My tendency toward frugality is great for my wallet but it also has one major downside: I end up waiting until the last minute to buy stuff that could’ve improved my life long before. This makes good writing fodder but is otherwise a pretty annoying habit, if I do say so myself.
My latest purchase that falls into this category is the K9 Sport Sack. It’s exactly what it sounds like, which is to say it’s a backpack for your canine. Not the kind of backpack your dog can carry on its own back — I mean it’s a human backpack into which you can place your pup. Sorry for the confusion.
I thought I had some really good reasons for not buying a dog carrier. Many of them are ugly and clunky; lugging my 20-pound dog in what basically amounts to a duffle bag doesn’t exactly entice; nicer carriers are expensive, and many companies’ return policies are nonexistent.
Now I live in a city where the subway and busses are more of a daily requirement than an option, and technically dogs aren’t allowed on if they’re not in a bag. So I gave in and bought a Sport Sack. I’m glad I did.
My main concern with the Sport Sack was that my dog wouldn’t enjoy being in it. I mean, the dogs in the company’s photos look happy enough, but where do their legs go? How do they scrunch up like that? Anyway, I found a retailer with a significantly flexible return policy (thanks, Chewy.com) and figured I’d give it a shot.
It turns out getting a dog into a narrow backpack is actually relatively easy, when the backpack is built specifically with that process in mind. The K9 Sport Sack might look very much like your run-of-the-mill backpack from a distance, but there are a number of features that make it much easier to coerce your dog into. For one, there’s a zipper down the middle that, when unzipped, leaves the interior completely open. Two holes at the top keep your dog’s legs securely in place.
The Sport Sack is very much designed with the understanding that it’s not the easiest task in the world to put a dog in a bag. With the assistance of a few treats, scooping my dog into the Sport Sack has been surprisingly effortless.
But getting your dog into a bag is only the very beginning of the battle because then you have to actually walk around with a heavy, squirming animal on your shoulders. The Sport Sack makes doing so just about as easy as it possibly can be, which is to say still a little painful but in a manageable way. The shoulder straps are super plush and durable; there is a multitude of crisscrossed straps across the back to keep your dog feeling stable and stop the worst of the wriggling. The Sport Sack Plus 2 — the one I settled on — can hold up to 40 pounds, so you know the bottom is very sturdy, too.
That reminds me of my other favorite part about K9 Sport Sack, which is that the company has a really wide, diverse lineup of bags, each geared toward a slightly different audience. The Plus 2 I have falls somewhere in the middle of the lineup in terms of price and carrying capacity. The Trainer and Air 2 are both more entry-level options for smaller dogs, and, as such, they’re a little less expensive; the Plus 2, Knavigate, and Rover 2 are more spacious and better suited to long-term activities. There’s even one (the Urban 2) for those who want their dog backpack to have more of “a trend-setting look.”
It took me a while to settle on the Plus 2, after reading through this blog post on the company’s site more than a few times. Middle-of-the-road ended up being perfect for me — comfortable enough to wear around the city but heavy-duty enough to keep my dog feeling safe, too. I think this, in the end, is what really sold me on the K9 Sport Sack in particular: that, rather than creating a one-size-fits-all product, the company had taken the time to come up with solutions that fit various scenarios. That attention to detail paid off big time.
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