The Outward Hound DayPak is a small dog backpack suitable for short hikes and light loads.
Pros / Reasons to Buy
- Bright Colours
Cons / Reasons to Avoid
- No Padding
- Saddlebags Slip Sideways
The Outward Hound DayPak is a small, budget dog backpack ideal for going on daily walks and short hikes. The bright colors of this dog backpack make it easy to spot your dog, and the low price makes it ideal as a starter backpack if you want to see if your dog would like carrying a load.
As its name suggests, the Outward Hound DayPak is designed for short day walks. The pockets can be expanded, but even then, they are not very large. The backpack has no structure, just the straps and the bag, so it is not intended for heavy loads and long treks. The saddlebags slide sideways very easily, even if you carefully balance the contents of the pockets. The leash attachment point is at the rear of the backpack, and it is not the strongest. Using a leash also increases the chances of the pockets slipping to one side. However, this is one of the cheapest dog backpacks we have seen. It would be great for taking some water, treats, and toys on a short walk.
To help with deciding if the Outward Hound DayPak would fulfil all your requirements for a dog backpack we have examined and listed the main features.
Your Dog’s Comfort
The Outward Hound DayPak does not have any padding. However, the straps can be adjusted at several points to ensure the backpack fits your dog snugly. The saddlebags have a tendency to slip sideways, and you must be careful when readjusting them that the straps are not rubbing your dog’s skin. The pockets are not designed to shift the weight forward over your dog’s shoulders, but since they are relatively small, your dog is unlikely to be carrying anything heavy enough to make you concerned about his spine.
There are four straps with three points of adjustment on the Outward Hound DayPak. Two straps go around your dog’s midriff, one around his belly and the other around his ribcage just behind his front legs. These clip into the bottom of the saddlebags. At the front, a strap goes horizontally across your dog’s chest. This strap clips in on the left-hand side of the saddlebags at the front and is adjustable. There is a slidable piece of material in the middle of this strap, and a strap goes from this between your dog’s legs. This loops around the front girth strap and is held by a clip-in buckle. The strap is adjustable at this point. Ideally, when you tighten the straps, you should still be able to slide two fingers between the strap and your dog. Any tighter and the straps could rub and make your dog sore.
Materials and Durability
The Outward Hound DayPak is a lightweight dog backpack, so it is not designed to be as hard-wearing as other, more expensive models. The buckles and the strap adjusters are made of rigid plastic. Against your dog’s body there is breathable mesh. The saddlebags are made of hard-wearing nylon that is weather-resistant.
The manufacturer recommends washing the backpack with warm water and mild soap and leaving it to air dry. However, several users say it can also be machine-washed on a gentle cycle.
A grab handle along the top of the Outward Hound DayPak runs along your dog’s spine. This is useful for quickly bringing your dog under control or for giving your pet a helping hand over obstacles.
Leash Attachment Point
There is one attachment point for a leash at the back of the Outward Hound DayPak behind the grab handle. This is not ideal as if your dog pulls the saddlebags tend to slip sideways as they are only held by one strap at this point. The D-ring is not the strongest, and several reviewers have complained about it breaking. If you have a big dog who pulls a lot, then using this leash attachment point would not be advisable.
The Outward Hound DayPak comes in a choice of two bright colors. The mesh body and straps are a dark grey, so the color is just on the saddlebags. You can have azure blue with lighter turquoise blue trim or neon green and emerald green stripes. The green is bright enough to ensure your dog is clearly visible, even in grass fields.
The reflective trim ensures motorists can see your dog even in low-light conditions.
While the Outward Hound DayPak is designed as a small dog backpack, it has a feature to make the pockets bigger if needed. At the lower front of the saddlebags, you will find a zip. If you unzip this towards the rear of the backpack, it allows the pockets to expand to give you more space to fit equipment in.
The straps have a helpful feature where any excess can be fastened down with a Velcro loop.
You have four pockets on the Outward Hound DayPak. There are two large pockets that are secured with a zip. On the outside of the saddlebags, there are two small pockets that are held closed with Velcro for easy access.
The manufacturer does not give the storage capacity of the Outward Hound DayPak’s saddlebags. You can comfortably fit a 500 ml water bottle in the large pocket. These are the dimensions of the main big pockets for each size.
- 5 inches (21.9 cm) x 5.5 inches (13.9 cm) x 2 inches (5.1 cm)
- This is approximately 93 cubic inches (1.5 l) storage capacity.
- 5 inches (29.2 cm) x 6 inches (15.2 cm) x 4 inches (10.2 cm)
- This is approximately 276 cubic inches (4.5 l) storage capacity.
- 5 inches (31.7 cm) x 7 inches (17.9 cm) x 4.5 inches (11.4 cm)
- This is approximately 394 cubic inches (6.5 l) storage capacity.
The Outward Hound DayPak is not designed to carry heavy loads. As a general guide, you should give a dog at most 25% of its body weight to carry. The guidelines for this model are 10 – 15% of a dog’s body weight. This includes the weight of the dog backpack itself. This is how much each size weighs.
- 4 oz (0.3 kg)
- 9 oz (0.3 kg)
- 6 oz (0.4 kg)
The Outward Hound DayPak was initially available in three sizes – small, medium, and large. However, the small size seems to be discontinued, as it is unavailable on the manufacturer’s website and is out of stock in most stores.
- 7 inches (19.5 cm) x 11 inches (27.9 cm) x 2 inches (5.1 cm)
- 5 inches (21.6 cm)x 13 inches (33 cm) x 2.9 inches (7.4 cm)
- 4 inches (23.9 cm) x 13 inches (33 cm) x 3 inches (7.6 cm)
The size chart provided by Outward Hound has a girth measurement around your dog’s ribcage just behind his front legs and a suggested weight range to guide you to the best size for your dog. There are only medium and large sizes detailed on the size chart.
- 21 inches (53cm) – 27 inches (68 cm)
- 30 pounds (14kg) – 55 pounds (25 kg)
- 28 inches (71 cm) – 32 inches (81 cm)
- 55 pounds (23 kg) – 85 pounds (38 kg)
The Outward Hound DayPak is one of the cheapest dog backpacks you can buy. However, as it is designed as a lightweight option for short hikes, it is a decent quality for the price. It is important not to overload the pockets, but it should last well if subjected to everyday use.
With the Outward Hound DayPak, you get a simple, practical dog backpack that is ideal for short treks. It has plenty of adjustment points to make sure it can be fitted to your dog’s size and shape. Be aware that the pockets can slip sideways, especially if you put anything heavy in them or do not balance the load. The leash attachment point is not very robust, and using it tends to make the saddlebags slide sideways. Since this backpack is not for long walks, no padding is provided. The colors available are bright and have reflective trim to help your dog be easily seen. The pockets can be expanded to accommodate bulky items or reduced in size when not needed, which is a sensible feature. If you are looking for a budget dog backpack for short hikes or as a starter model to test to see if your dog would be comfortable carrying a load, the Outward Hound DayPak is ideal.
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