What's a good general purpose backpack? I'm not going camping with my dog or anything, but I like to go on walks or take Totoro to the parks, and it may be nice to have her carry her own water, treats , and poop baggies (hate to swing those bags on a power walk).
I picked up one at Petsmart and it works nice. We use it to go geocaching with Z so she can tote her water, some swag for the cache, clean poop bags and filled poop bags, along with other small necessities. The one we have has medium size pouches. My daughter has one that has small pouches, more like a day hike pack, perfect for poop bags. It is made by outward hound.
Bailey has 2 backpacks, one is specifically for her SD work, it's the larger of the two packs and carries all her basic need items (portable water dish, disposable bags & wipes, emerg. items, id, etc. It was purchased through Wolfpacks SD Equip. It's very durable, fits her well and has lambs wool covering specific areas to prevent rubbing, etc ... it was also very expensive!
Her other pack we purchased at Petsmart from their selection of apparel made by Outward Bound. It's also an excellent pack, it's smaller than her working pack ( that was intentional ) and doesn't hold as much ... but we really only wanted it for keeping the bare essentials in when we're out during leisure time, she's not working. It's also very durable and fits well. It wasn't nearly as expensive as her working pack ... actually if we ever have to replace her working pack we just may go with the larger pack for Bailey's size that Outward Bound makes ... other than the protection for rubbbing there really doesn't seem to be that much difference ... and I can put her patches on it myself.
We like to use the packs when out with her because we're really not able to walk at a pace fast enough to wear her out and give her the exercise she needs ... the added weight of the pack helps out in that respect.
I looked around at a few different packs and decided to go with one made by REI. It has a fairly good capacity/size ratio and sits forward nicely, keeping the weight mostly above the dogs front shoulders. Not too bad of a price compared to some others either.
For the dog-pack enthusiasts...I highly recommend RuffWear's Palisades Pack - check it out at ruffwear.com
Which is the pack that Kiera's wearing in the photo (in my signature). We've taken it out for a few field tests and it seems to hold up quite well. (Read: As she runs along the trail into the bush with me lagging behind). It hasn't picked up any obvious wear/tear and we take it out almost every weekend to the hiking trails in/around the city. It's also been through a few trips to the Adironadack Mountain Ranges in upstate New York. It's roomy and holds plenty of her food/water/extra leash/collar...some of our navigational gear and a first-aid kit as well! We have the older model, but I hear the water bags are new and improved! The best part of this pack...is that it removes from the harness when you don't need it. (Which is always a good thing if your dog likes to swim...and you don't plan on soaking all the contents in the pack). Good luck with your search!
We also have the Outward Hound pack from Petsmart, but found that it chafes where her elbow meets her belly. It's great for short walks/trip with a few items...but tends to list to one side once you start loading it with water bottles...:dogdry: So we leave it at home.
Thanks for the tip on the Ruff Wear pack Keira! I also have an Outward Hound Pack but am not using it much because of the listing to one side problem. I also dont think the pouches are big enough. It sounds like the Ruff Wear pack will suit my needs and desires perfectly!