Dog Backpack Feature
When I decided that my pooch should start carrying
her own gear, I wanted to do my homework before I decided on a backpack. No point in
letting all that work fall by the wayside, so I have compiled my findings and presented
them in this document.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Please don't skip this section.
It details important introductory material: what features I was looking for, what we're
using the pack for, the size of my dog, where I found the packs, etc.
Options: Analysis of the
design options and features to consider when choosing a pack.
I have divided the packs into five rather
arbitrary categories, although there is quite a bit of overlap.
Specs: Complete description (with
pictures) of all the data I gathered on each of the packs I researched. Within
categories, they are listed alphabetically by manufacturer or brand name.
NOTE: Features, Specs and Colors are
taken from manufacturers publications and my observations. If I actually touched the bag,
I have included my Personal Impressions, and in most cases, photos. If Feedback is listed,
it has come from members of the Agile Dogs mailing list unless otherwise stated. Prices
quoted are retail - where I've found discount sources, I've noted them.
- Spec Summary:
For the Rugged and Casual packs, I have also
compiled a Feature Summary Table that compares the packs feature by feature.
Choices: My personal preferences
on which features to choose, along with comments and with rationale.
- Related Links:
Links to working
dog suppliers, books, and articles for more information on backpacking with
Based on my feature
choices, I've awarded several prizes. Note that I did not include any of the Specialty
packs - these need to be evaluated individually on the merits of the features that make
them unique. I did include my overall impressions in the Specs for each of the Specialty
packs I was able to get my hands on. I felt that I wanted a more sturdy and
versatile pack than the Specialty group offered, but please, don't overlook them in your
- MOST COMBAT READY: Wolf Packs Banzai This pack is feature-rich, bullet-proof, and has just
enough pockets to make me feel organized. Add the excellent user feedback and good
manufacturer support, and it places as my overall favorite.
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Granite Gear Ruff Rider No question here - at $48 for the high quality features,
long standing reputation and good manufacturer support offered by this pack, it is clearly
the best value in the bunch.
- IF PRICE IS NO OBJECT: Ruff Wear Palisades I love gadgets so this one appeals to me because of the
hydration system. And it is well constructed with good ergonomics and excellent features.
- BEST DAYHIKER: Wolf Packs Reflector High-end features in a mid-range, light-weight pack.
- BEST ENTRY-LEVEL PACK: Outdoor Products and Caribou Woofer (tie) If you don't know how your dog is going to take to wearing
a pack, and you don't want to spend a lot of money finding out, either of these will
probably do fine. Be sure to check the fit of the pack because both of these packs have
unusual saddle sizes.
And now the disclaimer: I am an outdoor enthusiast (albeit somewhat
casual), and a dog enthusiast as well. I have experience with outdoor product
construction, having designed and built motorcycle luggage with similar materials. But I
am not an expert in this field. The opinions I have presented in this document are based
solely on my critical observations and discussions with several manufacturers.
Furthermore, I did no actual testing of the products, either destructive testing or 'road'
testing on the dog. All analysis and fitting was done in the comfort of my living room.
Finally, and most importantly, I am not involved in canine medicine or bio-mechanics in
any way. I make no representations as an expert in the proper loading of dogs - use these
packs wisely, but use them at your (and your dog's) own risk.
If you have any questions, comments, corrections, or additions, please send e-mail to
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© Holly Newman 2000-2012. All rights reserved.
Photos for owner's use only. Reproduction or commercial use allowed only with permission
of both owner and photographer.
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