The Ultimate Dog Travel Crate Buying Guide

Travel Crates

If you’re thinking about taking your dog with you on your next trip, you are probably aware that you will need to bring some extra supplies to keep them safe and comfortable. And one of the most important things you will need to buy for your pooch is a dog travel crate.

But there are so many different kinds of dog travel crates. You can get a large or small dog travel crate. You can get a dog travel crate with wheels or one that folds down and can be easily set up, taken down, and carried. So if you are feeling a bit overwhelmed by your choices, check out this guide to get some tips on how to shop for the perfect dog travel crate and learn about 9 of our favorite products that are on the market today.

Best Dog Travel Crates

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Tips For Buying A Travel Dog Crate

Before you read about the different products and spend money on a travel dog crate, you should know what kinds of things to look for and how to be a smart shopper. So before we talk about some of our favorite products, you should read through these 4 tips to make sure you are buying the best travel dog crate for you and your pooch!

Fluffy Dog in Red Bag

1. Set A Reasonable Price Range

When it comes to dog travel crates, you can find products at a lot of different price points from ultra cheap to crazy expensive. While we don’t really recommend going for the cheapest of the cheap, it’s also not necessary to always choose the most expensive possible option.

The important thing is to get a sense of what kind of products exist at which price points and set yourself a budget of what you’re willing to spend. And, if possible, be willing to spend a little more so that you can get something that will last you for years to come.

2. Get The Right Size

Just because a large dog travel crate could technically fit a smaller dog doesn’t mean it’s the right size. You want something large enough to fit your dog but not so large that they could run laps inside of it.

Good And Bad Size of Dog Crate

Remember: this is a travel dog crate. While travelling, you need to make sure your dog is relatively confined and remains still while the car, train, plane or other mode of transport is in motion.

If the crate is too big, your dog won’t be able to sit comfortably because they’ll be sliding around with the movement of the vehicle. And if the crate is too small, they will be cramped and uncomfortable. So you need to get the correct size crate for your dog.

Most products will usually state what size dog they are suited for (they usually measure by pounds of bodyweight).

3. Get The Right Material And Design

In general, you can choose between either a hard or soft travel dog crate. A hard dog crate for car travel or motorcycles is ideal because it can provide some added protection in case of an accident. But the best dog crate for air travel is usually a soft crate because it can fit easily underneath a seat.

Best For Larger Breeds

With that said, a hard dog airline travel crate is best if you have a larger dog since you will need to put them in cargo during the flight so you will want the added protection of a hard exterior.

Aside from the material, you also need to think about the design. For example, some crates come with a sturdy frame and others are easily collapsible so that you can fold them up. The most important thing is that it is built well. Whichever materials and designs it uses, they should be high quality and built to last.

4. Choose Additional Features And Functions Based On Your Needs

Beyond the basic ability to house your dog while you are travelling, a dog travel crate can include a lot of extra features. But you don’t really need or want to get every possible extra feature.

For example, a dog travel crate with wheels would be fantastic for air travel because you could easily role the dog crate around the airport and wherever you need to go. However, the same crate would be problematic if you were going camping.

The wheels would not be able to handle the rough, uneven terrain. And it would be a hassle to carry it around. Instead, when looking for a great camping travel dog crate, collapsible frame is going to be one of the most important features to look for. Because then you can easily set it up to camp and fold it down when it’s time to move.

Crate With Wheels

So when looking at the available features, think about how they would benefit (or not benefit) you in the kind of traveling you are looking to do.

With these tips in mind, you are ready to start reading through these brief overviews of 9 of our favorite dog travel crates!

Best Dog Travel Crate Under $45

In this section, you’ll find our 5 favorite options for affordable travel dog crates that cost less than $45. These are all good quality products for their price range but you should bear in mind that when you spend less, you get less. So if quality is your top priority (and we think it should be), then you should definitely consider the products in the next section that cost a bit more.

1. Petnation Port-A-Crate E2 Indoor/Outdoor Pet Home

Petnation makes a great medium sized dog travel crate. This one is designed for both indoor and outdoor use, making it extremely versatile and very durably built. Check out the key specs below.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 24 inches long, 16 inches wide, and 16 inches high.
  • 6 different size options in total ranging from 16 inches to 36 inches 
  • ​Tightly woven mesh panels for ventilation and security.
  • Easily foldable.
  • Lightweight but strong materials.
  • Both top and side loading doors

Port-A-Crate By Petnation

This super convenient crate can be folded down in just 2 easy steps. And it can be set up again in the same number of steps! The fabric is tough enough to withstand the elements outdoors. And if used primarily as an indoor crate, it’s going to last you for years.

The only thing really missing here is bedding but this is easily fixed by simply putting in some blankets from home. So, if you need something versatile and super portable, this is a great option.

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2. Petmate Compass Plastic Kennel

When it comes to hard travel crates, this one is a great option. It’s great for car travel, trips to the vet, or other shorter trips but it can also serve as an airplane travel crate for larger dogs who need to be stored in cargo. Check out the key specs below:

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 24 inches long, 16 inches wide, and 16 inches high.
  • 7 different size options for dogs ranging from under 10 pounds to as much as 90 pounds.
  • ​Very easy to assemble.
  • Safe Quick Latch that can open 2 ways.
  • Good ventilation.
  • Compatible for airplane cargo holds on most airlines.
Plastic Kennel by Petmate Classic

If you need a crate for your larger dog to ride securely in the cargo hold, this is a great option. Once assembled, it’s sturdy and secure. And the range of sizes means you can easily find one that perfectly fits your pooch.

When choosing the size, make sure to base it on the length and height of your dog rather than the weight. While a lot of crates will give a weight limit, this isn’t as accurate for measuring whether or not your dog will fit comfortable as measuring their length from neck to the base of the tail and height from paw to shoulder.

Once you’ve found the right size, you have got a great dog travel crate at a fantastic price!

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3. 2PET Foldable Dog Crate

If you’re looking for a comfortable and super portable travel crate for your dog, this is it. At this price point, it is probably the best dog crate for car travel. And after you check out the key specs you’ll see why:

Specifications

  • 4 size options ranging from 20 inches to 32 inches.
  • 3 color options (waterproof mat)
  • Foldable with fleece bedding
  • 600d Oxford fabric
  • Mesh ventilation panels
  • Both top and side loading doors
  • Comfortable handles for carrying with adjustable strap
Crate From 2Pet

This is an impressively well-built product for this price. It is the perfect choice for campers and hikers looking for a super portable and practical travel crate. It can also be used as your dog’s regular crate at home.

2Pet Empty Crate

The sturdy steel frame is covered with durable and water resistant Oxford fabric. You have the option of adding the fleece bedding for more comfort. And, most importantly, you can easy fold it down and carry it or store it out of the way. Basically, for the price, this is definitely one of the best purchases you can make.

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4. OxGord 42" XXL Dog Crate

This is a solid travel crate that can also be used as your regular crate at home. And that dual functionality is great because it means your dog will be very familiar with the crate and will feel safe and secure inside of it while traveling. Take a look at some of the key specs:

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 42 inches long, 27 inches wide, 30 inches high
  • Easy to set up and fold down as needed without any tools.
  • Two doors with includes split divider
  • Easy grip andle
  • Lightweight but strong materials.
  • Both top and side loading doors
Crate By Oxgord

This is a fantastic crate for large dog breeds. And with the split divider, it can also be used for 2 smaller dogs. Not only is it a great crate to just use as your dog’s normal crate at home, it’s also a great travel crate for large dog. This is because you can easily fold it down and set up again as needed or use it to keep your dog secure while in the car.

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5. Petmate Kennel Cab Fashion

This hard travel crate provides great security and comfort for your dog. It’s a great option for car travel with a small dog. Here are a few of the key specs:

Specifications

  • Dimensions (for the smaller size): 19 inches long, 12.6 inches wide, and 10 inches high.
  • Suitable for pets between 7 and 9 inches tall at the shoulder.
  • Hard plastic case made from 25% recycled material
  • Moat perimeter around the floor with seatbelt slot
  • 2 different size and color options
Fashion Cab By Petmate Kennel

This is a great travel crate for going to the vet or other shorter trips. The seatbelt slot allows you to easily and securely strap the crate to the seat of the car so that it stays in place while you drive. The perimeter moat inside can keep your pet dry in case of accidents.

The side door is easy to open and close for you (but not for you pooch!). It’s very easy to put together and for as simple as it looks, it’s surprisingly sturdy and dependable. Once assembled, it stays together and the handle is well designed.

Overall, it’s a great basic carrier. It doesn’t have any particularly fancy features but it will do its job and it will do it well. And for the budget conscious out there, it will do it a price you can afford!

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Final Word

These 5 dog travel crates are all very high quality for their price range. However, they don’t provide the same level of exceptional quality and functionality that you are going to see in the products discussed in the next section.

If your budget is extremely limited, then one of these products above can be a great option for you. They will get the job done and they will do it well. But they are unlikely to last as long or be as reliable as a more expensive and better built product. So if you do have some wiggle room in your budget, we definitely recommend checking out a higher end dog travel crate.

Best Dog Travel Crate Over $45

The 4 dog travel crates below are priced between $45 and $100. So, while they are the more expensive options, they are still very reasonably priced and the level of quality and dependability is fantastic. So you should at least see what they have to offer even if you aren’t sure you want to increase your budget just yet.

1. NOZTONOZ Sof-Krate Indoor/Outdoor Pet Home

This is a great soft crate that will last for years whether you choose to use it exclusively in the home or you give it a run for its money by taking it outdoors on camping and hiking trips. Check out the key specs below:

Specifications

  • Tightly woven mesh panels for ventilation.
  • 5 size options ranging from 21 inches to 42 inches.
  • Easy to assemble
  • Water resistant base.
  • Removable cover that is machine washable.
  • Sturdy steel frame
  • Easily foldable
Sof-Krate NOZTONOZ

The materials used for this product are top of the line. It’s a great product for your money. This makes it a solid option for outdoor use. If you’re only looking for something that stays indoors, you may not need something quite this heavy duty. But for outdoor trips, especially with larger dogs, this is a great crate to choose.

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2. EliteField 3-Door Folding Soft Dog Crate

This is a beautifully constructed and durable soft crate for at home or on the road. Check out the key specs below:

Specifications

  • Fleece bed included.
  • Arrives fully assembled
  • 5 different size options ranging from 20 inches to 42 inches long.
  • 12 different color options.
  • Strong steel frame with 600d Oxford fabric
  • 3 mesh doors for your choice of top loading, front loading, or side loading.
  • Both top and side loading doors
Soft Crate By EliteField

While there were some similar options in the under $45 category, this product really shows the difference in quality when you allow yourself to move up to the next price range. It is still very nicely priced well under $100. And the quality is astounding. It’s a super versatile and portable option that is perfect whether you just need a crate for the home or you also want a travel dog crate.

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3. Go Pet Club Soft Pet Crate

For one of the higher quality designs, this is still relatively low on the price spectrum. And it is an excellent option for camping. Take a look at the key specs below:

Specifications

  • 6 size options ranging from 17 ½ inches to 48 inches long.
  • Cozy sheepskin mat for inside.
  • Carrying case for improved portability.
  • Water resistant polyester exterior.
  • Mesh doors and panels for ventilation
  • Lightweight and foldable
Soft Crate by Go Pet

All of this in combination makes for an excellent choice for longer hiking trips. If you need something that you can easily set up in the evening and then tear down again in the morning when you continue hiking, this is a fantastic option. And for the quality and functionality, it is very attractively priced!

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4. Pet Gear Generation II Deluxe Portable Soft Crate

As the most expensive option on our list, this travel dog crate has high expectations to meet but it definitely does not disappoint. Check out the key specs below:

Specifications

  • 5 different size options ranging from 21 inches to 41 inche
  • 6 different color options.
  • Durable steel frame
  • Easily foldable.
  • 3 doors for top, front, or side loading.
  • Fleece bedding and waterproof mat included
  • Mesh ventilation panels
Deluxe Pet Gear Generation

This is perfect either as a camping and hiking travel dog crate or just as your regular at home crate. With the color options, you are sure to find something that coordinates with your décor. And the materials are durable and long lasting.

So, while it may be one of the more expensive crates you can choose, it will definitely last for years and years. Plus, it has all the features you could need from soft fleece bedding to a waterproof mat to the ability to easily be folded down and transported or stored. This will make a wonderful home base for your dog wherever you choose to take them!

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Final Word

As you can see, you have quite a few different options to choose from. And this list is nowhere near complete. If none of the 9 products discussed here caught your interest, you still have dozens of others to choose from.

Conclusion

After reading though these 9 options for dog travel crates, you are much better prepared to make a final decision. Whether you choose one of the products mentioned here are something else entirely, you at least now know what kind of features and functions to look for.

With these 9 examples, you also have a pretty strong sense of the range of options from low end to high end and everything in between. So nail down your budget, think about exactly what you need your dog travel crate to do and then go buy the perfect dog travel crate for your pooch!

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