Mountainsmith Dog Pack ReviewJuly 23, 2012
- Good volume, easy to fit big loads.
- Good value.
- Large and small pockets to separate gear.
- Reflective 3M tape.
- Under the body adjustable straps are too close together.
- The pack can slide forward...and off with heavy loads.
- D-ring is not very beefy if you have an aggressive puller.
A good, economical pack for outdoor adventures. The large volume, pannier style saddlebags are simple and easy to use. If worn closer to the dog’s shoulders, the pack can be slipped over the dog’s head unintentionally. Worn further back, the pack is more secure, but carries more load over the spine.
I liked the simple pannier style, high volume saddlebags of this pack right away. They are easy to pack, and feature an internal pocket for items you would like to separate. The external compression straps are simple and effective.
My issue with this pack was the two straps that go under the body. They are quite close together, and not angled to fit the dog’s body well. Both of my dogs are very fit and have a large chest cavity with aggressive “tuck ups.” I would prefer that the rear strap on the pack reached/angled back and fastened where the dog is smaller, around the waist, as some other brands do.
The first strap got my test dog under the armpits (good) and the second fit him at the largest part of his chest. While playing with his head down in a stream, however, the heavy multi-day load shifted forward enough that he slipped the pack over his head and stepped out of it.
The entire pack can be shifted way back on the dogs body to help the rear strap catch a narrower part of the dog’s figure so it can’t shift forward as easily, but then the load is not as nicely distributed closer to the dogs shoulders where it can be most comfortably carried.
The D-ring/leash attachment point is not as beefy on this pack as others, but I didn’t break it in my outings as the dogs are mostly off leash. I would be worried about it with bigger dogs that pull. The handle is effective for holding on to the dog, but because the under the body straps are close together, it is not super comfortable for lifting the dog. The bungee on top of the pack can be used for quickly stashing gear, though I was also concerned about it getting snagged.