Ruffwear Approach Dog Backpack

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Product is rated as #1 in category Harnesses

One for the trailblazers out there. A practical harness when out trekking, walking or on holiday.

Ruffwear Approach Dog Backpack
Ruffwear Approach Dog Backpack



As part of our series of trekking harnesses and wear for dogs we review the Ruffwear Approach Dog Backpack and all in one harness and backpack for your dog.

Ruffwear Approach Dog Backpack, Large/ X-Large, Campfire Orange There’s a growing number of adventurous souls who venture out into the wild with their dogs. Okay, possibly not Bill Bryson or Cheryl Strayed levels of the Appalachian Trail, but certainly wilderness trekkers. We’ve been on a few walking trips and camping holidays recently and as part of the family the Great Danes join us. We also have friends who have taken their dogs on walking vacations to the Scottish highlands and various hillside retreats.

Ruffware have a rather excellent Multi-Use Harness for the serious treks but the Dog Backpack is for more general use when out and about. Be you and your dog out camping, strolling, trekking or just out and about.

As you’ve probably established – this is a way for your dog to accompany you on these trips and carry the necessities. Be it water, food, lotions, potions or just an improving book.

Is this a harness?

Firstly, is the Ruffwear Approach Dog Backpack a harness? Yes indeed. As a harness it’s well designed – the backpack and harness are combined instead of two separate units which may not fit as well. It has five straps in total which can  Ruffwear Approach Dog Backpack, Large/ X-Large, Campfire Orange be easily adjusted to best fit your breed.

The anodized aluminium v-ring at the back is for attaching a lead. As we’ve found with similar harnesses in the range – these attachment hoops are incredibly strong. There is also a second leash connection attachment webbing loop. In other products such as the front range harness, this is good for training and no-pull when used with a lead such as the HALTI. We’re hopefully, however, that if your dog is out trekking with you – they’re generally well behaved.non-

The harness has a paddle handle at the top and slip girth straps. This allows you to be able to help lift your dog which is incredibly useful when walking over less favourable terrain. Its design also means that this action is comfortable for the dog and doesn’t tug or pinch the skin.

The backpack

We landed up with an orange one, it seemed the most appropriate for our breed somehow. But there are other colours out there including green or blue.

Primarily there are saddlebags on either side for storage. These are designed as weight-forward saddlebag – weight is distributed to the upper central part of the dogs back. This creates a passive compression that stabilises the contents of the backpack.

In addition to the two main saddlebags there are two smaller pockets for storage. There are also hooks should you wish to add additional storage. But, be careful not to overload your dog. It’s not good for him and he won’t thank you for ruining their holiday.

Overall we would describe the backpack as “fairly waterproof”. It doesn’t let the water in for light rain and general water – but should your dog decide to jump in a lake – the contents will probably get a little wet.

Their are four sizes of harnesses available ranging from XX-Small to Large/X-Large.

Ruffwear Approach Dog Backpack, Large/ X-Large, Campfire Orange

Overall, we thought this was a well thought out and useful harness. As a harness it’s ideal for most dogs, as a backpack it’s also a great choice but be careful not to overload your dog and don’t put anything perishable in their if they have a tendency to leap into rivers. Happy hiking!

We hope you enjoyed our review of the Ruffwear Approach Dog Backpack – don’t forget to send us your pictures of it in action. Also check out our other harness reviews and leave comments good or bad.

9.1Expert Score
The Ruffwear Approach Dog Backpack is a superior combined harness and backpack, invaluable for trekking out in the wilderness.
  • Well designed
  • Balanced design to not put weight pressure on your dog
  • Plenty of storage
  • A solid harness
  • Can wear on some breeds after long periods

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