Running or hiking with a leash in your hand can be a huge pain. It can slow things down and takes away from your ability to hold onto or carry other items. By using a hands-free leash, you’ll be able to keep your dog close to you without having to reduce your mobility or ability to hold things by hanging onto a leash.
Not every dog is a good candidate for a hands-free leash, but they can be a great addition to your daily jogs or hiking trips if your dog is well-behaved on a leash. To help you find the perfect hands-free leash for you and your dog, we’ve reviewed some of the highest-rated hands-free leashes we could find.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2023
|Best Overall||Tuff Mutt Hands-Free Bungee Leash||
|Best Value||Caldwell’s Original Running Leash||
|Premium Choice||Found My Animal Adjustable Ombre Rope Leash||
|Jespet Bungee Reflective Standard Leash||
|Surf City Pet Works Traffic Reflective Bungee Hands-Free Running Leash||
The 8 Best Hands-Free Dog Leashes
1. Tuff Mutt Hands-Free Bungee Leash – Best Overall
|Leash length:||4–5 feet|
|Waistband size:||26–48 inches|
The Tuff Mutt Hands-Free Bungee Leash is the best overall hands-free dog leash. This has a 4-foot bungee leash that expands up to 5 feet, with a waistband that is adjustable from 26–48 inches. Some people find the length of the leash to be too short for large dogs. This leash is recommended for dogs between 25–110 pounds, making it a great option for a wide size range of dogs.
It features a sliding belt clip on the waistband, allowing your dog the ability to move around without twisting the waistband on you. It’s available in four color schemes and has two handles on the leash, allowing you to use the leash as a normal leash if you need to adjust from hands-free. It also has reflective seams for low-light walks.
2. Caldwell’s Original Running Leash – Best Value
|Leash length:||35–58 inches|
|Waistband size:||26.5–47.8 inches|
The Caldwell’s Original Running Leash is the best hands-free dog leash for the money. It features an adjustable, non-bungee leash that adjusts from 35–58 inches and a waistband that adjusts from 26.5–47.8 inches. It features reflective stitching for low-light walks. It’s made from industrial-grade polyester webbing, which is the same material used to make seatbelts, so you know it’s sturdy. It’s also water-repellent, mildew resistant, and has softened edges. Some people do report the material stretching somewhat, causing dogs that tug a lot to stretch the leash out, which can weaken it over time.
3. Found My Animal Adjustable Ombre Rope Leash – Premium Choice
|Leash length:||7 feet|
The Found My Animal Adjustable Ombre Rope Leash is the premium hands-free leash pick. This leash is 7 feet long and has multiple clasps along the length of the leash, allowing you to create a waistband if desired. This leash can be worn multiple ways, but the leash length will shorten the larger you adjust the waistband to be. It’s available in three sizes for dogs, from 5 pounds to over 100 pounds, and it comes in four ombre color schemes. It can even be used for two dogs at once. Since this is a soft rope leash, it may begin to fray at stress points over time and is not chew-resistant.
4. Jespet Bungee Reflective Standard Leash
|Leash length:||48–60 inches|
|Waistband size:||Up to 42 inches|
The Jespet Bungee Reflective Standard Leash expands from 48 inches up to 60 inches at full extension. The waistband is adjustable up to 42 inches. It features two traffic handles to help you keep your dog close in busy areas. It’s suitable for dogs from 30–100 pounds, making it well-suited to most dogs. It has reinforced box stitching, reflective stitching for low-light environments, and is made from soft, sturdy materials. This is a budget-friendly pick for a hands-free dog leash, and it’s available in four colors. It’s not resistant to chewing, and some users report their dogs chewing through the leash quickly.
5. Surf City Pet Works Traffic Reflective Bungee Hands-Free Running Leash
|Leash length:||5 feet|
|Waistband size:||3–7 inches|
The Surf City Pet Works Traffic Reflective Bungee Hands-Free Running Leash is a little different than most hands-free leashes because it has a wristband instead of a waistband, allowing you to attach it to anything 7 inches or smaller in diameter or use it as a leash handle. It’s padded for your comfort, and the leash features a coiled design to keep it from dragging the ground. It’s made from the same materials as surfboard wrist straps and tethers and is rated for up to 400 pounds. The metal clip swivels for mobility and is corrosion resistant. It’s available in three color options.
6. Penn-Plax Adventure Belt and Bungee Leash
|Leash length:||4–5.5 feet|
|Waistband size:||28–50 inches|
The Penn-Plax Adventure Belt and Bungee Leash has a leash that expands from 4 feet up to 5.5 feet. The waistband is adjustable from 28–50 inches and has multiple features, like a cell phone pocket, headphone jack port, mesh pockets, and a quick-release button. It also has extra D-rings for you to attach carabiners and other items to. The leash has two padded handles for keeping your dog close in busy areas. This is one of the more expensive hands-free leash options we reviewed. It’s made with bright colors and has reflective stitching for low-light environments.
7. Petsafe Nylon Hands-Free Running Leash
|Leash length:||31–54 inches|
|Waistband size:||31–53 inches|
The Petsafe Nylon Hands-Free Running Leash is adjustable from 31–54 inches and has an adjustable waistband from 31–53 inches, which is one of the largest waistband options we reviewed. It has a fuzzy waistband closure for easy and quick access to get the waistband on and off. This is a budget-friendly hands-free leash option. It doesn’t offer any shock absorption, so it may not be ideal for people with back pain or dogs who pull excessively. Some people report the waistband loosening up during walks, so it may require routine readjustment to keep it fitted properly.
8. Kurgo Reflect & Protect Quantum Nylon Hands-Free Running Leash
|Leash length:||48–72 inches|
The Kurgo Reflect & Protect Quantum Nylon Hands-Free Running Leash is a multi-functional leash that can be used as a training leash, full-length leash, belt-style leash, and more. It’s available in five color options and is fully adjustable from 48–72 inches, although the larger you make the waistband, the shorter the leash will be. It’s made with strong nylon webbing and has reflective trim for low-light walks. The waistband is padded for your comfort and has a quick-access clip for easy on-and-off use. This is one of the more expensive leashes we reviewed. Some users have reported the metal clasp on this leash becoming detached after a few months of use.
Buyer’s Guide: Finding the Best Hands-Free Dog Leash
To pick the best hands-free leash for your needs, you’ll need to take a few things into consideration. The first is the size of your dog. Many hands-free leashes are not recommended for small dogs, and some may not be strong enough for very large dogs or dogs that are strong pullers.
You should also consider your dog’s level of leash training and where you will be taking your dog with a hands-free leash. For a dog that isn’t well-trained on leash use, a hands-free leash may not be the best option, and in busy areas, they often provide less control than a traditional leash.
The last big consideration is your needs and preferences. The size of the waistband is important, as you don’t want one that is too large or too small. You should also consider what special features the leash or waistband may offer, like a cellphone pocket or places to keep treats.
These reviews should serve as a great starting point to find the perfect hands-free leash for your needs. The best overall pick is the Tuff Mutt Hands-Free Bungee Leash, which is functional and sturdy. The premium pick is the very pretty Found My Animal Adjustable Ombre Rope Leash, and the more budget-friendly pick is the Caldwell’s Original Running Leash, which is a sturdy pick that is suitable for just about any budget. Make sure to select a hands-free leash that meets both your and your dog’s needs to ensure you get the most use out of your purchase.