Ruffwear Approach Dog Pack


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Ruffwear Approach Dog Pack Reviews Page 2

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

Great Dog Pack
June 11, 2009

I got this pack to have my Labrador carry his weight on mountain hikes, and it performed well. The pack is relatively easy to put on and adjust the harness. The setup makes sure the pack is uniformly balanced. The pouches on each side are good sized for water bottles and food and nicely ride so that the weight is carried over the front shoulders. I got a medium(based on another review) for my 70 lb Lab and that was the right size. The handle on top in the back is nice for a quick grab to stop the dog running off. Once on the dog, the pack seems to have a calming effect on the dog, no more wild run arounds. We hiked over open ground with sagebrush and ground cover and the pack did not once catch or restrict movement thru the narrow openings. The zipper are backed so that it would be somewhat waterproof. The pack is well designed and constructed. It was a good buy.


Sturdy Enough for Colorado 14ers
July 29, 2009

This pack was a replacement for a poor quality different brand that tore on the first outing. This one survived my rambunctious chipmunk chasing dog and the rough rocky trails/climbs of (3) 14,000ft peaks. Simple, large pockets, holds plenty of food and water; weighted forward over the dog's shoulders, no flipping or slipping. Easy to adjust. Great Pack!

Excellent choice
May 26, 2009

I got the small for my 45LB shepherd mix and it fits her well with all of the straps about half tightness. It took her a few trips to get used to it; I had to leave the straps loose and the pack empty on the first couple outings. Holds way more than she could ever carry, and she does love it.

July 04, 2008

Best dog thing ever.

April 14, 2009

I have bought 2 other dog packs and Ruff Wear is the best one so far (I returned the other 2 packs). The Approach pack distributes the load evenly and over my dogs shoulders perfectly. It is worth every penny!

Ruff Wear tops All
May 19, 2009

In my opinion, you can't buy a better pack than a Ruff Wear pack. I have the Palisades pack for my Greater Swiss Mountain Dog and wanted one for my cocker spaniel, but they didn't make the Palisades in XS. I bought the Approach and am very happy with it. It's just as good as the Palisades except for two features. It doesn't have bladders and the packs are not removable from the harness. I would recommend this or the Palisades to anyone who wants a high quality pack. Don't skimp on the quality of something like a dog pack or else you can hurt your dog.

A large for my male chocolate lab
November 17, 2008

Great construction and fits well. You do need to keep the weight even on each side. If you drink water from a bottle store on one side and not the other, replace the weight on the side you drank from with a rock or something else of equal weight to that you drank.

My dog's favorite thing ever!
April 02, 2009

After doing tons of research on dog backpacks, I chose this pack because of its good reviews, high quality craftsmanship, and the Y-yolk that keeps the weight of the pack forward on the shoulders rather than on the back (which can be harmful, and is very common with cheaper models of other brands). I hoped for the best, since this pack costs about twice as much as I've ever spent on a backpack for myself. ;-) Well, I was not disappointed!! From the moment she put it on, my dog LOVED the pack. She's a working breed and she just seems SO happy and fulfilled to have a "job." She struts her stuff when she has this pack on (she doesn't have to know she's just carrying a few pounds of dried beans). :-) It makes her happy, gives her great exercise, and channels her energy towards a specific task. I couldn't be more thrilled with this pack. HIGHLY recommended!!

Great Pack
May 26, 2009

This is a great pack. I have tried 3 other packs to date on my Male Vizsla. He has always tried to pull the packs off and bite at them, and they would always slide from side to side. With this pack, it stays stable, can carry a decent load, and it does not bother him one bit.

Very nice pack
September 06, 2008

I recently bought this pack for my Alaskan Malamute. I bought the medium (she is at the small end of the range for that size, at 22-1/2" at the shoulder and 63 Lbs.) and my only complaint is that I'd prefer the packs be a bit larger for each size: the large packs would have been more proportionately correct on the medium-size dog, but would be ridiculously tiny on my other, larger (26-1/2", 100 Lb.) dog. Overall, though, the harness system seems very stable and comfortable for my dog, and I was very confident it felt good to her. LOVE the daisy chains for attaching extra gear! I clipped the dogs' steel water pails to them, and will likely use those also to attach some small additional gear bags to on future hikes and camping trips. It's about time someone thought to use a non-restrictive chest design that won't ride up and choke the dog!

Delivered as advertized
June 18, 2008

Bought this for a miniature Austrailian Shepard (16 in tall, 23lbs.)Pack is well constucted. Fits my dog very well- the size chart seems correct. My dog is at the very bottom range for a small so I ordered the ex small. Glad that I did because the staps still adjust and fit well and the overall size if the pack seems well proportioned to my dog. The front strap design with the "martingale" chest piece and strap between the front legs works much better than other designs to keep the pack centered. I wold recommend this pack.

All that research paid off!
November 24, 2008

I'm thrilled with my new pack. I must have spent ten hours looking at customer reviews for every pack out there. This one can't be beat. The design, fabric and stitching are top of the line. I bought a medium for my 65 pound Pitbull and it fits great. Also, Altrec had the best price anywhere. Highly recommend!

Extremely Happy
February 09, 2009

I have been looking and looking for a backpack and finally I found it. I might have gone with a smaller one, they tend to run a bit big, but it fits her great anyway because of the great quality. My dog Maddy and I walk like no other and I wanted something that would fit her body well and not physically hurt her down the road. We get the greatest responses from people and they always say "put her to work!" I always respond, "she can carry her own water haha!" But honestly the best thing you will ever purchase for your dogs. Makes them focus and really enjoy their walk. You won't regret it and what a better place to purchase it from than altrec. I have read all the reviews and this site offers the best honest opinions straight from the buyer. Good Luck!

Great pack, Seems Durable
May 27, 2009

I got this pack since my dog is difficult to control on the leash and she is high energy and needs to get the most out of her walks. We put bags of rice in her pack and the past two packs I got from PetSmart were terrible and fell apart within a couple of months. This pack seems very durable and I believe based on it's construction it will hold up for a long time. I also like the center strap instead of what I had before - two fron leg straps that chafed my dog's "underarms" after long walks.


The pack works and fits great
April 29, 2009

My 40 lbs dog didn't even realize he had the small pack on. It took a bit to adjust the straps to his girth, but after that, he seemed happy to have it on.

very pleased
May 18, 2009

So far I am very pleased with this pack. It fits my dog very well. It doesn't slip and it doesn't seem to bother him or be uncomfortable for him. I was worried about the fit because my dog is tall and slim with a deep chest. Even though I thought he would be a large I followed the sizing chart which put him at a medium and it fits perfectly. The pack seems well made, sturdy, can be well fitted, and it's attractive making it worth every cent. I would definitely recommend this brand of dog pack.

Highest quality dog accessory I've ever bought!
September 02, 2008

The first thing I noticed about this pack was how well it is constructed. The stitching is all very tough and secure and the materials are top of the line. Ruff Wear makes an excellent product. I have a 65 lb standard poodle and I bought the medium pack for him. His girth measurement is 30 inches and this pack fits him well, but it is almost on the big side. (I have the straps cinched up almost all the way.) We love to go hiking in the mountains of northern New Mexico and he wears his pack on every hike. It doesn't slow him down at all! He goes crashing through trees, scrub, streams, marshes, you name it, and this pack goes with him perfectly. It is water resistant and tear and stain resistant. We have gone on at least 10 fairly long hikes with it and it still looks like new. One of our last hikes was 10 miles round trip and the pack seemed comfortable on him the whole way. I keep his hair cut pretty short and the pack doesn't irritate his skin at all. Generally I put 2 16.9 oz water bottles in each side, plus a collapsible bowl, and there is still extra room in the pack. Four of these bottles will fit in each side fairly easily, but I don't make him carry that much. The best thing about this pack is that it ensures that the weight is carried over the shoulders and not the back, which is the most important thing to look for in a back pack. If too much of the weight is on the back it can cause spinal injury. The bags slanting forward and the Y-strap in the front all help to insure that the weight is carried well. Make sure and keep the weight equal in each side or the pack will shift to the heavier side. If the weight is equal there is no shifting at all, no matter how hard your dog is running. The girth and waist strap are padded which makes a perfect finish to this wonderful pack. This pack is worth every penny, and I know that because I tried a couple of cheaper versions before this that were just not up to par. I would never recommend any other pack. This one is the best! You will love it as soon as you see it. And as a side note: It looks really cute on my pup! :)

Awesome pack
May 27, 2009

I have had the pack for a week now and the first think I noticed is the construction of the pack. It is one tough pack I have a large German shepherd and bought and it fits perfectly upon her and is positioned to disperse the weight in a way to protect the dogs back. I would and have recommended this pack to my friends it is worth every penny if you have an active dog who like the trails. The only downside is the design of the front strap. The Velcro used to hold the front body strap in place makes it a little challenging to put on but otherwise I highly recommend this pack

Great pack
May 17, 2009

Wasn't sure how my dog would like the pack but she seems to love it! Put it on and had to make very little adjustment. Has a great fit. The pack is very well constructed and by far the best pack for the price. Great product Ruff Wear!

Best pack out there!
April 20, 2009

I bought this pack for my 2-year old Weimaraner. She LOVES it! Fitting it to her was even easier than fitting a regular harness to her. It fits really well considering she is a very deep chested dog and has a very skinny stomach section. A medium size fit perfectly! The first time i put it on her, she frolicked about like she normally does when she is excited--and by frolic I mean jump and spin around like a bull at a rodeo--the pack didn't shift an inch! She struts when she has it on! My only concern is it might rub her armpit area after a few days of wearing it, but it hasn't seemed to bother her on our weekly 5-mile walk to and from work. By far, this is the best product out there for a dog pack!

The Bombest Pack
May 28, 2009

This thing rocks. It's comfortable, practical, waterproof, descent capacity, the harness system is unbeatable. My ridgeback takes his pack slamming through rocks and trees and the thing has held up perfectly

Fantastic pack!
August 06, 2009

I had tried other packs before this one as a means to give a better workout to my 2 y/o male Rottweiler. The cheaper pet store version packs I've tried just hang over the dogs side, and so when he walks they "bump" off his sides and stomach. As such, he would spend the whole time nipping at the pack or would just stop walking from the irritation. He would also walk with almost a "sway" from the movement of the cheaper pack, that just seemed a little un-healthy and very un-comfortable. The Approach pack fixed ALL of these problems. The pack sits up front on his shoulders and stays put - no moving around, swaying or bumping, so he walks normal. The padded back and the stomach straps don't cause any irritation or chafing. It's easy to put on and take off. The pack itself is INCREDIBLY sturdy & well made. On a daily walk, I put a 5lb dumbell in each side of the pack, and on a day when we are short on time or he is really hyper, I put an 8lb dumbell in each pack. Most days we will spend about 15 minuntes off leash in a park when my dog will run full-out with his pack on. He has NO restricted movement at all, he doesn't even know it's there. Plus this pack takes the beating from 10-16lbs worth of dumbells in it while bouncing up & down, walking AND running EVERY DAY. I've owned this pack for almost a year now and it has still shown NO signs of wear, fraying, weakening or threads/ seams stretching. This pack is WELL worth the money. If you are looking for a pack that can hold weight to help work out your dog or just make him more comfortable while carrying his own supplies for a hike, you absolutley need to get this pack!

Love it!
August 17, 2009

Fits great, very durable. Absolutely love this product and so does our dog!

Approach Pack
December 21, 2008

The pack works great so far. She can carry 6-7 days of food and the load never seems to get off balance and shift to one side. The padded straps seem to give her enough comfort. This pack was a great step up from the granite gear one she had for the past two years.

I love it
May 06, 2009

I have been looking all over to find a good one. Ruffwear is perfect for my little dog.

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.

Very Happy
February 25, 2009

I bought this Approach Pack for a 15 month old Westie rescue. He came to us full of aggression and needed to burn off some energy. We had already been walking him daily but found he needed more. The pack fits really well, with the load over the shoulders and not on the back itself. He is really proud when he wears it. The only other thing I would have liked to see with this pack is a third buckle at the neck. He is still a little apprehensive when I try to get the pack over his head.

Great pack
July 08, 2009

I started using a backpack to help drain extra energy on walks but the pack I was using was just one of those ones from the pet store that seemed expensive at the time but cheap enough to buy and it broke numerous times. It also came unclipped because it had a strap across the neck that all the weight pulled on and it couldn't hold. I just purchased the approach pack and it is perfect, exactly what I wanted. I got a medium for my 50 lb pit/lab mix, she could have fit a small or a medium but the medium fits great and I like the extra space it allows, the pouches don't hang too low despite their large size. My dog is able to jump around with no trouble and the pack easily holds two water bottles per side plus much more if you wanted to load it to the max. You can tell this is a well made pack and I look forward to using it for daily walks and our occasional hikes when it really comes in handy.

Best fit for my small dog
April 29, 2009

I was hard pressed to find a dog pack that would fit my 12 lb. chihuahua-mix. That's right, he's only 12 lbs, but he's a trooper that loves to go on hikes, outtings, and fishing with me. I tried the small REI dog pack, but found that it did not fit snuggly enough, bags hung too low, and suffered weight distribution problems. I quickly found the Ruff Wear pack and was excited to see they actually had XXS size (accordingly to the size chart, my dog is on the verge of XS/XXS). The moment i put the pack on, i could tell it was leaps and bounds better than any other pack he's tried. The Y yoke makes a huge difference to get rid of the weight distribution problem. The packs are small enough that they don't hang too low or out to mess with his ROM. It looks great and best of all, he seems to love it! So if you're looking for a saddlebag pack for your small-breed, look no further. Don't even consider the cheaper stuff, believe me: the thought and construction that went into the Approach pack makes it well worth the price!!!

Overall a great pack
February 22, 2009

I bought the pack for my Australian Cattle Dog mix that is 30lbs and bought an xs size that fits him perfectly. The straps are padded and easy to shorten and lengthen. There are several places to hook a leash or carabeaner. We took him on a hike yesterday and stored our keys and wallet inside and he didn't mind the pack at all. I can't wait to go camping so he can carry his own food and water.

Love it!
September 05, 2009

This pack is great. My dog loves having it on. We run a few miles each day on the trails and it doesn't phase her a bit to have it on. It stays placed very well and took no time at all to adjust for her best fit initially. It's a quick on and off which is good for routine use. Highly recommend this pack.

Sizes are misleading
May 17, 2009

I love the pack, but I ordered a small for my dog which usually wears a medium and the small was way too big. Plus I had to pay to ship it back (plus insurance - required)....waiting to decide if I should order the XS but concerned the pack still won't fit.

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