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GAH! I have a soft spot for brindled dogs ;)
Also, I have that same backpack for my dog! How are you and your pooches liking it? Soro's fine with his but the bag shifts HEAVILY to one side unless the weights on both sides are *perfectly* even.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I have had those particular Kelty packs for quite a few years (over 5 anyways). They have held up to a lot of hikes and hours spent on trail, so I am not complaining. However, like you said, they do tend to shift rather extremely if the weight is not absolutely perfectly even. That is the one huge downfall to use a pack designed like theirs. However, I've found that using two equal sized water bottles (I use Nalgenes) helps, as if you have to add something you can always pour out a little water. I keep them half packed now as through trial and error I've found out what gear is equal in weight (ie. the first aid kit is equal to 3 granola bars). It is a very tricky balance!

I tried out a Ruffwear pack on a 3 day hike I did. It had an extra strap to stabalize and water bladders. Supposively the water bladders could easily be filled/drained to equal out weight, and was held against the dogs body to provide cushioning/heat protection. The side bags could also be removed for breaks and reattached to the fitted harness.

It was pretty sweet, but not worth the money IMO. I thought the water bladders were pretty useless and not very user friendly. I am not sure how much cushioning they provided. The best aspect of the pack was the removeable bags. Especially on a multi-day trip like that, its nice to be able to take the weight off your dogs on breaks and be able to snap it back on in a few seconds. The best feature I thought was the harness system itself. The boys seemed comfortable wearing it for 12+ hours a day and they came out of the wilderness with only minimal chafing. The extra loops, straps, rings came in handy for attaching their sleeping pads.

I have tried some other packs as well, but the good ol' Kelty one is the only one thats lasted. I liked the Ruffwear, I really did and writing about it makes me think maybe I should have kept them, but for $125, I don't know. My pack wasn't even that much.

Here is the Ruffwear pack: http://www.rei.com/product/771037/ruff-wear-palisades-dog-pack

Do they still make Kelty packs for dogs?
 
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