by Patricia Jackson
Going outdoors usually means freedom, but it would be unwise to leave your pooch unrestrained. The freedom will excite them, and they might end up wandering off into hazardous areas. You need to keep him/her close to you using a hiking harness.
This piece of equipment does not apply as much pressure as compared to a collar. It gives dogs more freedom to move around, while still giving you control. With that in mind, here are the best dog harnesses for hiking in the market. Read through and take your pick.
1. Ruffwear 30102 (Best Overall)
2. Barkbay No Pull (Best Budget)
3. Embark Pets Adventure (Most Durable)
4. OneTigris Tactical (Best Military Style)
5. PoyPet No Pull (Most Breathable)
6. Kurgo K01587 (Best with Pockets)
7. Kurgo K01935 (Best Padded)
The Ruffwear 30102 stands at the top in this best dog harness for hiking review because it is comfortable and super secure with 5 adjustment points and a practical design.
It features an anatomical design that fits securely on working, service, and amputee dogs. 5 adjustment points ensure the vest fits snugly, while still allowing a full range of motion.
A padded handle is fitted at the top to give you a comfortable hold of your pet if he gets stuck or gets too excited.
That said, the straps are also padded to ensure your canine friend hikes comfortably without hindering movement.
The harness is also very practical as it has a safety light loop to hold a beacon light, a reflective trim to improve low light visibility, and a designated area for signage & patches.
You also get a sturdy aluminum V-ring for leash attachment. However, the vest is very costly but is worth the money.
Though very economical, Barkbay's harness has a very practical design. For starters, it features 2 metal clips for leash attachment. The front ring gives you more control when training your pooch to heel and to stop pulling. On the other hand, the rear ring is suitable for chilled-out walks.
You also get an ID tag pocket and reflective stitching to improve nighttime visibility. A sturdy top handle makes it easy to lift your pooch if he gets stuck, while its tough buckles are strong enough to hold a load of up to 450 lbs.
4 adjustment points give your pet a near-perfect fit. On the inside, anti-chafe padding with air technology mesh material ensure he/she is comfortably dry with little strain. The only problem is the lack of a designated area for signage and patches.
This harness is built using tough military-grade ripstop nylon with reinforced stitching. It exceeds the national pulling strength guidelines by at least 130 lbs.
What's more, the metal D-rings and buckles have triple the strength of the previous model, giving you a heavy-duty vest. The upper D-ring has a pulling strength of 750 lbs., which is more than any dog can reach.
Reflective trim is fitted on the outer surface to help improve low light visibility. However, you don't get an area for sticking signage and patches.
With its military-style design, OneTigris' Tactical is the best outdoor dog harness in this review. It is equipped with 4 hook-n-loop strips (2 on both sides) for sticking ID badges, reflectors, and service dog stickers. There's also a small 3.5 x 2-inch panel on the neck specifically for sticking an ID tag.
A unique X-bungee system is placed between the two-upper hook-n-loop strips to hold bottles and other similar items.
Construction-wise, the harness is solidly built using durable 1000D nylon, while a soft & breathable mesh inner lining keeps your pooch cool. The only problem is a lack of reflective strips to improve nighttime visibility.
PoyPet's dog harness is characterized by a quick-drying, soft, and breathable non-toxic mesh lining that offers all-day comfort when hiking, walking, hunting, etc. This is covered in a scratch-resistant oxford outer layer that is also very easy to clean.
It has 4 adjustment points (one on each strap), which ensure you get a customized fit for any dog size. Once worn properly, the vest's ergonomic design ensures the pulling pressure is distributed evenly to prevent choking.
On the downside, there are no hook-n-loop straps or bungee cords for carrying extra gear.
As the best dog harness with pockets, Kurgo's K01587 features 2 side pockets (saddlebags) to provide extra room for carrying gear for the hike. This way, your pet will help relieve some weight from your backpack.
If you get thirsty along the way, the rear D-ring can be used as a bottle opener. However, there is a more specialized tool for the job because the chest pad has a bottle opener.
Other than that, you get 8 adjustment points, which include saddlebag up and down adjustments. These settings ensure you get a custom, comfortable fit for any pooch size.
The only issues are a relatively high buying price and a heavy design. Both factors can be attributed to the additional pockets, though, which are very practical.
Kurgo's K01935 features a padded chest to distribute the pulling force evenly, and a breathable mesh inner lining. Combined, these create a thick layer that is very gentle on your pooch's hair and skin. On top of that, the unit has 4 adjustment points for snug-fitting on any dog size.
Aside from that, easy on/off buckles simplify the process of wearing/removing the vest, while a reflective trim keeps your pet visible in the dark.
2 sturdy aluminum D-rings provide reliable leash attachment points for training and general walking. You also get a top handle for lift assistance, but there are no pockets for carrying gear.
If you are in the market for an affordable dog harness for hiking, we highly recommend this one from Babyltrl. Despite this, it does not in features. The vest features no pull and no choke metal D-rings (front and back).
Bright bold colors with 3M reflective straps also define this product. This improves nighttime visibility. Two quick-snap buckles make it easy to put on or remove the vest, and they have a locking feature to hold as much pressure as possible without snapping open.
ThinkPet' harness has more of a sporty look & feel due to its bright color options and a highly breathable, soft nylon mesh construction. This material is optimized for skin ventilation and pet comfort.
Aside from that, there are highly reflective fluorescent straps placed around the vest to enhance nighttime visibility. Quick-snap buckles are fitted on the chest straps for easy on/off, and they have locking capabilities to keep your pet tied inside.
As one of the best hiking harnesses for dogs, this tactical vest is fully equipped for the job. It has two side pouches that are ideal for carrying water, treats, toys, and other small items. Each pocket is fitted with a 2 x 7-inch loop panel for sticking reflectors, name tags, and the like.
What's more, you get a MOLLE system on the rear end for carrying more gear. The unit is built using high-quality 500D nylon material with a chafe-free soft padded lining. Adjustment is done via the neck and belly straps, with the belly strip having a quick-release UTX-Duraflex buckle.
Kurgo's K01276 features a dog-friendly design with a wide padded V-neck that allows your pet to move freely and comfortably. It features front & back D-rings, and whichever you use, the vest places very little strain on your pooch's neck/chest.
Another desirable feature is the inclusion of a 10-inch car seat belt for restraining your dog to the back seat as you drive to the hike. You also get sturdy metal nesting buckles.
This tactical dog harness is built with durability in mind. It features heavy-duty parts, such as metal buckles with a proof-load test of 1000 lbs. each. As for the nylon quick-release snaps, they can withstand 125 lbs., while the two nylon handles can easily lift the dog's weight.
The vest does not disappoint when it comes to practicality. It has hook-n-loop panels on either side, 2 MOLLE straps, and 3 nylon loops. With these, you can attach ID tags, morale patches, carry accessories, food, gear, and many more items.
With 5 fully adjustable straps (2 chest, 2 shoulder, 1 belly), Rabbitgoo's dog harness can be fitted snugly and comfortably to the pooch within the available size range. This is topped off by 4 quick-release buckles to keep your pet firmly secured inside.
Sturdy 1050D nylon with sturdy stitching is used to build the harness, making it wear and tear-resistant. It is lined with a breathable air mesh inside to maximize comfort.
In addition to being one of the best dog hiking vests, the K01666 comes as a complete car harness kit. It includes a 10-inch lead to use as a dog seatbelt, which should keep your pooch tied to the back seat.
When it comes to hiking, you get a strong back handle to lift your pet if he gets stuck, and a tough all-steel nesting buckle that withstands the pulling force with ease.
On the other hand, your pooch gets a dog-friendly V-neck design, a padded chest plate for maximum comfort, and 4 adjustment points for snug-fitting.
Just like Pet Artist's dog harness, this vest has durable parts that include 2 metal buckles on the shoulder position, each with a 1000-lb proof-load test. On the belly are 2 POM buckles, each with a 250-lb proof-load test.
You also get a large, durable tough-sewn handle that can easily lift your pooch when getting in or out of the car. Another notable feature is the set of hook-n-loop panels plus two MOLLE strips, which allow you to carry extra gear easily.
It is important to get the right vest size for your pooch for comfortable wearing. Most importantly though, you should get the correct fit, which is usually determined by the number of adjustment points.
The goal is to get a perfect fit that is not too tight to restrict movement or cause discomfort. As such, harnesses with more adjustment points enable you to fit it correctly on all sides. For instance, Ruffwear's 30102 has 5 adjustment points, and we highly recommend this.
The construction material affects multiple factors. If you like going for hikes very early in the morning, ensure the harness has a reflective material. On the other hand, if you will be hiking on muddy or dusty paths, it is wise to go for the easy-to-clean vest materials.
There is also the durability aspect, whereby sturdy materials/fabrics like 1000D nylon can last for a long time with little wear and tear. This is used to build OneTigris' Tactical.
Comfort is primarily determined by the vest's lining. This section should be thickly padded using a soft and breathable material. Soft mesh fabrics usually give the best comfort, so you should look for such.
The best hiking harness for dogs should have a pet-friendly design that does not cause any strain to the skin or hair when moving. Ideally, those with wide padded V-necks give your pooch the most flexibility to move around, and we recommend such designs.
As stated earlier, reflective colors or strips make your pet more visible in low-light conditions. Not only is this important for early morning or late evening hikes, but it also improves safety if you like going for walks with your pet at night.
Usually, hiking harnesses can be used for other activities like regular walking, so this feature will come in very handy.
Lastly, you need to consider the available attachment options. Ultimately, you want the harness to be as practical as possible. Features like MOLLE straps, hook-n-loop strips, and bungee cords enable you to carry extra gear with ease.
Some even have safety light loops for holding beacon lights, while others are fitted with large pockets to hold all your gear securely inside. The more the attachment options, the better.
RUFFWEAR, Web Master, Multi-Use Support Dog Harness, Hiking and Trail Running, Service - Walmart Link
RUFFWEAR, Front Range Dog Harness, Reflective and Padded Harness for Training and - Walmart Link
RUFFWEAR, Front Range Dog Harness, Reflective and Padded Harness for Training and Everyday - Walmart Link
Auroth Tactical Dog Harness for Small Medium Large Dogs No Pull Adjustable Pet Harness - Walmart Link
RUFFWEAR, Flagline Lightweight Multi-Purpose Harness for Dogs - Walmart Link
PET ARTIST Tactical Dog Harness for Hiking Training, No Pull Vest Harness for Medium - Walmart Link
this one from Babyltrl - Walmart Link
Pet Artist's dog harness - Walmart Link
RUFFWEAR, Web Master, Multi-Use Support Dog Harness, Hiking and Trail Running, Service - eBay Link
RUFFWEAR, Front Range Dog Harness, Reflective and Padded Harness for Training and - eBay Link
RUFFWEAR, Front Range Dog Harness, Reflective and Padded Harness for Training and Everyday - eBay Link
Auroth Tactical Dog Harness for Small Medium Large Dogs No Pull Adjustable Pet Harness - eBay Link
RUFFWEAR, Flagline Lightweight Multi-Purpose Harness for Dogs - eBay Link
PET ARTIST Tactical Dog Harness for Hiking Training, No Pull Vest Harness for Medium - eBay Link
this one from Babyltrl - eBay Link
Pet Artist's dog harness - eBay Link
As you can see, our best dog harness for hiking is Ruffwear's 30102 due to its comfortable anatomical design with 5 adjustment points. What's more, it has a designated area for signage & patches, as well as a safety light loop.
However, if you need pockets, we highly recommend Kurgo's K01587. The vest features 2 saddlebags to carry extra items for the hike. It also features two bottle openers for more practicality.
On the other hand, OneTigris' Tactical gives you a military-style design with hook-n-loop strips and a unique X-bungee system. These features help make it easier for your pooch to carry hiking gear.
About Patricia Jackson
Patricia just simply loves pets.
When she was eight years old, her parents got her a beautiful Maine Coon as a gift; and later an affectionate Husky.
Since then, she has raised them as her children; done minor first aid, taken in strays, administered antibiotics, bottle fed them when sick, and even midwifing.
Pat received her bachelor's degree in computer science at Univercity of Califronia Davis. She really hopes to transofrm her programming skills into something that really helpful for all pets someday. For now, lets just do that through writing.