The Best Hiking Gear for Dogs

Our staffers pick their favorite dog gear for our four-legged best friends.

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You have good gear—why shouldn’t your doggo? Whether you’re in the market for a new leash or your fluffer’s first pack, find the perfect addition to Fido’s kit among these nine staff picks.

Wolfgang Man & Beast Dog Collar

Wolfgang Man & Beast LokiWolf Collar

Looking to upgrade your pooch’s necklace? Look no further. These collars from Wolfgang Man & Beast are constructed with abrasion-resistant polyester (and pull-tested at 800 pounds, which seems excessive, but neat). The massive buckle is easy to operate with one hand, and the single D-ring is great for clipping licenses and a leash. Each size has up to 8 inches of play via the easy sliding adjustment. Starting at $17.95–$19.95

Ruffwear Front Range Dog Harness

Ruffwear Front Range Dog Harness

Do you prefer harnesses? The venerable Ruffwear Front Range is light and airy enough for everyday wear and also burly enough for backcountry adventures. It’s made of ridiculously tough, 300-denier ripstop polyester (mine has survived everything from ski edges to teething puppies with nary a snag) and is padded with plush, closed-cell foam for all-day comfort. It has two leash-attachment points on the back and chest and comes in enough colors to satisfy the pickiest of hoomans. $39.95

Ruffwear Roamer Dog Leash

Ruffwear Roamer Dog Leash

Speaking of leashes: This 6-footer from Ruffwear can be worn around your waist—perfect for hands-free trail running, backpacking or hiking. A lengthy bungee section absorbs shock and gives your pal some give, and the talon-style clip is easy to thumb on the move. A clever loop along the handle is great for stashing pick-up bags. $39.95

Nite Ize SpotLit LED Carabiner Light

Nite Ize SpotLit LED Carabiner Light

About the size of half a table-tennis ball, this basic key chain from Nite Ize is perfect for nighttime walks or hanging out at camp. Clip it to your dog’s collar via a mini carabiner, and squeeze the housing to turn it on or double press for the rave flash mode. You can adjust it to one of six colors or let it automatically cycle through the rainbow in disco mode. Nite Ize claims 20 hours of burn time on the two included lithium batteries. $9.50

Ruffwear Approach Dog Pack

Ruffwear Approach Dog Pack

If you subscribe to the everyone-carries-their-share mentality, get your floof on board with a modest load in the versatile Ruffwear Approach dog pack. The saddlebags are fixed to the harness, which has a convenient grab handle (should your little mountain goat need a lift up a tall boulder or into the car) and a strong aluminum D-ring for connecting a leash. My dog carries his own water and first-aid kit on either side, plus a lightweight PackTowl and his food. He is also responsible for carrying out his own poop, because I am the alpha (I tell myself). $79.95

Ruffwear Palisades Dog Pack

Ruffwear Palisades Dog Pack

Have a four-legged backpacking buddy? Go with something more voluminous like the Ruffwear Palisades dog pack for overnight pursuits. It uses a two-part system: The saddlebags connect to an included harness, which makes it all but impossible to Titanic the load with uneven packing. Pockets on each side swallow smaller sundries, and the pack comes with two collapsible water reservoirs. (Tips: Never pack the Ten Essentials in your dog’s pack, and try not to load it up at more than 25 percent of the dog’s body weight.) $149.95

Ruffwear Vert Dog Jacket

Ruffwear Vert Dog Jacket

This waterproof layer from Ruffwear gets year-round use in my household. Not only does it protect my dog from precip, but it keeps him visible; the Vert is high-viz orange with reflective accents on the sides and collar. The 70-denier nylon shell shrugs off mud, brambles and other debris, and a fleece liner provides a little extra warmth in colder temps. Plus: Dogs in jackets are really stinking cute. $39.95

Cycle Dog Earth Friendly Pick-Up Bags

Cycle Dog Earth Friendly Pick-Up Bags

Leave No Trace applies to fur friends, too. Luckily, there are all sorts of biodegradable baggie options, so you don’t have to use plastic. These Earth Friendly Pick-Up Bags from Cycle Dog are plant-based, but just as good at removing presents from the trail as their non-compostable counterparts. Each box contains six rolls of a dozen baggies. $8

GivePet Campfire Feast Dog Treats

GivePet Campfire Feast Dog Treats

If you’re the sort of person who hooks your doggo up with gear that often costs more than your own (cough, below, cough), then you’ll probably cry, “Take my money!” at this next bit: For every bag of Campfire Feast nibbles sold, GivePet donates enough yummies for 10 shelter pups. The treats are small-batch, grain-free, protein-rich and fish-smelly. $10 for a 12-ounce package.

YETI Boomer 8 Dog Bowl

No, your dog doesn’t need a $50 bowl (here’s a great option for less than $15), but if you’re feeling generous it’s not as outrageous as it seems. The double-wall stainless steel is durable, easy to clean and—much like your own YETI—resistant to odor, rust and roughhousing. The Boomer 8 has a nonslip ring on the bottom and is dishwasher-safe, too. $50; also available in a smaller, 4-inch version for $40

Ruffwear Grip Trex Dog Booties – Pair

Ruffwear Grip Trex Dog Boots - Pair

Help protect your pooch’s paws from granite, spiky desert floor, snow, ice, melt chemicals and more with the Ruffwear Grip Trex booties. They slide on easily with a hook-and-loop closure and boast a tacky Vibram outsole that’s on par with what’s likely on your own shoes. There’s a learning curve for the first-time wearer, but it tends to result in a funny video, so keep your phone handy. Note: The Grip Trex are sold in pairs because your dog’s front and back paws may be different sizes. $37.50

REI Co-op Pack Away Cubes

REI Co-op Pack-Away Cubes

There’s no right way to get your buddy ready for an adventure, but one way to make it easier for yourself is to have a “go bag” ready. Any small luggage will do, but I like the modular packing cubes from REI Co-op. Keep a spare leash, a first-aid kit, a bowl, enough kibble for a few meals and a water bottle inside, along with whatever accoutrements are unique to your doggo (chew toys, bones, tennis balls, training treats, meds, etc.). The Pack-Away Cubes stand on their own and have dividers for separating gear. They’re available in different sizes that nest together or store neatly in the REI Co-op Pack-Away Bin ($99.95$129). $19.95–$49.95

REI Co-op Camp Blanket

REI Co-op Camp Blanket

Dirty dogs aren’t great tentmates. Whether you’re picnicking, watching a Little League game or taking a trailside snack break, having an established outdoor, dog-friendly blanket can make life comfier and cleaner. This packable throw from REI Co-op has synthetic fill to insulate from the cold ground, plus a Pertex nylon shell with a DWR finish for shedding dirt, light precip and dog hair. (You could even keep the Camp Blanket in your Pack-Away Cube for maximum convenience.) $79.95–$139


Interested in more staff picks and kits? Find more collections here.