Outward Hound Backpacks

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LEK Daphne,- SD

Coming Soon
Barked: Fri Jun 17, '11 10:42am PST 
Ok, so has anyone had experience with an outward hound backback? What did you think?

You can find them at myoutwardhound.com.

I'm thinking of ordering one but I've heard mixed reviews.
Bianca CGC- TT HIC Thd- ♥

What big ears- you have...
Barked: Fri Jun 17, '11 11:17am PST 
I don't have a service dog but I have had two Outward Hound packs. One was an old Quick Release pack which was sturdy but the packs were way too big and difficult to adjust for proper position over the shoulders. It also would twist if the packs were not perfectly balanced (if they didn't have the same exact weight on each side.)

Now I have an Urban Adventure pack, Bianca is wearing it in her profile pic btw. I really like it for what I use it for, but I have heard other reviews say that it is not very durable/sturdy. I use it for our regular daily walks around the city (2.5-3.5 miles usually) and also sometimes when we go to events, festivals and things like that.
I would not recommend it if you plan to have a significant amount of weight in the packs, but it works very well for us with Bianca carrying light items. It also needs to be balanced with similar weight on each side or it will start to twist/lean to the heavier side, but it doesn't have to be balanced as exactly as the one we had before. I usually have Bianca carry a roll of baggies (it has a special pocket for these), some tissues, band-aids, a collapsing water bowl, treats, my cell phone, a clicker and sometimes a few more things like her Halti and a really small-folding umbrella.

The only thing I would be concerned about is if your dog will be wearing it for long periods of time, the Outward Hound straps are usually not well padded and the pack is not non-restrictive so this could possibly cause issues if using it for long stretches or adding much weight. I have not had any issues with this with Bianca though. When we are doing a longer distance or an actual hike or if I want her to carry more weight (such as carrying water) I use a Ruffwear pack instead.

Edited by author Fri Jun 17, '11 11:18am PST


Yeah, I can do- that, but I- won't!

Barked: Fri Jun 17, '11 12:42pm PST 
check out the single track and approach pack! They are great for long term use and really sturdy.

also check in on facebook-ruffwear page - they will be happy to answer questions and give you suggestions. Also other dog owners can give you feedback:

Warm wishes, sonja and the girls


Prayers please
Barked: Fri Jun 17, '11 1:21pm PST 
I'd also go with Ruffwear, Karma has the Palisades pack for hikes and I love it.
I hear it's possible to attach a handle to the Ruffwear Approach packs (though I've never tried, since I don't have that pack or need a handle) so that can be a plus too.

Awesome Dog
Barked: Fri Jun 17, '11 3:04pm PST 
Risa isn't a service dog either but I also have the same pack Bianca is wearing for her. We also had the other Outward Hound one. That one can carry a lot more but it slides around a lot and I don't like that it places most of the weight-carrying burden on a dog's back. The smaller pack is much better as far as that goes.

I don't use mine much at all so I can't really give information on how well it holds up or how much it can carry.

Barked: Fri Jun 17, '11 5:26pm PST 
They're overpriced, and they're not very adjustable. They have less padding, and for about the same amount (Check out the REI Clearance Site) you can generally get last year's Ruffwear packs.

They're not a BAD pack, but they're not great, either. For cheap packs to use temporarily, I like the neoprene "DIckens Closet" pack at Petco- it's much cheaper and the quality is similar (and it's sized better- the OH packs run REALLY huge.
Bianca CGC- TT HIC Thd- ♥

What big ears- you have...
Barked: Sat Jun 18, '11 12:07am PST 
Oh I got Bianca's Outward Hound pack for $5, the Urban Adventure. big grin It was on clearance from Jeffers. I now wish I'd bought more than one, but at the time I wasn't sure if I liked it or if it would fit her for sure.
Hunter RN

Tennis Ball- Terror
Barked: Sat Jun 18, '11 2:38am PST 
I haven't invested in the Outward Hound packs because of the quality and fit. Ruff Wear has created packs specifically to fit the dog and carry weight, and they have canine orthopedic specialists behind them. I even see the OH's advertising pictures and the dogs are wearing ill fitting packs and the weight is over the back and not the shoulders.

I think the little pack Bianca is wearing is good. If you're only carrying very few, lighter things it would be okay. In my opinion though, if you are going to use it intensely and regularly, invest in something nicer. The Ruff Wears also have padding on the straps so they don't rub, which some dogs really need.

I've used the Ruff Wear Approach Pack and regularly use the Web Master Harness, and I swear by both of them. Outward Hound is more focused on creating a marketable product at a lower price point than others, but they don't have the research and proven durability that the Ruff Wear does. I'd rather invest in a pack that my dog will be comfortable in and wont shift or chafe, than get a cheaper pack.

Will work for- food or cuddles.
Barked: Sat Jun 18, '11 3:39pm PST 
I have an Outward Hound backpack, and I'm quite happy with it. I've only used it for a year, so I don't know how it will hold up, but so far it's doing well. I really, really like that the pockets are only attached on the top rather than directly onto the strap all the way down the side. This means that when Drifter lies down, he doesn't lay on the pockets. This seems to be quite uncommon, but it's a wonderful feature. The weight does need to be evenly distributed on both sides in order for it to not slip - but it's best for the dog if it's evenly distributed anyway, so I don't see that as a drawback. It's easy to put on and off (I leave the strap that goes in front closed to make it even easier).

A word of caution: quite a bit of stuff fits into the backpack. If it's packed full, it's probably too heavy for the dog - especially since it's on the dog's back and not directly on the shoulders. I also really doubt that a dog can wear this backpack and a mobility harness at the same time because the backpack is so bulky.

Kiss me you- fool.
Barked: Sat Jun 18, '11 10:20pm PST 
We payed $30 for Abby's backpack at Petsmart. The first one took a beating and eventually one of the zipperss broke 7 months later. They exchanged it without even a complaint. So far it has been the least expensive backpack and has stood up to daily trips with Abby.
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