Last Updated: April 22, 2019
Celia Miller Author: Celia Miller

Best Dog Car Harness

Best Dog Car Harness

We reviewed 15 car harnesses for dogs to help keep you and your dog safe on the road. In our research, we uncovered a lot of startling facts about harnesses that companies tout as “crash tested” but don’t actually hold up in a crash. Fortunately, we found one harness that stands out from the pack and does the most to keep your pup secure at a reasonable price point: Kurgo Tru-Fit Harness.

Best Products Best Dog Car Harness

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Best Overall
Kurgo Tru-Fit Harness
Kurgo Tru-Fit Harness Best Overall
$38
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
7/10
  • What we Like
  • Durable and high quality
  • Works for both a car harness and a walking harness
  • What we Dislike
  • Not easy to put on
  • Sits a little high up on the neck of certain dogs
  • Not ideal for pullers
Product Details
Center for Pet Safety Certification

Safety Crash tested using Federal Motor Vehicle Safety standards
Material Premium nylon and interior is padded
Design Slip-on
Points of Adjustment 5
Leash Attachment 2 (back-clip and front-clip)
Color Choices 1
Our Review

The Kurgo Tru-Fit harness had some issues with the CPS in 2013, but they came out a revised version with metal buckles (and an interesting design). Though we’re happy to see them strive to make changes, it yet to be determined if this version would pass CPS’s tests. However, it has been crash tested and serves as both a car harness and walking harness. It’s a high quality, mid-range priced harness that we would even consider for everyday use.

Best Quality
SleepyPod Terrain
SleepyPod Terrain Best Quality
$84
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
9/10
  • What we Like
  • Can be used for both a car harness and a walking harness
  • Well padded to reduce chafing
  • Great for medium and large size dogs
  • What we Dislike
  • Very high price point
  • Not good for pullers
  • Sizing is a bit tricky
Product Details
Center for Pet Safety Certification
five star rating
Safety Tested with the same dynamic crash test used for child safety restraints
Material Ballistic nylon exterior and automotive grade seatbelt webbing
Design Slip-on and easy buckles
Points of Adjustment 4
Leash Attachment Back-clip
Color Choices 4
Our Review

This is our winner and it shouldn’t be a surprise. It’s been designed so that it can be both a car harness and a walking harness–a powerful duo. However, if you have a bad puller and your dog hasn’t been leashed train then this isn’t your best pick. Overall, we believe this is the best car harness currently on the market, so long as your budget allows.

Best for Big & Medium Dogs
SleepyPod ClickIt
SleepyPod ClickIt Best for Big & Medium Dogs
$0
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
8/10
  • What we Like
  • Reflective strips
  • Easy to clean
  • Super easy to put on
  • Ease of movement
  • 3 points of seatbelt contact
  • What we Dislike
  • High price point
  • Causes chafing if used as a walking harness
Product Details
Center for Pet Safety Certification
five star rating
Safety Tested with the same dynamic crash test used for child safety restraints
Material Ballistic nylon exterior and automotive grade seatbelt webbing
Design Slip-on
Points of Adjustment 4
Leash Attachment 1 back-clip
Color Choices 4
Our Review

Another great harness from SleepyPod. The Sleepypod ClickIt harness is one of the only harnesses that the CPS can recommend for its safety and high quality. It’s simple to slip on and we really appreciate that it’s easy to clean, but it is a bit price and is pretty bad for extended walking. It’s perfect if you need a harness that will protect you and your dog in a collision.

Best for Small Dogs
ZuGoPet Dog Harness
ZuGoPet Dog Harness Best for Small Dogs
$0
Review manufacturer zugopet
on zugopet
9/10
  • What we Like
  • Perfect for 25 lb dogs
  • Certified and recommended by veterinarians
  • Durable and tested with high standards
  • What we Dislike
  • Should not be used for walking
  • Limited color choice
  • Takes some practice to get on your dog
Product Details
Center for Pet Safety Certification
five star rating
Safety Tested with the same dynamic crash test used for child safety restraints
Material Seatbelt material and premium nylon
Design Unique backpack/front pack design
Points of Adjustment 8
Leash Attachment 0 - this does not have an attachment for a leash
Color Choices 1
Our Review

This is another top pick for us and for the CPS. It’s a little awkward to put on, but it’s one of the safest harnesses on the market. The only downsides are that you really cannot use it as a walking harness, it is only suitable for smaller dogs, and can be a bit tricky to put on. Like always, we highly recommend slowly acclimating your dog to this harness over time. But with all that said, this harness is probably the safest bet for smaller dogs.

Solvit Harness
Solvit Harness
$26
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
7/10
  • What we Like
  • Low price point
  • Very easy to clean
  • What we Dislike
  • Thinner and made of cheaper material than most other options on the market
  • Not ideal for long car trips
Product Details
Center for Pet Safety Certification

Safety Crash tested and claims to be tested up to 3
000 lbs of pressure
Material High quality nylon and soft mesh interior
Design Slip-on
Points of Adjustment 4
Leash Attachment Back-clip
Color Choices 1
Our Review

The Solvit car harness is a good pick for those looking for a “budget” harness for short trips. This is definitely a lightweight option and is super easy to remove. However, this harness is really only good to keep your dog secure during car rides. As it did not pass the tests by the CPS. So be sure to know that when you pay this that it isn’t the safest option for your dog in the event of a collision.

Kurgo Impact
Kurgo Impact
$85
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
7/10
  • What we Like
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Very easy to put seatbelt through the harness
  • What we Dislike
  • Very high price point
  • Dogs are able to easily back out of the harness if not secured properly
  • Adjustment straps become loose after every use
  • Not easy to take on and off
Product Details
Center for Pet Safety Certification

Safety Crash tested using Federal Motor Vehicle Safety standards
Material Premium nylon and high tensile tubular webbing
Design Slip-on
Points of Adjustment 4
Leash Attachment 1 back-clip
Color Choices 1
Our Review

Kurgo Impact harness is an improved version of the Kurgo Tru-Fit Harness. They apparently crash tested the harness with a 130 pound simulation. (However, the report isn’t public, which is not ideal.) People have also had issues with this harness getting loose and not keeping the adjustments they make. Overall, this is a solid pick, but only if budget allows.

Mighty Paw Harness
 Mighty Paw Harness
$24
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
2/10
  • What we Like
  • Doubles as a walking harness
  • What we Dislike
  • Needs the Mighty Paw safety belt to make this car compatible
  • Has to use a tether to make it secure
  • Made of cheap material. Chewers beware
Product Details
Center for Pet Safety Certification

Safety

tested
Material Premium nylon
soft padding interior
and metal hardware
Design Clip-on
Points of Adjustment 4
Leash Attachment 1 back-clip
Color Choices 1
Our Review

The Mighty Paw Harness strives to be the best of both worlds. It wants to be your go-to walking harness and your car harness. The problem here is that it doesn’t do either very well. The harness on it’s own doesn’t actually serve as a vehicle harness, as you would need to purchase an additional safety belt. On top of that, dog parents have expressed frequent complaints about their dogs escaping from this harness after the buckles slip.

Slowton Dog Car Harness
Slowton Dog Car Harness
$13
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
3/10
  • What we Like
  • Large color selection
  • Various sizes to pick from
  • What we Dislike
  • Not good for escape artists
  • Made of cheap material
  • Does not hold up to stress
  • Has a seat belt tether
Product Details
Center for Pet Safety Certification

Safety

crash tested
Material High-grade nylon and soft mesh
Design Slip-on vest with plastic buckles
Points of Adjustment 4 points (2 neck and 2 girth)
Leash Attachment 1 back-clip
Color Choices 16
Our Review

This is a cheap harness that only really keeps your dog tethered to one seat. That in itself helps making driving safer for you and your dog, but it isn’t enough. The material is so weak that it won’t hold in the case of a serious collision. The bright side is it has a low price point and many color options and styles to choose from. With that said, we can’t recommend it because it isn’t tested, and since the material won’t hold up, your dog will most likely come out of their seat in a serious collision.

EzyDog Harness
EzyDog Harness
$115
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
8/10
  • What we Like
  • Quick one-time fit and adjustment
  • “Mag-Lok” feature for instant closure
  • Tough and durable
  • What we Dislike
  • High price point
  • Not CPS certified
  • Not good for short neck dogs
Product Details
Center for Pet Safety Certification

Safety Tested using the seat belt standards for both the US and EU
Material Seatbelt-grade webbing and aluminum alloy
Design Step-in vest
Points of Adjustment 4 (2 neck and 2 girth)
Leash Attachment 1 back-clip (double metal D-rings)
Color Choices 1
Our Review

One of the top safety harnesses on the market, the EzyDog harness is a high quality product with an emphasis on safety. The real reason this harness is a winner is that features a “Mag-Lok” and hardly ever needs to be adjusted. Unfortunately, this one runs a bit pricey and isn’t comfortable for dogs with short necks.

DOGJOG Dog Harness
DOGJOG Dog Harness
$0
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
4/10
  • What we Like
  • Low price point
  • Ideal for puppies and smaller dogs
  • What we Dislike
  • Uses a tether for security
  • Not great for bigger dogs
Product Details
Center for Pet Safety Certification

Safety

tested
Material Durable nylon material and nickel plated hardware
Design Slip-on
Points of Adjustment 4 (2 neck and 2 girth)
Leash Attachment 1 back-clip
Our Review

The DOGJOG is a pretty simple harness and some owners swear by it. For puppies and smaller dogs, this harness does keep them in their seats and prevent them from distracting you on the road. However, it isn’t tested for collisions and is made of cheap, weak material. Chances are good that it won’t hold up when you need it to the most.

Ruffwear Vehicle Harness
Ruffwear Vehicle Harness
$80
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
8/10
  • What we Like
  • A lot of sizing options
  • Very easy to put on
  • Made out of high quality and durable
  • What we Dislike
  • High price point
  • There is not a lot of adjustments within a size. Order up if your dog is between sizes.
  • Not great for daily walks
Product Details
Center for Pet Safety Certification

Safety Tested and passed under the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 213
Material High-grade nylon
soft mesh interior
and seat belt grade material
Design Slip-on vest
Points of Adjustment 4
Leash Attachment 1 back-clip
Color Choices 1
Our Review

Ruffwear generally makes high-quality harnesses and this is no exception. It isn’t approved by the CPS, but it was built within Federal Motor Standards and was tested for dogs up to 75 lbs. This is a suitable alternative to the SleepyPod brand and extremely easy to use. Although it can function as a regular harness for stretch breaks on long trips, it should not be used as a daily walking harness.

PAWBOO Car Harness
PAWBOO Car Harness
$11
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
3/10
  • What we Like
  • Low price point
  • What we Dislike
  • Not crash tested
  • Not compatible with a number of cars
  • Only security is with a seat belt tether
Product Details
Center for Pet Safety Certification

Safety

Material Premium nylon and soft mesh interior
Design Slip-on vest and seat belt tether
Points of Adjustment 4 points (2 neck and 2 chest)
Leash Attachment 1 back-clip
Color Choices 10
Our Review

The PAWBOO car harness tries to be the cheap alternative to car harnesses. If all you need is a cheap way to keep your dog from distracting you while driving, then this may be for you. But it does nothing in the event of a collision and is likely to break. It’s also cheaply made (hence the low price point), so don’t be surprised if it doesn’t hold up.

AllSafe Dog Car Harness
AllSafe Dog Car Harness
$0
Review manufacturer petco
on petco
8/10
  • What we Like
  • Reflective strips
  • Can also be used for as a walking harness
  • What we Dislike
  • Very high price point
  • Won’t hold up if used for walking on a daily basis
Product Details
Center for Pet Safety Certification

Safety Crash tested for up to 75 lbs and meets seat belt standards in USA and EU
Material Combination of stainless steel hardware and strong nylon
Design Step-in vest
Points of Adjustment 4
Leash Attachment Back-clip
Color Choices 1
Our Review

An excellent and strong harness that’s great for long car rides. Just be sure not to use the tether, as it failed the CPS tests. This harness also doubles as a walking harness, as long as those walks are short. Overall, this is a solid option for owners who don’t mind the price and need another option apart from the Sleepypod brand.

Bergan Dog Car harness
 Bergan Dog Car harness
$0
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
6/10
  • What we Like
  • Moderate price point
  • Wide selection of sizes
  • Allows your dog to lay down
  • What we Dislike
  • Tether restraints are not good for back support in the case of a collision
  • Rather difficult to adjust
  • Not great for escape artists
Product Details
Center for Pet Safety Certification

Safety Crash tested to meet the standards of V9DT
Material Premium nylon and metal carabiners
Design Step-in that secures with a seat belt tether
Points of Adjustment 4
Leash Attachment 0 -

leash attachments
Color Choices 1
Our Review

The Bergan car harness has an emphasis on decreasing distractions by keeping your dog tethered to the seat. Because of this, some dog owners would swear by this harness. However, if your dog is an escape artist, then adjustments aren’t very easy and your dog will likely be able to get out it. On top of that, it also was deemed a catastrophic failure for dogs 75 lbs or higher by the CPS. If you’re looking for a harness to keep your dog from free roaming the car while you’re driving, then consider this harness.

Good2Go
Good2Go
$0
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
4/10
  • What we Like
  • Low price point
  • Doubles as a walking harness
  • Easy to slip seat belt through harness
  • What we Dislike
  • Only tested up to 30 mph
  • Not approved by the CPS
  • Made out of cheap materials
Product Details
Center for Pet Safety Certification

Safety Impact test at 30 mph
Material Premium nylon and cast steel hardware
Design Vest with metal buckles for security and a handle the seat belt goes through
Points of Adjustment 4 (2 neck and 2 girth)
Leash Attachment 1 Back-clip
Color Choices 1
Our Review

The Good2Go harness is an affordable option for pet owners to consider. It is not the optimal choice but does provide a cheap solution to keep your dog from roaming. However, the “30 mph impact test” promise is a bit vague for our liking. Compared to the other car harness, we cannot recommend this completely.

Best Products Best Dog Car Harness
Product Name Best for Rate
Kurgo Tru-Fit Harness Best Overall 7
SleepyPod Terrain Best Quality 9
SleepyPod ClickIt Best for Big & Medium Dogs 8
ZuGoPet Dog Harness Best for Small Dogs 9
Solvit Harness 7

How To Choose

This is the criteria we used to review the harnesses. We organized it from the most important to least important.

Center for Pet Safety Certification: Has the CPS tested and approved this harness?
Safety: Is this harness tested for crashes and does it actually hold up?
Material: What is it made out of and will it hold up to stress?
Design: How does this go on your dog and is it easy to use?
Points of Adjustment: Is it easy to adjust and how much adjustment can I do?
Leash Attachment: How many leash attachments are on it and what types?
Color Choices: What are the color choices and styles to pick from?

Challenges of Car Harnesses:

When thinking about car harnesses for their pup, many owners are thinking only about keeping their dog safe during a crash. While it’s fantastic to be on the lookout for your little guy, it’s just as important to remember you need to be kept safe from your dog in a crash–just like with any other objects in the car. Did you know that a 10 lb dog becomes a 500 lb force in a 50mph collision? Or that a 60 lb dog can become a 3000 lb force in a collision?

With this in mind, it’s very important that when we consider any car harness, we make sure that it will at least keeping your pup in place. We turned to the Center for Pet Safety (CPS) and found some rather shocking discoveries.

In 2013, the CPS conducted a series of tests on harness that claimed to be “safe and crash tested.” Turns out that almost every single harness for dogs failed.

For the strength test, the researchers measured the quality of the harness material and determined if it would break under the force of an average car crash. Many harnesses broke here and were deemed “catastrophic failures.”

For the crash test, the researchers made three “dog dummies” of different weights (10 lb, 35 lb, and 60 lb) and put them through the same test used for evaluating seatbelts on automobiles. Only one harness succeed and was overall deemed safe: SleepyPod ClickIt.

Many of the harness we review here are too new to have been tested by the CPS in the 2013 study, but the companies claim that they’ve been crash tested nonetheless. Ultimately, it’s hard to evaluate what this means, as there are no regulations for dog car harnesses. Regardless, we will be mark if each harness claims to be crash tested and/or has a certification from the CPS.

Using The Car Harness

Most car harnesses are like your typical harness and sport a leash attachment. These leash attachments are most likely going to be back-clips or a front-clip. (Keep in mind that these harness aren’t meant to be used as walking harnesses in the long run.)

What makes them different than your typical harness is that there’s a place for you to slide the seat belt through. When you have the seatbelt adjusted onto the harness, it restricts the movement of your dog to keep them in their seat.

Some dogs really don’t like to be confined but all dogs like to be safe, so it’s worth figuring out a way to make it work for you. So, we recommend some introductory training sessions in which you get your dog acclimated to the new harness. For example, let them try on the harness without getting into a car for the first few times and (ideally) let them sniff around inside the car without actually going anywhere or securing them.

Keeping Distractions At Bay

It’s no surprise that distractions while driving are the #1 cause of accidents on the road–which is a huge reason why car harnesses for your dog are so important. The last thing you need while driving is having your four-legged friend distracting you!

If you aren’t looking for something that necessarily rates well in a collision, or if your budget is really limited, there are some cheaper options that will keep your pup in his or her seat, so you can keep your attention 100% on the road.

Buckle Up

Road trips with your pup can be an absolute blast, and having the ability to drive your dog in a car can make life a lot easier. No matter what your plans are, it is imperative that you make sure you and your dog are safe on the road.

Whether you’re looking for a harness that will keep you free from four-legged distractions, or something more rugged that can protect your dog in a collision, there’s something out there for every owner. Let us know which one you picked, and be safe out there!