Ruffwear Approach Dog Pack


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The Ruffwear Approach Dog Pack was designed to be an everyday pack with excellent performance, fit and functionality. Comfort-fit Web Master™ Harness frame ensures good structure, stability, and load dispersion. The five-point adjustable fit accommodates dogs of all shapes and sizes. Good for one-hour to three-day hikes. The Approach Pack gives your dog a load to carry and a job to do, generating instant four-legged motivation, but please make sure you never give your pooch more than 25-30% of their own body weight to carry. If your furry friend is new to packs, start with an empty pack or a light load and add a little more weight at a time as your dog gets used to it.


  • Attached saddlebags with lightweight streamlined, go-fast shape
  • Weight-forward saddlebag design for ideal load-carrying position
  • Trail-savvy details like coated zippers, high-visibility reflective trim, external gear loops, and durable construction
  • Comfort-fit Web Master™ Harness frame ensures good structure, stability, and load dispersion
  • Five-point adjustable fit and extended size range to accommodate dogs of all sizes
  • Made in Philippines
  • Dog's girth (measurement around widest part of rib cage): 12-19 in, 30-48 cm (XXS); 17-24 in, 43-61 cm (XS); 21-30 in, 53-76 cm (S); 26-36 in, 66-91 cm (M); 32-48 in, 81-122 cm (L)
  • Pack volume: 122 cu in, 2 liters (XXS); 305 cu in, 5 liters (XS); 549 cu in, 9 liters (S); 732 cu in, 12 liters (M); 976 cu in, 16 liters (L)

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Review Summary

4.8 out of 5

111 Reviews

  • Lasts forever: 6
  • Build quality: 29
  • Great design: 25
  • Ease of use: 24

  • Cost: 7
  • Bad design: 2
  • easily avoidable design flaws on the clips: 1
  • i only have one pack and two dogs: 1
Quality: 4.9 / 5
Durability: 4.7 / 5
Fit: 3.5 / 5

111 Ratings & Reviews

Durability: 5 / 5
Quality: 5 / 5
from Minnesota
18-24 yrs

Approach Pack
November 16, 2010

I absolutely love the Approach Pack I got my dog! It puts him in a working mind on walks and drains his energy. I recommend this to everyone!

Pros: Great design, Build quality, Lasts forever, Performance, Ease of use, Great value, Cons: Cost
Durability: 5 / 5
Quality: 5 / 5
35-44 yrs

Solid Product
November 22, 2010

I bought two of these packs. They are very well made. They are well padded, easy to adjust, and super durable. Well worth the cost.

Pros: Great design, Build quality, Performance, Ease of use
Durability: 4 / 5
Quality: 4 / 5
FitClothes: 4 / 5
from Ambler, PA
18-24 yrs

Awkward Fit
November 28, 2010

I was excited about this product but overall for the price I am disappointed. The quality is good, and the small size was the right fit, but the design is not the best. The pockets are oddly shaped and do not distribute weight comfortably for my 55 pound Boxador, as a result he does not like having it put on or wearing it there after. It is also unnecessarily bulky, I think a more sleek design would be more comfortable for any dog.

Pros: Build quality, Cons: Cost, Bad design, Low performance
Durability: 5 / 5
Quality: 5 / 5
from Colorado
55-64 yrs

Versatile and good quality
July 21, 2011

This pack will fit all my dogs and they vary in size from 50 lbs to 75 lbs. It is great quality and will carry a reasonable amount of supplies. I purchased two 1 litter platypus bottles since one of the main reasons for getting the pack is to hike/run where water is scarce. There is enough room for food - depending on what one would take. I think I would purchase freeze dried patties since carrying kibble would be pretty bulky. Of course, water is important with freeze dried food. It is nice looking too and easy to get on.

Durability: 5 / 5
Quality: 5 / 5
from Massachusetts
25-34 yrs

Great Product
September 24, 2010

It is so refreshing to buy a product and have the quality be top notch and the product function as desired. Great product, fits perfect, the pockets are nice and big and my dog doesn't seem to mind wearing it. Would very highly recommend this product.

Pros: Great design, Build quality, Performance

Great Dog Pack
January 20, 2010

The best dog pack I have used! The construction is excellent and it fits very well. Note to anyone who is buying one for a SBT or other small but stocky dog, the XXS fits my 25 lb girl great except the straps were too short for her chest and neck, after lengthening them though it fits perfect.

Excellent saddle bag
December 30, 2009

This is a great pack. The S size is a good, snug fit on my 74 lb female bloodhound (she's pretty trim; any larger and she would've been better off with the M). The bag is very stable, with minimal side-to-side motion. I haven't put more than a few pounds of gear in them, but with the stuff I have loaded, the size and positioning of the bags works well. As a comparable, I purchased a different saddle bag from PetSmart before I got the Approach Dog Pack. The old bag literally fell apart after 8 months of use, despite never holding more than a few pounds worth of water bottles.

Pack #2 and lovin it!
January 25, 2010

I bought a second pack for my other dog - mainly for training her and it has been wonderful. The changes this year make the pack more usable and it slips less than last year's pack. Would recommend this product to anyone. Service from Altrec was great as usual.

Very good purchase
January 24, 2010

Excellent pack...very durable able to withstand hours in the field up against thorns, sticks, water, rock the my 40 lbs wirehair pointer encounters (got the small). Depending on the load there is a bit of rub from the straps under the frnt legs, not a lot of adjustment to correct. A very good pack...

Perfect Pack!
January 26, 2010

I got this pack to make my 9 month old Pit Bull more focused on our walks. And that's exactly what it does! It definitely makes him feel more important or like he's doing a "job" instead of randomly walking around our neighborhood. We've had it for a couple weeks and I don't even have to tell him to sit anymore. As soon as he sees his pack his eyes get huge and he immediately sits down and puffs his chest out! Hahah. I put a water bottle in each side for weight and since the packs sit higher on his shoulders instead of his sides, he barely notices it. WE LOVE THIS PACK!!!

Just what I needed!
October 19, 2009

Perfect fit, perfect construction, perfect sized pouches, perfect padding for my 90 lb. lab. He proudly carries his water, leashes, whatever I ask and it is perfectly comfortable. The only negative? That I didn't buy it sooner.

Durability: 5 / 5
Quality: 5 / 5
FitClothes: 3 / 5

sturdy pack for superhero dogs
September 23, 2010

I got the XXS pack for my 12-lb chihuahua mix. She's been wearing it for every walk for the past week or two, and it is miles beyond the fit and quality of the last pack I had. I took her out for several hours in the city one day and people commented that she looked like a miniature superhero! People (including me and my fiance) think it is the cutest thing to see a little dog proudly wearing her own backpack. Sizing/Fit: The saddle bags themselves are a little big for my dog, but bulking them up with light stuff like plastic bags helps them stay snug to her body. The front triangle of straps is tightened as far as possible, and then I even pulled the seam through the one on the bottom. My dog has a short but barrel shaped chest, so the first strap around her is at the maximum length. I think all the straps could use a bit more adjustability, but overall it fits her quite well. Usability: Even on the XXS, the bags are big enough to carry several days worth of food, treats, bags, and even my keys and cell phone if I want. I could probably fit 6lbs of stuff in both sides - not that I would ever put that on my tiny dog - my point is that the pack designed to be big enough to carry whatever you might want. Putting the harness on my dog is not the easiest thing, for one reason only: the front strap that goes under her belly has the clip way too high up and the strap has to be fed through the underside of the pack on the right side. With the pack filled, it is bulky and kind of annoying to feed the strap through. This is a relatively minor problem, and the only major design flaw that I can see so far. I also love that this is built on a superb harness with two straps under the belly and what looks like a chest emblem holding three straps together in the front. This does mean that it takes a little more time and effort to put it on my dog. The straps that go under the belly look and feel very comfy. Durability: My dog is not the kind of dog to run through the bushes with a bulky pack on her, but she has scraped it against a tree or two, and the materials is barely scratched. The canvas feels very tough and the zippers are all covered with rubber to provide a very water resistant seal. The clips and straps seem to be made of equally strong materials, and this bag seems like it will last a long time. The full price of this pack seems a little steep, but it is totally worth it. I happened to get this on sale, but I've been using saddle bags on my dog every day, and I would have paid full price to have one that has an ergonomic fit and is made of quality materials. Giving four stars because of the annoying design of the front under belly strap - even though I am getting used to it, this easily could have been avoided by putting the clip lower and having it already attached to the pack on that side. NOTE: if you have a dog that will fit S, M or L, I would suggest the Ruffwear Palisades pack - it is nearly identical to this one: it is built on the same "Webmaster" harness, BUT it features removable bags, so you can use it just as a harness. That's what I really wanted, but they don't make them small enough.

Pros: Great design, Build quality, Performance

My dog loves this!
April 12, 2010

I have a 65lb lab mix and got the medium. He loves it and is so proud when he's leading the way and doing a job for me on our short hikes. I think it has made him more focused when walking and helps for sure when he can carry the water, doggie bags, treats, phone and keys. He puts his head forward through the straps when he sees me with it and can run full force without it moving or falling off. Nicely padded and well made. No chaffing or redness on his skin when I take it off. A+

My dog loves it!!!!!
February 05, 2010

After much research I decided to go with the Ruff Wear Approach Dog Pack,and I am very glad I did. I bought a M which fits my 75lb Golden Retriever perfectly. It fits her very nicely and she had no problems getting used to it. The pack stays secure and doesn't tilt to one side or the other...she loves putting her pack on cause that means time for a big walk..Once again,very happy with the pack!

Great, sturdy pack that fits well
August 22, 2010

We have used this pack on our 20 lb. dog several times and it fits well even after miles of hiking. It is build sturdy, so when our dog pulled it through brushes when we hiked cross-country it did just fine. I like it also that it does not seem to move when the dog shakes his entire body. Make sure you put equal weight into both sides and you are ready for your trip.

fits well, works good, looks good
February 09, 2010

Easily adjustable to fit both of my dogs, ~50 & 60 lbs. Durable materials, well designed, looks great. Neither show any signs of discomfort when carrying a load of about 10lbs at a walk or run. I will definitely be buying a second one so they both can do their 'job' on our walks.

Durability: 5 / 5
Quality: 5 / 5

from Michigan
Under 18 yrs

Awesome Pack
January 22, 2011

Works great for my hiking buddy. Would like to see how long it takes for her to wear it out. Nice padding and great fit. She loves it when it's on and feels like she is "on dudy"

Pros: Great design, Ease of use, Cons: Cost

great dog pack
January 19, 2010

great pack....stays on,fits well, and is very sleek

Great pack
January 09, 2010

The M size fits my 65 lb Pittie perfectly. Well made and nicely padded so it will not rub.

great choice
December 05, 2009

I love the quality, style, and price. I purchased the xxs for my 10 lb dog and it was a great fit and he loves it too!

August 12, 2010

We bought this pack (BLUE) for one of our Rat Terriers (18lbs) and it really fits wonderfully. I did have to add to the chest strap as she is 19 exactly and it didn't give her enough breathing room. Other than that - it is well padded and fits great. She took to it as soon as it was put on. She carries all the treats for her and our other RT for our hikes. We went on our first 4hr hike over really rough AZ desert/forest and she had no rubs or soreness. We are really happy with this pack.

It is great!!
December 28, 2009

My dog loves it.

Well Made Pack
February 17, 2010

Very attractive, well constructed dog pack. Solid and sturdy - I believe this pack will take the wear and tear of daily use in the city and out on the trails quite well. I ordered the small for my 50 lb pointer. Fits well - the packs themselves are quite large for my dogs small frame. I just pinned up the underside with a few safety pins and the size seems to fit better because of that. I plan to order a second pack for my other dog!

Durability: 5 / 5
Quality: 5 / 5
FitClothes: 3 / 5

25-34 yrs

Ruffwear Approach Backpack
April 20, 2012

We bought the Approach backpack for our small, 15-pound Rat Terrier because my husband and I love to backpack and hike/camp, so we thought this would be a great way for him to join in on the fun and give him the task of carrying his own food! We rescued him from a nearby shelter, and he came to us with many behavioral issues (fear, anxiety), so we bought him a backpack for that reason too since we researched that backpacks can help dogs with anxiety. We bought the XS at first, but it was still very large on him. He has a little body with long legs, so the packs on the side were very large. I exchanged the XS for the XXS and it fits much better! The front straps are a little tight around his girth, but I'm hoping to just buy a strap extender/clip to fix that problem. The quality of the backpack is top rate. My husband and I are devoted Osprey backpack fans and this backpack is right up there in regards to amenities - waterproof zippers, padding on straps, thick fabric, etc. It is made just like a human backpacking backpack. We have not had a chance to take him out onto the trails yet, but he wears it on his daily walks and it does not cause any problems with walking or running! Super excited about this product, and would recommend it to anyone who wants to get a high quality backpack for their dog! We've had many positive compliments on it!

Pros: Great design, Build quality, Ease of use, color, waterproof
Durability: 4 / 5
Quality: 5 / 5
FitClothes: 4 / 5
from Phoenix, AZ
25-34 yrs

The best dog pack my pup loves it!
December 27, 2010

The pack fits great. The sizes are one size larger than you would think. My dog is 45lbs medium size australian cattle dog and he wears a small! It fits great and looks sharp and sporty. He matches our high end hiking gear. The Y strap configuration is the most comfortable and ergonomic for our four legged friend. The Y strap holds the weight in place over his front sholders. He loves packing his own gear. Dogs love the responsibility and this is great quality gear. The pack is a harness with a handle so if I needed to lift the dog up, we could comfortably and safely, which is pretty cool. The colors are very athletic stylish with thin reflective strips for visibility. I love this pack, our dog diggs it, it's cool and safe. This is my first ruff wear product and will definitely not be the last. Highly recommended.

Pros: Great design, Build quality, Ease of use, Great value
Durability: 4 / 5
Quality: 5 / 5

from Atlanta
45-54 yrs

Need longer legs
October 12, 2010

My Cattle Dog is a short and squatty sort of Blue Heeler. My first pick was the Ruff Wear Palisades pack but the packs were way too big, were practically the length of her body and hung down below her knees. The Palisades doesn't come in a xsmall so I decided to try the Approach pack to see if an Xsmall would have packs that would fit my short dog. Unfortunately, the packs in the xsmall are way too large also. The length was perfect for her torso but the volume was rediculously big. I would think that Ruff Wear would have made the packs a whole lot smaller to match the xsmall harness size. So, if your pup has short legs than in my opinion the packs are too big. It would have been nice if Ruff Wear made the pack with straps to reduce the volume in the pack and to keep the contents from bouncing and shifting. Like they did with the Palisades. Anyway, just my opinion.

Pros: Build quality, Ease of use, Cons: Cost, Bad design

Practical Pack!
January 05, 2010

My dog is 13.5" at the withers, and weighs 13 lbs, and fit into the XXS. The size chart is slightly misleading, as there is no way that this pack would fit a dog with a 19" girth. His is 17", and just barely fits. I load his pockets with rocks on non-working days to give him the extra push, and it works great. He's never worn anything other than a collar in his life, did not seem to even feel it when I loaded the pack on to him. Balancing the packs on a small dog takes a bit touchy, and has to be really close in weight to not slide. It does it's job though, and I don't see any weaknesses in construction.

Great Dog Pack
January 22, 2010

I bought this backpack for my Shar Pei who weighs 35lbs. I already had one for my 55lb Shar Pei. I love this pack! It gives great support, sits high on their shoulders so that the weight is not on the center of the back. The harness is great I can easily use the handle to help my dogs over logs or up steep terrain. Just make sure you measure your dog and use the scale that they give because both my dogs wear a small. Only downfall is that the saddlebags do not come off but for our use for over-nighters or just for walks in the neighborhood to burn some energy it is great!

October 05, 2009

Love this product. It is well designed, great quality, and very practical and comfortable for my dog. I have tried cheaper pet store packs but always had issues with them. This one is a little pricey but a very worthwhile investment. I put small weights in each side for my high energy boxer and it works great. I will be purchasing another pack for my other dog. Only suggestion I have is to offer more color choices.

Wonderful dog pack!
January 25, 2010

I found it easy to adjust; and the medium fit my 68 pound Siberian Husky well. The straps do tend to slip a little, but I just tied them and it worked well. We used it for snow shoeing and the inside stayed dry.


May 05, 2010

I got the medium for my 65lb German Shepherd mix and it fits nicely. My dog has a very narrow waist and deep chest and I tried a friend's small on him as well and was able to size that to fit as well

Lots of fun
March 22, 2010

I bought the small for my 50 lb hound mix. It fit PERFECTLY! He also took to it instantly. He needed no time to get use to it, and was ready for us to fill it up. He was always crazy on walks and always tried to pull our arms off, but with the backpack filled, he walked with us and seemed to enjoy the walk more! I would recommend this to everyone that has a high energy dog.

Great pack
May 14, 2010

Awesome pack. Dog loves it and so do I. Great site to buy from as well. Fast shipment. Will do business again

Durability: 5 / 5
Quality: 5 / 5
from Maine
45-54 yrs

XXS Approach pack
June 23, 2011

we purchased this pack for our 15 pound Shih Tzu who hikes with us each weekend in the White mountains. He has been wearing the Ruffwear harness for 2 years now and we were pleased that this fits just like the harness. We love the harness but thought a small pack so he could carry his own treats would be nice. The side pouches of this pack are a little larger than I expected. Each side can hold a 12 ounce can with room to spare. I was worried it might be too bulky for him. We were pleased after our first weekend of hiking with it. He managed this pack without any problems, of course we kept the load light (treats only). He was a hit on the trails. No one expected to see a small dog like him carrying his own load. We love Ruffwear gear, fits great and very durable. His harness has been worn for over 50 hikes and it is still in great condition.

Pros: Great design, Build quality, Lasts forever, Cons: Cost
Durability: 5 / 5
Quality: 5 / 5

25-34 yrs

Would not use any other pack!!!
April 09, 2012

Ruffwear makes the best dog packs! I have tried a couple of other brands of packs over the years for my jack russell and the ruffwear packs are simply the best. They are durable beyond belief...even jack russell proof! unlike other packs, the Ruffwear Approach doesn't slide or shift while the dog is wearing it. The second strap around the belly is a must. My dog never seems to even know that he is wearing the pack even with a relatively heavy load. The pack sits just right, putting the weight over the dogs shoulder and not on his back. I have used other product made by ruffwear and when it comes to my dogs, they get the best and the best is ruffwear!

Pros: Great design, Build quality, Lasts forever, Performance, Ease of use, Great value
from NW USA
55-64 yrs

Great dog pack
November 04, 2010

Am using size small, as a training tool for my 37# hyper mini- Aussie-put 1# wt in ea side and off we go. Recommended by the dog trainer. It is now Daisy's "job". It looks good, is durable, very functional, and has withstood her trying to chew on it as I put it on! Kind of pricey but worth it.

Pros: Build quality, Performance, Ease of use, nice looking
Durability: 5 / 5
Quality: 5 / 5

well built
November 24, 2010

This pack is definitely built with usability and your dog's comfort in mind. I have not found a better built pack for my backpacking and hunting dog (yellow lab). She is tall but very lean for a lab (also my running partner). I was torn between ordering a medium or a large. I went with the medium because she is on the lean side. She weighs 63 lbs. The chest fit was full but the waist strap was almost too big. The large would have been too much. Our last time out she crashed through a lot of heavy brush. The pack held up great and stayed centered well. If I had to make a negative comment it would be that you have to check the pack often for stickers and burrs. The straps are very soft but pick up a lot of debris. Usually when hunting I don't have the pack on her. When doing general backpacking this is not an issue.

Pros: Great design, Build quality, Performance, Ease of use
Durability: 4 / 5
Quality: 5 / 5
FitClothes: 3 / 5
from Tuscaloosa, Alabama
25-34 yrs

Great Buy!
March 20, 2011

I bought this pack for my two year old Lab. After using the pack this past week while hiking in western North Carolina, I felt I had to share how impressed I was with the product. The pack offered enough room for her bowl, treats, small first aid kit, tennis ball, and three days worth of food. The pack fit her nicely, the measurements on the site were accurate. While we were on the trai,l I did have to stop from time to time to tighten the straps in order to keep it centered on her back but this was to be expected with my dog. She is full of energy and she took no mercy on the pack. She continuously dove into the thick brush and scrambled over, under and in between rocks and downed trees. This pack took a beating and held up nicely! I am quite impressed that it didn't come home in shreds, I would certainly recommend this product. It is unfortunate that this pack does not offer a detachable harness similar to the Ruffwear Palisades Pak, it would have been very useful. I had planned to buy the Palisades Pak for this feature but it was far too expensive so I settled for the Approach Pak, which also seems a bit on the expensive side.

Pros: Great design, Build quality, Performance, Ease of use, Cons: Cost

February 03, 2010

I purchased this pack for my 95 lb German Shephard/Chow/Great Dane/etc. mix dog. Per the fit recommendations, we purchased a medium, and it is definitely the right fit for him. We've had the pack for a week, and so far is working like a dream. He is up to carrying about 5 pounds in each side, and, as advertised, the weight really seems to be distributed to his shoulders, which was a key point for us because of his potential hip problems later in life. The 5-point harness and buckling systems have really yielded an excellent fit for him. We have no problems with the pack leaning/falling one way or another, whether there is nothing in it or even when he's running and bounding with 10 pounds. It just stays put. I cannot yet comment on the long-term durability of the pack, as we've only been using it for a week. But so far, I'm impressed. We are intending to take longer hikes in the summer, but for now the pack is being used on 1 hour neighborhood walks in a snowy snowy Michigan. And it works fabulously for that purpose. We did a LOT of research before purchasing this pack. And it paid off. This was the right pack, from the right shop. Altrec got it out to us so quickly, and it has just been a really pleasant experience. Thanks Ruff Wear and Altrec!

Great Pack
May 29, 2010

Easy and fast to adjust and my dog doesn't mind the extra weight so it must best comfortable for him.

Great pack!
August 06, 2010

I purchased size small for my 42 lbs. German Shorthair Pointer. Fits her perfectly and it works really well. It stays in place, does not rotate and does not chafe her.

Wonderful !
July 14, 2010

This dog back pack is terrific! My 14 month old boxer/American bulldog mix wears it with pride! She seems to enjoy having a "job" to do and it fits beautifully with the weight mostly over her large muscled shoulders.

Well-made pack
May 12, 2010

Really liked all the padding on the pack, and the moderate sizing of the cargo pockets. Had some issues with sizing, had to return it twice and missed out on the sale price. My boxer, large chest and teeny waist, thought a small at first because I wanted the smaller pockets and size seemed right. Too small, wanted medium but is was sold out at the sale price, so tried large but was way to big, especially in the waist. So decided on medium and didn't get sale price. Fit was better though and he enjoys getting it on because he knows its fun time.

Good quality
June 04, 2010

The pack can withstand a lot of rough use. It is useful when hiking.

nice quality, well built!
August 11, 2010

this pack combined with the roamer dog leash has been great! we recently moved to CO and are using these for long hikes in the mountains. The handle on the pack is great for lifting our 60# boxer over logs, creeks, etc

Just what we were looking for!
May 17, 2010

Adjustable fit, Doberman has deep chest and smaller "waist". Fits just right. Shipment amazingly fast. Thanks for the great service. Priced right for outstanding quality .

My dog loves it!
February 10, 2010

Have been looking for a sturdy backpack for our small lab (she's 53 lbs) to give her walks more purpose. We ordered a SMALL which fits perfectly. After reading reviews for this particular product it sounded great. When received, the construction was superior to any other I have ever seen. She has no issues wearing it and it seems very comfortable for her. The fact that most of the weight is distributed on her shoulder area was a real plus. We would highly recommend this product!!

Durability: 5 / 5
Quality: 5 / 5
from New Palestine, IN
45-54 yrs

Autumn trekking
December 20, 2011

This purchase is for a new to me, rescue dog. She is 3 years old and I don't know her background. She is very good on walks and I thought she might be up for a 5 day trip I am planning to the AT. The first step is to get her used to the pack on short hikes, and we are at that stage. After 2 hikes of about 4 miles each, she seems to be getting comfortable with the pack lightly loaded. We first hiked a local mt bike trail, then a state park trail with lots of stairs and up a stream in a boulder strewn ravine. So far so good!

Pros: Great design, Build quality, Great value
Durability: 5 / 5
Quality: 5 / 5

from bend oregon
25-34 yrs

great pack
April 14, 2011

I bought this for my 2 1/2 year old dog, size medium. He is a lab/ shepard we think, with a slim build and stands tall. We bought this pack to make him a work dog since he has so much energy- when he puts it on he is so proud and actually calms down and pays attention- great training tool! This pack fits him great! The space with this pack is awesome, we had 2 days worth of food for 2 dogs, water bowls, booties, and some other random things- and still had some room! I highly recommend this pack to anyone training their dog or just doesn't want to carry their things on short or long trips.

Pros: Build quality, Performance, Ease of use, training tool, compartment size

Great pack
May 17, 2010

A friend let me borrow hers to try for my dog and I liked it so much I bought one for each of my dogs. They are very well made and adjust to fit the dog perfectly. Excellent pack. Worth the money.

Never even knew she was wearing it
July 08, 2010

My dog a shepherd-terrier mix weighs 54lbs and is extremely active. I put the packs on her empty and let her get used to them. After the initial sniff and move around, she acted as tho the pack wasn't even on her. Moved up to 1/2 filled water bottles on each side and finally up to 2 full water bottles, leash, treats, doggie bags and foldable water dish. No reaction. Only when she got snagged on a wild rose bush at a forest preserve did she get a little worried. She soon realized to just run through the bush and the pack came thru as well. Pack has held up to lots of mud, brush and hot days. Adjusted perfectly on her back and now when she sees it come off the shelf, she wags her tail as she knows she's going on an adventure. I bought the small as my dog is quite lean and the straps and packs fit exceptionally well. I would definitely recommend it

Helps tire out our Boxer
February 27, 2010

We needed a way to help tire out our 55-lb Boxer besides taking him for a (literally) 15-mile run (since I don't always have time to do that), and we also want to be able to take him backpacking and have him carry his own things. This pack works great for both of those - it has a large capacity and seems like it should be comfortable. The dog that can run nonstop for two hours can burn off energy in a shorter amount of time by going for a walk with his pack on. Definitely pay attention to the sizing charts, though - we "rounded up" a bit because we wanted the larger capacity of a medium, and even though the pack fits, we had to put the straps as small as they would possibly go.


This approach back is the best I have ever seen.
September 02, 2010

My little guy weighs 10 pounds and the xxs was a perfect fit. He loves hiking and is hard on his packs. This ruff wear approach pack is the most durable and functional of all dog packs I have ever seen. I highly recommend it!!!

Durability: 4 / 5
Quality: 5 / 5

Approach Pack Review
September 24, 2010

This pack is a very high quality compared to others we've looked at. The only suggestion for improvement is to add some type of securing mechanism within the pouches so that weight can be added, but will not move around. Maybe a flat pouch sewn into the pouch against the dog's side.

Pros: Build quality, Performance, Ease of use, Cons: Cost
Durability: 5 / 5
Quality: 5 / 5
FitClothes: 3 / 5
25-34 yrs

Dog Backpack
February 14, 2012

Loved this purchase! Bought this for one of our dogs, and plan on buying another one very soon for our other one!!!! It fits very comfortably on our dog.

Pros: Great design, Build quality, Performance, Ease of use, Great value
Durability: 5 / 5
Quality: 5 / 5

Zero loves it!
October 03, 2010

My dog never had a problem with this pack from the moment we put it on, I gave him plenty of treats while sizing it, then took him out for a hike. He was able to move freely with it on, and his tail starts wagging when I take it out, knowing we are going on an adventure. For a very high energy dog, the pack gives him a bit more of a work out, and a "job" to do. For a 65lb dog who is normally considered large, we went with a medium and it fits perfectly. He is able to run without any problems. I would absolutely recommend this pack for any active dog lover! Ruffwear is worth the extra few bucks for quality and comfort, and the pack is really built to last.

Pros: Great design, Build quality, Performance, Ease of use, looks so cute

Great pack
November 20, 2009

I purchased a size MEDIUM for my 95 pound german shepherd and it fits him nicely. The construction is sturdy and the material is appropriate for the price, which I believe serves a weekend user perfectly(more intense users should really be purchasing the Palisades anyway for the quick release buckles). The zippers are waterproof, and I applied a waterproof spray which should help in most of the situations (it is water resistant from the factory which does not make sense since they put in waterproof zippers). Nicely padded where it should be and all buckles are covered keeping them away from chafing areas. Front harness system with the "Y yolk" is the centerpiece of the system, which brings the weight forward and distributes it nicely. The forward facing tear drop shape of the compartments also brings the weight forward, which differs from other bags. The stitching is top notch all the way around and it is a good looking pack. Highly recommend, however take the time to measure your dog according to the directions to ensure a good fit. Only upgrade would be to add a smaller compartment - 2 large compartments is all you get. It would be pretty easy to add one more small zippered compartment.

Great pack
October 21, 2009

I am using this pack on my doberman mix that weighs around 65 lbs. I haven't taken it on the trail yet but he doesn't mind it much on his daily walks. I have been training him for the trail by adding weight to the pack. It stays in place very well. It seems very well built, and has the same base as the harness from Ruff Wear that we use on our other dog.


Great Pack
June 03, 2010

I bought my second pack from Altrec, as I lived near one of Ruff Wears dealers while going to School. The first one I got fit my lab perfectly and works very well. He knows it is going to be a good day if the pack is pulled out. However the second one I bought for my JRT we had some trouble getting the right size. I first ordered the extra small for him and the pack was the same size as his body. But his chest measurements were right. So Altrec was very good and helped me return the pack and get the extra extra small at the sale price that was no longer available when I first purchased the extra small. Got the xxs and it was the appropriate size for him, but the chest strap was to short. Bummer. But, no biggie with a little help from Grandma we were able to put an extension in the chest strap and are now good to go. Though this last purchase was a little longer and needed some aftermarket alterations, I don't mind. This pack is great and my JRT was in that gray area. There are no standards for sizing and I understand that. Both dogs look great in the packs and love wearing them.

really solid - not cheap
January 02, 2010

This is well put together, solid construction, definitely high quality.

Durability: 5 / 5
Quality: 5 / 5
FitClothes: 3 / 5
from California

Awesome dog pack!
April 25, 2012

I've spent a lot of time looking for a perfect pack for my 70lb Pit Bull who has sensitive skin. It was really hard to find a pack that would be gentle on her and fit in a perfect way so as not to rub her raw. This pack is it! The underbelly straps are well padded and soft, the sternum strap isn't bulky but it's not too thin either and the tri-point is padded also (though not as cushy as the underbelly straps), and everything is very easily adjusted. The fit of the straps is not only comfortable but very, very stable. You don't need to tighten this pack down hard on your dog for it to stay in place, just snug as you'd wear your own backpack. I played with my dog with her flirt pole to test it (and this is a dog that jumps 5 ft in the air after that toy and does flips) and the pack didn't slide an inch. I only have two warnings about this pack, which depending on your situation may not even be negative, 1) these pockets are HUGE, if you're looking for a really casual pack for walks in the neighborhood where your dog will just be carrying a water bottle and his own droppings, this will probably be too much bag for that. 2) If your dog is a hard puller, I wouldn't rely too much on the clip ring. Aside from those two points, this pack is fantastic.

Pros: Great design, Build quality, Performance, Ease of use, Great value
Durability: 4 / 5
Quality: 4 / 5
FitClothes: 4 / 5
from San Antonio, Texas
35-44 yrs

Nice Dog Pack
November 10, 2010

After a long internet search for a dog pack, I decided to go with the Approach Dog Pack and I am glad I did. I have a French Brittany Spaniel and she weighs about 35 pounds, so I decided to go with the small and it is almost too big, so choose the size wisely. As soon as I started walking her with the pack on, she walks proudly and with a sense of purpose. Now our hikes are more enjoyable, I pick up small rocks and stuff and randomly place in the pack so she feels like she has a job to do. The pack has to large pockets with plenty of room and stays steady on her shoulders as long as both sides are about equal in weight.

Pros: Great design, Build quality, Performance, Ease of use, Great value
Durability: 5 / 5
Quality: 5 / 5
FitClothes: 5 / 5
from San Francisco, ca
45-54 yrs

Rock Star Backpack
November 26, 2011

My dog loved it out of the gate, or he didnt notice it. Either way we ran fast and jumped high and this pack stayed put and looked great. This pack is set on the Web Master Harness frame so it is sized oddly. My 20 1/2 inch at the shoulder, long backed, 44 pound dog wears a small. Actually the small fits both of the dogs in my image even the larger dog, the medium was too big for both of them.

Pros: Great design, Build quality, Lasts forever, Performance, Ease of use, Great value

Great Quailty.
November 16, 2009

I had one from petsmart, and it tore apart really fast. I love the side strap on it, keeps it in place. The other one would hit me, when I walk or jog. This is great for high energy dogs. Now the 2 hours walks can at least tire them a little.

Durability: 4 / 5
Quality: 5 / 5
from Squaw Valley, CA

best pack for dogs
November 14, 2011

I've looked at a lot of packs ... some, you can find cheaper... I just needed one that would fit my large mixed breed comfortably and would carry his water during hikes. We've only used it a few times, but it works well. Weight is distributed forward, over the shoulders, to keep pressure off the back. It's good for what I wanted.. - also, the bright green is good for hiking in the national forest, during hunting season..... so no idiots with guns will mistake my dog for a bear.

Pros: Great design, Build quality, Ease of use, high visibility
Durability: 5 / 5
Quality: 5 / 5
FitClothes: 3 / 5

25-34 yrs

Great Product, Typical of Ruff Wear!
April 21, 2012

The Approach Dog Pack is a great addition to any outdoor or high energy dog. I use it on my black lab mix, she is about 65 pounds and the large fits her perfect. We keep her tennis balls, water with bowl, and a towel, some emergency supplies since she never looks before she leaps; bandages, and iodine. The pack can fit a lot more but we cannot really think of anything else to keep in it. The pack is every durable even when she runs in the woods and rolls on the grass. It is easy to clean, with a warm wet towel and some mild detergent. It is easy to put on with only two clips and I love how Ruff Wear products always have the clips that protect the dog’s hair from getting caught. The only problem we have had with the Approach is when she does roll around on the grass sometimes one side (depending on what side she is rolling on) of the pack will flip over, it does not bug her or us, since all you have to do is flip it back over. The problem could be fixed by adding an extra clip to the harness, but like I said it really doesn’t bug us. The love Ruff Wear products and our next purchase is going to be the K-9 Float Coat, thank you Altrec for your great prices and fast shipping!

Pros: Great design, Build quality, Lasts forever, Ease of use, Great value
Durability: 5 / 5
Quality: 5 / 5
FitClothes: 4 / 5
45-54 yrs

Good dog pack
September 17, 2010

I got this pack for my service dog. It is a quality pack, the only problem I have with it is the zippers are a little stiff and hard to maneuver when one only has one hand.

Pros: Great design, Build quality, Great value

Great pack for my Lab
February 08, 2010

My 1 year old Lab loves the pack. This is his first trail pack and I bought the medium. He's about 65 pounds and it fits him great. It takes a little adjusting to set it up, but has buckles to release and use going forward. I would recommend this pack.

Really great for SOME dogs
January 14, 2010

I ordered this, after measuring my BC/Dal mix, and it seemed like it would be the best design for the deep chested, narrow wasted dog. However, the rear strap bumped up against his penis, which makes it unusable. After talking with others, they had run into the same problem. However, it fits my female Dalmatian like it was tailor made. So, I would recommend this for trimmer female Dalmatians, Pointers, Greyhounds, Dobermans. Dogs with deep chests and narrow waists and nothing to bump against. It is a close to the body, sleek fit.

So far so good
May 19, 2010

The dog backpack is great. Super durable! Our dog is still a bit leery of it but she tolerates it well since it isn't uncomfortable. She has walked into a few doorways with it on as she doesn't realize that she is a bit wider with it on and the pack stays in place without issue. Larger capacity than I thought it would be which is really nice. Allows the dog complete movement too.

It's Fun!
July 17, 2010

I got it for my friend for Christmas and she was thrilled! Copper(the dog) does put up a brief pout when we put the pack on him though. He will sit down and pretend he can't walk for a few minutes, but then he sees his dog buddies going down the trail and forgets all about it.

Wish I had found this sooner!
February 02, 2010

This is a great pack. The quality of craftsmanship is excellent. The pockets are huge but well proportioned. I ordered an XS. It fits snuggley and my Shelties don't mind wearing it at all. I'll definitely be ordering one for my Lab as well. It's a little more expensive than the other packs I looked at but worth every penny.

Better than most dog packs
June 01, 2010

I like how the pack keeps weight over the dog's shoulders so the dog's back doesn't get injured. I also like the scooped front and narrow profile of the panniers because they're less likely to get caught on brush. The straps are great and don't rub the dog at all even when you're using the handle to hoist your pet over streams. The only problem is the durability. My dog doesn't use the pack often but the nylon on the panniers (the green-colored portions of the pack) are getting frayed. My dog's medium sized so the panniers have to go through brush and they sometimes rub up against rocks. The pack shouldn't show wear this quickly so I'm knocking it down to 4 stars. This pack is better than most doggie packs but could still use improvement.

Great Dog Pack
January 17, 2010

Very well constructed and easily able to tighten the straps so the pack doesn't shift much. I bought a M and it fits my 55 lb. pit mix (thick chest, but narrow stomach) . The only thing I wish is that the compartments had sub compartments in them (just one large section on each side) so I can store poo bags or smaller items without having to dig.

from Colorado

Versatile and good quality
July 21, 2011

This pack will fit all my dogs and they vary in size from 50 lbs to 75 lbs. It is great quality and will carry a reasonable amount of supplies. I purchased two 1 litter platypus bottles since one of the main reasons for getting the pack is to hike/run where water is scarce. There is enough room for food - depending on what one would take. I think I would purchase freeze dried patties since carrying kibble would be pretty bulky. Of course, water is important with freeze dried food. It is nice looking too and easy to get on.

Pros: Great design, Build quality, Ease of use, Great value

Simple day pack
May 13, 2010

This is the second best pack on the market! (#1 being the palisades pack) It is very well built and fully adjustable. I was skeptical that the medium would fit on my 80 lb pittbull/lab mix, but it fits him with plenty of excess strap left. Do not get the large unless you have a HUGE dog! I would recommend this pack for day hikes and the palisades for multi-day trekking. I liked this pack because it is cheaper than the palisades and it comes in different colors, but it would not be a good overnight pack. It would be great if this pack had the hydration bladder system, but you can still put one or two water bottles on each side so it's not that big of a deal. The forward leaning pockets absolutely keep the pack from sliding, but when my dog would sit the weight would really pull on him. He looked a little uncomfortable, and I wish I could have taken the pack off real quick to give him a rest. This is where the extra money spent on the palisades would have paid off. With the approach pack, you have to take the whole thing off and then readjust it when you put it back on. With the palisades, you can just clip/unclip the saddlebags and you are ready to go. Whether it's a ten minute water stop or an overnight stay, the dog can take a break and I don't have to do any adjusting when I put the bags back on him. This is seriously a great pack, but I will be returning it for the palisades. If you are strictly day hiking, this is more than enough for what you will need...if you are going mulit-day hiking spend the extra money on the palisades.

Excellent fit ,very well constructed
May 09, 2010

I have a 95lb shepherd with a 34" girth and debated which size and went with the medium, it is a perfect fit, very well made with the dogs movement in mind, she works on a treadmill for rehab carrying 2 water bottles and has gone through 2 other backpacks that slid around too much, this one is great even when she shakes on walks it doesn't move and I love the harness front and weatherproof zippers. Worth the extra money for the comfort it gives her.

Nice choice.
November 30, 2009

I've been looking for a backpack for my black lab for a while to help out with the walks. This backpack worked like a charm. It is made nicely and fit well. My dog is 70 lbs. and Medium was the right size. I would recommend this to anyone.

The pack molds to your dog for a great fit
March 24, 2010

I have a 67 pound Shepherd that loves wearing this pack (I bought the Med size). It took about ten minutes to introduce it to him but once on he he found he really enjoys it. Now he puts his head forward when I walk up with the pack and looks forward to hiking. I can't say it enough; if your looking for a good pack don't cheat, spend a few extra bucks on this pack to make your dog comfortable and a happy. Oh make sure you spray water proof the bag if your around streams.

Great Goods
November 19, 2009

My dogs really took to the Approach Dog Pack and the Harness! Easy to adjust and the straps ends fit away neatly in the cushioned under piece. I LOVE THEM!! More importantly, so do doggies!

This is the only pack my son wanted for his dogs!
December 14, 2009

and he is an excellent checker-outer to see which products are the best.

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Also Available

Ruffwear Approach Dog Pack Photo

Campfire Orange and Pacific Blue.

Available sizes, while supplies last, include size xxs, size xs, size small, size medium and size l/xl: xxs, xs, s, m, l/xl.

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