Comparing Different Types of Dog Carriers

Little dog in a backpack
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As a pet owner, it is important to ensure your furry friend’s safety and comfort, especially when you want to take them along on your outdoor adventures. While there are a variety of different dog carriers available in the market for you to choose from, not all of them are created equal.

In this blog post, we will compare and contrast three different types of dog carriers – backpack, frontal backpack, and sling – to help you make the right decision for your canine companion.

Dog Backpack Carriers for Hiking

Dog backpack carriers are the most common type of carrier seen on the trails.

These are usually built to be larger than other types of carriers in order to accommodate also medium and large breeds. The backpack design allows for equal distribution of your dog’s weight, resulting in reduced strain on your back. These carriers also come equipped with padded shoulder straps and back panels making it comfortable for you to wear a heavier load.

Make sure to choose a backpack with adequate ventilation holes for your dog, ensuring that they stay cool and comfortable even on the hottest days.

Pros and Cons of Dog Backpack Carriers


  • Weight distribution. The design of the backpack carrier allows for equal distribution of your dog’s weight, making it easier for you to carry them around.
  • Comfort for the owner. Padded shoulder straps and back panels ensure that carrying a heavier load is comfortable for you.
  • Accommodates larger breeds. Unlike some other carriers, backpack carriers are often built to be larger, accommodating also medium and large dog breeds.
  • Ventilation. Many backpack carriers come equipped with ventilation holes or mesh panels, ensuring that your dog stays cool and comfortable.


  • Size: The larger size of the backpack carrier can make it bulky and more difficult to store.
  • Limitations for very small dogs. Very small dogs may not fit snugly in a backpack carrier designed for larger breeds, and may not feel secure.
  • Mobility. Can be a bit cumbersome when navigating through crowded places or narrow paths.
  • Access to pet. It might be more difficult to comfort or reach your pet while they are in the backpack carrier compared to other carrier styles.

Top 3 Best Backpack Carriers for Dogs

  1. Kurgo Dog Carrier Backpack for Small Pets. Known for its durability and comfort, the Kurgo Dog Carrier Backpack is perfect for small to medium sized pets. It comes complete with ventilation holes, a safety tether and zipped top window for easy access to your pet. It also has a water-resistant fabric which makes it a great choice for outdoor adventures.
  2. K9 Sport Sack AIR Pet Carrier. The K9 Sport Sack is designed for all-day comfort for both you and your pet. It features adjustable shoulder straps, sternum straps, and a lumbar support strap. It also has a removable storage bag for your pet’s essentials, and mesh sides for good ventilation.
  3. PetAmi Deluxe Pet Carrier Backpack. The PetAmi Deluxe is perfect for larger breeds. It comes with a spacious interior and a firm, reinforced structure to ensure your pet’s safety. It has a well-ventilated design for optimal airflow and a cozy sherpa lining for comfort. The carrier also includes multiple pockets for storage, a safety strap and buckle for added security, and a collapsible bowl for hydration on the go.

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Small dog in a backpack

Frontal Backpack Dog Carriers

If you want your furry friend to be in front of you while you hike or take part in other outdoor activities, then a frontal backpack carrier is what you need.

Unlike the traditional backpack carrier, this carrier positions your dog in front of you, allowing for better interaction with your pet. Although they tend to be on the smaller side, frontal backpacks are perfect for small dogs, puppies, and elderly dogs.

Choose one that is made of breathable yet durable material to ensure your dog is comfortable and you do not overheat.

Pros and Cons of Frontal Backpack Dog Carriers


  • Interaction. Since the carrier positions your dog in front of you, it offers a greater opportunity for interaction and bonding.
  • Perfect for smaller dogs. These carriers are ideally suited for small dogs, puppies, or elderly dogs who might not fit or feel secure in larger backpack carriers.
  • Easy to monitor. Being in front, it’s easier to monitor your pet’s condition and comfort.


  • Limited weight. Frontal backpacks are not suited for medium to large dogs due to the weight bearing limitations.
  • Can cause strain. Carrying weight on the front can cause strain to the back, especially over long distances or durations.
  • Limited storage. These carriers typically offer less storage space for pet essentials than backpack carriers.

Top 3 Best Frontal Backpack Carriers for Dogs

  1. Outward Hound PoochPouch Front Carrier. This carrier offers a safe and comfortable way to carry your pet. Made with water-resistant nylon fabric, it features interior padding for comfort, a harness attachment for security, and mesh siding for ventilation.
  2. Coodia Legs Out Front Pet Dog Carrier. Perfect for small dogs and puppies, this carrier allows your pet’s legs to hang out, offering them a unique view of the world. The design also ensures less strain on your shoulders and reduces bouncing.
  3. NICREW Legs Out Front Dog Carrier. The NICREW carrier offers hands-free convenience and ensures your pet’s comfort with adjustable straps and a padded back. The zippered top makes it easy to put your pet in and remove them, and the mesh sides offer excellent ventilation.
A small black dog in a dog sling carrier
A small black puppy in a dog sling carrier

Dog Sling Carriers

Dog sling carriers are great for small dogs that may need a little extra help on their walks. These carriers are designed to wrap around your body, allowing you to carry your dog close to your chest.

They are smaller than backpack and frontal backpack carriers but offer more mobility, making them perfect for crowded spaces. Slings tend to have less ventilation than other types of carriers, so if you do use a sling carrier, ensure you take regular breaks and allow your dog to stretch their legs.

Pros and Cons of Dog Sling Carriers


  • Mobility. Due to their compact size, sling carriers provide excellent mobility, making them ideal for navigating through crowded spaces.
  • Closeness. These carriers allow you to carry your dog close to your chest, promoting a sense of security and bonding.
  • Ease of use. Sling carriers are usually easy to use with minimal adjustments needed.


  • Limited size. Sling carriers are typically suitable only for small dogs. Usually, they are the smallest dog carriers.
  • Ventilation. These carriers often have less ventilation compared to other carrier types, which can make your dog uncomfortable in hot weather.
  • Restricted movement. While in the sling, your pet’s movement is limited, which some dogs may find distressing.

Top 3 Best Dog Sling Carriers

  1. TOMKAS Dog Sling Carrier. This carrier is designed with a reversible and hands-free design, making it easy to carry your dog around. It also comes with a security clasp to prevent your dog from jumping out, and the soft fabric ensures your pet’s comfort.
  2. iPrimio Dog and Cat Sling Carrier. This sling carrier is made from soft, breathable fabric and features a safety collar hook for extra security. The adjustable strap ensures a comfortable fit for any body type.
  3. SlowTon Pet Carrier Sling. The SlowTon sling offers a unique combination of comfort and function. It is designed with a pocket for your pet’s essentials, a safety hook for secure transportation, and is made of soft, breathable cotton fabric. The adjustable strap allows for a comfortable fit, and the easy-to-adjust design ensures that your pet is safe and secure.
Hiking with a puppy

What to Choose?

When it comes to choosing the right type of carrier for your dog, think about where you will go, your dog’s size, and weight.

Backpack carriers are better suited for longer hikes and for medium to larger-sized dogs that may get tired easily.

Frontal backpack and sling carriers are ideal for short strolls, small dogs who struggle to keep up with their owners, or for owners looking to bond with their pets while walking. These carriers offer more interaction with your pet when compared to backpacks.

Ensure you choose the right carrier for you and your canine companion, and you will never leave your pooch behind on your next adventure.

Please note that the information provided in these articles is intended for informational purposes only and should not replace professional advice from a veterinarian or dog trainer. Always consult with a qualified expert before making decisions regarding your dog’s health, well-being, and training.

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