Dog crates are an essential item for any dog owner that wants to transport their pets between homes or on vacation. For many, the most appealing options are the ones with folding frames and soft sides for increased portability and comfort. Hard plastic options can seem a little mean to some. The best foldable crates are the ones that tick four important boxes: capacity, security, comfort and ease of use. But an important point to remember is that these soft sided kennels would not be useful for untrained dogs who have a tendency to chew their way out of anything.
Soft Sided Collapsible Kennels and Travel Crates for Dogs
The crate has to be the right size for the animals and the mode of transport, it has to be tough and secure enough to contain them, the dog must be comfortable at all times and owners need to be able to use it with no hassle.
The following models are some of the best soft sided dog crates around for owners looking to transport a pet between destination. There are different types of crates here. There are the smaller models for smaller dogs that are easily transportable. Then there are the larger models for larger dogs that double up as indoor dens or outdoor kennels. All of these crates are collapsible for transportation and share a number of helpful features for a more secure, comfortable experience for the animal.
1. EliteField 3-Door Folding Soft Dog Crate
The size of a crate and its dimensions are an important consideration when choosing the best dog crates for travel. They need to be big enough for the dog, but must also fit the space in the car or any type of vehicle you plan to travel in. This is clear warning expressed with the EliteField 3-Door Folding Soft Dog Crate. This 36" crate is 2" wider and 4" higher than most 36" soft crates from other brands. Even so, this is still a convenient, lightweight fold-able model, even with the steel tube frame. The crate comes with a free carrying bag and fleece bed. This carrying bag is ideal for transporting the carrier when not in use, thanks to the hand straps and adjustable padded shoulder strap.
The only real warning with this option is that it is not for use with smart dogs, as it doesn’t have the security features of some of the other options here. Some people have placed a fidgeting pup in it, only to find them using the zips and climbing out. Still, those that enjoy the space can benefit from the soft bed and the ventilation and view from the mesh windows on three sides. There are also spacious pockets on the sides for other items as needed.
2. 2PET Foldable Dog Crate
This option comes in a range of sizes, so owners have the choice whether or not to get a large one to collapse and assemble at the destination or a small one to travel in the car. Again, this is a collapsible, soft sided model that folds down on a light steel frame. This transforms the crate into a small size for transportation and there is a handle on the top to carry it around. The design and comfort of this option means that it is great to use as a den at home for more long term use. It is something they can get used to, which means that they are less likely to act up when traveling because they are used to the space.
An interesting selling point to this 2PET Fold-able Dog Crate is that it is machine washable, from the included fleece blanket to the entire canvas cover. The cover can be taken off the wire frame and washed to keep it clean and fresh, unlike many other options here. Cleanness and freshness is vital when traveling with one of these and this also comes from the free waterproof pad for the floor – to stop leaks – and the amount of ventilation offered by the mesh windows. The fact that those side windows are bone shaped is a nice little detail.
3. PetsFit 24’’ Travel Pet Collapsible Soft Dog Crate
Another collapsible dog crate for indoor and travel use with smaller dogs is the 24 x 18 x 17 inch PetsFit 24’’ Travel Pet Collapsible Soft Dog Crate. This is where we begin to see some reoccurring features and design elements to the best of these travel carriers. This smaller option has three different entry points so the dog has more choice and more viewing points through the mesh ventilation. PetsFit are also proud of their fold-able frame with their “patented” locking system on the metal frame. They boast that it takes just seconds without the need for tools. But, this is true of most of these best soft sided kennels.
Another thing that stands out with this model is the fact that the designers have really considered the comfort of the dogs and its needs across the whole journey. Most of these dog crates have some form of padding for comfort, and here there is another removable fleece pad. There are also side pockets on the container to store items during the journey and a water bottle holder. This last inclusion is a rarity that other designers seem to overlook.
4. PetsFit 36’’ Travel Foldable Home Soft Dog Crate
Continuing with this brand, we have another travel crate with many of the same basic features and a similar construction. The difference here is that we have gone up a size. This model has dimensions of 36"L x 31"W x 24"H so is for much larger dogs. At this point, we get a dual purpose of traveling in the car between destinations and providing a safe little indoor den at the destination. Again, there are three clear entry points for the dog to choose from and the crate retains that frame that makes it easy to collapse down and transport.
There is a sense of security to this PetsFit 36’’ Travel Foldable Home Soft Dog Crate in the materials used and the fastening. It should be pretty difficult for animals to get out if it is fastened properly because of the clips on the zippers. Still, there will always be those more anxious pups that find a way to claw through. That is why it always pays to clip a dog’s nails before travel and why the 600D X 600D Oxford cloth may not be strong enough for everyone. Those dogs that are comfortable to travel and sleep in this soft sided kennel can enjoy the soft fleece pad, which is again removable for the owner’s convenience.
5. NOZTONOZ Sof-Krate Indoor and Outdoor Pet Home
Then we get to the large models that aren’t as good for transporting dogs between destinations, but make for great indoor dens and outdoor kennels when they arrive. Options like this NOZTONOZ Sof-Krate Indoor/Outdoor Pet Home are great for large dogs that may need their own space and a sense of security while away from home. The transportation element comes from the collapsible frame and the portability between destinations. This crate measure at 36"L X 24"W X 27"H, which makes it suitable for dogs up to 70lbs, and has a clever folding system. There are push button tabs and couplers in the frame that safely bring it all down into a manageable size.
When the crate is up and ready, it provides a great den for dogs with the doors on the front and sides. It can be opened up by rolling up the mesh windows or made secure by sealing it all up. There is a tight-weave, heavy duty fabric that makes this tough enough for indoor and outdoor use and that cover can be removed completely to be machine washed. There is also a water resistant base in case of accidents. It is the sort of kennel that dog can really turn into their home.
6. Petsfit Soft Portable Dog Crate and Indoor Outdoor Pet Home
The final model of these best soft sided dog crates to consider is another indoor/outdoor crate from a familiar name. We go back to PetsFit for a model that is smaller than some of their larger transportable kennels and provides and ticks a lot of the right boxes for dog owners. Here we see a model that has the capacity and design be used for security and comfort during transportation, but also as a safe den at the new destination. This option measures 30''L X 24''W X 25''H and it designed to be the ideal size and shape for medium sized dogs up to 40lbs.
This attractive, domed crate is strong enough to stay out as a den for a home away from home. It has a tough mesh that compliments the grey materials and even a fluorescent green trim on the edges for visibility and style. The mesh panels roll up to completely open up the crate for easy access. When needed, folds down into a small size in its own carry case. However, the size and comfort features, such as the padding, mean that animals can travel within the Petsfit Soft Portable Dog Crate and Indoor Outdoor Pet Home if needed.
7. Petsfit Portable Pop Up Pet Cage
This first of these soft sided dog crates is one of the options, which makes it well-suited to transportation in the car with minimal fuss. It measures 27" x 18" 22x ", which means that it is only really suitable for dogs up to 25 lbs. The sides contain 3 large mesh windows for ventilation, with additional roll up shades. It is quite a boxy shape compared to some models, but it is still pretty easy to handle. There are no straps attached to it so you will not be able to pick the carrier while the dog is in it. However it comes with a band to keep it secure once the soft kennel is folded. On that note, this is one of those top collapsible crates that assembles in a matter of seconds.
This model has 600D waterproof Oxford nylon, with a 2300D polyester lining. This means that it is pretty resistant against rain and damage, so no scratches from claws. There is also a heavy duty zipper that is good for upto 10,000 uses. Also included is a removable and washable soft fleece pad.
8. Sherpa Deluxe Pet Carrier
This large dog carrier is designed for dogs weighing up to 22 pounds. It measures 19 inches long x 11.5 inches high x 11.75 inches wide.
The Sherpa carrier conforms to most airline standards as the back of the spring wire frame can be pushed down several inches so that it fits comfortable under the seat in front of you. The crate has mesh windows on all sides for good ventilation. It also has front and top zippered openings and the zips can be locked into place for added safety.
Inside the crate there’s a soft, comfortable lambskin fleece pad which is removable and fully washable. There’s also a handy storage pocket on the back of the carrier for treats and toys.
For human comfort, the carry strap is padded and fully adjustable as well as being non-slip. The luggage strap also doubles as a seat belt strap for added safety in the car. The hand carry straps are also padded for comfort.
9. Kayla-Ism Collapsible Pet Travel Crate
The water resistant Oxford fabric is fully washable once the frame is removed. There’s also a lovely soft fleece pad inside for your dog’s comfort. It has dark mesh windows on all sides for good ventilation which allows your dog to see out.
There’s a front zippered opening for easy access and the crate folds completely flat for easy storage.
10. topPets Portable Soft Pet Crate
Inside the crate there’s a lovely, soft fleece pad which is removable for easy washing. The lightweight interior steel frame is super quick to install and has a lock mechanism for added safety.
There’s a zippered opening at the front and on the top for easy access. A couple of seat belt adapters ensures that the crate will stay secure while you’re traveling in the car. It easily folds flat for convenient storage.
11. FrontPet Pet Car Crate Tube Kennel
This tube style carrier is ideal for use while traveling in the car as it keeps your dog safe and secure. It comes with adjustable straps so you can secure the carrier to the seat. It fits almost any car and will occupy the full back seat. can secure it for extra safety. Designed for cats or small dogs, this crate measures 47 inches x 24 inches x 24 inches.
The carrier has a mesh top for excellent ventilation while still maintaining privacy for your dog. It has a double zippered front opening and the zip ends lock into place to stop the zip from coming undone.
This crate is made from tough lightweight nylon which resists pet scratching and biting. It also folds quickly and easily for convenient storage.