5 Best Dog Carrier Backpacks for Traveling

woman cycling carrying her dog in a backpack

If you do a lot of traveling with your dog, you’ve probably run into the issue of a tired pooch mid-hike or a stressed-out pup in a busy city.

Leashes are great, but they don’t always keep our dogs safe when we’re exploring, and dogs need a lot more rest than we do on long days of walking.

This is where one of the best dog carrier backpacks for traveling can become your new best friend. They are a safe and easy way to give your pup a break on your travels and allow you to keep exploring for longer.

In this post, we’ll show you how to choose the best dog backpack for your pooch and some of the top brands.

Why You Need to Get a Dog Carrier Backpack

If you’re wondering whether a dog carrier backpack is worth it, there are some great benefits.

No tired arms

If you have a pooch that gets tired out on walks, you might be used to picking them up and carrying them for a while. You’re also probably used to your arms getting tired from the weight. Even small dogs can feel like they weigh a ton after carrying them for a while.

A backpack means they can have a much-needed break when they need it, and you don’t have to worry about tired arms.

Better safety

One of the best things about a pet carrier backpack is being able to keep your dog close and safe. Many smaller dogs can get extremely nervous when they’re on a leash or walking around other dogs.

A dog backpack makes them feel calm and secure and gives you peace of mind they’re safe when you’re out and about.

Great for exercising

If you’re into running with your dog or cycling, a backpack can be a good alternative if your dog doesn’t like a hand-free leash. Sometimes our furry friends want to come out and explore with us but simply can’t keep up with fast-paced exercise. A dog backpack is a safe way for them to explore and stay involved.

How To Choose the Best Dog Carrier Backpacks for Traveling

There are three different categories of pet carriers:

  • Enclosed – your pup can move around inside the carrier, but there aren’t openings for them to pop out of.
  • Head-out – less room so your pup can’t move around, but they can stick their head out.
  • Legs-free – like a baby carrier, this type has holes for your dog’s legs to pop out of.

When you’re figuring out which dog backpack carrier is best, think about what is going to be most comfortable for your pup and what is the safest.

For example, if you’re going to be hiking in the heat, an enclosed carrier will be unsafe and could cause overheating. However, an enclosed carrier might be better if you’re traveling with your dog and you need to take them on public transport.

The Best Dog Carrier Backpacks

Now you know why dog backpacks are a must-have, let’s look at the best dog backpack carrier options for your pup.

Casual Canine Ultimate Backpack Carrier

This is one of our favorite enclosed dog backpack carriers with a twist. The backpack is roomy enough for a small dog to lie down and has a pop-out mesh tent so they can breathe easily and see out. However, since it’s enclosed, you won’t have to worry about them breaking out or strangers having access.

The bottom mat is removable, so it’s easy to clean, and the shoulder strap is padded, so it doesn’t dig in when your pup is on board.

There’s also room for a water bottle, and you can zip the breathable mesh tent up and use it as a regular backpack whenever your furry friend isn’t with you on your travels.

K9 Sport Sack Rover 2

This is one of the best head-out dog backpack carriers on the market and perfect if you have a larger dog.

It has a pet safety clip to stop your dog from jumping out and a hood for when it’s raining or very sunny. The backpack also has vented sides and a spot to stash a water bottle, making it a great option for hiking.

The K9 Sport Sack also doubles as a hiking backpack, so it’s useful when your dog isn’t with you, too.

KOPEKS Deluxe Backpack Dog & Cat Carrier

The KOPEKS carrier is a great enclosed option for air travel or busy cities. It has wheels and a handle, so you can roll it when needed, but it also turns into a backpack for easy transport.

The carrier has mesh sides, a mesh front for ventilation, and an adorable zip-down window so your dog can pop their head out and enjoy exploring.

It’s roomy enough for a smaller dog to sit and lie down comfortably and can easily be used as a car seat when traveling.

Jespet Dog & Cat Carrier Backpack

The Jespet pet carrier backpack is a stylish choice for pups up to 16 pounds. You have the choice of having it enclosed or head-out, and it has large top and front windows for breathability and visibility.

This one is a good choice if you have a nervous doggo who is easily stressed. It’s small and enclosed, making them feel much calmer, with a soft fleece pad for comfort.

Mogoko Comfortable Canine Backpack

This one is the cutest head-out dog carrier backpack, so be prepared for a lot of swooning strangers saying hi to your pup out on walks. It comes in different sizes for different breeds and has a hole in the top for them to pop their head out.

It has an adjustable drawstring, so the hole will fit comfortably around your dog’s shoulders, giving you peace of mind they won’t leap out. And with padded shoulder straps, it’s comfy to wear on long walks and hikes.

The Mogoko is also airline-approved, so if you do a lot of traveling with your furry friend, it’s a great choice.


Whether you go hiking in the wilderness, walking, or sightseeing with your pup, a dog backpack carrier is a must-have. Not only do they keep your dog safe and secure, but they also keep your hands free and save your arms from the weight of a tired pup.

Whichever carrier you decide to go with, make sure to properly measure your dog to get the perfect fit. We’re sure your pooch will love their new travel accessory.