A fine dog pack

Reviewed by Neotenist from California Central Coast on Tuesday, March 12, 2013
This pack is a nice piece of work; well-designed, solid construction, and good functionality. It also looks pretty good! A large pack is not available through STP and I hesitated to buy the medium since I have a large Labrador with a 36" + girth around the chest. My concerns were unfounded; the pack's chest strap easily accommodated the dog's chest and the pack fits well. It also is a quick and easy install on the dog. The inner panels which rest against the dog's ribs are nicely padded so hard objects in the pack do not rub or irritate. The tubes of material that go over the straps afford minimal padding and their main functions appear to be to reduce chafing and to keep the ends of the straps from dangling in the mud. There are nice touches like a mesh pocket on outer top of one pannier, a zippered inside pouch, a sturdy grab handle and a D-ring, reflective patches, and beefy two-way zippers on each pannier. The volume is a bit less than I might wish, but that is probably a good thing as it keeps the dog from being overloaded. I found two sturdy plastic containers and lids that are almost identical to the inner shape and size of the panniers and each one can hold about 7-8 cups of dry food with additional space for collapsible water bowl and so on. With this set up, a dog could go on a backpack trip of several days carrying most or all of its own food supply and assorted ancillary items. Packs do need to be somewhat balanced with snug straps to keep panniers from tilting or sagging on one side or the other. In addition, I discovered that the strap clips will release if strong resistance is met when the dog is moving forward and the packs is not. While I am guessing that this "breakaway" function is a safety feature and I appreciate that it will keep the dog alive in some circumstances, the release has occurred several times in city sidewalk hikes and I do have some concern that this could happen on a trail and that the pack could be lost somewhere on or off the trail. However, I'd rather it release too easily than not at all so it is probably a good compromise. All-in-all, I am extremely pleased with the pack (and, I suspect, so is the dog).
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