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6 Best Dog Harnesses for Hiking in 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks

Written by: Genevieve Dugal

Last Updated on June 11, 2024 by Dogster Team

6 Best Dog Harnesses for Hiking in 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks

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REVIEWED & FACT-CHECKED BY

Dr. Nia Perkins

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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pitbull dog wearing a harness in the mountain

If you’re a hiking enthusiast, you definitely want your four-legged friend to follow you on the trails. But beyond the essential gear that you need to fully enjoy your adventure, you want to make sure your companion is also wearing the best equipment. A hiking harness is a crucial purchase, as it will keep your pup safe and might even be able to hold some of your own gear (in the case of a backpack harness).

However, it’s not always easy to navigate the panoply of options on the market. What type of harness should you choose? Does it have to be breathable? What about comfort and ease of maintenance? Don’t worry—we’ve got your back (and your pup’s!) with reviews of the best dog harnesses for hiking. Here are the best models we’ve found, with options for any type of dog.

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A Glance at Our Winners in 2024

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Ruffwear Hiking and Trail Running Web Master Dog Harness Ruffwear Hiking and Trail Running Web Master Dog Harness
  • Sturdy design
  • Five points of adjustment
  • Multifunction
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Frisco Padded Nylon No Pull Dog Harness Frisco Padded Nylon No Pull Dog Harness
  • Sturdy design, lightweight, and effective
  • Budget-friendly
  • Easy to fit and put on the pups
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Kurgo Baxter Dog Backpack Kurgo Baxter Dog Backpack
  • Breathable mesh ventilation
  • 4 reflective trim strips for extra safety
  • Lightweight, rugged, ergonomic, and padded
  • Best for Puppies
    Best Pet Supplies Voyager Black Trim Mesh Dog Harness Best Pet Supplies Voyager Black Trim Mesh Dog Harness
  • Easy to put on
  • Available in 5 vibrant colors
  • Soft and breathable mesh fabric
  • Kurgo Journey No Pull Dog Harness Kurgo Journey No Pull Dog Harness
  • Very easy to take off and put on
  • Super secure and well made
  • Includes reflective trim for added safety
  • The 6 Best Dog Harnesses for Hiking

    1. Ruffwear Hiking and Trail Running Web Master Dog Harness — Best Overall

    Ruffwear, Web Master, Multi-Use Support Dog Harness

    Material: Aluminum, foam, nylon
    Closure type: Pull-on
    Harness type: Multi-use

    The Ruffwear Hiking and Trail Running Web Master Dog Harness is a great buy if you plan on hitting the trails a lot with your buddy. With five adjustment options and two attachment points, your furry friend will have a hard time squirming out of this harness! It also includes a reflective strip and a light loop, which is handy if you get caught in the dark on the way back from the trails. The lift handle is also nice if you come across a large rock that is difficult for your pup to climb.

    You can use this harness for daily walks and for training service or working dogs. For all these reasons, the Ruffwear Web Master is the best overall dog harness for hiking. Unfortunately, it probably won’t fit your pet if they are really tiny, as eveb the XX-small size might still be too big for micro-sized pups.

    Pros
    • Includes foam-padded straps for extra comfort
    • Comes with a handy lift handle
    • Sturdy design
    • Five points of adjustment
    • Multifunction
    Cons
    • Smallest size may still be too large for tiny dogs
    • Pricey

    2. Frisco Padded Nylon No Pull Dog Harness — Best Value

    Frisco Padded Nylon No Pull Dog Harness

    Material: Nylon, polyester
    Closure type: Buckle
    Harness type: No Pull, back clip, front clip

    This Frisco Padded Nylon No Pull Dog Harness offers great value, though if your goal is to go on long hikes with your large German Shepherd, you’ll have to skip it. That said, this model offers many great features at a fair price, such as the mesh chest piece for extra comfort, the O-ring leash attachment to prevent your dog from pulling, the durable high-grade nylon material quality, and the adjustable straps.

    However, it is best suited for short hikes with a small dog that does not pull and that gets tired quickly. In any case, watch your dog carefully while they’re wearing this harness so they do not chew on it. But if you’re on a budget, this is the best dog harness for hiking for the money.

    Pros
    • Sturdy design, lightweight, and effective
    • Budget-friendly
    • Easy to fit and put on the pups
    • O-ring leash attachment deters dogs from pulling
    Cons
    • Not chew resistant
    • Not suitable for long mountain hikes

    3. Kurgo Baxter Dog Backpack — Premium Choice

    Kurgo Baxter Dog Backpack

    Material: Polyester
    Closure type: Buckle
    Harness type: Backpack

    Get ready for a day of adventures with your pup with the Kurgo Baxter Dog Backpack. Fill both pouches with your dog’s travel essentials, like their leash, kibble, and sunscreen! Carrying items can be beneficial for your dog, as it enables them to focus their attention on their “mission.”

    This colorful backpack is light but sturdy enough to withstand harsh weather conditions. It allows for a custom fit with several different attachment points. The ergonomic, padded back support also conforms to your dog’s body for a comfortable fit. However, it only comes in two sizes, which is not convenient for small dogs. Also, your dog’s skin can become irritated over time due to the continual rubbing of the pouches on their flanks.

    Pros
    • Breathable mesh ventilation
    • Lightweight, rugged, ergonomic, and padded
    • Four reflective trim strips for extra safety
    • Adjustable straps
    • Includes bottle opener
    Cons
    • Not suitable for small breeds
    • Some rubbing and chafing may occur with extended use

    4. Best Pet Supplies Voyager Black Trim Mesh Dog Harness — Best for Puppies

    Best Pet Supplies Voyager Black Trim Mesh Dog Harness

    Material: Polyester
    Closure type: Buckle, Velcro
    Harness type: Basic

    The Best Pet Supplies Voyager Black Trim Mesh Dog Harness is an easy-to-put-on and comfortable harness to introduce your pup to hiking. Soft, breathable mesh enables moisture to escape and keeps your pup cool as they hit the trails. It can also be attached to a dog car seat, which makes driving safer, and it is padded for extra comfort. The Velcro is reinforced with extra security with the snap-in buckle so it won’t rip if a squirrel crosses your path and your pup suddenly starts pulling on their leash!

    The downside to this harness is that it is only designed for puppies or very small dogs. Even the X-large size doesn’t seem to fit dogs over 40 pounds. So, be sure to measure your puppy properly, and do not rely on the measurement chart included online. You can buy a larger size, but keep in mind that you will still most likely need to buy a new model once your pup reaches their adult size.

    Pros
    • Easy to put on
    • Available in five vibrant colors
    • Soft and breathable mesh fabric
    • Lightweight and durable material
    • Sturdy 2-D ring leash attachment
    Cons
    • Geared toward puppies or very small dogs only

    5. Kurgo Journey No Pull Dog Harness

    Kurgo Journey No Pull Dog Harness

    Material: Polyester
    Closure type: Buckle
    Harness type: Front and back clip, no pull

    The Kurgo Journey No Pull Dog Harness is perfect for running, hiking, or more leisurely walks with your companion. This harness is available in six colors and five sizes to suit all tastes. The deep V-neck and padded chest plate reduce strain on the neck, while the rear handle lets you exercise more control over your spirited dog. It’s also not a problem if you come back late from your hike, thanks to the reflective trim.

    This model enables you to attach your dog to the front and back because it has two clips, which is not the case with all harnesses. However, like most of Kurgo’s products, this harness is quite pricey and not immune to premature wear and tear, especially if you plan on doing long hikes in all sorts of conditions.

    Pros
    • Easy to take off and put on
    • Super secure and well made
    • Includes reflective trim for added safety
    • Four rust-proof release buckles
    Cons
    • May wear out quickly if you do a lot of hiking
    • Expensive

    6. Chai’s Choice Premium Outdoor Adventure 3M Dog Harness

    Chai's Choice Premium Outdoor Adventure 3M Dog Harness

    Material: Polyester
    Closure type: Quick release
    Harness type: Front clip

    Chai’s Choice Premium Outdoor Adventure 3M Dog Harness has a sleek design and is of good quality. You can even walk your dog when it gets late because the whole harness is reflective. However, since you’re unlikely to be hiking at midnight, this harness is mostly useful for nighttime strolls around the neighborhood. Also, the front clip tends to break easily, which is a major drawback when hiking. Nevertheless, this model deserves a place on this list because of the mesh padding (which relieves pressure on your dog’s neck), the O-rings attached to the chest (which discourage your pup from pulling on the leash), and the integrated handle (which enables you to buckle your dog in during car journeys).

    Pros
    • Perfect for nighttime strolls
    • Front clip allows for easy leash attachment
    • Built-in handle to buckle your dog in during road trips
    • Available in nine vibrant colors
    Cons
    • Clips may break easily
    • Doesn’t fit large dogs
    • Difficult to adjust

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    Buyer’s Guide: How to Find the Best Dog Hiking Harness

    How to Choose the Right Harness for Your Dog

    Start by determining the right size for your dog. To do this, measure the back/belly circumference at the height of the thorax, just behind your dog’s front legs.

    So, if your dog’s back/belly circumference is:

    • Between 16 and 20 inches: Choose a size-S harness.
    • Between 20 and 28 inches: Opt for a size-M harness.
    • Between 28 and 36 inches: Take a size-L harness.
    • Greater than 36 inches: Only an XL-size harness will fit.
    • Tip: These measurements are for reference only. Feel free to use a size above or below according to your pet’s needs. You can also compare these measurements with the supplied size chart of the harness you want, but be careful, as these charts are not always accurate.

    What Features Should You Look For When Choosing a Harness for Your Dog?

    Regardless of the material, the harness must be:

    • Breathable
    • Easy to wash
    • Durable
    • Comfortable
    • Sturdy
    • Not irritating to the skin

    Note: If your dog does get irritated skin, look at the size or shape of the harness. It may be too small for them or is otherwise ill-fitting.

    What Are the Different Types of Dog Harnesses?

    • The “T” harness: This type of harness is often used for large breeds because it has a dorsal handle, enabling better control of the dog. Certain models also have a clip on the chest, so it can be as an anti-pull harness. It is intended primarily for walks and not so much for more intense activities, such as running and hiking. The main benefit of this type of harness is that it is quick and easy to put on your dog.
    • The “H” harness: The “H” model is less easy to put on your dog, but it enables better control of their movements. Choose a model with wide straps if your dog tends to pull hard. This is a more suitable harness for walking.
    • The “X” or “Y” harness: These harnesses are known to be versatile and comfortable for dogs. They are also suitable for walks and hikes.
    • The multi-purpose harness: This type of harness is perfectly suited to hiking. In general, it covers the entire back of the dog and has reflective strips, a lifting handle, front and rear clips, adjustable straps, etc. It might also have pouches to carry your dog’s gear.
    flat coated retriever hiking
    Image Credit: FotoEmotions, Pixabay

    What’s the Difference Between a Regular Harness and a Hiking Harness?

    A hiking harness is sturdier in design than a regular harness. It’s made of stronger fabrics, and the straps, buckles, clips, and leash attachments are better suited for hiking on trails than just walking around town.

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    Conclusion

    We hope that these reviews will help you make an informed choice when buying a hiking harness for your pup. To sum up, the Ruffwear Web Master Dog Harness offers all-around value and quality, and the Kurgo Baxter Dog Backpack is a premium choice with multiple features. Both are great for any dog, whether they’re new to hiking or a seasoned explorer. Now, what are you waiting for? Go explore the wild trails with your best friend!


    Featured Image Credit: marekuliasz, Shutterstock

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