whats the best dog harness for hiking
whats the best dog harness for hiking

When it comes to taking our furry friends on an outdoor adventure, we want to make sure they’re comfortable and safe. That’s where finding the best dog harness for hiking comes in. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to choose the perfect one. From durability and adjustability to comfort and versatility, we’ve done the research to help you find the ideal harness for your canine companion. So grab a leash and get ready to hit the trails – because with the right harness, every hike will be a tail-wagging success!

Factors to Consider

When it comes to choosing the best dog harness for hiking, there are several factors that we need to consider. These factors will help us ensure that we select a harness that is suitable for our furry hiking companion and provides the necessary comfort, durability, fit, safety, and versatility.


Comfort is essential when choosing a dog harness for hiking. We want our furry friend to enjoy their outdoor adventures as much as we do, and a comfortable harness will ensure that they can move freely without any restrictions or discomfort. Look for harnesses made with soft and breathable materials that won’t chafe or irritate your dog’s skin.


Durability is another crucial factor to consider when selecting a dog harness for hiking. Our furry hiking companions are bound to run, jump, and explore, so we need a harness that can withstand their active lifestyle. Look for harnesses made with high-quality materials and reinforced stitching to ensure they can withstand the rigors of the trail.


Finding the right fit for our dog’s harness is vital for their safety and comfort. A poorly fitting harness can cause discomfort and may even lead to injuries. Look for harnesses that offer adjustable straps to achieve a secure and snug fit. Taking accurate measurements of your dog’s chest and neck circumference will also help you select the right size harness.


When hiking with our dogs, their safety is our top priority. Look for harnesses that have reflective elements or are made with bright colors to enhance visibility, especially during low-light conditions. Additionally, consider harnesses that have a handle or leash attachment point that allows you to maintain control in potentially hazardous situations.


Versatility is an important factor to consider, especially if we enjoy participating in various outdoor activities with our dogs. Look for harnesses that can serve multiple purposes, such as being suitable for hiking, walking, running, and even water activities. This versatility ensures that we can use the harness in different environments without having to purchase multiple harnesses.

Types of Dog Harnesses for Hiking

There are several types of dog harnesses specifically designed for hiking. Each harness type offers different features and benefits, catering to the unique needs of both our dogs and ourselves. Understanding these harness types will help us make an informed decision when choosing the best harness for our hiking adventures.

Back-Clip Harness

Back-clip harnesses are one of the most common types of harnesses used for hiking. These harnesses have a leash attachment point on the back, which provides better control and allows for even weight distribution. Back-clip harnesses are suitable for dogs that are well-behaved on a leash and don’t tend to pull excessively.

Front-Clip Harness

Front-clip harnesses, as the name suggests, have a leash attachment point on the chest area of the harness. This design helps to redirect the dog’s pulling force, making it effective for dogs that tend to pull on the leash. Front-clip harnesses provide additional control and help prevent pulling, making them suitable for dogs in need of leash training.

No-Pull Harness

No-pull harnesses are specifically designed to discourage pulling behavior. These harnesses often feature both a front and back leash attachment point, allowing for versatility in training and control. No-pull harnesses typically have additional features such as chest straps or martingale loops that provide gentle pressure and discourage pulling without causing pain or discomfort.

Multi-Functional Harness

Multi-functional harnesses offer the most versatility, as they are designed to serve various purposes. These harnesses often have interchangeable or adjustable components that allow them to be used for hiking, running, walking, and even water activities. Multi-functional harnesses are a great option for those who engage in different outdoor activities with their dogs.

Top Features to Look for

When selecting a dog harness for hiking, there are several key features that we should look for. These features enhance the functionality, safety, and comfort of the harness, ensuring that it meets our specific hiking needs.

Adjustable Straps

One of the top features to look for in a hiking harness is adjustable straps. These allow us to achieve a secure and snug fit that can be customized to our dog’s individual measurements. The ability to adjust the straps ensures that the harness won’t slip or become loose, providing maximum comfort and safety.

Padded Design

A padded design is crucial for ensuring our dog’s comfort during long hikes. Look for harnesses that have padding on the chest and belly areas, as these are the primary contact points with the harness. The padding helps to distribute pressure evenly, minimizing the risk of chafing or irritation.

Reflective Elements

Visibility is paramount when hiking, especially during low-light conditions. Look for harnesses that have reflective elements, such as reflective stitching or reflective strips. These elements enhance the visibility of our dogs, making it easier for us and other hikers or cyclists to spot them from a distance.

Handle or Leash Attachment Point

A handle or leash attachment point is a practical feature to have on a hiking harness. The handle allows us to maintain control over our dog in potentially hazardous situations or when we need to keep them close. Additionally, having multiple leash attachment points, such as a front and back clip, offers versatility in training and control.

Water-resistant Material

Water-resistant materials are beneficial for hiking harnesses, particularly if we plan on being near bodies of water or hiking in wet conditions. Look for harnesses made with water-resistant or quick-drying materials that won’t become heavy or uncomfortable when wet. This feature ensures that our dogs can enjoy their hiking experience even in damp environments.

Reviews of Best Dog Harnesses for Hiking

Now that we understand the factors to consider and the top features to look for in a dog harness for hiking, let’s take a closer look at some of the best harness options available on the market.

Ruffwear Front Range All-Day Adventure Harness

The Ruffwear Front Range All-Day Adventure Harness is a popular choice among hikers. It features a comfortable and breathable design with four points of adjustment for a secure fit. The harness also has reflective trim for enhanced visibility and a sturdy aluminum V-ring on the back for leash attachment. The Ruffwear Front Range Harness is suitable for dogs of all sizes and provides excellent control and comfort for long hikes.

Kurgo Journey Dog Harness

The Kurgo Journey Dog Harness is another excellent option for hiking adventures. This harness has a durable and lightweight design, making it ideal for active dogs. It features both front and back leash attachment points for versatility and has a padded chest plate for added comfort. The Kurgo Journey Harness is also equipped with reflective strips for enhanced visibility during low-light conditions.

Rabbitgoo No-Pull Dog Harness

The Rabbitgoo No-Pull Dog Harness is specifically designed to discourage pulling behavior. It features both front and back leash attachment points, allowing for control and versatility in training. The harness has adjustable straps and a padded chest plate for a comfortable fit. It also has reflective stitching for increased visibility and a handle on the back for better control.

OneTigris Tactical Service Dog Vest

The OneTigris Tactical Service Dog Vest is a rugged and versatile harness suitable for hiking and other outdoor activities. It is made with durable 1000D nylon and features multiple leash attachment points and MOLLE webbing for attaching accessories. The harness has adjustable straps for a secure fit, a grab handle for easy control, and a velcro panel for attaching patches or ID tags. The OneTigris Tactical Service Dog Vest is a popular choice for those looking for a harness with a tactical and durable design.

EzyDog Convert Trail-Ready Dog Harness

The EzyDog Convert Trail-Ready Dog Harness is a multi-functional harness designed for outdoor adventures. It can be easily converted from a back-clip to a front-clip harness, offering versatility in training and control. The harness has adjustable straps, a padded chest plate, and reflective stitching for comfort and visibility. It also features a soft grab handle and a D-ring for leash attachment. The EzyDog Convert Trail-Ready Harness is suitable for dogs of all sizes and provides excellent comfort and functionality.

How to Choose the Right Size

Choosing the right size harness for our dog is crucial for their comfort, safety, and overall hiking experience. Here are some steps to follow to ensure that we select the correct size harness:


Taking accurate measurements of our dog’s chest and neck circumference is the first step in choosing the right size harness. Use a soft tape measure to measure around the widest part of their chest, just behind the front legs. Then, measure around their neck at the base where the collar would sit. Taking these measurements will help us determine the appropriate size range for the harness.

Sizing Guidelines from Manufacturers

Each harness may have its own sizing guidelines provided by the manufacturer. Refer to these guidelines when selecting the size, as they will indicate the recommended size range based on the measurements we have taken. Manufacturers usually provide a weight range as well, so consider your dog’s weight when choosing the size.

Adjustability and Room for Growth

Opt for harnesses that have adjustable straps, as they allow for a more customized and secure fit. A harness with adjustable straps ensures that we can fine-tune the fit to accommodate our dog’s measurements. Additionally, look for harnesses that have room for growth, especially if we have a puppy or a dog that is still developing. This way, we can adjust the harness as our dog grows to ensure a proper fit.

Training Tips for Using a Dog Harness

Using a dog harness for hiking may require some training to help our furry friends adjust to wearing the harness and walking on a leash. Here are some training tips to consider:

Introduce the Harness Gradually

Introduce the harness gradually and allow our dogs to become familiar with it before heading out on a hike. Offer treats and praise while they are wearing the harness to create positive associations.

Ensure Proper Fit

Ensure that the harness is properly fitted and adjusted before starting any training. A poorly fitting harness can cause discomfort and may lead to an unpleasant experience for our dogs.

Practice Indoors First

Practice walking indoors or in a familiar, low-stimulus environment before taking our dogs on their first outdoor hike with the harness. This allows them to get used to the feeling of walking with the harness and helps build their confidence.

Use Positive Reinforcement

Use positive reinforcement techniques such as treats, praise, and rewards while training our dogs to walk on a leash with the harness. This encourages them to associate the harness and walking on a leash with positive experiences.

Start with Short Hikes

Start with short hikes and gradually increase the duration and intensity of our hikes as our dogs become more comfortable and confident with the harness and leash walking. This gradual approach helps prevent overexertion and allows our dogs to adjust to their new hiking gear gradually.

Frequently Asked Questions

As with any dog gear, there are often common questions that arise when it comes to dog harnesses for hiking. Here are some frequently asked questions to provide further clarity:

Can I use a regular leash with a dog harness?

Yes, most dog harnesses for hiking can be used with a regular leash. However, some harnesses may offer additional leash attachment points or features that are optimized for use with specific types of leashes, so it’s always best to check the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Are all dog harnesses suitable for hiking?

Not all dog harnesses are suitable for hiking. It’s important to choose a harness specifically designed for hiking or outdoor activities, as these harnesses often have features that enhance comfort, control, and safety during hikes.

Can I wash my dog harness?

Yes, most dog harnesses can be washed. However, always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for specific care guidelines. Some harnesses may be machine-washable, while others may require handwashing or spot cleaning.

How do I clean a dog harness?

To clean a dog harness, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and care. In general, harnesses can be hand-washed using mild detergent and cold water. Avoid using harsh chemicals or bleach, as they may damage the harness. Allow the harness to air dry completely before using it again.

Can I use a dog harness on a puppy?

Yes, dog harnesses can be used on puppies. However, it’s important to choose a harness that is suitable for their size and adjustability. Puppies grow quickly, so it’s essential to regularly check the fit of the harness and make adjustments as needed to ensure their comfort and safety.


Choosing the best dog harness for hiking requires careful consideration of various factors such as comfort, durability, fit, safety, and versatility. By selecting a harness that meets these criteria and offers top features like adjustable straps, a padded design, reflective elements, a handle or leash attachment point, and water-resistant material, we can ensure that our furry friends have a comfortable and safe hiking experience.

With the wide range of harness options available, such as back-clip harnesses, front-clip harnesses, no-pull harnesses, and multi-functional harnesses, we can find the perfect harness that suits both our dog’s needs and our specific hiking style.

Remember to choose the right size harness for our dog by taking accurate measurements, referring to sizing guidelines from manufacturers, and considering adjustability and room for growth. Proper training is also essential, and by introducing the harness gradually, ensuring a proper fit, practicing indoors first, using positive reinforcement, and starting with short hikes, we can help our dogs become comfortable and confident with their new hiking gear.

Lastly, familiarize ourselves with frequently asked questions regarding dog harnesses for hiking, such as using regular leashes, suitability for hiking, washing and cleaning, and using harnesses on puppies. Having a thorough understanding of these common queries will ensure that we can make informed decisions and have a successful and enjoyable hiking experience with our furry companions. So, grab your dog harness, hit the trails, and embark on countless unforgettable adventures together!

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Matt Emrick
Hi, I'm Matt Emrick, and I'm passionate about everything related to dog training and collars. As an experienced dog trainer, I've dedicated my career to helping dog owners establish a strong bond with their furry companions. With years of hands-on experience and a deep understanding of canine behavior, I offer valuable tips and insights on making the most out of dog collars on my website, https://mydogtrainingcollar.com/. My goal is to empower dog owners with practical advice and techniques, ensuring a safe and effective training experience for both dogs and their humans. Having worked with various breeds and temperaments, I know that every dog is unique and requires tailored training approaches. Through my website, I share my extensive knowledge on choosing the right collar, using positive reinforcement techniques, and addressing specific behavioral challenges. I believe that patience, consistency, and clear communication are essential for a successful training journey. Beyond my professional expertise, I have a genuine love for dogs. They bring joy, companionship, and unconditional love into our lives, and I strive to help dog owners create a harmonious relationship with their four-legged friends. Whether you're a seasoned dog owner or a new puppy parent, my aim is to provide informative and practical guidance that enriches the bond between you and your pup. So, join me on this exciting journey of discovering effective dog collar tips on https://mydogtrainingcollar.com/. Let's make training a positive and rewarding experience for both you and your furry companion. Remember, training is not just about teaching your dog; it's about building a lifelong connection based on trust and mutual understanding.