5 Best Dog Harnesses (Hike Safely With Your Best Friend)

There’s nothing quite like a good hike, but do you know what makes a good hike even better? That’s right - having your furry friend to join you!

Two pairs of feet - or paws - are better than one, and having your pet to join you as you enjoy the great out-doors is a fantastic way to make some lasting memories.

Of course though...

When you’re taking your dog hiking, you need to make sure that they are safe and secure.

Because the last thing you need is your dog darting off chasing after a rabbit only to get lost or tumble down the side of a hill...

...and potentially taking you down the hill with them which could seriously injure or in extreme circumstances, kill you.

That ultimately means that you need a good dog harness specifically designed for hiking to keep him (and you) safe, secure and within distance whilst still allowing him to enjoy the freedom of the walk.

So what is the best dog harness for hiking?

Well before I share my top choices here's why you can trust this recommendation...

Before writing this post I spent 20+ hours consulting the blogs of dozens of top outdoor and hiking experts who like to trek with their dogs to see which harnesses they were using.

This allowed me to whittle the extensive list of available products down to just a handful of brands and products then armed with that information I analyzed over 1,000 user opinions for each of these products before concluding that these are the best dog harnesses for hiking...

DISCLOSURE: TridentK9.org is reader supported so if you buy any products featured on this site I may earn an affiliate commission (at no extra cost to yourself). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. 
You can read my full disclosure here for more information.

OUR TOP PICK

RUFFWEAR, Web Master, Multi-Use Support Dog Harness, Hiking and Trail Running, Service and Working, Everyday Wear, Red Currant, Medium

Our very first choice is the Ruffwear Web Master. This is an incredibly impressive harness, and in fact it’s even commonly used by rescue dog teams. That tells you a lot about how good it is!

The harness can come in one of five different sizes depending on the size of your dog.

If you happen to buy a size that is a tiny bit too big for your dog then you need not panic as it also comes with 5 adjustment points so you make the garment fit your dog perfectly.

The harness has a foam padded chest and this makes it exceptionally comfortable for your dog.

There are also some belly straps that you can adjust on the bottom side and it comes with two different attachment rings for the leash for extra adjustability. 

If you’re walking in the dark this is also a great choice as it has a reflective trim.

This means that you can see much more easily in the dark, and there’s a handle on the top that makes handling your dog that much easier.

Of course, as there are a few different adjustment points on the harness it is important to note that it can take a while to adjust it at first.

Pros

  • Durable so it won't break easily when your dog pulls or runs to chase a cat for example.

  • Reflective trim

  • Numerous adjustment points so you can find the length that works for both of you. 

Cons

  • It can take a while to adjust the straps

EDITORS CHOICE

Kurgo Dog Harness for Large, Medium & Small Dogs | Reflective Harness for Running, Walking & Hiking | Everyday Adventure Pet Journey Air Style | Black | Blue | Red

The Kurgo Journey Dog Harness is an exceptional dog harness for hiking that you and your dog are both sure to appreciate.

The harness is very comfortable thanks to the thick plates on the chest and back.

In addition to this, you can also use this harness when you need to keep your dog safe and secure in the car without them moving around too much.

The harness features a V neck design which makes it much less likely to ride up your dog’s chest when you’re walking.

If you are concerned about the fit then you also need not worry, as the harness comes with four different adjustment points so you can get the ideal fit.

Once you’re done with the harness, you can simply toss it in the washing machine for very easy washing.

Saves you from cleaning it by hand! Of course the harness is somewhat heavy, which is something that you should keep in mind.

Pros

  • Can be used as a car harness to keep your dog in place during driving.

  • Can be totally adjusted meaning it's maximum comfort for you and him.

  • Compatible with machine washing to keep clean.

Cons

  • It’s pretty heavy so if you don't want to carry something heavy consider another model.

BEST VALUE

Kurgo Dog Harness | Pet Walking Harness | Medium | Black | No Pull Harness Front Clip Feature for Training Included | Car Seat Belt | Tru-Fit Quick Release Style

You’re going to fall in tru love with the Kurgo Tru Fit Dog Harness. This harness is the perfect companion for enjoyable hikes with your four legged friends.

To start with the harness comes with five different adjustment points and five sizes in total, so it’s never been easier to find the perfect fit for your pooch.

It’s very durable and comfortable too, so your dog is sure to enjoy their walks more now than ever before.

Once it’s time to put on or take off the harness, the device comes with little plastic buckles that you can release quickly, and then you just slip the harness off - easy peasy! 

What’s even better is that the product also comes with a compatible 10 inch leash.

When you’re riding in the car you can hook it up to the seat belt to ensure that your dog stays nice and safe while riding in the car.

It’s great for dogs that pull too.

Pros

  • Durable and unlikely to break easily. 

  • Five adjustment points for maximum comfort for both of you.

  • Easy to put on and take off

Cons

  • It can take a while to adjust the harness

RUNNER UP

EzyDog Convert Trail-Ready Outdoor Adjustable Dog Harness - Perfect for Hiking, Walking, and Doubles as a Service Dog Vest - Superior Comfort Design with a Durable Traffic Handle (Medium, Burgundy)

Are you ready to hit the trails? Well, your harness certainly is! You can enjoy a good hike with the EzyDog Convert Trail Ready Dog Harness!

This harness is perfect as it can fit any kind of dog. You don’t need to worry about durability thanks to the tear resistant polyester layer on the outside, and this helps to ensure that you don’t get excessive wear and tear.

It also has a soft cotton inside which is super cozy against your dog’s fur. You can use it for anything from hiking trails to a walk around the town. 

If you choose to walk your dog during the summer or in the warm weather then you don’t need to concern yourself with your dog overheating.

One of the great things about this harness is that it has been constructed out of highly breathable materials so your dog can stay cool even in hot weather.

Putting on or taking off the harness is simple, and it’s incredibly versatile. You really can’t find many options better than this.

Pros

  • Durable so unlikely to break even with rough dogs that pull and run often.

  • Versatile so you can switch up how you use it.

  • Easy to use, it's a very simple piece of equipment.

Cons

  • None

RUNNER UP

RUFFWEAR, Hi & Light, Everyday Lightweight Dog Harness, Trail Running, Walking, Hiking, All-Day Wear, Blue Atoll, X-Small

This is our second Ruffwear product on this list, and for good reason! This harness is perfect for hiking with your furry friend, and it’s ideal for dogs of any shape or size.

The harness is versatile, so you can use it for a range of different activities. Hiking, trail running - you name it and you can do it with your best friend in tow.

The harness comes with four adjustment points in total, allowing you to get the perfect fit for your dog. It also has a stash pocket and the trim is reflective.

If that wasn’t enough, it’ll be hard to miss your dog if they get free because the harness comes in a bunch of vibrant colors, from red, to blue to gray.

Once it’s time to take the harness off you simply need to click on the side release buckles. This means putting it on or taking it off is easy.

It’s very safe to use thanks to the beacon attachment loop, and it’s simple to clean as a result of the supple nylon exterior.

The only real issue with this particular harness is that it only comes with one leash clipping point and it doesn’t have a handle.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Lightweight
  • Fantastic visibility

Cons

  • It only comes with one leash clipping point and it doesn’t have a handle

Best Dog Harness for Hiking Buying Guide

Why Should I Get a Dog Harness for Hiking?

You may be wondering if it’s really necessary to get a dog harness for hiking if you already have a collar.

After all, they will both keep your dog under control when you’re walking, right? 

Well, There are a few reasons why it is a lot better to invest in a dog harness for walking.

First of all, a collar is positioned around your dog’s neck and thus goes around their windpipe - this can cause a lot of strain in this area, in addition to their spine.

Your dog won’t choke or hack with these harnesses. 

Even if they pull on their leash when they’ve seen another dog or want to explore, they won’t be harmed.

In addition to this, harnesses are especially good if you enjoy other outdoor pursuits such as running and hiking as they tend to include special features that will make it much easier to enjoy these activities. Above all else, they are safe.

Some breeds will do especially well with harnesses.

For instance, a particularly large dog such as a Labrador or a German Shepherd will usually prefer to walk with a harness because they won’t have a lot of pressure on their necks - it will be on the chest instead.

It also helps them not to pull. Even smaller breeds like Chihuahuas like harnesses because they’re comfortable, and you can pick them up more easily if you are caught in a dangerous situation. 

Things to Consider

It’s not just a matter of picking the first harness that you see on Amazon. No - you need to put some serious thought into the harness that you get for hiking.

After all, every dog and owner combination is different and what may work for some may not work for others.

So, if you want to get the best dog harness for hiking with your dog, here are a couple of the things that you should take into consideration.

Attachments

You firstly need to think about where the attachment on the harness is. The attachment is a little ring where you can link up the leash to the harness so it’s important to consider where it is located.

There are two main options - an attachment on your dog’s chest, on their back or in both locations.

There are a few benefits to each of these options. First of all let’s cover harnesses that have attachments on the front and on the back.

These are ideal for double ended dog leads that you use for training.

They’re great as they can help you to influence the pace and the posture of your dog. It’s even possible to use a standard lead with the harness.

Front attachments on the other hand are ideal for stopping your dog from pulling, a problem for many dog owners.

Your dog will also stay closer to you with this style of attachment. It’s ideal for training your dog on a leash.

The final type is a back attaching harness, and this allows your dog to have more control over their pace. 

It feels much more natural when you walk them, which is particularly enjoyable for your dog. It’s much better suited to dogs that are already well trained on the leash.

Fit

Fit is a vital consideration to make when you’re buying a dog harness for hiking. After all, if the harness is too tight it could end up digging into your dog’s skin which is incredibly uncomfortable for them.

A harness that is too large could mean that your dog can escape in any moment, which is dangerous.

Thus it’s important to ensure that you buy a harness in the proper size right off the bat.

Not all sizing will be the same of course so you will need to check the recommendations by brand. You can check the chest measurements to clarify this. 

You will also find that the vast majority of dog harnesses for hiking come with little adjustment points so you can alter the fit to exactly what you need.

These can take a while to adjust of course but it’s worth it to get the ideal fit. 

Freedom to Move and Comfort

It’s very important when you are looking for a harness for hiking that you think about how much freedom your dog has to move.

When you’re hiking a no pull harness may not be the best idea as it means it’s harder for your dog to move its shoulders. Consider comfort!

On the subject of your dog’s comfort, you should also ensure that the harness you buy doesn’t end up rubbing your dog in uncomfortable areas. You don’t want an uncomfortable dog on a long, arduous walk. 

Colors

Now, you may be wondering why it’s so important to consider the color of your dog’s harness.

Yes it’s nice to have an attractive looking harness for your dog, but is the color really that much of a big deal? If you’re going hiking, then it certainly can be.

The reason why you should be looking for a colorful harness, especially a brightly colored option, is because there’s always a chance that you could lose your dog while you’re hiking.

Having a brightly colored harness will make it much easier for you and other passers by to see your dog in case this horrendous situation happens.

Lights and Bells

This sort of ties in with the previous point, but every dog owner’s worst scenario is that they lose their dog.

For this reason it’s wroth looking for features that will help you to find your dog more easily in case they go missing.

Have a look for a harness that has lights or ones with glow in the dark strips. Also try to attach a bell to the harness so that you can hear your dog, and also so that others can hear them when you’re walking past. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some things that you should be aware of when walking a dog with a harness?

Not all dogs can react well to harnesses, and you should be prepared for every eventuality when using them. There are some things to look out for.

For instance, before you leave the house you should always check to see if the leash attachment hooks are broken - you don’t want to be caught in an accident where you lose your dog.

Harnesses can also sometimes cause your dog some light irritation in the joints from the rubbing.

Harnesses can sometimes be challenging to put onto or take off your dog, and they can hold smells for quite some time so it’s important to wash them.

Finally, some leash clip positions can be problematic as your dog can tangle or trip easily, so you should keep this in mind.

Is it possible to wash a dog hiking harness?

It is certainly okay to wash a dog hiking harness. In fact, it’s pretty important that you do so. It’s possible to wash your dog’s harness by hand and then just let it air dry afterwards.

You can look at the manufacturer’s specifications to check how you wash your individual dog harness as it may differ between brands.

Is there a difference between a harness for walking and hiking?

Yes, mostly in that a walking harness differs in terms of durability and design to a hiking harness.

You will usually find that a hiking harness is made out of stronger materials and so it can deal with wear and tear much more easily.

In addition to this the leash attachment points are usually more durable and are also rust resistant. They will swivel when your dog moves to ensure that they don’t end up getting tangled in their leash. 

Hiking harnesses also tend to come with additional features such as handles that are padded and this makes it easier to use them over rough terrains. They sometimes have reflective lining for walking in the dark. 

Last update on 2021-08-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API