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Review of the Ruff Wear Approach Pack

Article Posted By Josh Griffith

Ruff Wear Approach Pack on the Trail

GRADE: 4/5


The Approach Pack from Ruff Wear is a favorite by not only our customers, but also the crew here at Petjoy. Our use and relationship with this backpack date back pretty much to our beginning. As a matter of fact, the Approach Pack is so tried and true that while we have offered a number of different trail packs for dogs, this (and it's big brother the Palisades pack) is the only one that has been offered to our customers for the last 7 years straight.

An affordable, high-quality pack, it's no wonder the Approach Pack continues to win the dog crowd over.  You can click here to buy the Approach Pack. We should take a quick moment to note that we are only allowed to sell this product within the United States.


For the most part, we love how easy this dog pack is to use. What I love most about it is that once you get the fit dialed in to your dog, it stays set pretty well, requiring only an occasional adjustment. If you are using it with a service dog, some folks that have dexterity challenges find having to feed the dog's one leg through the front leg opening challenging. If you have complete use of your hands, this should not be a huge issue for you.

The Approach Pack does feature double girth straps and a front, Y-style, breastplate pad.  We love this. The reason is simple enough.  While it might be a tiny hassle to get the one leg of your dog through the opening, once this pack is attached and has a properly snug fit, it will not move around. Pack it down, hit the trail and leave the frustration of those other dog backpacks behind.

The backpacks on the Approach Pack are not removable like they are on the Palisades Pack. For some people this is a blessing and for others it is a problem. 


Overall, the quality of this pack is impeccable. We deducted a bit off the score because this pack, as pretty much all of those that are mass produced, is not made in the USA. Currently, if you want a dog backpack that is Made in the USA, we'd have you take a look at our Mod-Tec Dog Harness.

Moving past where this product is made, you can rest assured there is some high-quality control in place at the facilities making Ruff Wear's most popular doggie backpack. Constructed of a tough, ripstop nylon all stress points feature reinforced stitching that is never coming loose.

Additionally, we simply love the rubber covered zippers. These open and close effortlessly and keep what is inside the pouches safe from the elements. They are highly water-resistant, but in no way waterproof - don't leave that new iPhone inside while your dog takes a swim.  Remove the pack when it's river or lake time.


If you want a backpack for your dog that is going to last a long time, the Approach Pack is a serious contender. It's great for hitting the trail with your dog and even serves as a great service dog vest. It is constructed with great materials and we have sold tons of them with no complaints. Make sure you take a look at the sizing chart prior to ordering, to make sure you get the correct size. It is no fun having to exchange a pack and wait for the new one. Make sure you measure twice just to be sure.

And, as always, if you need some help simply give us a call at the number at the top of your screen.