One of the best parts about owning a dog is getting to enjoy outdoor activities with them…such as hiking. However, depending on how much trust you have in your pooch, you may not want to allow them free roam while out in the wilderness.

But for the purposes of hiking, perhaps you want something more secure than just a collar. Perhaps you’re in the market for a dog hiking harness and if that’s the case, you’re in luck as we’re going to give you the scoop on five of the best options that your hard-earned money can buy.

So, let’s get right into the meat and potatoes, shall we?

1. Kurgo Stash Dog Harness

No, there’s no such thing as a perfect dog hiking harness as nothing is made perfect in this world. Yet, the Kurgo Stash is our top choice so that means we believe it’s the closest option to being perfect. It’s just a terrific combination of quality, comfort for your pooch, convenience for your pooch, and convenience for you.

Probably the biggest talking points of this harness would be its durable ripstop outer and general high-quality design, breathable mesh inner and ample padding, and the full range of motion that your dog can experience while it’s strapped on them.

Additionally, for your convenience, there’s a bag on the harness that allows itself to be stowed into. However, doing so isn’t the easiest process in the world. For the record, the pocket can also hold items such as poop bags inside.

Regarding sizing and fitting, there are a few sizes to select from. That said, this harness is still tailored to larger dogs, in general. But there are smaller sizes available if you do have a smaller canine.

✅ Pros

  • Well-constructed overall
  • Ample padding and breathable mesh
  • Quite easy to put on

❌ Cons

  • Can be loose for smaller dogs
  • The buckles are plastic
  • Stowing the harness in the pocket is tricky

2. Ruffwear Web Master Harness

If there’s one thing this dog hiking harness from Ruffwear has been known for it’s unquestionably its durability. One could easily make the argument that this is the most well-made option on the market. The quality is simply that good here.

It certainly shines in other areas too. In total, there are five points of adjustment, and they offer a full range of motion for your dog while hiking. Plus, the straps have been designed with foam padding for increased comfort. However, on that topic, the material itself is a bit stiff and may or may not be too much for your dog to handle.

Another really nice feature of this harness is the lift and assist handle. On top of being reinforced, the handle is also padded and allows you to help your little one over any obstacles that they’re struggling to get across.

Just an excellent design overall, and the only blemishes holding it back from the top spot are the stiffness and price (it’s one of the more expensive options out there).

✅ Pros

  • There are five points of adjustment
  • Available in red, blue, and dark gray
  • Of the highest quality

❌ Cons

  • Could be too heavy for smaller dogs
  • Maybe a little too stiff
  • A bit pricy

3. Kurgo Journey Harness

When it comes to buying a dog hiking harness, it’s really just tough to go wrong with Kurgo. They landed at the very top of this list, and here they’re making another appearance with their Journey Harness. While it’s a little bit heavy and while there’s a drastic difference in sizes, it’s fantastic overall.

For your pooch, it all starts with comfort and that’s exactly what the Journey is. With its V-neck design and four adjustment points that allow for ideal range of motion and also the padding that’s present, your dog should be very comfortable while hiking with this harness attached.

Of course, it also helps that this dog hiking harness was built with quality in mind. From its steel buckle system to the strong back handle, pretty much everything here is built to last.

However, as alluded to, this sucker is heavy. That’s the one area where your dog could be a little hesitant when wearing this harness.

✅ Pros

  • It’s well-made
  • A front or back clip option is present
  • A comfortable design for your pooch

❌ Cons

  • Very heavy
  • The neck itself doesn’t have clips
  • The difference between sizes is a lot

4. Blue-9 Dog Harness

When you look at a picture of this dog hiking harness, you may immediately notice that it’s a little bit different when compared to your average model. What makes this design fairly unique is just the versatility that it has.

While most dog harnesses will come with different points of adjustment and attachment, this could be seen as taking it to the next level. In total, there are six different points of adjustment to ensure that it can comfortably and securely fit your dog. Different size options are available too, just to point that out.

Outside of adjusting, there are also multiple leash attachment points that you can utilize. Oh, and the somewhat minimalistic design of this harness ensures that your canine’s range of motion will not be compromised much at all.

Now, not all is perfect with this design. If you have a dog that likes to chew on just about anything, be careful with this design. It’s not as if other models are immune to dog chewing, but there are just so many connection points that can be chewed through here.

✅ Pros

  • Very easy to get on and take off your dog
  • Doesn’t impede movement
  • Designed with many attachment points

❌ Cons

  • Can be chewed through
  • Your dog can still pull with this on
  • The many gaps may be annoying to some

5. BABYLTRL Big Dog Harness

Right away, what you’re going to notice about this dog hiking harness is the incredible price tag. Yet just because it’s cheap in price doesn’t mean it’s cheap in its design. As a matter of fact, there are many features to this harness that you’ll see on more expensive models but for a fraction of the price.

Features such as the sturdy handle to help assist your dog when needed, reflective straps that allow your dog to be better seen, and the nylon Oxford material for above-average quality make this a terrific buy overall.

However, though the quality is really good, the plastic adjusters can be seen as the weak point. Be careful with them as they’ve been known to break on occasion. This is possibly one of the reasons why this dog hiking harness is cheaper than many on the market.

One last thing, this is backed by the company’s 100 percent Satisfaction Guarantee. So, if you do have any issues, you can always get ahold of the seller to get everything figured out. That’s always a big bonus.

✅ Pros

  • Designed with reflectors
  • The price can’t be beat
  • Many features of more expensive models

❌ Cons

  • The plastic adjusters aren’t the best
  • The fit can be awkward
  • A little bulky and stiff

Frequently asked questions

Is it better to walk your dog with a collar or harness?

For the record, this question also relates to hiking with your dog. Let’s point out some of the advantages that a harness will generally have over a collar for the purposes of both walking and hiking. To start, a dog hiking harness is going to offer more security than a collar. This can be much needed when traversing the wilderness to ensure you always have control of your pooch.

Secondly, harnesses can reduce pulling due to the fact that they cover more surface area of your dog (upper back, chest, and shoulders). Then again, harnesses can also be a little more uncomfortable for a dog than a collar. Still, though, designers make harnesses to be as comfortable as possible for them.

How long can you leave a dog in a harness?

The thing about collars is most dogs will wear them all the time (or at least most of the time). But is that the same with a harness? Here’s the good news. If using a harness specifically for hiking, you’ll only need to have the harness on your canine for the extent of the hike.

That length of time should be just fine. In fact, you’ll see and hear experts claim that dogs can wear harnesses 24 hours a day. However, that’s probably not the best idea and those same experts will also say that they can cause irritation and general discomfort for them if worn for too long.

Can you machine dry a dog harness?

Whenever it comes to the topic of whether or not you should machine wash or dry a specific item, it’s always best to adhere to the care instructions of the manufacturer. So, when it comes to the dog hiking harness that you ultimately end up going with, the same principle will apply.

Generally speaking, with something like a dog harness, it’s probably going to be best to just err on the side of caution. Handwashing with some mild detergent, rinsing off the harness, and then allowing it to air dry will always be the safer choice.

How do you choose the right size harness for your dog?

It’s hard enough for us to try and find clothes that fit ourselves, but it’s even harder when shopping for our dogs. When it comes to harnesses, how can you ensure that the one you buy will fit your pooch? Depending on the sizing chart that the specific manufacturer provides, most likely, it’ll come down to three measurements.

  • Neck: To measure the neck of your canine, wrap a tape measure around the thickest part. Record that measurement.
  • Chest: Starting at the bottom of the rib cage, go over the back and then back down to measure your dog’s chest. Record that measurement.
  • Weight: Knowing the weight of your dog can also be key as this is the way some designers will size their harnesses. Depending on how big your dog is, you can always weigh yourself first, then weigh yourself holding the dog, and subtract the difference to get the weight of your dog. You know, just in case your dog doesn’t want to stand still on the scale!