11 Best Travel Dog Crates: Check Out My Top Picks

Filed in Dog Products by on April 13, 2021

Best Travel Dog Crates

Did you know that approximately 78 percent of Americans travel with their pets each year?

If you’re one of these pet owners, you may be looking for the best travel dog crate.

Nowadays, you have a much greater selection of sizes and materials. At one time, it was a bulky 60-pound plastic ‘box’ crate, and that was pretty much the standard.

It wasn’t possible to travel via airline, bus, train, or cruise. These massive plastic monstrosities weren’t going to fit in anything less than a van-sized vehicle.

In this blog post, I give my top 11 picks for the best travel dog crates and classify them for easy browsing.

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases, but I only recommend products I find trustworthy and you pay nothing extra.

Best Travel Dog Crates Today

These days, you have everything from the traditional plastic crate to much more convenient (and pretty much indestructible) foldable metal crates, soft fabric crates, or travel ‘stowaway’ crates.

These newer crates will fit under your seat for those parents who want to fly with their small-breed dogs next to them. There are even travel pet ‘cases’ so your dog can travel via train or bus with you.

In other words, you can find anything that will suit any situation, as long as you look for it. If you’re traveling commercially via train, plane, or even cruise ship (given pets are allowed), you’ll be able to find what you need.

What to Look For

With today’s enormous pet industry, you can literally find just about anything. You’re limited by only your willingness to search, and your pocketbook. Believe it or not, people have purchased luxurious pet homes worth thousands, and there are ‘pet hotels’ out there nicer than many human hotels. Travel dog crates and pet carriers are no exception.

That being said, there is really no ‘perfect pet carrier’ to cover every single situation, but there are ideal dog crates for specific situations.

This really depends on what exactly you need for your travel purposes. For example, you’re probably not going to want to lug around a heavy dog crate at airports, and no way your dog will be able to travel in the cabin along with your 60-pound crate.

On the other hand, those heavy crates tend to be ideal for permanent home living, whereas a soft luggage-type carrier wouldn’t be your first choice.

Here are some considerations when determining the best travel dog crates:

  • What purpose is your crate for?
  • What size dog are you traveling with, and what are his/her needs?
  • Do you need something machine washable?
  • Do you want convenient wheels for airport travel?
  • What about soft shoulder straps for carrying?
  • Do you want extra pockets for storage space?
  • Do you need a warranty?

FYI, I may collect a small commission from the links below, but I only recommend products I find trustworthy.

My Top 11 Best Travel Dog Crates (not in any particular order):

1. EliteField 3-Door Folding Soft  (Top Overall Soft)

2 used from $84.59
Free shipping
as of April 14, 2024 7:32 am

EliteField offers the best travel dog crate when it comes to soft crates. If you want something soft yet durable, and need a crate that can be easily folded and offer extreme comfort at the same time, this is for you! The crate frame is made of steel tube, while the walls and floor are tough fabric. This one can be easily transported and is lightweight enough that a child can carry it.

Depending on the size of your dog, this may not be the best idea for vehicular, airline, bus or train travel. This is because the box design rather than rectangular design may not easily fit in various compartments. Some benefits include:

  • Pockets for extra storage
  • 100% money back guarantee
  • Better for home or stationary use!

2. Amazon Basics Portable Folding Soft Kennel (Budget Soft)

7 used from $67.32
Free shipping
as of April 14, 2024 7:32 am

This soft-sided crate is excellent for on-the-go adventures and traveling, whether it’s for setting up in a hotel room, a campsite, or another retreat. The fold-up design makes it easy to pack away for travel, and then it pops open easily for quick set-up, with no tools required. It’s best for use when already at your destination, as the design isn’t suitable for traveling in a car or cargo area and is too large for in-cabin plane travel.

This model measures 35.83” x 24.02” x 24.02” and is a great fit for medium to large-sized breeds. However, the crate is also available in multiple sizes, ranging from 21 inches to 42 inches, so that you can find the best match for your pup.

Key Features:

  • A durable PVC frame and fabric sides help the crate maintain its shape.
  • Zipper closures keep the crate securely shut.
  • Easily folds up for quick and convenient transport and set-up.
  • Comfortable for medium to large-size breeds. Plus, it comes in various sizes to accommodate different dog breeds.
  • Features a water-resistant lining that helps liquids pool up for easy cleaning without soaking through to the floor.


  • Two doors, one on the top and one on the front make it easy to get your dog in and out of the crate.
  • Mesh windows provide excellent ventilation.
  • Easy set-up and compact storage.


  • Not the best for traveling in a vehicle as it would not be very safe in case of an accident.
  • There is no carry handle when the crate is in its open position.
  • Too large for in-cabin airplane travel.

3. Life Stages LS-1642DD Double Door Folding (Best Wire Kennel)

3 new from $99.99
4 used from $75.65
Free shipping
as of April 14, 2024 7:32 am

Life Stages offers one of the best travel dog crates for easy transport. This folding wire crate features an easy-to-set-up assembly, with no need for tools or much effort. Plus, it quickly folds back down when not in use, so you can store it away or transport it easily. The crate also features roller feet, so you can maneuver it easily when it’s open without damaging your floors (or back).

The removable tray makes cleanup a breeze, and there’s also a divider panel that offers flexibility. It allows the crate to grow with your pup or makes it easy to use the crate for two dogs. The heavy-gauge steel construction makes this crate super-durable, and a door on the side and the front makes it easy to get your pet in and out of the crate.

Key Features:

  • Heavy-duty construction and materials make this crate extremely durable.
  • The easy, folding design makes this a good choice for packing away in your car for a road trip and popping up in a hotel room.
  • The corner clips are rounded, so your pet doesn’t have to worry about sharp points and corners.


  • Available in six sizes, ranging from 22 to 48 inches.
  • Features a convenient carrying handle.
  • Comes with a limited one-year warranty.


  • There could be gaps at certain parts of the crate that a small puppy could squeeze its paws or even head through. Therefore, ensure you carefully inspect your crate and get the appropriate size for your dog.
  • Some people have reported some crates having loose latches, so check the latch thoroughly before using the crate.

4. Pet Gear Carrier & Car Seat for Cats and Dogs (Top Pet Carrier/Car Seat Combo)

as of April 14, 2024 7:32 am

If taking road trips with your furry friend is something you love to do, then it’s essential to have a safe and dependable crate for traveling in your vehicle. Pet Gear’s soft, foldable crate delivers a perfect choice with its ability to quickly go from pet crate to car seat by conveniently attaching it to your car’s seatbelt. Now you can ride with your pet in the car without the worry of the crate slipping and sliding or toppling over when you hit bumps in the road.

The front and top mesh openings provide easy access, while an interior tether ensures your pet stays close at hand. The mesh windows also offer excellent ventilation, and when not in use, the entire carrier folds down for easy storage and portability.

Key Features:

  • Includes a washable fleece pad so your furry friend can ride in comfort.
  • Easily attaches to your vehicle’s seat belt with no extra tools or supplies required.
  • Includes storage pouches for holding small items.


  • The budget-friendly price means you keep your pet safe without breaking the bank.
  • Carry handles make it easy to transport your pet around safely and comfortably.
  • Features durable, sturdy construction.


  • It may be too large for in-cabin air travel; check with specific airlines first if you plan to fly with your pet.
  • Some people reported issues with the zippers, so check them carefully when you receive your crate before using it to ensure the zippers work appropriately.
  • You may need to air out the carrier when you first receive it, as some people reported it has a strong odor when first opened.

5. Katziela WPS Airline Approved Pet Carrier with Wheels for Small Pets(Top Pet Carrier for Flying)

1 used from $129.00
Free shipping
as of April 14, 2024 7:32 am

If you have a small breed and are planning for airline travel in the near future, you won’t find too many pet carriers better than this! Not only is this travel carrier designed with removable wheels for easy transport at the airport (easier than most luggage!), the pet carrier’s soft-sided interior includes a conveniently soft, comfy bed for your pet to rest on. Mesh panels on the outside allow for plenty of air flow, while an extendable handle allows for easy transport, or luggage handles offer you the option of carrying it by hand.

When it comes to airline travel, most people want their pets in the passenger cabin with them rather than housed in the underbelly of the plane. That being said, unless you have a licensed service dog, your airline of choice will almost certainly require a pet carrier like this that will fit conveniently beneath your seat. You simply can’t travel without one.

I’ve flown many times in my life and had to move around some hefty luggage across some very large airports. This, personally, would be my ideal choice for an air travel-oriented pet carrier! A few notes:

  • The airline approved & recommended
  • Recommended for small breeds
  • Pockets for extra storage

6. Sleepypod Air in-Cabin Pet Carrier (Premium Carrier for Small Dogs)

4 new from $184.99
1 used from $178.58
as of April 14, 2024 7:32 am

This flexible soft carrier is an excellent choice for traveling with your dog, whether in a vehicle or an airplane cabin. When traveling by plane, its unique design makes it easy to compress the size down to 16” x 10.5” x 8.5” so that it fits snugly under the seat in front of you. Then, in between take-offs and landing, it can expand to a more comfortable 22” x 10.5” x 10.5”.

When riding in a vehicle, seatbelt straps allow you to attach this comfortable carrier to your car seat securely, so there’s no fear of your pet toppling over while traveling or in the case of an accident. The carrier is comfortable for dogs up to 15 pounds and comes with a padded carry handle and shoulder strap for convenient transport.

Key Features:

  • It includes a top and front zippered panel for easy access to your pet.
  • Features a large zippered pocket on each side for storage.
  • The carrier comes with ultra-plush, machine-washable bedding.
  • Features a trolley pocket to conveniently slide the carrier over the handle of your rolling luggage, making it super easy to maneuver around a busy airport.


  • Made of durable, tear-resistant mesh.
  • Lightweight and folds up for easy storage when not in use.
  • Features a safety tether to help deter your furry escape artist.


  • Not suitable for medium or larger dogs.
  • It doesn’t offer as much ventilation as some other pet carriers do, so that it could get a bit uncomfortable for your pet on overly long flights.

7. EliteField Soft Sided Pet Carrier (Budget Pet Carrier)

as of April 14, 2024 7:32 am

If you’re looking for a comfortable pet carrier that can easily be carried around, you can’t do much better than the EliteField Soft-Sided Pet Carrier! This Amazon favorite has a removable fleece bed, a built-in leash, and even a buckle belt that allows easy seat belt restraint for safe car travel.

Not only is it made from durable and lightweight material, but this carrier is also waterproof for easy cleaning. There’s no need to worry about those puppy accidents, this one has it covered! Like the carrier above, both the top and sides offer plenty of mesh netting ‘windows’ for easy viewing & breathability. Here are more benefits:

  • Airline approved & recommended
  • Recommended for small breeds
  • Pockets for extra storage
  • 100% money back guarantee

    8. Petmate Two Door Top Load (Top Overall Plastic Crate for Airline Travel)

    7 new from $43.90
    5 used from $37.74
    Free shipping
    as of April 14, 2024 7:32 am

    This budget-friendly hard-sided dog crate is a good option for travel as its sturdy material protects your furry friend during transport. This particular crate is a good fit for pups between 10 and 20 pounds and features a front and top door for easy access.

    The vented sides provide maximum air circulation, so your canine companion stays comfortable and relaxed. Plus, the grated steel door allows you to attach your pup’s food and water dishes, which is a must when traveling in an airline’s cargo area. The plastic material also makes clean-up a breeze, just in case your dog gets a little nervous during their travels.

    Key Features:

    • The vented sides and grated doors provide maximum ventilation for your pup while allowing 360-degree visibility.
    • Two doors (top and front) make it easy to get your dog in and out of the crate.
    • Plastic material makes this crate durable, travel-safe, and easy to clean.
    • Features an ergonomic handle, making it easy to carry.


    • Durable and travel-friendly.
    • It’s a good choice for the budget-conscious pet parent.
    • This crate meets most airlines’ requirements for cargo area travel on domestic flights.


    • Not a fit for larger dogs (although Petmate does make larger crates).
    • The top-load door might make this crate a no-go for specific airlines. It’s always essential to check the airline’s particular rules before traveling with your pet, as every airline is different.
    • The size of this crate makes it impermissible for in-cabin air travel.

    9. Aspen Pet Porter Portable Kennel (Top Overall Plastic Kennel for Large Dogs)

    as of April 14, 2024 7:32 am

    This hard-sided kennel is an excellent choice for airline travel for those airlines that allow pets in the cargo area. The crate itself is made from durable plastic and connected together with metal screws and hardware for the ultimate in solid construction. Measuring 36” x 24.5” x 27”, this crate is ideal for larger dogs weighing up to 70 pounds, but it’s lightweight, making it easy for pet parents to handle.

    Several ventilation openings provide maximum comfort for your pup, as well as visibility, so your canine companion feels relaxed while traveling. The easy-open latch allows you to open and close the kennel with one hand safely.

    Key Features:

    All-metal screws, nuts, and bolts equal strong construction, plus airlines require metal bolts for pet crates in the cargo area.
    Ventilation on three sides provides proper airflow and comfort for your pup.
    This crate meets most airlines’ specifications for travel in the cargo area.


    • It comes in various colors and sizes, so you can find the one that best suits your dog.
    • Lightweight, making it easier to maneuver while you’re working your way through the airport or loading it into your vehicle.


    • It might not be strong enough for dogs who are not crate-trained or are heavy chewers. Ensure your pup can handle being in a crate before using this kennel for extended travel.
    • It only features ventilation on three sides, which means it won’t be approved for international air travel. For international flights, a carrier must have ventilation on all four sides.

      10. Diggs Revol (Top Premium Plastic Kennel for Small Pets)

      This collapsible crate is a good choice for small dogs and puppies, especially thanks to its high visibility from all sides and removable tray for super-easy cleaning. It also features three doors for easy access and a puppy divider so that the crate can grow with your pooch.

      You can collapse the crate down when not in use, transport it easily with the included wheels and handle, then set it up in its new location. This is a good option if you need to have a crate with you in a hotel room, etc., but it’s not the best for traveling in a vehicle and would not work in a plane (either in the cabin or the cargo area).

      Key Features:

      • Durable aluminum, steel, mesh wire, and reinforced plastic construction provide ultimate strength.
      • An easy-open latch in the front lets you open and close the door with one hand.
      • The mesh sides and top provide excellent ventilation for your dog.


      • Collapsible for easy transport and storage, with a quick set-up that lets you get your dog comfy in seconds.
      • The Revol dog crate has withstood pressure tests of up to 180 pounds in its center, making it much sturdier than other collapsible crates.
      • Available in a medium-size as well.


      • It can be a bit heavy for some, so if you plan on collapsing it and setting it up frequently, make sure you have the strength to do so.
      • Pricier than other collapsible dog crates.

          11. G1™ INTERMEDIATE KENNEL (Most Premium Crash-Tested)

          as of April 27, 2024 5:59 am

          Last, but not least, is the G1 Intermediate Dog Kennel which is one of the best travel dog crates for safety. This crate is designed with road travel in mind; it’s durable, crash-tested, and provides incredible impact protection, which means your dog stays safe in case of an accident. Plus, the reversible door means your pup won’t get loose during or after a car wreck. The ventilation windows provide excellent airflow, as well as enable your pooch to keep an eye on things.

          The crate also features a convenient carry handle so that you can move it around with ease. The company also has tie-downs specifically made to fit within the crate’s grooves, so you can securely fasten the crate into the back of a truck.

          Key Features:

          • Received a five-star crash test rating from the Center for Pet Safety.
          • Features an escape-proof door system complete with backup safety locks.
          • Features a double-wall design for the ultimate impact protection.


          • Comes with a lifetime warranty.
          • Available in a variety of sizes ranging from small to large.
          • Proudly made in the USA, and the company provides excellent customer service.


          • The high-quality and durable construction of this crate comes with a high price.


          When it comes to the best dog travel crates out there, these are some spectacular options in their field.

          But remember to consider what exactly you need the crate or case for, why you are using it, and never forget to accommodate for your dog’s size and breed!

          By the way, I also wrote an article on dog crates for two dogs if it applies.

          as of October 7, 2022 11:04 am

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