The features of the 'Bak-Pak'
The large storage pockets of the Bak-Pak - deliberately identical to each other, so that loads can be evenly balanced - hold food, water, treats and other gear. The pockets feature internal mesh dividers and one pocket has an additional attachment clip - so your more valuable items (car keys, mobile phone, etc) can be safely stored. Please click on the above link to 'Panniers' for more extensive descriptions.
The three-point harness ensures a secure and comfortable fit; where the straps buckle together (using snap-click fastenings) the harness has comfort pads (they're the disc-shaped objects you can see in some of the photos) which ensure that dog's coat and body isn't rubbed by the buckles.
Each strap has two adjustment points; spend some time ensuring the fit of the harness is perfect for your dog. Particularly, the front strap has a generous adjustment range, ensuring the pack can be fitted a little more over the dog's shoulders than the middle of the back (where a load over an extended period could damage the dog).
The webbing straps can be quickly and easily adjusted. (Tip: when you're sure you've adjusted the straps to the correct length for your dog and don't want unused lengths of strapping getting in the way, trim off the excess lengths of the straps and use a match to melt - and seal - the cut end.)
If you're letting your dog off its lead, leave the lead attached to its collar and store it in the 'quick release' leash holder. Should you need to bring your dog under control quickly simply give your dog's leash a tug to release it from the back-pack - ideal for use when approaching other hikers or dogs. With the lead folded through the back-pack's lifting/grab handle your dog can trot along and go exploring with its lead attached - but not dragging in the mud.
The wide back pad spreads the weight of the load and locates it away from the centre of the dog's back where it could cause harm. When empty, the back-pack is surprisingly lightweight.
The reflective safety strip, which runs the length of both sides of the back-pack, will ensure your dog is visible when out on dark nights. (The 'camouflage' Bak-Paks don't have the reflective tape.)
The adjustable elastic straps on the top of the back-pack are ideal for holding sleeping pads or other gear. (Or, if your expeditions are less adventurous, the morning newspaper!)
The set of D-ring anchor points is available for when larger or unusually-shaped objects need to be carried.
The back-pack is made from tough 600 denier rip-stop nylon fabric - soft yet sturdy and durable. To clean, hand wash with cool water, scrubbing stains with a mild detergent, then hang on a line to dry.
The 'Bak-Pak' is comprised of two parts: the harness which is attached to the dog and the back-pack which is attached to the harness.
The harness (above in the photo alongside) has three adjustable straps - one goes around the chest and two under the tummy which ensure a snug fit on your dog's back; your dog's coat is protected from all three snap-click fastenings by anti-rub disks.
The back-pack itself (below in the photo alongside) is then attached (and detached) using the velcro which is positioned on the sides and top of the harness. The back-pack is front-to-back reversible.
The ability to remove the back-pack without removing the harness is particularly useful on rest-stops during longer outings. Should your dog wander off at night when the back-pack has been removed, the reflective strips on the harness will aid relocation.
Each back-pack has two equally-sized panniers. Breeds typically suitable for each size of Bak-Pak are:
Toy: Chihuahuas; Papillon; Maltese; Yorkies and other small terriers
To establish the best size of Bak-Pak for your dog, measure around your dog's chest - if the back-pack doesn't fit around your dog, it's not going to fit!
As shown in the illustration alongside, from behind the front legs, measure all the way around the widest part of its rib cage and over its back. Remember to add an inch or two if you're planning to use a coat or harness under the back-pack; also, bear in mind if your dog has a heavy seasonal coat, or whether its size may increase. Whilst you've got your dog and a tape measure to hand, also measure around its neck and the length of its back - from the shoulder blades to the base of the tail.With a note of these measurements to hand, now look at the table below. You'll see that your dog's chest and neck measurements will have either determined a particular size of back-pack or, more probably, reduced the range of suitable sizes to two or three. If, for example, your dog's chest measured 20 inches (50cms) then you'll see from the table that only the 'Toy' or 'Small' size Bak-Paks are suitable, whereas if your dog's chest measured 24 inches (60cms) then a choice of four Bak-Pak sizes is available - unless the dog's neck size eliminates one or the other of the sizes. When you do have a choice to make, choose the size which you think is more suitable for the use you're planning to make of the Bak-Pak - and which one most suits your dog! Remember that the weakest part of a dog's back is midway along the spine; keep as much weight as possible over the shoulders, so the weight is directly supported by the front legs. When you're undecided between two sizes, always tend to favour the smaller size.
If your dog's chest is smaller than the range indicated in the table then you won't be able to secure the jacket firmly around your dog's body. In addition there may be excessive room at the front where the jacket fastens around the dog's neck. You should almost certainly be considering the next size down.
If your dog's chest size is bigger than the range indicated in the table (although we can't envisage a situation where this will be the case!) then the back-pack just won't fit on the dog. You most definitely need to look at the next size up.
|Last updated: 4 April 2012
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