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Write a Review | Read (26) Reviews
Approach Pack™
Full-day hiking
DESCRIPTION

A great everyday pack with excellent performance, fit, and functionality. The Approach Pack is ideal for day hikes or overnight adventures. The padded assistance handle and top-loading stash pockets are appreciated by humans, and lightweight construction and strategic padding keep canine sidekicks comfortable over the miles.

It's recommended that your dog carry no more than 25% of their body weight in their dog pack. If your dog is new to dog packs, start with a light load and work up to a heavier load as your dog gets accustomed to wearing the pack.

KEY FEATURES
  • Attached saddlebags feature an efficient, weight-forward design
  • The Web Master™ Harness frame provides load stability and weight distribution
  • Padded assistance handle makes it easy to help dogs up and over obstacles
  • Trail-ready details:  stash pockets, coated zippers, and external gear loops
  • Single-piece, anodized aluminum V-ring leash attachment provides a secure leash attachment point
  • Low-light visibility with reflective trim
  • Made in Vietnam
  
  
 
Have you measured the width of your dog´s
paw and checked that you have the correct size?
Yes
No
  Price: $79.95
 
 
 
     

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Write a Review

* Please read our Review Guidelines and Terms of Use for more information about the review process

Ruffwear - Arrow Summary of Reviews

Average Rating

5 out of 5

Number of Reviews: 26 customers reviewed this product.

Recommended: 25 out of 26 said they would recommend this product.

5 out of 5

Dog's Name: Bella

Date of Review: 4/14/2014

We kick up our paws in: El Monte, CA.

My canine companion(s): Dachshund, Siberian Husky, Doberman Pinscher

Wow! Sturdy, tough.

Would you recommend this product?.: Yes!

I LOVED it and so did Bella (Doberman). It has helped her ficus on walks and gives her that extra workout she needs but I can't give her due to my fibromyalgia. So i put a water bottle on each side of the pack and we walk our 2-3 miles ( all I can do before the pain really sets in) but that seems to be enough to get her tired and balanced. Best purchase I could have made for my high active dog

4 out of 5

Dog's Name: Layla

Date of Review: 4/3/2014

We kick up our paws in: Georgia

My canine companion(s): Chocolate lab, dachshund, dachshund/chiwowa mix

Love it!

Would you recommend this product?.: Yes!

Great fit, easy to use, durable.

5 out of 5

Dog's Name: Jezebel

Date of Review: 2/24/2014

We kick up our paws in: Mammoth Lakes, ca

My canine companion(s): Australian Kelpie

Perfect

Would you recommend this product?.: Yes!

Seems to be very comfortable for my dog. We take this pack everywhere with us from day hikes to long backpacking trips. Has enough room for food, water or anything else we need. The only thing I like more about the palisades pack is the collapsible water bottles...but that's okay because our other dog has that backpack

5 out of 5

Dog's Name: Bo

Date of Review: 2/11/2014

We kick up our paws in: Knoxville, Tn

My canine companion(s): american lab and a sweet 7 year old mutt, Abbey

Great!

Would you recommend this product?.: Yes!

We saved Bo about 6 weeks ago and he is a big energetic, 100 pound lap dog. Getting on his work bag and letting him carry water and any other weight we can think of to wear him out has been perfect. He is much happier having the bag and a purpose!

5 out of 5

Dog's Name: Kichi

Date of Review: 1/20/2014

We kick up our paws in: Rhode Isalnd

My canine companion(s): Shiba Inu

fantastic

Would you recommend this product?.: Yes!

Just what me and my dog needed, she has lots of energy and this pack helps her slow down while carrying important items. Very happy with the size, at least two water bottles can fit. She is only 18lbs but the Small fits her perfectly. Any other backback just doesnt compare. I wish the bags were detachable, in this case I had to buy a regular webmaster harness for normal walking or out on the tree line, but they are both good products, I didn't mind purchasing another one.

5 out of 5

Dog's Name: Kota

Date of Review: 1/13/2014

We kick up our paws in: Southeast Texas

My canine companion(s): German Shepherd

Well made, easy to get on and off

Would you recommend this product?.: Yes!

We go hiking a lot with our GSD and she gets to carry some of her things now! We got the orange, which helps us keep track of her when she goes into the brush on the trails. She's six months now, so the slightly smaller approach pack is a good fit for her, though I wish the bags were removable like the other model (just because she doesn't always wait until we take it off to jump in the water!)

5 out of 5

Dog's Name: Luna

Date of Review: 12/3/2013

We kick up our paws in: rutland vt

My canine companion(s): poodle doodle

great product

Would you recommend this product?.: Yes!

in the woods a lot, running and biking; the bright orange is a nice safety feature. The pack hasn't slowed her down at all. Looking forward to some overnight hikes this winter when she can carry her own supplies.

5 out of 5

Dog's Name: Everett

Date of Review: 11/3/2013

We kick up our paws in: Plainville Ct USA

My canine companion(s): Lab Mix

Very Nice

Would you recommend this product?.: Yes!

Worth the money!!! Great product. My dog gets a lot of compliments.

5 out of 5

Dog's Name: KiKi

Date of Review: 11/1/2013

We kick up our paws in: Central coast of Calif

My canine companion(s): PitBulldogs

Awesome. 12 of 10 ruffs from us!

Would you recommend this product?.: Yes!

We raise service dogs and use these bags for everything! This is my 4th RUFFWEAR bag and I am ordering 2 more. I have tried others that slip and slide. This is easy to balance with awkward loads, easy for the dog to wear, rest in tight spots (I use a separate plastic shopping bag insert to remove and reload items easily) plus we use the top ring to attach to a seatbelt leash for Traveling, Which is really smart when your dog is worth protecting! Thanks Ruffwear! we love you

5 out of 5

Dog's Name: Bondo

Date of Review: 10/6/2013

We kick up our paws in: Taos, NM

My canine companion(s): pit/mix

EXCELLENT

Would you recommend this product?.: No

The backpack is sturdy and reliable. I'm glad that the pack is constructed simply without any bells and whistles. NO VELCRO! I never liked Velcro and my dog hates its tearing sound. I'm also grateful that the saddlebags are not removable. I prefer sturdy stitches where ever they are possible. The loops are in the right places. You can put on a light stick on the top, or for even better visibility to the both sides. Their horizontal position is more effective than if the light stick hangs down from the collar. My dog runs through thick sagebrush and the saddlebags do not flop, or shift. The material doesn't tear, there’s not even a scratch after ruff testing. Only the reflective lines took some beating, but it’s not a big deal.

The ZIPPERS do not open which is a big deal. I have an experience, again with another company, when Bondo got his hind leg stuck in a pocket that had opened in the terrain. Good thing that it happened when I was nearby.  We only lost a water bottle but it was crucial since we were spending night far away from a water supply. No, I don't think the Ruffwear pockets would get unzipped but for peace of my mind I use tiny carbines and clip the two zippers together on both sides. Talking about zippers - somebody here questioned why water proof zippers if the pack is not water proof, so why the zippers are? But the backpack is water-resistant and I don't know how to make zippers just that. 

Another review calls for removable saddlebags. I ordered another company’s backpack and for that "convenient" feature I sent it back. Those bags wouldn't stay attached and you can lose them (this time not only a water bottle but the whole pack!)Not to mention that the pack is attached to the harness with acres of my "favorite" Velcro!

The SIZING: I think it's more useful to use girth measurement than the dog weight.

The ENDS of the STRIPS prevent the strips from getting loose. Above that there isn’t hanging or dragging the extra length. But you have to know how to adjust the harness properly. Unfortunately Ruffwear doesn’t include INSTRUCTIONS inside the package.  If you buy the product in a stone store you can struggle with adjusting the strips and still you might not get the adjustment right. If a link to the video were mentioned it could save people some troubles. The VIDEO is VERY HELPFUL. Without watching it I surely would miss the smartness of the strip endings.

I hope that this long review can help people in their shopping. People who already own this wonderful backpack- maybe they would see something else, some features that escaped eyes before.

After many researches and purchases, now I am finally happy!   THANK YOU, RUFFWEAR.

5 out of 5

Dog's Name: Alfredo

Date of Review: 7/16/2013

We kick up our paws in: Southern California

My canine companion(s): German Shepherd mix

Great

Would you recommend this product?.: Yes!

Good pack July 16, 2013 User submitted photo Looking for a backpack for our still-maturing two year old shepherd mix we wanted to allow the dog to carry some of his own stuff on our casual outings and hikes. Just as important, many trainers say that giving a dog a backpack gives them a job to do and can help them when going on walks or with behavior issues. Alfredo is great and we are working to channel his energy and intellect and build his confidence as a working dog. He loves to run so finding a backpack that he would agree to wear and would also fit his athletic profile and disposition was a concern. We looked at a lot of backpacks and read even more reviews before deciding on the Approach pack by Ruffwear. Even if you are sure of the size, I suggest you try to find a store where you can try one on your dog to see how it will fit. Our local Sport Chalet store is dog friendly with a great staff so it worked out perfectly. Alfredo is tall and 87 lbs. but has a lean frame with a narrow chest. The large fit him well. The pack is nicely constructed of durable, water resistant nylon with no-snag, coated zippers. There is reinforced stitching throughout. A deal maker for me was the padding, especially the sleeves around the straps where they contact and would otherwise rub against the dog's skin. The entire pack lies naturally over the dog’s form. Getting a proper fit with the 5 point adjustment design is easy enough and the pack secures nicely. The biggest challenge was initially putting it on Alfredo, as you must slip it over the dog’s head and the right leg must be lifted to go in between the shoulder and chest straps. Once this is done though it is just two straps to secure the pack; one under the chest and the other under the abdomen. Again, these have padded sleeves and easily clicked into place. Now I just have to make sure to secure the straps properly so that the ends do not hang or drag. The ergonomics of the pack are exceptional with streamlined saddle bags and a harness design that makes the load ride forward at the shoulders. Alfredo had never worn a backpack before but after few minutes seemed born to wear it. He had full range of motion and was able to run full speed without a problem, adventured through brush and even hit some low hanging branches without losing the pack or having it shift. The saddle bags are roomy but do lack interior compartments. Some might feel this would be a nice feature and I know that other packs have them. However, this was not a factor in our decision and the pack doesn’t lose points because of it. There is plenty room for whatever you want your dog to carry for the day or a one or two night outing. Because this is all new to Alfredo his load was light first time out. A bottle of water on each side, a small Tupperware dish, a ball, a rope toy and some snacks were all we loaded him with - two pounds on each side to be exact. There is easily enough room for twice this amount and more and the pack’s construction seems ready to handle it. I believe this is the newer version of this model as it also features exterior gear loops above each saddle bag. There is a large, D-ring at the top, front of the pack which allowed us to quickly attach his leash when needed. The padded assistance handle is sturdy and I was able to completely lift Alfredo off of the ground with it. The pack features a reflective trim along the sides for low-light visibility. I suggest also adding a strobe or other type of clip-on light. You can clip these on to the dog's collar but I like that you can easily attach this on the backpack. There is a useful, reinforced loop at the rear of the pack that seemed to be put there just for this purpose. This is not the cheapest backpack and also not the most expensive. But for me it delivers the greatest value for our type of use. It has great features, solid construction, awesome fit and obvious comfort for the dog. Five stars.

5 out of 5

Dog's Name: Chloey

Date of Review: 6/1/2013

We kick up our paws in: PA

My canine companion(s): Beagle mix

Exactly what we were looking for

Would you recommend this product?.: Yes!

My 60 pound beagle mix loves the outdoors. We are taking her on a couple of multiple backpacking trips, now she can carry her own food without any worries. She took to the pack right away and didn't have any issues. The pack fit her perfectly (using the sizing guide) and never shifted or moved. The durable materials and straps were fantastic and the material is easy to wipe off, especially in muddy conditions. LOVE it and would highly recommend.

5 out of 5

Dog's Name: Hunter

Date of Review: 5/28/2013

We kick up our paws in: Tarrytown, NY

My canine companion(s): Entlebucher Mountain Dog

Ergonomically designed

Would you recommend this product?.: Yes!

Placing a pack on any dog is a serious responsibility. If it rides wrongly then it can cause muscular-skeletal problems. If it is not designed properly it will cause abrasion and irritation. The Approach Pack is designed to be position weight mostly over the dog's forelegs not over the spine. The straps are made to avoid chafing and skin or fur irritation. The pouches lie flat permitting the load (<25% dog's weight) to a narrow profile allowing the dog to negotiate narrow trails or rocky climbs. Both my dog and I agree that this is a comfortable and handy hiking pack for food and water.

5 out of 5

Dog's Name: Porter House

Date of Review: 5/13/2013

We kick up our paws in: Montana

My canine companion(s): Black Lab

Really nice

Would you recommend this product?.: Yes!

My dog is 100 pounds of pure hard headed strenght. When he wants to go there is not to much to stop him. The pack is great. And fits him really well. It has held up to his crazy "i'll go where ever I want and do what I want" kind of lifestyle. I wish it was waterproof. I have to pack his food in a zip lock bag. Not that big of a deal, but i still wish it was.

4 out of 5

Dog's Name: Hailey

Date of Review: 5/7/2013

We kick up our paws in: Baltimore, MD

My canine companion(s): Hound (Large - 70 pounds)

Excellent -- with one reservation

Would you recommend this product?.: Yes!

I've been using this pack for about a year now -- Summer & Winter, on some pretty rugged trails & overnight camping trips/hikes. It fits Hailey like a glove, and stands up quite well to the abuse she gives it (rocks, under-brush, rolling around in whatever she thinks smells good, water). I've even used the handle on top a couple of times to lift her out of some challenging spots she got herself into & couldn't get out of (she can usually get herself into & out of just about anything). The leash harness hold up quite well to her strong, muscular athletic pulling (prong collar is the only thing that stops that). My ONLY complaint about the pack is that it's not waterproof. Why seam-tape the zippers when the pack itself is not waterproof? That just adds to the expense of the pack without any real benefit that I can see. That's the only reason I give it four stars instead of five. It's otherwise a great pack! I'd love to see an all-waterproof version of this pack.

5 out of 5

Dog's Name: Bonnie

Date of Review: 4/29/2013

We kick up our paws in: New York

My canine companion(s): Catahoula

Great product!

Would you recommend this product?.: Yes!

Love this product! It is a great way how to get tired your dog. Great for hiking and what also surprised me - it can be used as a pulling harness! So my dog works twice. The material is very good and it fits very well. I really like it and definitely recommend!

5 out of 5

Dog's Name: Trooper

Date of Review: 4/29/2013

We kick up our paws in: Orange County, CA

My canine companion(s): Pit bull/mix and French Bulldog

Excellent!

Would you recommend this product?.: Yes!

I love everything by Ruffwear! Our most recent purchase was the Approach Pack in Pacific Blue. We already had the old style Approach Pack in Lichen Green, but couldn't resist the new color (the old pack is still as good as new though!). I bought a size L/XL for my 90 pound pit/mix, but think a size M would have been a better fit. These packs are sized very generously. Pros: This is a great, sturdy pack that gives my dog a job. When he walks, he walks with a purpose. This pack is very roomy. We usually load the pack with 3 20 oz. water bottles on each side, a collapsible bowl, treats, extra leash/collar, and whatever else we may need for that day. This pack is crucial on our walks. Without the Approach Pack, my dog pulls like crazy, but when he is wearing the pack he will often walk by my side. He is also less focused on other dogs/people/squirrels and concentrates on the walk, which is a huge plus! The Approach pack also withstands quite a beating from my dog - it has gone through all kinds of brush, rubbed against brick walls (he doesn't realize how wide he is with it on), rolls around on dirt, grass, concrete, and looks as good as new with a wipe down. The fit of the Ruffwear Packs is better than any other I have tried. The chest strap and 2 belly straps keep the pack firmly in place and does not seem to chafe my dog. Even when the load is slightly unbalanced, the pack doesn't slide to the side. I also appreciate the extra stash pocket in the new style pack. It makes it easy to quickly grab a poop bag. Suggestions for Improvements: This is really a great pack. There are only 2 areas where I could make improvement suggestions: (1) it would be great to have removable saddlebags like the Palisades Pack. It takes a few minutes to remove the pack and put it back on each time. I would love to quickly remove just the bags and leave the harness on. (2) go back to the original sizing chart (where a size M went up to a 36 inch chest) and allow for more overlap. It would be great to allow people to be able to choose from 2 different sizes, so they can decide if they want relatively smaller or larger saddlebags. The size M saddlebag was a perfect fit for my dog. The larger saddlebags on the size L/XL is a little bit too large for my taste, but my dog doesn't mind. But overall – this is a great pack and highly recommended!!!!

4 out of 5

Dog's Name: Vegas

Date of Review: 4/26/2013

We kick up our paws in: Virginia

My canine companion(s): Rhodesian Ridgebacks

Great!

Would you recommend this product?.: Yes!

Good quality and a proper fit. Appears that it will last for a long time.

5 out of 5

Dog's Name: Kane

Date of Review: 4/3/2013

We kick up our paws in: MI

My canine companion(s): Pitbull

Excellent

Would you recommend this product?.: Yes!

Top notch product, built to last and has taken a ton of abuse already in only 3 weeks. It holds a 28oz cantene on both sides as well as poop bags, treats, gloves, flashlight, extra leash with plenty of room to spare for a couple t-shirts and small cloths. Dog can run and play fetch loaded up with no problem, it hugs tight and does not flop around. I chose bright orange and it's very noticeable. Overall it does it job by giving the dog a task to focus on and expending 3x as much energy on an 1 hr walk.

5 out of 5

Dog's Name: Buck

Date of Review: 4/2/2013

We kick up our paws in: Medford, MA

My canine companion(s): Siberian Husky

Awesome!

Would you recommend this product?.: Yes!

Excellent backpack! We use it daily and have tried other brands in the past, which do not compare in quality. Overall attractive, well fitting, sturdy and withstands long days in whatever the weather, perfect pocket space too!

5 out of 5

Dog's Name: Duke

Date of Review: 3/26/2013

We kick up our paws in: Long Island

My canine companion(s): Labrador Retriver

Sturdy and well made

Would you recommend this product?.: Yes!

I ordered the L/XL for my 64 pound 10 month old Lab and it fits him great. He can carry a good amount of stuff and the load is balanced. I plan to use it on hikes but for now I'm using it on daily walks around the neighborhood. The extra weight he's carrying around helps him work harder and use all that extra energy. Overall I'm impressed with the quality and workmanship of this pack.

5 out of 5

Dog's Name: Bentley

Date of Review: 3/24/2013

We kick up our paws in: Ventura, CA

My canine companion(s): Maltese & Dachshund

So Good, Even a Maltese Can Use One!

Would you recommend this product?.: Yes!

My Maltese is a heafty guy (16 pounds) and his energy level is quite high. My doxie can't quite keep up, distance wise. I got the pack for the Maltese to help wear him out and level the field, so to say. It works nicely! The pack (size Small) fits him perfectly at a 19" girth. I expected him to complain but he seems to enjoy his new responsibility and he doesn't struggle with the form or weight (I keep the weight low, about one pound per side). The blue looks nice on him, too!

5 out of 5

Dog's Name: Chase

Date of Review: 3/19/2013

We kick up our paws in: Montreal, Canada

My canine companion(s): Pitbull

Amazing

Would you recommend this product?.: Yes!

We bought an Approach Pack and used the sizing instructions. Our dog is a 45 lb Pitbull rescue and loves to run. He has a 26" girth and so we bought the small. When we took it out of the packaging the dog got very excited so we put it on him. Fits perfect, very easy to adjust, and he doesn't even notice its on. Good quality zippers, tons of room in the storage spots without hanging too low, which we were a little worried about before we bought it. In short, dog loves it, we love it. Would totally buy another one if I had another dog.

5 out of 5

Dog's Name: Roxie

Date of Review: 3/4/2013

We kick up our paws in: Florida

My canine companion(s): Papillon

Great product!

Would you recommend this product?.: Yes!

This is Roxie's first backpack! She is a small dog (Papillon 6 months old, 5lbs) with a lot of energy! She has the smallest size bag (XXS). I found that using this bag she can drain some of her mental energy (I usually leave the bag empty) on our shorter walks. We plan on taking Roxie on hikes with us, so this is also a good way to train her so she can carry her treats when we finally decide she is old and strong enough to tag along.

5 out of 5

Dog's Name: Stryder

Date of Review: 2/26/2013

We kick up our paws in: Virginia

My canine companion(s): Chocolate lab

AMAZING!

Would you recommend this product?.: Yes!

This is Stryders second approach pack. He is 110 punds with a 35 inch chest. We got the large in the older style and it's been great but never fit snug on him (should have gotten Medium but I am dumb and ignored the advice). I called Ruffwear and they explained to me that the new packs don't have the overlap in the sizes and the new large would be perfect. It totally is perfect!!! Fits like a glove and the new extra pockets are going to come in really handy for our overnight hikes! You guys are the best!

5 out of 5

Dog's Name: Guv'nor

Date of Review: 2/12/2013

We kick up our paws in: Denver

My canine companion(s): Doberman

Couldn't be happier with this pack!

Would you recommend this product?.: Yes!

The fit of this pack is amazing! Even with an uneven load there is no shifting, which is a problem we've had with other packs. There is plenty of room in the pockets, I've already packed boots, food, a Cloud Chaser, and the water bladders from our SingleTrak pack. Even with this kind of load the pack pockets don't smack against my dog's sides when he runs! The small pockets on top are really handy too. My pup is 72lbs with a 31" girth and the medium pack fits perfect. The orange color also looks great on him (he's chocolate with rust accents).