Collage of a brown dog wearing a OneTigris Dog Backpack and a black dog wearing a Ruffwear Approach Pack

Is The OneTigris Dog Backpack Better Than Ruffwear’s Approach Pack?

It’s time for a comparison review of the OneTigris Dog Backpack and the Ruffwear Approach Pack!

If you’ve followed my journey for a while, you know that I’m a sucker for dog backpacks because they:

  • Make high energy dogs more manageable
  • Allow dogs to carry some of their own gear
  • Offer an increased physical & mental workout

That said, I bought the Ruffwear Approach Pack for my late Boxer mix Missy, and she wore it for many years. Missy was a 55 lb Boxer mix.

When I adopted my pup Wally, I bought him the OneTigris Dog Backpack. He’s a 38 lb Feist mix and has been wearing it on a regular basis during Fall, Winter and Spring since early 2021.

Just as a general FYI, I omit dog backpacks during the hot summer months.

Ready? Let’s jump right in!

OneTigris Backpack vs Ruffwear Approach Pack

Disclaimer: This blog post was originally published in 2023 and has been updated in 2024. It contains affiliate links I may earn compensation through at no additional cost to you. 

OneTigris Dog Backpack vs Ruffwear Approach Pack

Now, in this blog post, I’ll compare the different dog backpack features and share what I like and dislike about each respective pack.

Let me start by giving you a side by side overview of each backpack’s features.

Dog Backpack Comparison Table

Feature Ruffwear Approach Pack OneTigris Dog Backpack
Brand Ruffwear OneTigris
Price (in 2024) $99.95 $39
Amazon Customer Reviews (in 2024) 4.6* (900+ ratings) 4.6* (3,500+ ratings)
Where to Buy Amazon
Made in Vietnam China
Materials Polyester, molded bonded mesh, perforated foam, ITW Nexus Airloc plastic side-release buckles Mil-spec nylon, padded mesh lining, UTX-Duraflex plastic buckles
Sizes XSmall: 17-22″ chest
Small: 22-27″ chest
Medium: 27-32″ chest
Large/X-Large: 32-42″ chest

Note: Ruffwear only specifies chest measurements.
Small: Neck 14-21″, Chest 20-27″, Back Length 9″
Medium: Neck 17-23.5″, Chest 25-31″, Back Length 9.8″
Large: Neck 21-31.5″, Chest 29-36″, Back 9.8″
Colors 3: Blue, Orange, Green 5: Black, Brown, Camouflage, Green, Orange
Adjustable Straps Yes; padded girth straps as well as (non-padded) neck & chest straps Yes; hook-and-loop neck strap & belly strap with quick release buckles
Integrated Harness Yes No
Tactical Style No Yes
Pockets and Compartments 1 radial, zippered saddle bag and smaller zippered stash pocket on either side 1 zippered pouch with 2″ by 7″ cross-bungee cords on either side 
Velcro Patch Area No Yes, 2” by 7.5” (size S: 2” by 5.5”) loop panels on either side
Handles 1 padded vertical handle 1 vertical reinforced, padded grab handle
Reflective Elements Yes, reflective trim No
Leash Attachment Points 2: Aluminum V-ring & reinforced webbing loop, both on the back 1 on the back made of UTX-Duraflex plastic
Saddlebag Style Yes Yes
Over the Head Yes No
Cleaning and Maintenance Hand wash or spot clean Hand wash or spot clean

OneTigris Dog Backpack

So as you can see in the table above, the OneTigris dog backpack is fairly inexpensive.

You can buy the OneTigris Dog Backpack on Amazon.

The one I have for Wally is a medium size in brown.

Just FYI, Wally’s a 38 lb Feist mix who was born in 2017. He measures 14.75″ around the neck and 22″ around the chest.

3 ways I use the OneTigris DOG BACKPACK with my active dog

Durable Quality

I ordered the OneTigris Dog Backpack on Amazon and when I got it in the mail, I was truly surprised by its quality.

Because let’s be honest, I didn’t expect it to be super durable given the lower price.

Yes, I read that it’s made of mil-spec nylon, but at this point, I’ve had it for 2.5 years and it still looks really good!

OneTigris dog backpack seen from above
Looking under the hood of the OneTigris dog backpack

And that’s although I’ve used the heck out of it and it’s been both rained and snowed on.

Like I said before, Wally’s been going on daily backpack walks with it during Spring, Fall and Winter.

OneTigris Dog Backpack Doesn’t Go Over The Head

Now, what I love about this particular dog pack besides its durable design is that it doesn’t go over Wally’s head when you put it on.

While he doesn’t mind having stuff pulled over his head, there are dogs who do.

Back in my professional dog walker days, I had several doggie clients who hated having anything pulled over their heads.

Didn’t matter if it was a sweater, harness or backpack, they weren’t having it.

Instead, you just place the pack on your dog’s back and close the belly straps using their buckle and velcro features. Then, you do the same with the neck/chest straps.

Too easy!

OneTigris Dog Backpack Has A Large Padded Handle on The Back

I also love the large reinforced grab handle on the back of the OneTigris Dog Backpack.

Obviously, I can use it to keep him right next to me when there’s oncoming doggie traffic or when he feels like chasing a rabbit.

But I also frequently use it for him to carry my jacket when I get warm on walks and hikes!

It also works great to carry him up a few steps or help him over obstacles on a hike.

Super convenient.

Using the handle on the OneTigris dog backpack to carry my jacket

2 Saddlebags On This Dog Backpack

The OneTigris Dog Backpack has two large saddlebags, one on each side.

I use them to carry water bottles for Wally, poop bags, dog first aid supplies, tissues and some toys.

Tip: Make sure not to load them with more than 25% of your dog’s body weight. Wally weighs just shy of 40 lbs, so he can carry up to 9.5 lbs in backpack weight.

The OneTigris backpack has a large padded handle on the back ad 2 large saddlebags

OneTigris Dog Backpack Features Velcro Patch Areas

The velcro patch areas are my favorite feature on this dog backpack!

I use the large one above the saddle bags on each side for my reflective In Training dog patches. They don’t come with the pack, but I found them separately on Amazon.

Wally’s Daddy also added a waterproof Signal Light to the velcro area on one of the saddlebags.

Combined with the reflective In Training patches, it makes up for the lack of reflective features on this dog backpack.

That’s my only complaint with the OneTigris Dog Backpack!

Adding a tactical E-LITE to Wally's dog backpack

Leash Attachment Point

The OneTigris Dog Backpack has one leash attachment point on the back.

It’s large and made of durable UTX-Duraflex plastic. I personally rarely use it to attach Wally’s leash because I usually clip the leash to his collar.

Instead, I typically have a poop bag dispenser dangling from it, and/or a leash tab.

In Training patches on Wally's dog backpack by OneTigris

Ruffwear Approach Pack

The Ruffwear Approach Pack is a lot more expensive than the other pack. These days (in 2024), it’s about $100.

Back when I bought it in 2015, it was just shy of $80. Hello, inflation!

But either way, I got Missy a medium size Approach Pack in Campfire Orange. Like I said before, she weighed about 55 lbs and measured 29″ around her chest.

Missy walking with the Ruffwear Approach Pack

Sturdy Polyester

The Ruffwear Approach Pack is made of sturdy polyester.

So while that’s not the mil-spec nylon material the OneTigris backpack is made of, it’s still pretty durable.

After a couple years of using it, it only had a few scratches on the saddlebags from brushing against bushes, trees and rocks on our hikes at Raven Rock State Park in NC.

Ruffwear’s Approach Pack Has An Integrated Harness

One big difference between the Ruffwear Approach Pack and the OneTigris pack is that it’s built onto a harness.

That also means that you have to pull it over your dog’s head and lift up their right leg to step into it.

Missy didn’t mind, but like I said before, there are some dogs who don’t love having anything pulled over their heads.

So if your dog is one of those pups, this dog backpack may not be the right choice for them.

Side note: A really cool feature is that you can customize the harness on the tag that you see in the picture above!

As in, grab a marker and write down their name and your contact details.

Padded Handle On The Back

The Ruffwear Approach Pack also has a padded handle on the back.

I used it very similarly to how I use the handle on the OneTigris Dog Backpack.

When I got warm on our walks and hikes, I looped my jacket through the handle and had Missy carry it.

She was always such a good sport about it!

Missy carrying my jacket on her Ruffwear Approach Pack

2 Saddle Bags On This Dog Backpack

Ruffwear’s Approach Pack has 2 deep saddle bags, one on each side.

They’re deeper than the ones on the OneTigris pack, so you can really take a lot of stuff along with you!

Besides two water bottles, I’d keep treats, toys, first aid doggie stuff and poop bags in there.

Leash Attachment Points

There’s 2 leash attachment points on the back of the Ruffwear Approach Pack, one Aluminum V-ring and one reinforced webbing loop.

That said, I rarely used them because I either walked Missy on a head collar or on a slip collar.

OneTigris Dog Backpack vs Ruffwear’s Approach Pack: Bottom Line

Both dog backpacks are great to take along on outdoor adventures with your furry friends while they carry a portion of their own gear.

But remember that dogs should only carry up to 25% of their own body weight!

As far as which dog backpack works best for you and your pup, it depends on:

  • Your budget
  • Your style preference
  • Your dog’s willingness to have stuff pulled over their heads

Remember that the OneTigris Dog Backpack has more of a tactical vibe and doesn’t come in fun, vibrant colors like the Ruffwear Approach Pack.

That said, it’s quicker to put on than the Approach Pack and has room for velcro patches.

The Ruffwear Approach Pack doesn’t have that feature, but it has a reflective trim instead.

So, which dog backpack do you think would work better for you? Let me know in the comment section below this blog post!

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Barbara launched her blog K9sOverCoffee in 2014 and has been feeding her dogs raw dog food since 2015. As a former professional dog walker, she’s passionate about balancing species-appropriate exercise with healthy dog nutrition. Barbara is raw dog food nutrition certified from “Dogs Naturally Magazine” and the author of several e-books about minimally processed, balanced raw dog food.







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