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7 of the Best Dog Harnesses for Car Travel (Tested!)

Traveling with dogs can be stressful, especially for hyperactive breeds that want to explore every inch of the car. Some dogs don’t do well if they’re in a crate or carrier for the whole car ride, so a travel harness will be the next best option.

Finding the right dog harness for car travel can be the difference between a safe or an unsafe car ride and could prevent serious injuries in the event of an accident. 

We researched and tested the 10 best dog harnesses for car travel, and came up with a list of our 7 favorites with 2 honorable mentions. We highly recommend that you choose one and use it because it might save your dog’s life in an accident.

We also love keeping our hyperactive dogs busy in the car by giving them an indestructible dog toy. Be sure to check out our favorite toys through our guide!

Our Top Picks

  Product Details    
01-Kurgo-Dog-Harness Best Overall: Kurgo Dog Harness This dog harness for car travel comes in a wide range of sizes and is a great way to secure dogs during car travel. It comes in sizes x-small to x-large and is very reasonably priced. Check Price
02-PoyPet-No-Pull-Dog-Harness- Best For Comfort: PolyPet No-Pull Dog Harness We love this budget dog car harness that comes in a wide range of sizes and colors. It’s great for the car and walks in the park. Check Price
03-Lukovee-Dog-Safety-Vest-Harness Best Budget Buy: Lukovee Dog Safety Harness This safety harness comes with a detailed sizing guide to ensure every dog has the proper size to keep them safe. It’s made with tough and durable materials to keep even the most energetic pups safe. Check Price
04-Blueberry-Solid-Color-Harness Best For Color And Style Variety: Blueberry Solid Color Harness We love that this harness is available in 21 vibrant colors giving each of our pups a chance to stand out. They are reasonably priced and made with durable materials.  Check Price
05-Mighty-Paw-Dog-Harness Best For Durability: Mighty Paw Dog Harness This is the perfect harness for dogs that put every product through intense wear and tear. It doubles as a standard harness, has padding on the bottom, and is the most durable option within a reasonable price point.  Check Price
06-Sleepypod-Clickit-Safety-Dog-Harness Best With Seatbelts: Sleepypod Clickit Safety Dog Harness This harness comes from a brand we love and trust and has been crash-tested. It’s very expensive, but it’s worth the money when dog safety is the number one concern.  Check Price

How We Chose the Best Dog Harnesses for Car Travel

Jack Russel harnessed in a car
Car harnesses keep your dog safe and secure in the backseat as you travel.

First, we looked for the highest-rated dog harnesses for car travel made by brands we know and trust.

We looked at brands like Kurgo because they specialize in making dog life easier. They’re a trusted brand that makes specialized products, and we love that they make all products with high-quality materials. 

We also looked at brands like Sleepypod because they are known for their innovative designs that keep dogs safe and comfortable. 

READ MORE: Best Dog Crates and Carriers for Car Travel. Keep your dog safe on the open road with these trusty dog crates and carriers for car travel!

The Standards We Used for Grading

We used a set of criteria to help us grade each product and make appropriate decisions when it came time to test the dog car harnesses. No matter the brand, there are some non-negotiables that we look for before we purchase a harness to test.

Sizing was a huge factor for us. We know how hard it can be to find the perfect fit for a dog harness online. Some products and companies go above and beyond to provide clear and detailed size charts so that we can be sure we’re picking the right size for each dog.

Additionally, some companies are more reliable about manufacturing harnesses to specifications. We looked for companies that deliver the harness to the specifications they advertised to fit safely and comfortably.

After looking at the sizing chart and options, we looked at the design. The design of the dog car harness had to be functional and practical for everyday use and had to be comfortable for our dogs.

We also looked at adjustability. This was a huge factor since these harnesses are made for travel. It’s important to adjust them as needed to allow dogs to sit up or lay down as needed.  

The sizing, design, and adjustability must be easy to use. We understand the struggle of having kids and pets and trying to load up a car with your hands full. We wanted these dog car harnesses to be easy to use with no fuss. 

Finally, we looked at the materials that were used. Design and cute color schemes are great but don’t mean anything if they tear during the first use. We only wanted products made from high-quality materials and could handle our rough and tough dogs. 

READ MORE: The Best Dog Car Seat Covers. Seat covers protect your car from scratches and dirt and keep your dog safer on the drive.

Best Dog Harnesses for Car Travel

1. Best Overall: Kurgo Dog Harness

Product Ratings

Sizing 4/5
Design5/5
Adjustability5/5
Easy to Use4/5
Materials4/5

Sizes: X-Small  to X-Large| Closure Type: Buckle | Brand: Kurgo | Material: Polyester | Features: Dog Seat Belt Included | Dogs: Small to Large Dogs

What We Liked

  • We love the sizing options and the included sizing chart to give our dogs the best fitting option
  • It’s made with a very durable polyester 
  • It comes with a car seat belt which keeps dogs secure in the car

What We Didn’t Like

  • Only 3 colors to choose from
  • The main D-ring clip is on the chest, which is less convenient for daily use

We love this dog harness for car travel because it comes in many sizes and keeps our dogs safe when they’re traveling with us. 

The D-ring on the chest means this can also be used as a training harness to stop dog pulling during walks. We like that this allows it to serve multiple purposes, but we wish there was a second clip on the back of the harness for convenience.

Size, Design, and Adjustability 

This product comes with an accurate sizing guide that gives every pup a perfect fit for their frame. The sizes range from x-small to x-large, which will fit most dogs. 

It’s designed with adjustability in mind, including 5 adjustment points that allow every dog to have the best fit for their body type. It’s designed with easy-to-use buckles that lock in place during use. 

We love how easy it is to adjust while our dogs are standing up or even once they’re in the car. It’s also priced very reasonably, which makes it that much better!

Ease of Use and Materials

This is one of the easiest and best dog harnesses for car travel. It’s versatile, can be used in other settings, and keeps our dogs safe in the car. It’s made with a very durable polyester that hugs our dogs instead of making them uncomfortable. 

The D-Ring that clips into the leash is on the chest of this harness which makes it great for training, but it can be frustrating for older dogs. 

We think this is a great all-around product and our favorite dog harness for car travel!

SEE PRICE ON AMAZON

2. Best for Comfort: Poypet No-Pull Dog Harness 

Product Ratings

Sizing 4/5
Design5/5
Adjustability5/5
Easy to Use3/5
Materials4/5

Sizes: X-Small to X-Large | Closure Type: Buckle with lock | Brand: Poypet | Material: Water-Resistant Oxford and Nylon | Features: Lockable buckle | Dogs: Small to Large Dogs

What We Liked

  • Harness comes in 23 different colors and designs
  • Made from water-resistant oxford material making it great in all weather  
  • Features a locking buckle for enhanced car safety 

What We Didn’t Like

  • It’s a little confusing to put on and adjust at first
  • Can be very uncomfortable for dogs if the sizing is off

This is the best dog harness for car travel for dogs and the color selections give tons of style. They’re affordable and come in over 20 different colors and patterns to match any dog’s personality. 

Size, Design, and Adjustability 

We love that this harness comes in sizes x-small to x-large to fit any dog size perfectly. It comes with a sizing guide to make online buying easy and stress-free. We easily located the harness size we needed, and the product we got was exactly what we expected.

The design is great for car safety, and we loved the lockable buckle. This gave us peace of mind when we traveled with our dogs because it’s extra protection against the buckle accidentally coming apart and allowing the dog to jump around in the car.

This harness has several adjustment points, but we wish the strap with the lockable buckle had more room to be tightened. It has a very small amount of slack, making it difficult to tighten that specific area. 

Ease of Use and Materials

It took us a few tries to understand how to use this harness. We had to try putting it on and adjusting it on our dogs a few times before getting the hang of it. Although it’s not the easiest at first, it does get easier to use over time. 

We love the water-resistant material on the outside of the harness, and our dogs love the breathable mesh on the inside. It’s very important that the sizing is correct because if this harness is too small, it will start to dig into the dog’s neck and sides, making it very uncomfortable. 

This harness has a second clip point on the back of the harness for leashing up for walks. If the dog pulls the leash during walks, the front clip can be used to discourage this behavior. For sheer convenience, we’re glad the back has another leash clip.

Our other favorite feature on this harness is the padded grab handle. This makes it easy to keep our pups out of trouble, carry them into and out of the car, and keep them from jumping around when we’ve unleashed them from the car.

SEE PRICE ON AMAZON

3. Best Budget Buy: Lukovee Dog Safety Vest Harness

Product Ratings

Sizing 4/5
Design4/5
Adjustability3/5
Easy to Use5/5
Materials3/5

Sizes: XXXSmall – Large | Closure Type: Buckle | Brand: Lukovee | Material: Mesh | Features: Comes with seat belt connector | Dogs: Small to Large Dogs

What We Liked

  • It has many options for small dogs and teacup breeds 
  • Breathable mesh fabric that keeps dogs cool and comfortable
  • 4 different points of adjustment make it very easy to use 

What We Didn’t Like

  • The straps come loose during prolonged use
  • The fibers on the straps start to come fray and rip after repeated use

If traveling with dogs only occurs once in a blue moon, a budget buy might be the best option. This harness is affordable for most, and it comes with a seatbelt attachment!

Size, Design, and Adjustability 

This harness is sized from xxx-small to large, making it a great option for teacup breeds or small puppies. It might not be the best option for large breed dogs since it only goes up to a large, around 30 inches in the neck and about 70 inches in the chest. 

The design is very basic and straight to the point. There aren’t any bells and whistles with this design, but we think that’s okay for a budget buy. 

It can be adjusted at 4 different points, but we did find that the harness would loosen throughout use. We would have to re-adjust and re-tighten the straps if we used the harness for a long period of time. 

Ease of Use and Materials

This is one of the best dog harnesses for car travel. The simple design makes it easy to get on and off the dog, and tightening only takes a few seconds. 

The materials are decent, but we would have liked to see some tougher straps. The mesh is breathable, which our dogs love, but the straps are not the most durable. 

We noticed some fraying and stitches coming loose after a few uses, so we had to keep an eye on it. Overall, we love this budget buy for quick and infrequent trips.

SEE PRICE ON AMAZON

4. Best Color Variety: Blueberry Solid Color Harness

Product Ratings

Sizing 4/5
Design4/5
Adjustability3/5
Easy to Use5/5
Materials4/5

Sizes: 16.5”-38.5” Chest Girth | Closure Type: Buckle | Brand: Blueberry | Material: Nylon | Features: Double D-ring for Leash and Seat Belt Attachment | Dogs: Small to Large Dogs

What We Liked

  • There are 21 color options to fit every dog’s personality
  • It comes in 6 different sizes, which makes it great for small and large dogs
  • It’s easy to adjust at multiple different points

What We Didn’t Like

  • The material is hard to keep clean which can be pesky for dogs that love rolling in the dirt
  • If the harness gets too tight, it becomes very uncomfortable for the dog by digging into their sides

We’ve all been around certain dogs that have huge personalities. These dogs deserve a harness that can match their personality, and this product lives up to that task.

Size, Design, and Adjustability 

We love that there are 6 size options for this dog harness. They’re not labeled small to large but labeled based on the chest girth. Knowing the dog’s measurements that will be using this harness is a must. 

There are two main areas that can be adjusted which we didn’t love because we wanted more adjustability and felt that it could have been a better fit for our dogs if we had more options. 

We love the double D-ring because it’s an extra layer of safety when our dogs are clipped into the seatbelt. 

Ease of Use and Materials

It’s a very easy harness to use, and we loved that it wasn’t a hassle to get it on or off our dogs. They simply have to step their front paws in, and we’re ready to go.

The material is dense nylon that holds up pretty well. It holds up after several uses, even with our rough and tough dogs. 

WARNING: We have to be careful about adjusting the straps because if they get too tight, there’s no stretch in the nylon, which means it digs into our dogs’ skin and sides, making it very uncomfortable for them. 

SEE PRICE ON AMAZON SEE PRICE ON CHEWY

5. Best for Durability: Mighty Paw Dog Harness

Product Ratings

Sizing 4/5
Design3/5
Adjustability4/5
Easy to Use4/5
Materials4/5

Sizes: Small to X-Large | Closure Type: Buckle | Brand: Mighty Paw | Material: Nylon | Features: Padded Chest | Dogs: Small to Large Dogs

What We Liked

  • The chest is padded which makes it very comfortable
  • There are 4 adjustment points to get the perfect fit for each dog
  • The O-ring at the bottom of the chest makes it easy for dogs to move around comfortably and the straps move slightly with them

What We Didn’t Like

  • We would like to see more sizing options for this harness
  • The chest piece is extremely long, making it unwearable for short, plump dogs

Dogs that love to play rough need products that can handle their energy and exercise levels. This dog harness for car travel is the perfect product for tough dogs.

Size, Design, and Adjustability 

This harness comes in 4 sizes, and none of them are ideal for small dogs. The design includes a very long chest piece, making it unusable for our short and stout dogs. 

The chest piece will end up in their throat if they’re too short, making it very uncomfortable for them, especially during a long car ride. 

We love that there are 4 points of adjustments because we can easily make this a unique fit for our dogs. It’s very easy to adjust, and the straps hold up and stay where they should. 

Ease of Use and Materials

This is a simple dog harness to use, so we love that anyone in the family can help with this process. The straps are easy to adjust, and the buckle is durable but easy to squeeze open. 

The best part about this dog harness is its durability. The straps are made of comfortable but durable nylon that lasts. We love that the chest piece is also extremely durable, and it’s padded, which our dogs love. 

It’s important to have a reliable product when traveling in the car with dogs, and this dog harness held up to our tests. 

SEE PRICE ON AMAZON

6. Best with Seat Belts: Sleepypod Clickit Safety Dog Harness

Product Ratings

Sizing 4/5
Design5/5
Adjustability3/5
Easy to Use3/5
Materials4/5

Sizes: Small to X-Large | Closure Type: Buckle and Velcro | Brand: Sleepypod | Material: Neoprene and Nylon | Features: Reflective Strips | Dogs: Small to Large Dogs 

What We Liked

  • The neoprene padding absorbs energy taking the stress away from the dog during a hard stop 
  • Multiple points of adjustments provide a personalized fit for each dog
  • Crash-tested and proven to be a safe product for dogs in emergency situations

What We Didn’t Like

  • Extremely expensive 
  • Confusing instructions on how to properly insert and weave the seatbelt through the harness

This is the best option if you’re looking for the best security for car travel with dogs. It’s very expensive but has gone through crash testing and has proved to be one of the top dog harnesses for car travel on the market.

Size, Design, and Adjustability 

We love that this harness comes in several sizes because it was easy to find the perfect one for our pups. It’s easy to adjust, but we did notice that it’s not good for large breeds or teacup breeds. 

The design is all about safety. It’s made with tons of safety features like reflective strips for safety when outside the car, and padding that absorbs any stress made from sudden stops or turns.

The overall design and adjustability make this a great option for dog owners who travel with their dogs often and need the safest product possible.

Ease of Use and Materials

This was not the easiest product to use. We had a hard time understanding how to properly loop the seatbelt through the harness.

There’s a video and diagram to help illustrate the proper way to accomplish this, and we recommend watching the video!

The materials are durable and made with safety in mind. The straps are comfortable for dogs and are built to last. The chest piece is padded, which provides comfort and added safety in the event of a hard stop or sudden turn. 

SEE PRICE ON AMAZON

7. Easiest to Use: EzyDog Dog Car Harness

Product Ratings

Sizing 3/5
Design4/5
Adjustability3/5
Easy to Use5/5
Materials4/5

Sizes: Small-Large | Closure Type: Buckle | Brand: EzyDog | Material: Aluminum Alloy Webbing | Features: Dual Buckle Closure | Dogs: Small to Large Dogs 

What We Liked

  • We love the dual closure options that make this a very safe car travel harness for nervous or hyperactive dogs
  • Once it’s been adjusted it locks in place and stays true to the size of each dog
  • The chest piece has padding which makes it safe and comfortable for long car rides

What We Didn’t Like

  • One of the most expensive harnesses on the market
  • It’s only usable as a car harness, and can’t be used to walk or for any other occasion

This is an expensive but safe option for traveling with dogs. The materials are extremely durable and were designed with car safety in mind.

Size, Design, and Adjustability 

This dog harness comes in small, medium, and large, which is great but not ideal for dog owners with teacup breeds or extra-large breeds. We would love to see this product in more sizes in the future. 

The overall design is made with safety as the number one goal. There are sizing guides printed on the straps to make adjusting a breeze, and clipping in is easy once the harness is adjusted to the dog. 

Once the straps have been adjusted to your dog, they stay in place until you need to re-adjust them to fit a growing dog or use it for a different dog. We love the no-budge straps, and our dogs love that they don’t shift around in the middle of a long car ride.

Ease of Use and Materials

We love how easy this dog harness is to use. Once the straps are adjusted, and the harness is properly fitted on the dog, it’s as simple as looping the seatbelt through the back of the harness.

It takes seconds to get the dog strapped in, eliminating the hassle of getting nervous dogs in and out of the car. We usually don’t test products like this on our more sketchy dogs, but we did test this harness and we loved how easy it was to use with them.

The materials are extremely durable. The chest piece is thick and durable but still made with internal padding to keep dogs comfortable throughout the entire car ride. The straps are made from an extremely tough aluminum-alloy material that withstands constant wear and tear. 

Although this is the most expensive car travel harness on the list, we believe it’s worth the money for peace of mind and high-quality materials.

SEE PRICE ON AMAZON SEE PRICE ON CHEWY

Comparison Chart

ProductsBest OverallBest for Comfort Best Budget BuyBest Color VarietyBest for DurabilityBest For SeatbeltsEasiest to Use
Size4/54/54/54/54/54/53/5
Design5/55/54/54/53/55/54/5
Adjustability5/55/53/53/54/53/53/5
Easy to Use4/53/55/55/54/53/55/5
Materials4/54/53/54/54/54/54/5

The Winner

We chose Kurgo Dog Harness as the overall winner because it has a great design, comes in many sizes, and is made with durable materials. This is a great product to use for car travel, and it can also be used on walks.

READ MORE: The Best Escape-Proof Dog Harnesses. Is your dog an escape artist? These escape-proof dog harnesses have been put to the test and are proven to work!

How to Choose the Best Dog Harness for Car Travel

Dog harnessed in a car
Choosing the best dog harness for car travel depends on your dog’s personality and needs.

Traveling with dogs can be difficult, and unfortunately, can be dangerous when not done correctly. It’s important to utilize products such as travel harnesses and travel crates and carriers. Choosing the right one can be difficult, so here are a few things to keep in mind.

Energy Levels

Think about the dog that will be using the harness for car travel. Is it an extremely active dog that paces from window to window? Is it a calm dog that likes to sit back and enjoy the ride? 

Active dogs will need a harness with a little bit of stretch to allow for the wiggling that is bound to happen. This will help them feel comfortable throughout the car ride. 

Laid-back dogs might not need this feature and would be better suited with a travel harness that has some padding for extra comfort. 

Travel Needs 

Consider how often the dog(s) will be traveling in the car. If it’s a rare occasion, it’s probably a good idea to go with a budget buy or something that will feel natural and comfortable to the dog. 

If your dog spends just as much time in the car as they do out of the car, spending more money for a crash-tested and safety-centered harness will be worth your while. 

If you’re crafty, check out our related article on How to Make a Dog Car Seat! Keep your furry friend safe on a budget.

Honorable Mentions

Here’s a brief look at the 2 options that didn’t quite make our list.

1. Solvit PetSafe Deluxe Pet Harness – Considered for Large Dogs

We often have a tough time finding products for large breeds, so we liked that this harness fit our big dogs. This is a great option for breeds like German Shepherds or Great Danes. It’s crash-tested and very reasonably priced. 

We liked the Sleepypod Clickit Safety Dog Harness better, so it made our top picks, but this one is listed at a more reasonable price and is a little better for large breeds.

2. Ruffwear Dog Car Harness – Considered for Comfort 

This very comfortable harness will keep any dog safe while providing maximum comfort. 

It’s easy to use, and the straps are very easy to adjust and maneuver. We like the style and design of the Mighty Paw Dog Harness over this one, but we think it still deserves consideration. 

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