Last Updated: May 3, 2021

Best Dog Leash For Hiking

If there’s one thing better than getting out into the great outdoors, it’s hiking with your favorite four-legged friend. Sadly, most of us aren’t blessed with a perfectly behaved dog (but it all adds to their character, right?), which means we have to think about how to keep our dogs safe on our hikes.


At A Glance: Our Top Three Dog Leashes For Hiking


A good hiking leash can keep your dog in check no matter what you encounter – small children, traffic, and other dogs are the most common issues – but the type of one you need will depend on your dog’s size, behavior, and training status.

Seeing as there are so many dog leashes out there, we’ve put together this list of the best leashes for hiking to help you find the one that’s right for you (and your dog!).

Top Product Overview

  • Keeps your hands free for other tasks
  • Springs absorb shock
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Mendota Pet Slip Leash - Dog Lead and Collar Combo - Made in The USA - Camo, 3/8 in x 6 ft - for Small/Medium Breeds
Most Convenient
  • Can be used without a collar
  • Slips on without the need for fiddly fasteners
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lynxking Check Cord Dog Leash Long Lead Training Tracking Line with Comfortable Handle Heavy Duty Puppy Rope Lead for Small Medium Large Dogs
  • 360-degree rotating clasp prevents tangles
  • Made from extremely durable climbing rope
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Leashboss Long Trainer - 30 Foot Lead - 1 Inch Nylon Long Dog Training Leash with Storage Strap - K9 Recall - for Large Dogs (30 Foot, Black)
  • 5-year warranty included
  • Durable fabric and chunky construction
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Primal Pet Gear Dog Leash 8ft Long - Black - Traffic Padded Two Handle - Heavy Duty - Double Handles Lead for Control Safety Training - Leashes for Large Dogs or Medium Dogs - Dual Handles Leads
  • Dual handles for ultimate control
  • Heavy neoprene padding on the handles for comfort
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Fida Retractable Dog Leash, 16 ft Dog Walking Leash for Small Dogs up to 26 lbs, 360° Tangle Free, Black
  • Retractable leash lets you chose your distance (up to 16 ft)
  • 360-degree swivel prevents tangles
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Chai's Choice - Premium Outdoor Adventure Dog Leash - Padded, 3M Reflective Leash, Pet Products for Matching Dog Leash, Dog Harness and Dog Collar , Royal Blue, 78' Large
  • Features reflective material for safety at night
  • Lightweight yet durable
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Best Dog Leash For Hiking


Top Pick

TaoTronics Hands-Free Leash

Like to keep your hands free when you’re out on a hike so you can check your map, take a drink of water, or keep hold of your child’s hand? Sounds like you might love the TaoTronics Hands-Free Leash!

Rather than using traditional handles, this leash fastens around your waist, keeping your hands free for other tasks. What’s more, it’s also great for owners of powerful dogs (up to 150 lbs) because you can’t accidentally drop the handle when you get a surprise tug AND the dual spring will soak up some of the impact for you, winning. And speaking of handles, this leash does actually have two of them, enabling careful control and spreading the strain among your waist, core, and arms.

Another feature that we can’t get enough of is the reflective stitching, so you’ll be clearly visible to cars if you return from your hike after the sun has set. This leash is only available in one length (67 inches) but, aside from that, there’s very little we don’t like about it!

Pros

  • Keeps your hands free for other tasks
  • Springs absorb shock
  • Dual handles for added control
  • Reflective stitching improves safety at night

Cons

  • Only available in one length

Product Information

  • Weight: 353g (0.78lb)
  • Length: 63-67 inches
  • Adjustable Waist Belt Range: 27-48 inches
  • Material: Nylon
  • Best for: Multitasking, control, large dogs
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Most Convenient

Mendota Pet Slip Leash

Mendota Pet Slip Leash - Dog Lead and Collar Combo - Made in The USA - Camo, 3/8 in x 6 ft - for Small/Medium Breeds

The Mendota Pet Slip Leash is an absolute must-have if you have a dog that doesn’t like to wear a collar thanks to its all-in-one approach.

Let’s face it, some dogs, no matter how well trained, hate collars. And having to force one on at the start of every hike can be a pain. With this leash, the handle, lead, and ‘collar’ (which is really a loop) are all one long cord, so you can simply slide the loop around the neck of your dog, and, voila, you’re good to go.

Another bonus of this approach is that you can attach the leash very quickly when you need to – for instance, if there’s a mean-looking dog or manic child approaching – because of the lack of fiddly clips and buckles.

We also can’t get enough of the feel of this leash – the multi-filament braid is super supple and soft to the touch (no breaking in required) and the leather finish and minimalistic hardware add a stylish overall appearance – oh, and it’s available in a  ridiculously large range of colors too.

It probably isn’t the best leash for an exceptionally naughty dog or one that will run far away, but if your dog is fairly easygoing and you want a leash for just in case, then it’s a super stress-free option. Another drawback is that it’s designed for smaller dogs (50 lbs and under), so we’re afraid you’ll have to look elsewhere if you have a big pooch at home.

Pros

  • Can be used without a collar
  • Slips on without the need for fiddly fasteners
  • Huge range of colors to choose from
  • Stylish design
  • Very soft to the touch

Cons

  • Not suitable for large dogs (>50 lbs)
  • Not ideal for naughty dogs
  • Once purchased, no flexibility regarding length

Product Information

  • Weight: 6.3 oz / 180 g
  • Sizes: 1/2 inch x 4ft, 1/2 inch x 6 ft, 3/8 inch x 6 ft
  • Material: Waterproof polypropylene rope, oil-tanned leather
  • Best for: Comfort, convenience
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Best Budget

lynxking Cord Leash

lynxking Check Cord Dog Leash Long Lead Training Tracking Line with Comfortable Handle Heavy Duty Puppy Rope Lead for Small Medium Large Dogs

Next up we have the lynxking Cord Leash, which is an awesome choice for excitable dogs that tend to tangle their leashes.

This leash is constructed from an actual climbing rope, so you know it’s going to be super strong and stand up to life in the great outdoors. What’s more, despite its strength, the fabric is lightweight and has also been designed to float, so if you do happen to drop it in a stream, you’ll be able to retrieve it before it sinks.

We love that it features a 360-degree rotating clasp to stop your leash from getting tangled too (whether it’s by the dog or just when you shove it in your bag). The handle is double braided and very soft to the touch, and there are heaps of sizes available, included extra-long, so you can find the size that’s right for your (and your dog’s) needs.

A final touch that we love is the handle little backpack that comes included, so you don’t have to worry about getting your pack dirty after a long muddy hike. As will all braided leashes with a single handle, there’s not much versatility with this leash; however, if you know what length leash you need, this is a super durable, comfortable option.

Pros

  • 360-degree rotating clasp prevents tangles
  • Made from extremely durable climbing rope
  • Floats
  • Very soft to the touch
  • Carry bag included
  • Several colors to chose from

Cons

  • Once purchased, no flexibility regarding the length

Product Information

  • Weight: 12.8 oz (30 ft x 3/8 inches)
  • Sizes: 15 ft x 3/8 inches, 30 ft x 3/8 inches, 50 ft x 3/8 inches
  • Material: Woven double layer soft handle, durable braided rope leash
  • Best for: Training, exploring (with the extra-long size)
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Leashboss Long Trainer

Leashboss Long Trainer - 30 Foot Lead - 1 Inch Nylon Long Dog Training Leash with Storage Strap - K9 Recall - for Large Dogs (30 Foot, Black)

Next up on our least of the best dog leashes for hiking is the Leashboss Long Trainer.

As the name suggests, this is a great leash for training your dog and letting it know who’s boss. Constructed from durable nylon that’s 1-inch thick, this leash certainly has the strength to handle even large dogs. What’s more, nylon is water-resistant and will stand up to some of the bumps and scrapes it will undoubtedly encounter in the great outdoors.

The leash is available in several sizes, ranging from as short as 15 ft to as long as 50 ft. The short leashes options are great for hiking on treacherous paths, such as cliff edges, when you want to keep your furry friend close. The longer leashes are great for when you’re hanging out in open spaces and want your pooch to run around but need that added security that it will come back.

The chunky construction does mean that this leash is a tad on the heavy side, but it folds up surprisingly well thanks to the hook and loop coil system (you basically coil the leash then fasten a strap around it). We’d like to see a bit more padding on the handle too, but overall, this is an awesome leash that won’t let you (or your four-legged friend) down – and in case you don’t believe us, there’s a 5-year warranty included too.

Pros

  • 5-year warranty included
  • Durable fabric and chunky construction
  • Various lengths available, including extra-long (50 ft)
  • Hook and loop coil system for easy transport

Cons

  • Slightly heavy
  • Handles could be softer

Product Information

  • Weight: 13.1 oz (30 ft)
  • Lengths: 30 ft (also available: 15 ft, 20 ft, 50 ft)
  • Material: High-quality woven nylon
  • Best for: Training, Large dogs
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Primal Pet Gear Leash

Primal Pet Gear Dog Leash 8ft Long - Black - Traffic Padded Two Handle - Heavy Duty - Double Handles Lead for Control Safety Training - Leashes for Large Dogs or Medium Dogs - Dual Handles Leads

Next up we have the Primal Pet Gear Leash, designed for ultimate control over medium- and large-sized dogs.

With dual handles, once located 1 ft from the clip and another 8 ft away, you can keep control of your dog’s movements from a distance and up close. This is great if you’ll be hiking along a mixture of open spaces and places where you need that bit of added security, such as along roads or cliff edges. The handles feature heavy neoprene padding too, so you won’t get sore hands even if you have a lively pooch.

The nylon construction is nice and thick for added durability and features close stitching for added strength. What’s more, the clip itself is made of rust-resistant zinc so you can rely on this leash to last you a while (plus there’s a 1-year warranty included too). The dual-sided reflective stitching means that you’ll be easily spotted by passing traffic at night too.

A final touch that we really like is the D-ring at the 8-ft handle – this is super handy if you want to attach extra bits of gear, such as poop bags or even your keys.

As this leash is only available in one length, it isn’t the best for those of you that like a long floppy lead that lets your furry friend roam around at a great distance. However, for small or medium dogs that you want to keep nice and close, this is one of the best leashes out there.

Pros

  • Dual handles for ultimate control
  • Heavy neoprene padding on the handles for comfort
  • Thick, close-stiched nylon construction for durability
  • D-ring for clipping on extra gear
  • Sturdy, rust-resistant clip
  • Reflective stitching for safety at night

Cons

  • Not suitable for small dogs
  • Only available in one length

Product Information

  • Weight: 7.2 oz
  • Length: 1 ft or 8 ft
  • Material: Closely-stitched pure nylon, Neoprene-padded handles
  • Best for: Control, Medium and large dogs
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Fida Retractable Leash

Fida Retractable Dog Leash, 16 ft Dog Walking Leash for Small Dogs up to 26 lbs, 360° Tangle Free, Black

The Fida Retractable Leash has to be the most versatile leash on our entire list.

As the name suggests, this leash is retractable, which means you can reel in your dogs if you’re hiking over treacherous terrain, but let it out again when it’s safe for it to explore (up to 16-ft away). What’s more, it’s available in a range of sizes designed to fit dogs that weigh anything from 18-110 lbs.

The handle is ergonomically designed, which is great if you’ll be out hiking all day long, and is lined with softer material for added comfort. It also features reflective markings to keep you safe if you end up hiking in low light.

The 360-degree swivel will stop you from getting tangled, even if your dog likes to run rings around you. Although the nylon used can handle some knocking around, overall, this leash isn’t the sturdiest once we’ve come across. However, in case you do run into any trouble, it comes with a 1-year warranty included.

Overall, if you want to give your dog some freedom, but also want the power to reign things in when needed, this is one of the best leashes out there.

Pros

  • Retractable leash lets you chose your distance (up to 16 ft)
  • 360-degree swivel prevents tangles
  • Reflective material for safety at night
  • Durable materials and 1-year warranty included
  • Lots of sizes available

Cons

  • Not the sturdiest leash around
  • Could extend further

Product Information

  • Weight: 12.6 oz
  • Length: 16 ft
  • Materials: Nylon leash, plastic handle
  • Best for: Versatility
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Chai's Choice Reflective Leash

Chai's Choice - Premium Outdoor Adventure Dog Leash - Padded, 3M Reflective Leash, Pet Products for Matching Dog Leash, Dog Harness and Dog Collar , Royal Blue, 78' Large

If your dog is pretty well behaved, but you like to hike around dusk and your route home takes you by some roads, then we definitely recommend the Chai’s Choice Reflective Leash.

Not only is this leash available in a range of vibrant colors, but it’s also constructed from nylon webbing featuring reflective material so you’ll be spotted by traffic a mile off.

The nylon construction, combined with zinc components, makes this a highly durable yet very lightweight leash – so it’s perfect for popping in your bag and using it once you’re out of the wilderness and closer to home.

This simple leash comes in two lengths (44 inches and 78 inches) as well as two widths (1 inch and 0.8 inches). If there was one thing we’d like to see on this leash that’s missing, it’s a tad more padding on the handles. However, if you’re using it with a tame dog, we doubt you’ll have any problems with this leash.

Overall, it a great option for anyone that hikes near or around road in the evening times, and it offers excellent value for money too.

Pros

  • Features reflective material for safety at night
  • Lightweight yet durable
  • Available in two length and thicknesses
  • Great value for money

Cons

  • Handles could have more padding
  • Not suitable for small dogs

Product Information

  • Weight: 6.4 oz / 180 g
  • Length: 6.5 ft / 1.8 m
  • Material: Padded nylon webbed mesh with 3M reflective strips
  • Best for: Evenings, Near roads
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What To Look For In Dog Leash For Hiking

So, there you have it, the best dog leashes for hiking currently on the market. As we’ve seen, they come in shapes, styles, and sizes, so what is it you should think about before buying one of your very own?

Length

This comes down to not only your dog’s behavior but also where you’ll be hiking. If you’ll be in areas packed with other dogs and your dog doesn’t like that, a short leash is best so you can stay nice and close. Short leashes are also great if you’ll hike along roads and there’s a chance your dog might leap into the road. However, longer leashes allow your dogs more freedom, which means they can run around more and burn off extra energy. If you really can’t decide, then maybe you should think about a retractable leash instead.

Comfort

Don’t underestimate how important this factor is! If you’ll be out in the wilderness all day long, you need something you don’t mind holding on to for a long time. Braided leashes with a broken-in feel tend to be the most pleasant to hold, but if you’re dog’s powerful or a little live wire, then you might need a sturdier handle with some extra padding.

Control

Leashes with dual handles offer a great way to control your dog’s movements and work very with powerful dogs. If you have a small dog, this might be overkill, and a retractable leash will probably work just fine. If you’re still heavily involved in training your dog, a harness could be a good shout, as it will keep your hands free to provide them with treats when they’re well behaved.

Our Top Three Dog Leashes For Hiking

Our top pick if you’re on a budget just has to be the lynxking Cord Leash. For a very reasonable price point, you’ll get a super durable leash constructed from a climbing rope that floats, is super soft, and has a 360-degree swivel that stops tangles.

Plus, it’s available in heaps of colors and even comes with a little carry bag – what a steal!

lynxking Check Cord Dog Leash Long Lead Training Tracking Line with Comfortable Handle Heavy Duty Puppy Rope Lead for Small Medium Large Dogs
4,781 Reviews
lynxking Check Cord Dog Leash Long Lead Training Tracking Line with Comfortable Handle Heavy Duty Puppy Rope Lead for Small Medium Large Dogs
  • SUITABLE THICKNESS CHECK CORD: To find a balance between weight and strength. 3/8” is a suitable thickness for long training dog leash, it has both strength and portability
  • NO TANGLE LONG ROPE LEASH: the round climbing rope and 360 degree rotating clasp design long training leash will not tangle whether it is in use or when you roll it up, great for hiking, camping, training, hunting, backyard, beach, recall training, outdoor play with tennis balls, and swimming

Our best leash when it comes to convenience is, without a doubt, the Mendota Pet Slip Leash.

You can whip this leash-and-collar combo on your pooch in just seconds thanks to the lack of fiddly clips and, if your dog hates collars, you’ll definitely be in the good books.

On top of that, it’s one of the most attractive leashes we’ve come across and it’s also incredibly comfortable.

Sale
Mendota Pet Slip Leash - Dog Lead and Collar Combo - Made in The USA - Camo, 3/8 in x 6 ft - for Small/Medium Breeds
184 Reviews
Mendota Pet Slip Leash - Dog Lead and Collar Combo - Made in The USA - Camo, 3/8 in x 6 ft - for Small/Medium Breeds
  • LEASH & COLLAR COMBINATION: This slip leash acts as a leash and a collar in one. Simply slip the loop over your dogs neck and use the handle end as a leash. Leash and collar in one combination that is great for training and known for its ease of use.
  • TRAINERS & HANDLERS: A best seller - this slip leash & collar combination is a favoriate amongst dog trainers, handlers and show dogs. Soft on the hands with its “Broken in Feel” easy to use and pliable enough to fit in your coat pocket.

But our absolute number one dog leash for hiking is the TaoTronics Hands-Free Leash – how could it not be when it lets you take your dog for a hike without hanging on to a handle all day long?

What’s more, it’s great at absorbing shock, and the dual handles allow fantastic control when you need it. With reflective stitching to boot, it’s no surprise that this one’s our favorite!