Best Dog Harness for Hiking 2020 – Reviews & Top Picks

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a Dog Harness for HikingAre you planning to go hiking or backpacking with your dog? Then, you’ll need a dog harness specially designed for strenuous activity. Unlike collars, which can put too much strain on your dog’s neck, a well-fitted harness provides comfort and control.

Just as you need to be outfitted with the proper gear, the right dog harness can keep your hiking companion going for miles and miles. However, with a variety of styles and designs to choose from, it’s no easy task to decide which harness will work best for your dog.

We’ve selected 10 of the best dog harnesses for hiking and along with detailed and helpful reviews, summed up our findings in pros and cons lists. We’ve also included a buyer’s guide to help you make a more informed purchase.


Our 2020 Favorites Compared:

ModelPriceSizes AvailableEditor Rating
Rabbitgoo
small Rabbitgoo DTCW009-L(Best Overall)

Check Price
4 Sizes4.10/5
EcoBark
small EcoBark Classic(Best Value)

Check Price
7 Sizes4.10/5
OneTigris
small OneTigris(Premium Choice)

Check Price
3 Sizes4.40/5
RUFFWEAR
small RUFFWEAR 30501-645LL1

Check Price
5 Sizes4.45/5
Outward Hound
small Outward Hound

Check Price
3 Sizes4.10/5

The 10 Best Hiking Harnesses for Dogs:

1. Rabbitgoo Dog Harness – Best Overall

Rabbitgoo DTCW009-L

For best overall performance, we recommend the Rabbitgoo dog harness. Offered in six bold color choices, this harness has soft padded panels made of Nylon Oxford, which not only allow for comfort and durability but also provide air flow to keep your dog cool as they’re blazing down the trail.

The no-slip lock system employs two buckles that are easy to clasp and unclasp and hold strong when it counts. Plus, the four adjustment points create a better fit. However, be aware that some dogs who are prone to escaping may become entangled.

This harness comes with two sturdy leash attachment loops. Use the back loop for casual walks and long hikes, and the front clip comes in handy for reducing your dog’s tendency to pull. There’s also a top handle incorporated into the harness for increased control and for lifting your dog. The reflective strips help keep your dog safe in low light.

Pros
  • Soft padded panels
  • Comfort and durability
  • Breathable fabric
  • No-slip lock system buckles
  • Four adjustment points
  • Front and back leash attachments
  • Top handle
  • Reflective strips
  • Six color choices
Cons
  • Some dogs may escape or become entangled

2. EcoBark Classic Dog Harness – Best Value 

EcoBark Classic

Our choice for the best dog harness for hiking for the money goes to EcoBark Classic dog harness. Beyond being a great value, this harness is built to provide a comfortable fit for your dog. The custom stitch cover is designed to prevent rubbing and chafing.

The double-layered mesh fabric allows for breathability and is lightweight but strong enough to endure your dog’s high activity level. With eco-friendly straps made from recycled water bottles, this harness is built to prevent your dog from escaping, though it’s easy to put on and remove with the specialized buckles.

The EcoBark Classic comes in 10 bright color choices and six sizes. It has a leash attachment on the back, but there’s no option for a front leash and no top handle. We also found that breeds with wider necks encountered problems with the fit of the collar portion.

Pros
  • Best value
  • Comfortable, breathable, and lightweight
  • Custom stitch cover to prevent rubbing and chafing
  • Eco-friendly straps
  • Specialized buckles
  • 10 color choices
  • Six size options
Cons
  • No front leash attachment or top handle
  • Difficult fit for wider neck dog breeds

Need dog boots for hiking? See our recommendations!


3. OneTigris Dog Vest Harness – Premium Choice 

OneTigris

If you’re planning several days of backpacking and hiking with your dog, you may want to spend the extra money on our premium choice, the OneTigris tactical dog vest harness. As the name implies, this dog harness is designed for professional medical and emergency use. On the trail, your dog can carry their own supplies and first aid materials.

The OneTigris includes three MOLLE pouches, an EMT bag, a tool pouch, and a waist pack. It comes with two sturdy top handles located in the front and back. This harness is built from durable 1000D nylon and has a rather soft interior. It only comes with a back-leash attachment, however.

Keep in mind that this harness is created for medium to extra-large dogs and is not intended for extra-heavy loads. Also, you may need to regularly adjust the fit, and the weight of the bags may cause the vest to shift out of place.

Pros
  • Professional-looking design
  • Three pouches for carrying supplies
  • Two sturdy top handles
  • Durable 1000D nylon
  • Soft interior
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Not for small dogs
  • No front leash attachment

See the top tactical dog harnesses here!


4. RUFFWEAR Front Range Dog Harness

RUFFWEAR 30501-645LL1

Built for extended wear during day-long hikes, the Ruffwear dog harness offers a simple design made from lightweight and durable materials. Two foam-padded strips stretch across your dog’s chest and belly for improved comfort and load distribution.

Four adjustment straps help provide a functional fit. We found, however, that larger chest dog breeds had difficulties with the fit. Also, dogs prone to escaping may make easy work of this harness.

Ruffwear comes with two leash attachment points. There’s an aluminum V-ring on the back and a reinforced loop on the front, which helps deter excessive pulling. However, if you have a strong dog, the front loop, made only of fabric, may snap under the force.

This vest-style dog harness comes in six sporty colors and has reflective strips for your dog’s safety in low light.

Pros
  • Designed for extended wear
  • Lightweight and durable material
  • Two foam-padded strips for comfort and load distribution
  • Four adjustment straps
  • Two leash attachment points, front and back
  • Six sporty colors
  • Reflective strips
Cons
  • Higher priced
  • Larger chest dog breeds can have difficulty with fit
  • Weak design of front leash attachment
  • Some dogs may escape from this harness

5. Outward Hound 22003 Daypak

Outward Hound

If you’re looking for a dog harness that allows you to pack supplies but without the high price tag, you may want to consider the Outward Hound daypack. This cleverly designed dog harness employs two evenly distributed pouches with four expandable pockets to provide ample room for plenty of necessary items.

This harness is built for long hikes with its breathable mesh fabric that will help keep your dog comfortable all day long. It comes with a sturdy D-ring leash attachment located only on the back, and it has a built-in top handle.

The adjustable straps help secure a better fit. As with any harness that has added storage, keeping the vest in its proper position may become an issue. Also, we learned of some dogs experiencing rubbing and chafing along the straps.

The Outward Hound Daypak comes in a choice of two vivid colors for higher visibility. It also has reflective accents for night use.

Pros
  • Inexpensive
  • Two pouches with four expandable pockets
  • Breathable mesh fabric
  • Sturdy D-ring leash attachment
  • Adjustable straps
  • Built-in top handle
  • Two vivid color choices
  • Reflective accents
  •  
Cons
  • No front leash attachment
  • Difficulty with maintaining proper fit
  • Some rubbing and chafing may occur with extended use

6. BARKBAY Front Clip Dog Harness

BARKBAY

Made for a day of hiking, the Barkbay dog harness clips securely onto your dog with ease. It comes with four adjustment points, and the buckles are weight tested up to 450 pounds.

The lightweight nylon on this front-styled vest is built for durability, prevents ripping, and is weatherproof for all seasons. This harness also provides your dog with extra comfort due to its anti-chafe padding and soft, breathable mesh fabric.

Two leash attachment clips located on the front and the back are made from strong zinc alloy metal, which resists rust and scratches. However, the metal clips may not be up to the challenge of a stronger, larger dog that pulls. Also, we learned of proper fitting difficulties.

Though primarily black, the vest portion comes in six attractive color accents. Also, the straps have reflective strips for added safety. This dog harness comes with a built-in top handle for extra control.

Pros
  • Sturdy and secure buckles
  • Four adjustment points
  • Lightweight and weatherproof nylon material
  • Anti-chafe, soft, breathable mesh padding
  • Front and back attachments for your leash
  • Six attractive color choices
  • Reflective strips
  • Built-in top handle
Cons
  • Weak metal leash attachment
  • Proper fitting difficulties

7. Kurgo Dog Saddlebag Harness

Kurgo K01586

If you’re looking for another option for a backpack design dog harness, the Kurgo dog saddlebag harness is designed for dogs on the go. Two large saddlebag-style storage bags attach to either side of the harness, which can be adjusted for better comfort, fit, and load distribution.

The two leash attachments are built for durability and performance. The rear attachment has a D-ring design that also doubles a bottle opener. The sturdy top handle, designed to help your dog over obstacles, is offered in three rugged colors and has reflective stitching for added safety.

We learned that some users encounter issues with the zippers on the saddlebags opening too easily during use. Also, you may have difficulties getting a proper fit on your dog. Overall, we found that the Kurgo works well for day hiking but may not be up to the challenge of longer trips.

Pros
  • Two large saddlebag-style storage bags
  • Adjustable bags and fit
  • Two leash attachment points/bottle opener
  • Sturdy top handle
  • Three rugged color choices
  • Reflective stitching
Cons
  • Zippers may open easily and unexpectantly
  • May encounter difficulty with proper fit
  • May not be durable for long, multi-day hikes

8. PoyPet No Pull Dog Harness

PoyPet

The front clip leash attachment on the PoyPet No Pull dog harness works well to deter your dog from pulling during your hike. Both the front and rear clips are constructed with sturdy metal and are secured with reinforced webbing.

You’ll can get this harness on and off with ease with a click of the quick-snap buckle on the neckline. Two additional buckles located on the belly and four adjustable straps secure this harness in place. However, you may run into trouble properly adjusting the straps for an ideal fit. Some dogs were able to easily escape.

This harness is built for your dog’s comfort during strenuous exercise. The non-toxic mesh allows for air circulation and provides padding to evenly distribute pulling pressure. The top handle can even be used to attach a seatbelt. This harness also comes with reflective stitching.

Pros
  • Front leash attachment design deters pulling
  • Sturdy metal leash attachment clips
  • Quick-snap buckle
  • Breathable mesh material
  • Comfort padding
  • Top handle with padding for your comfort
  • Reflective stitching
Cons
  • Adjustment straps may be difficult to adjust for an ideal fit
  • Some dogs escaped

See the best harnesses for running – Here!


9. ThinkPet Breathable Sport Harness

ThinkPet

Designed with active dogs in mind, the ThinkPet breathable sport harness comes with a variety of high-performance components, including a front leash clip to better control your dog’s tendency to pull.

The padded ventilated material is built for air flow to keep your dog cool on the go. The safety buckles attach securely and come with adjustable straps for a better fit. This harness includes a padded sturdy top handle, an additional leash attachment located on the center of the back, and full-size reflective straps.

We placed this harness second to last on our list for having durability issues, as well as proper fitting difficulties. This harness may not be able to stand up to large powerful dogs. Also, if your dog is an aggressive chewer, you may discover that this harness falls apart too easily. Finally, some dog owners do not care for the color choices.

Pros
  • Front and rear clip leash attachment
  • Padded, ventilated material
  • Safety buckles and adjustable straps
  • Sturdy, padded top handle
  • Full-size reflective straps
Cons
  • Difficulties achieving proper fit
  • Not durable for larger, stronger dogs
  • Not strong enough for aggressive chewers
  • Lackluster color choices

10. Embark Adventure Dog Harness

Embark Adventure

Designed for easy-on and easy-off, you can slip the Embark Adventure dog harness onto your dog and be on the trail in no time. It’s fully adjustable around your dog’s neck and stomach for a comfortable fit. This harness has a lightweight construction held together with military-grade nylon thread.

Ideal for shorter hikes, the no-rip nylon material is built for durability, while the soft padding offers extra comfort for your dog. You can choose from three basic colors. The two metal leash attachment rings include one in the front to deter pulling. This harness also comes with a top handle strap.

We ranked this dog harness last on our list for its issues with durability and solid construction. We learned of buckles breaking and stitching coming loose. Also, it does not have reflective stitching or breathable material. Finally, the cost is a bit higher than higher-ranked products on this list.

Pros
  • Easy-on/easy-off
  • Fully adjustable
  • Lightweight, no-rip nylon material
  • Two metal leash attachment rings, including front clip
  • Top handle strap
Cons
  • Lacking in durability
  • Buckles may break/stitching may loosen
  • No reflective stitching
  • Material is not breathable
  • Higher cost than similar products

Buyer’s Guide 

In this brief buyer’s guide, we’ll go over the key components of a well-performing dog harness built for the open trail. From the quality of materials to added features, we’ll summarize what to consider before you and your dog start on your hike.

Key Performance Features

Hiking means that your dog will be working hard and generating serious body heat. When selecting a harness, make sure the material has enough ventilation to prevent your dog from overheating. Additionally, extra padding and a comfortable fit will prevent rubbing and chafing along the edges of the harness.

Rough Terrain

If you know that you may encounter rough terrain, make sure your dog harness has a sturdy top handle. This feature can help you assist your dog over difficult areas. Also, the edge of a sheer drop is no place to find out if the buckles and leash attachments are durable and strong. Be sure to choose a harness that comes with a solid contraction.

Backpacking With Your Dog

Certain dog harnesses featured on our list provide storage options. Keep your dog’s strength level in mind when adding the weight of supplies. While having your dog carry necessities may be convenient, be sure to start your dog out with a light load. Generally, you won’t need a load-bearing dog harness for short hikes. However, if you intend to backpack, it might be worth the investment.

Conclusion 

The Rabbitgoo DTCW009-L Dog Harness earned our top pick as the best overall dog harness for hiking. The soft padded panels made from breathable fabric on this harness provide your dog with comfort, while you’ll enjoy its durability. Plus, no-slip lock system buckles and four adjustment points provide a secure fit. This harness is ready for the trail with both front and back leash attachments, a top handle, and reflective strips.

If you’re watching your budget and are eco-minded, consider the EcoBark Classic Dog Harness. This dog harness offers you the best value while not compromising on quality. This comfortable, breathable, and lightweight dog harness provides custom stitch covers to prevent rubbing and chafing, eco-friendly recycled water bottle straps, and specialized buckles. You can choose from 10 bright color choices and six size options.

Finally, rounding out the top three, we selected the OneTigris Tactical Dog Vest Harness as our premium choice. You may turn a few heads on the trail with this dog harness’s professional-looking design. If you’re planning to backpack, your dog can share the load with three pouches for carrying supplies. Additional features include two sturdy top handles, durable 1000D nylon construction, and a soft interior.

When you’re heading out for a hike with your dog, you want a dog harness that’s up to the strenuous, rugged task. We hope that after reading through the informative reviews of our top 10 dog harnesses for hiking, as well as the quick-reference pros and cons lists, you’ve found the best harness to outfit your dog for your next adventure. Whether it’s a short daily hike or a long trek, we hope you’ve discovered a dog harness that will provide both comfort and performance for your travel companion.