If you are a dog owner who travels a lot, you will often want to take your pet with you when you are on the go. But to do this, you will need to get the best soft-sided dog crate for your pooch to give her some comfort, privacy, and safety. According to a certified dog and travel blogger, there is nothing really difficult about traveling with your pet despite what a lot of people may think. Of course, you will have to properly prepare all the things you will need for you and your pooch, and this includes a quality travel crate. We did some in-depth research to find out which brands and designs of crates will give a dog the best comfort and safety while on a trip, and we came up with some interesting results.
In a nutshell, this post is a buying guide that will open your eyes to the things that really matter when shopping for a crate. We will talk about brands, sizes, durability, storage, ventilation, and some other factors you should consider before making your decision. We also selected the best five brands on the market, and we honestly think you should check them out to see how suitable they may be for you and your pooch.
The brands we mentioned in this post are well-versed in the dog product business and they have other dog stuff you may want to purchase, including wooden dog crates that can blend nicely with other pieces of furniture in your home.
How Did We Pick the Best Soft Sided Dog Crate?
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Why It is Better?
- Why You Need a Soft Sided Dog Crate?
- How to Pick Right Soft-Sided Dog Crate
- Top 5 Best Soft Sided Dog Crates
- 1. EliteField 3-Door Folding Soft Dog Crate
- 2. Noz2Noz Soft-Krater Indoor and Outdoor Crate for Pets
- 3. 2PET Foldable Dog Crate
- 4. Petnation Port-A-Crate Indoor and Outdoor Home for Pets
- 5. Go Pet Club Soft Crate
- Frequently Asked Questions
Why You Need a Soft Sided Dog Crate?
A soft-sided crate is simply a cage, usually spacious enough to hold a dog in, either at home or while traveling. More often than not, people prefer to use it while traveling because it was designed specifically for that purpose, and it offers a bunch of advantages.
- It is a portable containment option for moving your pet from one location to another: A soft dog crate was not in the picture some years ago. In those days, owners would go through the stress of using bulky and heavy plastic or metal kennels to contain their pets while on a trip, which was not very convenient. After soft-sided crates were launched, traveling with your pet became more viable. As a matter of fact, statistics show that there has been an increase in the number of people that travel with their animals since these crates were launched.
- They weigh less than plastic or wire crates: This is one of the most basic features of this cage. It is to be expected or the whole aim of using it as a private containment for your pet while traveling would be defeated. The less it weighs, the more portable it is, and the happier you are likely to be to travel with your pet, knowing that it would make the journey easier for you. It’s much more convenient than what you get when you have to contain your pet in a plastic or wire crate while on the move.
- It is more comfortable: The best dog crate is one that is lightweight, foldable, and functional enough to hold your pooch throughout a long journey. It is made of soft but rugged materials that provide a notable level of extra comfort and space for your pet to either sit or lie down. The corners are covered in fabric, bordering meshed windows on three or four sides of the crate for extra ventilation to keep your pet cool and comfortable.
- Nice visibility into and out of the crate: With three or four windows on the sides of the mesh, you can see and even talk to your pet in the box. Containing your pooch in that box would have felt quite lonely if not for the mesh windows. Your dog can also look out from the crate and enjoy what is going on outside. She gets to enjoy proper ventilation as well.
- It can be used either indoors or outdoors: This soft dog kennel is particularly great for travel, but that is not to say it cannot be used in other ways. You can use it indoors as a cage for your pet. That way, you get to enjoy the benefit of saving space as it can easily be folded for storage when it is not in use. This is a very convenient idea for people who live in limited space. About using it outdoors, you need to make sure it is in a safe location away from adverse weather conditions.
How to Pick Right Soft-Sided Dog Crate
There are a number of cages that can pass as outdoor or indoor dog kennels but would not serve as a proper soft crate for you and your pooch. On that note, it is important to consider some factors that play an important role in the features and functionality of a soft cage. The top factors you need to look out for include the following.
- Brand: With a lot of different brands making variations of the same product, you are bound to get confused about which one to go for. The products may all look the same, but do not be fooled by that; some brands go the extra mile to make their products better than many others in the market. When you find a couple of brands you want to consider, the next thing is to check that they have most or all of the features mentioned below. Some of the brands we highly recommend include Noz2Noz, Elite Field, 2Pet Fold-A-Crate, Pet Nation, Go Pet Club, and so on.
- Size: This is probably the very first factor you should take into consideration. It’s crucially important to get the right size of crate for your pooch. Generally, soft dog crates are small and may not be suitable for your pet if she is a medium or large size dog. To get the right size, check the website of the brand you are considering for a size chart which will give you an idea of what crate to buy. Or, you can just use a comprehensive crate sizing guide online. Whatever you do, make sure you triple check the size before confirming your order, especially if you are purchasing online.
- Durability: We already mentioned earlier that a soft crate is expected to be lightweight and easy to move from one place to another. Make sure the “lightweight material” is not a flimsy one that will tear or break apart easily. Usually, it is made out of a thin metal frame and a quality material similar to that used for tents. A durable crate will be one that is made of quality materials that are light enough for easy transportation and weighty enough to withstand a breeze. It should also have a functional and well-finished design.
- Comfort: This factor has to do with the space and condition of the crate; the interior to be exact. The kennel should be the right size considering how big (or small) you canine is. Like we already mentioned earlier, using a comprehensive crate sizing guide will help you make the right decision in that regard. The inside of the kennel usually has a cushioned mat bottom for your pet to relax comfortably on. The cushioned mat should be made from orthopedic materials, which is great for the skeletal and muscular wellbeing of your pet, especially an older one.
- Ventilation: This is another important factor you should consider before getting a soft crate for your pet. Every type of crate, including the heavy duty dog crate, has this feature. Typically, there are windows on at least three sides of the cage and are made of a mesh or plastic material. Proper ventilation helps to relax your pet and keep him at ease, especially when in a new environment. You can also throw in a little blanket if there are no dog kennel covers to help keep your pet warm when the weather is cold and the windows cannot be closed.
Top 5 Best Soft Sided Dog Crates
Knowing all there is to know about how to choose the best kernel for your pet can be helpful, but that does not alleviate the confusion you would face when you are faced with the long list of options on the market. To help you make the best decision, we have handpicked five of the best products that can be used as a soft crate. These selections were made based on the standards already mentioned in this post.
1. EliteField 3-Door Folding Soft Dog Crate Review
Easy to assemble
Easy to clean
We Don’t Like
This is the best dog сrate on our list for obvious reasons. First, it has a stylish appearance, more like an interesting design that gives your surroundings a bit of pizazz. You can get them in five different sizes which gives you options suitable for dogs of different sizes. You also get to choose from thirteen different colors as well which gives you the option of matching.
At first glance, this crate looks weighty, but it is actually lightweight; made of steel-tube frame, 600D, and hex mesh fabric. It has a meshed opening at the top, in the front, and on the side; so, expect your pooch to enjoy adequate ventilation. In addition, your pet gets to enjoy a luxurious fleece bed in great comfort. Setting up this cage, or folding it away, is quite simple, with no tools required. You can easily figure it out, or read the instructions in the manual to learn how to do it. There is also a carry bag that you can keep the cage in.
2. Noz2Noz Soft-Krater Indoor and Outdoor Crate for Pets Review
Easy to assemble
Easy to clean
We Don’t Like
The Noz2noz brand came quite close to being the top product on this list with all the great features it has to offer. It comes in five different sizes that can hold pets of weights ranging from fifteen to ninety pounds. It has a good design that can withstand a regular breeze, but at the same time, it’s lightweight enough to be easily moved from one place to the other.
It is made with heavy-duty tight-weave mesh fabric and a steel frame, with ventilation windows on all four sides of the crate. This way, your pet can see what is going on around her, and also enjoy proper ventilation. The padded mat in the cage is comfortable, and the walls are water-resistant. you can choose to lower the window flaps if the weather is cold. The Noz2noz cage can be used both indoors and outdoors, as well as being a suitable containment for your dog when traveling. It is easy to set up or fold away; literally taking only seconds.
3. 2PET Foldable Dog Crate Review
Easy to assemble
Easy to clean
We Don’t Like
The 2Pet Fold-A-Crate brand is another product that comes highly recommended. From what we were able to gather from our research, this product is a soft-sided dog crate that is ideal for dogs that are already crate trained. It is available in four different sizes for you to choose from depending on the size of your pet. You also have five different colors to select from.
The design is not just attractive, but functional enough to contain a pet comfortably – providing a spacious, well-ventilated environment, a padded fleece bed, and a strong but lightweight steel frame to keep the structure in shape when it is in use. This crate can be used indoors, outdoors, or for travel purposes, plus, it is waterproof. It is easy to move from one place to the other. Folding and unfolding it takes just a few seconds, and you do not need tools. With the two bottle pockets, you can hold a bottle of water or a container of treats.
4. Petnation Port-A-Crate Indoor and Outdoor Home for Pets Review
Easy to assemble
Easy to clean
We Don’t Like
This is another great product for you to consider, courtesy of Petnation. It has some of the most endearing features aimed at giving your pet a comfortable experience. The design is a great one – a box-like frame made from quality materials, including tightly woven mesh fabric and a steel frame. It is available in five different sizes suitable for pets that weigh between fifteen pounds and seventy pounds. It is safe to say that the biggest size can be classified as one of the large dog crates on this list.
The crate is generally lightweight enough to be carried around from place to place, which makes traveling with your pet quite easy. It is also easy to set up without the help of tools. You can fold it away when it is not in use or when you need to transport it. One thing you should have in mind about this brand is that it is more suitable for crate trained pets, or at least, those pets that are not so aggressive.
5. Go Pet Club Soft Crate Review
Easy to assemble
Easy to clean
We Don’t Like
Every brand of crate mentioned in this post is portable, but the level of portability the Go Pet soft crate offers is a different ball game altogether. When folded, the width is barely two inches high — the heavy-duty polyester material folds into a sleek form. The PVC backing improves the durability of the crate without getting in the way of its portability.
It is available in different colors and a wide range of sizes, which is another upside of this brand. If you want a large dog traveling crate, of medium or small size, you will definitely find something suitable for your pooch. It is water-resistant, and it comes with a removable floor pad for easy cleaning and maintenance. You can adjust the ventilation as you deem necessary with the help of the roll-down covers, and it has a carry bag where you can easily store it. Despite being a great product, you must handle it with care or it may not last for a long time.
Frequently Asked Questions
So far, we have shared with you the most vital things you need to take into consideration when looking to buy the best soft-sided dog crate on the market. However, we understand that you may still have some questions about this topic that we may not have covered in the post (because we can only discuss so much). On that note, we have put together some of the most frequently asked questions in this section, and we have also provided the best answers we can give to these questions based on our research.
Note that we are not talking about large dog crates made of plastic or metal, because cleaning those requires a different approach altogether. To clean a soft crate, you would need to consult the manual for the manufacturer’s instructions on how best to clean the crate.
Most of them come with removable parts – the carry bag, cover fabric, bed cover, liner, and cushion. You can use your washing machine to wash the fabrics and dry them in the open air or dryer before replacing them. As for the parts you cannot wash, like the liner and cushion, dry them out in the open air or in your dryer.
Quality should be the most important thing to look out for when shopping for a crate for your pet because that is what will ensure its functionality and durability. Another equally important feature to look out for is its ease of use – how quickly can you set up or dismantle the crate, or move it from one place to another, and so on?
Ventilation is also very important because no dog wants to be in a poorly ventilated pen. It should also give your pet some sense of comfort if you want her to spend time a lot of time in it.
There is really no particular breed that can be said to be unsuitable to use a soft-sided crate; it all has to do with your pet’s training and size. If your pooch is calm when left in a crate – she does not chew, dig, or scratch, and practices good bathroom manners, then she may easily settle into the crate life.
Also, your pet needs to fall within the small, medium, or large size bracket because you may not find a suitable crate for an extra-large pooch. If you have a Saint Bernard, which is an extra-large breed, you may have some difficulty in finding the right size for her.
These crates are meant for pets, irrespective of their size, so; yes, you can get a large one for your large-sized pets. Some brands offer this product in different sizes, the smallest of which can hold a pet of 15 pounds, while the largest size can hold a pet of 90 pounds or more.
No matter your means of transportation you choose, your dog should not be allowed to roam. If you are traveling by road, you can use just any good crate to transport your pet, but it has to be anchored with the help of a seat belt or any other secure means. Also, the crate has to be in the back seat with the dog in it.
If you are traveling by air, you have to ensure that your crate is an airline approved dog crate. Traveling by air is quite dangerous for pets because they are more likely to suffer from oxygen deprivation and heat stroke. Experts suggest exploring other travel means and using air travel only as a last resort when there are no other means of transporting your pet.
It is obvious that soft-sided dog crates are a welcome development for the dog owner communities, especially those of them that may wish to travel with their pets. The crate is simple, lightweight, easy to set up, foldable, portable, easy to clean and maintain, and it is cost-effective as well. The foldability and lightweight nature of this product make a whole lot of difference for pet owners and even the pets themselves.
If you apply the buying guidelines we shared with you, you can rest assured that you can find something suitable for your pet to enjoy so long as you put in the time and resources required. Better still, you can simply select any of the already researched and reviewed crates above. In as much as it is important to get high-quality brands like the ones listed in this article, it is also important to handle them with caution so they will last for a long time.