Pet Keen is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

7 Best Dog Harnesses for Hiking in 2022 – Reviews & Top Picks

Vet approved

Dr. Nia Perkins Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Nia Perkins

DVM (Vet)

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

Learn more »

Scenic Hiking with a Polish Lowland Sheepdog

If you are a hiking enthusiast, it goes without saying that you want your best four-legged friend to follow you on the trails. But beyond the

essential gear you need to fully enjoy your adventure, you want to make sure your companion is also wearing the best equipment. Hiking harnesses are therefore a crucial purchase, both to keep your pup safe and to carry some of your own gear (in the case of backpack harnesses).

However, it is not always easy to navigate through the panoply of options on the market. What type of harness to choose? Does it really have to be breathable? And what about comfort and ease of maintenance? Don’t worry, we’ve got your back (and your pooch’s) with our reviews of the best dog harness for hiking in 2022!

Here are the best models we’ve found, with options for any type of dog.

divider-paw

A Glance at Our Winners in 2022

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 7 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 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! This option also includes a reflective strip and a light loop, which is very 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 to climb for your pup.

    Plus, you can use this harness for daily walks as well as training service or working dogs. For all these reasons, the Ruffwear Web Master is the best overall option we’ve reviewed. Unfortunately, it probably won’t fit your pet if they are really tiny, as xx-small might still be too big for micro-sized dogs.

    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 many 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

    Let’s be clear—this Frisco dog harness offers great value, but if your goal is to go on long hikes with your large German Shepherd, skip it. Indeed, 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 adjustable straps. However, it will be more suitable for short hikes with a small dog that does not pull and gets tired quickly. In any case, watch your dog carefully while wearing this harness so that he does not chew on it.

    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 his leash, kibble, and sunscreen! Besides, carrying items is beneficial for your dog, as it allows him to focus his attention on his “mission”.

    Moreover, this colorful backpack is light but sturdy enough to withstand harsh weather conditions. It allows for a custom fit with several different attachment points. Plus, the ergonomic, padded back support 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 his flanks.

    Pros
    • Breathable mesh ventilation
    • Lightweight, rugged, ergonomic, and padded
    • 4 reflective trim strips for extra safety
    • Adjustable straps
    • Includes bottle opener
    Cons
    • Not suitable for small dog 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 easy to put on and a comfortable harness to introduce your pup to hiking. Soft, breathable mesh allows 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 car driving safer; plus, 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 his leash like crazy!

    The only 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. Buy a larger size but keep in mind that you will most likely need to buy a new model once your pup reaches adult size.

    Pros
    • Easy to put on
    • Available in 5 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 Air Polyester Reflective No Pull Dog Harness

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

    The Kurgo Journey Air is perfect for running, hiking, or on your 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. And no problem if you come back later from your hike, thanks to the reflective trim.

    Also, this model allows you to attach your dog to the front and back thanks to the two clips, which is not the case with all harnesses. However, like the majority 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
    • Very easy to take off and put on
    • Super secure and well made
    • Includes reflective trim for added safety
    • 4 rust-proof release buckles
    Cons
    • May wear out quickly if you do a lot of hiking
    • Expensive

    6. Headlight LED Light Dog Harness

    Headlight Harness LED Light Dog Harness

    Material: Polyester, mesh
    Closure type: Buckle
    Harness type: No pull

    The main feature of the Headlight Dog Harness is of course its integrated LED light at chest level to provide additional lighting for you and your pet. It is therefore very practical during night outings, but it is probably not a feature sought by all hikers. However, if you live in a rural area, for example, and outside lights are scarce after dark, you will appreciate the superior lighting provided by your dog’s harness!

    In addition, this harness is sturdy, water-resistant, comfortable, and does not put pressure on your pet’s throat if he suddenly starts to pull. It also features four adjustable straps to help you customize the fit based on your pup’s needs.

    Pros
    • Sturdy and lightweight
    • Fits and adjusts well
    • Available in 6 colors
    • LED light is super bright
    Cons
    • Built-in LED light may be a superfluous feature for some
    • Expensive

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

    Chai's Choice Premium Outdoor Adventure 3M Polyester Reflective Front Clip Dog Harness

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

    Chai’s Choice 3M is a dog harness with a sleek design and good quality. You can even walk your dog in the middle of the night because the whole harness is reflective. However, since you’re unlikely to be hiking in the dead of night, 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 its place on our list because of the mesh padding (which relieves pressure on your dog’s neck), the O-rings attached to the chest to discourage your pup from pulling on the leash, and the handle integrated that allows you to buckle your dog during your car journeys.

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

    divider-dog paw

    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. For this, nothing could be simpler: 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 size chart of the harness you want, but be careful, these size 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
    • Doesn’t irritate the skin

    Note: If your dog has irritated skin, look at the size or shape of the harness. It may be too small for him or ill-fitting.

    What Are the Different Types of Dog Harnesses?

    • The “T” harness: This type of harness is often used in large dogs because they have a dorsal handle allowing better control of the dog. In addition, some models have a clip on the chest, which allows them to be used as an anti-pull harness. It is intended primarily for walks and less for more intense activities such as running and hiking. Besides, 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” models are less easy to put on your dog. However, they allow better control of your canine friend’s movements. Choose a model with wide straps if your dog tends to pull hard. However, like the previous type, these are more suitable harnesses for walking.
    • The “X” or “Y” harness: These harnesses are known to be very versatile and comfortable for the dog. In addition, they are suitable for both 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, has reflective strips, a lifting handle, front and rear clips, adjustable straps, etc. It can also feature 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. Indeed, hiking harnesses are made of stronger fabrics, and the straps, buckles, clips, and leash attachments are better suited for hiking with your pooch than just walking around town.

    divider-dog

    Conclusion

    We hope our reviews will help you make an informed choice when buying a hiking harness for your pup. To jog your memory, the Ruffwear Web Master Dog Harness and Kurgo Baxter Dog Backpack are great choices for dogs whether they’re new to hiking or seasoned explorers. Now, what are you waiting for to go explore the wild trails with your best friend?


    Featured Image Credit: BGSmith, Shutterstock

    Our vets

    Want to talk to a vet online?

    Whether you have concerns about your dog, cat, or other pet, trained vets have the answers!

    Our vets
    Did you know: an average of 18 dog foods are recalled every year?

    Get FREE Dog Food Recall Alerts  exclusive content, insider pricing, care guides, sale alerts & more…
    Sign up for our Doggie Club!

    Get FREE Dog Food Recall Alerts Get alerts