Best Dog Backpack Carriers: Complete Reviews With Comparisons and A Guid on How To Choose One

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Sami, our adorable and independent Westie, brings me so much joy that I just want to bring him with me everywhere, but that isn’t always an easy thing to do!

Bringing a traditional carrier everywhere I go isn’t exactly feasible, and he gets tired of walking around sometimes.

At other times, I simply can’t bring him with me unless he is kept contained in a carrier, such as on an airplane.

A Westie’s Life: Sami’s Instagram

These situations kept coming up, so I finally sat down and researched different options to find the best dog backpack carrier.

With the right carrier, we can go on adventures with Sami that we will never forget, and that was worth the search.

I know that not everyone wants to have to go through the same search, so I’ve put together this list of the best options on the market today.

Hopefully, you’ll find the perfect bag to bring your furry friend everywhere you go!

Best Dog Backpack Carrier Reviews

1. Lollimeow Pet Carrier Bubble Backpack

The Lollimeow Pet Carrier Bubble Backpack is a very fun, unique, and mid-range backpack carrier that can make adventures outside with your small dog lots of fun.

Product Highlights

This bubble bag has a sturdy base and funky design that is sure to catch eyes.

While your dog is inside, they will be able to have a great view of the world around them because of the large, see-through bubble window.

This bag is approved for travel on many airlines because of its size, but you will want to check the airline’s rules to be sure.

The Good

The practicality of this dog carrier is what makes it most appealing to use for pet owners.

It’s lightweight, easy to carry, and is made from waterproof materials that are easy to wipe clean.

When you don’t have to stress about these things, the bag becomes much easier to use.

The Bad

This bag is only going to be a good choice for small dogs that weigh less than 13 pounds.

Any dog that is larger than that is not going to be able to safely or comfortably use this bag.

Still, it’s an excellent choice for small dogs, as they’ll have lots of room to look around and play.

Pros:

  • Three color options
  • Dog gets a nice view
  • Hand-sized opening to pet and comfort dog
  • Easy to get the dog in and out

Cons:

  • Cannot fit dogs heavier than 13 pounds
  • Bubble scratches easily
  • Attracts a lot of attention

2. Ytonet Dog Backpack Carrier

The next option is the Ytonet Dog Backpack Carrier.

This is designed to offer a practical carrying experience at a very affordable price.

Product Highlights

This backpack-style carrier comes in a basic, neutral color.

You will find three large mesh windows that allow your dog to have enough ventilation as well as a clear view of what is going on in the world around them.

The bag is rated to fit both small- and medium-sized dogs weighing up to 18 pounds.

This bag has two different spots that can easily be opened so that your dog can stick their head out and be more comfortable when allowed.

The Good

In addition to having two places where your dog can easily stick their head out, this bag has many other useful features that help it stand out.

In particular, the pockets on the front are incredibly useful when traveling or adventuring with your dog.

I know I could fit Sami’s favorite snacks in there with no problems!

The Bad

One potential issue with this bag is that the inner leash clip is too short for some dogs.

It won’t reach their collar without being dangerous, so you may need to add a simple extension leash to make it safer.

Pros:

  • Thick, comfortable straps
  • Large interior space
  • Useful pockets
  • Easy to reach inside

Cons:

  • Zippers need to be more secure
  • Frustrating top flap

3. Pecute Pet Carrier Backpack

The Pecute Pet Carrier Backpack is a dog carrier with a unique, expandable design.

It gives your pet more than enough space to stay comfortable, and you won’t have to pay more than a mid-range price.

Product Highlights

This Pecute Pet Carrier Backpack is a bag that has many mesh openings and an easy-to-use top opening.

It also has a few pockets that can be used to store the things that you and your pet need during travel.

The bag is made from a durable, water-resistant material that can be cleaned with a rag.

The Oxford material is also relatively scratch-resistant, so you don’t need to worry about this bag looking run-down immediately.

The Good

The standout feature of this backpack is the expandable section.

The back of the carrier can be extended to give your pet a few extra square inches of space to roam while you are traveling.

What’s more, this expandable section is very easy to extend and then close up again.

It is practical to use even when you are only going to keep it open for a short amount of time.

The Bad

One issue that people have had with this bag is that the plastic windows on some of the sections are scratched very easily.

Then again, this is something that doesn’t affect the bag’s overall functionality.

Pros:

  • Two different color options
  • Adjustable straps
  • Lots of ventilation sections
  • Sturdy
  • Versatile design

Cons:

  • Window scratches easily
  • Some durability issues

4. PetAmi Deluxe Pet Carrier Backpack

Next, let’s look at the practical PetAmi Deluxe Pet Carrier Backpack.

This is a mid-range option that is available in a wide range of color options.

Product Highlights

The PetAmi Deluxe Carrier Backpack is a brilliant choice because of its large size, excellent ventilation, multiple entry points, and easy-to-use pockets.

The bag has a reinforced structure that ensures it will not collapse or push down on your pet while traveling.

There are some other safety features, too.

The Good

The fabric construction is worth taking a closer look at.

Not only is it made from a high-grade polyester that is incredibly durable, but that same polyester material is available in nine different color options.

This means that you can choose the bag that fits you and your pup’s personal style.

Sami and I love the heather gray and light blue!

The Bad

If your dog is very tall or weighs more than about nine pounds, this bag might not be the most comfortable choice.

It can dig into your back in strange ways.

All other pets should be very comfortable, though.

Pros:

  • Multiple color options
  • Easy to put the pet inside
  • Window unzips for easy access
  • Great for airports
  • Sturdy

Cons:

  • The angled top can bump the pet’s head
  • Uncomfortable back strap

5. Outward Hound PoochPouch Front Carrier

Finally, take a look at the last option, the Outward Hound PoochPouch Front Carrier.

Product Highlights

This is a super affordable carrier option that is very different than the others that we have looked at today.

This bag is designed so that your bag can sit inside with their head out.

It is carried on the front of your body so that you can experience the world together.

This design means you can also keep an eye on your pup the whole time.

The Good

This bag comes in two different sizes.

It can actually accommodate both small and medium dogs up to 20 pounds as long as you buy the appropriate size.

There aren’t many backpack carrier bags that can fit dogs that weigh more than about 15 pounds, so it is nice that there is an option like this one on the market.

The Bad

This bag is not as comfortable as some other backpack-style carriers.

However, that is largely because you are sacrificing your own comfort for the joy of having your pup turned to the front with you.

Pros:

  • Unique design
  • Mesh ventilation on sides
  • Two size options
  • Easy to pack and bring along on trips

Cons:

  • Straps are difficult to adjust
  • Size of dog matters just as much as weight

Buyer’s Guide

If you have never used a backpack-style carrier before, it can be hard to know how to decide which one is going to make the most sense for you and your pup.

When I first picked out a backpack like this for Sami, I was incredibly hesitant to even try it.

I was worried that I would accidentally hurt my sweet pup!

Thankfully, that didn’t happen, and I was able to figure out what features to pay attention to when choosing my next backpack carrier.

Focus on finding backpacks that perform well in all of these areas when doing your shopping, and your Westie or other pups will be very happy!

1. Comfort

Comfort is going to be a big factor to take into consideration.

You want to think about the comfort levels for both you and your dog.

You want your dog to be able to move around comfortably, so think about what materials will make your dog comfortable.

In particular, you will want to ensure that mesh fabrics are used as the backpack needs to be breathable; otherwise, your dog could overheat.

You also want to make sure that the straps on the backpack are made to stay in place.

In this way, the backpack doesn’t start sliding around on your shoulders.

Not only will that be uncomfortable for you while carrying it, but it will also be uncomfortable for your dog if the bag keeps moving around just from you walking about.

2. Support

Support and durability are very important features to consider when making your selection.

First, be sure that the bag has enough support to carry your dog’s weight.

Most backpacks are only made for small dogs, but not all small dogs weigh the same.

Hence, you will want to be sure that the backpack that you choose is rated to suit your dog’s size.

If the material of the bag isn’t durable enough to provide the needed support, the bag might break or rip over time.

The bag could even rip while you are using it, and that could put you and your dog at risk.

The backpack needs to be able to provide the support required to keep you both safe, so be sure to keep that in mind when shopping.

3. Harness

Some backpack carriers made for dogs will have an internal harness inside of the backpack carrier.

These harnesses are used to clip your bag to your dog’s collar or to strap the dog themselves in.

The idea is to keep your dog more secure while they are inside of the carrier.

Depending on the type of backpack carrier, this may or may not be important.

If you are looking for a carrier that keeps your dog completely zipped in, this type of harness probably won’t be included.

If, however, you’re looking for a carrier that keeps your dog’s head out of the back, you will want to look for this feature because it can keep your dog safer when using this bag type.

4. Ease of Cleaning

As you probably know from owning a dog, they love to get things messy!

Even though Sami isn’t the messiest pup I’ve ever met, he still managers to drag who-knows-what into his carrier.

That means that I need to clean it pretty often.

Some materials clean up easier than others, so you will want to keep the cleaning factor in mind when you are shopping around for bags.

Look for materials like nylon, which can be wiped down, or cotton, which can be thoroughly washed.

Focus on those that are waterproof or water-resistant to make your life easier.

Trust me, Sami has challenged our bag with a few messes, so I was so happy to have an easy-to-clean option!

5. Size

Another factor to take into consideration is what size you need to have so that your dog can comfortably fit inside.

When Sami was still very small, we actually had an even smaller backpack carrier for him than we do now.

We needed to upgrade to a larger bag as he reached full-size, but now we can continue to use this same bag since he isn’t going to be getting any bigger.

Make sure any bag that you choose can allow your dog to fit comfortably inside as you don’t want them to be squeezed in.

Check the size guidelines before you buy so that you’ll both be happy with the choice you make.

6. Other Features

There are a lot of other features that might show up on a backpack carrier.

Sami, for example, loves to have treats while we’re on the go!

They help him focus when we need him to, and they’re always good to have on hand.

Hence, we only looked for bags that included a pocket for his treats to go in.

If you have anything that you like to bring out with you and your dog, choosing a bag with pockets on it is smart.

Do you plan to use your bag when flying with your pup?

If so, you should make sure that you choose a bag that has the features necessary to be allowed on a plane.

The first time I flew with Sami, I was so nervous that I looked up the rules for weeks beforehand.

However, having the right backpack carrier for the trip made it much easier to relax and enjoy the journey.

Brainstorm what kind of features you want out of the backpack carrier, and then start your shopping so that you don’t miss out on anything.

westie trip airplane carrier bag

Dog Backpack Carrier FAQs

1. How do you carry your dog in a backpack?

Carrying your dog in a backpack is not going to be something that you can do without any preparation.

Like any other trick or new experience that you are going to expose your dog to, you need to take some time to help them understand what is happening.

If I had put Sami into his first backpack carrier without any warning, he would have been so scared.

He might not have ever wanted to get into one again.

Don’t risk making your dog afraid of this type of carrier.

Instead, take time to train your dog to be used to bags and bag carriers before you try to go on an adventure using one.

This video offers some excellent base knowledge to get started on bag training your dog.

With time and patience, you can help your dog love being carried around like this, just like our Sami loves it!

2. Are dog backpack carriers safe?

Dog backpack carriers are safe for smaller dogs, but they aren’t an excellent choice for larger dogs.

The risk of danger becomes much higher as the dog’s size and weight go up.

Of course, the bag is only going to be safe if a few conditions are met.

First, the bag needs to be durable and constructed properly.

Bags that are not made properly can have weak stitches or construction points that could cause them to fail.

That type of failure could be dangerous for you and your dog.

Additionally, you need to make sure that the bag you choose is the right size for your dog and for the situation you are using it in.

If you take a bag that is too big on an airplane, it could put your dog at risk.

If you use a bag that is too small for your dog, it could cause them harm, too.

3. Are backpacks good for dogs?

Backpack carriers are good for dogs in that you will be able to bring them on more adventures than you would normally be able to.

It can be frustrating to not be able to go on adventures with your dog because they get tired when walking, aren’t easily carried, or any other reason.

Rather than worry about those things, using a backpack carrier can allow your dog to experience new things that they might not get to experience otherwise.

Additionally, carriers allow you to bring your dogs to places where they might not be permitted when just on a leash.

Some restaurants are more likely to accept a dog in a carrier than on a leash.

Also, airplanes typically require you to have an approved carrier situation to fly with a dog in the cabin with you.

I adore being able to travel with Sami, and we prefer to keep Sami with us when possible using a carrier.

Having a backpack carrier has been great for Sami and for us.

4. What size dog carrier can I take on a plane?

Each specific airline has its own rules about what types of dog carriers and sizes are allowed.

You will also need to take into consideration what rules apply to your seat and ticket type before you decide on a specific dog carrier.

Generally speaking, the following rules apply when flying with a dog carrier:

  • The bag must fit completely under the seat in front of you (depends on the airline).
  • It has to have a waterproof bottom.
  • The bag should provide proper ventilation (at least two mesh sides).
  • It should be made with zipper security features.
  • The bag should be designed so that the pet’s head cannot stick out.

These are just general requirements; make sure to check with your specific airline before you make a final carrier selection.

5. How do I turn my backpack into a dog carrier?

It is possible to modify a standard backpack into a dog carrier.

Still, you will want to make sure that you are incredibly careful if you do this because it could be dangerous for your pet.

  • First, choose a sturdy backpack that isn’t worn out so that you know your pet will be secure.
  • Then, get some chicken wire or durable mesh material.
  • Cut holes into the back and replace the missing fabric area with the mesh or chicken wire, making sure that it is secure and that there are no sharp edges that could hurt your pet.
  • Once everything is secured, you may want to alter the entry point to the backpack, so there is more space for your dog to get in and out safely.

Some people have also added extra reinforcements to the bottom of the bag to make it flat and to the straps to ensure that they are durable enough to support a pet.

If you aren’t 100% sure that you can make the bag secure enough to safely carry your pet, it is best to stick to premade options.

Final Recommendation

Among all of these options for the best dog backpack carrier, we have found that the Breathable Dog Backpack Carrier is our favorite option.

NICREW Front-Facing Dog Carrier Backpack Review

This is thanks to its safety features, high-quality construction, and practical design that works in many situations.

If none of these bags stood out to you as the right choice, we recommend the NICREW Legs Out Front Dog Carrier as another great option.

Sami adores riding around in this carrier whenever we are out and about, and we think that your dog might love it, too!

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