The Life Union Saddlebag is an excellent budget dog backpack with small pockets, that is easy to put on and fit to your dog.
Pros / Reasons to Buy
- Best Budget Backpack
- Easy to Put On
Cons / Reasons to Avoid
- Not Hard-Wearing
- Saddlebags Not Streamlined
The Life Union Saddlebag is a very good budget dog backpack. It isn’t expensive, but thought has been given to ensuring your dog is comfortable. While it may be less streamlined and durable compared to more expensive models, it is ideal if you want a basic backpack for walks and day hikes.
One of the best things about the Life Union Saddlebag is that it is extremely easy to put on. There are multiple points of adjustment to make it simple to adjust to different sizes and shapes of dogs. It is made of polyester like many other dog backpacks, and the buckles are solid and close firmly. However, the seams could be more strongly stitched. The saddlebags are quite bulky despite not being that big, and they could catch on obstacles when your dog is running around.
In order to help you decide if the Life Union Saddlebag is the right dog backpack for you and your pet we have scrutinised the primary features.
Your Dog’s Comfort
The Life Union Saddlebag has been designed to keep your dog comfortable when he is wearing it. Where the straps meet there is plenty of padding. The underside of the backpack is lined with soft mesh netting. The main body provides breathability and is also padded. The saddlebags sit high up on your dog’s body with the weight forward over the shoulders so as to not strain the spine.
There are five straps on the Life Union Saddlebag, each with a buckle to secure it. These buckles are well-made, high-impact, contoured side, quick-release buckles. Two straps go from the top of the backpack at the front and around your dog’s neck to meet at a triangular, padded chest plate. Both of these straps are adjustable and have buckles on them. A single strap goes from the chest plate down between your dog’s front legs to meet the strap running under your dog’s belly just behind the front legs. This strap is also adjustable and has a buckle, and where the straps meet is padded. The front girth strap fastens on the right with a buckle, and the strap is adjustable. There is another girth strap at the back of the Life Union Saddlebag, which fastens with a buckle on the left, and it is also adjustable and has padding in the center.
Due to all the straps having buckles, you can fully open the backpack. You don’t have to try and get your dog to step through the straps. Nor do you have to try and slide the backpack over your dog’s head. This makes the backpack very easy to put on, even for skittish pets. Having adjustment points on each strap also makes the Life Union Saddlebag easy to configure for different shapes and sizes of dogs.
Materials and Durability
The Life Union Saddlebag is mainly composed of high-quality 600D polyester with Oxford cloth trim. The backpack is lined with mesh. While the material is waterproof, having zips means that the backpack as a whole is not.
The buckles are made of solid plastic and are well-made. The zips are made of metal and have an abrasion-resistant coating. The straps are made of strong mesh.
Since the primary material is polyester, the Life Union Saddlebag can be machine washed on low heat but should be aired dried and never put in the dryer. Most dirty marks should be sponged off easily.
The main concern with the Life Union Saddlebag’s durability is the stitching. The seams could be stronger, and this could affect how long this backpack might last.
A built-in rubber handle is on the top of the Life Union Saddlebag. The handle is firmly attached to the frame of the dog backpack. The underside of the handle is padded to feel comfortable when being used. The handle is to help your dog over obstacles and help control your pet if needed. It should never be used to lift your dog as it is not designed to provide the correct support.
Leash Attachment Points
There is only one leash attachment point. This is at the front of the Life Union Saddlebag, just before the handle. Here you will find a generously sized metal D-ring. This D-ring is attached to the backpack with a loop of webbing that has been reinforced with bar-tack stitching.
The Life Union Saddlebag is available in four bright colors – blue, red, orange, and black. These help to make your pet highly visible. This dog backpack also has four wide reflective strips to help make your dog easier to spot in low light or at night.
It is possible to get the Life Union Saddlebag fitted with a waste bag dispenser containing 15 poop bags. The dispenser is refillable and is a handy gadget.
There are two pockets on the Life Union Saddlebag, one on each side. They are almost triangular in shape, as they are wider at the top than the bottom, and when fitted to your dog, they have a flat top. They ride high on your dog’s body, and most of the weight is over your dog’s shoulders. They are not the most streamlined saddlebags because they jut out from your dog’s body. This means they are more likely to catch on obstacles and impede your dog when he is running around.
The zips that fasten the pockets are high-quality and open and close smoothly. The pockets zip open from the front to the back, but because the front of the pockets curves inward, zips are unlikely to catch on things and pull open inadvertently.
The load in the pockets must be balanced, or the backpack will slip towards the heavier side.
The pockets on the Life Union Saddlebag are on the small side compared to other dog backpacks. While you can fit in everything you need for a day hike or a walk, they would need to be bigger to hold all the gear your dog would need for backpacking or a long walk into the backcountry.
The pockets are about 8 inches long and 5 inches deep. They are approximately 4 inches wide at the top, narrowing to 1 inch at the bottom. According to the manufacturer, this is the capacity of the 3.5 lb, but it seems to be smaller than they actually are:
- Under 1.5 lb
- Under 2.5 lb
- Under 3.5 lb
It is vital that you do not overload your dog. Ideally, a canine should only carry 10 – 15% of its body weight, but they are capable of carrying up to 25%. You should be careful to check how much you are putting on your dog when using a dog backpack. You need to include the backpack’s weight as well as the contents. The Life Union Saddlebag is one of the lightest dog backpacks available.
This is how much the three sizes of the Life Union Saddlebag weigh:
- 9 oz (0.28 kg)
- 6 oz (0.33 kg)
- 4 oz (0.38 kg)
The Life Union Saddlebag comes in three sizes – Small, Medium, and Large. The manufacturer suggests that the small would be suitable for breeds such as Beagles, Kerry Blue Terriers, Kooikerhondjes, and miniature Australian Shepherds. The medium is best for breeds like Samoyeds, Siberian Huskies, Goldendoodles, and American Staffordshire Terriers. The large would fit bigger dogs such as Dobermans, German Shepherds, Schnauzers, and Old English Sheepdogs.
- Chest Size: 22.8 inches – 25.2 inches
- Belly Size: 13.4 inches -1 inches
- Neck Size: 14.2 inches – 16.1 inches
- To fit dog 19 lb-38 lb
- Chest Size: 27.6 inches – 31.9 inches
- Belly Size: 16.1 inches – 21.7 inches
- Neck Size: 20.0 inches – 23.6 inches
- To fit dog 39 lb- 60 lb
- Chest Size: 31.0 inches – 35.0 inches
- Belly Size: 26.0inches – 39.0 inches
- Neck Size: 24.0 inches – 31.0 inches
- To fit dog 61 lb- 100 lb
The Life Union Saddlebag is very affordable. It has a low price, but you get a high-quality, well-designed dog backpack for the price.
The Life Union Saddlebag is a budget model, but it has some excellent features. It is lightweight, but it is made from high-quality materials. The stitching could be stronger, but the design is intelligent and makes it easy to put on and fit. The pockets are not the biggest available, but they are big enough to carry the essentials your dog would need for a day hike or a walk. If you are looking for a budget dog pack, the Life Union Saddlebag would be an excellent choice.
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