The Best Dog Travel Crates

Your dog is a natural travel companion. His excitement and enjoyment of all things new can be contagious. However, as a responsible pet owner, you also want him to be safe and feel comfortable while he’s away from home. A dog travel crate fulfills both requirements. They give your dog a space of his own while keeping him contained and out of trouble.

We reviewed dozens of dog travel crates in our search for the best the market has to offer. We considered size, storage ease, and comfort among our criteria. We also considered the different situations in which dog owners may find themselves, such as needing a crate in the car or one that’s airline approved. The number of quality crates continues to grow, but we’ve found the best of the best.

Best Dog Travel Crate Overall
AmazonBasics Two-Door Top-Load Pet Kennel
Welcome to a crate with a combination of design and quality. Not only are there two loading options, but you can also open the top door from the right or left side.

Amazon takes on some of the most common household items and sells them at an affordable price. They hit the nail on the head with their AmazonBasics Two-Door Top-Load Pet Kennel. There may be only two sizes, but the ease of use makes this a standout option due to the durable plastic shell and a steel wire door.

The 5 Top-Rated Dog Travel Crates

Editor's PicksBrandRating
Best Dog Travel Crate OverallAmazonBasics Two-Door Top-Load Pet Kennel4.5
Best Small Dog Travel CratePetmate Two-Door Top-Load4.5
Best Budget Dog Travel CrateMidWest Homes for Pets Spree Travel Carrier4.3
Best Large Dog Travel CratePetmate Sky Kennel4.1
Best Collapsible Dog Travel Crate2PET Foldable Dog Crate4.3

*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change

Best Dog Travel Crate Overall: AmazonBascis Two-Door Top-Load Pet Kennel

Amazon knows that to sprint to the top of the best-seller list you have to make a quality product. Their AmazonBasics Two-Door Top-Load Pet Kennel does just that and at an affordable price. This crate comes in two sizes— 19 and 23 inches. That’s big enough for small and some mid-sized breeds. Hardy plastics sides with secure snap closures keep your pet safe and secure even if there’s some jostling. It also comes with screws as an added safety feature if you’re worried about the plastic closures coming undone.

Two loading options catapult this model to the top of the list. If your pet gets anxious or is easily scared, that top opening is also a simple way to get him out. Even better, the top door opens from the right or left side. There’s a latch on either side, so you don’t need to make adjustments to take the crate apart to change the side from which it opens. The steel wire door opens by pinching the top and bottom levers of the latch, which can be done with one hand. There’s plenty of ventilation on the sides and top to prevent overheating. And, a top carrying handle lets you manage the crate with one hand, while you carry the rest of your supplies in the other.

AmazonBasics Two-Door Top-Load Pet Kennel Key Features:

  • Dimensions: 16 x 23 x 7.9 inches
  • Two-door, top-load entry options
  • Heavy-duty side snaps with optional security screws
  • Side and top ventilation
  • Right or left entry from top door

Best Small Dog Travel Crate: Petmate Two-Door Top-Load

Best Small Dog Travel Crate
Petmate Two-Door Top-Load
Smart design and easing loading options make this crate one of our favorites for small dog breeds.

The Petmate Two-Door Top-Load offers the right balance between space and security. Entry and exit are two issues with dog crates, and this one gives you two options —front and top load— to make the job pain-free. If your dog is hesitant to get in or out of the crate, the steel top-load door lets you gently load without shoving him through the door. This model’s top door also contributes to the overall ventilation. The steel front door opens and closes with a standard latch that requires you to squeeze the top and bottom. Once it’s latched, there’s no way your pet can reach through to open it.  Nor will it open if the crate gets bumped.

The top and bottom secure together with a durable wingnut and bolt design. This crate isn’t going to come apart if the ride gets rough.  That makes it more difficult to take apart for storage, but secure traveling usually comes first. We love that the Petmate is airline approved. However, you should always check with your airline before traveling as each airline has its own rules and specifications for pet travel. This model comes in two sizes— 19 and 24 inches.

Petmate Two-Door Top-Load Key Features:

  • Dimensions: 24 x 17 x 14.5 inches
  • Four (4) color options
  • Front and top entry
  • Steel doors
  • Airline approved

Best Budget Dog Travel Crate: MidWest Homes for Pets Spree Travel Carrier

Best Budget Dog Travel Crate
MidWest Homes for Pets Spree Travel Carrier
This crate has been cut down to the very basics but still provides the safety and security your dog deserves.

The MidWest Homes for Pets Spree Travel Carrier skips the extras for simplicity and security. This model comes in two sizes— 19 and 22 inches— making it suitable for the small and teacup breeds. There’s enough space for a bed if your dog needs to use it as a kennel. We love that it’s easy to assemble. We’re talking five steps, no extra tools, and an easy twist latch system to secure the top and bottom together.

The Spree has a single, front-open door with swivel latch openings that allow you to open the door from the right or left.  It has two carrying options. There’s a top handle, which is recommended for use when your pet is inside the crate. However, there are also two rings onto which you can attach a shoulder strap. They’re great for moving the crate when your pet isn’t inside for hands-free mobility. You can also use them to attach extras that you’d like to bring along, such as a leash or collar. Finally, we love that this crate comes in three color options, so you can coordinate it with your other dog supplies.

MidWest Homes for Pets Spree Travel Carrier Key Features:

  • Easy five-step assembly
  • Front door opens from the right or left
  • Three (3) color options
  • Dimensions: 23 x 14 x 15 inches

Best Large Dog Travel Crate: Petmate Sky Kennel

Best Large Dog Travel Crate
Petmate Sky Kennel
Large dog breeds need more space but just as much security as the small breeds. This model comes in multiple large dog sizes and gives your dog room to move.

The Petmate Sky Kennel comes in a variety of sizes, including a 48-inch model that fits dogs 90 to 125 pounds. A large dog needs a heavy-duty crate that’s made to withstand the energy of a powerful dog. The tough plastic shell is held together with non-corrodible wingnuts for the securest hold during travel. An interlocking door made of steel wire won’t open accidentally even if your travels get turbulent. The door itself has a standard pinch open and close latch that your dog can’t accidentally open.

There’s 360-degree ventilation to keep your dog comfortable. And, this model comes with food and water bowls that clip onto the door. It’s the perfect way to kennel him when you’re camping or staying with family. Petmate also makes sure their models are airline approved. However, check with your airline before flying as each carrier has their own guidelines and regulations. The Sky Kennel also has tie-down holes to prevent sliding or tipping due to the extra height of a large crate.

Petmate Sky Kennel Key Features:

  • Six (6) size options
  • Dimensions: 48 x 32 x 35 (48-inch model)
  • Clip-on food and water bowls
  • Heavy-duty wingnut
  • Steel wire door
  • 360-degree ventilation

Best Collapsible Dog Travel Crate: 2PET Foldable Dog Crate

Best Collapsible Dog Travel Crate
2PET Foldable Dog Crate
If you’re tight on space, this model folds down for easy storage but keeps your dog secure.

The 2PET Foldable Dog Crate brings everything you need in a travel crate plus the convenience of a collapsible design for easy storage and transport. When do you use a collapsible crate? At the beach, camping, a quick trip to stay with family, or any time a hard-sided crate will get in the way of your travel plans. The 2PET wins out for innovative design. The front zipper has a security feature that makes it difficult for your dog to chew. Mesh panels let air flow through. However, you can close the side panels if needed on those cold days or to shut out light so your dog can rest. We love the added durability of the metal frame, which you just don’t find in all collapsible dog crates.

This model is super easy to carry. Once folded down, two side straps buckle into place. Then, you can carry it like a briefcase. That flat design fits in the trunk of your car or in the closet when you’re not traveling. The exterior is made of water-resist, washable Oxford fabric. It also comes with a waterproof mat and a washable fleece bed. A couple of our favorite extras are the mesh food container pouch and an elastic strap that holds a water bottle. It also has carrying handles or a shoulder strap, so you can go handsfree when needed. Basically, 2PET really has thought of everything with this dog crate. All you have to do is add the dog.

2PET Foldable Dog Crate Key Features:

  • Straps hold the crate in place when folded down
  • Carrying handles and shoulder straps
  • Steel frame
  • Washable fabric, waterproof mat, and fleece bed
  • Mesh ventilation panels
  • Mesh food pouch and elastic water bottle strap

Who Should Buy a Dog Travel Crate

Your dog is probably an integral part of your family, which makes leaving him home a painful experience for everyone. In that case, a travel crate becomes a way for your entire family to come along on your adventures. It could also be that your dog doesn’t do well while riding in the car on the way to the vets or has trouble at boarding facilities. A travel crate can confine your dog in the car to prevent accidents or provide a familiar bed when you’re away from home.

If you’re flying, you absolutely need a travel crate to protect your dog for the duration of the flight. The best part is that if you crate train your dog appropriately, the crate will feel like home to him. There’s nothing a dog likes more than being somewhere they feel safe when in unfamiliar surroundings. It also means you can take your dog places you wouldn’t normally.

Best Dog Travel Crate Overall
AmazonBasics Two-Door Top-Load Pet Kennel
Welcome to a crate with a combination of design and quality. Not only are there two loading options, but you can also open the top door from the right or left side.

Important Features to Consider

A dog travel crate needs a few important features. Here’s what to consider when selecting a travel crate for your dog:

  • Size. Size should be your number one consideration. Your dog needs enough room to turn around, sit with at least an inch of clearance for his head, and lay down with legs stretched out. If there’s too much, the crate may not feel secure for your dog. And, of course, too little and he won’t be able to move comfortably. Measure your dog’s height, length, and width and add two to four inches for small dogs and four to six inches for large dogs. Then, look for a crate with interior dimensions that are close to those numbers. That should give you an idea of the size that will best fit your pet.
  • Cleaning ease. Accidents happen. That’s a guarantee. Crates that are easy to take apart, rinse, and dry will make your life much easier. Soft-sided models with machine-washable fabric or liners are also easier to clean.
  • Ease of assembly. You probably won’t have the crate assembled all the time. Models that are easy to assemble and collapse will make your life easier. Models that pop-up into place are the easiest to assemble, but they’re not always the sturdiest. Latches that twist or snap into place are easier to assemble that screws or nuts. However, if you’re going to fly, the screw and nuts are required.
  • In-and-out access. You never know how you’re going to need to get your dog in or out of the crate. Small breeds are often easier to load and unload using a top door. Crates with two doors give you some options for those days when your dog doesn’t want to cooperate.
  • Convenience features. Some crates come with extra features worth mentioning like shoulders straps, tie-down holes, water and food bowls, and dog beds. Think about how and when you’ll use the crate to decide which of these features are the most valuable to you.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much room should a dog have in a travel crate?

Dogs need enough room to turn around, sit down, and lay on their side comfortably. That will be a different number for each animal. Measure your dog’s height, length, and width. For small breeds, add two to four inches to each measurement and find a crate that fits those dimensions. For larger breeds and those with long hair, add four to six inches to each measurement and find a crate that’s close in size.

How long can you leave a dog in a crate?

The length of time a dog can stay in a crate without harming their mental and physical health depends on their age and temperament. Puppies over the age of 17 weeks can generally be left in a crate for four or five hours. After that, they need to relieve themselves, stretch their legs, and have some social interaction. Adult dogs can stay in a crate for up to eight hours before they need to move around. However, a dog shouldn’t stay in a crate for the maximum allowable time day after day. Over time, that can damage their physical and mental health. Once your dog is out of the crate, make sure he gets plenty of exercise and social time with other dogs and you.

Should I put my dog in a crate in the car?

Your dog will be safest if he’s in a crate while in the car. A dog on your lap can be a serious distraction. Dogs can also accidentally roll down windows, falling out or catching themselves on tree limbs. In some states, you can get a ticket if your pet isn’t properly secured in the car. Secure the crate in the trunk or on the floor of the car. If you can, tie it down so it doesn’t roll, tip, or slide around, scaring your dog. Bring along water and a bowl, so your dog can stay hydrated.

What size crate do I need for my dog to fly?

Your dog should comfortably fit in the crate to fly just as he would to ride in the car, and most airlines allow crates up to 40 inches long. However, each airline has its own requirements for pet crates, so check before traveling. While regulations vary, most require a hard-sided crate with nut and screw fasteners, a carrying handle, and proper ventilation.

Other Dog Travel Crates We Reviewed

Best Dog Travel Crate Overall
AmazonBasics Two-Door Top-Load Pet Kennel
Welcome to a crate with a combination of design and quality. Not only are there two loading options, but you can also open the top door from the right or left side.

We looked at 20 other dog travel crates. While these models didn’t make our 5 best dog travel crates list, they’re some of the best the market has to offer. They could have the specific sizes or features you need for your dog and circumstances. We’ve included the information you need to compare each model.

Small Dog Travel Crates

Petmate Aspen Pet Traditional Kennel

Aspen Pet Traditional Kennel

Small to mid-sized breeds will stay safe and cozy in this sturdy crate.

Key Features:

  • No tools required for assembly
  • Tie-down holes
  • 360-degree ventilation

Cost: $30

Petmate Compass Fashion Kennel

Petmate Compass Fashion Kennel

A door that opens in either direction makes it simpler to use this crate. We like that it comes in four sizes, so you can tailor your choice to you and your dog.

Key Features:

  • Right or left door opening
  • Approved for most airlines
  • 360-degree ventilation

Cost: $42

Petmate Ruffmaxx Outdoor Dog Kennel

Petmate Ruffmaxx Outdoor Dog Kennel

Simple and sturdy describe this crate to a tee. It comes in five sizes, but we like the extra protection it offers small breeds.

Key Features:

  • Includes nuts and bolts to secure top and bottom
  • Carrying handle
  • One-hand latch opening

Cost: $29

Petmate Vari Kennel

Petmate Vari Kennel

While this model comes in six sizes that extend to much larger dogs, we love the security of this model for small breeds.

Key Features:

  • Easy open front latch
  • Six (6) sizes
  • Airline approved

Cost: $30

Large Dog Travel Crates

Aspen Pet Porter Heavy-Duty Pet Carrier

Aspen Pet Porter Heavy-Duty Pet Carrier

This model may be pricey, but it’s rugged and durable. It’s also one of the few hard-sided crates that can hold dogs up to 125 pounds.

Key Features:

  • Nine (9) sizes
  • 360-degree ventilation
  • Single hand latch opening

Cost: $246

Go Pet Club Soft Crate

Go Pet Club Soft Crate

This 43-inch crate is collapsible, but we wanted to feature it with the large dog crates since most collapsible models don’t accommodate animals this large.

Key Features:

  • Includes carrying case
  • 360-degree ventilation
  • Removable sheepskin mat

Cost: $47

IRIS Deluxe Pet Travel Carrier

IRIS Deluxe Pet Travel Carrier

The largest Deluxe will carry dogs up to 75 pounds. We like the two-handled design because it’s so much easier to move around when there’s an animal inside.

Key Features:

  • Two carrying handles
  • Food bowl
  • One-handed latch opening

Cost: $125

Collapsible Dog Travel Crates

A4Pet Collapsible Soft Dog Crate

A4Pet Collapsible Soft Dog Crate

We like the waterproof bottom on this model. The entire cover is removable and washable.

Key Features:

  • Waterproof bottom
  • Three (3) sizes
  • Top and front doors with mesh side ventilation

Cost: $74

AmazonBasics Folding Soft Dog Crate

AmazonBasics Folding Soft Dog Crate

Two doors, a PVC frame, and polyester fabric make this crate lightweight and easy to transport. We love that it comes in five sizes that accommodate small to large dogs.

Key Features:

  • Front and top doors
  • Mesh windows for 360-degree ventilation
  • Five (5) sizes

Cost: $48

EliteField 3-Door Folding Soft Dog Crate

EliteField 3-Door Folding Soft Dog Crate

Multiple colors and sizes mean you’re likely to find a crate that fits perfectly with your lifestyle. Three doors and mesh side ventilation panels make sure you can get your dog in and that he stays comfortable.

Key Features:

  • Three (3) doors— front, top, side
  • Fourteen (14) color options
  • Includes carrying bag and fleece bed

Cost: $80

JESPET Soft Dog Crate

JESPET Soft Dog Crate

Three doors give you plenty of access options. Add the carrying handles, and this one is easy to take along.

Key Features:

  • Three (3) sizes
  • Three (3) colors
  • Folds down flat and covered in washable fabric

Cost: $54

Mr. Peanut’s Soft-Sided Portable Pet Crate

Mr. Peanut's Soft-Side Portable Pet Crate

This model is easy to fold and even easier to carry with the Velcroed handles. A lightweight aluminum frame reduces weight but is incredibly strong, so it can travel with you for the long haul.

Key Features:

  • 30-second, fold-out assembly
  • Includes seatbelt attachment and pocket for treats
  • Self-locking zippers

Cost: $60

PET4FUN PN 950 Foldable Travel Crate

PET4FUN PN950 Foldable Travel Crate

A washable cover and stake straps to keep the crate in place make this a great option for active families that don’t want to leave their dog behind.

Key Features:

  • Washable cover
  • Zipper lock
  • Stake straps and treat pocket

Cost: $25

PetNation Port-a-Crate

PetNation Port-a-Crate

This collapsible crate is meant for large breeds. An extra strong steel frame gives it the durability to hold an exuberant dog no matter the size.

Key Features:

  • Collapsible with side straps to secure crate when folded
  • Largest size holds dogs up to 70 pounds
  • Durable, tight-weave fabric

Cost: $44

Petsfit Wire Frame Soft Pet Crate

Petsfit Wire Frame Soft Pet Crate

This collapsible crate is large enough for big dogs but light enough to pack along on camping or beach trips.

Key Features:

  • Folds down flat and has carrying handles
  • Includes washable fleece bed
  • 360-degree ventilation

Cost: $50

Airline-Approved Dog Travel Crates

EliteField Soft Sided Pet Carrier

EliteField Soft Sided Pet Carrier

Keep your small dog with you while you fly with this model. The zippered opening allows your dog to use it as a crate while you stay almost anywhere.

Key Features:

Cost: $26

Henkelion Dog Carrier

Henkelion Dog Carrier

Small dogs don’t need to go with the luggage. Keep your pup with you in the car or on the plane in a comfortable dog carrier that works as a crate once you arrive.

Key Features:

  • Five (5) colors
  • Two (2) sizes
  • Entire carrier/create is washable

Cost: $23

PETS GO2 Premium Pet Carrier

PETS GO2 Premium Pet Carrier

Small breeds stay safely tucked away while you’re on the road or in the air. The sides expand to make it a cozy crate once you arrive.

Key Features:

  • Washable sherpa mat
  • Expandable, ventilated sides
  • Exterior made with heavy-duty polyester

Cost: $36

Purrpy Pet Carrier

Purrpy Pet Carrier

This model walks the line between a crate and a carrier. For a small breed, it easily goes with you on the road and makes a great home away from home for your dog.

Key Features:

  • Two (2) sizes
  • Four (4) colors
  • Removable and washable mat

Cost: $27

SportPet Designs Plastic Travel Dog Crate

SportPet Designs Plastic Travel Dog Crate

Two handles and four wheels make this crate a great way to get your dog through the airport. It’s also got 360-degree ventilation and comes with food and water bowls.

Key Features:

  • Five (5) sizes
  • Includes metal nuts and bolts to secure top and bottom
  • Has tie-down holes

Cost: $115

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