Trail Tested: Kurgo K9 Rucksack Dog Carrier

Trail Tested: Kurgo K9 Rucksack Dog Carrier

Posted by Elizabeth McGrath on 27th Aug 2019

I love bringing my dachshund, Rocket with me whenever possible because my day is always better with him by my side! I'm sure many of you that share a house with a dog would agree.

To properly pull this off I need the right gear. Besides Rocket's harness and leash, I have a plane approved dog crate, a crash approved car harness and a few dog carrier backpacks. These necessities pretty much cover me for any situation and ensure Rocket can join us.

I recently tried out Kurgo's new K9 Rucksack Dog Carrier. I'm no stranger to Kurgo's products, let alone their dog backpacks. Most of my travel gear comes from Kurgo.

I was particularly excited to try out the K9 Rucksack Dog Carrier because of how stylish it is.

The K9 Rucksack Dog Carrier is designed to take your dog everywhere in style safely. It's durable enough to take on a hiking trail yet functional enough for an urban lifestyle. In addition to your pup, it can fit your small belongings as well as a laptop and handheld devices.

The first thought that came to mind upon receiving the dog carrier is that I would use it with or without Rocket. It's a multifunctional bag that is primarily used to carry your dog but can also be used as your daily backpack.

The K9 Rucksack Dog Carrier is sturdy and durable. The exterior is made of thick, water-resistant fabric and features a hard shell base making it a breeze to stand up on its own. The interior is roomy with soft padding and features side and top ventilation for proper air circulation.

Trail Tested

Whether you want to hit the trail or hop on the subway, this bag truly allows you to bring your dog everywhere. My primary use for a dog backpack is for hiking and traveling. Rocket loves to hike and has accompanied me on many mountains and trails over hundreds of miles.

Occasionally, we get overly ambitious and do a little more than his short legs can handle. I always bring a dog carrier so that I don't have to hold him while hiking back down the mountain.

My husband and I decided to try the bag on a few different hikes as well as around town.

I found the K9 Rucksack Dog Carrier very comfortable. The back of the bag is padded, which alleviates back discomfort and eliminates any jabbing that can come from thinner backpacks. The bag includes a sternum strap which helps disperse weight and provides additional support. Unlike the Kurgo G-Train dog backpack, this bag does not have a hip strap which was slightly concerning at first. To my surprise, I found the bag performed quite well, and my husband found it more comfortable than the G-Train backpack.

When using the bag with your dog, you have to roll the top flap back as it is not ventilated. Once rolled, it easily hooks into two loops keeping it tidy and out of the way. If using the bag without your dog, roll the top flap down to secure your belongings.

K9 Rucksack Characteristics

The K9 Rucksack Dog Carrier features a large zippered front mesh panel. This panel gives you the ability to fully contain your dog inside the carrier while still allowing air to flow. If your dog prefers to stick their head out, you can partially unzip the mesh or tuck the entire panel inside the bag.

I chose to tuck the mesh inside the bag so Rocket could stick his head out. I think the only time I would leave it zippered up is in the winter when it's cold or hiking on a steep incline where there was a chance of Rocket falling out. It is worth mentioning that the bag does include an interior tether strap that hooks onto your dog's collar or harness for added security.

In addition to the front mesh panel, there is a reinforced, ventilated mesh on either side of the dog compartment for air to flow. A soft pad at the base of the bag keeps your dog comfortable and is removable and washable.

The Rucksack carrier has an interior zippered pocket meant for a laptop. Two exterior zippered pockets can securely fit your small belongings like keys, phone, and wallet.

This bag is excellent for day hikes and taking your dog to public places. If you are looking for a dog backpack primarily for long hikes or want to fit more extensive accessories in addition to your dog, I would probably recommend the G-Train backpack because it has more room for your gear as well as water bottle holders.

Where this bag excels is in its unquestionable versatility. This backpack is practical, and it looks good. It can keep up with the demands of an urban lifestyle but is comfortable enough for hiking and traveling. It's a bag you can use with or without your dog eliminating the need for multiple backpacks.

Rocket seems very content in the K9 Rucksack. The roomy interior allows him to comfortably lie down in a "donut" shape or sit with his head sticking out the bag to take in the view.

I did put a small pad in the bottom of the bag to boost Rocket up because he isn't quite tall enough to stick his head out. I have also used a small blanket folded up, which works well, especially in the colder months!

The K9 Rucksack Dog Carrier can hold dogs up to 25 pounds, and the dimensions are 12.5" w x 9" d x 18.5" h. To give you some framework, Rocket weighs 12 pounds. He is about 18 inches long and 10 inches tall.

Additional Features

Kurgo is known for its high-quality products. Should there be a manufacturing defect, they offer a lifetime warranty and will repair or replace the product free of charge.

The Rucksack dog carrier is comfortable and stylish enough to be used without your dog.

The base of the bag has a hard shell made from waterproof Armorsole and can easily stand up on its own. The waterproof material makes it very easy to clean.

Tips For Acclimating Your Dog To The K9 Rucksack Dog Carrier Backpack

To get your dog into the bag, place the backpack on the ground, roll up the top flap, and unzip the front mesh panel. Let your dog sniff the pack and give them a treat.

Once they become comfortable around the backpack, place a treat inside the bag and let them jump into it on their own. If your dog is too small to jump into the pack or if they suffer from joint problems, lay the bag flat and let them walk in.

If your dog seems anxious, take a break and come back to it later. You don't want to force anything, or else they will associate the bag with a negative experience. Once your dog is comfortable with the bag, you can also pick them up and quickly place them inside.

The K9 Rucksack Dog Carrier is a multifunctional bag that is primarily used to carry your dog, but practical enough for an everyday backpack. The spacious design ensures your dog will be comfortable while traveling everywhere you go.

Elizabeth McGrath is the founder of Bark and Biscuits, a website that strives to make the relationship between you and your dog exceptional. Before devoting her work full-time to Bark and Biscuits, Elizabeth was a professional ballerina for 13 years. Outside of the office, you’ll find her hiking or traveling with her husband and dachshund, Rocket. Follow her adventures @rocket_the_dachshund on Instagram and visit her blog: