When you’re traveling by car, you want your dog to be safe and comfortable, so you’ll need a good crate that’s sturdy and portable. There are many crates on the market, but not all of them will work well in your car.
How do you sort through the options and pick a great model?
Don’t worry, we’re here to help you shop. We tested all the top models and put together this list of 2020’s 10 best dog crates for car travel.
Each model has a detailed review, comparing price, weight, type, portability, accessories, and warranty so that you can find your best option.
And if you want to know more about the features, take a look at our comprehensive buyer’s guide.
A Quick Comparison of our Favorites:
The 10 Best Dog Crates for Car Travel:
1. K&H Pet Products Travel Carrier – Best Overall
Our top pick is the K&H Pet Products 7680 Travel Safety Carrier, a well-designed soft crate that attaches to your seats and is simple to take apart.
This 10-pound crate, sold in three sizes, has mesh sides and folds flat for simple carrying. The smallest model is designed to fit in your front seat. It’s easy to take apart and feels fairly durable. You can attach it to the seat belts and headrests in your car.
This crate is fairly pricey and doesn’t include a carrying case or a mat. When we tested it, we found that the top plastic pole wasn’t very durable, so you may need to replace it. K&H offers a one-year warranty.
2. Pet Gear Deluxe Travel Carrier – Best Value
Are you shopping on a budget? You may want to try the Pet Gear PG1020BK Deluxe Travel Carrier, which we find to be the best dog crate for car travel for the money. Lightweight and low cost, it offers great value.
This very compact crate, which weighs a mere three pounds, has a decent-looking design, and works as both a carrier and a car seat. It has front and top zippered mesh doors, plus convenient carry handles. The package includes a tether and a fleece pad.
We found that this crate had some chemical smell, and the zippers weren’t very sturdy. It also doesn’t attach very securely to your seats, with just one loop to connect to a seat belt. Pet Gear offers a basic 30-day warranty.
If you’re shopping for a premium dog crate, you may be interested in the Sleepypod mmsp-005 Mobile Pet Bed. This high-end crate is compact and durable, with a plush polyester interior.
At 5.51 pounds, this crate is impressively light. It has an adjustable mesh domed top that can be removed or unzipped. The crate comes in a range of colors and functions as a carrier and a car seat. The outside is made of luggage-grade nylon, and the inside is a comfortable, machine-washable polyester. The package includes a padded shoulder strap, washable bedding, a water-resistant foam liner, and instructions.
This model is fairly pricey and very small. It’s too small to comfortably fit larger dogs. Sleepypod offers a one-year warranty.
4. Petmate 200 Sky Kennel
The Petmate 200 Sky Kennel is a classic plastic kennel sold in a range of sizes. It’s somewhat expensive, less durable, and harder to transport, but can work for larger dogs.
This 12.5-pound crate has a basic grey plastic body with side windows and a four-way vaulted wire door. There are non-corroding wing-nuts, and the wire is made of durable steel. The package includes two “Live Animal” stickers, along with clip-on food and water bowls.
When we tested this crate, we found that the carrying handle was not well-attached and fell off easily. There aren’t any seat belt connections, and the crate as a whole is heavy and difficult to transport. Petmate offers a one-year warranty.
5. A4Pet Soft Collapsible Dog Crate
The A4Pet Soft Collapsible Dog Crate is a fairly portable but less durable option.
Though it weighs a heavy 9.3 pounds, this crate is simple to fold and easy to transport. There are top and side doors, plus a steel frame and a removable fabric cover. The rounded corners won’t scratch your seats, and the zippers lock to keep your pet from escaping. The package includes a waterproof bottom layer that’s removable and washable.
We found that the mesh was thin and the zippers weren’t very strong. The cover also can’t be machine washed, and the crate doesn’t feel very durable overall. A4Pet doesn’t offer a warranty.
6. Petnation 614 Port-A-Crate
The Petnation 614 Port-A-Crate is reasonably priced and portable with a fun design but has many less durable plastic components and not very sturdy mesh.
This 10.9-pound crate is surprisingly easy to transport, as it easily folds and buckles together. The fun bone-shaped windows are made of tightly-woven, honeycomb-patterned mesh, and there’s a solid steel frame. The crate can fit dogs up to 70 pounds, and it has front and top doors and rounded corners.
This crate doesn’t include a pad and can’t be attached to your car seats. The plastic pieces that hold up the frame break easily and the mesh isn’t very durable. Petnation doesn’t offer a warranty.
7. 2PET Foldable Dog Crate
The 2PET Foldable Dog Crate is a lightweight and reasonably-priced soft crate with less durable mesh and plastic zippers.
This 6.8-pound crate, which is sold in a range of sizes and colors, has a steel tube frame and a water-resistant 600D fabric cover that’s removable and machine-washable. It has a top handle that doubles as a seat belt attachment, and there are built-in water bottle and food container holders. The package includes a waterproof mat and a reversible, washable fleece pad.
We found that the mesh on this crate ripped easily, and the zippers broke quickly. This model feels less durable and somewhat cheaper overall. 2PET offers a one-year warranty.
8. Noz2Noz Indoor and Outdoor Crate
Another option is the Noz2Noz 667 Soft Krater Indoor and Outdoor Crate, which is heavy and somewhat harder to set up, with less durable zippers.
This 12.4-pound light green crate, sold in a choice of five sizes, has a steel frame and a removable, machine-washable canvas cover. The frame locking mechanism, which has push-button tabs and couplers, may take you some extra time to master. The crate also has rounded corners and tight-weave mesh windows.
When we tested this crate, we found no chemical odor, but the plastic zippers felt somewhat cheaper and less durable. The mesh isn’t strong enough to withstand paws, and Noz2Noz doesn’t offer a warranty.
9. EliteField 3-Door Folding Soft Dog Crate
EliteField’s 3-Door Folding Soft Dog Crate is very heavy and fairly pricey, with many included accessories and a good warranty.
At 17.6 pounds, this crate is very heavy. It comes in multiple sizes and quite a few colors and is designed to be wider and taller, giving your dog more space. With a steel tube frame, 600D cover, and hex mesh windows, it folds easily. There are three doors, on the top, front, and side, for easier access, and two accessory pockets. The package includes a padded shoulder strap, a removable fleece pad, and a carrying bag. There’s also a frame locking mechanism and convenient reinforced corners.
We found this crate to be not very well sewn, with seams that tear easily. The zippers and mesh aren’t durable enough to stand up to dogs. EliteField offers a good two-year warranty.
10. Arf Pets APSC0026 Dog Soft Crate
The FBA_APSC0026 Dog Soft Crate from Arf Pets is our least favorite model, with a fairly high price, less durable seams and plastic connections, and few included accessories.
This 8.6-pound soft crate has a steel frame, water-resistant base, and a machine-washable fabric cover. The frame has collapsible bars and retractable strings, and when folded, the whole thing buckles together for easier carrying.
When we tested this crate out, we found that the seams weren’t well-sewn and tended to separate. The lack of shoulder straps is inconvenient, and the bottom is thin and not very durable. The plastic frame connectors also break easily. Arf Pets offers a one-year warranty.
Now that you’ve taken a look at our list of the 10 best car crates, it’s time to choose. But which will work best for you and your dog? Keep reading for our quick guide to your options.
Hard or Soft?
The first big decision is whether to buy a hard crate or a fabric crate. Fabric crates, which typically have hard steel or plastic frames with fabric covers, are more portable, folding for simpler carrying and often weighing less overall. These crates work best with well-trained dogs that don’t chew or scratch.
If you have a puppy or a high-energy dog, you may prefer a hard crate. These crates generally have hard plastic sides and steel wire doors, and are often more durable, better withstanding your dog’s scratching and chewing. In exchange for that durability, these bulkier crates may be harder to carry.
If you’re taking your dog crate in the car, you may want to be able to attach it to the seat, as you would a child car seat. Secure attachments will keep your crate from moving when you brake or accelerate, keeping your dog steady. You may want to look for seat belt and headrest attachments, like sturdy handles and loops.
Before you purchase a dog crate, you’ll want to consider the size of your dog. You may want to measure your dog and compare the numbers to each model’s dimensions. Keep in mind that your dog will be more comfortable with extra space to move around.
Are you interested in a range of included accessories, or do you just want the crate? Dog crates may come with washable fleece pads, waterproof liners, padded shoulder straps, or food and water bowls.
Would you like your investment protected by a good warranty? Many of the models we reviewed come with warranties, ranging from 30 days to multiple years. You may also want to pay attention to the details of your model’s warranty, as it may cover only some components.
Our favorite dog crate is the K&H Pet Products 7680 Travel Safety Carrier, a well-designed, fairly-priced model that conveniently folds flat and attaches to your seat belts. If you’re shopping for value, you may prefer the Pet Gear PG1020BK Deluxe Travel Carrier, which is compact, easy to carry, and includes a nice fleece pad. Would you rather have a premium crate? You may want to try the high-end Sleepypod mmsp-005 Mobile Pet Bed, a durable, plush option with an adjustable dome top and plenty of included accessories.
With the right crate, taking your dog on a road trip can be safe, affordable, and comfortable. We hope this list of the 10 best dog crates for car travel, complete with comprehensive reviews and a quick buyer’s guide, helps you pick out the best model for your needs. You’ll have a car-friendly dog crate in no time!
And as always, make sure your furry companion is insured!
By Kate MacDonnell
Emily started this blog out of pure passion. She LOVES her 3 dogs; Chew Barka, Cooper & Nelson, and spends countless hours every day playing with them.
When she’s not nerding out on dogs, you’ll find her on a snowboard or in the kitchen baking chocolate brownies.
She’s been featured in PetAware, Dogtime, and ModernDog.
- A Quick Comparison of our Favorites:
- The 10 Best Dog Crates for Car Travel:
- 1. K&H Pet Products Travel Carrier – Best Overall
- 2. Pet Gear Deluxe Travel Carrier – Best Value
- 3. Sleepypod Mobile Pet Bed – Premium Choice
- 4. Petmate 200 Sky Kennel
- 5. A4Pet Soft Collapsible Dog Crate
- 6. Petnation 614 Port-A-Crate
- 7. 2PET Foldable Dog Crate
- 8. Noz2Noz Indoor and Outdoor Crate
- 9. EliteField 3-Door Folding Soft Dog Crate
- 10. Arf Pets APSC0026 Dog Soft Crate
- Buyer’s Guide