Now that you are planning to go hiking with your furry friend, it is crucial to take into consideration the safety of your dog. Dog harnesses have become increasingly popular thus, replacing the traditional collar and leash. To keep your dog safe as you hike, you need a hiking harness for your dog.
The harness will help you to save your dog if it gets into trouble. While you could use a collar for the same purpose, it could constrict the dog’s neck thus restricting air passage especially if the dog is also pulling. This factor places preference on the harness which is more comfortable, and the dog is less likely to pull in a harness. In short, you must know how to choose the best harness for your dog. Some tackles have a pack allowing you to put some of your load on the dog’s back. Besides, a good hiking harness includes a loop at the end to enable you to pull out your dog in case it is in danger.
Top 10 Best Dog Harness for Hiking
1. RABBITGOO Dog Harness
This harness has been designed to give both you and your dog a wonderful experience in your outdoor activities be it a walk or a hike. Given a wonderful experience, your dog will be happier as it walks in your company. The harness weighs 7.2 ounces while measuring 14.2x9.1x0.6 inches. Aside from being good-looking, it gives your dog an easy walk as you navigate through your hiking grounds. It features a handle for control which helps stop the dog from pulling. The presence of both back and front rings for leash attachment makes it easy to control your dog while maintaining its safety.
It has an adjustable neck and girth measurements to ensure a perfect fit for your dog. Nevertheless, it will be good to measure your dog before buying in case its size doesn’t fall within the adjustable limit. Another striking feature is that you get the opportunity to hike at dark hours since it is reflective in the dark. The reflective property increases the visibility of your dog hence, more safety. In addition, it is padded and breathable. Thus, making your dog comfortable. Other than hiking, it is suitable for many other activities including; daily walking, training, and hunting.
- Makes it easy to control the dog.
- High quality.
- Good looking and attractive.
- Does not dig or leave sores on the dog’s chest.
- Reflective in the dark.
- Adjustable for the right fit.
- The nylon at the back of the harness easily frays.
- Prolonged use causes it to rub into the dog’s armpits.
2. Expawlorer Big Dog No Pull Harness
This harness comes in three different sizes and seven different colors thus, giving you a rich variety to choose from. This product features a strong clip and a sturdy back D-ring of the leash. Being well made and sturdy, this high-quality harness will give you service for a long time. Its adjustable straps make it adjustable to fit your dog. It has a buckle that is quick to lock and unlock thus, enhancing your dog’s security. With the wide and long reflector that shines brightly at night, you can easily keep an eye on your furry friend. Thus, ensuring it’s safe. This no-pull harness is perfect for dogs of large breeds especially if the dog likes to pull.
- Helps to train stubborn, pulling dogs.
- The sturdy rubber handle makes for easy control by helping redirect the dog.
- Well-built and durable.
- Easy to clean and to put on.
- Shiny reflector for night time camping.
- Variety of sizes and colors to choose from.
- Straps may slip out of place if not well-tightened.
- Not suitable for dogs of smaller breeds.
3. One Tigris Tactical Service Dog Vest
One Tigris is a multipurpose saddle that is fit for any adventure be it walking or hiking. The molle and vectro system makes it convenient for your dog to carry extra gear like first aid kit and food especially if you are going for long days of camping. Also, it has x-bungee cords for a water bottle or umbrella.
Made of 1000D nylon material, soft and padded, its water resistant nature makes it perfect for wet trails. It offers a competitive design with adjustable straps, firm grip top handle and a 4-buckle-bellyband which makes it easier for you to control your dog. However the adjustable straps can be challenging to fit, but once done correctly you won’t have to adjust again unless the dog grows. To ensure you get the right fit for your dog, one Tigris features a detailed sizing chart reference plus how to measure your dog.
- Balances well and stays in place.
- Well-made and durable.
- Easy to clean and dry.
- High quality.
- Multipurpose pack.
- Does not cause irritations.
- The seams wear out over time due to humidity.
- Adjusting the straps into the required size is challenging.
4. BABYLTRL Dog Harness
This harness is a great tool for controlling your dog given that it features both front and back rings for leash attachment which help prevent pulling and choking. Its large girth size of 32-35 inch makes it perfect for both large and medium dogs. Additionally, the adjustable straps make it easy to fit well on your dog. With the ability to reflect in the dark, you can easily watch over your dog hence, maximizing its safety.
Babyltrl comes with a sturdy D-ring leash attachment and an easy to grip handle that comes in handy if the dog gets into trouble. Made of premium nylon Oxford material with a padded interior, this harness offers durability along with comfort and ease of cleaning. Featuring a simple design and quick snap buckles, this harness is easy to put on while the locking feature makes it more secure. In addition, its versatility in use makes it perfect for several outdoor activities like hunting, hiking, training, walking and running among other outdoor activities.
Note: This harness can be paired with a car seat belt to prevent your dog from jumping up and down while you drive.
- Right fitting.
- Very sturdy.
- The padding inside makes it Comfortable.
- Flexible and breathable material.
- Does not rub behind the legs.
- Reflective for added safety.
- Easy to put on and clean.
- Big, strong dogs can break the D-ring.
5. RUFFWEAR - Front-range all-day wear harness
Another great harness option if you are looking for one with dual clip is the Ruffwear’s front range dog harness. This comfortable, easy to put on harness is designed for use every day. It has a padded chest and belly thus ensuring comfort in everyday activities like running, walking and hiking. With four adjustment points, you get the right fit for your four-legged friend.
Featuring two attachment points, one on the front and the other at the back, along with webbing at the chest, this harness gives you easy time at controlling or training your dog. The ID pocket makes it easy to view the dog tag while keeping it easily accessible. The front range harness comes in five different sizes thus, giving you an easy time finding the perfect fit for your dog. With simple washing instructions, this harness is easy to clean. With over-the-head fitting style, the harness is easy to put on. In addition, it is perfect for pulling dogs since the front leash attachment makes it easy to curb pulling.
- ID pocket keeps the dog tag safe and quiet.
- Well-designed and comfortable.
- Good quality.
- Controls pulling.
- Simple wash and dry instructions.
- Nylon straps wear out rather quickly.
- Adjusting the straps takes long.
6. RUFFWEAR Multi-Use Harness for Dogs
Ruffwear’s web master harness is ideal for hiking. The web master comes in five different adjustable sizes. Thus, making it easy to find the perfect fit for your dog. Preferred by most dog rescuers in the US, this harness is perfect for helping dogs get up and also get over obstacles. Its anatomical design makes for easy, comfortable and balanced lifting. The foam-padded chest and belly make it convenient for the dog to wear for long periods of time without straining or chafing the dog. With two front and back aluminum attachment points, it is easy to control your dog especially if used to pulling.
- Help keep pulling in check.
- Multiple adjustment points for proper sizing.
- Comfortable and secure.
- Does not cause rubbing.
- Handle on the back helps to lift the dog over obstacles.
- Adjusting to the required size takes long.
- Padding provides extra heating which may not be appropriate in some weather conditions.
7. Copatchy reflective dog harness
The Copatchy harness is made of quality breathable mesh material which not only keeps your dog comfortable during hiking but also cool. The anti-pull sponge filling helps protect the dog against choking while restraining pulling to ensure you enjoy your hike, walk, jog, training or run. The harness comes with clips both on the neck and chest for easy putting on and taking off. On top of this harness is an extra handle that gives you more control over a pulling dog or an elderly one. This product measures 5.2x5.2x1.9 inches while weighing 1.6 ounces.
The reflective feature makes hiking during dark hours easy while enhancing the safety of your dog. The harness and leash are of premium quality for various medium or large dog types including the German shepherd, pit bull, husky, retriever among others. Additionally, the adjustable size along with a reliable pull-back handle makes it a convenient harness.
- Breathable for many hours of use.
- Easy to put on.
- Solid built for durability.
- Well-made and comfortable.
- Does not choke while preventing pulling.
- Attractive and lightweight.
- Top handle comes in handy when lifting the dog in and out of the car.
- Sizing information is quite confusing.
- It will not necessarily prevent pulling in untrained dogs.
8. Outward Hound Granby Dog Life Jacket
Are you going for a swimming adventure with your furry friend? This Outward Hound life jacket is a great fit for your dog. It is made of foam panels that increase buoyancy and a safe neck float to prevent the head of your dog from going under the water. For rescue and restraint, this harness has two strong handles on the back. With reflective piping and bright coloring, you can easily keep an eye on your dog while in the water. It has chest straps and belly buckles to ensure a perfect fit for your dog. It provides a sizing guide hence easy to measure your dog to get the right fit. It is important to read instructions before use to maximize the safety of your dog.
- Durable and made from quality materials.
- Does not get bulky on your dog in the water.
- Great at helping the dog stay afloat even if not a great swimmer.
- Easy to secure on the dog.
- Stays in place without shifting.
- Different buckles and velcro for size adjustment for a perfect fit.
- May not be suitable for frequent, every day lifting especially for heavier dogs.
- Sizing information poses a challenge in matching actual dog measurements.
9. ICEFANG tactical dog harness
The Icefang harness is made of 1050D nylon and a PU coating which makes it water-resistant hence, suitable for hiking in wet conditions. Designed to fit perfectly for individual dogs, this harness comes with both chest and shoulder adjustment for better adjustment. Proper fitting prevents the dog from escaping while ensuring that there is no rub. The front clip allows you to connect the leash which helps you to control the dog against pulling, whereas the back clip will enable you to enjoy a nice walk with your trained puppy friend.
The harness also features a tough, large and durable handle to enable you to pick up your dog safely when getting in or out of your car or when walking through crowded places. On either side is a sewn-in molle strip which enables the dog to carry necessary materials whether you are training, walking or hiking. Also, it is possible to add or hook other items like the dog bowl, water bottle, and toys. The self-adhesive ID patch enables you to add your dog’s ID for easy identification.
- Size adjustable to fit correctly.
- Stays in place and does not rub.
- Metal front buckles are strong and break-resistant.
- Well-made thus great value for the price.
- Top-notch quality.
- Ideal for large, pulling dogs.
- Metal buckles add weight to the harness.
- Adjustment straps are cumbersome to use.
10. Expawlorer Front range No Pull dog Harness
The Expawlorer harness comes in three different colors of orange, black and green. It also features a variety of sizes ranging from extra small, small, medium, large to extra large. The ergonomic design offers comfort and ease of putting it on or taking it off. Made of heavy-duty nylon with a soft lining, the harness prevents rubbing and chafing; the nylon material is durable and scratch-resistant. The mesh fabric allows for free air passage hence preventing over-heating. The reflective material offers good visibility at night.
It features both front and back leash attachments. The front leash attachment gently discourages the dog from pulling hence, preventing injuries to the neck. In addition, the front leash helps to train the dog against pulling. The harness features a strong handle that can be fastened to the seat belt to prevent the dog from jumping up and down while you drive. Finally, it has a detailed sizing chart with the dimensions of the harness. These features make it suitable for multiple outdoor activities like hunting, walking, and hiking.
- Excellent Padding and 4 adjustment points for proper fitting and comfort.
- Highly reflective.
- Curbs pulling.
- Great for everyday use.
- Sturdy and durable.
- Doesn’t rub into the armpits.
- Tightening around the neck is a bit tricky.
- Putting on and off is not so simple.
Dog Hiking Harness Buyer’s Guide
Sometimes it’s difficult to control your dog especially when it's excited and jumping a lot. This becomes more of a concern when it comes to the slopes you will encounter when hiking. Depending on the size, age and the activity level of your dog, the choice of harness requires careful consideration to ensure the safety of your dog. Unfortunately, with a wide range of harnesses out there that promise the best experience, it becomes a challenge to choose one. With that in mind, what should you look for in a harness?
Factors to consider when buying a hiking harness for your dog
The right fit
While harnesses are designed to be comfortable, a poorly fitting harness can cause considerable discomfort to your dog. A harness too small will pose breathing difficulties while an oversize one might come off or entangle your dog causing it to fall. It is therefore important to ensure that the harness you choose perfectly fits your dog. Different brands have different sizes. Therefore, it is necessary to know the size of your dog.
To achieve this, use a soft tape measure to get the measurement of your dog’s girth. The girth is the widest part of your dog’s ribcage. In addition, for a perfect fit, ensure that two of your fingers can easily fit under the tape; there is enough space between the legs and also that the harness is balanced and not too high. A harness that does not balance will not only make the dog uncomfortable but also make it difficult for you to control it. On the other hand, picking an adjustable harness type will add to the ease of fitting.
When it comes to choosing a harness with the best material, the conditions under which you will be hiking will play a major role. Hiking in a muddy or dusty place means the harness will attract a lot of dirt. In such a case, choosing a material that is easy to clean or one that can stay clean without necessarily having to wash it.
Hiking in the morning, late in the evening or considering overnight camping means that you will be operating under low light conditions. In this case, a harness with reflective material will come in handy to help you see your dog quickly.
If you will be hiking during rainy seasons or in wet conditions, you will need a harness with waterproof material. If your dog will be swimming, a material that does not retain water after absorption will be convenient. While padded harnesses are comfy, they won’t be after swimming. Therefore, harnesses with a slimmer material are preferable.
With hiking being unpredictable, the trails can be rough and tough. This implies more strain and activity for your dog. For this reason, a harness that is strong enough to withstand wear and tear over time is necessary. Additionally, the clips and leash attachment points should be heavy and resistant to rust. A good harness should come with a warranty in case it does not work as expected.
Ease of mobility
The harness you choose should make it easy for your dog to move freely and naturally without being burdened. Therefore, the harness chosen should be lightweight for easy movement. Also, the weather will impact how the harness influences the mobility of your dog. During hot weather, a harness with light, breathable material will protect your dog from overheating while during cold weather conditions, a harness accompanied with an extra layer of a coat will keep your furry friend warm. In addition, if you prefer a harness with back pockets, ensure they are evenly distributed to avoid weighing down your dog on one side.
Apart from the ability to keep your dog comfortable, the best harness should be comfortable enough for your dog to wear for long periods of time without straining. How comfortable a harness is depends on its size, the material it is made of and its adaptability to the hiking conditions. A well-fitting harness is comfortable as opposed to a small or oversize one. Whereas a thick, padded harness will come in handy during the cold weather, it will cause overheating on a hot day hence, causing discomfort.
The types of hiking harnesses
The type of harness is also another important factor to consider when buying a harness for your dog. The types vary according to the position of clip attachment and the fitting style. On attachment, there are 3 types of harness namely; front-clip, back-clip and dual-clip attachment harnesses. On the other hand, fitting style harness types include the over-the-head and step-in dog harnesses.
Mostly preferred by trainers, this type of harness with a front clip has the leash attachment placed centrally on the dog’s chest. This kind of harness puts pressure on the dog’s chest when it pulls thus, discouraging pulling. It is, therefore, useful in controlling and restraining your dog especially if it has a bad pulling and leash behavior. In addition, it offers the convenience of making the dog turn around back to the owner by just turning the leash to the side instead of pulling the dog back. However, slackening the leash too much might entangle your dog’s legs since it is at the front.
This type of harness has the leash being attached to a clip at the back of the dog. This kind of harness is much popular compared to the other harnesses. This is because of the ease of putting it on as well as the dog’s ability to adjust quickly. It also helps to protect the neck of the dog especially if the dog is young or of a small breed. While this type is easy to use, it may not be convenient for untrained and big dogs which have a tendency of pulling hard on the leash because it will be difficult to control them.
This kind of harness consists of attachments both on the front and the back. Over time these kinds of harnesses have also grown popular in the market. This is due to the ability to conveniently use either the front or back clip as needed. For instance, when you need to control the dog especially on a hike, the front leash is preferable while a back leash is suitable when in need of a normal walk. As a result, it becomes easy to train the dog as well as control it while keeping it safe.
Note: You must also check out how to put on the harness on your dog to make sure that you are doing it correctly.
These two types of harnesses can be worn in either of the two styles below
Over-the-head dog harness
As the name suggests, this kind of harness is worn by passing it through the head first then adjusting the straps. This is a simple task especially if the dog is small or calm and well-behaved. With a neck enclosure, they offer body control while the adjustable shoulder straps add to the neck protection of your dog. However, it may be a little hard to fit onto dogs that are not so patient.
Step-in Dog Harness
This requires the dog’s legs to go into the harness first. Just like the over-the-head harness, it is also simple to put on. Simply lay the harness on the ground and have your dog step its front legs into the holes then pull it up and close it on the dog’s back. This harness is also easily adjustable to fit onto any dog regardless of its size. Now that you know what to look for in a dog harness, here are top ten best dog harnesses for hiking.
The harness is the best choice when it comes to taking the dog with you on a hike. By hiking together, the relationship between you and your dog will improve. Also, by choosing a harness, you will ensure that your dog is safe during your wilderness adventure. In addition, your dog will enjoy the freedom and comfort that comes with using the harness as opposed to the constricting neck collar. Besides, you will enjoy the convenience of controlling your dog without breaking a sweat. Although purchasing a harness is costlier than a collar, it is definitely worth it. With the many harnesses out there, this guide and review will hopefully help you get the best hiking harness for your dog.