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Dog Gear

Top Picks

How we choose: The best dog gear highlighted here were selected based on 87 reviews of 60 products. Our top picks are those that are readily-available in the United States and have received the highest overall ratings from reviewers.

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Top Dog Life Jacket

Ruffwear Float Coat

user rating: 5 of 5 (4 reviews)

When I was notified that we would be reviewing the Ruffwear K-9 Float Coat as Gear Brand Ambassadors for Backcountry K9, I was quite enthusiastic. Many others who paddle with their dogs had insisted that this canine life jacket is the best available. Now I would have a chance to test it out, and find out what all the shouting was about…well, now I am shouting! This is certainly a great life jacket for your dog.

Reasons to Buy

  • Well made
  • Sturdy
  • Bright colors
  • Good flotation

Reasons to Avoid

  • None really, maybe that leash loop is under handle

We have canoed with our dogs for many years, and have always put them in a dog life jacket. We have not been dissatisfied with our current brands, both of which have served us adequately. However, as soon as I opened the box and closely examined this life jacket, I could see that the Float Coat was made with high quality standards, and I was excited to let Gryphon test it in the boat. Gryphon is a big-chested yellow lab mutt, with a thick ruff. He weighs approximately 72 pounds, and has a long body, and is not much of a swimmer.

Read more: Ruffwear Float Coat reviews (4)

Ruffwear Kibble Kaddie

user rating: 5 of 5 (1 review)

The Ruffwear Kibble Kaddie is a waterproof, durable, and convenient way to carry your dog's kibble while traveling or camping. We have used it for winter hut camping, canoe camping, and car camping. I can recommend this bag to those looking for a way to securely transport their dog's kibble, keeping it dry and fresh.

Reasons to Buy

  • Good capacity
  • Solid construction
  • Interior pocket compartment
  • Waterproof

Reasons to Avoid

  • Double webbing handles at base would make it easier to attach to companion Ruffwear Haul Bag

With our two active adventure dogs, my husband and I are frequently traveling for car camping, pop-up trailer camping, winter hut camping, and back-country canoe camping. These trips require organization and planning, as they may last three days for a local camping trip, or up to three weeks for a cross-country trip. One of the keys to the success of our trips is keeping the dogs happy...a happy traveling dog makes life easier and more enjoyable for all. Since our dogs are rather food-oriented, and pretty obsessive about feeding times, the ability to have fresh, easily accessible, and dry (!) food for them is essential.

Read more: Ruffwear Kibble Kaddie review (1)

Ruffwear Haul Bag

user rating: 5 of 5 (1 review)

The Ruffwear Haul Bag is a large capacity (37L) duffel style bag, designed for convenient carrying of an assortment of dog gear. This bag is perfect for car camping or road trips, consolidating all your dog’s gear and accessories in one spot. The bag is well-designed, sturdy, and easy to carry. It makes a nice companion item with the Ruffwear Kibble Kiddie dog food bag, facilitating travels with any adventure pup. Ruffwear describes this Haul Bag as an improved version of previous models: "Fall 2019 brings a complete redesign with sturdy, waterproof material that's easy to clean, a removable shoulder strap, and more room for gear." This is the first Haul Bag I have owned, and I can say I am quite impressed with it, and can recommend it to others who adventure with their dogs.

Reasons to Buy

  • Large capacity
  • Durable and waterproof fabric
  • Comfortable and easy to carry

Reasons to Avoid

  • Accessory loops are too wide for small attachment rings

Are you drowning in a sea of dog gear? Do you spend hours looking for that extra leash? Do you find yourself saying “I know there are more poop bags here somewhere!”                                     Okay, so I just want to know where the food is! Well, I am quite familiar with the above scenarios; though I am an extremely organized person by nature, our extensive dog gear collection somehow seems to end up stored in various crates, packs, drawers, shelves, and boxes.

Read more: Ruffwear Haul Bag review (1)

Top Dog Pack

Ruffwear Palisades Pack

user rating: 5 of 5 (3 reviews)

In over 45 years of backpacking with my dogs this is the best dog pack yet. It fits well with plenty of adjustment and is comfortable for the dog to wear on extended trips over various terrains. It has six compartments and is expandable for bulky loads as well as being compressible on tighter trail conditions. Comes with two, 1-liter hydration bladders and can hold enough food, water, and doggy gear for longer trips.

Reasons to Buy

  • Rugged construction
  • Very adjustable
  • Pack easily detaches from halter for rest
  • Easy to keep clean
  • Tear resistant, heavy duty nylon construction

Reasons to Avoid

  • Somewhat expensive, but worth it

This is my second pack from Ruffwear. The first was their smaller Approach dog pack which unfortunately outlasted my previous Irish Setter. While the Approach was still in excellent condition, it was too small for my new hiking companion. Since he is larger by about 20 pounds, I decided to buy him Ruffwear's largest dog pack, the Palisades.  Rascal is an 80-pound Irish Setter who can easily carry enough of his food, water, and bedding for hikes of four or five days. The Palisades pack carries this weight just behind the shoulders and far enough forward on his body to avoid straining his back.

Read more: Ruffwear Palisades Pack reviews (3)

Dog Pack

Ruffwear Approach Pack

user rating: 5 of 5 (7 reviews)

So far so good. It's worth the extra money.

Reasons to Buy

  • Durable
  • Comfortable
  • Fits snuggly
  • Design

Reasons to Avoid

  • Price

I have had this pack for a year and a half now, but we have not done a year and a half worth of hiking so I will update you guys if anything changes. So far it has been outstanding. I bought it new at Cabelas because I had a $50 gift card there. I have the blue, size lg, for my 90lb mutt Ellie. Durability: We have done 15 or so day hikes, and one or two overnights and the pack has held up great. After being banged and brushed by rocks, bushes, and trees the material has not ripped. It has even been through streams, and while its not water proof, its still in one very whole piece.

Read more: Ruffwear Approach Pack reviews (7)

Top Dog Harness

Ruffwear Hi & Light Harness

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1 review)

The Ruffwear Hi and Light Harness is a durable, lightweight harness that has been a fantastic fit for our active Vizsla, Roland. It allows for unrestricted movement and after months of regular use shows no obvious signs of wear.

Reasons to Buy

  • Lightweight
  • Reflective for visibility
  • Minimal chafing
  • Adjustable

Reasons to Avoid

  • Some chafing when wet (for shorthair dogs)

Testing Conditions: Our 8-year-old Vizsla, Roland, tested the Ruffwear Hi and Light Harness from late May through September of 2018 in northern New Hampshire. Roland wore the harness trail running, hiking, and running alongside my husband, Jim, and I while we mountain biked. He also took it swimming a few times, and wore it on a boat. Temperatures ranged from 50-90 degrees fahrenheit.                                                       Roland on a bike ride                           All dressed up for his boat ride...while Jim hides from the sun Fit: The harness comes in a variety of sizes ranging from extra extra extra small to large/extra large.

Read more: Ruffwear Hi & Light Harness review (1)

Dog Pack

Mountainsmith Dog Pack

user rating: 5 of 5 (4 reviews)

I love this pack!!! This thing has made it through hell and back and keeps goin. I sprayed a little silicone waterproof on and it can handle quick full submersions in creeks or whatever. The cinch straps make the load very solid which is very important with a dogpack. Due to the size of the terrier that wears this it drags on rocks and whatever else is close to the ground but 3 seasons and still rollin. I really like the reflective stripe for visibility it has held up to all the scrapes as well.

Read more: Mountainsmith Dog Pack reviews (4)

Dog Harness

Ruffwear Web Master Harness

user rating: 5 of 5 (2 reviews)

Great harness for active dogs! I will purchase again, if it ever wears out.

Reasons to Buy

  • 5 points of adjustment
  • Sturdy
  • Durable
  • Even weight/tug distribution

Reasons to Avoid

  • Clumsy to put on/take off

Ease of Use: This harness is a little clumsy to put on and take off (if your dog doesn't love having gear slipped over its head it may not be excited about putting the harness on), but its excellent performance outweighs that minor inconvenience.  Features: The best thing about this harness for my dogs is the five points of adjustment—I can really make the harness fit their bodies so there is no slipping and ensure that it's not too tight in some spots or baggy in others. On-leash walking is great with this harness.

Read more: Ruffwear Web Master Harness reviews (2)

Kurgo Mud Dog Travel Shower

user rating: 5 of 5 (1 review)

A rubber shower head for standard thread bottles, meant for dogs but works great for dog owners too!

Reasons to Buy

  • A good way to get a full wash out of 2L of water
  • Adapts to soda bottles or soft bottles with standard thread
  • Not too expensive

Backpacking in hot weather is great if your day ends at a lake or river deep enough for a rinse-off before bedtime, otherwise you may be in for a sticky, grimy night. And in cooler weather it can be nice to get clean as well, but full immersion or a cold splash bath may not be entirely pleasant. This little doggie shower works just as well for humans, and offers a way to wash up in less than ideal circumstances. Our dear departed Ralphie would have hated it, only because he didn't like being washed in any way, even though he loved swimming.

Read more: Kurgo Mud Dog Travel Shower review (1)

Dog Pack

Mountainsmith K9 Dog Pack

user rating: 5 of 5 (1 review)

Won't rub your dog the wrong way. All the buckles and snaps have a protective pad, that keeps them from rubbing directly against your dog.

Reasons to Buy

  • Super tough
  • Great adjustability
  • Does not rub raw spots on your dog

Reasons to Avoid

  • Not waterproof

This K9 backpack was all I expected it to be and more. Out of the box, I put it on my Black Lab Zeus. It adjusted quickly and fit great. It took him a few days to get used to it, because it made him over twice as wide as he was used to. I would highly recommend getting your dog used to this new wider profile than he/she is used to, before heading out on trail.  The packs themselves are quite large. He was able to carry his own bowl and food for our weeklong trip. I especially like the handle on the top, between the packs.

Read more: Mountainsmith K9 Dog Pack review (1)

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