The 15 Best Travel Dog Crates & Carriers [2021]

Petmate Sky Kennel Pet Carrier

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Keep your dog safe and calm with a dedicated doggie travel crate or carrier. Made from strong and durable materials, they are comfortable, secure, and an absolute must-have for dog lovers who never want to leave their furry friends behind.

Things To Consider Travel Dog Crates

Not all dog crates are suitable for every size of dog or type of journey. Consider the following before you buy:

Style

There are 2 main types of crates and carriers to choose from, with both styles being better suited to different situations and doggie personalities:

Hard-sided Crates and Carriers — These are an excellent choice for long road trips and can be used as a secure spot for your dog to sleep in when you reach your destination.

Strong and sturdy, they are also an excellent choice for dogs who like to chew, and the molded plastic construction is easy to clean between uses.

Soft-sided Crates and Carriers — These are good for dogs who are used to traveling, and the lightweight design makes them more suitable for use on airplanes and shorter journeys.

As long as you choose the right size to suit your dog, these flexible carriers are easy for you to carry and come with additional features, such as padded shoulder straps and handy storage pockets.

Size

While you may be restricted by airline regulations or the physical size of your cargo area, it is super important that the dog crate or carrier that you choose has enough space for your dog to travel comfortably in.

It should be big enough for your pooch to sit, stand, sleep and turn around in while still being compact enough to keep them feeling safe and secure. As a general rule, the crate or carrier you choose should be no more than 6 inches longer than your dog.

Crates and carriers are usually available in different sizes to suit a wide variety of breeds. Measure your dog from his neck to his rear legs and again from his shoulders to the ground to get a good idea of which size crate or carrier will suit him best.

Weight

Most manufacturers will also recommend a maximum weight for their crates and carriers. This is particularly important if you are planning on carrying your dog around in it.

If your dog is between weights or sizes, always choose the crate or carrier that can offer the greatest capacity to ensure that it is strong enough and roomy enough for them to feel comfortable in.

Safety

The crate or carrier you choose should be strong and sturdy enough to secure your 4-legged friend in transit without making them feel scared or uncomfortable.

Look for crates and carriers that have strong zippers or clasps on the doors to stop your dog from making an escape, and only ever choose a model that offers mesh sides or ventilation slots to ensure that your dog can breathe easily.

If you are traveling in your vehicle, the crate or carrier should be kept secure using the seat belt or shoulder harness to stop your dog from being thrown around on the road.

Comfort

Some dogs get very nervous when traveling, and others really don’t like being confined in a crate or carrier.

Try and make them feel more comfortable by looking for options that offer soft and cozy seating areas that can be washed between uses, and maybe throw their favorite toy or blanket in there with them.

Bottom Line: Mesh sides are not only useful for ventilation, but they also let your dog see out, which may help them to feel more relaxed if they have eyes on their favorite humans at all times.

The 7 Best Travel Dog Crates for Airlines

1. Luxury Carrier for High-flying Pooches

Sherpa Travel Original Deluxe Airline Approved Pet Carrier

Take your 4-legged friend away with you in this awesome lightweight pet carrier. Suitable for medium-size dogs, this carrier measures 17 x 11 x 10.5 inches and can hold up to 16 pounds in weight. With a patented spring wire frame, it can be pushed down to ensure that it fits neatly under your seat in transit.

Perfect for use while you fly, your dog will love the comfortable faux lambskin liner, and with a non-slip carrying handle and useful rear pocket for treats and poop bags, owners will love the convenience that this brilliant travel crate offers.

Available in a choice of colors for stylish doggos and their owners, this portable pet carrier can be folded up small for easy storage when not in use. Also available in a choice of small or large sizes, the Sherpa carry-on for your pooch is ready and waiting for your next adventure.

What We Like

  • This bag is super sturdy and incredibly comfortable.

What We Don’t Like

  • The carrier is not as luxurious as some other models out there.

Hot Tip: For all of your pet’s accessories, check out our guide to the best dog travel bags, including totes and backpacks.

2. Superstrong Pet Carrier for Use on the Plane

Petmate Sky Kennel Pet Carrier

This hardside pet crate offers increased security for your furry friend while also being lightweight and travel-friendly.

Made from durable plastic materials, it has been constructed using non-corrodible wing nuts, extra-strong steel wire, and an interlocking door to enhance protection and ensure that your dog will never escape or be injured during transit.

Available in a choice of sizes, you can choose from the 21-, 28-, 32-, 36-, 40-, and 48-inch options to ensure that your dog has enough space to suit its size, and with vented openings all around it, this crate will ensure that your dog stays safe and healthy.

What We Like

  • The carrier has super-tough construction and additional safety features.

What We Don’t Like

  • This crate can feel heavy when your dog is in it.

3. Multi-purpose Crate for Adventurous Dogs

Petmate Vari Kennel Heavy-Duty Dog Travel Crate

Comfortable and incredibly secure, this awesome travel crate is suitable for use both on the airplane and as a comfortable kennel space when you reach your destination.

With tie-down strap holds and wire vents for ventilation, your pooch will stay safely in place during your flight, and with an easy-open front latch, you can quickly release your dog for much-needed cuddles when you arrive.

The raised interior is perfect for letting them sleep on their favorite blanket, and suitable for dogs weighing up to 70 pounds, this travel crate lets your best friend travel everywhere with you.

Designed to meet most airline cargo specifications, this super-secure travel crate will help to keep your dog calm and relaxed as they fly. Also available in a range of smaller sizes, there is a Petmate Vari Travel Kennel to suit all breeds of dog.

What We Like

  • This travel kennel is practical, durable, and pleasingly affordable.

What We Don’t Like

  • There is no carry handle.

4. Rolling Dog Carrier for Longer Journeys

Coopeter Airline Dog Carrier

Unique and highly portable, this rolling dog carrier makes light work of long journeys for you and your 4-legged friend.

Made from super-strong materials, it comes with a detachable 4-wheel platform and longer-length handle that lets you pull the carrier along behind you.

With additional non-slip grab handles and an adjustable shoulder strap, you can also use it without the wheels when you want to. With mesh sides, your pooch will be able to breathe well and keep its eye on you at all times, and the soft-sided interior provides a warm and cozy space for naps.

Measuring up at 12 x 19 x 18 inches, this pet carrier is suitable for small-breed dogs, and when not in use, it can be folded up compact for easy storage. Comfortable, cozy, and incredibly cool, your dog will love traveling around in this innovative dog carrier.

What We Like

  • The wheeled base and extendable handle are convenient to use.

What We Don’t Like

  • It is quite small, so check the measurements.

5. 2-in-1 Carrier and Rolling Kennel

SportPet Designs Rolling Plastic Kennel

This portable kennel has a spacious interior and a sturdy build, and your pooch will quickly grow to love it almost as much as you do.

The convenient removable wheels make it a breeze to glide through the airport, and with 2 dishes, 4 live animal stickers, tie-down bungee straps, and metal bolts and nuts included, this carrier meets all the IATA airline requirements for dogs in transit.

Available in a selection of sizes from S through to 2XL, this rolling pet kennel can accommodate all breeds of dog, and with superfast assembly, it is perfect for use both while traveling and back at home.

For added security, this crate also comes with locking snaps on the sides and a strong metal door with an easy-to-grasp latch to ensure that your best friend is safely tucked away during the journey.

What We Like

  • This is a good-sized, very secure travel kennel.

What We Don’t Like

  • It is quite heavy when your dog is in it.

6. Fuss-free Travel Kennel for Everyday Use

Aspen Pet Traditional Kennel

With sturdy plastic construction, this traditional-style dog carrier is an excellent choice for pets weighing between 20 and 30 pounds.

Offering a simple, fuss-free design, your furry best friend can enjoy 360-degree ventilation to feel cool and comfortable, and the easy-to-open squeeze latch door is perfect for superfast loading and unloading.

In addition, the raised interior is a safe and comfortable space for your dog, and the secure tie-down holes will ensure that your best bud doesn’t slide around in transit.

Easy to carry using the top handle, this travel kennel also comes in smaller 20- and 25-inch versions for smaller breeds. The functional design makes this suitable for use as a training kennel at home and a secure and safe space for traveling.

What We Like

  • The design is fuss-free and easy to use.

What We Don’t Like

  • It doesn’t feel quite as high quality as some of its competitors.

7. Lightweight Pet Carrier for Easy Transportation

Petsfit Airline Approved Dog Carrier

Lightweight and easy to carry, this travel dog carrier comes with a non-slip shoulder strap and grab handles, making it easy to take your best friend with you while you travel.

The mesh sides help to keep your dog cool, and the wire frame ensures that this carrier keeps its shape in transit.

Designed to conform perfectly with the under-seat dimensions of most airlines, your 4-legged friend can stay by your side as you fly, and the built-in safety tether on the inside will ensure that your pet is safely secured at all times.

For increased comfort, this brilliant carrier comes with a soft fleece mat that will help your pooch feel at home along the way, and with an additional backstrap, you can fasten the carrier to your luggage for seamless transportation around the airport.

What We Like

  • The carrier can be folded up when not in use.

What We Don’t Like

  • It doesn’t feel substantial enough to hold heavier dogs.

The 8 Best Travel Dog Crates for Cars

1. Basic Dog Crate That Can Fold Down for Easy Storage

Amazon Basics Portable Folding Soft Dog Travel Crate

This soft-sided and easy-to-fold 36-inch dog crate is perfect for road trips and overnight stays and offers plenty of comfort and security for even the most nervous of 4-legged travelers.

With 2 separate doors, it is easy to load and unload your pet for their next big adventure, and with ventilation on all 4 sides, your dog will be able to breathe easily along the way.

The secure zipper closures keep the crate secure, and with roll up and down doors, you can let your dog see out or roll them back down when it’s time to snooze.

Made from strong and durable polyester material, this crate comes with a PVC frame that can be set up and folded back down in an instant, and with the ability to hold up to 90 pounds in weight, this is an excellent option for larger breeds.

What We Like

  • The crate is spacious and highly durable.

What We Don’t Like

  • It doesn’t come with carrying handles.

2. Soft Dog Crate for Smaller Breeds

EliteField 3-Door Folding Soft Dog Crate

This 24-inch dog crate is also available in larger 30-, 36-, and 42-inch versions, and the soft-sided design offers incredible versatility and comfort for your furry friend.

With a strong steel frame, it is sturdy enough to handle your pup’s weight, and the highly durable 600D fabric and hex mesh fabric will keep your dog well-ventilated in transit.

Designed to be wider and higher than most standard dog crates, your dog will have plenty of space to move around, and with 2 accessory pockets on the outside, you can keep their treats, leashes and other essentials close at hand.

As an added bonus, this model also comes with a free fleece bed included, as well as a carry bag, giving you and your pooch everything you need to stay safe, comfortable, and most of all calm on long car journeys or back at home.

What We Like

  • This soft crate offers stress-free transportation.

What We Don’t Like

  • The zippers don’t feel secure enough for dogs that push against them.

3. Plastic Carry Crate for the Trunk of Your Car

Ferplast Atlas Scenic SUV & Car Dog Crate

Suitable for medium-size breeds, this crate measures 39 x 23 x 26 inches, making it suitable for use in the cargo area of most SUVs and hatchbacks.

Strong enough to comfortably hold dogs weighing as much as 60 pounds, this crate comes with super-sturdy molded handles that let you lift the crate (and dog) in and out of the vehicle when you need to.

Offering vented panels all the way along the sides, this model offers excellent ventilation to keep your dog comfortable and relaxed along the way, and the tough plastic and metal mesh is designed to withstand even the most enthusiastic of 4-legged friends.

With a convenient locking system built into the front door and a sliding opening, this crate will keep your dog safely contained while also helping to save space in your cargo area, and the versatile design can be completely dismantled for easy storage when not in use.

What We Like

  • This crate fits most vehicles.

What We Don’t Like

  • It doesn’t feel that it would be able to stand up to escape artists.

4. Multi-purpose Crate for Bigger Pooches

Noz2Noz Soft-Krater Indoor and Outdoor Crate for Pets

This soft-sided crate lets you take your best friend on long road trips with you, and the versatile and highly portable design is comfortable and convenient for your dog.

Made with a water-resistant base, it is perfect for nervous pooches as it can be cleaned up very easily, and the fully washable cover can be thrown into the machine between uses.

With a sturdy steel frame, it is designed to be strong and durable, and the novel design can be set up and folded down in an instant.

With mesh panels for increased ventilation and a better view for your 4-legged friend, this crate comes with rounded corners to prevent scratches. Available in a selection of sizes, this model can fit pets weighing up to 100 pounds.

What We Like

  • The crate can easily be cleaned between uses.

What We Don’t Like

  • The zipper closure feels a bit flimsy.

5. Heavy-duty Crate for Dogs Who Like Their Own Personal Space

Petsfit Portable Soft Collapsible Dog Crate

This 30-inch foldable dog crate is strong enough to comfortably carry dogs weighing up to 88 pounds, and the spacious interior has been designed to keep your pooch feeling calm and comfortable.

Made from high-quality materials, it comes with grid doors on the front, top, and side for easier loading and unloading, and the pocket on the back is a handy space to hold treats, snacks, leashes, and other doggie travel accessories.

Featuring an upgraded hexagonal structure grid, this crate is incredibly sturdy, and with Velcro-zippered doors, your dog will stay safely housed at all times.

With rounded corners on the top, this crate will slip neatly into your vehicle without causing any damage to the interior, and the foldable steel frame has a washable soft cover and can be folded down quickly for convenient storage when not in use.

What We Like

  • The spacious interior is perfect for larger dogs.

What We Don’t Like

  • The mesh doesn’t feel particularly strong.

6. Excellent Pop-up-style Dog Crate

Petsfit Collapsible Soft Dog Crate

Perfect for small and medium breeds, this pop-up style dog crate measures 30 x 20 x 19 inches and has 2 doors for easier loading and unloading.

Both doors can be rolled up so your dog can see out, and the mesh panels allow for increased ventilation along the way.

Lightweight while still being incredibly sturdy, this dog crate can also be used as an open bed, giving your dog their own space — both in transit and when you reach your destination.

With a removable and washable soft pad, this is a super-comfy base for your best friend while you are away from home.

With a patented screw-in design that lets you set the crate up in seconds, this is an awesome travel crate that can easily be dismantled and stored between uses.

What We Like

  • The crate sets up superfast.

What We Don’t Like

  • There are more sturdy dog crates out there.

7. Collapsible Crate for Use in Your Vehicle

Amazon Basics Folding Soft Dog Crate

This awesome soft-sided dog crate is anything but basic and offers a cost-effective way to transport your best friend from A to B.

Measuring 26 x 18 x 18 inches, this model is suitable for small breeds weighing between 12 and 25 pounds, but it also comes in 21-, 30-, 36-, and 42-inch versions for dogs of varying sizes. Made from durable polyester and PVC materials, it collapses down for quick and easy storage.

For added convenience, it also features accessory pockets on the top and the side for storing treats and other essentials, and with a top handle and shoulder strap, it is easy to carry your dog around in.

On the inside, the plush fleece-covered pet bed offers superior comfort on the road, and the multiple screened panels offer increased ventilation and an excellent opportunity for your pooch to keep a watchful eye on you.

What We Like

  • The crate is comfy, practical, and easy to use.

What We Don’t Like

  • The mesh isn’t strong enough to handle dogs that like to chew.

8. For Dogs Who Like To Be Close by You

SlowTon Dog Booster Car Seat

If your dog thinks it’s human, this convenient and comfortable doggie car seat might be just the thing for it to enjoy.

Made with a reinforced metal frame, this crate provides a safe and comfy shelter for dogs who like to ride in cars, and the quick and easy installation makes it easy to fit and remove from your car seat as often as necessary.

The non-slip rubber bottom won’t slide around on the back seat of your car, and the seat belt tether will keep your dog secure. With mesh windows on 3 sides, this model offers excellent ventilation, and the front and top zipper doors let you load and unload your dog without a fuss.

With a washable and reusable pet pee pad on the bottom, your seats will stay clean and dry, even with most anxious of doggies, and with the ability to fold up flat when not in use, this is a super-fancy and incredibly safe way for your dog to travel around with you.

What We Like

  • Pets are easy to secure and buckle in.

What We Don’t Like

  • The locking system could be sturdier.

Final Thoughts

Whether you are looking for an airplane carrier for your bichon frise or a cargo crate for your husky, there are lots of safe and comfortable ways to keep your best friend by your side.

From hard-sided crates to soft and flexible carriers, finding the right model for you and your dog will let you both enjoy many miles of adventures together.


Frequently asked questions

How do I get my dog used to a travel crate?

Start slowly and be patient when getting your dog used to a travel crate. Leave the door open and line the crate with your dog’s favorite blanket and even an item of your clothing, so they feel comfortable. Use lots of treats and positive reinforcement to create a positive association.

Is it safe for a dog to travel in a crate?

Crates are an excellent and safe way to transport your dog in cars or while flying. Look for crates that have strong zippers, clasps, and sturdy doors.

What size travel crate does my dog need?

Measure your dog’s length from the tip of their nose to the base of their tail. Your travel dog crate should be no more than their length plus 6 inches. Also, make sure that your dog has enough room to sit, lie down, and turn around comfortably.

How do I choose a travel crate for my dog?

There are several things to consider when choosing a travel crate for your dog. Safety and comfort will be high on your list of criteria. It’s also important to get the correct size for your dog, and the weight will also be a key consideration, especially for air travel.

Amar Hussain

About Amar Hussain

Amar was born and raised in England, UK, embarked on an 11 country round the world gap year after graduation and then became well and truly hooked. The first gap year inspired a second which ended up being a 23 country down-the-world trip from Canada to Antarctica. Since then Amar has endeavored to turn his gap year into a ‘gap life’ and has spent the last 10 years traveling the 7 continents.

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