the 8 best dog harnesses for hiking in 2020

If you are in a hurry and just want to find out what the most popular dog hiking harness is, then we recommend the Ruffwear Web Master as the best dog hiking harness.

Adventures with your dog are always exciting for the both of you. Yet, it’s easy for your dog to get into trouble when out and about. There are so many distractions and smells, so it’s possible for even the best behaved dogs to wander off. That’s why a dog hiking harness is essential for an adventurous pup. That way, your dog will stay safe and secure every time they leave the house

In This Article, We’re Going To Review The Following Dog Hiking Harnesses

Dog Hiking Harness Reviews

Dog harnesses come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, which makes it difficult to decide which ones are durable enough for hiking. I’ve selected eight great options for hiking, and I’ve analyzed them each based on features, pros, and cons. 

Ruffwear Web Master Multi-Use Support Dog Harness

Ruffwear Web Master Multi-Use Support Dog Harness

This unique harness has five adjustment points with two on the front, one underneath, and two on the sides. This means that the harness will fit your pup as accurately as possible. It can also be purchased in five unique sizes to closely match your dog’s body shape. The durable fabric it’s made out of has a lightweight feel and can last through even the toughest adventures. The fabric can be purchased in red, blue, or gray, and it has reflective edges to help your dog be visible at night. Inside the harness has extra padding to ensure that it’s comfortable for your dog, even during long adventures. On the back of the harness, it even has a handle so you can more easily control your dog in unfamiliar areas.

Pros:

  • It has a handle on the back.
  • It’s adjustable in five places.
  • It’s reflective.
  • It comes in three colors.
  • It comes in five sizes.
  • It’s lightweight.
  • It’s padded.

Cons:

  • It won’t fit for all dogs.
  • The straps could rip.
  • It’s expensive.

Expawlorer No-Pull Dog Harness Reflective

Expawlorer No-Pull Dog Harness Reflective

This harness is a no pull design, which means it has a loop for a leash in the front and the back. This can help you better control your dog while walking if you attach it to the front loop or to both loops if you have a special leash. The harness is made with a durable nylon webbing and a comfortable mesh lining. It has four adjustable points, and it’s easy to put on and take off by sliding it on and off your dog. The adjustable straps have reflective stitching to help keep your dog safe during night adventures. It also has a handle on the back for added safety. This harness comes in five sizes, and this particular product is a bright green color.

Pros:

  • It has a handle.
  • It’s a no pull design. 
  • It has four adjustable points.
  • It’s reflective.
  • It’s padded.
  • It comes in five sizes.

Cons:

  • The material could cause rashes for some dogs.
  • It might be an awkward fit for dogs with short legs.
  • The straps could rip.

Ruffwear Approach Dog Backpack for Hiking and Camping

Ruffwear Approach Dog Backpack For Hiking And Camping

This product isn’t just a harness, but it’s also a backpack. It allows your dog to carry any necessary gear while hiking. It can be purchased in light orange, dark orange, or green. Each color has reflective trim to keep your dog safe at night. Also, it comes in four sizes. The harness part has five adjustable points to ensure that it fits your dog perfectly. Then, it has two weight-forward saddle bags to keep your pup balanced while walking. You should never load more than 25% of your dog’s weight into these compartments. It also has a handle on the back for added safety.

Pros:

  • It comes with two storage compartments.
  • It has five adjustable points.
  • It comes in four sizes.
  • It comes in three colors.
  • It has a handle on the back.
  • It’s adjustable. 

Cons:

  • It’s expensive.
  • The pack sometimes shifts while walking.
  • It might not last long.

BABYLTRL Big Dog Harness No Pull Adjustable Reflective Vest

BABYLTRL Big Dog Harness No Pull Adjustable Reflective Vest

This is another no pull harness that can have a leash clip in the front or the back. It’s ideal for large dogs that love to pull, but it can be purchased in four different sizes. It can also come in six colors. It’s made with a durable nylon material, and it has a handle on the back for added safety. It also has some reflective strips to make your dog more visible at night. When putting the harness on, it has a locking mechanism to make it more secure. It has four adjustable points to ensure that it fits your dog properly, and it’s lightweight and padded. This makes it extra comfortable for longer walks. 

Pros:

  • It’s affordable. 
  • It has a handle on the back.
  • It has a locking mechanism.
  • It’s reflective.
  • It has four adjustable points.
  • It’s lightweight. 
  • It’s a no pull design.

Cons:

  • The sizing could be off.
  • The straps could fray.
  • Some dogs could slip out of it.

Barkbay No Pull Dog Harness Large Step in Reflective

Barkbay No Pull Dog Harness Large Step In Reflective

This harness comes in eight color patterns and four sizes, making it easily customizable for different dogs. It also has four adjustable points to ensure that it fits your pup properly. It’s another no pull design with places to clip your leash in the front and back. The exterior of the harness is a durable nylon material while the interior is made with breathable mesh. It has a handle on the back of the harness and reflective stitching for added safety. It also has a convenient identification tag pocket to help your dog come home if they get lost during adventures.

Pros:

  • It’s a no pull design.
  • It has four adjustable points.
  • It comes in eight colors.
  • It comes in four sizes.
  • It has a handle on the back.
  • It’s reflective.
  • It has a pocket for an ID tag.

Cons:

  • It won’t fit perfectly for every dog.
  • The ring could break.
  • The handle is a little small.

Rabbitgoo No Pull Dog Harness 

Rabbitgoo No Pull Dog Harness

This is another durable nylon harness with a no pull design so you can better control your dog during hikes. You can clip the leash to the back for regular walks, and then clip it to the front instead whenever you don’t want your dog to pull. This harness comes in seven bold colors, each with reflective strips so your dog is easily visible. It can also be purchased in four different sizes. It has four points of adjustment and a padded mesh interior to keep your pup as comfortable and snug as possible. The harness is designed to slide over their head and then adjust around them. Like similar harnesses, it also has a handle on the back.

Pros:

  • It’s a no pull design.
  • It’s reflective.
  • It comes in seven colors.
  • It comes in four sizes.
  • It has four adjustable points.
  • It has a padded mesh interior.
  • It has a handle.

Cons:

  • The fabric could fray over time.
  • It could cause rashes on a dog’s neck and legs.
  • It’s difficult to put on.

ThinkPet No Pull Breathable Sport Harness

ThinkPet No Pull Breathable Sport Harness

This durable harness is very customizable, with at least eight different patterns and five different sizes. It also has some options where you can purchase a matching leash with the harness. It’s a no pull design with a sturdy handle on the back. It has a strong nylon exterior and a breathable mesh interior. It has four adjustable points, and it has clips that lock in the front to ensure that your pup doesn’t escape. It also has reflective parts that allow it to be more visible at night, which is great for late night hiking trips.

Pros:

  • It comes in eight patterns.
  • It comes in five sizes.
  • It can come with a matching leash.
  • It has four adjustable points.
  • It’s reflective.
  • It’s a no pull design.
  • It has a handle.

Cons:

  • The harness could slide around if your dog pulls.
  • The clips could break.
  • You might receive the wrong color.

OneTigris Tactical Dog Harness with Handle

OneTigris Tactical Dog Harness With Handle

This tactical dog harness is perfect for exploring the outdoors with your pup. It comes in four neutral colors and two sizes, so it’s only suitable for medium or large dogs. It clips in four places, and all four straps are easily adjustable to fit your dog properly. The back of the harness has a safety handle and bungee cords to hold items when you’re out and about. It also has Velcro patches on the side, which is where you can attach a patch, such as a “service dog” patch. 

Pros:

  • It comes in four colors.
  • It comes in two sizes.
  • It adjusts in four places.
  • It’s easy to put on.
  • It has a handle.
  • It has bungee cords for storage.
  • It has places for patches.

Cons:

  • It’s only for larger dogs.
  • The sizing could be a little off.
  • It could cause rashes on your dog.

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Dog Hiking Harness Buying Guide

Harnesses are great for daily activities, but if you plan to have more extensive exercise, then you need something a little stronger. Not every dog harness can function for high energy hiking trips. Besides hiking harnesses you can also check out our articles on tactical dog harnesses and front clip dog harnesses,

What is a Dog Hiking Harness?

A dog hiking harness is just like a regular dog harness, but it’s much more durable. Most harnesses are designed just for regular walks, but hiking involves a lot of motion. Plus, the place you’re hiking probably has a lot of unfamiliar smells, so you need a harness that can easily control your dog. 

Even if your dog is well-behaved, they should still be on a harness. You never know what unexpected things you’ll run into during your adventures, so your dog should wear a harness to keep them safe. This can prevent them from running away, falling down steep inclines, and interacting with unfamiliar people and animals.

Some people prefer to clip their dog’s leash to a collar instead of a harness. After all, collars are much more convenient than harnesses. Collars can be a good place to keep your dog’s identification tags, but they shouldn’t be used to clip a leash to because they can be a choking hazard if your dog pulls. This is especially true for hiking. Your dog will likely pull now and then while hiking and it might be more difficult to control them in an unfamiliar area. So, a harness is much safer for your dog than a collar because it will hold them back without choking them.

If your dog isn’t used to wearing a harness, then you should get them familiar with it before you go hiking with them. Have them wear it on their normal walks so they can get used to it first. That way, you can also make sure it feels comfortable for your dog before bringing it on a long hike. This will help your dog prepare for their upcoming hiking trip. if you have a smaller dog who maybe can’t walk really far, you might be interested in a dog backpack carrier or a dog stroller

Features of a Dog Hiking Harness

Not all dog hiking harnesses are equal. Oftentimes, they’re just a regular harness that’s durable. However, some are made specifically for hiking too. This means that they’re extra strong and weatherproof. They sometimes even have a backpack attached that allows you to store necessary items in your dog’s harness, such as food, water, and treats. 

Many dog hiking harnesses also have a handle to help you better control your dog. This can help you hold onto your dog if you need to hike up steep inclines or if you need to grab your dog in an emergency. Usually, only durable harnesses have a strong handle like this.

Dog hiking harnesses should be easily adjustable too. Your dog will be wearing the harness frequently, so it will need to be adjusted to fit their structure comfortably. Most dog hiking harnesses are adjustable in multiple places to ensure that they can fit dogs of all shapes and sizes. They’re often more difficult to put on than a traditional harness, but they will keep your dog safer. For additional safety, many harnesses will also have reflective strips so your pup can be seen at night.

How to Choose the Perfect Harness for Your Dog

A harness is one of the trickiest products to choose for a dog. When it comes to a harness for hiking, it can be even harder to find the right fit. The perfect harness should fit your dog nice and snug, so you can’t just estimate your dog’s size. You need to find a harness that’s the right size and type for your dog’s body.

Most harnesses will list their recommended sizes either online or on the tag. So, before you choose a harness, make sure you measure your dog at all the recommended points. Around the neck and chest are usually the most important parts, but some hiking harnesses might require even more detailed measurements. If your dog’s measurements are close between two harness sizes, then you should probably choose a size up.

Even if your dog’s size fits perfectly into a harness size, make sure the harness is easily adjustable. Some products aren’t sized properly and some dogs change weights as they age. So, it’s important that you have some wiggle room in your dog’s harness in case any changes occur in the future. You should also make sure that your dog cannot slip out of the harness.

Finally, you should keep an eye out for other features that will benefit your dog. For example, most dog parents look for no pull leashes because they allow you to better control your dog. Others want their harnesses to be waterproof since their dogs love to swim. Ideally, the more unique features a harness has, the more practical it will be. Yet, you should still keep an eye out for the features that will benefit you and your dog best during adventures.

Frequently Asked Questions on outdoor dog harnesses

Before you choose the perfect harness for your pup, it’s important to consider all your options. Here are some questions that dog parents frequently ask.

Which Dogs Need Hiking Harnesses?

Any dogs that spend a lot of time going on adventures or hiking outdoors should have a hiking harness. That way, they’ll be more comfortable and safer in unfamiliar areas. A regular harness isn’t as good for outdoor adventures because they are often not as durable, reflective, and adjustable.

How Long Can Dogs Hike For?

Average in-shape dogs can hike up to 5 to 10 miles in one day. Yet, less active dogs prefer only 1 to 3 miles. It’s important not to overwork your dog, so if they seem tired, you should take a break. You should also try to avoid going on extensive walks for more than one day in a row. For any long walks, make sure water is always accessible to them.

Conclusion on dog hiking vests

Harnesses are a tricky product to choose, but with enough research and consideration, you’ll be able to find a hiking harness that’s perfect for your pup. Make sure you take your time in order to find one that truly fits your dog comfortably.

My favorite option is the Ruffwear Web Master harness. It’s a bit more pricey than the other options, and it doesn’t have any storage space, but it’s great for supporting your dog. The straps go around your dog in three places as opposed to only two, making it near impossible for them to escape. It’s also the most adjustable option to ensure that it fits your pup nice and snug. It’s the perfect harness to keep your dog safe while hiking.

Once you’ve found the perfect harness, make sure you measure your dog to ensure that you get the ideal size. A dog hiking harness is a much better quality product than your everyday harness, so you should be extra careful when choosing the right one. 

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Peter Schoeman