Best-dog-hiking-harnesses

Best Dog Harness for Hiking — Buyers Guide, Review and Comparison

Do you love the great outdoors? Breathing in the fresh air, walking in any direction and the feeling of being free. Many people can’t get enough of it — getting out and about and enjoying that next big adventure. And, what better way to explore than to go hiking with your dog. The best dog harness for hiking can help you to lighten the load of carrying essentials and help with any obstacles you may face on your journey.

Top Pick

The OneTigris is made from durable 1000D nylon and also has a breathable layer for extra comfort. Its buckles combined with hook and eye straps ensure a proper fit every time. The pouches offer versatile storage with a 3-liter capacity plus loop panels — perfect for carrying water, treats, food or other hiking essentials. 

  • Durable for all hikes.
  • Breathable.
  • Great adjustability.
  • Reinforced handle for extra strength.

Product Rating: 4.8/5

PRODUCTFEATURES 

One Tigris Mammoth Dog Backpack
Leash point/s: Back x 1
Material: Nylon
Sizes: XXS, XS, S, M, L, XL
No. of adjusters: 2
  • Made with 1000D nylon.
  • Comfortable.
  • Hook and loop belly strap — fully adjustable.
  • No interference with dogs.

Product Rating: 4.8/5

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RUFFWEAR Web Master Hiking Harness
Leash point/s: Back x 2
Material: Nylon
Sizes: XXS, XS, S, M, L, XL
No. of adjusters: 5
  • Good fit with no wiggle room for escape.
  • Comfortable.
  • Instructions for you to fit with ease.
  • Perfect for dogs who have ailments.

Product Rating: 4.7/5

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Kurgo Dog Harness
Leash point/s: Chest x 1 / Back x 1
Material: Nylon
Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL
No. of adjusters: 4
  • Padded material — offers extra comfort.
  • Good quality.
  • Room for adjustment.
  • Washes well.

Product Rating: 4.5/5

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PET ARTIST Tactical Hiking Harness
Leash point/s: Chest x 1 / Back x 2
Material: Nylon
Sizes: M, L
No. of adjusters: 4
  • Attractive — looks great!
  • Easy to adjust.
  • Quick to put on and take off.
  • Secure and comfortable.

Product Rating: 4.4/5

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Bolux Dog Harness
Leash point/s: Back x 1
Material: Nylon
Sizes: XS, S, M, L,XL
No. of adjusters: 2 - chest and stomach.
  • No neckband — ensures a choke-free walk.
  • Handle prevents lunging.
  • Reflective strip and flashlight loop.
  • Fully adjustable chest strap.

Product Rating: 4.2/5

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Go Fresh Pet 2-in-1 Dog Harness and Hiking Backpack
Leash points: Back x 1
Material: Polyester
Sizes: XS, S, M, L,XL
No. of adjusters: 2
  • Handle grip is comfortable for both users.
  • Storage is handy.
  • Adjustable and sturdy.
  • Great fit.

Product Rating: 4.2/5

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Best Dog Harness for Hiking Buying Guide

Deciding on the best dog harness for hiking with your furry friend can be a bit of a challenge as well as confusing. So I’ve put together this buying guide to help you make the right choice for both you and your best friend.

Why Do I Need a Hiking Harness?

You wouldn’t go on a skiing holiday and pack shorts and t-shirts, would you? The same goes for hiking — the right equipment is essential, and this applies to your dog’s harness.

Both durability and design are two notable differences between a regular harness and the best dog hiking harness.

While the traditional leash and collar may be man enough for walkies, as you become more adventurous it will become clear — a harness designed specifically for hiking will keep your furry friend safe. You’ll find you have more control over a boisterous dog or that the extra features offer your older dog the lease of life they once had.

What To Look For When Choosing a Dog Harness for Hiking

Here are a few top tips to help you find the perfect harness for hiking with your dog.

Fit Is Crucial

When choosing a harness for hiking, the fit is high on the priorities. Your dog may be wearing one for extended periods while out enjoying their next big adventure with you. Using an ill-fitting harness is just as impractical as going hiking in heels!

If their harness is too small, it will be very uncomfortable for your dog from the outset. But it can also cause more serious issues, such as restricting their breathing. This could potentially be fatal when they are participating in strenuous activities.

The flip side of this is that if your pup's harness is too big, it won’t be secure and this could potentially put your dog in harm's way. A harness that’s too big means that your dog will be able to slip out of it and run off.

Here is a general guide on how to measure your dog. However, remember that you should double-check individual brand’s fitting guides as each one will be slightly different.

Measure around your dog’s chest from their shoulder blades to above their front legs.
Next, measure around their belly at the widest part behind their front legs.
You will need to leave at least 2 inches of space between the end of the harness and the base of your dog’s tail.
If your dog does happen to measure between two sizes, it would be best to size up to the larger one.

Quick and Easy Fitting

Most dog harnesses for hiking are fitted using adjustable buckles. But you can get some that you simply pull over your dog’s head.

Think about how cooperative your dog will be when trying to put the harness on. Will they tolerate a harness being pulled over their head, or would a buckle-up design be a more practical choice?

Storage Options

Granted, this may not take precedence for everyone, but if you’re hoping your furry friend is going to be able to help transport some small essentials like water, treats, or toys — a harness that offers flexible carrying options would be the way forward.

MOLLE compatible harnesses are popular — permitting you to customize the number of pouches your dog can carry. But these do tend to be an additional purchase, meaning that they will increase the overall cost of the harness.

Bungee cords and loops are other practical features you can expect to find on certain harnesses.

Leash Attachment

Another important feature to consider is where you can actually attach the leash.

Hiking harnesses generally feature two lease points — situated on the back and or the chest — although you’ll find some include three.

You may also notice that your dog hiking harness will come with a handle on the back — positioned between the dog’s shoulder blades. These are handy for giving you some extra control if needed as well as being a nifty way to assist your dog into a vehicle or over obstacles while out hiking.

Visibility

If you intend to go hiking with your dog in the early morning or all types of weather, there is the risk of low-light situations. This means that your dog may be mistaken for another animal or not seen at all — potentially putting them in danger.

The best way to solve this dilemma is to look for a harness with additional safety features — such as reflective strips and loops for lights or glow sticks. Another great way to make sure your furry friend is seen is to take advantage of a harness that comes in bold and bright colors.

Our Picks of the Best Dog Harness for Hiking

Finding the best dog harness for hiking can be tricky — there are so many available. To ease the stresses of all that research, I’ve put together some of my favorite dog hiking harness reviews to help you make the best choice for you and your best friend.

Best Dog Hiking Harness


Robert Baden-Powell said, ‘be prepared,’ and if you follow this principle when hiking, you’ll probably love the OneTigris Mammoth Backpack. With two generous-sized saddlebags (3-liter capacity), your buddy should have more than enough space to carry everything they need for your outing.

Each bag arrives with an outer pocket, which includes bungees on the exterior. This permits you to stash even more gear — water bottles or other bulky items. What’s more, the zippers are concealed, so you shouldn’t trap any of Fido’s fur when opening or closing them. 

Made from 1000D nylon with a mesh lining, this dog harness is both durable and breathable — ideal for challenging or lengthy hikes. You can also personalize the harness by adding patches on either side. 

It's a two-strap design, you secure one under the belly and the other around the neck using quick-release Duraflex clips — allowing for easy-on and easy-off scenarios. Plus, with four adjustment points, you can ensure a snug and comfortable fit.

PRODUCT RATING: 4.8/5

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PROS:

  • Our favorite — best hiking harness for dogs.
  • Heavy-duty and durable. 
  • Adjustable for the perfect fit.
  • Quick-release leash clip.

PROS:

  • Not suitable for smaller breeds.
  • Owners may need to be careful not to overload the bags. 

Best Harness for Extreme Adventures


If you and your best friend are into extreme outdoor adventures, the Ruffwear Web Master harness could tickle your hiking fancy.

Arriving with a ‘lift-and-assist’ reinforced handle, you should be able to negotiate those tough trails hassle-free — by giving your dog a leg-up over any obstacles you might come across.

You’ll also find plenty of padding in the right places — on the chest and belly straps — enhancing the comfort element without restricting movement. This is ideal if you intend to be out in the wilds for a while. And, with a total of five adjustment points, you can tweak the fit to your pooch perfectly — handy if you have a Houdini hound.

What’s more, featuring strategically placed reflective edging and a loop for a safety light — it follows the ‘be-safe, be-seen’ motto for low-light conditions or night hikes.

This durable harness is made for high-energy dogs who love hiking in the hills — all year-round. Plus, it's also suitable for working and service dogs.

PRODUCT RATING: 4.7/5

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PROS:

  • Anatomically designed for ease of use.
  • Fully customized — with five points of adjustment.
  • Lightweight and durable.
  • Year-round use with reflective trim and safety light loop.

PROS:

  • Storage pockets would be an improvement.
  • Might be too weighty for smaller dogs.

Best Hiking Harness for Active Dogs


With an athletic cut, this harness boasts its effectiveness for the more active dog. Equipped with two leash points — a front D-ring for ‘no-pull’ training and one on the back for loose-leash hiking — you can choose your level of control.

Going back to the design. Its V-neck is built for better movement, freeing up the shoulders for a full range of doggy motion. And, the chest section is also padded to reduce strain in this area and the neck. 

Leash attachments and adjustment points are all made from durable aluminum, which doesn't weigh down the harness and also deters rust — come rain or shine, you’ll be ready to hike the hills. And, with four adjusters, you can tailor the fit to your best friend’s requirements — reducing the chances of rubbing. 

When you’re back from an awesome day out, thanks to its duo of quick-release clips, taking off the harness isn’t a stressful affair. However, as it arrives with reflective strips, who says you have to be back by nightfall? 

PRODUCT RATING: 4.5/5

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PROS:

  • Easy to fit and remove.
  • Reflective strip for visibility at night. 
  • Good range of sizes available.
  • Available in a variety of colors.

PROS:

  • Lacks compatibility with bags, pouches or the MOLLE system.
  • More give in the harness would be an advantage.

Best for Accessories 


This harness is well constructed, with two 1000 pound load-tested buckles that have been vigorously put through their paces. But it doesn’t stop there, all parts of this harness have been reinforced to enhance durability — allowing it to withstand the abuse of any outdoor adventure — and an excited furbaby. 

For extra comfort and safety, the harness comes with quick-release straps made from nylon, as well as a hook and loop strap under the stomach. And, there are four adjustment points to ensure a great fit every time it's used. Another great feature of this harness is that its design ensures that your dog's delicate belly is covered and protects their body from injury when out on rough terrain.

The front is effective to promote the ‘no pull’ technique, and there are two back leash points (situated front and rear) to give you a range of uses. 

Placed in the center, you’ll find an anti-slip handle, which is suitable for one-handed lifts. And, for when you need a two-hand approach — located at the front and rear are horizontal handles. Either will provide you with an alternative solution should your dog need a helping hand. 

Equipped with a MOLLE system, this is where the tactical element comes into play. On each side, there are a duo of MOLLE straps, as well as a selection of loops for attaching accessories such as poop bags, water or dog bowls. 

PRODUCT RATING: 4.4/5

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Furthermore, if you’re a fan of extras, you’ll be pleased to know that this harness is accessory-laden. It comes with a tool pouch, an emergency supply bag (without the medical supplies), a waist pouch, plus two patches of The Stars and Stripes.

PROS:

  • Durable with metal clips and nylon snaps.
  • Features a no-pull front D-ring.
  • Four adjustment points.
  • Breathable mesh.

PROS:

  • Stitching can become loose.
  • Weak links on part of the loops.

Best Budget Harness for Hiking


If you love hiking but don’t have deep pockets for all the gear, the Bolux harness may well be a solution. While it lacks opportunity for carrying items, it does feature the essentials required for a day or night out in the woods — at a reasonable price. 

Stretching the entire length of the chest strap, its reflective band offers increased visibility, plus all the edging is reflective. You also have a place to attach a doggy flashlight or glowsticks — ideal if you’re a night hiker. 

Lightweight, breathable and wear-resistant, this dog hiking harness is super comfortable for any pooch in your life. It comes with a sturdy handle, so you can have more control over your dog when out on adventures. Furthermore, the pulling pressure on this harness is distributed evenly, preventing choking, and it also comes equipped with an adjustable strap so it can grow with your pet. 

Additionally, if you want to customize your pooch’s harness, you can place patches on the side hook and loop strips. And, with around 20 designs to choose from, you can be as bold or bland as you like with color choice.

Bolux-small-Dog-Harness-No-Pull-Reflective-Dog-Vest-Breathable

PRODUCT RATING: 4.2/5

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PROS:

  • Comfortable and breathable.
  • Available in 20 different colors or patterns.
  • Good range of sizes, ensuring the right fit.
  • Space for hook and loop patches.

PROS:

  • Not the best harness for hiking dogs who require carrying functionality.
  • Lacks a clip on the chest strap — hook and loop fastening.

Best Dual Purpose Dog Hiking Vest


Perhaps you’re a fan of trekking the trails at the weekend, but you also want a harness for everyday walks to the park — the Go Fresh Pet 2-in-1 could be the solution. This harness comes complete with removable doggy saddlebags, and thanks to the quick-release buckle system, you can be either hike or park-ready with minimal fuss.

In back-pack mode, your pooch can lighten the load by carrying their (or some of your) essentials. Each bag arrives with a large internal pocket — suitable for stashing food/treats or water bottles and bowls. The external zipped compartment would be ideal for smaller items, such as poop bags (unused), keys, cash or even your phone. 

The harness is lightweight and made from water and tear-resistant material. It also incorporates breathable mesh fabric — ensuring your pooch avoids hotspots, even on warmer days.

While it only comes with one leash attachment, it does have a large grab handle that spans the length of the harness — offering you an additional way to quickly restrain your boisterous pup or to help your buddy over rough terrain. And, the reflective trim increases your dog’s visibility to others on dull days or low-light walks.

Go Fresh 2-in-1 Pet Dog Harness and Hiking Dog Backpack Outdoor Gear Travel Camping Rucksack

PRODUCT RATING: 4.2/5

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PROS:

  • Multi-functional — harness and backpack.
  • Lightweight and padded for extra comfort.
  • Saddlebags can be removed.
  • Made from tear and waterproof fabric.

PROS:

  • The neck strap is not adjustable.
  • Saddlebags can flap around.

CONCLUSION

A hiking harness reduces pressure build-up in your dog's shoulders and neck — allowing them to carry some of their essentials while spreading the weight evenly over their body — preventing injury. 

When considering your pup's perfect hiking accessory, ask yourself — how many leash points do you require, and how easy is it to fit. Also, think about the features and what’s on your priority list — such as, carrying capacity, reflectives or padding for reinforced comfort.

Being able to enjoy the great outdoors with your best friend is one of the best parts of being a doggy parent. And, ensuring your pooch is comfortable and safe while enjoying a wealth of experiences is where the best dog harness for hiking really comes into its own.

Best Dog Harness for Hiking FAQs

Do Dogs Walk Better With a Harness?

A dog harness offers a way to control a dog that is perhaps not the best at walking to heel. It can also be a great training tool for your boisterous puppy — enabling handlers to correct them without harm or putting any strain on their young joints.

Is It Safe to Hike With a Dog?

This will very much depend on your dog. As an owner, you should be aware of your pet’s limitations, particularly if they’re young or elderly. In these age groups, they may not be able to keep the pace or go the distance. 

What’s more, weather conditions should be factored into your plans. Watch out for super-hot days. Dogs and extreme heat don’t mix well, hence vigorous or lengthy activity is best avoided. 

Can I Leave My Dog’s Harness on All Day?

Extended wear of a harness can lead to discomfort. Hence, it’s best to remove your dog’s harness whenever possible. If their harness becomes wet, it should also be removed, as it can cause skin irritations and infections.

How Far Can Dogs Hike In a Day?

This will depend on the fitness of your dog and whether they’re used to hiking. The average fit family dog could manage 5-10 miles at a time, but not for consecutive days. While a dog that’s trained to hike long distances could potentially cover 25-30 miles per day.

Should a Dog Wear a Collar and a Harness?

Dogs should wear both a collar and a harness as they provide the most effective training options. The harness offers the best place to attach a leash, keeping your dog secure while not putting any strain on their neck.

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