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13 Dog Travel Crates for Car Rides, Airplanes, and Everything In Between

Pups on the go will feel right at home in these durable carriers.
By Ciera Velarde
December 17, 2020
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You most likely have a wire crate for your dog at home, but when you go on a road trip or fly on a plane and want to take your pup along for the ride, you’ll need to leave the big, bulky crate behind and trade it for a crate specifically designed for travel. Any time dogs are riding in a car, it’s a good idea to make sure they are secure, and putting them in a crate in the backseat or trunk (or even using a car harness) is safer for everyone instead of letting them roam freely around the vehicle. And if you’re flying, you’ll need a crate that is airline- and TSA-approved. Keep in mind, small- or medium-sized dogs that can ride with you in the cabin will need different crates than larger dogs that have to fly in cargo. 

Of course, you’re probably not traveling a lot right now, so these travel crates are also great for trips to the vet, especially if your dog gets nervous. If you do have to travel during this time, you’ll want to take extra care in picking out the travel crate that is the right size for your dog, will keep him comfortable for long periods of time, and is durable enough to last for many future trips as well.

Whether you’re looking for a tiny crate for your equally tiny shih tzu or a big, sturdy case for your boxer, rest assured because we’ve rounded up the best travel crates for every type of dog, trip, and budget.

morpilot-pet-travel-carrier-bag
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Morpilot Pet Travel Carrier Bag

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If you have a dog that weighs under 20 pounds, we think you can’t go wrong with this versatile travel crate. It can be carried by a handle or long strap, and it can even attach to the handle of your rolling suitcase. Your pup will love the soft cushion inside, and you’ll love that it’s removable and washable. It’s also airline-approved and can fit comfortably underneath the plane seat in front of you.

Shop Now: Morpilot Pet Travel Carrier Bag, starting at $32; amazon.com

elitefield-3-door-collapsible-soft-sided-dog-crate
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EliteField 3-Door Collapsible Soft-Sided Dog Crate

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If you’re headed on a long road trip or a camping trip, this crate that’s great for small and large dogs alike will be a lifesaver. Collapsible and easy to clean, it comes with a waterproof bottom to protect your car from accidents. It also slides perfectly into the trunk of your car, and you can access your dog from doors on the side or the top of this soft-sided crate.

Shop Now: EliteField 3-Door Collapsible Soft-Sided Dog Crate, $70; chewy.com

petmate-sky-kennel-pet-carrier
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Petmate Sky Kennel Pet Carrier

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Reviewers say this is the best airline-approved crate on the market if you have to place your dog in the cargo section. It has a durable plastic shell, ventilation around the entire crate, and a bowl for food or water that clips onto the front. Most importantly, it comes with “live animal” stickers and ID tags, which are crucial for airline compliance.

Shop Now: Petmate Sky Kennel Pet Carrier, starting at $49; amazon.com

petmate-two-door-top-load-crate
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Petmate Two Door Top Load Crate

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Another great option that meets most airline cargo specifications is this durable crate with front and top doors. Suitable for small dogs, this crate also features great ventilation and comes with a comfortable carrying handle. Place a dog bed or blanket in the bottom of this, and your dog will be cozy and content in this safe haven.

Shop Now: Petmate Two Door Top Load Crate, $42; chewy.com

frisco-premium-travel-dog-and-cat-carrier-bag
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Frisco Premium Travel Dog & Cat Carrier Bag

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This simple but durable crate is best for everyday car rides or trips to the vet because it can attach securely to your car seat. The four-sided mesh walls will give your dog ample ventilation, and you’ll be able to easily check on your pup at any time. Bonus: the cozy wool mat will help even the most anxious of canine travelers feel serene.

Shop Now: Frisco Premium Travel Dog & Cat Carrier Bag, $40; chewy.com

sherpa-delta-airline-approved-dog-and-cat-carrier-bag
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Sherpa Delta Airline-Approved Dog & Cat Carrier Bag

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Your dog will love sticking their head out of the zippered top door of this easy-to-carry, soft-sided travel crate as you tote them through the airport. A back pocket provides storage for treats or leashes. One reviewer was super impressed when her dog slept in this carrier comfortably for the majority of a 10-hour flight!

Shop Now: Sherpa Delta Airline-Approved Dog & Cat Carrier Bag, $35; chewy.com

omorc-expandable-pet-carrier
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OMORC Expandable Pet Carrier

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We love how this airline-approved travel crate can expand so your dog has more room to move around during a long layover or while you’re waiting for your plane to board. This soft-sided crate has a solid frame that doesn’t bend or sag even if you use it often, and it’s small enough to slip underneath the airline seat in front of you.

Shop Now: OMORC Expandable Pet Carrier, $40; amazon.com

midwest-spree-dog-and-cat-kennel
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Midwest Spree Travel Plastic Dog & Cat Kennel

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With over 8,000 five-star reviews, this hard-sided crate is praised for its durability, sturdiness, and great ventilation. Many reviewers also said their puppy felt comfortable and secure when they used it to pick them up from the shelter for the first time, so this would be a smart first purchase for any potential dog parents out there.

Shop Now: Midwest Spree Travel Plastic Dog & Cat Kennel, $20; chewy.com

midwest-canine-camper-sportable-tent-dog-crate
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Midwest Canine Camper Sportable Tent Dog Crate

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Attention outdoorsy pups! This travel crate is perfect for camping trips. Made from water-resistant material, it can be folded down or propped up in a matter of seconds. The mesh panels allow for that fresh air to blow through and give your dog the opportunity to admire the nature around them. 

Shop Now: Midwest Canine Camper Sportable Tent Dog Crate, $106; petco.com

you-and-me-classic-dog-kennel
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You & Me Classic Dog Kennel

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It’s often hard to find travel crates for bigger dogs, but the large size of this hard-sided kennel is the most comfortable and durable one we’ve found for large breeds. One reviewer says her 70-pound pitbull loves chilling in this crate. However, this one is best for car trips as it isn’t airline-approved.

Shop Now: You & Me Classic Dog Kennel, $130; petco.com

arf-pets-dog-soft-crate-kennel-for-pet
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Arf Pets Dog Soft Crate Kennel for Pet

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Perfect for outdoor use, this easy-to-clean travel crate has great ventilation, three doors, and can fold up easily for storage. The large size can accommodate a dog up to 70 pounds, and reviewers have said the straps and handles are extremely strong and durable. 

Shop Now: Arf Pets Dog Soft Crate Kennel for Pet, starting at $60; amazon.com

pet-magasin-hard-cover-collapsible-cat-carrier
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Pet Magasin Hard Cover Collapsible Cat Carrier

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If all those rectangular crates are just too boring for you, consider this circular carrier for the small pup (or even cat) who loves to travel in style. The hard base and top provides stability for your pet while the soft sides with ventilation keep them comfortable.

Shop Now: Pet Magasin Hard Cover Collapsible Cat Carrier, $30; amazon.com

sp-containment-kennels
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SP Containment Kennels

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Let’s face it: It might be almost impossible to carry larger dogs around in a travel crate, which is why we love this option with wheels! It’ll be so much easier to roll them around, and you can snap off the wheels before placing this in a car. 

Shop Now: SP Containment Kennels, starting at $68; walmart.com