Hiking

Best Dog Harness for Hiking – KXAN Austin

Which dog harnesses for hiking are the best?

Hitching your dog on walks has many benefits, regardless of size or breed. The pressure distribution is more comfortable for your dog when wearing a harness, and it helps prevent excessive strain on the neck for dogs that tend to pull.

If you like to take your dog on hikes, a harness can be especially beneficial. But what is the difference between a standard dog harness and a hiking dog harness? There are a few small differences that help go a long way. If you’re looking for a harness that can work hard and hold up over time, the Ruffwear Multi-Purpose Support Dog Harness is durable, reliable and comfortable for you and your pup.

What to know before buying a dog harness for hiking

If you do a lot of hiking with your pup, a standard dog harness may not meet all your needs. Harnesses designed for hiking and rugged outdoor use may have useful extras like reflective strips or pockets for storage. They are more personalized and often include additional features to accommodate any scenario you might encounter on the trails.

A good fit

The most important thing about a dog harness is to fit it properly. A dog harness for hiking shouldn’t be too tight, but it shouldn’t be loose enough for your dog to pull out of it either. If you want to check the tightness of a harness, try putting your hand between the harness and your dog’s body. You know you have a good fit if the harness fits no more than two fingers.

Storage options

Some harnesses come with small pockets while other hiking harnesses double as backpacks so your dog can take some of their snacks or toys with them. To determine if you want a pannier/backpack harness, consider your dog’s size, age, and how many hikes you plan to do together.

Bonus Features

Hiking harnesses can have unique bonus features for spending time in rugged or rural terrain. They can have strong handles on the back, chest clips for alternative leash methods, or light strips for better visibility at night. If you’re likely to spend a lot of time early in the morning or late at night, consider getting a harness that can accommodate a light source.

What to Look for in a Quality Dog Harness for Hiking

A quality hiking dog harness is the perfect combination of comfort, safety and practicality. You wouldn’t want to cut a hike short because your own gear isn’t up to the task and the same is true when it comes to your dog. A hiking harness is part of your dog’s outdoor gear and should be able to withstand the elements.

A design adapted to the morphology

A good hiking harness is designed specifically for your dog’s build, whether it’s short and stocky or lean and tall. The best harness for a large dog may not be the best harness for a small dog. Consider what other users have said about using the harness with a dog of the same breed or size as yours.

Rust resistant

The best harnesses withstand the elements. Metal hardware won’t rust when wet or corrode quickly over time. All metal parts are strong, safe and reliable.

Breathable fabric

A breathable dog harness dries quickly and keeps your dog cool on hot days. It is soft, lightweight, padded and water resistant. It uses mesh and other quick-drying components so if your dog gets on it, it dries easily without uncomfortable chafing.

How much you can expect to spend on a dog harness for hiking

A dog harness for hiking usually costs between $15 and $60, depending on the quality of materials used and the size.

Hiking Dog Harness FAQ

What are the adjustment points?

A. Adjustment points are areas of the harness that can be tightened or loosened to fit your dog comfortably. The more adjustment points, the more customizable the fit.

Does a loose dog still need a harness to hike?

A. Even if you allow your dog to run off-leash during hikes, a reliable hiking harness is still a good idea. The color or reflective properties can help you keep an eye out for them among the trees and if you’re worried about getting separated you can attach a animal tracker to their harness or necklace. If you want to grab them quickly, there’s a handle to reach for instead of their collar.

What is the best hiking dog harness to buy?

Top harness for hiking dogs

Ruffwear Multi-Purpose Support Dog Harness

Ruffwear Multi-Purpose Support Dog Harness

What do you want to know: This durable hiking and trail harness offers great coverage in three colors and five sizes.

What you will love: It is padded with a reinforced handle and five points of adjustment for a secure fit. It is lightweight, durable and features a reflective trim. It is not easy to escape and it comes with a light buckle to secure a security light (sold separately).

What you should consider: There is no ID tag pocket on the harness.

Or buy: Sold by Amazon and Countryside

Top dog harness for hiking for the money

Ruffwear Front Range Dog Harness

Ruffwear Front Range Dog Harness

What do you want to know: This lightweight pull-on harness is available in ten colors and five sizes with chest and back leash attachment points.

What you will love: It features padded foam bands for even weight distribution and can be adjusted in four places for a secure fit. It is designed for your dog’s comfort and comes with reflective trim, as well as an ID pocket to store your dog’s tags.

What you should consider: It is a little small.

Or buy: Sold by Amazon and Countryside

Worth checking out

Kurgo Dog Saddlebag Backpack Harness

Kurgo Dog Saddlebag Backpack Harness

What do you want to know: This polyester backpack/harness combo is available in three sizes and two colors.

What you will love: It includes a two-sided bag for storing dog supplies or first aid equipment. There are eight points of adjustment for a reliable fit and the trim is reflective for better visibility. It has front and rear leash attachments and the rear leash ring doubles as a bottle opener.

What you should consider: The packs are not removable and the harness as a whole may require additional adjustments during your ride.

Or buy: Sold by Amazon

Register here to receive the weekly BestReviews newsletter for helpful tips on new products and great deals.

Emilia Verona written for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their buying decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.