First Impression: Canine Equipment Ultimate Trail Pack

In many pet stores in the lower mainland of British Columbia, they carry products from a company called RC Pet Products. There are about three different lines of products. The most common line is called Canine Equipment. I cannot speak for the quality of their products I have only bought a martingale and a folding water bowl from them two years ago until recently.

Since Wholesale Sports didn’t have the next size up for reflective orange safety collar by Gear4Dogs Online Store for a collar from Mendota and a backpack from RC Products to make up for the difference in shipping costs. A Hutterite leather-worker will later add some cow-hide along the inside of the collar behind the riveted ID-plate for the comfort of the dog. Apart from the off-topic mention, why RC Products?

I don’t normally buy backpacks, and the one I did end up buying for the older dog a few years ago was an orange backpack for dogs by the company Eco-Gear since it has a reflective tape on and is not an orange mesh. Plus, Eco-Gear’s version was cheap (retail: $30-$45 CAD). Unfortunately, Eco-Gear no longer produces their line of backpacks in orange these days. Red is the closest alternative.

I remember hikers, backpackers and hunters using the Ruffwear products, however, some of my hunting acquaintances started using the Canine Equipment Ultimate Trail Pack. Apparently the reason why they like using the pack is because the panniers can be deattached to be transformed into a tracking harness for finding wounded deer. Then the panniers can be re-attached to stuff the dog’s bags with parts of deer after field-dressing to lighten the load off the hunter’s backpack on the trek back to the quad or truck.

The backpack is kind of cool. One can order them in either red or black. Although red is preferred, there is a shortage of red ones lately since only the Small is available in that colour at the moment. Medium, Large and Extra-Large comes in black. There are little tabs where the height of the bags can be adjusted to accommodate the size of the dog; and tabs on the underside to adjust the width. There are two pockets on a saddle-bag [or “pannier”]. The largest pocket has an additional mesh pocket on the inside, and there is a sub-divider for load-distribution. Both panniers have the pockets. On one of the panniers is a daisy-chain where one can attach things to it with carabiners. There is also a D-ring on the back where one can tie a long para-cord or some kind of rip-stop nylon rope to it to let the dog lead. Plus, the harness is padded so the dog can lead the owner on a blood-trail in comfort. In addition, the handlebar feature is nice for pulling a dog out of a pothole or a crevice (which is sometimes a problem in the mountains). It’s definitely worth pouring in the extra money (retail: $60-$80 CAD) for a higher quality product.

I have to see if it’s worth the praises hunters give it or if it will end up being a fancy gear for a thru-hike during the summers. At the moment, I can see the next size-up being used by labs or other common large-breed dogs for such purpose of carrying the carcass out. It is easy to under-estimate the volume of the bags and the weight of the contents. So, a field-test during the next deer-hunting season is in order.

Here is a collage demonstrating the Canine Equipment Ultimate Trail Pack on a young Laika named Pavel who is being trained on treeing upland birds and mustelids as well as retrieving (hopefully water-fowls); this spring or next fall, he will be put on black bears. The other dog in the photograph is a two-year-old Swedish Vallhund named Riley; he has a season of bear-hunting behind him, but is on the way to being retired due to concerns over early arthritis caused by the twisting of joints [valgus deformity] in the front legs.

Next time, I would like to get a pair of Ruffwear DoubleBack Harnesses for the rock-climbing hobby of mine. :) [Video link of harness being used here] Most of the ones from fellow rock-climbers for their dogs I have seen in action are the Webmaster, but I feel the plastic buckles is not enough security. Metal ones would ease the mind at peace for such high-risk activity.

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  1. Very nice review on the backpack. I’ve been thinking of getting one for when we go camping and hiking would be nice so she can carry her own water and things.

  2. It is not an unbiased review.

    If I am completely honest, I would advise to go with the Wolf Packs from They are a lot more ergonomic for the dogs since it shifts the weight closer to the spine. The majority of the backpacks on the market places the weight on the sides of the dogs, which will only cause back-problems later on.

    When I first started purchasing a backpack, I was initially concerned about the straps for the front and belly on many of the designs since the majority of them shift the loads on the lower lumbar instead of near the shoulder-blades; but after owning the ones from Eco-Gear and RC Products, which both are better than most of the designs on the markets, both designs do suffer from the unjust weight distribution on the spine.

    Mind you, the backpacks you can find at retailers are meant for recreational uses. If one wants a working pack-dog, then a design similar to the ones offered at Wolf Packs would work best. The designs are nothing new since people have been using the same ones for centuries.

    In this particular review of the design from RC Products, I wanted to see if it is worth the rave hunters give it. I would never use this design on a pack-dog while horseback-riding in the Rockies hiking or hunting for Big-horned sheep, Dall’s or mountain goats. Frankly, panniers set on the ribs of the dog, instead of the spine, are not a good backpack either for multi-day hikes either in rough terrains. Of course, the line between recreational and working is very thin and when one tips over to the other side and starts thinking about “working dogs” [as in dogs used for employment or for profit], then one is more concerned about the anatomy of the dog and the structural health in term of long-term investments and returns rather than having fun as a dog-owner.

    So, I hope you find a design you are satisfied with for your needs and for your dog.
    Dave recently posted…Pavel at 11 Weeks OldMy Profile

  3. The ultimate pack for a day in the trails or camping with your best friend. The comfortable and secure webbing harness was based on designs used by working dogs. It has three separate straps for a secure fit with air mesh lined padding for comfort. Harness also has a convenient handle to lift your dog and is great for everyday walks with a nickel plated D ring for leash attachment. The two side bags are detachable and contain sectioned compartments to reduce load shifting and help balance out the weight in the packs. Webbing straps along the back of the packs prevent flapping when packs are attached. Packs are great for food, toys, treats, water bottle or whatever you need for a walk in the park or hiking the trails. There is also a port to dispense poop bags, along with hypalon and webbing gear loops to attach accessories. The Ultimate Trail Pack is made from 420D rip stop nylon and 210D PU nylon lining, with reflective piping and light chargeable glow in the dark YKK zipper pull for extra night time visibility. Whether you’re going out for the day or the week, give your dog a job that can provide help to you and exercise for him. Sizes: Small-30-55-pound, Medium 55-80-pound and Large 80-pound plus.
    Rena Maddox recently posted…No last blog posts to return.My Profile

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