I’ve begun shopping around for a backpack for Kaylee. Wings wore a Wenaha Jogger pack, which I really liked, but which is proving impossible to find in the size (XS) and color (purple, please! I guess red would be okay but.. I really like purple. Teal or dark blue would be my second choice, but it doesn’t even COME in those colors, and it USED to be available in purple.) I want. I could re-use Wings’ pack, but I just don’t want to. It was Wings’. It’s special. It stays on the bookshelf. There’s a real dearth of packs that have all the features I want.
- Not too bulky, with less than 4″ of added clearance on each side of the dog’s body from the panniers, nor too big- I need to carry around my meds, some (folded) brochures, poop bags, my cell phone, and a water bottle. The packs need to be short enough not to go too far back over her shoulders, but still have a girth long enough to accomodate her (quite deep) chest, and the panniers should not get in her way if she lies down.
- Comfortable fit- a padded chest strap is a bonus, and a minimum of places for hair to catch and hang up is preferred. Unlike a recreational backpack, she’s going to be spending a fair amount of time lying down or sitting with the pack on, so that needs to be comfortable, and she’s going to be wearing it every day once she’s working.
- Easy to take on and off. The Wenaha chest strap can be left fastened and the pack dropped on over her head and then the girth fastened (like a Wolfpack ID Cape). I like this style, but it needs to be adjustable and also something I can slip a fleece or neoprene keeper over once it’s adjusted to keep it from tangling in her hair.
Today at City Life Pets, I tried the Ruffwear Approach Pack on Kaylee. I *loved* the way this fit her- the Webmaster harness that forms the foundation for the pack is incredibly well designed, and even without the girth fastened, a good shake didn’t move the pack at all. The size is okay- it’s at the top of my preferred range, but within it- the panniers are excellently sized, just wider than I want. It looks reasonably professional. There’s just one drawback- I *hate* the way you put it on the dog. One of the things that makes it fit so well is a Y-style yoke on the chest rather than a straight-across breastplate. The dog has to step into it. This is a SERIOUS pain enough that the pack is off my consideration list. I think. Unless I can find a way to modify that, anyway. I think we’re going to keep shopping for now.