I tested several large dog backpack carriers and found the K9 Sport Sack to be the best overall for big pooches’ comfort and security.
I often take long hikes, and my 40lb Lab loves to join me. Without a large dog backpack carrier, I have two options when he gets tired: Sit and wait for him to be ready to hit the trail, or carry him in my arms. Neither is ideal.
As a bird dog trainer, I’ve always been surrounded by large dogs. At one point, I was living with four chocolate Labradors and two English cocker spaniels! Since there aren’t many large dog backpack carriers, I’ve tried most, if not all, of the options out there. Whether I’m on a long hike, at the airport, or just heading to the vet, I’ve rounded up the five best large dog backpack carriers.
Our Best Large Dog Backpack Carriers
- K9 Sport Sack: Our number one choice has the largest size and weight capacity of any quality large dog backpack carrier in the market. It’s comfortable, secure, and a popular choice that comes in several colors. It’s also veterinarian-approved, so you know you’re getting a quality option for your dog.
If you have specific needs or a particular budget, each of these large dog backpack carriers shines in their own way:
- Best for Convenience and Storage: Apollo Walker Pet Carrier
- Best for Versatility: Pet Gear I-GO2 Roller Backpack
- Best Budget Buy: Mcgrady1xm Dog Backpack Carrier
- Best for Air Travel: Hcupet Dog Backpack Carrier
Let’s dig into why each backpack carrier is so great!
5 Best Large Dog Backpack Carriers
This dog backpack carrier’s average weight capacity is 40lbs and even features Large and XL options. This is the largest weight and size capacity for any dog carrier out there!
The rest pad is super comfortable for your pup. There are also leg holes for any long-legged breeds. The back is padded for your comfort, the mesh sides are ventilated for the pup’s breathability, and the five different failsafe security features add a level of insurance. This makes the K9 Sport Sack perfect for hiking, biking, or any other outdoor activities.
Another level of security? This backpack is veterinarian-approved for comfort and long periods of activity. The padding throughout is purposely placed to distribute weight, which is key evenly. I’ve used this carrier on my 40lb Labrador when he gets tired on hikes, and he stays comfortable and behaved throughout.
The K9 Sport sack also has plenty of storage, a detachable bag, and comes in a variety of colors.
The Apollo Walker Pet Carrier is super convenient for several reasons.
First, it has a collapsible design. This means that this sizable and multi-storage backpack, can fold entirely flat to be stored anywhere -the tightest closets, car trunks, and under the bed.
Secondly, it folds out to be a substantial 11.4″ x 12.6″ x 16.8″, which is larger than most backpack carriers in the market. This adds a level of user-friendliness. You can easily plop your pooch into the unit without having to worry about leg holes or confusing nooks and crannies. There’s also great storage space for treats and toys.
It’s constructed with a top mesh window for headroom and visibility, and a thick, fleece bedding for your dog’s comfort.
Finally, this backpack features an adjustable waist strap, an adjustable chest strap, and a sponge backing. This is super convenient since it prevents the backpack from slipping, an essential quality when you have a big dog on your back!
The Pet Gear I-GO2 Roller Backpack is a fun dog bag for you and your fluffy friend because it can transform into multiple formats.
In addition to being a secure backpack carrier, it features a top handle, so you can hold it like a briefcase or purse. This is a useful option if you want to change your dog’s view or if you want to change up the pressure from your back to your arms. The backpack can also be used as a regular carrier for your car in this format.
The Pet Gear I-GO2 also features wheels on the bottom and a long telescoping handle. If both your back and your arms get too tired, you can wheel your dog around like a suitcase.
For your puppy’s comfort, the inside is lined with fleece. It comes in three sizes: Medium Escort, Large Traveler, and Extra Large Plus Traveler.
It’s rare for a budget dog backpack carrier to accommodate larger dogs, but the Mcgrady1xm bag is made precisely for the bigger pups and at a fraction of the price of most dog backpack carriers.
I’ve had many friends, fellow dog-owners, use this backpack for dogs up to almost 40lbs. This means you can fit a small-to-medium Lab or a full-grown English Cocker Spaniel in there.
Often, dog backpacks cut into your back and shoulders, but these shoulder pad sponges are exceedingly thick for extra comfort. Moreover, the breathable mesh construction is easy on your back, while providing a cushion for the dog inside.
Overall, the Mcgrady1xm bag is an excellent option if you need a no-frills, affordable, and easy dog backpack carrier that’s still secure and effective.
The Hcupet dog backpack can support up to 22 lbs. This is the lowest capacity on this list, but still holds far more than most dog backpack carriers that advertise themselves for large dogs.
Moreover, it’s an airline-approved option, making this a perfect travel carrier for you and your fluff. After all, big dogs over the 25lb mark probably won’t travel with you on the plane itself!
It features great ventilation in the form of three breathable net sides. The top and side entrances make it easy to access your dog and get him in and out. He can also stick his head out to get a view of the airport!
The inside is sherpa-lined, with a support mat on the bottom. This provides the right combination of security and comfort for your dog. Style-wise, the Hcupet is a fun, vibrant green color.
What Should You Look for When Buying a Large Dog Backpack Carrier?
There aren’t any dog backpack carriers that will support a dog over 40-45lbs, which makes sense since you don’t want a Great Dane on your back!
For backpack carriers, the large dog category is anywhere between 20lbs and 45lbs. It’s best to play it safe and find a bag with a weight capacity of or more than the weight of your dog.
This refers to you and your dog. Most dog backpacks consider the pup’s comfort, often using fleece lining and mesh for ventilation. For your convenience, find backpacks with padded backs, wide shoulders, and purposeful weight distribution.
Some extra features are for fun, such as different styles and colors. Others are for function, like extra storage, foldability, and airline approval. Keep in mind what you’ll be using the dog backpack carrier for specifically when considering extra features.
If you’re going on a hike, you’ll need extra storage for water and supplies. If you’ll be traveling, of course, airline approval is necessary.
Never buy a dog backpack carrier that doesn’t boast security features. The K9 Sport Sack, as an example, features five failsafe features. These qualities ensure your dog can’t fall off or escape. Any veterinarian-approved option will ensure this quality.
Are dog backpack carriers cruel?
No, not as long as they are comfortable. Your dog must get exercise on its walks, but you also want a plan B if they are too tired during long walks.
Is a dog backpack carrier better or worse than a sling?
It’s a matter of preference. The dog backpack carrier distributes weight more evenly, but the sling can be faster and more convenient.
If you’re looking for an overall high-performing large dog backpack carrier, the K9 Sport Sack has our approval, as well as that of other dog lovers and veterinarians!
Its unique foldability and durable storage facilities make the Apollo Walker Pet Carrier the most comfortable and most convenient option, while the Hcupet Dog Backpack’s airline approval and smaller weight capacity make it perfect for airline-bound pups.
Go for the Mcgrady1xm Dog Backpack Carrier for an affordable option that has a high weight capacity. Go for the Pet Gear I-GO2 Roller Backpack if you want a backpack that can also be a roller bag and car carrier.
Which of the large dog backpack carriers do you like the most? Feel free to click on the above links to get the one you need!