Off the Shelf
The Utah-based folks behind the K9 Sport Sack say they wanted to create a dog carrier backpack so they could tote their best friend along for every adventure, from hiking and biking to motorcycle rides and shopping.
Bay Woof tested the K9 Sport Sack AIR ($79.95), a sturdy, forward-facing backpack carrier that allows your furry friend to stand snuggled against your back on a thick foam pad (3-inch Booster Blocks are available, too). Your pup puts his arms through slotted armholes, resting his paws on your shoulders or thereabouts, and perches via his hind legs on the rest pad once he is zipped in and slung on your back. The stylish, well-made cordura is most akin to canvas and has mesh sides (for ventilation) as well as side pockets to hold treats and a water bottle. The padded, ventilated shoulder straps are adjustable, and the chest strap is, too. There are adjustable side straps on the outside of the pack to secure your dog to prevent any side-to-side flopping around.
The packs, measured from collar to butt (or floor) with the dog in a “begging position,” come in extra small (10-13 inches), small (14-17 inches), medium (17-20 inches), and large (20- 23 inches). They are available in black, red, blue, and gray.
The Bay Woof test dog, Memphis, a 13-pound Pomeranian, was chill in the red-and-black pack when we sported him around downtown. He seemed to like being up high and having a birds’-eye view of what was going on around him and seeing things from the same vantage point as his humans. He couldn’t slump over, and he only wiggled around when his mom was out of sight for too long. The attention we attracted was a kick.
The pack arrived without instructions, so the first attempt to put Memphis in involved sort of stuffing him into the pack, a two-person job, especially when it was time to put on the pack. He is a very agreeable sport, so he didn’t mind the two of us pushing, pulling, and fidgeting to get the fit right. Later, I tried laying the bag flat and having him step into it, and that worked OK. Eventually, I watched the video on K9SportSack.com about how to get your dog in the pack (which suggests three methods), and I have gotten much better with the loading and unloading. Still, I like having another party secure the dog once the pack is on, although that is a step you can do before putting the pack on.
As for the fit, the pack seemed to carry Memphis a little low, so maybe he would benefit from an added Booster Block. Even though he is a little guy, his 13 pounds seemed heavy, and I would describe myself as being fairly fit. Overall, the backpack was comfortable for me, and Memphis was happy.
Would I bike, paddle, snowboard, climb, or ski with him in the pack? In other words, do something super active? Probably not, though plenty would be entirely comfortable with that. Hike, grocery shop, or stroll around? Absolutely.
This is one product I think I’ll use a lot.
Main article photo by: Stephen Buel