Best Dog Carrier Backpacks – Review & Guide

No dog should be left behind. Whether you’re going for a walk around the park or taking a plane around the world. There is a dog carrying backpack for all your travel plans. But where to start?

It’s easy to get lost in all the different styles and features. You should consider features like whether this backpack will need to be TSA approved, has extra shoulder padding or enough pockets for snacks (for you and your dog).

But most importantly: Will your dog fit comfortably?

Before buying the first dog carrier backpack that you see, consider familiarizing yourself with all the different features and styles. Each style needs different measurements, so measure twice if you need to.

Dog Carrier Backpacks Reviews


Whizzotech makes a legs out style carrier allowing your dog to see everything as you do. This carrier is worn on the front of your body with your pup’s legs to hang freely. The carrier is super lightweight, making it great for hiking or long walks.

Its comfortable design is completely adjustable so your dog can fit snug against your chest. There are zippers on each side of the carrier to easily zip your dog into place and the top is equipped with adjustable velcro straps to prevent your pup from jumping out.

Each bag comes with mesh lining to keep your dog cool on those warm summer hikes. The safety strap attaches to their collar, which also keeps your dog safely secured in the carrier.

This bag is best used for things like hiking, biking and walking around town. Make sure you get proper, accurate measurements of around the dog’s chest and the length of their body.


  • The quality of fabric is great
  • The extra shoulder padding makes it very comfortable for walking
  • Lightweight design


  • Your dog may not feel safe and supported when hanging in the carrier
  • The straps may be too long for your body type

Pet Gear I-GO2 Roller Backpack

The Pet Gear I-G02 Roller Backpack can be worn as a backpack or pulled along behind you at the airport. When you collapse its telescoping handle, the carrier can fit comfortably under a plane seat. This dog carrier is airline approved, making it great for all sorts of travel.

Although a safety strap is provided, your dog will be completely encapsulated inside the carrier. The mesh lining provides a large window and a lot of much needed ventilation when traveling. The design is great for being placed on the train seat beside you or buckled into the passenger seat of a car.

The bottom is lined with padding to ensure your dog is comfortable. The padding can be removed to wash in case of an accident. This spacious carrier will allow your dog to turn completely around and sleep off some jet lag.

This roller backpack has some extra pockets. Which is great for treats, snacks, car keys and other traveling essentials.


  • The fabric is made of durable material, which is helpful when traveling in crowded places
  • This carrier holds up to 25 pounds
  • Can be used 5 different ways


  • The zippers may need some reinforcement. There is a potential, with enough pressure the zippers will break.
  • A waist strap is needed, especially when holding a dog up to 25 pounds. The extra support is needed to manage the extra weight
  • Carrier will not stay upright when the telescoping handle is out.

K9 Sport Sack

The K9 Sport Sack is a front facing backpack. The pack is worn on your back while your dog is facing towards you to look over your shoulder.

This sack has 5 different failsafe safety features to ensure your dog’s protection. No wonder its veterinarian approved!  There is a tethered leash clip and zipper loops so your pup can’t fall or hop out. Waist and chest straps for your comfort and side cinching straps for your pup. Lastly, the mesh sides ensure your dog won’t overheat on your adventure.

The storage bags, used for treats, snacks and everything else are detachable for when they’re not needed. The carrier’s dual sided pockets are adjustable and can carry items like water bottles or anything else you might need on your hike.

The back of the carrier is padded for you and your dog’s comfort, which is very much needed since some models can hold up to 40 pounds. The front leg holes are lined with neoprene fabric.


  • The lightweight design is ideal for hiking, cycling and other types of travel, like walking around town.
  • The shoulder straps are elastic and adjustable
  • There are five different safety features and it’s veterinarian approved
  • Front facing backpack design can help with anxiety


  • Pack is not waterproof and the fabric may bleed when wet.
  • Between your body heat and your dog’s, this backpack becomes hot.

PetAmi Premium

The PetAmi Premium is a fully enclosed backpack for your small dog. Equipped with multiple mesh windows, your dog can see the world from your back.

The base of this carrier is lined with Sherpa bedding, making it nice to lay down for a nap. The bedding is also removable. The bottom is sturdy which keeps your puppy from sagging in the carrier.

This backpack comes with both a chest strap and a waist strap. The straps provide relief to your back while walking and helps properly support your dog by keeping them upright.

Your pup can be loaded into the top or front of the carrier. The top flap can be pulled up, allowing the puppy inside to poke his head up through the top to bark “Hello”.


  • Comes with a collapsible bowl as a bonus.
  • The bottom is sturdy and comes with removable Sherpa bedding. A well supported dog is a happy dog.
  • Spacious enough for your dog to sit upright or lay down.


  • The safety tether is short. Your dog may become uncomfortable if their collar is being pulled too tightly.
  • Although the bottom is sturdy, the top of the carrier collapses down onto smaller dogs.

Outward Hound PoochPouch

The Outward Hound backpack is a front carry dog carrier.  The one pocket design is all about simplicity. Just you and your dog.

It comes with mesh lining to help keep your pup cool. The fabric surrounding the lining is water resistant.  That way, your pup can stay dry, even when it’s raining.

There is an extra storage pocket on the front which is great for all your traveling needs. It can hold small things like poop bags and car keys. Your puppy will have their head out of the carrier, while their body is safely hugged inside its apple shape. The head hole has a pull cord that fits snug to you dog’s chest, deterring them from hopping put.

The waist belt helps you comfortably carry a dog weighing up to 20 pounds. When measuring your dog, make sure they are in a seated position on the floor. When inside the carrier they will remain in a naturally seated position.


  • This front carrying backpack comes in two sizes and two colors.
  • It’s made from nylon; a water resistant fabric that can help to contain an accident in case your puppy becomes too excited.


  • This pack may run smaller than what is advertised. Make sure you take accurate measurements and check them against the size chart.
  • This pack is not airline approved if you intend on traveling.


The Kurgo dog carrier has the qualities of a great camping, hiking and all around durable outdoor bag. It fits like a standard backpack with your dog sitting inside with their head on the outside looking around.  It comes with wide, stow away straps for when they are not in use. These wide straps were designed to make this carrier super comfortable.

The bottom padding is waterproof and removable. If your puppy has an accident, it will protect your clothes, car or rug until you can get your pup to the bathroom. In case of an accident, the padding is machine washable. As if that’s not enough, the top is water AND stain resistant.

Not only are there travel pockets and water bottle pockets, but it also comes with a laptop sleeve. This makes traveling a lot easier in terms of convenience. The laptop sleeve holds up to a 15” laptop.

When you close that head window, this pack is ready for takeoff. It’s also TSA approved. Good thing it has durable zippers to keep your dog secured in place.


  • Built with features for any type of travel or camping. Including lightweight design, waterproof fabric and good quality zippers.
  • Lifetime warranty.
  • TSA approved.


  • Removable pad in the bottom of the backpack has a large piece of durable cardboard as the sturdy base.
  • There is only one size option.


The Petsfit large expandable pet backpack carrier has a pretty unique feature. It’s already spacious with enough room for your dog to lay down. The back of the pack can be expanded out to double your dog’s carrier space, giving them room to stretch their legs after a nap.

The carrier is almost entirely constructed of mesh, giving it the ultimate amount of ventilation. Of course, you can always open the front or back entry ways if you needed more airflow.

There is a fleece pad along the bottom of the carrier. This pad is removable and it is possible to take it apart. The zipper on the side allows you to take out the base reinforcement for easy cleaning.

The shoulder pads were made with extra padding. The wide shoulder pads and added waist belt create a more comfortable traveling experience.


  • The carrier is almost entirely constructed of mesh, giving it the ultimate amount of ventilation.
  • Backpack can also fit snuggly in the front seat of your car
  • Holds up to 18 pounds.


  • Safety tether may be too long, making it possible for your dog to get out of the carrier.
  • As a mostly mesh carrier, you dog would have little protection from the weather.


This Pawfect design is a fully enclosed carrier backpack, making it airline approved. This backpack carrier is meant to fit on your back like a standard backpack.

Although, fully enclosed it has large mesh windows, which also include two circle windows for your pet to peek out. The small circle widows are located on either side. Each side also has a small pocket; perfect for treats and doggie bags.

This carrier is very compact and can comfortably hold a dog up to 10 pounds. Your small pup can be loaded into the carrier from the front or top zippered flap.

The bottom fleece pad is removable, which is great since it comes with two! Having two pads ensures you’re never without one, even if you need to throw a soiled pad in the washing machine.


  • This backpack has a small, compact design
  • Multiple different mesh windows allow your pet to look outside and provide more than a sufficient amount of airflow.
  • Extra removable fleece pad.


  • There is no strap on the top of the carrier. When the backpack is stowed away under an airline seat, a top strap would make it easier to pull the carrier out.
  • Only available in one size.


This front carrying dog backpack has a pocket! The COODIA is carried on the front of you body, while your dog’s limbs hang freely. In the center of the harness is a small pocket, great for a credit card or some treats.

There are zippers located on either side for an easy in, easy out functionality. The sides are a mesh fabric for ventilation and the back has a hole for your pups tail.

The dog carrier comes with wide adjustable straps. You also have the option of wearing the straps two ways. The straps can operate as a regular backpack would but with a buckled strap across your upper back for support or the straps can also be cross strapped in an X. Both ways prevent the straps from falling off your shoulders and gives you more options for finding a comfortable fit.

Most carriers come in a few basic, solid colors. This carrier comes in lots of different colors and lots of fun patterns.


  • The entire carrier weighs less than 9 oz
  • Straps can be worn multiple different ways for comfort
  • Comes in lots of different colors and patterns


  • If your pup has long hair, don’t get it caught in the zippers!
  • Zippers may be of poor quality, allowing your pup to escape or fall out.


The Pawaboo is an adjustable, easy to use dog carrier backpack. This pack has a legs out design that is worn on the front of your body. That way, your puppy won’t miss a beat.

The entire front is a mesh material, which will prevent your dog from potentially getting overheated. It has hook and loop zippers to hold your pup in place.

The shoulder straps have been equipped with extra padding. Go ahead and extend your walk, you don’t have to worry about the straps digging into your shoulders. The straps are also reflective in case you’re a night walker.

When measuring your pup, pay close attention to the circumference of their legs. You don’t want to cut off circulation in your pup’s legs. You’ll need to measure from the chest to the bottom, the space between the front and back legs and the girth of their chest.


  • Has a 15lb capacity
  • Comes in lots of colors and patterns
  • Thick reflective shoulder pads for increased comfort and safety.


  • There are no pockets, so you’ll need to make sure you can carrier everything else you may need.
  • Zippers do not lock at the top and could come undone as you walk

5 Most Commonly Asked Questions About Dog Carrier Backpacks

Will my dog fit in the backpack carrier?

Backpacks come in all shapes and sizes, just like our dogs. So measuring your pup is super important. Pay special attention to the instructions listed for the dog carrier you’ve been eyeballing. Most carriers instruct you to measure from the base of the tail to the dogs collar. You should also find your dog’s weight.

Here’s a simple trick to see if your dog will sit comfortably in the bottom of a carrier. Fold a towel to the size specified in the dimensions section of the description. Place the towel on the floor. See if your pup can comfortably sit on the towel.

Where can I buy a Backpack carrier for my dog?

You can’t have what you can’t find! There are many online stores where you can buy a backpack carrier. Just search for “Dog Carrier Backpacks” and dozens of options will come up.

Your local pet store will also have some in stock. Do some research on what backpack is right for you. You can even call ahead to see if they have what your looking for.

My dog doesn’t like the carrier. Help!

Your dog doesn’t like the carrier? Don’t return it just yet! Some dogs are more sensitive to smells or nervous around new things. Try these small steps:

  • Place the carrier on the floor so your dog can get used to the way is smells or sounds when its touched
  • Encourage your pup with treats and lots of love
  • Place treats inside the carrier
  • Zip or pull the carrier up around their body, as opposed to lifting them into the carrier. This should help them feel more stable
  • Once inside, lift the carrier slowly to your body. Slip them some more “good dog” treats.

Practice makes perfect, so be patient and don’t give up.

Can you bring the carrier on a plane?

Yes! Some carriers are even TSA certified.

But before you pack your precious cargo, look up the rules and regulations of the airline you’re traveling on. Some have different guidelines. For example, some airlines mandate that your carrier be a certain size or completely enclosed. You don’t want to be stranded at the airport.

Is my dog safe in a carrier backpack?

Of course!

All backpack carriers come with a tethered leash to prevent your dog from jumping or falling out of their carrier. Review the safety features of the carrier you’re interested in and make sure you follow the instructions. Some carriers even come with reflective tape on the straps in case you ever find yourself walking at night.

Your dog should fit snuggly in any carrier where their legs hang, but it shouldn’t be so tight it cuts off their circulation. Measure your dog ahead of time to ensure you have the correct fit for any type of backpack carrier you buy. If your dog doesn’t fit properly in the carrier when it arrives, exchange it for a different size.

Don’t use any backpack you bought that comes damaged or ripped. Make sure the seems are not damaged in any way and the zippers are working properly.

Follow all the instructions that come with the carrier and reach out to the manufacturer if you have any unanswered questions.

Types of Dog Carrier Backpacks

There are several different types of dog carrier backpacks.

  • Front-Facing
  • Sack-like, with a head peeking hole
  • Enclosed

Each are used for slightly different things.

A front-facing, legs out carrier is worn on the front of your body, with your dog’s limbs free hanging from little arm holes, similar to a baby carrier. This style is usually very lightweight, with few to no pockets. They are most often used for day to day activities.

The sack-like carrier is typically lightweight and is work on the back, although you can wear it on the font of your body. Depending on the style your dog can look out to the world or over your shoulder.  They are in a sitting position with their head poking out of the top. They usually have a few soft-shelled pockets on the outside for smaller items such as poop bags and car keys.

You could also get a completely enclosed carrier. Most backpack carriers that are completely enclosed give you the option to open a top flap. This allows your dog to poke their head through and see what’s going on. These types of backpacks are typically airline approved!!

You should also consider what you will be using the carrier for:

  • Super lightweight packs with few to no pockets are used for everyday adventures and leisurely walks.
  • Lightweight but durable packs are used for hiking, camping and cycling.
  • The more durable and roomy backpacks are best used for travel. They can slide under a plane seat or sit on the train next to you.

How to Select the Right Dog Carrier Backpack?

First things first. What you’ll be doing with the dog carrier is a huge factor. Are you hiking all day, or will you be flying through the night? Maybe both? Once you’ve figure out the type of carrier you need, you can narrow down the desired features to find the perfect fit.

Here are a few things to consider when trying to decide which backpack is right for your dog.

  • Is your dog anxious in new places? Being able to see you and being in close contact with you, could ease your dog’s anxiety. Consider finding a front facing backpack worn on the back, so your nervous pup can look over your shoulder and fell close to you.
  • Does your dog like to wiggle about or maybe prefers not to be touched? A fully enclosed carrier might be the best fit for you. With mesh windows, enclosed carriers allow your dog to see the world from the safety of your backpack.
  • Maybe your dog likes to take the whole world in at once. A front facing, legs outs backpack worn on your front gives them the ability to see everything as you do. Prefer the backpack on your back? With a sack like, head out design, they can take in all the smells with their body safely tucked inside the carrier.
  • When traveling long distances or in crowded places, consider getting a more durable carrier. Travel carriers are often TSA certified and some backpacks even come with wheels!

Dog Backpack Carrier Tips

  • Need a weight, but your puppy won’t stay on the scale? Weigh yourself, then weigh yourself again holding your dog. Subtract the two numbers to find your dogs weight. Although it may not be exact, it will get you in the ballpark.
  • Go for a test run prior to taking your new backpack out on a long adventure. Walk, ride or hike for about 15mins to see if you and your dog are comfortable.
  • When measuring your dog, a soft, flexible, fabric measuring tape will get you a more accurate reading than a standard measuring tape. The fabric measuring tape will allow you to follow the curve of your puppy’s spine.
  • Don’t forget a leash! Especially on long walks, eventually you’ll have to stop for a bathroom break. The lightweight day to day carriers have small pockets, (if any at all!) So make sure you have room for all the things you really need.
  • If it’s a hot summer day, odds are your dog is warm in their carrier. You can put ice packs in the side pockets to help cool them down. No ice pack? No, problem. Freeze water bottles the night before you plan your summer hike and use them instead. It’ll be an added bonus when you have cold fresh water.

Not sure how to measure your dog? Here’s a video to help.


Each style has its pros and cons, whether you want a legs out front pack or an enclosed backpack carrier for travel.

Make sure you measure your dog correctly before buying anything. If your pup is uncomfortable, your trip will not be much fun, that is, if you even make it out the door.

Have you had any experience buying a dog carrier backpack? Was there anything you wish you knew beforehand? Let me know in the comments!

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