The 5 Best Dog Harness for Hiking in 2019

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Ever think about taking your dog on a hike?

If you’re the adventurous type and want to bring your furry friend along, you’ll need a special type of harness to ensure its safety and comfort.

small do in harness looking over waterFinding the right gear in 2019, such as a hiking harness can be a little tricky. So, there are a few factors you might want to consider when shopping for the right one.

First, consider the build of your pet, large or small, because the market is filled with harnesses that fit them differently.

Also, before purchasing, you want to review the materials that the harnesses are constructed with.

Some are more durable and suitable for the outdoors than others, and some use material that is more flexible, breathable, or comfortable compared to other hiking harnesses on the market.

The last thing, as you shop around, you’ll want to compare the safety features of the various harnesses for hiking before you decide to make a purchase.

For instance, straps with reflective trim are important, especially for smaller pets that are difficult to see outside in the dark.

Since the market is packed, I’ve researched all the best hiking harnesses for dogs so that I can help you pick the right one for your pet.

Dog Harness Comparison Table

Earth Vibes Petfly Various sizesBlackNylon, mesh fabric
Ruffwear Reflective Multi-Use HarnessVarious sizesBlue, red, gray, twilight grayNylon
Purebox ReflectiveMedium, Large,  X-LargeBlack and orangeNylon, oxford material
Philwin Adjustable Reflective Medium and LargeBlack3M reflective oxford material
K-9 Tuff Various sizesBlack, blue, camo, orange, pink, red600D oxford fabric, polyester, sponge

Top Hiking (Backpacking) Dog Harnesses

Earth Vibes Petfly

The Earth Vibes Petfly comes in many sizes to choose from depending on the build of your breed, small or large. These adjustable harnesses are made of a nylon material and mesh fabric on the inside.

The nylon gives these hiking harnesses durability while the mesh material makes them comfortable.

This strap is easy to put on and pull off by removing the safety lock that goes around the pet’s belly. The band that goes around the neck portion of the harness is adjustable, so your pooch doesn’t choke even if it pulls the leash.

The Earth Vibes Petfly also features a handle that’s made of nylon.

The handle allows you to control or lift your pet with the harness whenever it needs a little help from you. The stitching on this item is reflective to make your canine visible during the night. This product also has a D-ring that you can connect with a leash.

The combination of features and overall quality make the Earth Vibes Petfly ideal for hiking, running, and walking. Make sure to measure your pet carefully to pick the right size that fits comfortably. We consider this harness to be the most comfortable one.

Pros for The Earth Vibes Petfly Harness:

  • Comfortable and breathable
  • Adjustable
  • Durable


  • Buckles on the belly

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Ruffwear Reflective Multi-Use Harness

This is one of our top choices in 2019.  Especially if your dog tends to pull on its leash. The reason why most owners choose this Ruffwear product is due to the two leash attachment points.

One is near the front of the harness, which is for controlling your dog, especially if he or she likes to pull while you’re both going for an adventure.

The other attachment is on the back of the strap, which is for canine’s that don’t typically pull on its leash. The Ruffwear Reflective attachment is made of aluminum, and it’s reinforced with webbing.

This allows a safe and reliable connection to your dog. The handle featured is padded, so your pet is comfortable in the strap.

It assures load dispersion throughout the dog harness, so he or she is comfortable even when you lift it off the ground.

Its straps are also padded, which means your dog can wear it for hours at a time without causing any irritation. This gear is adjustable, so it can fit perfectly.

Also, customers have consistently raved about the reflective trim on the hiking harness for canines, which allows their pets to be seen while hiking or walking outside in the dark.


  • Reflective
  • Features two attachment points
  • Durable
  • Variety of size and color choices


  • Not recommended for small breeds

Check Online for Pricing and Availability

Purebox Hiking Harness

These types of anti-corrosion and durable harnesses are one of the easiest ones to use. They take a few seconds to put on and pull off, and ideal for dogs who don’t like to wait.

They’re made of reflective nylon material that’s long-lasting. Also, this comes with a quality D-ring and leather handle.

These two features provide reliability even if your pet pulls on the strap while walking. What makes the Purebox great is that it’s reflective and ideal for hiking when it’s dark.

The Purebox Reflective is lightweight, has a mesh lining, and sponge padding.

These hiking harnesses come in different sizes, so all you have to do is measure your dog to make sure one fits. The Purebox Reflective has a quick-release buckle and a locking feature to ensure safety at all times.

Also, the two buttons provided allows you to adjust the size even better.

This dog harness for hiking is not suggested for pet owners with small dogs, but more so suitable for large breeds.


  • Breathable
  • Features lock buckles
  • It’s padded
  • Lightweight


  • Doesn’t fit for small pups

Check  for Latest Pricing and Availability

Philwin Adjustable Reflective

This lightweight strap is ideal for larger breeds that love to go on adventures but need a little help here and there. It’s adjustable, and its straps allow you to create an even better fit for your pup.

The straps are reflective, so you can go hike or walk in the dark without fearing your dog’s safety.

The material on this gear is breathable, and it has padding, so your pup is comfortable at all times, whether you’re walking or hiking.

Overall, the Philwin Adjustable Reflective is easy to use thanks to its simple design. This piece of hiking gear has safety buckles and a locking feature on them to ensure safety.

This outdoor product is wear and dirt resistant, and it’s almost impossible to get tangled in a knot. The design evenly distributes the weight, which is ideal for canines who pull on their leash.

The two leash attachments are on the back and chest, and made of metal. You can go to our in-depth Philwin Adjustable review page to learn more.


  • Great for pets that pull the leash
  • Durable
  • Hard to get dirty
  • Comfortable


  • Sizes run large

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K-9 Tuff

The K-9 Tuff is made of durable 600D oxford fabric and polyester with foam padding. On top of that, the D-rings are stitched with heavy duty stitching. This combination ensures the quality, comfort, and durability of the belt while you’re hiking.

The K-9 Tuff is easy to use since it has quick-release buckles and takes only seconds to put on and take off. The handle is placed right in the middle of the strap so you can lift your dog when needed. The straps around the neck and chest portion is adjustable and provides comfort and safety.

The product also features reflective nylon webbing that’s great for when you’re hiking or walking at night. This belt comes in many different colors and sizes to choose from based on your preference and the size of your pet, both large and small. You may need to buy a size larger since this one runs a little small.


  • Reflective
  • Features quick release buckles
  • Adjustable
  • Comes in many colors and sizes


  • Sizes run small

Check to See the Availability

Why You Should Buy a Hiking Harness

Exercising, whether it is running outside or walking your favorite trail, is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. Hiking not only allows you to get out of the house but also your pup. This is especially important if your pet is kept in the house all day while you’re out or at work. Not to mention, it gives you and your pet time to work together and bond.

Dog standing with black hiking harnessLike any hobby or sport you’re involved in, it is crucial to be well-equipped with the appropriate gear. So if you and your furry companion love going on outdoor adventures, we strongly suggest getting a harness specifically for hiking.

Yes, you can use a standard restraint like one for walking or running, but nothing can replace the quality and effectiveness of one you would use for hiking. For us, we love to go camping, and so we always make sure that we bring these specialized harnesses.

So don’t settle for just any product or be afraid to splurge on your pet, pick a hiking restraint that meets all of your preferences and needs.

Harness for Hikers Guide

dog lying down in blue hiking harnessIf you’re in the market for a harness made especially for hiking, then it is essential to know what you’re looking for. In comparison to the other harnesses that are meant for walking or running, your criteria for a hiking one will be slightly different. For example, you’ll want something heavy-duty in design since hiking is a more rigorous activity. So pay attention to its design, materials, safety features, and size before committing to a product.

Remember, the more information you have, the less likely you’ll regret your purchase.

What’s The Best Design for Your Dog?

Keep your dog’s temperament in mind as you search for a hiking harness. The goal is to find a hiking restraint that is ergonomic, something that won’t cause discomfort or overly restrict the movements of your canine.

But more importantly, search for a product that is reliable and safe. So, check the quality and quantity of the straps and hardware.

As shop around and evaluate the various products on the market, some questions you should ask yourself are:

  • Are the straps adjustable? How about comfortable?
  • Do the buckles look cheap, and like they could possibly break under any duress?
  • What about a dog harness with pockets?
  • Is there a vest option available?
  • Does it have a front attachment, back attachment, or both?

small dog hiking in harnessThe last question might not seem significant, but where you attach your leash or lead, whether in front or on back of the hiking harness, does make a difference in how your dog walks and reacts.

For example, attaching the leash to the front allows for the owner to have more control with the use of effective leveraging, which stops a dog from pulling as they walk, making it the ideal harness for pet trainers. Whereas harnesses that have the lead attachment on the back, allow the dog to move around more freely as if it was hiking around with no restraint at all.

Related Post: Best Dog Leash

This decision depends solely on your hound’s hiking experience. If they are new to walking trails and traversing mountainous terrain, and you’re not too sure if you can trust them in such conditions, then side with the front attachment variety. However, if your pooch has experience exploring the great outdoors, and you feel confident with them, then go ahead and try a back attachment harness.

Or, one option I strongly recommend is a restraint that has both front and back attachments. What I like about a harness that features a 2-point attachment system is that you can alter where you attach the lead whenever you want. For instance, I know of some pet parents that will go from attaching the lead from the back to the front of the harness if a trail appears more dangerous and challenging than what their pet is accustomed to.

Dog Hiking Harness Fit and Sizing

The size and fit of your pet canine’s hiking harness are significant. You don’t want it too tight, or else you risk restricting your pup’s breathing and causing discomfort. A restraint that is too loose may result in undesired chafing, or your pooch might wriggle its way out.

fitting dog in pink harnessIt needs to fit just right for the harness to be useful. Not all manufacturers measure and size their products the same, but they will more than likely use one, or possibly a combination of the following measurements:

Back Length – This is the length from the base of the neck to about the base of the tail.
Chest Girth – Is the circumference of the canine’s rib cage at its widest point.
Neck Girth – Is the circumference of the dog’s neck. I measure where my pet’s collar usually sits.

Sometimes, a common issue customers face, after taking their hound’s measurements and finally making the decision of which product to get, is they find their dog in between sizes, not sure of which size to get. Once again, check with the manufacturer to see what they suggest. Some companies recommend sizing-up, while some say pick a size down. But if it just doesn’t work out, the majority of companies have a generous return policy.

Also, if you’re purchasing this for a dog that is still growing, then pick a restraint that it can grow into. Make sure it has many adjustable straps and that each size covers an appropriate range. For example, a size small might be suitable for dogs with a chest circumference of 17-22 inches.

Once you receive the product and begin fitting and molding it to your canine’s body, I use the two-finger rule. Which means as long as you can comfortably fit two fingers anywhere between the harness and your dog, then you’re all good. Keep in mind that it is all about comfort.

For a more in-depth post visit this article: How to Measure a Dog For a Harness

Dog Hiking Harness Material

Another important criteria I prioritize is the quality of the material. I look for gear that uses premium material that is durable, easy to clean, comfortable, and breathable. For durability, a good example would be reflective nylon oxford material.

dog wearing pink harnessThe material will not corrode, extending the life of the product. As far as comfort, I suggest looking for a restraint that has foam or soft-sponge padding in the straps. The extra cushion ensures your dog stays comfortable for extended periods of time.

A material that is breathable and lightweight is mesh. If you’re hiking in the rain or will traverse a body of water, the mesh will not retain water, which creates extra unnecessary weight. Of course, there are other types of materials that are light in weight and breathable, but if you’re still having trouble deciding on a specific material, then look for one that is easy to clean and care for.

Some products can be machine washed, while some require to be hand-washed. I personally never throw my harness in the dryer, due to the fear of it shrinking, so I always hang it out to dry. To further prevent shrinkage, machine wash in cold water and depending on how dirty your harness is, pre-soak in detergent in a separate wash bucket or container.

Try to remove any extra fur, dirt, and dander before placing in the washer, so you don’t carry those over into the washing machine. You don’t want to contaminate your household appliance with fur.

Outdoor Hiking Safety

Before going outdoors, make sure you have the right gear for hiking with your dog. Especially when it comes to selecting the right dog harness for hiking, one must consider factors such as comfort, durability, and most importantly, safety. Like harnesses for running, these types of gear have at least one safety feature for hiking.

If you’re taking your pet where they’ll need to swim during an adventure, then you want to look into buying life vests. Again, you always want to be prepared whenever you go on outdoor hikes. Especially if there are unexpected lakes during the hike.

How to Keep Your Dog Safe with a Harness

Your pet’s safety should always be a priority. Look for a restraint that has safety buckles that feature some form of a locking system. This kind of protection ensures your pet won’t wriggle out and escape the harness and possibly run into a dangerous situation. Also, it’s good to choose a product that’s constructed with some type of reflective material, such as reflective nylon or reflective 3M material. Reflective material keeps your dog visible at all times, especially at night.

dog relaxing in black harness after hikeAlso, make sure the straps actually serve a purpose and function. Do they look secure and functional, or look like they serve no purpose at all?

It’s crucial you also learn how to put a harness on your dog. The last thing you want is for a strap or buckle to break, and your pet gets loose and runs away while you’re on a hike.

If your pet constantly pulls on the lead, then consider looking into no-pull harnesses to ensure you have the best equipment to keep your pet safe and comfortable.

Final Thoughts

If you still can’t decide which one is best, I strongly suggest the Earth Vibes Petfly. It’s durable, comfortable, and keeps your pet safe at all times. Consider your preference, the size of your breed, and if it has a tendency to pull on a leash.

Make sure to review the safety features and size carefully so you and your pet can enjoy hiking together.

About the author

    Ann Collins

    I've been a college grad for over 4 years now. I'm a full-time contributor for puppypointers and I absolutely love it.I enjoy meeting people from all over the world, especially those that have a warm heart for doggies.When I'm not writing, I spend a lot of time at the beach in sunny California.

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