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Your dog loves to keep you company on day hikes, and she's even more excited if she feels like she has a job to do. Stash some treats, a collapsible bowl, and a leash or some small water bottles inside saddlebags of the Ruffwear Approach Pack and let your pooch haul her own supplies. The Approach features a harness designed for comfort and stability under light loads, and the saddlebags have a low, streamlined shape that complements your dog's balance. A padded assistance handle gives you a quick way to lift your pooch over otherwise-insurmountable obstacles, and Ruffwear's designers were careful not to include any excessive straps or attachments that might hang up in bushes or low-hanging branches. This Ruffwear dog pack comes in five different sizes so it'll fit securely on pint-sized pups or burly beasts.

  • Durable nylon material withstands season after season of running, hiking, rolling, and other dog-like activities
  • Web Master Harness uses an adjustable system of wide, synthetic webbing that feels comfortable around the chest and haunches
  • Web Master Harness and attached saddlebags were designed to provide a balanced weight distribution so your pooch will feel balanced on her feet
  • Padded Assistance Handle makes it easy to grab this pack and help your dog over large obstacles or lift her into a vehicle
  • Single-piece, v-ring leash attachment point makes it easy to secure a leash to this pack when necessary
  • Other features include stash pockets, coated zippers, and external gear loops
  • Reflective trim improves visibility at in low-light situations like dusk or dawn
  • Ruffwear recommends your dog carry no more than 25-30% of his or her body weight in the pack. If your dog is new to packs, start with a light load and slowly work up to heavier loads as he/she gets used to the extra weight.

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Here's what others have to say...

4 5

Love/Hate Relationship

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Our 90lb husky/lab/shepherd used the L/XL on hundreds of miles of trails, and it was so big, I was often tempted to pack too much into it. Tanner hated to carry his food, bed, and eventually all our trash. I loved to let him carry it. He stopped wearing it when he turned 11 and any amount of weight on his back was obviously causing him hip pain. The pack travelled through rock fields, mud, muskeg, snow, ice, loads of rain, and after years of abuse it still looks pretty good. I did have to do some re-stitching where the saddlebags attach to the harness, but that was from our dog getting himself wedged between two trees and yanking himself out. I would recommend this pack, and warn the user not to overload your precious pooch.

5 5

Mans best friend.

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Whats better than having the pup out in the woods all weekend with ya when backpacking?
Having the pup out in the woods all weekend with ya while CARRYING HIS OWN GEAR.

The pack is great. It hold a few days of food and treats, along with his bed and a sleeping fleece vest. Its also fairly waterproof....found this out after a quick jaunt into a pond to chase some birds. The straps offer plenty of adjustment and once all dialed in, its like he doesn't even know he is carrying it.

Mans best friend.
5 5

Sweeeet Pack Dawg

  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

Be careful when putting this pack on your dog as it will increase how adorable your pooch is by at least 2x. My dog is about 50lbs and I got him a Medium - It fits awesome. I would say this will fit a dog from 40-60 lbs.

Sweeeet Pack Dawg
5 5

Solid pack

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

My Brittany initially hated having the pack on, but warmed up to it rather quickly once the association between pack and hiking was made. the handle was clutch when getting into terrain where thumbs were necessary (excluding goats).

The picture was taken during a break (his water is out of the pack), thus making it lopsided, it otherwise stayed balanced.

Solid pack
5 5

My fine hound

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

My fine hound used his working 8 day shifts in the San Rafeal Swell for two years, and it lasted with the slightest speedy stich. He ducked under barbed wire daily, chased cattle, gopher, ground squirrel, snakes, Pronghorn, bird, moose, elk, cowboys on horses with guns (foolish). And it lasted, abuse after abuse. It was amazing, can't wait for its successor to show up

Responded on

Hi Ross!

Let's see a picture of this barbed wire chasin' scramblin, gopher grabbin pup!

Ruffwear Approach vs Ruffwear Palisades

A video comparison (fixed) showing the differences of the Approach and Palisades packs, as well as a couple tips on packing them.

What size should I use for a 9 1/2 lb Jack...

What size should I use for a 9 1/2 lb Jack Russell Terrier?

Responded on

Starbuck,

Your Jack Russell might be too small for even the XXS. Could you measure around the dogs chest to get the girth measurement?

Jared D.
Gearhead
800.409.4502 ext 4055

Approach Pack (Older Version)

Approach Pack (Older Version)

Works great for our dog. He seems to feel comfortable wearing it and packing his own gear. Loves having snacks at easy reach for when we take breaks from skiing, snowshoeing or hiking.

Definitely do not want to overload it and follow the instructions from Ruffwear for weight limits. We try and put less weight in it , below the recommendations to protect his back.

5 5

Tuff stuff!

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

65lb GSD Female, Size Medium - Fits perfectly.

This is a tough bag that stands up to quite a thrashing. My dog peakbags with me in some pretty remote areas. The face fabric is pretty durable and stands up to rock/brush abrasions acceptably well, since dogs aren't really aware of their increased girth and drag/rub the pack sides on just about everything. After two years of moderate use, the pack shows some wear spots, but is still completely functional and I see it serving me and my dog for at least another year or so.

The pack is large enough to hold a rather large load (volume wise), and has the support needed to distribute even a moderately heavy load across the shoulders and back of the dog. I've been able to pack enough food/supplies/supplemental water for a 3-4 day trip. The cut of the bags will push the weight over the shoulders (where it should be) if the cargo isn't stuffing the bags to the brim. Nice feature. The bags aren't "waterproof" but do well at keeping water out as long as your pooch isn't going for a swim. I'd suggest bagging or some other means to protect anything that might be sensitive to getting wet/moisture.

Quality fastening/buckles secure the load to the dog well, so the cargo isn't flopping about. A little tricky to get the pack on and off at first, but with a few uses it takes seconds.

Only real downside I've found is the exterior loops are pretty useless if your dog is active/bushwacking.

Shark's Tooth Peak

Shark's Tooth Peak

Osa's first ascent with her new pack. It performed very well and we're both happy with it.

Unanswered Question

I think the sizing chart listed on Backcountry...

I think the sizing chart listed on Backcountry may be off. The sizing chart provided on the Ruffwear Approach Pack tag states that

XXS: 13-17''
XS: 17-22''
S: 22-27''
M: 27-32''
L/XL: 32-42''

I think the sizing chart listed on Backcountry...
Brand Spankin' New

Brand Spankin' New

Just arrived and my dog is ready to explore! Awesome.

Osa is about 24'' around and a SM seems to fit well. I love the 9L capacity. Simply a beautiful pack.

4 5

Singletrak vs approach

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

I currently own the Singletrak for my 75-80 lab mutt. She enjoys wearing it much to my surprise. I chose the Singletrak due to the more accurate fit compared to the approach that she had tried before.
Pros for Singletrak;
Better fit for 32" ribs
Lower weight, better design
short hikes / trail running
Better visibility

Pros for the approach
Much better hauling options, overall pack space

If you are planning to really hit the trails the Singletrak is good for just carrying water. I will likely replace my Singletrak for an approach. Neither pack has very easy to adjust straps so get them set and forget about adjusting often.
Build quality (aside from the strap adjustments) for both packs are good to great

Singletrak vs approach
5 5

Great pack for small dog

  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

I had a very hard time finding a pack for my small dog, so I'm going to provide a little extra detail on fit hoping that it helps someone else. Evidently, people don't think that small dogs are up for adventure.

I bought this pack for my 20lb terrier mix, Sir Charles Barkley. Barkley is long bodied and short-legged, so I ordered both the XS and the XXS to try. Both bags fit well enough around the body (he's 17" around, so straps are totally extended in the XXS and totally shortened in the XS), but the XS saddle bags were hilariously large. I kept the XXS and aside from the fact he bumps into things when going around corners or peeing on walls, so far so good. I'm sure he'll learn how wide he is eventually... The back strap might be a tad too tight, but if it chafes or bothers him, I'll sew an extender in. He's been pretty good so far with a couple of tans of tuna, and we'll work up over time. The bags on the XXS are big enough for one of those little water bottle that come with boxed lunches, or enough food for 2 days. They're also big enough for a small plastic bowl, but that's about it.

An additional warning. If you walk your little dog around town in this for practice you will make slow progress because people think it's hilarious and want to talk to you about it.

my dog is 27"and weighs 38 lbs. she's a...

my dog is 27"and weighs 38 lbs. she's a medium sized dog. should I go with small or medium?

Best Answer Responded on

Hey Jordan, thanks for your question. According to the sizing chart on Ruffwear's site your dog is right at the boarder of S and M. I would suggest to go with the size M, the straps are very adjustable and will make the fit great. Here is there the link to Ruffwear's page, just click the size;
http://www.ruffwear.com/Approach-Pack-Dog-Pack

5 5

Love this

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Part harness and part pack. I got this for my puggle. Mind you he is the biggest puggle ever, so save your snickering. just follow the sizing instructions and you will be golden. I love how this has a handle on top so I can carry him when he needs assistance up some rocks. The pack is super durable and i just put a couple MSR bladders inside for hydration for the whole family. It also fits some toys treats and his collapsible doggy bowl.

Pack in the Wind Rivers

Pack in the Wind Rivers

This pack is a size Large, on my 75lb dog. It fits perfect, I would not go down a size. Holds A LOT of stuff. For our 10 day Highline trip we had 2 1/2 large Zip Lock bags full of food, a dog bowl, 10 feet of webbing, 2 biners, and 2 tennis balls. Weighed 15-20 pounds. Dogs can carry up to 40% of their weight on their back - I would never put that much in this but it's an interesting stat.