Best Dog Carrier Backpacks

Grab your backpack carrier and get out there with your best friend. Available in a wide range of styles, colors, and designs, you and your dog can go hiking, trail walking, sightseeing, and even cycling with a dedicated backpack for breeds, both big and small.

1. Cute Little Backpack for Small Breed Dogs

BEST OVERALL: Pawaboo Pet Carrier Backpack
Small and medium dogs can go on adventures with you with this bag. If your dog gets tired, you can easily and comfortably put them in this bag to rest.

Pawaboo Pet Carrier Backpack

Available in a fabulous range of bright colors and bold designs, this supercute little pet carrier is just right for keeping your small breed dog close to you. Suitable for dogs weighing no more than 5 pounds, its lightweight design features a legs-out, tails-out shape that offers increased comfort and versatility for your 4-legged friend.

With quick-release buckles and a hook and loop design, you can get your pooch set up and ready to go in an instant, and this hands-free pet carrier can be worn on your front or your back, depending on you and your pets personal preferences. Made from a breathable material, your pet will stay relaxed and comfortable while you walk, and the super-secure straps will keep them close to your body at all times.

Thick sponge in the shoulder straps ensures that this is a comfortable carry for human adventurers, and the lightweight design makes this an excellent way to carry your smallest best friend everywhere with you.

What We Like

  • Available in a range of colors

What We Don’t Like

  • Long fur can get caught in the zipper

Hot Tip: If your next vacation has you searching for a pet-friendly hotel, check out our guides to pet-friendly Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, and IHG brands.

2. Best for Sporty Walks

You can easily take your pup on the go with you with this carrier. The bag is breathable, so your dog doesn't overheat, and it's spacious enough for small dogs.

K9 Sport Sack

This awesome dog carrier comes in extra small, small, medium, large, and extra-large options, making it a great choice for dogs of all sizes, and there are a variety of colors and designs to choose from.

Made from heavy-duty breathable and water-resistant materials, this backpack features an innovative, forward-facing design that allows your doggy to see the world in the same way you do.

With fully ventilated sides, your dog will feel comfortable but never stifled in this brilliant pet carrier, and with the ability to double up as an airline-friendly pet carrier for small to medium dogs, you can literally take your best friend with you anywhere in the world.

The upgraded easy-pull zipper offers effortless access while still being secure enough to prevent your pet from escaping, and the adjustable leg openings allow larger pooches to be carried in as much comfort as their smaller contemporaries.

Designed to be just as easy to use for adventurers with 2 legs as it is for those with 4, this backpack also features Foam-Tek shoulder straps, sternum straps, and adjustable side pockets, and the K-whistle and safety D-ring makes this model an excellent choice for everyday adventures in the great outdoors.

What We Like

  • Has mesh sides to keep your pet cool

What We Don’t Like

  • No waist strap

3. Backpack for Biking With Your Best Friend

YUDODO Reflective Pet Dog Sling
This bag is able to hold dogs that weigh up to 10 pounds. It's cushioned and flexible, so your dog won't be uncomfortable while being carried in this handy sling.

YUDODO Reflective Pet Dog Sling

With an innovative, hands-free design, this fabulous little shoulder bag allows you to carry your dog with you while cycling, shopping, or even just walking. Super safe and secure for your pup or small breed dog, this sling bag features a leather bottom for extra strength and protection and a hook on the inside to keep their leash firmly attached.

The easy-access zipper opening offers an inviting space for your pet pooch, and the super-secure drawstring design allows your dog to feel safely wrapped up while they can poke their head out to watch the world go by.

Mesh and synthetic fabric help to keep your dog comfortable and sweat-free even in hot weather, and the easy-to-wear sling design can be thrown over your shoulder for a super-comfortable carry every time.

Available in a choice of colors, this beautiful dog carry bag comes in 2 different sizes, with the smallest model being able to hold pets weighing up to 5 pounds and the larger model suitable for pets weighing up to 12 pounds.

With a reflective design, padded carry strap, and spacious interior, this sling bag is an excellent choice for urban adventurers and their pooches.

What We Like

  • Has an adjustable shoulder strap

What We Don’t Like

  • Can only be worn on the left shoulder

4. Expandable Carrier for Increased Comfort

Pecute Pet Carrier Backpack
This bag can expand to fit dogs up to 18 pounds. It's made of mesh as well, so it's strong but will also allow air to pass through without overheating.

Pecute Pet Carrier Backpack

With its sturdy design and spacious interior, this expandable pet carrier has been designed to help reduce your dog’s anxiety. Made with mesh sides for increased air circulation and a top opening for your dog to poke its head out of, this is an awesome pet carrier for dogs that like to take it all in while staying close to their owners at all times.

Offering exceptional comfort for your best friend, this carrier features a removable solid bottom that can be unzipped and super-soft padding for your pet to sit on.

Made from high-quality oxford cloth fabric, this carrier is waterproof and resistant to scratches, and with 2 bags for storage on the sides, you can carry your best friend and all of their accessories with ease. While the built-in retractable safety rope will help to prevent your dog from escaping, the easy access opening means he can jump in and out without any trouble.

With adjustable shoulder pads to help evenly distribute the weight of your furry friend, this backpack-style carrier is secure and sturdy and can be folded up small when not in use, making it an excellent choice for pets on vacation.

What We Like

  • Expands to allow more room for the pet

What We Don’t Like

  • Doesn’t fit under a plane seat

5. Eco-friendly Recycled Backpack Carrier

Morpilot Dog Backpack Carrier
This ventilated bag has pockets so you can carry everything you need for your pet all in one place. The bag is also structured, so it will keep your pet secure.

Morpilot Dog Backpack Carrier

This eco-friendly dog carrier is wear- and scratch-resistant and suitable for carrying pets weighing up to 15 pounds with a streamlined silhouette and spacious interior dimensions.

The breathable mesh sides ensure that your pooch will be super comfortable and cool, and the clever design for this backpack is just as comfy for 2-legged adventurers as it is for those with 4.

Perfect for use while walking, hiking, and even camping, this pet carrier features a built-in safety strap to stop your doggy from jumping out, superstrong zippers, and a sturdy and comfortable bottom cushion with double-sided textures to suit your pet’s sitting preferences.

With pockets on both sides, you can carry your pet’s collapsible travel bowls, water bottles, and so much more, and the ergonomic design features adjustable shoulder and waist straps for a more comfortable carry.

What We Like

  • Has handy pockets on either side

What We Don’t Like

  • Could have more padding at the bottom

6. Most Luxurious Carrier for Pampered Pets

PetAmi Deluxe Pet Carrier Backpack
This bag is comfortable for you and your pet. It's cushioned and flexible. It also allows you to distribute your pet's weight without straining your lower back and causing pain.

PetAmi Deluxe Pet Carrier Backpack

Super cute to look at while still being strong, sturdy, and incredibly practical, this awesome pet carrier offers a safe space for 4-legged friends weighing up to 18 pounds. Offering incredible luxury for your small or medium-sized dog, this carry bag is available in a selection of colors and is built to last through many miles of all-weather adventures.

The Sherpa-lined bed sits on a sturdy base for increased comfort on every journey, and the reinforced structure ensures that your pet will remain perfectly safe wherever you are headed. With multiple mesh windows for increased ventilation and better views of the world around you, your pet will love their safe and snug vantage point while you get to rest assured that they are always safely by your side.

With 2-side access points for easy entry, this backpack comes complete with its very own name tag ID and a collapsible bowl for food or water, as well as breathable shoulder pads to ensure increased comfort when carrying.

What We Like

  • Has a mesh window to see out

What We Don’t Like

  • The top collapses in a bit

7. Best Sling-style Carrier

AOFOOK Dog Cat Sling
This sling is adjustable and cushioned. It also has a zipper so you can keep your dog snug, comfy, and happy while you travel. It even has a zipped pocket.

AOFOOK Small Dog Cat Carrier Sling

Made from soft and luxurious breathable fabric, this dog carrier is perfect for small dogs weighing no more than 20 pounds. With a reversible design for a versatile 2-way look, this sling carrier can be slung across your body for easy everyday adventures with your 4-legged friend.

Featuring a collar clip to prevent your pooch from jumping out and an air mesh to stop your dog from accidental falls, this pet sling comes complete with a storage pocket for keeping your phone, keys, and other essentials close at hand.

Keep your fur baby feeling safe with this super-secure sling bag, and with an adjustable and padded shoulder strap, soft fabric design, and machine washable fabric, this is a practical and comfortable carry bag for both pooches and their owners.

What We Like

  • Has a collar clip to prevent your pet from falling out

What We Don’t Like

  • Needs adjusting regularly

8. Best Pet Carrier for Airline Travel

PETCIOUS Airline Approved Pet Carrier
This bag can also double as a pet tent for your dog. As a pet tote, it's compact, breathable, and comfortable. However, it also expands to add extra space for sleeping.

PETCIOUS Airline Approved Pet Carrier Backpack

If you want your pooch to take to the skies with you, this spacious and ergonomically designed pet carrier is suitable for use on most domestic airlines. With an impressive 12 inches of headroom for your 4-legged friend, this pet carrier will help to reduce anxiety and lower the risk of pain in the joints and spine for your dog while traveling.

Suitable for dogs weighing up to 15 pounds, this pet carrier has a top mesh design that increases ventilation for your pet, as well as a supersoft cushion on the bottom to support your pet’s abdomen and offer them a comfortable place to sleep.

With adjustable shoulder straps to let you find the most comfortable position to carry, this backpack is perfectly sized to fit under most airline seats, and the zipper and buckle system will keep your pet safely contained in transit.

What We Like

  • Can be carried multiple ways

What We Don’t Like

  • Only available in 1 size

9. Carrier for Longer Journeys

Cinf Backpack Adjustable Pet Front Cat Dog Carrier
819 Reviews
Cinf Backpack Adjustable Pet Front Cat Dog Carrier
Since this pet carrier is built like a backpack, it has 2 straps which are both cushioned to allow you comfort while you carry your pet. It's also cushioned inside as well.

Cinf Dog Carrier Bag Red-M Pet Carrier Backpack

Spacious enough to carry pets up to 15 pounds, this supercool carry bag is perfect for small pets who want to travel in style. Made from breathable mesh and polyester fabric, this supercute, soft body carrier comes in a selection of colors to suit your style.

With 2 mesh side panels, your pooch will be able to stay cool, and with the ability to poke their head out to see where you are going, this is a great way to let your little dog explore the world around them. With a hook-and-loop zipper design, you can slide your pet in easily, and the chest strap design allows you to hold your fur baby tight.

Adjustable shoulder straps make light work for longer journeys, and the compact and sturdy dimensions ensure that your pet can be held close to your heart at all times.

What We Like

  • Has side pockets to stash your essentials

What We Don’t Like

  • The front material isn’t sturdy

10. Storage Backpack and Carrier

WOYYHO Pet Dog Carrier Backpack
This bag can fit small dogs perfectly, but it's still adjustable. There's a drawstring opening to keep your pet from getting out easily. It's also made of mesh and sponge-like fabric.

WOYYHO Pet Dog Carrier

Let your pooch poke their head out to see what’s occurring with this awesome pet carrier for smaller breeds. Suitable for dogs weighing up to 10 pounds, this doggy backpack comes with adjustable shoulder and chest straps to ensure a comfortable carry at all times.

Made from breathable mesh and polyester fiber, this supercute carry bag has a cool adjustable neck hole window design that allows your dog to communicate with you, and the removable bottom plate ensures that they remain comfortable while being carried. Solid bottom covers prevent sagging during use, and the soft cushions can be washed between outings.

With a built-in security leash to clamp onto your pet’s collar, this carrier is incredibly safe and secure, and the side and front pockets offer useful extra storage space for dog bowls, bottles, toys, poop bags, and even your own essentials to ensure that you and your best friend are always comfortable.

What We Like

  • Can be worn as a front or back carrier

What We Don’t Like

  • Can get a little warm inside

Final Thoughts

Be braver and go further with your 4-legged friend with these awesome dog carriers designed to suit small to medium breeds. Let them peek over your shoulder or face out into the world while you walk, and offer them the safety, protection, and comfort that they need while you enjoy the outdoor activities that you love.

Perfect for dogs with limited mobility, reduced stamina, or increased anxiety, these carriers are perfect for use on off-road adventures or everyday activities and allow you and your furry friend to enjoy the world without limits.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are dog carrier backpacks safe?

Dog carrier backpacks come in all types of designs, but most are designed with comfort and safety. They may include features such as reinforced bottoms, ventilation windows, and security locks.

What are the best dog backpack carriers?

There are many great dog carrier backpack brands on the market, such as K9, Pawaboo, PetAmi, Petcious, and Pecute. Depending on your dog, one of these brands will have the best dog carrier backpack for you and your pooch.

Do dogs like being carried?

Dogs can have different feelings about being carried. Some may enjoy being snug in a backpack, while others will have anxiety over being in a carrier. If your dog has never been in a backpack before, it is best to start easy with short sessions and give lots of treats and encouragement.

Can I turn my backpack into a dog carrier?

While it is possible to turn a regular backpack into a carrier, it is best to buy a backpack made specifically for dogs. They will have design features that maximize your dog’s safety and comfort.

About Amar Hussain

Amar is an avid traveler and tester of products. He has spent the last 13 years traveling all 7 continents and has put the products to the test on each of them. He has contributed to publications including Forbes, the Huffington Post, and more.


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