5 Best Dog Harnesses For Hiking: Reviews and Buying Guide


hiking with dog

I’m guessing that you love the outdoors too, right? 

There’s nothing better than getting out for a nice long hike and pushing yourself to the limit, whilst getting to see some of the most amazing views on the planet. Whilst it’s great to get out with some friends, there’s nothing better than bringing your dog along too. 

Although you’ll still need to make sure that you take the right steps in being safe. That means getting hold of the right gear and making sure that your well equipped to take your dog along too. 

Today I’ll be sharing my review of the 5 best dog hiking harnesses that will provide you the most safety and ease of use when out and about with your dog.

A few things to look out for in a dog harness for hiking

It goes without saying that one of the most important things is always going to be you and your dog’s safety. But in order to obtain complete safety, there are a few things that a good harness needs to have. 

Of course, there are also a few other features that you may be on the lookout for too, such as versatility, style, comfort and so on. So, here are a few key tips that will help you to choose the best dog harness that best suits your needs.

Comfort

As you and I both know, a hike can end up being a whole lot longer than expected, especially if you have others come along too. If your dog is going to be strapped in over a long period of time, then you’re going to want to make sure that they’re comfy for the ride. That means making sure a padded harness fitted with breathable material is used to help your dog stay cool.

Versatility

Instead of having to buy a different harness for each specific circumstance. I’m sure you would much rather have one harness that fits all. If that sounds like you, then you’ll want to make sure you pick a harness that isn’t too bulky and is able to be used for any outdoor activity to save yourself some money and time in the future. 

Strength

If you have a dog like mine then you’re going to want a strong durable harness that can withstand excessive amounts of pulling. Going for a padded harness will help with durability, but you’ll have to make sure that it’s still breathable too. 

Additional Features

This covers things like reflective strips, adjustable sizing, tri harness for 2 dogs and so on. Depending on where you will be hiking, what you will be hiking and who you will be hiking with are all things that you’ll need to make sure the harness is fit for.

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How to prepare your dog for hiking 

Just to make sure your prepared the right way, I thought I’d share a few helpful tips that will help you with making sure your dog has a good experience. Even if your a seasoned veteran, then it’s still worth taking a look at to reignite some old knowledge. 

Test out the new gear 

It’s always a great idea to take new things out for a test run. That means when you do get a hold of a new harness and other pieces of kit that you’ll be taking along, why not go for a walk through the neighborhood. That way your dog gets to have a feel of what the hikes going to entail and you’ll get a feel of how it will be walking them too. 

Build your dog’s stamina

Just like you a dog will need a good warm-up before trekking out for a 15 mile hike for the first time. If this is something new that you’re doing with your dog then you’ll want to make sure that they’re fit for the job. That means taking them out for a nice long walk prior to the hike to start getting their body used to walking at pace over a long period of time. 

Research before you walk 

Make sure that the route you plan on going through with your dog is suitable for dogs to go through. You’ll want to make sure that the route permits for the dog to be walked through the area and that your dog will be physically able to complete the hike. Speak to a few friends or call up any parks or governing bodies to make sure that it’s ok for a dog to go through the route first. 

Health check

There’s no point in attempting to hike with your dog if they are suffering from any type of health condition that will not permit them to do so. Whilst this may seem like common sense it can be easily overlooked and sometimes mistaken by parents who have not taken full precautions.

It’s probably worth getting them down to the vets before heading out on something that will push the boundaries, so you can be sure that your dog’s engine is firing on all cylinders. 

Behavior 

You got to be sure that your dog is well behaved before heading out on a hike with them. If you find it hard to get out to the park and back home, then you’ll probably want to make sure you do a little training before heading out on a hike.

A great way you can do this from home is to try out training your dog from home. There’s a great program I recommend you check it out if that’s something you want to do. 

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The best dog harness for hiking this year

The 5 Best dog hiking harnesses 

Now its time to get into the top 5 list that you came here for. Inside of this review, I have noted in bullets on the pros and cons of each product, as well as the benefit to each of them too. 

Hopefully, in doing so and armed with the knowledge you have read above, you’ll have no problems with choosing the best hiking harness for you and your dog.

Just make sure that you read carefully to see which harness will best ft what it is that you want to do. some of them are great for long distances and camping, while you may find that others are better for training and short walks.

Everything that you can possibly need to know has been included, so enjoy the read and check out some more details on your favorites.

1. RUFFWEAR – WebMaster, Multi-Use Support Dog Harness – Overall best  

dog harness black

First up is the Ruffwear multi-purpose dog harness with a design that allows you to hike, go and short walks and hill climb all in one.

The sizing ranges from extra small to fit chihuahuas and poodles all the way up to an extra-large that is fit for golden retrievers and Great Danes. 

Whether you’re looking for a new harness to hike or for a new harness for anything of that matter, then this will probably be your best bet. 

This harness has padded handles that will help if you find yourself needing to lift your dog. It’s also equipped with padded straps that are great for reducing the amount of tug you get on the leash, and ensures that your dog remains comfortable and snug. 

To give you an idea of what to expect with this product I’ve listed out a few pros and cons in bullets: 

Pros

  • Multi-purpose harness
  • Comes in various sizes that fit almost every breed
  • Great for dogs that pull 
  • Comfy for your dog 

Cons

  • Made with plastic lips 
  • Sizes can come up small 

Overall this is a great harness that solves all problems in one. A harness like this can be your go-to everyday walking harness that also has the option of being used for outdoor activities too.  

2. RUFFWEAR – Front Range, Everyday No Pull Dog HarnessBest small breed dog hiking harness 

dog harness black front mount

Once again after the first Ruffwear makes it to the second-best rated harness as a runner up. The reason being is because this harness is a brilliant option for small dogs specifically.

This can be used for a variety of different activities such as walking, hiking, climbing and many other outdoor activities. 

A cool little feature that it has is the option to place your dog’s ID tag inside of the small velcro pouch located on the front of the harness.  

The aluminum V right located on top is built to last and helps with reducing tugs and pulls when walking your dog. There’s also a secondary attachment point of the front the chest part of the harness that works great for additional control or training purposes too. 

There’s padding all the way through the harness but I have heard that the strap behind the legs sometimes can cause small irritations to your dog. In most cases, the additional padding will help to reduce this problem depending on the size and breed of your dog. 

A few pros and cons to this harness include: 

Pros

  • Multipurpose harness 
  • Easy to put on and take off 
  • Easy to adjust and fit your dog 
  • Made with reflective strips
  • Great for small dogs 

Cons

  • Sizing can be a bit off  

This is a great option for smaller dogs and will provide you a ton of options with walking your dog. The downside is that the sizing of the harness can be a little off what you expect so I recommend measuring your dog just before buying so you can be sure you get a good fit. 

3.  Kurgo Dog Harness for running and walking – Great for outdoor use 

dog harness blue front mount

This is a great harness for walking your dog through long-distance for a long length of time.

All buckles are metal which is always a great thing for durability and it also has a v neck design that allows your dog to run and move freely. 

There are still plastic buckles that are used on the harness that is manufactured like that to allow you to be able to quickly release the buckle without hurting your fingers.

You get a lifetime warranty on the harness to and it comes in a range of colors that you can shop through on Amazon. 

Although this harness comes across as light and flexible, that still doesn’t hold it back from being super durable. If you have a tough dog that pulls and tugs then this will be a great option to put that behavior to bed. 

To give you a few pros and cons to this harness I have listed them out below: 

Pros

  • Reflective strips for safety 
  • Great for dogs that pull 
  • Lifetime warranty 
  • Best for outdoor use 
  • Easy to slip on and off 

Cons

  • Tends to run underneath on small dogs 
  • Buckles are a little heavy 

As you can see there are many great benefits to getting a harness like this. I believe it’s a great choice for outdoor use only, but if you’re looking for something that best meets a day to day use, then you may want to take a look at the few other harnesses on the list. 

4. ICEFANG Tactical Dog Harness,K9 Working Dog Vest – Best service dog harness 

service dog harness for training

This has to be one of the best fitting dog harnesses I’ve come across. All of the buckles are made from alloy metal and have a load capacity of 250lbs. 

With the heavy-duty straps fastened and the alloy buckles clipped together, it’s almost impossible for your dog to escape from this harness. The tactical design matches tactical belts and has a strap that is 100% no slip and no loose. 

The front has an option for a leash to be fastened for training your dog to stop pulling and tugging. It’s a great harness for large dog breeds and comes in sizes that range from 22” all the way through to a 39” girth. 

To help you make an easier decision I have listed out  a few pros and cons below: 

Pros

  • Great design and easy to put on 
  • Very secure and snug 
  • Best training harness
  • Quick-release buckles 
  • No tug and no pull front mount 

Cons

  • The front mount can be broken if used with a big strong dog 
  • Extra-large comes with plastic buckles on sides 

If you’re looking to train your dog at home or you’re a professional dog trainer, then it goes without saying that this will be the best harness on the list for you. That’s not to say that this will be the best for hiking but it can be used to help you control your dog on a very flat surfaced hike. 

5. OneTigris Canvas Dog Pack for Hiking Camping Travelling – Best harness with saddle and bags

camping dog harness

Last but not least is the Onetigris dog harness for hiking that also comes with a dog pack for carrying items.

Right of the bat, this harness separates itself from the rest on the list as it comes with additional features that none of the others have. 

One thing to be aware of is that when you load up the packs on the sides, you’ll need to make sure that our dog still has balance. So make sure that both sides are evenly weighted if you do choose to use t as a carry pouch. 

This harness is made of high-density cotton canvas so you won’t be able to throw it into the machine at all. Instead, you’ll need to hand wash it with cold water then hang it out to dry after. 

It’s fitted with a top handle so you can hang the bag on the wall, and it has a lovely vintage design that sits over your dogs back nice and snug. 

You can use this bag for camping as well as hiking to because of the additional storage. To help you decide whether this harness is worth your investment, I have listed out  a few pros and cons below: 

Pros

  • Great fitting on most breeds 
  • Has storage to carry and hike 
  • Very well made and durable 
  • Great for large dogs 
  • Good for camping and hiking too

Cons

  • Sizes required to be measured first 
  • No warranty from the manufacturer 

This is a harness that remains in its own lane as the features that it includes are a lot different from the rest of the harnesses on the list. The design appears to be handmade and of high quality but the downside is that you have to hand wash it with cold water. 

FAQ’s 

In this section, I’ll be answering a few questions that you might have on your mind after making the purchase. To help clear things up, I have listed them below with an answer to each of them underneath too. 

Are harnesses bad for puppies?

Dog harnesses are not directly dangerous for puppies, but if they do not fit properly then this could cause a problem. In most cases when a harness does not fit a dog then you’ll find that the straps will start to rub and cause irritation or your dog to escape. 

Is a harness or collar better for a puppy?

For the most part, you’ll find that a harness is the best option for a dog or puppy that pulls. The reason being is that a collar can potentially cause neck injuries if your dog pulls whilst wearing it. 

Is it OK for a dog to wear a harness all the time?

It’s ok for your dog to wear a harness most of the time, but that doesn’t mean all the time. Youll need to give your dog some time to cool off and recuperate instead of keeping them locked up in a harness all the time.  

Should a dog harness be tight?

Your dog should be wearing a harness with enough room that you can still put two fingers inside. When you first put the harness on, then you’ll want me to be loose, but then after it’s on you will need to adjust it to fit. 

What is a no-pull harness?

A no-pull harness features a control loop that can be located on the chest area of a dog harness. The control loop is designed to discourage pulling behavior by applying a tightening to the chest area when walking. This should in effect make walking your dog much easier for you and your dog too. 

Conclusion 

To wrap this up I would say that each of the collars on the list has its own benefits that will help with specific purposes. Some are multipurpose and great for both home and hiking whilst others are built to hike and camp and not for regular use. 

By going through the tips at the start and reading the helpful information provided. You should have no problem with making an easy buying decision after reading this review. 

Rachael Summers

Rachael Summers is the Founder and Senior Editor at Retrievers R Us. She is a lifelong canine enthusiast and adores dogs of all shapes and sizes! She loves iced coffee, hammocks, and puppy-cuddling!

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