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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    1,477

    School me on dog packs

    1st...search jong I tried, I might of failed in which case show me a link and i'll delete this

    So i'm hoping to take my mutt on some longer hikes where water is a bit limited. Being the lazy man that I am, I'd like to have her carry the H20 and pick up a pack for her. Also would be good as I plan on eventually taking her for some 1-3 night backpacking trips in the future. Shes a bit heavier now than she was in the picture below (very underweight when we first got her from the pound and she was a nervous eater), but could still probably use a couple more pounds. She's 50lbs, has a 27in. chest. Wanted to see what people recommend. I was kind of looking at a small mountainsmith pack since they can be had for not too much ($26 at stp w/coupons). Any recommendations on other packs/how do i fit these/get them used to them etc.


    Just bc doggie stoke is good.
    I wear crocs for the style, not the comfort.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Shuswap Highlands
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    2,710
    I've had great luck with Ruff Wear dog packs. My 90lbs mallyXbernese in his prime was able to carry up to 30lbs, and still occasionally took off and returned with a gopher hanging from his jaws.

    Don't skimp on the pack quality to save a few coins (would you on your pack for a multiday excursion?). I really liked the removable saddlebag features (at breaktime it's nice to remove the weight but keep the harness on). Definitely start with only a very light pack - just a bit of water - to both get you used to balancing and fitting the pack properly, and to get her used to carrying the weight. And figure on keeping her leashed for the first bit of use too - if she bolts into heavy brush/timber and gets caught up you both will hate the experience for some time after.

    Best of luck with the training!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Boulder
    Posts
    5,267
    If you're just looking for water, I think the Ruffwear Singletrack pack is the way to go. Its compact and has water bladders that come with it.

    Otherwise, my dogs seem to like packs where the bags are secured attached and do not flop around.

    Some are attached only at the top which means they flop up and down as they run (border collies). If you had a dog that just walked next to you, this may not be an issue.

    I think its important to be able to bring your dog in and strap the bag onto them.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Wasatch
    Posts
    5,702
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^REI is good for that and if it doesntt work out exchange it. We like the ruff wear stuff. We have had all pound dogs and my boneless white meat chicken BBQ diet is best Ive found. once they hit goal weight I only give it to em as a true treat. And boy do they respond to chicken.........
    I need to go to Utah.
    Utah?
    Yeah, Utah. It's wedged in between Wyoming and Nevada. You've seen pictures of it, right?

    So after 15 years we finally made it to Utah.....


    Thanks BCSAR and POWMOW Ski Patrol for rescues

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    hamsterland
    Posts
    711
    2nd Ruffwear Singletrack for carrying water on shorter hikes.

    For longer hikes, dogs are like humans in that fit is very important.

    If you can manage to have your dog try some on, go with what fits her the best. REI usually has an okay selection. We originally wanted a Ruffwear pack for our guy, but a Kelty pack fit him much better, so that's what we went with. Good luck!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Hell Track
    Posts
    9,526
    We have an older, no-frills ruffwear that we've done some moderately long hikes (2-3 day). It works pretty well, and the dog doesn't seem to mind it too much. The only problem we've had is that the dog definitely isn't aware of his extra width with the pack on, so he still tries to squeeze through tight places. This has resulted in the "sternum" strap breaking (he basically wedged himself into a tree at speed and sheared the pack off his back). It was an easy fix, and definitely didn't harm the dog, for whatever that's worth.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    pugski.com
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    3,245
    STP as some good choices of Ruffwear.
    Click. Point. Chute.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    1,477
    Quote Originally Posted by Flexon Phil View Post
    STP as some good choices of Ruffwear.
    Only saw mountainsmith, ollydog, and granite gear packs on STP.

    Going to try taking her to EMS (REI is a hike for me) to see if we can find a good fit. Thanks for the help
    I wear crocs for the style, not the comfort.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Presidio
    Posts
    1,433
    They can be vicious if they are hungry and feral

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    1,671
    we have a granite gear pack that fit pretty good. it didn't have a huge capacity but worked out pretty well. Our pup never wore it since my wife always felt bad about her wearing it. though at this point she never will since she is kind of arthritic and has issues walking the block.

    it's a medium (i think) but i would let it go for a steal

    the ruffwear ones are nice since i think they have a pack that has bags that separate from the harness so if its a tight squeeze through something you can pop them off. I don't know if thats only on the bigger bags or all of them, but its a good feature. You can't go wrong with Ruffwear, we have tons of their stuff

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    1,477
    So to give an update on this, I ended up initially ordering the mountainsmith dog pack in a small for the dog (50lbs pound hound) since it was a deal - it fit her okay, but the front snap was defective. Otherwise the fabric seemed durable but it just wasnt the best fit. I lucked out picking up a Ruffwear Approach Pack (small) for her at the REI garage sale for $30 and it still had the tags on it. This pack is so much better than the mountainsmith pack - since it fits more like a harness, it is much more stable on her, which made her more comfortable wearing it. In addition, it has more storage space (the mountainsmith barely held two nalgenes).

    I slowly introduced her to the pack - running with it on her empty initially, then loaded a couple half bottles of water and today we let her go with a liter in each side of the pack - really no issues - she ran around like the normal maniac she is when we let her off leash. Only two minor issues - first is no fault of the pack shes doesn't realize the bags stick out so when she came barreling down the trail she knocked my gf and a couple trees/downed logs pretty good with the side of the pack. On the positive side, its not in any worse condition after going through numerous bramble bushes and other crap. The second issue is if the adjustable straps along the front will loosen up a touch if your dog failed the loose leash walking test like mine.

    I've picked her up with the strap on this pack pretty comfortably and would consider attaching a rope to it when carrying her up/down one of the long ladders you hit on trails out here in the east as just an extra form of support - i wouldnt intend on using it but it would hold her for a second or two.

    All in all im very happy with the ruffwear pack. I don't know that the mountainsmith would've worked for our crazy mutt running everywhere.

    As others say fit is important but there seems to be a lot of adjustments on the ruffwear pack and it works well with her broad chest and narrow waist. Not much shifting with two liters of water in there today so I'd recommend it, especially if you can get a deal on it.
    I wear crocs for the style, not the comfort.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    4,587
    thanks for the pack for the dog information, now go get another dog to add to the pack.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Undisclosed
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    bumpy bump
    Hunting for Saint Bernard/big dog reccos.
    http://wolfpacks.com/products/dogpacks/ ?
    She is only 6 months and 60 pounds but figure I can train with it for a while then grab another when she fills out.
    A woman reported to police at 6:30 p.m. that she was being "smart-mouthed."

  14. #14
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    Jan 2008
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    truckee
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    Name:  Dog-Backpack-Carrier.jpg
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  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    On Vacation for the Duration
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Bear the Ski Dog. The first time a pack was put on him he ran into the forest and came back without it. On purpose.
    A few people feel the rain. Most people just get wet.

  16. #16
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    Nov 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by old goat View Post
    Name:  Dog-Backpack-Carrier.jpg
Views: 281
Size:  34.8 KB
    exactly what I was looking for thanks.
    A woman reported to police at 6:30 p.m. that she was being "smart-mouthed."

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    5,549
    Quote Originally Posted by crackboy View Post
    the ruffwear ones are nice since i think they have a pack that has bags that separate from the harness so if its a tight squeeze through something you can pop them off. I don't know if thats only on the bigger bags or all of them, but its a good feature. You can't go wrong with Ruffwear, we have tons of their stuff
    x 3 or 4 or 5...or whatever.

    We have a bunch of ruffwear stuff.

    The harness that carries 2 individually detachable packs is great for multi-day backpacking and longer day hikes.

    We also have the skijouring harness. Great for low angle meadowskipping/touring, xc ski adventures and day hikes.

    Both are well made and have good adjustments for fit.
    Last edited by reckless toboggan; 04-21-2018 at 01:27 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by XXX-er View Post
    the situation strikes me as WAY too much drama at this point

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Moose, Iowa
    Posts
    6,315
    Ruffwear. Like crackboy says the removable pack is key. We put dog food in it inside of OP sacks and hung it from a tree the first night since we didn't have room to store it in bear bags.

    Also works if your dog likes to glissade like ours.


  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    5,100
    Which ruffwear packs come with the detachable bags?

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    5,100
    Bump

    Anything new in the world of dog packs? Iím likely ordering online. Day hikes and shorter multi-day use. The dog loves to swim and needs a harness. Barrel chest if a bloodhound, but 70lbs.

    Thoughts and feelings?

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    1,363
    I dont think much has changed but it's been awhile since I was shopping. I have had so much ruffwear stuff between the last 4 dogs and never been disappointed. I was especially impressed on a multiday when my husky who chased bears went straight into a neverending boulder/scree field and disappeared(common) and he showed back up with pack no worse for the wear. Buddies korilean(sp?) Bear dog also went on the chase and came back with a completely ripped open saddle bag. It was an rei I believe. I always had dog carry their own food and sometimes my booze. General rule is things will get wet and banged around. I also find them convenient for using as a bear bag when hanging for the night.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    5,100
    Thanks! Appreciate the response.

    Sent from my SPH-L710 using TGR Forums mobile app

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    truckee
    Posts
    319
    bodywhomper-
    Some dogs seem to take to packs better than others (past experience). We have an older Wenaha saddlebag type pack that saw multi day trail miles carried by a 112 lb. golden (never noticed it) and an 85 lb Karelian BD (thought it was a toy). If you get through Truckee town you're welcome to it, might be worth a test drive before you get a spendy one. It's red/black, bags measure 13" wide, 10 high, 4 deep. 2 belly straps and 1 around the chest. Section on the dogs back is 12". Was waterproof but the corners show some wear. Just sits on a shelf in the garage.
    "if you plant ice, you're gonna harvest wind..."

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    5,100
    Quote Originally Posted by wolfy View Post
    bodywhomper-
    Some dogs seem to take to packs better than others (past experience). We have an older Wenaha saddlebag type pack that saw multi day trail miles carried by a 112 lb. golden (never noticed it) and an 85 lb Karelian BD (thought it was a toy). If you get through Truckee town you're welcome to it, might be worth a test drive before you get a spendy one. It's red/black, bags measure 13" wide, 10 high, 4 deep. 2 belly straps and 1 around the chest. Section on the dogs back is 12". Was waterproof but the corners show some wear. Just sits on a shelf in the garage.
    Wow! Thatís a really nice offer. Thx!

    Iím going to take u up on this (need to measure the hound first). Iíll make an excuse to get over the crest sometime after the holiday weekend. Iíll PM you when plans come together to get over the crest.

    Thanks again!

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    truckee
    Posts
    319
    That should work- I'm not going anywhere these days...
    "if you plant ice, you're gonna harvest wind..."

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