Dog owners cherish their best friends, and they want to get them involved in every part of their lives they possibly can. For many people, their favorite thing to do on the weekend is go for a hike, and if you’re passionate about your dog, you’ll want them to join you.
Taking your dog hiking with any regular lead just won’t suffice though, so you start wondering what is the best dog harness for hiking? We’re here to answer that question with our list of the best rated dog harness options on the market that are ideal for hiking in all kinds of terrain.
Finding the best dog harness for hiking isn’t easy as there are so many additional factors you have to consider compared to those suited for regular walks. With our helpful buying guide, we can show you not only the best selling harnesses on the market but also what features to look for when choosing the right one for you and your canine’s needs.
Once you have a quality harness, you’ll find that it’s useful for so much more than just hiking. Many people these days prefer to use a harness when walking their dog, because it gives them more control, but also comes with other cool features like carry packs and ID badges. Whatever your reason for wanting to invest in a dog harness, we’ve got you covered with these top picks.
Best Dog Harness
The best dog hiking harness is one that will allow you to take your dog on hikes in all terrains, and not have to worry about whether they’ll get off of their lead. These are the products we’ve found that are considered the best dog harness for canines who love a bit of hiking.
The best hiking dog vest on the market has to be the OneTigris Dog Vest, and a quick look at it will show you exactly why that is.
Designed to be a tactical dog vest, it has everything you need for a camping or hiking trip, including accessory bags that let you keep important supplies within.
This dog vest looks like something straight out of the army and it’s just as durable as it appears.
It’s been made with a seriously durable material and tight stitching so you never have to worry about rips and tears, even when you’re using it on larger and stronger breeds of dog.
This dog vest looks like something straight out of the army and it’s just as durable as it appears. It’s been made with a seriously durable material and tight stitching so you never have to worry about rips and tears, even when you’re using it on larger and stronger breeds of dog.
Most of the reviews agree that the OneTigris Dog Vest is very high quality, and this is often a concern for people who take their dogs hiking. There are so many things in the wilderness that can do damage to a harness like this, not to mention your dog constantly pulling on it, so quality is one of the most important features to have.
Some of the reviews have made comments about the lack of adjustability, so if you want to use it for more than one dog or are unsure about sizing, you might want to shop around. For most breeds it should be fine and if you’re using it on just the one pet then there’ll be no need to adjust the straps too much.
Another thing that makes this the best hiking dog harness is that it’s multifunctional. You’ll find accessory bags for water and first aid kits, two handles on each end of the harness, and a hoop and loop panel for greater versatility with attachments. There are three different sizes to choose from as well, so most breeds of dog will be covered.
The top handle and metal leash clip mean you could even use this for K9 control, so it’s not just adequate for serious hikes and could be used for police dogs or other tactical animals. This is the ideal harness for owners who want durability and functionality, and for dogs who need strength, comfort, and support.
Service dogs do a whole lot of good in this world, and they’re responsible for so much more than the average dog.
Industrial Puppy has created their dog harness for these special types of creatures, but thanks to all of the features, they’re also one of the best harnesses for dog when hiking and camping as well.
The quality of the Industrial Puppy Service Dog Harness is obvious when you look at all of the positive reviews.
Made from a very durable material and with a promise that you’ll get no frayed seems, you can feel confident walking your dog around with this on the hiking trails.
With this vest, you have the option of purchasing small backpacks that attach to it. This could be helpful for hiking and camping, but given the extra cost, it does make this harness quite expensive when choosing the additional packs.
When you do have a backpack attached though, you can take water, supplies, food, or anything else you need along on a hike so it is convenient.
For those who want to use this for their service dog, it comes with detachable patches that offer information to the public about their service. People can easily see that they’re a service dog and understand what that means, so there’s no need to offer any explanations or change vests depending on the situation.
There are seven different sizes available so every breed of dog will have the right fit, but you do need to be careful when choosing the right size. People who have purchased the wrong size were able to return for a refund, but this could add some time for shipping so make sure you measure your dog up first.
Some of the reviews found the design of the harness to be uncomfortable for their dog. This may be a matter of testing it out when it arrives, so there’s no guarantee of whether it will fit.
There were a couple of customers who claimed they had to sew additional straps on, which defeats the purpose of buying a ready-made harness like this. Overall though, most reviews were thrilled with the quality and security, but it’s something you should keep in mind.
Another great product from OneTigris is their Tactical Dog Vest, with a sleek black design that will turn your dog into a military looking canine the next time you’re on the hiking trail.
Although designed for tactical dog use, it’s the perfect fit for hiking and camping and the best type of dog harness for the great outdoors.
With its special MOLLE system, you’re able to attach things like pouches and ID panels so there’s no need to buy any other products.
This could save some money compared to other dog harnesses that require you to purchase all of the accessories on top.
This vest isn’t flexible enough in size, and there are only three sizes available of medium, large, and extra large. For people with smaller breeds of dogs, you won’t get any that fits in this range, so you may have to consider their other tactical vests that would suit.
Judging by the reviews, people seem impressed with the harness but not so much with the handle. Some claim that their services dogs were able to break the handle and that was with no pulling, so for those who are taking more unruly dogs hiking and need to keep them secure and close by, it may not be the safest option.
Dogs seem to find this harness comfortable which is always important when hiking or walking long distances. They’ve taken special care to put padding in the most obvious pressure areas and it’s made with a durable 1000D nylon material.
The panels and straps all seem to be positioned in good spots to keep your dog comfortable and supported, so that’s definitely worth considering.
As long as you have a larger dog who is well trained and doesn’t tend to pull, this is a good affordable option for a hiking harness. You’ll get to choose from four different colors to suit your style and it’s got all of the loops, straps, and panels that you could ever need for a fun hiking adventure.
If you’re after a more budget-friendly approach to a hiking harness for dogs, you might want to consider the affordable Icefang Dog Harness.
This is by far the cheapest on our list but one that still has a lot to offer, especially for people who like to take their dog hiking and camping whenever they go.
Even though this harness is cheaper, you’ll get a quality metal buckle that’s capable of holding a 1000lb load.
For those with big and powerful dogs who feel like they’re about to rip through their harness at any time, this could offer some peace of mind.
The big issue that buyers seem to have was with the size and while some thought it was a perfect fit, others weren’t impressed. Judging by the customer reviews, larger dog breeds seemed to fit this harness better, so it’s something to keep in mind.
There are four adjustment positions on the harness which could give you some control, but ultimately, you’ll need to find the perfect fit.
There’s no need to carry anything when you take your dog hiking wearing this vest. Thanks to the MOLLE system built in you have enough space to take your gear, first aid kit, supplies, and food. There are additional straps for dog water bowls, toys, and water bottles, as long as you don’t overload your pet with too much weight.
The material this is made from could be a little more durable, but that’s to be expected when you purchase something on the lower end of the price scale.
Some users found that their dogs were able to easily chew through the straps and that after a few months it started to fray. It all depends on your dog’s strength and their training as to whether or not this would be an issue.
Other notable features include the hook and loop fastener and a space for the ID patch, so it doesn’t miss anything that the other brands offer. For an affordable and reliable dog harness for hiking, this one from Icefang could be a great option.
Large dogs are in a class of their own and anyone who has tried to take one hiking before without a suitable harness will tell you just how important it is to get this accessory right.
BarkBay has developed a dog harness with sizes to suit all breeds, but they seem to please the large dog owners the most.
This dog harness comes in four different colors and four different sizes, going all the way up to XL.
You’ll get four points of adjustability on the harness so you can get it perfectly snug on any size dog, and judging by the reviews, customers seem very happy with how it fits.
One issue that some reviewers have found with this harness is that there’s no adjustability on the neck. This means for breeds with unique builds they might be uncomfortable with the harness or may not even fit at all. Most customers seemed happy with the sizing, especially for larger dogs, but it’s something to consider.
The BarkBay Dog Harness was designed with pullers in mind, and this can pose a particular problem with the larger breeds. With a no pull halt ring at the front, you’re able to stop them from pulling away, and the D ring on the back means you can take your time when walking.
Comfort is another important factor that went into the design of this harness. They’ve put anti-chafe padding around the problem areas where dogs might usually find discomfort so even hiking for long hours won’t be an issue. The harness has been made to distribute pressure around the dog as well so there’ll be no straining or pulling in just one spot.
The extra large size is for a maximum of up to 38 inches in the chest so it suits dogs like Labrador, German Shepherd, and Rottweiler. With this capacity and the nice extra features like reflective lighting and padding, the BarkBay product is the dog harness best for larger breeds.
If you’re unsure why choosing a quality dog harness is so important, you likely don’t have a dog that’s experienced problems walking before.
Dogs can be hard to walk at the best of times, whether they’re a larger breed, react to other animals easily, or you’re trying to train them to walk alongside you calmly. All of these things can be helped with a quality dog harness by your side.
People who like to take their dog hiking will also have an additional need to get a quality harness as they take their four-legged friends with them whenever they hit the trails. There are specific needs like safety gear, comfort, durability, and attachments for carrying gear that should also be considered.
In addition, there are some special dog owners that have requirements for their dogs that others might not have. Tactical dogs, service dogs, police and military dogs, all of these can’t simply be contained with a standard leash, nor should they ever be.
Choosing any old harness for your dog and hoping that it will be strong or durable enough for them won’t work. You need to find something made from strong materials and craftsmanship with all of the features included, like adjustability and comfort, so they suit both you and your dog.
Shopping for a dog harness can be hard to do these days with such an overcrowded market. Finding something that’s well made but also that suits your specifications for yourself and your dog will take a bit of research, but it will be worth it. These are some features you should consider when choosing your next dog harness:
Above all else, you need to be sure you’ve got the right size harness for your dog. Thankfully, most manufacturers are quite detailed when it comes to sizing and will show you what each size means in terms of their girth or height. They might even specify breeds so you can find the right fit.
The second most important to size is their adjustability factor. A harness should have at least one point of adjustability, but the better brands offer four. This means you can get it perfectly sized to your dog to maximize security but minimize discomfort.
Accessories might not be important to everyone, but it will depend on how you’re going to use the harness. People that are shopping for a hiking dog harness will care more about accessories, which could include things like ID badge and loops for carrying additional accessories.
A backpack is something that comes included with some brands of harness, and others it will need to be purchased additionally. Not to be confused with a regular size backpack, these are more like small pouches that allow your dog to carry supplies like first aid kits, water, and other lightweight gear.
From the perspective of the dog, it can be quite uncomfortable to walk around in a harness for hours at a time. Therefore, you need to shop for one that understands this. Look for padding all over or in the specific pressure points, and choose a material that’s sturdy but comfortable and has breathability.
All harnesses are designed differently in terms of their pulling power. Some won’t allow your dog to pull from the front at all and others will. This will depend on how much safety you need the harness to have in order to protect the dog from others, and others from your dog.
Wearing a harness will make it a lot easier to pick up your dog and these products usually come with handles that allow you to do so. This means you can pick the dog up and put them in the car or wherever else they’re going, and the weight is made easier by the harness.
As dog owners, we have a responsibility not only to our dogs but the rest of the world, to keep them on a lead. Ensuring that they are securely attached to a lead which we have total control over, especially if we have larger breeds of dogs or those who can get a little more protective than others, is all part of being a smart pet owner.
Our dogs also deserve the best, and traditional leads that pull on them forcefully or cause strain in their necks, are no longer acceptable. Investing in a quality dog harness that’s comfortable for your pet but will also keep them secure and let you take charge is one thing that all canine owners should do, no matter the size of their pet.
Finding the best dog harness for hiking means looking at the unique setting that you’re in when you take your canine into the wilderness. With native wildlife, other dogs, and random hikers coming across your path constantly, you want to feel secure that you’ve got your dog in a harness and they’re both comfortable and protected.
For all other settings, a dog harness should provide comfort and security all in one, and this goes for both you and your dog. A dog harness is an affordable but worthwhile investment that will only improve the quality of walks for the both of you.