There is nothing more fun than taking trips with our dogs. They love going new places and experiencing new things. However, driving with our dogs can be stressful when they are free to roam inside the car. That’s why you really need a portable dog crate.
One of the most difficult experiences I’ve had is wrestling with rush hour traffic while my 60 lb husky mix is angling to sit on my lap. (Related, check out this post for 5 ways to make your road trip stress free!)
So, whenever we drive anywhere we keep our dogs in a crate. But, your standard metal and wire crates just aren’t convenient for car travel, staying in hotels or camping. They are heavy and difficult to fold down.
Here are five collapsible travel crates perfect for transporting your dog:
EliteField 3-Door Folding Soft Dog Crate
EliteField has produced one of the better soft-sided collapsible crates out there. Plenty of ventilation, dogs are super comfortable in this crate. The three sided design with roll up mesh doors are very convenient for giving a pup a cool place to sleep. Even better, this crate comes with a travel pouch and a fleece bed.
The crate folds up easily and is super portable. It collapses in seconds. Handles on the side make carrying it a cinch. And, it only weighs 12 pounds. The EliteField crate makes an ideal car or camping crate because it gives your pup a nice cool place to sleep while you’re driving or in a tent/ camper.
The EliteField crate provides all the color and size combinations that anyone could possibly want. If you have a super-sized pup or a small dog you’ll have your needs met by EliteField.
There are some downsides to this crate, however.
This crate is not ideal for heavy use. Customers report that zippers and seams can come undone if your pup uses it regularly. Also, we really need to stress that this crate shouldn’t be used with puppies or dogs that have not been crate trained. Soft-sided crates are notorious for being easily destroyed. This also means that if you have an otherwise crate trained dog but she gets stressed during drives then this crate isn’t for you.
- Simple to both set up and collapse.
- Lots of ventilation and three screen doors that roll up for maximum comfort.
- Includes a fleece bed and carrying pouch.
- 12 pounds.
- Works well if transporting a dog in a car or camper.
- Five different size combinations and 10 different colors.
- Includes a 2 year warranty
- Seams and zippers can fray and come apart with heavy use.
- Easily destroyed by overly anxious pups (and excited puppies).
Noz2Noz Soft-Krater Portable Dog Crate
Here is a soft-sided travel crate that is very similar to the EliteField except for some important differences. The Noz2Noz also offers excellent ventilation. Three sides of this crate can be unzipped including the roof. This can be an advantage if you have a dog like my husky mix, Denver. He prefers to travel with his head sticking out the top of his travel crate. Just one of those weird dog things.
The Noz2Noz uses a high quality stitching around the seams and zippers. While I still wouldn’t recommend this crate for heavy use, it is going to mean less headache after a few months of use. Some reviewers have reported use of six or more years without any issues.
This crate also folds up in seconds and weighs only 9 pounds, making it very easy to transport to and from the car and around a campsite or hotel room.
- 9 pounds.
- High quality stitching around seams and zippers.
- Made with heavy-duty tight-weave mesh fabric.
- Roof unzips.
- Well ventilated.
- Comes in 5 sizes.
- Soft crates in general are not suitable for puppies or dogs that haven’t been crate trained.
- No warranty.
- Only one color.
AmazonBasics Folding Soft Portable Dog Crate
Sometimes all you need is the basics done well, and that’s what Amazon has achieved with its AmazonBasics portable crate. This crate comes in a simple beige color and 5 sizes, ranging from 21″ for small dogs to 42″ for dogs up to 70 lbs. The quality on this crate is excellent, with the seams and zippers able to hold up to regular use.
Like the Noz2Noz crate, the AmazonBasics crate comes with two unzippable doors and an unzippable roof. The ventilation is excellent on this crate, as well. The materials are high quality polyester fabric for the crate and a PVC piping for the frame. Setting up and folding in seconds, this crate is also very easy to transport. Additionally, it is backed by a limited one-year warranty.
Weighing in at 8 pounds, the AmazonBasics crate is actually one of the lightest crates we’ve tested. It’s very easy to transport to and from the car and very simple to setup.
- Three unzippable sides.
- Well ventilated.
- 8 pounds.
- Quality construction.
- Soft sided crates like this one cannot be used with puppies or dogs that aren’t crate trained.
- Lacks the nice aesthetics of the other crates.
- Does not include a bed.
Ultimately, the AmazonBasics crate is perfect for someone who needs a high quality “once in a while” crate. It’s good for a long road trip, hotel stay or for camping. It’s not quite as attractive as the other crates- if that’s important to you then you should consider the others.
IRIS Collapsible Pet Carrier
Here we have the first of our portable crates that isn’t soft sided. Again, the advantages of a soft sided crate are the lightness and portability. The downside is that they do not hold up well with stressed, anxious or dogs that wish to escape. The Iris Collapsible crate folds very conveniently and simply making transport very easy.
The IRIS pet carrier is made of high quality plastic that is both very light and strong enough to withstand extensive use. It is very easy to setup and fold down and customers report that it is very sturdy. It weighs around 13 pounds, so it is heavier than a soft sided crate. That said, it is much sturdier and able to withstand much heavier usage.
Finally, another advantage to a plastic crate like the IRIS collapsible crate is that it is very easy to clean when not in use.
- Much sturdier than a soft sided crate.
- Very easy to setup and collapse.
- Well ventilated.
- Easy to clean.
- Better for extensive use. Customers report that this is a good everyday crate, rather than a once in a while road trip or camping crate.
- One of the heavier crates at 13 pounds.
- This is a pretty expensive crate, but you get what you pay for.
Ultimately, the IRIS foldable plastic crate is a perfect choice for someone who needs an everyday transport crate. It’s good for taking your dog to the vet or to the beach. This crate is built for everyday use and is very simple to setup and collapse.
Grain Valley Portable Dog Crate
Grain Valley has created the absolute best portable and collapsible heavy duty dog crate. Manufactured from light-weight aluminum, the Grain Valley crate collapses to less than 8 inches in height. This crate is so easy to use that it folds and assembles in seconds.
The Grain Valley aluminum dog crate also features marine-grade stainless steel latches, welded rust-proof rivets and cross-bar stability. All of these features mean a well constructed crate engineered for maximum portability while considering security.
- Intelligent foldable design makes this crate highly portable.
- High quality manufacturing.
- Easily stored.
- Will last a lifetime
- Can be used for airplane transportation.
- Not as well ventilated, only a problem for dogs being kept in higher temperature areas or highly stressed dogs.
- Weighs 45 pounds.
The Grain Valley collapsible crate is the best portable travel crate we’ve found. The foldable design makes it perfect for the family wishing to vacation with their dog. This crate is also great for a family or business that’s caring for a dog temporarily, as it can be easily stored. Finally, the Grain Valley collapsible dog crate is a very practical and useful choice for hunters wishing to transport their dogs. Unfortunately, it’s not right for dogs with severe anxiety.
The three soft sided crates are all good choices. But, it’s important to note that any soft sided crate is not good for use with a puppy or dog that hasn’t been crate trained. Also, keep in mind that soft sided crates are better for occasional use. While they are light, the nature of the construction of a soft sided crate does not lend itself well to heavy usage.
If you need to transport a dog that isn’t crate trained yet, the IRIS pet carrier and the Grain Valley collapsible crate make much better choices. Also, these two crates will stand up to heavy use much better. Finally, if you are taking an airplane trip, the Grain Valley crate is suitable for air travel.
Are you looking for something stronger? Check out our review on the crash test rated indestructible dog crate, the Gunner Kennels G1.