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Best Hiking Harness for Dogs: Top 10 Harnesses (2023)

The best dog hiking harnesses will ensure that your dog remains safe and comfortable while also providing you with the control that you need. Some leash laws require that you keep a leash on your dog. Plus, if your dog is prone to wandering, the best dog harnesses are designed to keep your friend nearby and protected from the wilderness.

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Best Hiking Harnesses For Dogs

Many dogs need loads of exercise to remain balanced, so they are the perfect buddy to take out on the trails. Finding the best hiking harness for your dog is essential for making sure you have a positive experience.

The best dog hiking harnesses will ensure that your dog remains safe and comfortable while also providing you with the control that you need. Some leash laws require that you keep a leash on your dog. Plus, if your dog is prone to wandering, the best dog harnesses are designed to keep your friend nearby and protected from the wilderness.

Some dog owners let their pup roam off-leash, while others prefer to keep theirs tethered and close. Regardless of the plan, the best dog harnesses alleviate some of the work on the human’s part. That is one reason that waist leashes are so popular.


Best Hiking Harness for Dogs: Top 10 Harnesses

Just like most items you’d shop for, what makes a perfect dog’s harness is the sum of a combination of its features. Durability, control, breathability/comfort, and weight are just a few of the factors to consider in your search for the

ideal dog hiking harnesses.

The ideal hiking harness for one dog might not be the same for the next.

Fortunately, there are several types on the market for you to choose from, so you are bound to find what suits your pooch best. You may not even know what a front leash attachment on a no-pull harness is, but don't worry.

We have your back, and we will help you find the best dog harness for hiking with your friend. There's much to learn, but here is a preview of what's to come. Which is our favorite? We like the

Wild One Harness Walk Kit .

Many dog owners grab the cheapest dog collar they can find, but that often just doesn't cut it for hiking. If you plan to spend time hiking with your best friend, a comfortable harness with four adjustment points (of a sufficiently customizable fit) is a must-have.

The worst thing you can do for your dog is make them wear an ill-fitting harness for hiking. Regardless of whether the harness system utilizes a chest strap or a belly strap mechanism, make sure your dog is as comfortable as possible to truly enjoy the hiking experience alongside you.


Many Types of Dog Harnesses

Just as there are several breeds of dogs out there, dog harnesses come in all shapes and sizes and with various special features. The best dog harness for your dog may not be the same as the best dog harness for your neighbor's dog.

However, the main difference that separates the types is the number of leash attachment points and their locations. Here are the different types of dog harnesses to choose from.

Back clip/step-in

This type provides a vest shape that cradles your dog’s chest for maximum comfort. The downside is that it doesn’t work well for pullers or lunger dogs. However, it does prevent the leash from getting tangled up in their legs.

Front clip

With the leash attachment point at the front of the chest, it’s easy to re-direct your dog’s pace and helps cut down on pulling compared to types with a back leash clip. This helps to train more polite leash skills as well.

Dual clip

This one has a leash hook on the back shoulder area as well as a front attachment point at the chest for maximum control. It may not be as comfortable for the dog and can get pricey due to its more intricate design.


This type is the best harness to choose if your dog pulls frequently. Be aware that it’s best used in training and not as a full-time hiking harness once they become completely trained. Once they are trained, you will want to switch to a standard clipped harness, as noted above.

Head halter

Similar in shape to a Gentle Leader, this walking harness loops over the muzzle with the leash attaching under the chin. Though most dogs hate the feel of it, they can grow accustomed to it over time, making it a handy training tool.

Still, like a tightening harness, this isn’t the best bet for long-term hiking. Choose a hiking harness designed for all-day comfort and breathability. You want your dog to enjoy hiking as much as you enjoy hiking.


What To Look for in Hiking Harnesses

Besides the type of leash attachment point, other questions need answering as you shop for the best dog hiking harness.

Ultimately, it’s up to you, your training capacity, and your dog’s comfort to decide what type of hiking harnesses will work best for them.

Is a Harness Safer Than a Dog Collar?

Yes, since the harness provides better restriction compared to just a collar.

Most dogs can angle their head right and slip out of a collar if they get excited - whether by a smaller animal, another dog, or an approaching human. This fact is crucial if your dog is a large breed (especially so if you’re built small!).

A dog harness fits snugly around the chest and torso, meaning there is little to no space for them to wiggle out of it due to the secure fit. With a leash attached, you stay connected while training and have optimal control over their movement.

Plus, you don’t have to worry about them darting into the street or having some other accident, as is a higher risk if they wear only a collar. Finding a dog harness for hiking should be a top priority, especially if you have a strong-willed friend.

Top 10 Safe Harnesses For Your Dog

Below is a roundup of the best dog hiking harnesses the market offers. Discover the features, price, and style you want for the type that works best for your dog’s build.


Wild One Harness Walk Kit

This comfy, easy dog harness for hiking is a good basic option for a first-time harness wearer. Adjustable to all body shapes and sizes, it cups the dog’s chest snugly but with minimal material to prevent being distracting.

Instead of just the harness, purchasing the kit gives you extra goodies, including a leash and matching poop bag attachment.

The Wild One Harness Walk Kit comes in multiple colors so that you can outfit your pup in style.

Note: The non-toxic dye may bleed onto your dog’s coat, so the company recommends washing the harness before the first wear.)

Are they more of a bright pop so you can keep sight of them in the trees? Or a muted color, to show off the natural shades of their beautiful fur?

As noted above, this might be the best dog hiking harness that money can buy. You decide!

fenrir-odin-harness (1)

FENRIR Odin Harness

For the tough dog who enjoys challenging hikes, the FENRIR Odin is one of the best harnesses that provides durability and long-lasting wear. It elevates above the basic single-strap dog harnesses, with multiple straps and buckle points, so your canine companion will stay secure.

Combining military-grade fabrics and synthetics for ultimate control, both you and your dog will love the functionality of this serious dog harness.

The heaviness works well for sturdy breeds while incorporating thick, foam padded strips under the straps to prevent chafing and soreness.

The FENRIR Odin Harness is practically indestructible in terms of outdoor dog gear, which makes it worth the price point as it lasts you and your pup several years of exploring. Try it off-leash for better peace of mind than a simple collar.


Goat Trail Tactical Dog Harness + Backpack

Claiming to be the “best harness for dogs that pull,” the back strap of the Goal Trail Tactical Dog Harness works with the secure vest shape to keep your dog safe and under control. All of the materials are the highest-quality, durable wear for outdoor performance.

This active dog harness is an excellent option for Pitbulls and other brawny, large dogs with a tendency to throw their weight around.

A heavy-duty rubber padded handle at the back of the dog’s neck, thick buckle straps, and reinforced leash attachment points meaning there’s essentially zero risk of them slipping out of this one.

Made from double-stitched nylon, the detachable backpack is a handy piece of dog wear for when you want your dog to carry their supplies.

Load up the dog hiking harness with water, treats, and waste bags, and then watch them beam with the pride of carrying their weight (literally!) as they trot along the trail. The Goat Trail Tactical Dog Harness + Backpack is worthy of your consideration.

Urban Trail Padded Adjustable Dog Harness

The special feature of this dog harness is its chest-weighted structure, designed for huskies and other sled-dog breeds who revel in pulling exercises.

The fabric is sparse, with only adjustable straps holding it together rather than solid padding - but the fit and feel are still comfortable. If bulk is an issue, this is a good lightweight dog harness.

Ideal for a myriad of activities besides hiking, such as biking and rollerblading, the Urban Trail Padded Adjustable Dog Harness boasts a custom fit to ensure it’s the perfect shape and style for each of its four-legged customers.

Note: Detailed measuring guides and videos are available on the website.

Their dog hiking harnesses offer a nylon pack option for additional fabric padding without the hair and debris.


RUFFWEAR Doubleback Belay Dog Harness

The hikes that involve an extra range of mobility don’t get better than this climbing harness from Ruffwear.

The aluminum buckles, reinforced webbing on the back and stomach areas, and heavy-duty construction make it impervious to escape attempts or slippage.

This dog harness is strength-rated to 2000lbs, meaning it suits any dog no matter how large or strong. On hikes with rough terrain, it will resist tears and snags.

The main draw with the RUFFWEAR Doubleback Belay Dog Harness is the lift handle attached to the back strap. Your dog may be plucky, but there may be some natural landscape features that they just can’t physically overcome.

In that situation, simply assist them over or through by hoisting them with the aid of the handle, which weaves into the rest of the harness structure to provide optimal spine support.

In terms of finding a solid dog harness for hiking, RUFFWEAR has a strong reputation. If you are not interested in a standard double-back belay dog harness, you might consider the RUFFWEAR web master harness for hiking.


SGODA Reflective Dog Harness

Available in a range of fun colors, SGODA’s harness offering is meant for the picky pup. The soft yet durable mesh won’t pull your dog’s fur or constrict them while out on the trails. Its delicate fabrics are also ideal for dogs with sensitive skin.

Due to the lighter and more gentle structure, this hiking harness doesn’t provide the comprehensive protection of some others on the market, but the durability is still there. It keeps small dogs safe in a high-quality harness without the restriction of tougher brands.

Ensure your dog's safety with enhanced visibility and protection with some extra features: the adjustable straps made of 3M material include reflective trim, rendering this the optimal choice of dog harnesses for hiking after dark.

The reflective trim on the SGODA Reflective Dog Harness is a winner.


Wilderdog Harness For Hiking

Versatile and highly configurable with its four adjustment points, the Wilderdog harness for hiking serves equally well on daily walks around the neighborhood as it does on trails.

Lightweight and with reflective trim, you can use this dog harness for better walk communication in the city or take it rural for off-leash obedience training.

This dog harness is great for slender and active dogs such as border collies, as it allows full agility while still reserving some room for owner control when needed.

The over-the-head design and quick snap buckles featured on the Wilderdog Harness For Hiking also make this harness an excellent one for dogs who aren’t yet comfortable wearing so much gear.

You can transition from a leash to more restrictive equipment with the Wilderdog and watch your pooch accept it quicker than some of the heavier brands.

Lightweight and durable material helps them be more comfortable than a tactical vest (for example).


Wolfgang Comfort Dog Harness

For the adventurous dog who likes to pull, the Wolfgang Comfort Dog Harness discourages this with the help of a front leash clip.

It fits easily around the chest and the dog's rib cage while remaining unobtrusive so that even the most sensitive pups are more likely to accept it for training basic leash skills.

Rather than heavy-duty materials, this dog harness incorporates only fabric straps, making it more susceptible to destructive tendencies than some of the others on this list.

Ensure your dog doesn’t destroy the Wolfgang by removing it immediately after walks - and keeping a close eye out for branches and other snag threats while on the trail.

Pet Belong Tactical No Pull Dog Harness

Engineered for hunting and working dogs, this option is great for large breeds with impressive strength.

The tactical design includes tear-resistant construction that allows a full range of motion while properly restraining your dog.

Though it seems like a lot of solid material, the breathable mesh and nylon ensure better comfort and the ability to stay cool.

The Pet Belong’s vest shape means the leash pressure spreads out over the body, rather than putting strain on the shoulders or neck. It is fully customizable with patches and other stylish details to make your dog look its best while burning all that energy on a hike.

Atlas Pet Company Lifetime Harness

For the young pup who is still growing into their full size, the Atlas Lifetime Harness allows for room to expand. The adjustable straps and buckles on all sides let you loosen the shape as your active dog puts on bulk.

Light but durable, this harness is resistant to chewing, so you can rest assured of its strength if your dog wanders away off-leash. The stitching employs special Gore Tenara thread that resists fraying, making this a prime option for heavy chewers.

A magnetic latch helps with easy outfitting, and the low chest strap prevents pressure on the neck and trachea so your pup can breathe and have full mobility.


Find the Best Dog Harness For Your Furry Friend

With excellent options like these, you’re sure to find the best dog harness that works well for both you and your pup. Online shopping, filtering preferences, and reviews make it easy to narrow down your choices to the one that will help you two enjoy your time together in nature.

Consider making a list of the features in the right dog hiking harness so that you know where to begin looking. For example, sometimes durability and comfort can be at odds. If you want thicker materials and long-lasting toughness, it may be more prone to chafing or restrictive wear.

On the other hand, if you want something more sparse, your dog might be able to wiggle out of it more easily once they decide they want to hike unencumbered. Choose what works best for you both at your price point, and then go for it!

There are plenty of great dog harnesses for hiking to find the right one for your pup, big or small.


Before You Hit the Trail: Other Things to Consider

Though the gear is a big consideration, there are other details to keep in mind before you take off. For example, if the weather hasn’t been altogether dry lately and you want to keep your car from becoming a mud pit, bring a big stack of towels for your dog’s paws.

Check your local leash laws for any prohibitions if you plan on taking your dog for an off-leash experience.

Looking after the essentials before and during your hike will keep everyone happy, safe, and comfortable so that you can enjoy it all again soon.

To start, make sure you have the best hiking gear for your dog so that you have the best experience possible!

The hiking harness is the cornerstone of every essential gear list, but just like you ensure you have your Chacos or hiking boots ready to go, you want to make sure your dog is prepared as well.


Take Food and Water Hiking

Your pup is working hard on his outdoor adventure with you. Water is a no-brainer, but make sure to pack them some treats, too! An extra bowl of kibble (or their regular diet) isn’t out of the question, especially if you take them on a day hike.

They will burn more calories on the trail than being couch potatoes at home and need the energy to fuel all that exploring.

As far as how much water to plan for, know that a dog should consume about one ounce of water per pound that they weigh daily.

This means that a 50lb dog should drink at least a liter and a half without strenuous physical activity. For a trail hike, you should plan to have access to one gallon of fluids allocated just to your pup.

Collapsible Water Bowls Work Great

With so much water consumption, your dog will appreciate an easy way to lap it all up quickly.

Not only do collapsible water bowls help them be more comfortable drinking, but they’re super easy to stow and tote along with you. Leave the rigid stainless steel at home - a flexible, foldable material will do the trick.


Don’t Forget the Poo Bags!

It’s part of being a responsible dog owner and pays respect to the part of nature you enjoy. Don’t let your dog soil the environment! Clean up after them to show gratitude and courtesy to everyone else using the trail after you.

Enjoy Hiking With Your Four-Legged Friend

Choosing the dog harness for hiking takes a lot of research, considering that each pup is an individual. If you’re the list-making type, consider a special checklist geared towards traveling with your dog to have peace of mind as you drive away from the house.

Now for the fun part! Head out to soak in the great outdoors with the love of your canine pal, secure in the knowledge that you chose a good hiking harness for them to wear and trot along next to you. Here’s to many more hiking adventures!

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