9 Best Dog Collars For Hiking 2024

Last Updated on 27/08/2023

9 best dog collars for hiking copy

Looking for The Best Dog Collar for Hiking in The Wilderness?

Hiking with your dog is one of the best bonding experiences you can share with your four-legged friend, and you no doubt love it just as much as each other. You don’t need much to enjoy the outdoors with your dog, but you will need a few essentials to stay safe. This list of the best dog collars for hiking aims to find the most durable and comfortable collars for your pup with reviews and a buyer’s guide.

You’ll likely agree that hiking should be done with the appropriate gear, and this rule also applies to your dog. The best dog collars for trekking will be comfortable on your dog’s neck, durable enough to endure rough terrain, simple to use, and ideally easy to spot from a distance. If you can find a dog hiking collar that does all this, then you know you are onto a winner.

Some people prefer to use a dog harness if their dog is a puller, but you can’t beat the tried and tested design of a good collar. A leash is also important when hiking with your dog, which is why we looked at dozens of options and recommended our hiking leash recommendations.

That being said, there are so many dog products on the market it can be hard to find the best hiking dog collar that also works on a day-to-day basis. It is true that almost any dog collar can be used for hiking, but not all are reliable, and some designs are not ideal for hiking. Some materials will fare better than others in bad weather and the type of closure can be important in finding the right collar for outdoor dogs.

9 Best Dog Collars For Hiking


RUFFWEAR Crag Dog Collar

RUFFWEAR Crag Dog Collar

One of the first things to consider when buying a dog collar for hiking is the material. The RUFFWEAR Crag Dog Collar is made of polyester and is designed with the company’s proprietary Tubelok webbing. It also has a plastic side release buckle, aluminum lead attachment, and silicone tag silencer. When combined, this offers a waterproof, easy-to-clean, and extra-durable dog collar for walking.

As for the fit, the collar comes in three sizes; small (11-14 inches), medium (14-20 inches), and large (20-26 inches). However, they are all adjustable. So, if you purchase the wrong size or your dog grows, you can adjust the collar accordingly instead of buying a new one. Additionally, the side-release plastic buckle is easy to fasten and unfasten at will.

VERDICT: The collar’s Tubelok webbing is reflective. So, in the case of a nighttime emergency, you can quickly and easily locate your pet. And with four color options (kokanee red, meadow green, purple dusk, and twilight grey), you can choose your dog’s preferred look.

 


Black Rhino Neoprene Padded Dog Collar

Black Rhino Neoprene Padded Dog Collar

Suppose you are looking for something a little more traditional, why not consider the Black Rhino Neoprene Padded Dog Collar. Its standout feature is its neoprene padding, soft foam-life material meant to keep your pet’s neck protected and comfortable. It’s normal to assume that material like neoprene will open the door to irritation, but surprisingly, it dries quickly and is odor resistant.

Additionally, there is a frame-style buckle at the end of a woven polyester material that wraps around the neoprene pad. This makes the entire collar sturdier, weatherproof, and adjustable enough for dogs of all breeds and sizes. That being said, the collar does come in various sizes that, include small (11 – 14.5 inches), medium (14.5 – 19in), large (19 – 23in), and extra-large (23 – 27in).

VERDICT: The best dog collars for hiking should have all the best features that aid visibility, and the Black Rhino Neoprene Padded Dog Collar is no exception. There’s reflective stitching on the polyester material. So there’s less chance of losing your pup during those early mornings or evening walks and hikes. Finally, it comes in five different colors, so you can always spice up the fun by matching gears.

 


RUFFWEAR Flat Out Dog Collar

RUFFWEAR Flat Out Dog Collar

The stylish outdoor pattern design of this next dog collar caught our eye at first. However, after getting to use it, we learned it offers more than just attractive aesthetics. The RUFFWEAR Flat Out Dog Collar is a robust yet lightweight collar that’s perfect for the ruggedness of the hiking trail.

Most of the collar is made of polyester, with Tubelok webbing to ensure longevity. It might have been better if the collar had been thicker. However, the sturdy material makes up for it.

Another downside is that it’s not reflective, which makes it not suitable for early morning and evening hikes. Nonetheless, fastening and unfastening are straightforward thanks to a side-release buckle, while an aluminum V-ring guarantees a secured connection between you and your dog.

VERDICT: The RUFFWEAR Flat Out Dog Collar has a separate ID attachment and a silicone tag silencer to reduce noise. It is a nifty feature that makes it easy to remove or add your dog’s tags. Lastly, it is equally available in various sizes, so you can get the same product to maintain uniformity in all your dogs.

 


Black Rhino Hybrid Striped Dog Collar

Black Rhino Hybrid Striped Dog Collar

Not everyone likes the traditional metal clasp. It can be noisy and weighty. That is why we think the Black Rhino Hybrid Striped Dog Collar is one of the best hiking dog collars on the market. Its hybrid clasp design combines the durability of metal with the lightweight quality of plastic, which in our opinion, makes it suited for any dog breed.

Unfortunately, it only comes in medium (12-18in) and large (15-23in) sizes, so it probably won’t suit owners with small necks. Besides that, inside the collar, there’s neoprene padding, as well as a lightweight, protective material comfortable enough for your dog’s neck. As for the outside of the collar, you’ll find reflective stitching that’s available in four colors – aqua, red, blue, and pink.

VERDICT: Overall, the Black Rhino Hybrid Striped Dog Collar makes for dependable gear when out on long hikes with your doggy. And considering you can also buy a color-matching leash, it makes for a stylish accessory too.

 


KONG Comfort Neoprene Padded Dog Collar

KONG Comfort Neoprene Padded Dog Collar

The Kong brand has been in the pet business since the mid-70s and serves one of the best dog collars for hiking on the market—the Comfort Neoprene Padded Dog Collar. Although slightly more expensive than the other options on our list, potential buyers should expect a quality product from a trusted manufacturer.

The entire collar consists of neoprene padding for maximum comfort and a side-release plastic buckle to attach or detach in one click. This model also emphasizes durability and ease of control by sticking to a wide-shaped design. Although beneficial, the result is the lack of smaller options, but you can still get them in medium, large, and extra-large.

Furthermore, the KONG Comfort Neoprene Padded Dog Collar has two metal D-ring clips to attach your pet ID tag and leash. The use of metal hardware here is an additional bonus for durability.

VERDICT: One minor disappointment is the lack of high visibility features. Regardless, we still think it is a great product.

 


Mile High Life Reflective Nylon Dog Collar

Mile High Life Reflective Nylon Dog Collar

Overall, the design of this next collar looks like part of a backpack accessory and is suitable for regular hikers. However, looks are not all it has going for it. The Mile High Life Reflective Nylon Dog Collar is one of the cheapest on our list. Thus, worth a look for those seeking something effective and economical.

It has all the qualities we have come to associate with the best dog collars for hiking: reflective stitching, side release buckle, and metal leash attachment ring. This model achieves this in a slightly different way. Rather than polyester, it consists of strong nylon, which we found surprisingly sturdy.

Also, its high visibility feature is the result of 3M reflective bands and leather. It, however, sticks to the traditional materials for leash attachment, with a heavy-duty D Ring. Finally, it is available in small, medium, and large sizes and offered in eight different colors.

VERDICT: All in all, it’s fit for all types of dog breeds, made of strong nylon with 3M reflective bands, and offers an easy application thanks to the side-release buckle. The design is also stylish, with eight color variants.

 


Garmin T5 GPS Dog Collar

Garmin T5 GPS Dog Collar

Most of the products we have discussed so far are pretty basic in function. The Garmin T5 GPS Dog Collar, a tracking collar, is something a bit more sophisticated. Its unique selling point is a high-sensitivity GPS with a range of nine miles.

This model is handy for those who have a dog that enjoys the outdoors and has a track record of flying the coop. The GPS has a visibility feature consisting of LED beacon lights which can be activated from a handheld receiver. Unfortunately, this device does not ship with the collar, and you will have to buy it separately.

Nonetheless, the Garmin T5 GPS Dog Collar is water-resistant, at up to 10 meters at least. Hence, it is useful in most environments. The collar itself is a blue 1-inch strap that comes with a frame-style buckle. There is no leash attachment ring, and you will need another collar for that. However, this is a product best suited for free-ranging dogs, so it probably doesn’t matter.

VERDICT: To sum up, the 10-meter water resistance, along with the highly sensitive GPS and LED beacon lights, are just a few great features of this dog collar.

 


MASBRILL LED Dog Collar

MASBRILL LED Dog Collar

If you’re after a not-so-basic collar that’s still affordable, the MASBRILL LED Dog Collar is a great option. Its LED lights come with three settings (fast flash, steady flash, and constant). The light is also rechargeable, and after a full charge, MASBRILL claims you can use it for 12-20 hours. We never tested it as long, but reviews show that can last without issues for at least eight hours.

The collar itself is made of polyester webbing and houses the LED panel. Also, it is fully adjustable and has a stainless steel D ring for leash attachment. All components are water and rust-proof, providing sturdiness and durability—often rare at this price point.

Without a doubt, it is a good product, but it is not perfect. The charging cord is unique to the product, not the standard USB cord most of us have in our homes. So, if you happen to lose it, you have to order another. Other than that, we would say it is worth the investment.

VERDICT: All in all, this dog color comes with multi-colored LED lights, durable polyester webbing, a rechargeable long battery life, and it’s waterproof and rust-proof.

 


Wolfgang Man & Beast Puppy Dog Collar

Wolfgang Man & Beast Puppy Dog Collar

The name of this next product and some of the design options are a little too macho for us. Besides that, this is a great dog collar for hiking. It comes with abrasion-resistant polyester webbing that gives it a durable feel while remaining easy to clean and maintain. The material’s toughness especially makes it ideal for all breeds, small or large.

One feature that stands out is its closure type. Unlike others, the Wolfgang Man & Beast Puppy Dog Collar comes with a snap buckle made with powder-coated strong steel. Also, it has a swivel that prevents your leash from getting tangled, and the standard D-Ring is also made of heavy-duty steel.

Lastly, it comes in three distinct sizes: small (8-12in), medium (12-18in), and large (18-26in). So, it’s suitable for the tiniest chihuahua or the largest rottweiler. Additionally, it comes in 14 different patterns, making this a great combination of strength and style. And if you want a leash to go with your collar, Wolfgang Man & Beast offers that option too.

VERDICT: To sum up, the powder-coated steel snap buckle, abrasion-resistant polyester webbing, and heavy-duty steel D-ring are just a few great features of this dog collar.

 


Things to Consider When Buying a Dog Collar For Hiking

As we mentioned earlier, when preparing for a hike, you’ll likely have the proper tools and gear at hand. The same applies to dogs. They need accessories like collars and harnesses. If you are buying a collar, there are a few key features you need to pay attention to before making a purchase. We’ve listed some of them below.

top dog collar for hiking

Different Types of Dog Collar

Before you buy a dog collar, either for hiking or daily usage, you need to know the dog’s needs and planned activities. For instance, a dog that spends time in water needs a different type of collar to one that doesn’t. Generally, there are four types of collars;

Standard Collars

As you probably expect, these are the most common types of dog collars. They are cheap, easy to put on or remove, and are quite fashionable. They are also made out of various materials (more on this later), which suits numerous activities, including hiking.

Standard collars are generally suited to well-trained or low-energy dogs or those that can be off their leash and do not pull.

LED Collars

These collars are ideal if you plan to go on hiking trips early in the morning or at night when it is dark. They have LED lights that make it easy for you and others to spot your pup. LED Collars can come either in solid or flashing lights (some have both) and others in reflective materials.

None is necessarily better than the other, and the right choice comes down to your preference. You can also achieve the same effect by attaching lights or reflectors to a standard collar.

Waterproof Collars

Is your hike taking you to a wet environment? Or does your dog love jumping in pools? Waterproof collars have soft materials that make them perfect for water-based activities or even daily usage. Besides just being resistant to water, they are also resistant to bacteria.

In general, they are more durable. Furthermore, they are easy to clean, making waterproof collars the ideal daily driver for any dog.

best dog collars for hiking

Material (Leather, Nylon, Neoprene)

Now that you know the types of dog collars out there and have selected the ideal one for your dog, it is time to explore materials. There are different types, all with their respective advantages and disadvantages. For hiking, there are only three materials that matter – leather, nylon, and neoprene.

Leather

They are great in terms of durability and usage but are aesthetically limited. They are also significantly expensive, especially if you want genuine leather, and you should if you want it to last. Remember that the collar gets exposed to weather elements when you are hiking, and a weaker material will crack under stress.

You can settle for bonded leather, which is a combination of scrap leathers joined by a bonding agent. They are not as durable but are a fair stopgap if you don’t have the money for the genuine one.

Nylon

Alternatively, you can consider nylon materials. Their most significant advantage is their aesthetic malleability. There are multiple styles and designs that you can choose from to match the personality of your dog. They also look great in photos, just in case you want to share your latest hiking trip with your buddy on social media.

Additionally, because they are fit for multi-purpose use, products made of them are often some of the best dog collars for hiking. You can spontaneously take your dog on a trail after playing around the house all day without having to change their collar.

Neoprene

The only significant difference between a neoprene material collar and a nylon collar is that the former is better suited to dogs that spend plenty of time in the water. Neoprene is a soft rubber material reinforced with nylon webbing that gives it extended durability and strength. The foamy-feel of the fabric also makes it extremely comfortable. They are generally more expensive than nylon collars, but it is a worthy investment if you can afford them.

best dog collar for hiking

Width

Most dog collars have a regular width, up to about one inch long. It works because most pet dogs have a neck narrower than their head, so they can’t slip out of their collar. However, some dogs, like Great Danes, Mastiffs, and Pitbulls, have large necks. A regular-sized collar would be too tight for them, and any force applied (through the leash perhaps), could cause physical damage.

In this case, it is better to go for a wide collar. The force applied on the collar is more evenly distributed and ideal not just for hiking but for daily use. So, how do you determine which one applies to your dog? Through sizing.

Sizing

Before you start buying dog collars for hiking, you need to know the neck size of your dog. One way to do this is to use a measuring tape. To measure, take the end of the tape and wrap it around your dog’s neck, between the collar bone and ears. Mark the measurement, then add two inches to the number to get your dog’s correct neck size.

The extra two inches is for your two fingers, which should be able to slip underneath the collar. We do this to make sure the collar is not too tight for the neck or too loose to slide out of the dog’s head.

Buckles

The options come down to plastic, metal, or even hybrid buckles. The right one mostly comes down to personal preference. Plastic clips are easy to attach or detach are susceptible to weather elements. However, they’re not the most durable option for hiking.

Metal buckles, on the other hand, are more durable. However, if it is too heavy, it can weigh down the neck. The key here is to find something with a good balance.

FAQs About the Best Dog Collars for Hiking

Here are some of the common questions we get when walking our dogs on these leashes:

What Is the Best Material for A Dog Collar?

It depends on the daily activity and intended use of the collar. Nylon and neoprene are great for everyday usage, outdoor activities and have better styles and designs. Leather is better for durability and rugged use, but it is more expensive and has limited design options.

What Are the Safest Dog Collars?

There is no one-size-fits-all safest dog collar. Each one has its pros and cons, with varying degrees of danger. However, for most pet dogs, standard collars, also known as flat collars, are the safest option. They are easy to slip on and off and great for dog identification.

What Type of Hiking Collar Is Best for Puppies?

The best dog collars for hiking have adjustable straps with plastic buckles. The straps allow you to tighten or loosen the collar as needed. At the same time, the plastic clip makes it easier to detach in case of an emergency.

Why Do I Need a Light-Up or Reflective Collar?

In case you ever go hiking when it is dark out, early in the morning or in the night. A reflective collar will give your dog high visibility, allowing you and others to see them, prevent an accident or track their movement.

Should Dogs Wear Collars All the Time?

Yes, dogs should wear collars every time during hikes. The very nature of a hiking trail means it is easy to lose your dog without a way to keep their movement in check. It is also a good idea if your dog is a ranger because their tag can help others locate them.

 

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This article has been written and/or edited by Andrew N. 20+ years of hiking, mountaineering, and camping experience, with access to all the latest outdoor gear.

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