Best Leashes for Hiking with Your Dog
Take Your Dog With You on Your Next Hiking Trip
There’s no better way to enjoy nature than by bringing your dog for a hike. Especially if you’re traveling by RV with a four-legged friend in tow, it’s a great way to get your pooch plenty of great exercise while you both explore to your hearts’ content. But seeing as it’s illegal to hike with your dog off-leash pretty much everywhere, finding the right lead that enhances your hike instead of getting in the way is key to making the most of sharing an adventure with your dog.
The market is of course flooded with options—and then there’s always the standard retractable lead or rope leash you might use for walks at home. With so many choices, we’ve done the heavy lifting and sifted through dozens of online reviews to find the top leash in each of seven categories.
No matter your hiking style, the size of your dog, or its skill in navigating rough terrain, there’s an option on our list for everybody.
Best Short Hiking Leash: Dokken Pro6 Lead
It’s great to give your dog plenty of room to sniff and climb on a hike, but that’s not always practical. Some smaller dogs might need a bit more help along the way, and particularly excitable pups are better on a short leash, especially on packed trails.
Our top pick for a short, standard hiking leash is the Dokken Pro6 Lead, which is a comfortable, round rope that’s really five leashes in one. Snap to a collar or harness, or use as a nose or waist halter, or as a wearable on yourself!
Best Slip Hiking Lead: Mendota Products Pet Slip Lead
Some dogs are used to slip leads around the neck rather than leashes that clip onto a harness or collar. If that’s your situation, the Mendota Products Pet Slip Lead is a comfortable pick that can fit virtually any size neck.
At four and a half feet, this is our favorite pick for senior dogs with a very low flight risk. Keep your older pets close while giving them the freedom to move at their own pace with this stylish and comfortable lead.
Best Retractable Hiking Leash: Camping Trails Retractable Leash
Your average retractable leash is not without its charm; longer lengths and a handy brake button make it easy to give your dog more room to run without sacrificing control. But the tiny, thin ropes standard in most retractable options can be flimsy and get tangled easily.
Enter the Camping Trails Retractable Leash, a retractable hiking leash that solves every problem other options might present on the trail. This pick eschews the thin rope in favor of a robust, flat, tape that’s remarkably strong, and tangle resistant—all in a stylish RV theme!
Best Wearable Hiking Leash: Ruffwear Roamer Dog Leash
If you can handle your dog’s pull, there’s no better way to keep your hands free for rough hiking than with a wearable hiking leash. Our favorite in this category is the Ruffwear Roamer Dog Leash, which boasts an attractive, flat design.
This pick helps to absorb shock from pulling in both directions with an expandable section. When loose, the two available options are 5.5 and 7.3 feet, but can each expand out to 7 feet and 11 feet, respectively. Thick padding on the waist strap makes it a comfortable wear, and a special strong clip on the harness end is more than reliable.
Best Two-Handed Hiking Leash: Primal Pet Gear Dog Leash
The biggest and strongest dogs can require a lot of muscle to keep in control, even if they’re well trained. Both in close encounters with wildlife or fellow hikers and when clearing steep hills or gaps, being able to use two hands can make hiking with a large breed much more manageable.
You can’t do better than the Primal Pet Gear Dog Leash in that regard. It’s 8 feet long with two reinforced handles, one at the end and one just one foot away from the clip. The reflective stitching is just icing on the cake here.
Best Hiking Leash for Two Dogs: Wigzi Dual Rope Leash
Have two dogs joining you for a hike? You might prefer to hike solo or want to free up others in your party. The Wigzi Dual Rope Leash captures the best features of several of our top picks on this list all in one convenient package.
The strong rope leads are tangle-resistant, and the comfortable handle makes it easy to keep two small to mid-sized dogs. The handy spinner automatically untangles the two lines, allowing your pups to explore along their own paths without the constant need to stop and unwind leads.