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10 Reasons Why I Love the Outward Hound Backpack Pet Carrier

My long-haired chihuahua goes everywhere with me, but long walks can be hard on him. That's where the Outward Hound comes in!

Gizmo, my long-haired Chihuahua, loves going for strolls in his Outward Hound Backpack Carrier.

Gizmo, my long-haired Chihuahua, loves going for strolls in his Outward Hound Backpack Carrier.

Dog Backpack Carriers

If you're looking for a small-breed, backpack-style pet tote, I would recommend the Outward Hound Backpack Pet Carrier. My dog, Gizmo, is a longer-haired chihuahua, and I take him everywhere in it! In this article, I outline the 10 reasons why Gizmo and I think this is a great product.

1. It's The Perfect Size for Toting My Chihuahua

The Outward Hound Backpack Pet Carrier for dogs is perfect for carrying Gizmo, my little six-pound, long-haired Chihuahua, on family outings and long walks.

This carrying bag for dogs allows my family the freedom to enjoy the outdoors with our little dog, keeping him safe and secure when necessary, while giving him a little personal space of his own when he needs it.

2. It's Well-Worth the Price

These backpack carriers are reasonably priced (around $r0) in the larger pet stores and on Amazon. They are well worth the investment. I have owned my carrier for just over three years, and it is still in great condition. These soft, frameless backpack pet carriers are made from a durable nylon material with tough stitching and padded shoulder straps for maximum comfort and are designed for dogs weighing up to 20 pounds.

The Outward Hound Backpack Pet Carrier That We Own and Love

The Outward Hound Backpack Pet Carrier That We Own and Love

3. I Can Carry Gizmo Hands-Free

This is a biggie for me! Being able to carry Gizmo on my back during outdoor events leaves my hands free to juggle a load of bags, coats, cameras, water bottles and what-have-you that my kids pile on me that I am inevitably stuck carrying for the rest of the day.

4. Gizmo Feels Safe, so I Feel Safe

It can be a little overwhelming for Gizmo and myself when we are around a lot of other people or unrestrained dogs. He feels much safer and relaxed when he is zipped closed into his backpack when we are in crowds of people. He is free to observe all the hustle and bustle from the safety of his own personal space. Gizmo attracts a lot of attention from kids and dog lovers because he is just sooo darn cute and soft, and while most people ask to pet him, there are some that don't, especially small children, which in turn, makes me and Gizmo very 'nervous nellies'.

5. It Keeps Gizmo Safe From Wildlife

I love going on long walks through the gorgeous hiking trails in my hometown, but before, I was always hesitant about allowing Gizmo to walk alongside me because it is not uncommon to cross paths with a black bear or cougar. Mountain lions, and even hawks, have been known to snatch small pets right from their owners' hands or the leash! Using the backpack carrier on my wilderness walks gives me great peace of mind knowing that Gizmo is tucked safely inside the bag. I usually zip the sides of the mesh flap up, leaving only a small opening for him to poke his head out.

6. Gizmo Can Rest and Re-Energize When He Gets Tuckered Out

Gizmo only weighs 6 pounds and doesn't have the stamina or energy to go for very long walks. He tuckers out and needs refueling after about an hour of walking and playing, less when it is warm out. When he tires out, he will just sit down, refusing to move, and expects to be carried the rest of the way home! I bring the backpack, packed with plenty of food and water, with me on my longer walks. Gizmo gets the best of both worlds...he gets to walk and ride!

7. It Helps Gizmo Mind His Manners Around Other Dogs

While Gizmo does great meeting and greeting other pint-sized dogs, he turns into a vicious ankle-biter when he encounters a larger breed of dog, especially if they are unrestrained. When he is in his backpack, he does not bark and remains calm and relaxed when there are other pups around. And so far, no other dog has bothered him while he is in the bag.

8. Gizmo Can Come Camping and Hiking With Us

I love camping and hiking in the beautiful National Parks of BC and Alberta with my kids, and the backpack pet carrier allows us to take Gizmo with us too! The soft, non-rigid pet carrier folds up flat and takes up very little space at the bottom of your bag, making it extremely convenient for traveling with your pet. He even sleeps tucked safely away in his bag when we are tenting it outdoors or staying at friends' or relatives' houses.

9. It Makes It Possible to Include Gizmo in Almost Everything We Do

I take Gizmo with me almost everywhere I go because he is just as much a member of my family as my own kids are and it sometimes seems he requires just as much care and attention as an infant. I am lucky enough to work from home and I have one child that is homeschooled, so he rarely gets left alone. The only place he doesn't get to come is the grocery store or mall.

10. It Has Helped Me Master My Own Fear of Dogs

Gizmo is the first dog I have ever owned as an adult which is a big step in the right direction for me in overcoming my fear of dogs. Taking Gizmo for a walk through the community is not a very enjoyable experience for me because of my own fear of encountering dogs that are not on their leash and/or are not accompanied by their owner and I am always on guard, looking over my shoulder. I can tuck Gizmo safely inside the bag and enjoy my evening stroll while listening to tunes worry-free. I let him out to play and run around at the ball field before I head home for the night.

Awesome Features of the Outward Hound Backpack Pet Carrier

This backpack is no joke. The design is well thought out, and every feature has a purpose. Here are my favorites.

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The bag has breathable mesh for good air circulation and visibilty.

The bag has breathable mesh for good air circulation and visibilty.

Breathable, See-Through Mesh

The bag has see-through, breathable mesh on all three sides, giving your pet a bird's eye view of everything going on around them. You can unzip, roll back and secure the mesh cover with a plastic clip to give your pooch a view.

The cover can be left open or zipped up.

The cover can be left open or zipped up.

Fastening Clip

Fasten your dog into the backpack using the elasticized plastic clip to their collar or harness so they cannot jump or fall out.

Note: I find that I need to attach a couple of small carabiners to the clip in order to hook it comfortably to my dog's harness because it sits quite high up on the bag. I prefer using a step-in harness instead of a collar on Gizmo because he is so small and delicate, but even when he wears a collar, it still pulls too much on his neck when he sinks down into the bag. Extending the clip with carabiners solved this problem.

The backpack has shoulder and waist straps for great support.

The backpack has shoulder and waist straps for great support.

Chest and Waist Straps

The chest and waist straps take the weight off your shoulders and back and it reduces the bounce and jiggle effect on your dog when you are walking.

The backpack has double zippers for easy manageability.

The backpack has double zippers for easy manageability.

Double Zippers

It has double zippers for easy opening and closing. I like to secure the zippers together with a carabiner so my dog does not use his nose to wiggle the zippers apart.

High-Visibility Reflective Strips

The pet carrier bag has reflective strips for extra visibility in low light conditions across the front and down the shoulder straps.

It contains one large, deep pocket on the front.

It contains one large, deep pocket on the front.

Deep Front Pocket

It has a deep front pocket which is roomy enough for a water bottle, a sweater, a handful of treats, poop bags, and a leash.

It has a small side pocket for carrying money and keys.

It has a small side pocket for carrying money and keys.

Mesh Zipper Pocket

This side pocket has a mesh zippered change purse for holding your money and driver's license as well as a couple of pen pockets and a plastic clip for securing your keys.

A second small side pocket for carrying your phone, wallet or other valuables.

A second small side pocket for carrying your phone, wallet or other valuables.

Zippered Pouch

The second side pocket has an inside zippered pouch for your wallet or valuables with plenty of extra room for a digital camera, your phone or iPod.

Removable Cushion

The bag has a removable cushion that is secured by three strips of velcro which can be wiped clean with a wet cloth.

Note: I find that the nylon material of the pillow is a bit slippery for my little Chihuahua, so my daughter and her friend made a little non-sew pillow for him from one of her old t-shirts. The pillow works great because it gives him better traction and extra padding, raises him up a little higher and absorbs all of the dirt from Gizmo's little feet, which can then be tossed into the washer for easy clean-up.

Gizmo Enjoying a Tasty Treat on Our Afternoon Walk

Gizmo Enjoying a Tasty Treat on Our Afternoon Walk

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2013 Corrinna Johnson


Miguel on August 09, 2015:

Hey Corrina ,

Thanks for sharing this . . .

I have a 7lb female PugPoodle named ChaCha. I ride a bicycle for transportation and purchased an Easy Access Zippered Top and Bottom Backpack Pet Carrier with Mesh Windows 1.5 years ago to take her with me. You can see her and the bag in the first 2 seconds of this video

I am looking to get a bag with similar features but more durable . . . It looks like your bag has those attributes. I noticed they have various models 21006, 21007, 21008 and 9, but they just look like varying colors of the same bag, what do you think?

Corrinna Johnson (author) from BC, Canada on September 23, 2014:

@groovyfind I bet that he/she would! I have started using it with my other little Chihuahua and she is loving it too!

Corrinna Johnson (author) from BC, Canada on September 23, 2014:

Thanks Cheryl! The backpack has been one of the best investments I have made and makes it so much easier to include Gizmo in everything we do as a family, while still keeping him safe and secure.

Corrinna Johnson (author) from BC, Canada on September 23, 2014:

Thank you Margaret! We have a Great Dane that lives next door and she is such a gentle giant. I couldn't imagine carrying her around much past a couple of months old though, lol.

Samantha Lynn from Missouri on September 22, 2014:

My Chi would Love this!

CherylsArt on September 22, 2014:

Gizmo is one lucky dog. A backpack with a view and a home made cushion for his tush. He's got it made.

Margaret Schindel from Massachusetts on September 22, 2014:

Corrinna, I no longer have a dog and the ones we've been lucky enough to have in the past were all Great Danes, so carrying them even when they were puppies was out of the question. ;) But I have a friend who just acquired a small dog and I will share this wonderful review with her. Love your detailed explanations of the features and benefits and the many photos.

TerriCarr on May 20, 2014:

Your puppy is soooooo cute!

Jackowacko LM on November 14, 2013:

I have a retriever; too big for this bag. That's a shame. I love the idea though.

But I saw a few other items that got my attention. Good info.

Chi-TownChica on October 23, 2013:

My Zorro is a long haired chihuahua too and a great traveler. I have several mobile carriers and have tried a slew of day carriers for him but we have yet to find that one we just love. This looks great for him though and I am planning a long hiking trip overseas that I was worried I would not be able to take him with, but I think we can make this work for the both of us!

ChristyZ on July 23, 2013:

I want the backpack and a small dog to go in it! This is so cute, it's just like carrying around a baby:) My dog is 114 pounds so I won't be carrying him around anytime soon, but I really love these backpacks for people who have small dogs. Great photos of you and Gizmo!

writerkath on June 24, 2013:

Ab-Fab lens Corrinna! I LOVE what you did - it's incredibly personal, and little Gizmo is beyond adorable! I don't even HAVE a dog and I want one of these! I'll bet you sell a bunch of these - On those Youtube videos - YOU can make a quick one, and point to this page! Too cute! AND congrats on that Purple Star!!

lesliesinclair on June 24, 2013:

I like your knack for describing this find and the ways you guys use it to keep close in the outdoors. Not a small dog aficionado, I can only enjoy this product from afar, but I enjoy everything about this lens.

Kim from Yonkers, NY on June 24, 2013:

Gizmo is so cute! (Once knew a cat named that) not sure how i feel about the pack, as I'd be nervouse be it a dog or cat leaving that open. Wish there was still an Angelblessing prgram. This deserves it

LoriBeninger on June 24, 2013:

I don't have a small dog, but I'm a member of Pack (a website dedicated to people who love their dogs) and I passed your lens onto the Chihuahua Pack Leader (and the Pack Leaders of other small dogs). This was great.

anitabreeze on June 24, 2013:

I agree with nancy carol, any excuse to see Gizmo. But I do think this would be good for Pippi.

gottaloveit2 on June 24, 2013:

This is SO funny! I just went to Arizona for a month and took MY Gizmo - she's a 7 lb mixed something breed. Since I wanted to hike in the dessert and that means thorns, I bought a front carrying pack for her. It's the best thing since sliced bread! Love these carry packs for small dogs. BTW, your Gizmo is stunningly gorgeous - mine? Well, let's just say she's sweet....

Erin Mellor from Europe on June 24, 2013:

Gizmo is impossibly cute, and that carrier gives dogs a lot more dignity than the dog-purse type carriers. I always think dogs look embarrassed to be in those (if dogs can look embarrassed), but this one looks far more comfortable and practical.

Corrinna Johnson (author) from BC, Canada on June 23, 2013:

@Nancy Hardin: Thank you Nancy! That is very sweet of you and I most certainly will!

Nancy Carol Brown Hardin from Las Vegas, NV on June 23, 2013:

Well of course, the bag is nice, but I mainly came to visit Gizmo again. Such a cute little guy, and the two of you are lucky to have each other. Give him a hug for me and tell him there's another lady somewhere who thinks he's just a little doll! Great lens!

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