An Honest Review of an $85 Doggie Backpack

Should you buy this backpack? We did, and here’s what we think.

My fiancé, Emanuel, and I recently set up our wedding registry. It’s mostly filled with practical items that we know we’ll use a lot, like knives and cutting boards. But there are a couple of less obviously useful outliers, like an expensive doggie backpack that we may or may not have added to the list after drinking too much wine before dinner. And now we own said backpack, because one of our friends bought it for us before we sobered up.

“What’s a doggie backpack?” you ask. Well, it’s not a tiny satchel made for dogs to wear to obedience school. (Though that actually sounds amazing.) It’s a rugged nylon backpack made for humans to wear on camping and hiking trips. And it comes with little dog-sized leg-holes and a head-hole. So, if your dog got tired of walking, you could theoretically coax him into the backpack and hoist him onto your shoulders. And he could theoretically sit there, enjoying the beauty of nature, while you continued to hike.

“Does it work?” you ask. “And should I drunkenly buy one too?” The answer to both of those questions is no. Absolutely not.

While our dog, Remus, technically fits inside the backpack, he seems to prefer being basically anywhere else. It takes us several minutes (and many, many treats) to convince him to get into it at all. And once he’s in, he starts trying to climb out of the head-hole, up onto our shoulders and into our hair. We’ve learned he’s very good at climbing.

So that’s something, I guess. Busting out of the backpack and climbing onto our heads does seem to be good exercise for him. And when we frantically squat down to prevent him from falling, we get a bit of a workout too. But, in hindsight, I wish we’d just stuck to walks in the park.


This story is part of Milwaukee Magazine‘s July issue.

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Lindsey Anderson covers culture for Milwaukee Magazine. Before joining the MilMag team she worked as an editor at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and wrote freelance articles for ArtSlant and Eater.