If you’re anything like us, the list of hikes and camping trips we have planned for this summer seems to be growing by the minute. With all the planned and recent time on the trails we were excited to test out the Ruffwear Singletrak Pack on our adventures and could not be more pleased with this product. This sleek, low profile hydration pack was easy to fit, stayed put on the trail all while having the perfect amount of space for a day hike. This pack was used on multiple day-long hikes, trail runs, was worn into the lake and went through the mud.
We tested the medium size Singletrak Pack on our 50lb husky Rain. Rain’s girth is at the lower range of the medium size, but his fluffy coat filled out the rest to make it a perfect fit. Buyer beware, there is no overlap in measurements across sizes, Ruffwear recommends sizing down if you’re on the brink between sizes. There are five points of adjustment that allow you to achieve a comfortably snug fit that prevents any movement, and keeps the dreaded lop sided effect at bay. After making the primary adjustments at home, and after our first few minutes on the trail and a last few tweaks I haven’t had to touch the straps again since this harness conveniently clips on and off with two plastic buckles. Rain had no issues with any rubbing or chaffing, but he also has a lot of (furry) protection. Short haired breeds may need to be mindful of wear the straps rest to ensure chaffing does not occur.
All sizes of the Singletrak Pack have a carrying capacity of 3.2L and come with two soft sided bladder bottles with a snapable spouts. If we forgot the bags at home we would store a 500ml water bottle on each side instead. We found that the pack was able to store everything that Rain needed for a days long adventure, including his water, a snack, a small collapsible bowl, poop bags and a very small first aid kit. On hot days we throw the water bottles in the freezer before hitting the trail to help keep him cool.
The shape of the pack is mindfully designed to keep a close fit to the dog. The “packs” or pocket themselves are low profile and are built into the harness of the pack, which results in minimal “flopping” action. Each side has two zippers, one leading to the main storage area for water and a supplementary one for a few small items. The harness portion is nicely padded on the inside. The outside is a made of a reflective grey, water repellent material, and has bright green trim; it is the only colour option currently available. The pack feels sturdy and durable and has a sleek stylish look to it. The pack is quite reflective in low light conditions which is a nice added feature. Rain has decided to take his pack in with him for a swim (on multiple occasions) and the pack has dried quickly (even while still on) and washes up well (must be hand washed).
Along the spine of the pack is a sturdy handle that can be convenient to use to give your dog a boost up some tricky section of trail or hang onto him while another dog passes by. The harness is cut out underneath the handle, allowing more airflow and keeping Rain more cool.
The Singletrak Pack has no metal D ring on it which I found surprising. We often clipped a long line onto the fabric rubber coated “D ring” behind the neck on the harness; it worked fine for us as Rain simply dragged the line behind him, but I wondered if this piece of the pack is designed to be clipped onto with a leash of a dog that may pull.
Although a bit pricey we still overall loved this pack and would highly recommend it. The Singletrak is perfect for day use and for use with dogs that are extremely active and want to carry their own water. The low profile and excellent fit allow for this pack to be comfortably worn all day long while ripping down the trail dodging branches, rocks and stumps at the speed of light.
This pack would be best for: Dogs that want to carry water & minimal items. Day use, or short trip use. Use in hot weather (Light colour prevents heat absorption). High movement activities (keeps proper weight distribution and low profile design).
This pack would not be ideal for: Multi-day trips. Dogs that need a lot of cargo space. Very small or very large dogs (only three sizes available)
Review by: Dogs That Hike Trail Tester @thenortherndogs