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#162886 - 02/27/12 07:30 PM Dog packs
palameto Offline
member

Registered: 01/24/12
Posts: 37
Loc: East Texas
Those of you who hike with dogs, what brand pack does your dog wear? I am thinking I may need to buy a new one, as the current one has a buckle that is right in the axillary (armpit) region, and has rubbed a raw spot on my poor pup's elbow on the last two trips. I tried to wrap a bandanna around it this last time to see if that would help, but I think it got wet and may have just been worse. We currently have the pack by Mountainsmith. It fits her well, and was cheaper than alternatives, which is why I bought it in the first place.

Anyway, I would like to hear what other packs you have used and your experience with them, particularly in regards to whether they rubbed raw spots or not. Ruffwear's Palisades pack seems to be the Cadillac of dog packs, but gosh it is expensive.

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#162889 - 02/27/12 07:58 PM Re: Dog packs [Re: palameto]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
My doggies used a Wenaha brand pack successfully for quite a few years. The securing straps on this pack avoided the armpit region pretty successfully. Could you reposition the buckle so that it would be more in the midline? Anything in that area seems like a significant design flaw.

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#162893 - 02/27/12 08:32 PM Re: Dog packs [Re: palameto]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6371
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I use the Ruffwear Palisades, but I got the older version several years ago when it was on closeout. The new version is too small for 8-10 days worth of dog food. Hysson is modeling his pack in my avatar. Actually, the pack was almost empty then--even though it doesn't look like it--because it was the last day of a week's trip.

I really like having a pack that can be detached from its supporting harness. That way I can remove the pack when we are fording streams and connect a long line to the dog's harness rather than to his collar. There don't seem to be many of these around.

Hysson's pack also has removable/washable fleece sleeves for the underbelly straps. You could, of course, make these yourself for any pack.

Here is a summary evaluation of various dog packs that looks like a good place to start. I haven't looked at it in detail, though. I haven't had to look at the dog pack market for several years because Hysson and I are very happy with his Ruffwear Palisades.

Of course it is important that the pack fit your dog, so some trying on and sending back may be necessary, just as with a human pack. You already found out about the buckle in the armpit--no way! No matter how much padding you use, it will chafe your dog!




Edited by OregonMouse (02/27/12 08:35 PM)
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#162895 - 02/27/12 08:58 PM Re: Dog packs [Re: palameto]
skcreidc Offline
member

Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
I ended up with the Kelty chuck wagon for Tica. But this was a process of elimination as my dog is extremely deep chested and only medium build. This pack has worked really well for us and she can carry 8 days of food with it with no wear marks or sores. I am not sure they make it anymore though. To be honest, really look at your dogs body type and use that to narrow down which packs will possibly fit. Then try them out on your dog. Maybe put a Tshirt on first to keep the pack clean. Good shopping!

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#162897 - 02/27/12 09:21 PM Re: Dog packs [Re: palameto]
palameto Offline
member

Registered: 01/24/12
Posts: 37
Loc: East Texas
Oldranger, it certainly seems to be a design flaw. The buckle is attached on that side to the bottom part of the pack, so it can't be moved. It doesn't seem to bother her on short hikes, it has just been on our recent two overnighters that I started to notice it causing a problem.

I remember now that we did try the Kelty Chuckwagon before I bought the Mountainsmith and my dog seemed to be in between sizes so it didn't fit very well. For her weight, she is pretty compact. I suppose it will likely be a try on and see thing. I am just having trouble justifying spending more on her pack than I spent on mine!

Edit: And thanks for the link, OM. Lots of good info there. The pack by Wolf Packs looks good because it doesn't even have the strap behind the elbows, just one bottom strap that goes behind the ribs. I wonder if it would still be stable enough like that on a short-haired dog..


Edited by palameto (02/27/12 09:39 PM)

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#162913 - 02/28/12 01:11 AM Re: Dog packs [Re: palameto]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
Could you not cut off the buckle, stitch on a strap, attach the buckle to that strap and have the buckle in a better spot? It doesn't have to look pretty.....

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#162938 - 02/28/12 12:46 PM Re: Dog packs [Re: oldranger]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6371
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
The Ruffwear Palisades does have two belly straps, but the front one doesn't bother my dog, possibly because of the fleece sleeve. The buckle is high enough not to rub his armpit or elbow.

I've heard a lot of praise of the Wolf packs. Again, though, just as with people, it really depends on how well the pack works with your dog! At least now you know what to look for! I don't think the dog's hair length has anything to do with the fit, except it's easier to determine on a shorter-haired dog.

If your Mountainsmith pack is in reasonably good shape, you can probably sell it, so it won't be a total loss.


Edited by OregonMouse (02/28/12 12:47 PM)
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#162942 - 02/28/12 12:57 PM Re: Dog packs [Re: palameto]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
I bought mine from Black Ice.
Black Ice dog sledding equipment

It fits my malamute perfectly, but they are used to dealing with mals, so that might be why. The model I have has a remove-able pack that removes and attaches just like the palisades.

The main reason I bought from them was that they had the harness I wanted, and I decided to throw in the pack because it is cheaper than the palisades. The problem is that you don't really know what it looks like until you get it in the mail.

I will say that it is nice to be able to just grab the pack off her when we stream cross, or go through thick brush etc. and then put it on again without having to put all the straps back on.


Edited by finallyME (02/28/12 01:00 PM)
_________________________
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

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#162971 - 02/28/12 06:40 PM Re: Dog packs [Re: finallyME]
immortal.ben Offline
member

Registered: 09/10/11
Posts: 91
Loc: Arizona
My pup rucks the Ruff Wear Approach and am looking for a larger pack for our more extended adventures.
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Life is a verb.

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