The Ultimate Dog Carrier Backpack Buying Guide

The Ultimate Dog Carrier Backpack Buying Guide

Before you take your dog on a trip with you, you will need to get prepared by doing a lot of research and gathering together the right set of supplies. One of the most essential supplies you will have to buy is a dog carrier backpack.

Pink Backpack

These are usually designed for small to medium sized dogs since it’s not very practical to carry a large dog in a backpack on your back! So if you have a big dog that you wouldn’t want to carry around on your back, you’ll be better off shopping for a dog travel crate or another kind of dog carrier that doesn’t require you to actually bear the full weight of your dog.

Backpack dog in it carry

However, if you’re willing and able, you can find a large dog carrier backpack and if your dog is calm enough, it can be the most convenient option. With that said, a medium or small dog carrier backpack can be an extremely convenient option for dog owners. They are especially convenient for hiking, camping, and airplane travel but they will serve a lot of other purposes as well. Even just a trip to the vet will be easier if you have a dog carrier backpack.

In this guide, we’ll give you a rundown of 8 of our favorite dog carrier backpacks at various price points. But first, you’ll get a few tips for shopping smart and figuring out which product will be the best dog carrier backpack for you!

Tips For Buying And Using A Dog Backpack Carrier

Before you invest your hard earned money, you should make sure you know what you are looking for when you are shopping for a dog carrier backpack. And you also need to make sure you know what the different specs mean.

Dog on a mountain

It can be tricky to know whether or not a dog carrier backpack will fit your dog comfortably and do what you need it to do. So, to help you make sure you make the best possible choice, check out these 3 quick tips before you start reading about our 8 favorite dog carrier backpacks!

Get The Right Material And Design

With a backpack carrier, strong materials and comfortable design is key. You want something that your dog will feel comfortable and secure being in but it also has to be lightweight and comfortable enough for you to wear.

The right materials dog backpack

Finding that perfect balance can be difficult especially when you have to consider other factors like size, features, and functionality. But making sure you find the perfect one now will save you a lot of pain and frustration later on down the road.

Get The Right Size

Getting the right size sounds obvious but it’s not really as straightforward as you might think. First of all, you might think it’s not a big deal to get something a little bigger than your dog needs but this is not true.

The right size of dog bag

If it’s too big, they will not be able to sit securely inside of it. And this is not good for a backpack carrier since you have to wear it and you don’t want a dog sliding around or trying to escape while you’re wearing the carrier.

Choosing the right size gets confusing because of the fact that most products list their sizes according to the weight of the dog. However, weight is not as accurate a measure of your dog’s size as their height and length.

A dog might way just 8 or 9 pounds but be built so lean and long that they are actually too big for a carrier that claims to fit up to 9 pounds. So you need to measure your dog’s length from neck to the base of the tail and their height from the top of their head to their paw. Then, check the dimensions of the carrier to make sure it is long enough and tall enough for your dog to sit comfortably.

Choose Additional Features And Functions Based On Your Needs

The key features a backpack carrier should have is comfortable straps and a secure comfortable compartment for your dog to sit in. Beyond that, you have a wide range of other options to choose from.

Dog Backpack travel

For example, if you’re planning to use this as your travel carrier for airplane travel, you’ll want something that has storage compartments for extra supplies but it also needs to be small enough to fit under the seat and comfortable enough that your dog will be able to stay in it for the duration of the flight.

For hiking, on the other hand, you’d be more concerned about something that is waterproof and resistant to the elements but also has plenty of compartments for storing food and water for your dog.

Best Dog Carrier Backpacks Under $30

You can find some pretty fantastic dog backpack carriers for under $30. The ones you will read about below are those that have proven themselves to be impressively high quality despite their low price.

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#1 OxGord Dog Pet Carrier Rolling Backpack

This strongly built and lightweight product makes a great medium dog carrier backpack that is especially suited for taking to the airport. With the choice between we padded shoulder straps, an easy grip handle, or the retractable handle that allows you to roll it, you have no shortage of options for how to transport this carrier.


  • 4 different color options
  • Dimensions: 14 inches long, 11 inches wide, and 19 inches tall.
  • Suitable for dogs up to 15 pounds.
  • 600D heavy duty polyester material.
  • Mesh door and side panels for ventilations
  • ​Retractable handle
  • ​Wheels
  • ​Adjustable padded straps.
  • Side pockets for additional storage.
OxGord® Dog Pet Carrier Rolling Backpack Cat Easy Walk Travel Tote Premium Quality Airline Approved

This is perfectly designed for airplane travel. The three different carrying options make it easy to carry it even when you have other luggage to worry about. And it is compatible with many airline regulations. Although we always recommend calling ahead just to make sure that it is compatible with the airline you are flying with.

The roomy pockets on the side give you plenty of storage space for treats, food, water, and potty pads or bags. The mesh panel on the front and sides give your dog plenty of airflow and visibility. Overall, it’s perfect for keeping your dog safe and comfortable in the airport and on the plane.

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#2 OSIR Dog Pet Carrier Backpack

This dog carrier backpack is extremely versatile and can be used for either hiking, flying, or even just everyday use. It’s got a great design that works for most small to medium dogs.


  • Dimensions: 11 inches long, 20 inches wide, and 10 inches tall.
  • Suitable for pets up to 15 pounds.
  • Water resistant polyester material
  • Mesh panels for better ventilation.
  • Storage pockets for water, snacks, and other supplies.
  • Foam padding on the back and sides.
  • ​Adjustable straps.
  • ​Sturdy grip handle.
  • Dual layer door with mesh option or polyester option.
OSIR Dog or Cat Pet Carrier Backpack Soft and Convenient Available for Airplane Travel or Outdoor Activities

While this is a somewhat large dog backpack carrier for everyday purposes, it is still very comfortable, practical and stylish looking so it’s not impossible to use it as your everyday carrier.

It also has 2 roomy storage pockets for keeping water, treats, and other supplies for your dog on hand and easily accessible. And the door flap has 2 layers so that you can choose to either keep your dog completely secure with both flaps or roll up the top flap and let your dog see what’s going on through the mesh under flap.

Both the bottom and the back are the right combination of rigid and comfortable so that you can actually use this as a backpack or as a handheld carrier (using the comfortable handle on the front).

So whether you’re just going to the vet or you’re flying across the country, this carrier will definitely come in handy!

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#3 Outward Hound Kyjen PoochPouch Front Carrier

This product is a small dog carrier backpack that is perfect for small to medium sized dogs. It can be used as an everyday dog carrier but it also makes a wonderful backpack dog carrier for hiking. It’s padded and compact but still manages to include some storage space.


  • 2 sizes options for dogs up to 15 pounds
  • 2 color options
  • Padded straps and a padded back and pouch
  • Safety harness
  • Nylon fabric
  • ​Drawstring top
  • Mesh sides for ventilations
Outward Hound Kyjen PoochPouch Front Carrier For Dogs Easy-Fit Adjustable Dog Carrier

The mesh sides allow you to safely and comfortably keep your dog contained inside with the top closed. They will still be able to breathe and even look around if they want to. And the water resistant material means you can take it out in any weather and your dog will stay dry and happy.

One important note: while it is definitely makes a great dog hiking backpack carrier, it is really only practical on its own for day hikes. If you’re going on longer trips, you’ll either need an additional bag to carry the other supplies your dog needs or you’ll need to leave this at home and get a carrier with more storage.

With that said, if you do just need it for a nice, spontaneous day hike, this is a very convenient dog carrier to have on hand as it is comfortable to wear, comfortable for your dog to sit in, and offers enough storage for a few basic supplies.

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#4 Amzdeal Pet Front Carrier

This dog carrier comes in a variety of sizes and is super easy to use and comfortable to wear. It’s a great everyday carrier and can be used on hikes since it is worn on the chest so you’ll still be able to carry a backpack with supplies.


  • Dimensions (for medium size): 30 inches long, 11.8 inches wide, and 6.3 inches tall
  • 3 sizes for dogs up to 22 pounds.
  • Convenient and comfortable harness design
  • Adjustable shoulder straps
  • Fun, colorful striped pattern
  • ​Tail hole in the back for added comfort
  • ​Compliant with most airline regulations
#4 Amzdeal Pet Front Carrier Dog Travel Carrier Bag Backpack Legs out Dog Carrier

This carrier has a very simple but intuitive design. Your dog sits upright inside of it with their legs coming out of separate holes (there’s also a hole for the tail as well). You then wear it on your chest, strapping it to your shoulders with the adjustable shoulder straps.

It’s also very easy to put your dog inside. The front flap comes down so that you can slide it over each of your dog’s legs and then you clip the part that is on your dog to the pack piece and then just attach the carrier to your chest. This is great for stubborn dogs who don’t tend to sit still inside of other carriers.

This is a very convenient little carrier to have. As mentioned, you can use it for hiking but it would also be good for biking since it keeps your dog still and securely strapped to your chest. It can also be used for airplane travel. We just wouldn’t recommend it using while driving a car or a motorcycle.

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Final Word

As you can see, you definitely have some strong options to choose from in the under $30 category. However, if you are willing to spend a little bit more, you can find something truly amazing that will last you for years and years to come.

Best Dog Carrier Backpacks Over $30

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When you go up to the next price tier, you will start to see some extremely impressive products that are still not really going to break the bank. Even if these are a little more than you were hoping to spend, you can be confident that you will not have to buy a new one for a long, long time.

#1 Pet Ego Lenis Pack Pet Carrier Backpack

This is one of the most stylish and well-designed dog backpack carriers we have come across so far. It is just beautifully crafted and perfect for everyday use with smaller dogs.


  • Dimensions: 10 inches long, 14 inches wide, and 7.5 inches tall.
  • Suitable for dogs up to 10 pounds.
  • Stylish and practical design.
  • Beautiful mocha micro-fiber suede exterior.
  • Durable yet soft orange nylon lining inside.
  • ​Adjustable straps for optional front or back carrying.
  • Convenient Velcro closures.
Pet Ego Lenis Pack Pet Carrier Backpack by Emanuele Bianchi

Both the inside and outside are super soft and padded for both your dog’s comfort and yours. The semi-rigid bottom and back make it ideal for both wearing and for resting on the ground to give your dog a cozy place to come nap whenever he wants.

The adjustable straps let you choose between wearing it on your back or using it as a front dog carrier backpack. So, overall, you have so many options and no matter what you choose, you and your dog will be travelling in style.

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#2 Casual Canine Ultimate Backpack Carrier

We absolutely love this backpack carrier for airplane travel but especially for hiking with small dogs. It is super versatile and very spacious for small to medium dogs.


  • 2 color options.
  • Dimensions: 17 inches long, 16.5 inches wide, and 5.3 inches tall.
  • Suitable for dogs up to 22 pounds.
  • Water resistant polyester material.
  • Zipper compartment for optional mesh tent option (which expands the size up to 21 inches.
  • ​Mesh side door for convenience and ventilation.
  • ​Berber mat included.
  • Side storage pocket.
Casual Canine Ultimate Backpack Carrier

It’s made with water resistant polyester and mesh paneling for proper air circulation. And it comes with a comfy Berber mat and a storage pocket on the side for basic supplies. But what makes this such a great dog backpack carrier for hiking is that the front unzips out into a mesh tent so that your dog can relax comfortably and safely while still admiring nature.

It may not be able to fit everything you need for a hiking or camping trip but it is still a great option. With this dog carrier backpack, hiking can be done free of the burden of an extra travel crate for use while camping. You can just use this as both the carrier and the crate for camping for the night.

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#3 Pawhut Deluxe Pet Carrier

This is an awesome little dog carrier for air travel or car travel. It is well built and crafted with durable materials and the right features you need to take your dog with you on shorter (or longer trips).


  • 4 different color options
  • Suitable for dogs up to 20 pounds
  • Dimensions: 13.8 inches long, 10.6 inches wide, 19.3 inches tall.
  • Mesh door and panels for ventilations
  • Heavy duty, water resistant Oxford fabric
  • ​Lightweight PVC backing
  • ​Retractable handle
  • Wheels
Pawhut Deluxe Pet Dog Travel Carrier Backpack Wheels

While it boasts a nice compact design, it can actually comfortably fit a dog up to 20 pounds which is impressive. The adjustable straps are padded so you can comfortably wear this on your back but you can also pull out the handle and wheel it around.

The soft sides make it comfortable and suitable for most airlines but we wouldn’t recommend using this as a dog motorcycle carrier backpack because for that, you are better off getting something with a much more rigid structure and hard walls to provide added protection.

But for air or car travel, it’s very convenient. It has pretty roomy storage pockets on the side for keeping your dog’s treats, food, toys, potty pads or bags, or whatever else they need. And at just over $30, it is a fantastic price.

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#4 Pet Gear I-GO2 Plus Backpack Carrier

This dog backpack carrier is very well built and spacious for small to medium dogs. It’s also got the features you need in a great carrier for air travel (although you still want to check airline regulations to make sure it is compliant).


  • 3 different color options
  • Dimensions: 16 inches long, 13.5 inches wide, 22 inches tall
  • Retractable handle
  • ​Hands-free strap to sling over your shoulder.
  • Mesh door and panels for ventilation
  • ​Fleece bedding included
  • ​Security tether that attaches to your pet’s collar or harness.
Pet Gear I-GO2 Plus Traveler Rolling Backpack Carrier for Small Cats and Dogs

The large mesh door and panels give your dog plenty of air and visibility while still keeping him safe and secure. Meanwhile, the retractable handle and wheels make this easy to wheel around if you don’t want to carry it. But you also have padded adjustable shoulder straps for carrying it on your back.

While it may not be the best dog backpack carrier for hiking since it has minimal storage and the wheels would not hold up well on the rough terrain of the outdoors, it is a great one for car travel and air travel.

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Final Word

The four options you have just read about are some of the best dog backpack carriers out there. So if you’re willing to be a little more flexible with your budget, you will not be disappointed.

Front and Back Dog Carrier


After reading through these 8 options, you now have a better sense of what kind of range you can expect to find. Even if none of these products in particular stuck out at you, you should still be better prepared to find the perfect dog carrier backpack for your needs now that you have seen what kind of options exist and what you can expect at different price points. So you’re now ready to get out there and start shopping!

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