Dog Backpack Suggestions?
  • TrzcinaTrzcina
    Posts: 331
    Not entirely related (and feel free to move this...I couldn't get my iPod to let me use the menu to change the category today), but I'm looking for suggestions.

    A friend of mine is fostering a pit-type dog, young adult. She's looking for a pack for her to wear on walks to help tire her out more, but says all the ones she's found are too expensive. She's hoping, of course, to place Sarah soon, so doesn't want to spend too much on a pack for a few months' use, but of course it needs to be good enough to not cause chafing, etc.

    Any suggestions?
    Post edited by JessicaRabbit at 2012-09-12 11:58:16
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 3013
    Ruffwear has packs, but are probably too expensive..

    outward hound brand has dog packs they're sold at petsmart, but I never used ruffwear or outward hounds packs so not sure on chafing. :\

    http://www.amazon.com/Kyjen-Outward-Release-BackPack-Medium/dp/B003MU9OUW
    Photobucket
    Nicole, 7year old Bella(Boxer), and 7year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • BradA1878BradA1878
    Posts: 12224
    Where is your friend and what size is the dog? We might have an extra one we could give her...
  • TrzcinaTrzcina
    Posts: 331
    @brada1878:
    West Michigan, so pretty far from you I'm afraid, haha. I haven't met the dog in person yet (which is horrible because my university is only about 40 minutes from where she is, so I'm nearby this time of year); I know she said that she usually goes for a size "large" (she's used one before, but I'm not sure where she got it--apparently she no longer has access to it). I'd have to ask what brand that was though.

    Pictures of the dog in question, which might help a bit:
    image
    image
    image Apparently the pack she's borrowed in the past.

    @Saya:
    I'll send her the links to those anyway; I'm not entirely sure what her price range is beyond "not too expensive" XD
    Post edited by Trzcina at 2012-09-12 14:33:07
  • BradA1878BradA1878
    Posts: 12224
    She a nice looking dog! I like her!

    I will see if we have a large in the garage... We have so many extra harnesses and packs it's ridiculous.
  • LosechLosech
    Posts: 2082
    I love the Ruff Wear packs. I have an Outward Hound pack and don't like it very much. You can get the RuffWear packs cheap on this site sometimes:
    http://www.geartrade.com/browse/dog-packs-and-accessories#b
    image
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 3013
    I agree outward hound isn't as durable as ruffwear.. Their outward hound life jacket has a rip on it.. Saya's ruffwear holds up well so far.

    Just giving ideas since least expensive is a thing on this.

    I figure the price I spent on Saya's life jacket is worth it should last her a very long time of swimming in lakes.
    Photobucket
    Nicole, 7year old Bella(Boxer), and 7year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • Hey, its a sweet brindle! The pack in the photo looks like our old Kelty K9 Chuckwagon, which I dont think is made anymore- and I gave our old one to my sis when I upgraded to the Ruffwear Approach pack for Rei. The Ruffwear packs are the best fit on the dog!
  • BradA1878BradA1878
    Posts: 12224
    @Trzcina - I found a pack... Does your friend still need one?
  • ZinjaZinja
    Posts: 1033
    I like the idea of a marketplace in this forum. I'm not sure how easy it is to integrate but it would be nice. I have a ton of doggy supplies that have been outgrown.
    -Joe
  • TrzcinaTrzcina
    Posts: 331
    @brada1878 I'll ask her! I haven't talked to her in a little while.
  • TrzcinaTrzcina
    Posts: 331
    @brada1878 She says she is still looking for a pack.
  • BradA1878BradA1878
    Posts: 12224
    Ok, send me her shipping details and I'll send her one...
  • TrzcinaTrzcina
    Posts: 331
    Great! I'll message you as soon as I get her address from her (I realized I only have the one she had before moving a year or so ago). Thanks a lot!

    Sorry it took a while for me to get back about that.

    But again, thanks!
  • So i just recently got into bouldering and figured Arashi would rather go than stay home. She wouldn't get to do much, but there are usually decent sized hikes to the climbing areas and I will be carrying a huge 20 pound pad (2.5ft by 4ft while folded) on my back.

    I was thinking I could get her a back pack to carry water a couple water bottles and other lighter items. Like a towel, chalk bag, climbing shoes, snacks, tp, and chews for her.

    This seems like a lot of bulk especially with a towel maybe two. I don't think it would be too heavy for her, but i could be wrong (let me know if I am).

    My crash pad doesn't have much room for storage. But i figured it would give her something to do and feel important.

    I guess my real question is. Does anyone know of a good backpack with a lot of storage space?
  • I think the Palisades is Ruffwear's biggest capacity pack- and the cool thing about it is the packs separate from the harness, so you can take those off in camp and still have her harnessed.
  • @lizzysilvertongue - do you have a kitchen scale? I find them really useful when packing the backpack to make sure I get the balance correct.

    I'll be honest, I usually go by 10% or less of my pup's body weight. I get paranoid that more, esp if I don't build her up to it, will strain her in unexpected wYs since we go quite a distance. Generally I just have my pup carry her own stuff and I carry mine, though she does get the first aid kit. Perhaps others that hike more frequently can chime in on general weight.

    Also, how old is Arashi again? That would also make a difference. To be honest, under two years i would personally be more conservative.
  • I have been conservative with Matsu's pack weight as well- and I just match pairs of things in his pack- 1 liter of water each side, one towel in each side, and then lighter things 1:1. The hard part is consuming the water evenly as we go so he stays balanced. We only day hike, so we have the smaller Approach pack.

    You could join the Traildogforum :) there's some of the same people there, and some new different people with other experiences. Traildogforum.org
  • LosechLosech
    Posts: 2082
    I love RuffWear packs. I've got an Approach and Palisades. I prefer the Palisades since I can take the bags off and leave the harness on. The bags are permanently attached on the Approach (but I modded mine so they can come off) and while it doesn't carry as much as the Palisades, it can still hold a lot.
    image
  • Kira_InuKira_Inu
    Posts: 315
    I agree on Ruffwear products, they are made well, durable, attractive to the eye, and are made to comfortably fit your dog. Took a pic of Kira's buddy, Hope, a GSD that had one on so thought it was perfect timing to share:

    image

    Cynthia, Proudly owned by Kira
    imageimage
    Kira the Cream Shiba Inu 吉良 - Facebook Page
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    Kira's Life Story & Photo Thread - Kira the Cream Shiba

    “Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”
  • okay, what I had read was anywhere from 15% to 33%. And we would probably be going a mile or 2 max at a time.

    She is almost 1.5 year. I would start her light.

    Possible Goal:
    water
    chalk bag and shoes ~ 1 lb
    snacks would be a box of granola bars.
    I could probably do a small "real" towel and a hand towel
    chew would be a pig ear or 2 /maybe a bully stick or 2
    and a little plastic bowl 4/5 oz
    and tp... well.
  • Has anyone does this with an Akita ken? I'd like to try having him wear a backpack but I don't want it to cramp his style, lol. When we're off leash, he's usually running around full speed for an hour to 1.5 hours. We've been doing lots of pulling exercises too, and he's good with that. But after awhile, he wants to sprint.
  • CaliaCalia
    Posts: 3975
    Something interesting, but in order for a hike to qualify towards a Siberian Husky earning their packing title, they must start out carrying 25% their body weight and go no lighter than 10% with the shortest hike being 5 miles. Although different breeds, it is something to think about when packing an NK.

    I like the Palisade pack and use it from time to time with my pups. Something to consider, if hiking through areas with a lot of undergrowth, the pack makes it harder for the dog to move without getting snagged on the various branches and vines. I does have a decent amount of space and is set up for also holding water bladders, so it is a useful pack.
    image
  • LiaMarieLiaMarie
    Posts: 71
    Does anyone have any experience with this pack: http://www.rei.com/product/876973/mountainsmith-k9-pack

    It has good reviews on rei (better than the palisade) and is quite a bit cheaper, but you guys have so much good to say about Ruffwear that I'm tempted to go that direction... I also really like that you can take the palisade off and it can double as a harness.

    But before I read this thread, I had that Mountainsmith pack picked out, and now I just don't know... Anyone know anything about it?
  • TheYetiTheYeti
    Posts: 166
    Gear nut here. It looks like a decent pack but there are two things about it that would steer me to ruffwear. The pack isn't attached to a more solid harness like in the ruffwear packs. That could go either way as the ruffwear harnesses will make the dog run a little warmer as it covers up more of the dog.

    My biggest concern is the shape of the pouches. They are oval shaped, where the ruffwear bags the weight is biased forward which pushes the weight towards the dogs shoulders. Ruffwear packs do this by a wedge-shaped pouch, so the biggest part of the bag sits right over their shoulders. It's a good design. This keeps strain off of their back and puts it where most of the dog's strength is. This one would be hard to pack and not have the weight further down the dogs back.

    I went for the approach pack in small for Rollo. It has 1L less capacity than the palisades (9L vs 10 in the palisades), but the approach pouches felt bigger than the ones in the palisades pack. Where I bought it from the approach was $80 cheaper than the palisades, I spent $80 on it. For myself I'd only want the palisades removable bags for if he went swimming while we camped, and he hates water so that won't happen haha. I'll only ask him to carry his food for 5 days, maybe 1L of water, a towel and maybe a toy, so this was a great compromise. If he ends up needing more space, that's why I bought an 80L Gregory expedition bag for! So far it's a great pack. I'll be going on a 5 day backpacking expedition this summer in the Rockies so I'll have a breakdown of how it performed after the trip. It feels very solid, similar materials to what my own pack is made of.

    To err is human, to arrr is to pirate.
    Post edited by TheYeti at 2015-04-29 18:32:04
  • LiaMarieLiaMarie
    Posts: 71
    Good point regarding pack shape. I guess dogs can't really tell us whether the weight feels well distributed or not, but that makes sense.

    I like the idea of taking it off because Shoko doesn't have a nice harness yet and this would cover both bases. Do you plan to switch Rollo to a different harness when you make camp, or leave the pack on? Also, how old is Rollo? I know he's a little older than Shoko. I'm waiting to get her a pack because I'm worried I'll get the wrong size (she's only 5 months) but I'm guessing she'll just end up being a small, since Rollo is and he's older and seems to be a big boy. Are you worried he'll grow out of it?
  • zandramezandrame
    Posts: 511
    I'm not in the market for a pack, but I am a fan of Hurtta products. More commonly available in Europe, but a few retailers carry them in the US. They recently released their own "Trail Pack" which has removable bags and that wedge shaped, shoulder favoring design, like the Palisades pack but smaller. The harness part without the saddlebags looks a lot like the WebMaster too.

    http://www.backcountryk9.com/Products/Hurtta-Trail-Pack
    or
    https://eurodogdesigns.3dcartstores.com/Hurtta-Trail-Pack_p_349.html

    (Hurtta has also released their "Active Harness" which looks like a direct competitor to the recent and popular Ruffwear Front Range. Haven't seen it in person, but I've already got a Front Range.)
  • TheYetiTheYeti
    Posts: 166
    For camp I think I will actually use his collar to tie him onto the stretchy lead we have for him. I had considered using the harness on the palisades pack but he is going to get very hot with the type of camping we are doing, climbing over steep mountain passes. Taking the harness off will let him cool down while we make camp each night. He runs hotter than normal with the pack/harness on so we'll definitely watch him as we do our climb up each pass.

    If you are considering getting a harness for everyday use anyway the palisades is great as its both a pack and a good harness.

    Rollo is 7 months old now. His rib cage is around 22 inches just behind his shoulders, so he is at the bottom of the small pack scale in the ascent. He can get a good deal bigger before looking at a medium which is great. The good thing about the palisades pack is that the size chart has the small being 21-30 inches around, and the small is the smallest size. You can pretty well guarantee the small will fit just fine. Maybe a touch big until she is fully grown, but that should be a perfect fit.
    To err is human, to arrr is to pirate.
  • LiaMarieLiaMarie
    Posts: 71
    Yes, I just measured her and she's at about 20 inches around, so it'd be a little big right now but I can't see her girth growing that much, definitely not 10 in. So, I guess I would feel comfortable investing sooner rather than later. Now to make a decision...

    @zandrame, thanks for the links! Another pack to consider.
  • TheYetiTheYeti
    Posts: 166
    Well I've loaded him up with a couple of things, two bags of chips to start. He doesn't know his dimensions anymore and hits the bag into things. It was pretty funny to watch.

    Loading up the bags takes some precision too. We went to the grocery store and put a couple bags of chips in there just to start. One was 250g and the other was 125g and the bag was moving to one side. I've got it on there snug, but not too tight.

    It was really funny watching him walk next to a building as he didn't realize how much wider he is with the bag on. He smashed into the wall a couple of times and got stuck on a tree once. It was pretty funny. He is pretty smart though, it won't take him long to figure it out. He is super cute with the bag on. My wife put a beer in the bag and sent him out to me when I was bbqing. Good boy!
    To err is human, to arrr is to pirate.

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