Dog Looking At Epic View From Top Mountain

Best Dog Harness For Hiking (2022 Edition)

• Updated on November 18, 2022

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  • Not a substitute for professional veterinary help.

If you are in a hurry and just want to find out what the best dog harness for hiking is, then we recommend the Outdward Hound Denver Urban Dog Pack as the best one.

Before you head up to the mountains, the first thing any experienced hiker does is make sure they’ve got all their gear. If you plan to bring your furry best friend along for the trip, that includes having a secure harness for your dog.

Not all dog harnesses can handle intense physical activities like hiking, and the last thing you need is for the harness to break halfway through the hike. The good news is that there’s no reason to guess which choices will work for you or your pup—we’ve compared the top harnesses on the market, and we’re ready to help you find the best dog hiking harness.

Our Top Choices

Our pick

If your dog has a lot of stuff you’ll need to take with you on-the-go, this harness might be worth looking into.

If your fur friend has a lot of stuff you’ll need to take with you on-the-go, the Outward Hound Denver Urban Dog Pack might be worth looking into. While you can store everything from treats to water bottles, the pack is lightweight, and it shouldn’t weigh your dog down too much. There are two large pockets to use as well as two smaller pockets that you can slip tinier items into.

The material of the pack is also a lot more breathable than some other options so that your dog can walk for miles without having to worry about chafing or too much sweating. Depending on how much control you’ll need over your pup while hiking, there’s a back and front leash attachment on the harness that you can switch between. If your dog starts pulling, you can use the leash clip on the front attachment, but switch to the back attachment for a more relaxed hike.

  • Pros
  • Breathable mesh provides better airflow
  • Two leash attachments that you can switch between
  • Contains four pockets for extra storage
  • Durable material
  • Lightweight and shouldn’t weigh your pup down too much
  • Cons
  • The material isn’t reflective
  • Doesn’t contain as many adjustable straps
  • Contains four pockets for extra storage
  • Durable material
  • Lightweight and shouldn’t weigh your pup down too much

Runner-up

Saddlebags can be very convenient, but you need to make sure they’re comfortable for your pet to wear for long hours.

If you’re only planning on hiking for an hour or two, you might not need all the heavy-duty harness and features that some of these recommendations offer. Instead, the RUFFWEAR Web Master Harness might be a perfect balance.

Not only does it contain adjustable belly straps to help you get the right fit, but even escape artists will have trouble trying to wriggle out of this harness. If you encounter another dog or your pup tries to run away, the reinforced handle allows you to easily steer your furry friend back onto the trail.

While the foam-padded straps can help prevent chafing, the durable material of the RUFFWEAR harness is also breathable, so your pup shouldn’t feel uncomfortable when wearing the harness.

  • Pros
  • Durable material is built-to-last
  • Foam-padded straps help prevent chafing and add more comfort while hiking
  • Five different adjustment points so that you can get the right fit
  • There’s reflective trim on the vest to help you spot your pet from a distance
  • Two sturdy attachment points and a reinforced handle for easy steering
  • Cons
  • There’s not much reflective material
  • No saddlebags to store essential items on the harness
  • Five different adjustment points so that you can get the right fit
  • There’s reflective trim on the vest to help you spot your pet from a distance
  • Two sturdy attachment points and a reinforced handle for easy steering

Also great

Need a little bit of extra space to store those essentials for your pup?

Need a little bit of extra space to store those essentials for your pup? From plastic baggies to ID cards and water bottles, there’s a lot of different things you can fit in the saddlebag of the Outward Hound Daypak Harness.

Along with providing ample storage, the breathable mesh material of this harness helps counteract sweating and uncomfortable chafing. As long as you’ve got the right fit, your pup should be able to wear this comfortable harness for miles.

Speaking of the fit, there are quite a few adjustable straps on this harness to ensure your dog won’t wriggle out of it if he gets excited. While the color of this harness won’t affect how well it works, it’s worth noting it comes in two bright, reflective colors that will help you spot your pup a mile away.

  • Pros
  • Includes adjustable straps to help you get the right fit
  • Bright colors are easy to spot
  • You can store essentials in the pack
  • The breathable mesh prevents chafing
  • Includes two different colors
  • Cons
  • Only the piping on the straps is reflective
  • This harness doesn’t include a front leash attachment
  • You can store essentials in the pack
  • The breathable mesh prevents chafing
  • Includes two different colors

Also great

If your fur friend is still learning how to walk on a leash and has trouble with pulling, the Rabbitgoo Dog Harness is a great option.

If your fur friend is still learning how to walk on a leash and has trouble with pulling, the Rabbitgoo Dog Harness is a great option. This no-choke and non-pulling harness can prevent your dog from trying to “lead” you while you’re out on the trail. All you need to do is clip the leash onto the chest attachment, and you’ll have much better control of your dog.

If your pup settles down, you can always switch back to the clip on the back of the harness for a more relaxed walk.

Having a dog hiking harness that fits your pup correctly can go a long way in making sure your pup is comfortable, and there’s no chafing. The Rabbitgoo Harness tries to get a better fit by including four adjustable straps that you can mess around with.

  • Pros
  • The harness won’t choke your pet if he pulls
  • Four adjustable straps for a better fit
  • Better control of your pup
  • Bright orange material makes it easy to see your dog in dim lighting
  • Easy to clean
  • Cons
  • Doesn’t include storage for extra items
  • No cooling mechanisms
  • Better control of your pup
  • Bright orange material makes it easy to see your dog in dim lighting
  • Easy to clean

Also great

If you plan to make a short hike, you might not need all the heavy-duty equipment and features that some of these recommendations offer.

Saddlebags can be extremely convenient, but you’ve also got to make sure they’re comfortable for your pup to wear long-term. If they seem like they’re weighing your dog down after a couple of miles, that isn’t a great sign.

Luckily, the Kurgo Baxter Backpack for Dogs is not only a padded harness for comfort, but it also distributes the weight of the pack in a way that won’t hurt your pet. There are two storage packs that you can use. Both of them come with zippers so that you don’t have to worry about items slipping out while you’re on-the-go, making it a good hiking harness.

If you’re worried about having to quickly grab onto your dog, the reinforced handle makes it easy to grab onto him in a hurry. Escape artists aren’t a problem either—there are enough adjustable straps to make maneuvering out of this harness an impossible task.

While it comes in three different colors, each includes bright, reflective material that will make your pet stand out from the crowd.

Keep in mind that the manufacturer includes a lifetime warranty that protects against defects within the pet harness. If you notice an issue, you might be eligible for a replacement.

  • Pros
  • The pockets come with zippers so they’re easy to secure
  • Front and back leash attachment rings provide total owner control
  • The reinforced handle makes it easy to steer or take control of your pup if need be
  • The colors are bright and come with reflective strips that you can see in dim lighting
  • Includes a lifetime warranty from the manufacturer that protects against defects in the harnesses
  • Cons
  • The material might not be as breathable as some options are
  • Probably this harness won’t fit dogs that are under thirty pounds
  • The reinforced handle makes it easy to steer or take control of your pup if need be
  • The colors are bright and come with reflective strips that you can see in dim lighting
  • Includes a lifetime warranty from the manufacturer that protects against defects in the harnesses

Also great

The updated Front Range Harness is a padded everyday harness that is easy to put on and comfortable for dogs to wear.

If you’re a pet owner who spends a lot of time in the great outdoors and your fur friend is an extremely active pair, you may want to consider this Ruffwear model. Despite being very durable, the harness is extremely lightweight and perfect for extended wear all day long.

You can quickly tie a leash to the front of the Ruffwear Front Range Harness to prevent your dog from dragging you on your new adventures. It’s also equipped with reflective material for night walks and four adjustment points.

To avoid tears from heavy pullers in the fabric, the Ruffwear harness also features strengthened webbing on the chest. However, if pulling the leash is not a problem you and your pup face, you can also mount it to the D-ring leash attachment on the back.

This type of hiking harnesses with padded straps makes wearing it significantly more comfortable for your pet. Adjust the size to four different points to ensure a perfect fit.

  • Pros
  • Padded straps and strengthened webbing
  • Four adjustment points to better fit your pup
  • Front loop or back loop leash attachments
  • Reflective trimming
  • Cons
  • The harness is a little expensive.
  • Four adjustment points to better fit your pup
  • Front loop or back loop leash attachments
  • Reflective trimming

Everything we recommend

Our Pick
Outdward Hound Denver Urban Dog PackRUFFWEAR Web Master HarnessOutward Hound Daypak HarnessRabbitgoo Dog HarnessKurgo Baxter Backpack for DogsRUFFWEAR Front Range Harness
If your dog has a lot of stuff you’ll need to take with you on-the-go, this harness might be worth looking into.Saddlebags can be very convenient, but you need to make sure they’re comfortable for your pet to wear for long hours.Need a little bit of extra space to store those essentials for your pup?If your fur friend is still learning how to walk on a leash and has trouble with pulling, the Rabbitgoo Dog Harness is a great option.If you plan to make a short hike, you might not need all the heavy-duty equipment and features that some of these recommendations offer.The updated Front Range Harness is a padded everyday harness that is easy to put on and comfortable for dogs to wear.
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Table of Contents

Does Your Dog Need a Hiking Harness?

girl and her dog on the top of a mountain

Before you start shopping, the first question to answer is whether your dog needs hiking harnesses in the first place. If you’re used to taking your pup for strolls around the neighborhood, you might just use a collar and leash most of the time. Or, if you really trust your dog, you might even let him walk freely.

However, trekking through the mountains is a little bit different than strolling through the suburbs. Even if your dog walks well off a leash, letting him roam through an unfamiliar area probably isn’t a good idea.

Depending on the environment and length of the hike, some dog owners might choose to go with a standard walking harness since their dog is familiar with it. If you’re only planning to go on a short, slow-paced hike, a standard walking harness might be appropriate.

For anything longer than that, your pup will likely require a practical hiking harness. Many hiking harnesses come equipped with packs to store your gear, cooling vests for your dog, and even waterproof rain jackets. These features might not seem essential when you’re shopping, but after you and your dog have spent a long, tiring day on the trail, they can come in handy.

Features to Look For in a Hiking Harness

Dog on top of a rock

Speaking of the features you’ll find in a hiking harness, let’s take a look at some of the specific tools that separate a mediocre harness from a great one:

Extra Straps

One of the biggest differences you’ll notice between a regular harness and a hiking harness is the extra straps. While a regular harness might only have one or two straps, hiking harnesses could have three or four.

These extra straps attach the harness to your dog much more securely and help you maintain control of your pup while you’re hiking. An overexcited dog might be able to wriggle out of a regular harness, but with a hiking harness, those extra straps prevent this.

Most owners don’t want to worry about their dog twisting loose and running off while they’re in unfamiliar terrain, so if nothing else, these extra straps can give you peace of mind.

Saddlebags

Another interesting feature you’ll find with a lot of hiking harnesses is the saddlebags that rest on the sides. Depending on the harness you pick out, there might be one saddlebag or two.

These packs should be empty, and their main purpose is to let you store the essentials for your dog. If you’re going on a hike, you’ll likely need at least a water bottle for your pup, plastic bags, and some treats. Rather than trying to stuff these items in with your stuff, the saddlebags on the harnesses allow you easy access.

Whenever you think your pup needs a drink, you don’t have to rifle through your own heavy backpack—you just need to unzip the saddlebag.

Cooling Vest

A lot of people tend to hike during the summertime. Traipsing through the mountains in the middle of July is probably scorching for you, so it’s safe to assume that’s just as hot for your dog. Your furry friend is going to require plenty of water, but you’ll also need a way to prevent them from overheating.

For this reason, a cooling vest can become almost crucial, especially if your pup has a thicker fur coat. The cooling vest can help manage sweat, keep your dog’s temperature down, and prevent them from becoming uncomfortable.

Life Jacket

Not all hiking harnesses include a life jacket, but if your dog enjoys jumping in lakes or rivers, you might want to keep your eye out for this feature. Rather than having to purchase a life jacket separately, some saddlebag harnesses might come with life preservers or include a jacket that you pull out and slip over your dog’s head.

Reflective Material

Not everyone hikes at night, but if you’re camping overnight with your dog in a wooded area or you’re just worried about losing your pup in the mountains, a harness with reflective material can do you a lot of good. Some harnesses might include vests that are completely reflective, but others might only have reflective straps.

Still Trying To Decide On A Dog Harness For Hiking?

dog next to hiking gear

All of these recommendations would be more than appropriate for your dog, but if it came down to it, we’d have to say the Outdward Hound Denver Urban Dog Pack is the best dog harness for hiking. Not only does this product contain some of the key features that make so many hiking harnesses great, but it also uses material that’s more durable than many other options.

However, if you’re looking for something a little more reflective or colorful, we’ve listed plenty of other recommendations to pick from—all of which will help you take your pup on outdoor adventures with you.

About Alex Vicente

Dog Lover, Founder & Chief Editor at Paws Insider

I’ve been rescuing dogs since a very early age. I got my first dog when I was 9 years old and I remember how he, out of a litter of 6 puppies, started running towards me. He’d just chosen me. Ever since then, my love for dogs only grows stronger and I want what’s best for them. My mission is to let our readers know about the best products in the market for our best friends, as well as providing guides and tips on how we can take better care of them.