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Last updated: 25 Jun 2020

The Best Dog Backpack Carriers (Review) 2020

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Destin Benoit
Published 11:08 am

Dog backpack carriers offer great carriage convenience for both you and your canine companion when you’re on the move. They allow you great freedom of movement while keeping your pup comfortable and secure against your chest or back. Ideal for everyday errands like shopping or biking, as well as hiking and off-road adventures, these convenient carriers are guaranteed to make any pet parent’s life easier. To help you find the right pet backpack carrier for your pooch, we’ve reviewed dozens of different models, highlighting some of the best ones down below. We’ve also created a comprehensive buyer’s guide for you, so read on!

The Best Dog Backpack Carrier

1

PetAmi Deluxe Dog Carrier Backpack
PetAmi Deluxe Dog Backpack Carrier

The PetAmi Deluxe Pet Carrier backpack for Small Cats and Dogs is the go-to carrier for puppies. It’s designed to deliver three major things; comfort, safety, and convenience. The Carrier itself is made from a 600D high-quality polyester that promises durability overtime. It has an all-round ventilated design that allows adequate breathability when the little one is placed inside. In its extra-comfortable interior, the bedding is lined with cozy Sherpa material that’s perfect for sleeping.

There’s a zippered mesh window that allows pups to stick their cute heads out taking in the sights and happenings around them. The bag is well-structured and contoured to prevent extreme sagging so it’s easy to carry; the firm yet soft sides are equally designed to prevent the walls from collapsing on your pet. For superior comfort, great ventilation and a sturdy bag that will adequately transport your canine friend, the PetAmi is a sure bet.

Great fit for cats and small dogs

Firm, well-structured walls

Breathable and well-ventilated design

Well padded, cozy Sherpa lined bedding

Safety straps that prevent escape

Padded straps for comfort

Front pocket to store pet supplies

Available in 9 colors

Specification:
  • Brand: PetAmi
  • Weight: 3.5 pounds

2

Pet Gear I GO2 Roller Dog Backpack
Pet Gear I-GO2 Roller Backpack

There’s no doubt that Pet Gear’s I-GO2 Backpack for Cats and Dogs is one of the best pet backpack carriers, if not the best, in the world. The ingenious design is inherently grounded in its versatility. Just imagine having the full functionalities of 5 totally different pet carrier systems all in one elegant and nifty design. You get a traditional pet carrier, thanks to the addition of a carry handle on top. Interestingly, this can also serve as a tote bag for your beloved pet. The I-GO2 also serves as a comfortable backpack thanks to its fully padded shoulder straps. It is a roller bag made possible by three things: the fully retractable telescoping handle which we normally associate with travel luggage, the two roller wheels which can also be covered easily when not in use, and the dual legs that help the I-GO2 to be propped easily on its own. And lastly, the model can be easily placed on your car seat and you’ve got an instant car seat for dogs.

Most pet parents use the I-GO2 as a roller since it is a lot more convenient to be tugging along this contraption like you would any ordinary travel luggage. The backpack carrier works exceptionally well, too. It’s quite comfy for your pet as it comes complete with breathable mesh panels and a soft and comfy fleece liner. For all its features and design innovations, it is not surprising why many pet parents love the I-GO2.

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Pet carrier, backpack, tote bag, roller bag, and car seat all rolled into 1

Breathable mesh fabric panel

Comfortable fleece liner

Fully secure telescoping handle

Side storage compartments

Dual roller wheels with dual stand

Pet tether inside

Specification:
  • Brand: Pet Gear
  • Model: PG1280BK
  • Weight: 6.6 pounds

3

Outward Hound PoochPouch Front Carrier For Dogs
Outward Hound PoochPouch Front Carrier For Dogs

Your little pooch may have the bones and tendons to walk by themselves, but sometimes the rush of traveling, hiking or mountain climbing has people looking for other options. The Outward Hound PoochPouch model is an adequate way to take your dog with you on practically every exciting trip and adventure. It’s made with durable water-resistant nylon fabric that is set to last for the long haul. Designed to accommodate pets in a seated position, the carrier clings safely to their form with necessary security harnesses holding them conveniently in place.

With your hands-free from constantly tugging or carrying them along, other things can be focused on. This bag can actually accommodate small dogs and a good range of medium-sized dogs weighing below or exactly 20lbs. Importantly, the sides have been designed to provide adequate ventilation even when the top is open. For more snugly and comfy travels, this carrier is definitely a steal. 

Front zip pocket for extra dog treats

Drawstring for extra protection

Light mesh sidings provide ventilation

Water-resistant nylon fabric

Interior safety clip

Available in 3 sizes

Snug fit for enhanced safety

Specification:
  • Brand: Outward Hound
  • Model: 21008
  • Weight: 0.16 ounces

4

CozyCabin’s Dog Carrier Backpack is a fashionable and comfortable pup backpack carrier. It comes with wide and fully padded shoulder straps, making it extra-comfy and easy to carry. From the back, it looks like the backpack we use every day. Upfront, the CozyCabin really looks nothing like a backpack since it comes with a front hole. This is where your pet’s head will be sticking out.

It comes with a collar hook attachment so you need not worry about your dog breaking free. It’s got pockets and air mesh panels, too. The bottom panel may be on the stiffer side though, so you might want to put a towel or a thin doggie bedding before placing your pet inside. It’s an adorable, super-convenient pet bag nonetheless.

Constructed of durable and sturdy leather and canvas materials

Fully adjustable front hole

Built-in storage compartment for dog food and toys

Comfortable air mesh panels

Built-in dog collar hook attachment

Fully padded shoulder straps with easy-snap buckles

Specification:
  • Brand: CozyCabin
  • Weight: 14.4 ounces

5

This extra breathable and see-through pet carrier is the perfect housing for squirmish dogs that like to see everything around them. The front and side walls are made with a soft and durable mesh that allows enough ventilation flow through the carrier. This makes transporting them for longer time periods a breeze, as there’s enough air seeping through to keep their skin cool and refreshed. The top cover can be rolled down allowing pets to pop their heads out and take in all the sights and happenings around them.

There are three zippered openings where small pets can be placed through; both the left and right doors and the top window. With enough room to accommodate practically any small dog, this well-structured, high quality safety nest is sure to keep them securely tucked away when you’re on the move. For added security, both chest straps and comfy shoulder straps are included to evenly distribute weight and keep the carrier from slipping. The Texsens Innovative Traveler Bubble Backpack Pet Carrier is definitely a durable and stylish choice for your deserving pet.

17 pounds of weight capacity

PVC mesh design

Replaceable cozy mat

Scratch-resistant

Sturdy and durable

Non-collapsible walls

Cleans easily

Comfortable chest and shoulder straps

Specification:
  • Brand: Texsens
  • Weight: 2.2 pounds

6

The Ytonet Dog Backpack Pet Carrier Bag is that bag you’d want to pull up with to the vet, or during travels. It doesn’t just look classy, but it also has the features to add functionality to its attractive looks. That’s not the only thing you’d have to boast about this bag; this pet carrier is also made with eco-friendly polyester material.

We always feel better when we use products that are environmentally friendly and pose less harm to the eco-system. While most parts of the bag are made with reinforced polyester walls that are designed to keep their form, there are four mesh windows. These windows are strategically placed to allow enough ventilation through the corners of the carrier. There are two main entrances and openings that allow pets to easily stick their heads out to get first-hand fresh air, catch a treat or simply take in the sights. The included side pockets also help you store dog treats and necessities easily while enjoying a hands-free, hassle-free trip.

Eco-friendly polyester design

Scratch-resistant

Plenty of room for small animals

Collapsible top pad

Firm un-collapsible walls

Leash tether to prevent escape

Removable and washable soft pad

Foldable form for easy storage

Specification:
  • Brand: Ytonet
  • Weight: 2.6 pounds

7

Looking for something more snugly? The PAWABOO Pet Carrier Backpack Adjustable Pet Front Carrier will have your pup close to you at all times. With a clear resemblance to a baby carrier, the thoughtful design will have their head, legs, and tail out for free and easy movement. The rest of their body will be comfortably surrounded by a breathable mesh and polyester combo that keeps them nice and cool. The sleek form provides easy access to the pooch so you never miss out on snuggle time.

Designed with elastic openings, you can place your small dog in with ease and be assured they will enjoy optimal comfort throughout. To enhance security when on the move, an adequate hook and loop system inclusive of zippers keeps the carrier snug and conveniently enclosed. With the versatile option of wearing this carrier in front or at the back, the required adjustable straps are provided with quick-release buckles that make installation quite easy.

Adjustable straps and clips

Allows a more intimate carriage

Legs and tail-out design

Easy installation

Elastic openings

Quick-release buckles

Hands-free movement

Made from polyester fiber with mesh sides

Sponge padding for enhanced comfort 

Specification:
  • Brand: PAWABOO
  • Model: FBA_WXBB-9
  • Weight: 6.7 ounces

8

With the stylish vibe of a business carry-on, Pawfect’s pet carrier will not look out of place in any airport lounge. Ideal for small dogs or toy breeds, this sturdy soft carrier is made from reinforced polyester, with claw resistant mesh windows and is available in a choice of four colors. The soft sides are rigid enough to keep the carrier’s shape and your pup protected but will squish down to safely fit under your plane seat. The outer is reinforced for extra protection and your pet will have plenty of fresh air, thanks to the mesh panels on the top and sides, with a nice large front window so he can keep a look-out. Inside your little dog will travel in super comfort, with a soft and hand washable fleece pad, plus one as spare. This soft pet carrier is a tough cookie and gives you that extra peace of mind when traveling with your pooch, from mini buckles to secure the zipper and side-loading doors to the seatbelt attachments and padded carry strap. Approved by all the major airlines, the Pawfect Pet Carrier is a great buy for your canine mini.

Made from reinforced polyester

Claw-resistant mesh windows

Two side entry doors and buckle-secured zippers

Two removable, washable fleece pads

Airline approved and fits easily under your plane seat

For small pets and toy breeds

Specification:
  • Brand: Pawfect Pets
  • Weight: 2.7 pounds

9

Never leave your lovesick pooch home alone again, let them come along on the K9 Sport Sack Dog Carrier Backpack. This model comes in three different sizes to suit small to medium-sized dogs. It’s a cool, safe and snugly way to wear your pet when going hiking, shopping, cycling or traveling. A range of things from disability, age, or ailments could keep your dog from trodding along on their own. The carrier is forward-facing to keep them snuggled on your back all trip long ensuring they feel safe, warm and loved.

It’s designed with mesh sides that allow enough ventilation through the sack and moisture-wicking shoulder straps suitable for intense outdoor activities or long walks. For added convenience, this sack bag sports adjustable side pockets that can adequately hold water bottles and other relatively sized items. With strategically placed safety buckles and straps, this high quality sack carrier will securely transport your furry companion and keep them from missing out on daily experiences they can share with you.

Available in 5 different colors

Front-facing backpack

Breathable cooling side panels

Dual side pockets

Moisture-wicking shoulder straps

Sternum strap clip whistle

Veterinarian approved

Up to 30lbs weight capacity

Specification:
  • Brand: K9 Sport Sack
  • Weight: 14.4 ounces

10

One of the great things about the Lenic Pack Pet Carrier Backpack is that it can be placed either in front of the body or at the back. This makes it ideal for backpackers who would like to carry their gear on the back and place their pet in front. The Lenis is also one of the most stylish in this list especially when you consider its checkered stitching. It can also be used as an adorable dog crate. One of the downsides to the Lenis is that its closure is made from Velcro and not the conventional zipper.

While we don’t have any issues with this, it may be a concern for pet parents who have hyperactive dogs. The shoulder straps are also a bit on the narrower side so you’ll feel more of the weight of your canine friend. Nonetheless, the Lenis is still a commendable pup backpack carrier you’ll never go tired of using especially with an equally lovable dog inside.

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Nylon and microfiber fabric construction

Back- or front- position design

Stylish design in checkered stitch finish

Fully adjustable straps

Doubles as a comfy pet crate

Specification:
  • Brand: Petego
  • Model: Lenis Pack L
  • Weight: 3.5 pounds

Best Pet Carrier Buying Guide & FAQ

Buying the right pet carrier can be intimidating since you’re actually looking at a cross between a traditional backpack and a dog travel crate. The idea, of course, is to choose one that is of the perfect size for your pet. However, there are also certain features that you really have to include in your shortlist of dog carrier backpacks. Don’t know what we’re talking about? Well, read on.

carry a dog

How to Measure Your Dog for a Backpack

One of the most important aspects of buying the perfect dog carrier backpack is getting the right size. Most manufacturers of pet backpacks already provide the dimensions of their products that usually take into consideration the length and height of dogs. However, it is still important that you know how to measure your dog for a backpack.

To obtain their length, place a tailor’s tape measure along your dog’s back with one end of the tape measure on the base of your dog’s neck. Stretch the tape measure up to the base of their tail. Then, write the measurements down.

To get the height of your pet, place one end of the tape measure on the floor and extend it all the way to the level on top of your dog’s shoulders. Do this while your pet is standing on all fours.

In both height and length measurements give an additional allowance of about 3 to 4 inches so that your pet will be comfy inside the backpack carrier.

How to Choose the Right Dog Carrier

Knowing the size of your dog can help you choose the right dog carrier. However, this is not the only thing you have to keep in mind because there are other things that need to be considered. Here are some factors you need to consider when choosing the right dog carrier backpack .

  • Comfort

Features that provide exceptional comfort for your pet should always be considered. Just like buying a pet crate, the dog carrier backpack should also not feel like a prison for your pet. In fact, it should feel like an extension of their home. As such, it should be comfortable as possible. Features you may want to look for include soft and padded lining, mesh window panels, and the like.

  • Versatility

If you can use the dog carrier backpack in other ways aside from being a dog carrier, then you’ve hit the jackpot. This is also one of the fundamental reasons why the I-GO2 is considered one of the best models since it allows you extended versatility in its use. Of course, if you need something more straightforward, then you have even more options.

  • Lightweight

Your dog is already quite a bunch. If the backpack itself is already heavy, you’re going to burden yourself carrying both the backpack and your dog. So make sure you understand the different lightweight materials used in bag construction.

  • Durability

It’s actually a no-brainer that you choose a dog carrier backpack that your dog can use until it reaches its golden years. Your dog won’t be getting any bigger especially if it has already attained its breed standard size. So make sure the seams are double-stitched at the very least and that the panels are made of sturdy materials.

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Desirable Features of a Pet Backpack

To help you narrow down your choices some more, here are some of the desirable features that you might want to have in a pet backpack.

  • Padded shoulder straps

This is a must especially if you are going to carry your dog on your back the whole day. The wider and more padded the straps, the better they will be able to distribute the weight off of your shoulders.

  • Mesh panels

For your pet to be comfortable, the bag should have mesh panels. This is to allow for better air flow and ventilation for your dog.

  • Safety straps

You don’t want your pet to be bouncing around inside the pet backpack as you walk. Having a hook attachment for securing your pet’s collar should help make the ride more secure for your doggie.

  • Pockets

Traveling with your dog means bringing along some of its pet essentials like dog water bottle, doggie toys, and even dog food. Rather than packing all of these inside your own bag, having storage pockets on the dog carrier backpack means you can free your bag’s pockets for your own stuff.

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  • Built-in wheels

It is okay to carry your dog on your back for couple of hours. But if you’re looking at extended carriage times, you should go for a bag that you can easily turn into a trolley. This should come in handy in certain places like airports, malls, and so on.

Traveling with pets is one of the most enriching experiences any pet parent can ever have. Dog carrier backpacks provide exceptional convenience when carrying dogs over long distances or for exceptionally long periods of time. It is crucial to pick the right size of pet backpack carrier before you start considering the other factors in your buying decision though. And with these 5 dog carrier backpacks we’ve shared with you, you have a heads-up on what to look for.

man and dog on bike

Best Dog Carrier Backpacks FAQ:

Q: What is a dog backpack and how does it work?

A: Dog backpacks allow you to carry small pets on your back while hiking, traveling, shopping, cycling, and the likes. They feature mesh designs that keep the carrier well ventilated and breathable. The backpack offers shoulder straps and other safety straps with a secure fit that can be worn mostly around the chest to keep the carrier in place.

Q: Are dog dog carrier backpacks safe?

A: a good backpack that is well structured, breathable and with the necessary safety straps is definitely safe. As pet owners, however, it is best to ensure the right size and weight is applied when picking out a pet carrier.

Q: Does a dog carrier count as a carry on?

A: Personal items should be able to fit under the seat of an airplane to qualify as one. Most dog carriers are portable enough to do this, and therefore, considered as a personal item. However, there are size limits with every airline, so it’s important to check with the airline first instead of relying on assumptions.

Destin Benoit
Destin Benoit
A former Special Forces Canine Handler, Destin Benoit has extensive knowledge and experience with military canine training. He has worked with multiple military dogs in the most stressful places and situations in the world. Currently, Destin is a SOC Canine Handler, aiding in the protection of the US diplomats abroad.
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