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Best Dog Jackets for Outdoor Adventures: Hiking and Camping

By Canada Pooch on Dec 12, 2023

For outdoor enthusiasts with pups, finding the right dog jacket is essential to keeping your pup comfortable and safe during adventures like hiking and camping. With the right jacket, your dog can join you on the trail, by the campfire, and more, without getting cold or wet. This guide will cover everything you need to know about choosing the best dog jackets for the outdoors. 

Bringing your dog along on an outdoor adventure can make the experience even more fun for both of you. However, dogs can get cold outside just like people can. Their fur might not always be enough protection, especially in windy or wet weather. A good dog jacket adds an extra layer to help keep your pup warm and dry. 

Dog jackets you plan to take hiking and camping need to stand up to the elements while also allowing freedom of movement. They should have features like water resistance, breathability, durability, and reflectivity for safety. 

This guide breaks down the key things to look for when shopping for an outdoor dog jacket. Read on for tips on choosing the perfect jacket for your next adventure. 

What Factors Go into a Good Dog Jacket? 

High quality outdoor dog jackets have some important features that help them perform well on the trail or around the campsite. There are several key factors to consider when evaluating dog jackets designed for hiking, camping, and other outdoor adventures. 

Weather Resistance 

One of the primary jobs of an outdoor dog jacket is to protect your pup from the elements. That means being resistant to wind, rain, snow, and other weather conditions. 

For rainy hikes or camping trips, it's crucial to choose a jacket made with waterproof or water-resistant fabric. Check out the Snow Suit, Slush Suit, and Expedition Coat 2.0 at Canada Pooch.

Reflective trim is another important weather-related feature to look for. Reflective piping or strips help keep your dog visible in low light conditions like hiking at night or early morning. This provides an added measure of safety when visibility is low. Locations like the shoulders, chest, sides, and collar are ideal areas for reflective details. 


Allowing your dog a full range of motion is crucial for keeping them comfortable and happy on the trail. An outdoor jacket should not restrict or bind movement in any way. 

The overall cut and fit is an important factor for mobility. Look for a comfortable amount of room through the chest and belly to enable easy breathing and running.. Articulated sleeves that mirror the shape of the front legs move naturally without gapping or pulling. 

Prioritize freedom of movement and your dog will stay agile and comfortable on the trail in their jacket. 


The ideal dog jacket for hiking, camping, and outdoor adventures needs to stand up to the elements without damage. Durability ensures the jacket lasts for many seasons rather than shredding after a single use. 

Prioritizing weatherproofing, breathability, unrestricted motion, and rugged materials gives your dog the best protection and comfort for all their outdoor adventures. 

The Benefits of Outdoor Gear for Dogs 

Bringing your dog along on hiking, camping, and other outdoor adventures allows you to share memorable experiences together. But dogs often require some specialized gear and accessories to safely enjoy the outdoors. Investing in quality jackets, boots, and other gear tailored to your adventures offers many benefits for your pup: 

  • Keeps them warm - Insulated, wind-resistant jackets and dog winter coats add crucial warmth when your dog's natural fur coat just doesn't provide enough protection from the cold on its own.
  • Protects from rain, snow, and moisture - Waterproof and water-resistant outer layers help keep your dog's coat dry in wet weather. Getting wet can chill a dog rapidly, leading to a drop in body temperature. Staying dry is key to avoiding illness. 
  • Shields paws and body from injuries - Dog boots provide protection from hot pavement, rough trails, sharp ice and rocks that could bruise, scrape or cut tender paw pads. Life jackets or flotation aids provide additional buoyancy and prevent drowning risks near water.
  • Increases nighttime or low light visibility - Reflective trim on jackets, collars, leashes, and other gear keep your pup visible in dusk or dark conditions, adding a layer of safety. 
  • Provides access to drinking water - Special hydration packs allow dogs to drink water on the move. Portable folding bowls allow easy access to water wherever you take them. Proper hydration prevents overheating. 

The right outdoor-specific accessories tailored to your adventures enhance comfort, safety, and enjoyment for both of you. Do your research and invest in quality, durable gear designed for your dog’s needs. 

Other Types of Outdoor Gear for Dogs 

In addition to jackets, dogs benefit greatly from other specialized apparel and accessories when hiking, camping, or joining you in outdoor adventures. Some key categories of gear to consider include: 

Harnesses, Collars, and Leashes 

  • Harnesses evenly distribute pressure across the torso to avoid injurious strain on the neck caused by pulling on a regular collar. Look for well-padded designs with adjustable straps for the best fit. 
  • Leashes like hands-free waist belt leashes provide greater control over-excitable dogs while keeping your hands free.

Dog Boots 

  • Dog boots help protect paw pads from hot pavement, rugged, sharp rocks, and other punishing terrain. Seek out boots with durable reinforced soles, secure closures, and breathable fabric. Test different sizes to find the best fit. 

Cooling Gear & Life Jackets 

  • Cooling vests help prevent heat stroke on hot hikes. Our vests cool when soaked in water, utilizing evaporation or to draw heat away from the body. 
  • Dog life jackets provide added buoyancy and visibility near water.

Take time to evaluate your unique adventure needs and invest in durable, high-quality gear designed for your dog. This allows them to enjoy the outdoors safely. 

Outdoor excursions like hiking and camping with your dog create fun, lasting memories together. But preparing your pup with the right gear and clothing helps ensure their comfort, safety, and enjoyment too. 

Investing in a high quality, properly fitted dog jacket provides important protection from the elements without sacrificing mobility. Do your homework on the optimal features and materials based on your specific climate and activity. Taking your dog's breed, coat, and body type into consideration also helps select the best jacket style for their needs. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Should I bring a jacket on every hike or camping trip? 

It's smart to be prepared with a jacket on any outdoor excursion. Weather can shift unexpectedly. A jacket takes up little space and offers protection and warmth if conditions change. For most outings, a lightweight, basic shell-style jacket provides enough insurance without weighing you down. 

Can I put a dog sweater under the jacket for extra warmth? 

Yes, layering a sweater underneath a jacket boosts overall insulation and warmth. Just be sure to size up on the jacket by around 2 inches in the chest and length to accommodate the extra bulk. The jacket should still allow free range of motion. 

Do dogs really need boots? 

Though optional, boots help protect paw pads from hot, rough, or slick terrain that could cause injuries. They also keep paws dry and free of debris. Use them anytime your dog will be on surfaces that could damage their bare paws. Introduce them gradually so your dog accepts them. 

Should I remove the jacket if my dog seems too hot? 

Yes, always monitor your dog closely once exercising with the jacket on. If they seem to be overheating, take a break and remove the jacket. Providing access to water and cooling them down is crucial if they appear distressed from heat. It's always better to take jackets off than risk heat exhaustion. 

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