Are you looking for a new harness to better handle and train a puppy or a better-padded harness for an aging canine companion? We researched the best dog harnesses on the market before selecting 11 promising models to purchase and test side-by-side.
From simple webbing styles to heavily padded ones and even tactical options, we used each one of these harnesses with our own K9 friends. We scrutinized features for practicality, safety, and versatility. We evaluated the ease of donning and adjustment and closely examined the design of each model to determine if they kept our four-legged friends comfortable on short walks and longer treks. Whether you're in the market for a new harness, are interested in replacing an old, worn harness with a more versatile one, or just want one with more safety features, our comprehensive review will help you find the best dog harness to suit your needs — or rather, the needs of your pup.
Whatever the needs of you and your dog, we have in-depth reviews that cover a plethora of doggie gear. You will certainly want one of the best dog leashes on the market to complement your new harness. But if you decide that a full harness seems like a bit of overkill, check out our reviews of the top dog collars for a more basic option. When it comes time to unwind from your day of adventure, we have reviews of the most comfortable dog beds and even a rundown of the best dog toys.
Editors' Note: We updated this review on May 17, 2023, to add weighted scores to our ranking, remove some discontinued products, retest an updated harness from Ruffwear, and add new options from Auroth and OneTigris.
No-Pull Clip In? Yes | Handles: One | Reflective? Stitching, Trim
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
Needs a stiffer handle
The Auroth No Pull Harness is an exceptional dog harness that offers your K9 friend a lot of comfort thanks to breathable padded fabrics and outstanding adjustability that should fit a wide range of sizes. This model meets a lot of basic needs when it comes to handling, with a no-pull front clip and a large handle on top of the harness. It also offers a lot of versatility with Velcro MOLLE/PALs webbing straps across the top of the harness, allowing you to attach small compatible packs, Velcro patches and a Bluetooth Tracker. The harness also comes in a variety of colors, including ones with reflective stitching in the webbing and reflective trim. We appreciated that the Auroth harness incorporates these 'tactical' features while still looking rather normal, rather than looking like something worn by a dog riding in the back of a K9 police unit.
No dog harness we tested was without some shortcomings, and the Auroth No Pull certainly isn't without its faults. In the world of tactical harnesses specifically, buckles on the neck usually allow the harness to be donned and removed without pulling it over your dog's head, and the Auroth harness lacks those buckles. We also would have liked to see more rigidity out of the handle; the soft handle can bend and pinch your hand when handling a large, excited dog. Overall, we were really impressed with the Auroth No Pull — it is a versatile, comfortable harness for your pup and includes some value-added features that will excite the handler, too.
No-Pull Clip-In? Yes | Handles: One | Reflective? Stitching
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
Not padded everywhere
We really liked the Babyltrl Oxford No Pull Harness for a few reasons. It's functional, practical, unrestrictive, and affordable. It may not have a ton of bells and whistles, but it has everything most people need from a harness. The front no-pull clip-in point effectively controls a dog and prevents them from pulling, and it fits really well. While it may not be padded everywhere, it's padded enough in the right places to keep your dog comfortable and chafe-free. It also incorporates locking buckles and a significant amount of reflective stitching to enhance your dog's nighttime visibility and safety.
We didn't have too many bones to pick with the Babyltrl Oxford No Pull. Initial adjustment required a bit of work, and it lacks some of the niceties and features of the best harnesses we tested, but it is a great harness overall and hard to beat for the price. It's a good choice for medium to large dogs that require the occasional extra handling but don't need much more.
No-Pull Clip-In? Yes | Handles: Three | Reflective? No
REASONS TO BUY
Easy to don
Multiple large handles
REASONS TO AVOID
Can run warm
A little bulky
The OneTigris X Destroyer Harness offers dog handlers the best feature suite, including a no-pull front clip-in point and three large, reinforced handles for lifting and assisting dogs into vehicles and over obstacles. The durable, water-resistant nylon fabric — which wraps around most of your dog's body — offers good protection from abrasion against objects. It is also surprisingly easy to don, as it employs front buckles where the neck meets the shoulders and on the sides, meaning it does not have to be put on over your K9 friend's head. From hunting and farm dogs, to ski patrol pups, to military and police patrols, this is an ideal harness for any dog with a job.
Unfortunately, all the protection, versatility, and support this harness offers comes with some tradeoffs. While the OneTigris X Destroyer harness is comfortable in terms of fit and ease of adjustment, it does not offer comfortable padding or fabrics in the design. The water-resistant nylon offers protection from sharp and abrasive objects but is not very breathable and, depending on your climate, might cause a dog to overheat and chafe if worn for extended periods of time. While it may be a great harness for a few miles a day, in cool weather, or while hunting in the shoulder seasons, it is not necessarily the ideal choice for multiple warm days of backpacking where you will be logging lots of miles.
No-Pull Clip-In? Yes | Handles: No | Reflective? Minimal Trim
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
Not very reflective
The Ruffwear Front Range is a solid harness that offers a great balance of protection, features, and comfort while remaining light enough to remain comfortable on long trips. The rear clip-in point and the no-pull clip offer you some options depending on whether you're walking busy trails with lots of distractions or moving through more remote terrain. This harness is a go-to product among the outdoor recreation crowd, perfect for adventurous dogs or backcountry trips.
Like similar designs, it can take some work to fine-tune the fit for the first time. And this model would benefit from a handle, especially for giving your pup a little extra lift up rocky terrain. If your dog is an outdoor trail crusher, they will be content to wear the Front Range while accompanying you on adventures.
Why You Should Trust Us
We spend hours looking for new and updated products every year, year after year, to find the best dog harnesses to test. We carefully select the current most promising models of different styles, designed to meet the needs of a wide range of dog owners with different recreational and handling interests.
After selecting the best and most interesting products, we thoroughly test each harness in a series of side-by-side tests and evaluations. We examine the details of their respective designs, test the practicality and usability of their features, and our four-legged friends help us to discover which models are easiest to don and adjust for a good fit. We then test them extensively to see how well they work in our day-to-day routines. This helps us dissect the nuanced differences between the various models and helps determine which ones are suitable for long journeys versus short walks.
We divided our testing of dog harnesses into five rating metrics:
Ease of Adjustment (25% of overall score weighting)
Ease of Donning (25% weighting)
Clip In Points (20% weighting)
Doggie Comfort (20% weighting)
Added features (10% weighting)
Ben Hickok is our lead tester of dog harnesses and regularly works his dog on his small farm, in the field on hunts, and on other backcountry adventures. He has experience training a wide range of dog breeds: small to large, easygoing to more challenging. His one-year-old female Catahoula Leopard Cora — one of two K9 testers of dog harnesses in this review — falls into that strong-headed category.
Andy Wellman, a senior reviewer at GearLab since 2013, helped establish this category alongside Rishi, his one-and-a-half-year-old male Goldendor — half Golden Retriever, half golden Labrador Retriever.
Analysis and Test Results
There is a lot more to a dog harness than its ability to restrain a dog. Dog comfort, versatility, owner handling, no-pull features, ease of use, ease of donning, safety features, and value all make a difference to your and your dog's well-being.
Value is subjective, as all dog owners aren't looking for the same features in a dog harness. A product with tactical style attachment points for MOLLE/PALs or Velcro-compatible accessories and patches, protective heavy materials, and oversized handles for large energetic dog handling may not be as valuable if all you really need is a simple webbing harness with high-visibility reflective stitching for a brief walk around the block in the evening after work. Purchasing a harness with those additional features wouldn't add any value to your purchase because they don't align with your needs. For example, ease of donning is likely more important for folks with excitable dogs, and owners of smaller dogs may not find it as important to have a no-pull harness. We highlight the best harnesses based on individual metrics so that you can choose the perfect harness for you and your dog.
The Babyltrl Oxford No Pull is our top choice for value thanks to a nice balance of features and affordability. It performed very well in all of our tests and includes basic handling features we've come to expect, including a no-pull front clip-in point, handle for restraining, reflective stitching for safety, and locking buckles. It is neither bulky nor heavy, yet it is much better padded than just pieces of bar-tacked webbing.
If you are on a particularly tight budget, the Copatchy No Pull Adjustable stands out as a good option. It includes most of the features that make a good harness at an incredibly budget-friendly price. Even if you only use this harness a couple of times — like to transport your pup to the vet, for example — it won't feel like a waste of money. One stand-out model we tested was the Auroth No Pull Harness. This option adds the versatility and features of a tactical harness while remaining exceptionally comfortable for your pet and maintaining a more pedestrian appearance. This top model, surprisingly, represents the average price point for the entire test group.
Ease of Donning
The last thing you want is for your K9 to dread wearing a harness. And if the harness is uncomfortable or cumbersome to don, your dog is almost guaranteed to have an aversion to putting it on. Most harnesses are easy enough to slip over your dog's head, but the easiest harnesses to don have additional buckles that attach the shoulders to the chest plate or strap. On the opposite end of the spectrum, a couple of harnesses we tested were more awkward and cumbersome. Ease of Donning accounts for 25% of the total score of each harness.
The OneTigris X Destroyer and the Copatchy No Pull Adjustable harnesses topped our list as two of the easiest to put on your pup. On the OneTigris, multiple buckles where the chest and shoulder meet mean the harness can be placed on or removed from your dog without pulling it over their head. Additionally, oversized buckles on the extra belly strap of this rather long harness are easy to snap, which only aids in easy donning or removal. While different in design, the Copatchy also does not require donning over the head. Instead of a chest plate or padding, it opts for a strap around the neck and another around the belly, each with unobstructed and easy-to-snap buckles.
Unfortunately, most dog harnesses we tested require the harness to be placed over your dog's head, with the co-requisite single strap around the rib and belly area. Although the Auroth No Pull Harness and Babyltrl Oxford No Pull require donning over your dog's head, each model incorporates enough padding and material along portions of the harnesses to give them some structure and a little rigidity. This makes placing them on a dog easier and helps keep the harness from getting tangled while clipping belly straps.
If the harnesses we tested were swimwear, the aforementioned harnesses would be more akin to bodysuits, whereas the PetSafe 3-in-1 Harness and 2 Hounds Freedom No-Pull Harness venture into string bikini territory. Their thin, unpadded webbing designs and the metallic rings incorporated at the intersections of straps allow harnesses to twist, bend, and tangle. The Ruffwear Web Master was a less-than-ideal exception requiring a dog to step one leg into a harness before it could be pulled over the head. It is one of the strangest ways of putting on a harness and was our K9 tester Cora's least favorite harness to don.
Ease of Adjustment
While you will initially do the most adjustments to a brand-new harness, your dog may still be growing or may fill out as it matures. As such, it's ideal to have a harness that is easy to adjust to properly fit your K9 companion throughout its life. Given its importance, the Ease of Adjustment metric accounts for 25% of each product's score.
The OneTigris X Destroyer was one of the easiest harnesses to adjust, thanks to its extra large webbing and ladder lock style buckles. The harness is a 'cinch' to tighten for the correct fit, even for clumsy hands or, possibly, somebody dealing with the challenges of arthritic hands. Velcro also helps to get the harness in place, while buckles firmly secure everything. The Copatchy No Pull Adjustable is also really easy to adjust simply due to the limited number of adjustments. The harness' simple design and lack of a chest plate or strap leave very little to mess around with.
In a fairly even block of performance, the popular Ruffwear Web Master and Ruffwear Front Range harnesses are only slightly above average in terms of ease of adjustment. These harnesses offer typical buckles and ladder lock adjustments mostly unobstructed by padding, decreasing the effort needed to achieve a comfortable fit on your dog. The Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Harness has double-back buckles more similar to a climbing harness. While the large buckles are easy enough to grab, they are slightly more finicky to adjust than the typical buckles most consumers are used to.
Other models, like the PetSafe 3-in-1 and Rabbitgoo No Pull harnesses, although still relatively easy to adjust, sometimes presented problems simply based on design. While these are not bad harnesses, difficult-to-handle buckles and flimsy webbing that tended to twist make them a little more troublesome.
We evaluated the versatility of each harness based on the number of clip-in points. Important features like a 'no-pull' clip-in point — ergonomically designed to control a stubborn or overly excited dog humanely — earn extra points in this metric. The Clip-In Points test metric contributes 20% of each product's total score.
The majority of the models we tested offered a no-pull clip-in point, at a minimum. This singular point is incredibly effective, while other models offer even more versatility with additional clip-in locations. However, a few products we tested completely missed the mark by not offering an effective restraint system. The harnesses in our lineup employ a range of clip-in-point designs, from small rings to large loops, and even webbing points.
Topping our list of harnesses for this metric is the OneTigris X Destroyer Harness. It features a well-supported front no-pull clip-in, a secondary ring between the shoulder blades, and a third ring near the rear of the harness. The clip-in points are large, durable metal D rings that are easy to clip, meaning this harness could be used for some non-typical tasks, like helping to pull a stroller or skijoring.
While the PetSafe 3-in-1 Harness includes a no-pull and back clip-in point, thin webbing can roll and create hard, unpadded pressure points on your dog. This can cause chafing, unlike other budget, no-pull options like the Eagloo No Pull Pet Harness. Padded no-pull systems that simply cause a dog to bend toward the leash with even pressure are much less prone to injure your dog. As such, more ergonomically designed models like the Auroth No Pull and Babyltrl Oxford No Pull harnesses scored much better in this metric.
While most of the tested harnesses met our requirements for handling, the Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Harness adds an attachment point designed to secure your dog in a vehicle. It is a good choice for folks whose dog can't settle down, or who want to simply increase their dog's safety while traveling in a vehicle.
The design of the Copatchy No Pull harness lacks a chest plate or strap and completely lacks any sort of no-pull attachment, which is odd — don't be fooled by its name alone! Lastly, the Ruffwear Front Range does not include a front clip as a no-pull harness and instead opts for a webbing strap. This is worth noting, as most other no-pull harnesses opt for a metal ring as a front clip-in point.
This metric is incredibly important for our four-legged friends. Some harnesses can chafe and create hot spots. While this may not be apparent — or matter as much on an occasional walk around the block — it can cause your dog serious discomfort and even injury over longer periods of time. A few harnesses stood out as more comfortable than others thanks to a mix of features and design. The well-documented Doggie Comfort metric accounts for 20% of the total score.
The Auroth No Pull Harness is fairly lightweight for how padded it is, and the design leans toward more minimal for a tactical-style harness. The padding is an extremely effective breathable mesh that keeps your dog cool, even on hot days, and the fit is very ergonomic and comfortable. Both the Babyltrl Oxford No Pull Harness and the Rabbitgoo No Pull did well in our testing. They may not offer padding everywhere, but both harnesses thread the needle by balancing padding with a more minimalistic webbing design. Each harness created a comfortable cradle for our K9s.
The Ruffwear Web Master uses a foam material to increase rigidity but is lined with a semi-breathable material. A chest and belly band offer some padding, but the design strikes a complicated balance between lightweight comfort and freedom while avoiding using loftier padding.
Similarly, the Ruffwear Front Range is comfortably padded in critical areas. But it is also a very minimalistic design that keeps the harness lightweight while maintaining plenty of mobility. It strikes a great balance with a less-is-more approach and is an excellent pick for long trails and backcountry trips, especially if overheating could be a concern.
While the OneTigris X Destroyer offers some of the best support and physical protection by running the full length of a dog's torso, the water-resistant nylon is rigid and does not breathe well. So, while the harness is comfortable for certain situations — like lifting into vehicles or over obstacles — it may not be the most comfortable option for a multi-day backcountry trip in the heat of summer.
While much of our focus is on function, adjustability, and comfort, it is also important to note additional design features that enhance the ease of use of a harness or add versatility for unique tasks. Added Features account for 10% of the overall score of each dog harness.
The majority of harnesses we tested didn't include much in the way of value-added features, although the Babyltrl Oxford No Pull Harness does include locking features on the buckles. The Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Harness offers a seatbelt harness attachment, providing extra safety and security for your dog while traveling in vehicles. While this may be an important feature if your dog needs to be restrained when in a vehicle, the harness offers average reflective stitching and trim, a less-than-awesome handle, and is a fairly basic harness otherwise.
Extra handles, protective materials, reflective materials, MOLLE/PALs webbing, pockets, and Velcro straps can transform a simple harness into the ultimate backpacking, dog training, tactical, or hunting harness. The Auroth No Pull and OneTigris X Destroyer stood out from the other harnesses we tested for features that greatly increase their versatility. Both have Velcro tacked to the top of the harness, making it easy to add "working dog" patches or blaze orange indicators during bird hunting season to enhance their safety.
In the case of the OneTigris, multiple oversized handles, combined with the full-length design of the harness, makes it easy to lift and assist even the largest dogs.
Whether professionally handling dogs, taking short walks around the neighborhood, backpacking, hunting, or just trying to give an old four-legged friend occasional help into the car, harnesses are a very practical alternative to a collar, and, that said, have a look at our review of the best dog collars. We hope our testing and expert advice will help you pick out the perfect dog harness to suit your and your dog's needs.