Backpacking with Dogs
2022 Ruffwear Palisades Pack Review

2022 Ruffwear Palisades Pack Review

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The Ruffwear Palisades Pack is a great pack because it is a two-piece system that includes a harness and the detachable packs. The pack is large but includes compression straps to help reduce the size and limit any movement when the pack isn’t completely full.  This means that you can buy one pack and use it for a little or a lot of gear. The pack comes in any color you want as long as the color is Red Sumac. It’s important to size the pack appropriately for your dog based on their chest measurements.  The bag includes tons of features and details that deserve noting.

Right now, the pack can be difficult to find, but there were some still online here.

Comfort & Configuration

Perhaps the most important part of any pack is how it fits your dog.  The Ruffwear Palisades Pack is designed with five points of adjustability and all of the straps are padded across the chest and underbelly. The saddle bags have a compression straps to keep cargo secure in place and a special clip that keeps the bags from flopping as your dog runs.

A big feature of the Ruffwear Palisades Pack is that the pack is quickly detachable from the harness.  This means that when you stop for lunch you do not have to undo the harnesses to lighten the load.  This is extremely convenient when your dog is crossing water and you want to carry the pack for a little bit.  Overall the harness is a good utility just around the camp to keep a tracking light on the dog and an easy leash point on the back of the harness.


The Pack is more rugged and durable since its upgrade in 2022 thanks to an upgrade in the materials and fabric.  Dogs tend to brush trees and other trailside items when they are wearing packs. The pack and zippers are water resistant but not waterproof.  The top of the pack has breathable mesh to help keep the dog cool. And all of the piping is made of reflective material for good nighttime visibility.

The harness structure has been upgraded in 2022.  The harness has some more rigidity through a molded foam inner core.  This helps with structure, stability, and weight distribution.


Ruffwear Palisades Pack

The bag has 6 pockets in all, three on each side.  The top and inner most pocket is small handy for leashes and treats.  Its not really big enough to fit a collapsible bowl,  The outer and lowest pocket is a moderate size and can fit a 5” collapsible water bowl.  This outer pocket also contains the compression straps.  Simply pull the straps to compress and then tug on the release cord for a quick release.  The last pocket on each side is much larger and even contains a divider.  The divider can easily be pushed to one side without affecting the storage capacity.  The pocket also has a small hole for drainage should anything leak in the pack.

Other Features of the Ruffwear Palisades Pack

The pack includes two 1-liter water bladders that fit nicely into the pack. Also, the pack attaches to the harness in a way that does not interfere with either the leashing clip or the handle of the harness, allowing quick control and assistance for your dog. The pack comes with a good set of instructions on its use and loading techniques. And lastly the pack has daisy chain elastic connection ribbons on both sides so you can attach pads or larger items to the outside of the pack.

Specifications – Ruffwear Palisades Pack

The Palisades Pack has three sizes, and each has different weights and capacities.  Click here to see the details.

Fitting the Ruffwear Palisades Pack

Fitting the pack for your dog is very important but not difficult.  Measure your dog around the widest part of their rib cage and buy the appropriate size.  For 22”-27” you should buy a small, for 27”-32” a medium and for 32”-42” a large. Here is a handy sizing guide visual.