Posted By: MaxaLisa

BackPacks - 07/27/10 05:18 AM

I've been looking at back packs, partly for training purposes, party so Max can carry stuff, and I also thought it would be useful to use if Max has some mobility problems.

I found some old threads on this

I've narrowed it down to the one at REI:
and the RuffWear Approach: (which, thanks to Cassidy's Mom, I found at for a great price).

I was at REI today and actually made an impulse buy of their classic pack, and it fits nicely, with no slippage, at least empty! I am however having second thoughts about the mesh on the top. While I think it might be more comfortable, I'm not sure if it's as sturdy. I don't think it would be helpful for the mobility issue....

I also use a harness for the leash, so whatever I use, it will have to be attached to the leash.

For those with the Ruff Wear pack, does it move around much? How snugly does it fit? Any thoughts on the mesh vs. the more solid material on the other harness? Anything else I should be considering?

Posted By: debbieg

Re: Back Packs - 07/27/10 05:44 AM

We are very happy with the Ruff pack. It stays in place and seems comfortable for Benny. He has not carried much in it yet but it stays in place and he seems to forget it is on.
Posted By: GSDElsa

Re: Back Packs - 07/27/10 02:40 PM

I have the old style REI pack and the Singletrak. REI is excellent quality. You are not going to need to worry about the durability of an REI brand item. And if it does break, take it back and return it at any time. I have not found the mesh to be a problem with sturdiness and we USE the handle all the time like to lift her up over boulders and such. I can't imagine that you'll use if for anything more extreme than that.

The only reason why I went with the Singletrak as well was because of size. All the other packs I could find (including my REI) were just too bulky with the pockets and she was constantly hanging up on stuff. It's very small on space but worth it because of the streamlined design.
Posted By: aubie

Re: Back Packs - 07/27/10 02:59 PM

I love our Ruffpack. It doesn't move at all, fits snuggly but allows free movement. I also attach the leash to the metal loop on the back of the pack. There's a handle on the back, which we haven't had to use yet, but it and the pack is sturdy enough I'm sure it would work great. Very well made, I and DH were impressed at the quality.

I got ours from SitStay, it was the cheapest online price for the blue.
Posted By: Tara

Re: Back Packs - 07/27/10 03:27 PM

We have the RuffWear Approach pack. It fits very nicely - snug and doesn't move around a whole lot (even with slightly unbalanced saddlebags). It seems to be comfortable - Tara hasn't had any trouble jumping over things or climbing with it on. None of the straps rub on her body and I like the padded girth strap.

I like the solid material, but I haven't been using the pack lately because I've worried about it being overly hot. I would think the mesh may be more breathable, my concern would be to make sure it doesn't stretch when wet or get bunched up. Otherwise, I don't see a downside to the mesh.
Posted By: Koda's Mom

Re: Back Packs - 07/27/10 05:28 PM

I have the RuffWear approach pack, and I think it fits GREAT! The straps are adjustable, but they don't move when you get it to the right spot. Koda still doesn't like it when I put it on, but once I let his lose on the trails he has no problem. haven't swam with it yet, but he can run and jump. Only thing he has an issue with is marking. lol. About half the time when he finds a tree to mark, he will hit the tree with his pack and decide not to mark after all.
Posted By: Chicago Canine

Re: Back Packs - 07/27/10 07:28 PM

If you're going to attach the leash to the pack I'd definitely recommend getting Ruffwear's packs! The base for the pack is their Web Master harness which is a nice harness and is made to be used as one so it is very sturdy.
Posted By: MaxaLisa

Re: Back Packs - 07/29/10 06:48 AM

Thanks everyone, great feedback smile

I really like the REI pack and it fits well, but I realized that it clips at the top end, at the neck. Since Max has neck issues, I went ahead and returned it and ordered the Approach. Thanks to previous posts, I knew the right size, and also a great place to purchase from.

I really appreciate all the info - I think I spent waaaay too much time making this decision smile
Posted By: MaxaLisa

Re: Back Packs - 08/01/10 03:31 AM

I received the Ruff Wear pack today, Max looks good in the green smile I'll have to get a pic later.

The fit of the REI pack I think was a bit better along the spine because of the mesh - cool and more form fitting. I don't recall him brushing the empty backs against things as many times with the REI pack, but he's only worn each fairly briefly.

For Max, I made the right decision though. The RW pack sits atop the Web Master harness, which gives more solid support - I really wanted that in case he goes down in the hind end with his back problem.

The leash places more stress behind the whithers rather than pulling more at the neck area, so for a dog with neck issues that tends to lunge, the RW also works better for that.

Thanks again for all the feedback, it was very helpful!
Posted By: MaxaLisa

Re: Back Packs - 10/08/10 04:37 AM

Just ran across Max's picture, and I wanted to add my boy's picture to the thread - I think he looks good in green wub

Posted By: aubie

Re: Back Packs - 10/08/10 03:08 PM

What a hunk!!! wub

Just wanted to add, that after a week in NC hiking almost everyday, Anna's Ruffwear Approach pack did GREAT! It didn't slide, did well even when she got in the water (just didn't keep anything that couldn't get wet in the bags) was simple to get on and off and didn't bother her at all.

We did get a lot of comments like from people who saw the pack and were like "Oh! What a great idea! I need one!" and several others that called her a pack mule! But it was great to have her carry her own water, bowl and poo bags and whatever other small things we might have had. I highly suggest it!
Posted By: debbieg

Re: Back Packs - 10/08/10 03:22 PM

wow, great picture of Max.
Posted By: LJsMom

Re: Back Packs - 10/09/10 12:20 AM

Max is so handsome!
Posted By: cassadee7

Re: Back Packs - 11/03/10 02:30 AM

How old should a dog be before wearing one? Those are awesome!
Posted By: MaxaLisa

Re: Back Packs - 11/03/10 03:13 AM

That's a good question, I dunno?
Posted By: debbieg

Re: Back Packs - 11/03/10 03:56 AM

Benny was about 12 months when he began wearing his empty back pack on walks. I didn't begin puttings things in it until he was 14 months and then just a toy or his poop bags.
Posted By: elisabeth

Re: Back Packs - 11/03/10 08:03 AM

Stark was VERY young when I started him with the pack, empty of course. I think maybe 8-9 months?

I started adding weight (keys, poop bags, lip balm (for me wink ) around 12 months?

Now at 18, almost 19 months old he is carrying about 1.5lbs maybe a little more in the beginning of our hike (water)?
Posted By: elisabeth

Re: Back Packs - 11/03/10 08:05 AM

He looks handsome in green!

That's the same one I ordered for Stark. smile
Posted By: MaxaLisa

Re: Back Packs - 11/03/10 08:20 AM

Thank you, I am confident that Stark is very handsome in his too, you'll have to add a pic here smile
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