When backpacking, it is great to take your dog with you as a companion and friend, however, the added enjoyment does not come without a cost as you will have to carry suitable bedding for them as well if they are to keep healthy and energetic.
As an increasing number of backpackers are taking their furry companions with them, bedding options are becoming available to buy. Although some backpackers may opt to carry the additional weight of a dog tent, most settle for doggy sleeping bags or beds in order to reduce weight but still allow their dog comfort and warmth at night whilst traveling.
Best Backpacking Dog Bed
As most backpackers prefer not to carry the additional weight and bulk of a tent or raised bed, they opt for either a standard bed or sleeping gag, so here are reviews of 10 of the most popular of those:
Ozark Trail Dog Sleeping Bag
This is a good choice for many reasons. First, it is reasonably priced and yet weighs only 2.6lbs and is compact.
When opened this bed opens into a cave-like design offering your dog shelter from the elements as well as protection from the cold ground. When ready for stowing the bed folds into its own pouch allowing it to be very compact and as convenient as possible.
Green in color and neatly stitched on top, this may not be the best quality dog bed available today but it certainly is one of the most practical as it offers more than just something to lie on.
Canine Hardware Pet Travel Bed
Weighing just 1.7lbs, this bed is made from nylon on the bottom and a polyester microfiber on top and so can be compact and easy to carry.
When open this bed measures 30” by 39” and so provides a large space for your dog to sleep on without touching the cold ground. As well as being a spacious area, the make- up of this bed affords excellent comfort at night for your backpacking friend.
Coleman Roll-Up Waterproof Travel Bed
This is a dog bed from a very reputable and experienced company that knows how to make your dog comfortable. With a thickness of 2” and an area 36” by 24” your dog will be able to stretch out comfortably at night.
Made from nylon and weighing only 1.8lbs, this dog bed is waterproof and can easily and quickly be rolled up for stowing whilst leaving your dog energetic and well-rested, ready to accompany you on your next day’s adventures.
Ruffwear Highlands Dog Sleeping Bag
This dog sleeping bag weighs only 1.7lbs and yet is 1” thick and has an area of 35” by 26”. Designed in the style of a sleeping bag, this dog’s bed offers more than just a dry surface to sleep on as it also offers all-over warmth for those extra cold nights.
Made from a polyester fabric this bed is light affording simple stowage and so little additional poundage and trouble to take your dog with you when backpacking.
Balance from GoYoga All-Purpose
Weighing 2lbs this dog bed is made from high-density foam. Although this is a standard yoga mat its size of 71” by 24” makes it an ideal and spacious backpacking bed for your dog.
Easily rolled up to make it portable this is a great addition to your backpack. Although it can easily be cut to a smaller size more appropriate for your dog, if left at its original size it can be versatile and used for other purposes.
Kurgo Loft Wander Travel Dog Bed
This dog bed was specifically designed for use outside and is available in 2 different sizes, 27” x 36” or 36” x 48”, so you can buy the one best suited for your dog’s size.
Obviously, as this was designed for outdoor use the bottom is waterproof and the top is water-resistant to help keep your dog dry. Both the top and bottom are made from tough, non-slip material for durability and wear and yet can still be easily rolled up for carrying.
Noblecamper 2-in-1 Dog Bed
Although still able to be rolled into its own pouch, this allows a choice of bed or sleeping bag for your dog whilst backpacking with you.
Made of both nylon and cotton, this bed is waterproof and yet allows air circulation for more comfort. The cotton aspect of the bed also allows for easy cleaning, making it practical and easy to use.
Outdoor Hiking Mountaineering Foam Camping Mat
Although with a depth of less than 1/2 an inch and length and breadth of over 6’ and 21” respectively, this dog bed only weighs 12.8ozs making it light and as it folds, also compact.
Made from IXPE which is a type of foam material, the surface is textured to allow for a comfortable night’s sleep. This easily unfolds to provide your backpacking buddy with a quick and convenient sleeping place for the night.
ALPS Mountaineering 7555002 Foldable Foam Mat
Weighing just 10ozs, unfolded, this dog bed offers a size of 22” x 71” x 0.75”, ample room for your dog to get a good night’s sleep. Made from egg crate foam this bed also will offer your dog comfort for the night.
When folded, this dog bed is very compact, offering a light and comfortable alternative to some of the more sophisticated and expensive dog beds.
Wild Affairs Sleeping Pad
This especially thickened egg cell mat measures 72”x 21” x 0.7” and so has more than enough room for a dog to sleep on comfortably.
The fact that this bed is well made and is easy to fold for carrying makes it perhaps the ideal bed for your dog when it accompanies you on your backpacking travels.
Although this bed has a weight of 2lbs which is more than some alternatives, many backpackers think the extra weight is worth it considering the extra level of comfort it affords their dogs.
Buying Guide for The Backpacking Dog Bed
Nowadays, there are plenty of dog tents or dog shelters available to buy which are specifically designed with campers in mind and so they are lightweight and relatively compact.
However, considering a backpacker will already be carrying their own shelter, many opt for a lighter sleeping bag or bed for their dog whilst backpacking.
Obviously, when backpacking with your dog you will want your dog to enjoy as much comfort as possible at night and so you will not want them to have to sleep on the ground which could be wet and nor would you want them to sleep directly on the ground as it could be cold.
When deciding which dog bed you should buy for your dog whilst backpacking there are several factors you should keep in mind and the first being the type of bed:
- Raised Bed – These beds are probably ideal for camping trips which you go on in a car as they allow your dog to sleep raised from the ground which may be wet and cold but whereas other types of dog beds do prevent the cold and wet from affecting your dog, these also take your dog out of reach of many biting insects and bugs. The size and weight of these beds though make most incompatible with backpacking.
- Sleeping Bag – Although many dogs may not be used to sleeping bags, they will very quickly find out their benefits on cold nights. Like any sleeping bag these dog sleeping bags offer your dog a warm cover as well as a warm mattress and so despite their possible additional weight, may be considered if you plan to backpack in colder climates.
- Standard Dog Bed – As these are often little more than a mattress or groundsheet for your dog, considering their weight and size, these are probably the best option for backpackers as they do still offer your dog protection from the cold, wet ground.
Then consider the material of the bed:
- Closed cell Foam – These are mats similar to yoga mats and so they do not allow air to pass through them which means they will make a comfortable mattress for your dog and protect it from the cold or wet ground.
- Open Celled Foam – These are like memory foam mattresses and so your dog would be very comfortable on one at night however, they are somewhat bulky for backpacking.
- Self-inflating Beds – This type of bed could be suitable for a dog whilst backpacking but often do not last due to accidents with the dog’s paws.
- Fabric Beds – Dog beds made from an assortment of fabrics are perhaps more like blankets than beds but many are stuffed for more warmth and most are shaped like a bed, ensuring the dog has a comfortable, dry sleeping place.
The other factors to consider are weight, portability, and effectiveness.
- Weight – As a backpacker, you will already have plenty of weight to carry and so any additional weight will be noticed. For this reason, opting for the lightest possible dog bed may be a suitable choice.
- Portability – Whilst backpacking space, as well as weight, is of a premium and so you will want to choose a dog bed that can be easily stowed whilst hiking.
- Effectiveness – Even though you may have opted for a light and compact dog bed, the extra weight and bulk is hardly worth it if it is not going to afford your dog any extra warmth or comfort.
The one other factor is as always, of course, price and the price for a bed for your dog to join you whilst backpacking can vary greatly as a dog tent or portable shelter can be expensive whilst some basic dog beds can be relatively cheap, so what price do you put on having your companion join you whilst backpacking?
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an outdoor dog bed?
An outdoor, backpacking or camping dog bed is a dog bed that has been specifically designed for outdoor use.
As such, the bed will probably include waterproof material, at least on the bottom and will often be made with tougher material than dog beds designed for interior use so they can withstand more rugged wear and tear.
What is a camping canopy for dogs?
Although often containing an outdoor dog bed as part of it, a camping canopy or tent for dogs will include a shelter and probably legs to keep the actual bed off the ground.
There is little doubt that these types of beds for dogs are probably the best for dogs whilst on regular camping trips but due to their additional weight and size, they are not practical for backpackers to carry with them.
How can you keep your dog warm while camping and backpacking?
Obviously you could buy a dog’s sleeping bag but if you only have a regular dog bed, consider placing a bottle of warm water, wrapped in a shirt, on the bed to provide your dog with extra warmth.
Can a dog sleep in a tent?
Yes, a dog can sleep in a tent along with you provided the tent is large enough. If you are planning for your dog to sleep in a tent with you, you should ensure the tent is large enough so consider your dog as an extra person for size allowance.
Although your dog can sleep in your tent at night with you, you should never leave a dog alone in a tent.
Where to buy an outdoor dog bed?
There are high street stores that sell them but most will offer little in the way of variety and so it is probably best to buy one online. There are many different types and brands to choose from