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Hiking is a great way to spend quality time with your dog while encouraging him to exercise. If you are heading out on a hike, you will need to have the right equipment to keep you and your pup safe, starting with a good harness.
The best harness for hiking should make it easy for your dog to move freely and safely without being weighed down. Therefore, the harness you choose should be lightweight for easy movement.
With so many harnesses on the market, its hard to know which works best for hiking. Here is a breakdown of the best types of harnesses and their features when hitting the trails with your dog.
Quick Links: Our Picks For The 5 Best Dog Harness For Hiking
We purchased 5 of the best dog harnesses for hiking.
We spent a several hours testing these harnesses
These products were purchased with our own money, not in exchange for a favorable review
Safety – A crash-tested harness, that restrains your dog in the car in case of a sudden stop or impact, is the safest kind. Some attach easily to your car’s seat belt system, and are also a walking harness.
Durability –There are many durable materials used in the construction of a dog harnesses, but rip-stop nylon, canvas and denim are some of the more durable.
Material – Harnesses are made from leather, plastic, nylon, and other types of fabric. If your dog tends to get wet while on walks, consider something that dries quick. If your dog chews then you will need a sturdy harness.
Adjustments- A harness should have many points of adjustment, in order to fit dogs of all shapes and sizes. A harness with at least 4 adjustment points is ideal to find your dogs perfect fit.
Comfort – Harnesses should be made from comfortable materials to prevent chaffing. Soft mesh and plush fabrics can help provide adequate comfort around nylon, if well designed.
Cost – A good harness is a small investment. There are many quality harnesses at reasonable prices depending on your needs.
Style – There are many harness styles and the best choice will depend on your dog’s personality and size. Some styles are no-pull, standard, step through, dual strap, etc.
Visibility – If you walk your dog in low light conditions or hike wooded areas, you may want a high-visibility harness. Some include reflective material or tiny LED lights to make sure your dog can be seen.
Good hiking breeds include Beagles, German Shepherds, Irish Setters, Golden and Labrador Retrievers, Boxers, Huskies, Malamutes, Border Collies and Australian Shepherds.
LED – An LED dog harness is usually constructed from lightweight materials, and comes with a variety of useful features, such as adjustable light modes, reflective strips, and rechargeable batteries for hours of use.
Back Clip – Back-clip harnesses attach on top of a dog’s back or shoulders. These are best for smaller, calm or well trained dogs.
Front Clip – Front-clip harnesses have a leash attachment on the chest. This gives the owner more control and stops the dog from pulling. These are best for larger dogs or dogs that pull.
Multi Clip– Some harnesses come with attachments on both front and back. This gives the option to use it as a front or back clip when walking your dog.
Reflective – A reflective harness is a necessity if you walk your dog at night or in low light situations. This keeps your dog from harm and makes him easier to be seen.
No Pull- No-pull harnesses are a simple way to discourage your dog from pulling. They usually have a front clip attachment and some have front and top for dual control. There are usually straps that cross above the dogs shoulders and behind the front legs.
Step Through – A step-through harness means your dog puts his front legs between two loops to get into the harness. Once the dogs legs are in position, a single buckle attaches behind your dogs front legs.
Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Harness is perfect for hiking with your dog and was designed by engineers with influence from the rock climbing world. Its all steel buckle system and breathable material makes hiking safe and comfortable for your pup.
It is also a crash-tested dog car harness that keeps your dog safe while riding in the car with straps behind the front legs.
With five adjustments points, it’s easy to get a near custom fit for any kind of dog, regardless of his size and proportions.
The chest pad reduces stress on the trachea and sternum while dispersing kinetic energy across the chest of the dog. This is important during hikes if your dog tends to pull. The chest pad and straps are also designed with comfort in mind, making this harness a good choice as a hiking harness.
Chai’s Choice 3M Reflective Dog Harness is a durable and highly reflective option for your hiking in any situation. This harness is crafted to remove pressure from your dog’s neck and disperse it through soft and lightweight mesh padding on the chest and belly.
It is also equipped with reflective piping interwoven into its durable nylon exterior to make sure your pup is visible when hiking in low light. With 4 adjustable straps, nine vibrant color options, and a wide variety of size choices you can customize this harness for your dog.
Chaotic walks and car rides will be a thing of the past if select the chest-mounted O-ring to discourage pulling. You can also buckle your dog in for road trips by slipping a seat belt through the sturdy built-in handle on top of the harness.
HDP Big Dog No Pull Dog Harness offers a light weight option with a no-choke design. This harness makes an excellent solution for larger dogs who need adjustments behind the front legs, as well as senior dogs that need a more gentle option.
The extra wide chest padding distributes the weight throughout your dog’s chest and shoulders, which assists dogs with a comfortable walking experience.
The top mounted D-ring, it gives dogs plenty freedom of motion while leaving the ultimate control to you. A built-in top-handle allows you to maneuver your dog around obstacles or help him over rougher terrain.
Pawtitas Camouflage Reflective Padded Dog Harness has a step-through design that makes it easy to put on any dog. It is great for hiking in the day or night, since its reflective strip is designed to reflect light from the environment or ambient light. It even works in low light conditions, providing maximum visibility when you need it most.
This harness has thick neoprene padding which means it’s ultra-comfy to wear, and is available in different sizes and camouflage colors so you can find the right fit for your deep chested dog’s custom shape.
This harness features reflective material throughout to add visibility during low light hikes, and the easy assembly is great for daily use.
This harness is made from lightweight materials for the ultimate in comfort, and the unique dual-vest design helps to distribute weight for dogs who like to pull.
There are four adjustment points for the perfect fit on any type of dog. The striped straps provide a look that will have your dog walking safely and in style.
Dogs love being outdoors and having the right harness on your dog for hiking will make the experience much safer. Hiking is not only great exercise for your dog, but you get to spend quality time and bond with your pup as well as it being a great way to fight weight gain and keep him fit and healthy.