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. 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.
Soft Sided Indoor and Outdoor Kennels and Travel Crates for Dogs
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
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. Durable Den Soft Travel Dog Crate
This first of these soft sided dog crates is one of the smaller options, which makes it well-suited to transportation in the car with minimal fuss. It measures 23.5″ x 16.5″ x 16.5″, which means that it is only really suitable for dogs up to 30 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 three different methods for carrying it. First there is the choice of the rubber handle or shoulder strap when it is collapsed down, then there is the four strap secure handle when it is assembled. On that note, this is one of those top foldable crates that assembles in a matter of seconds.
The key selling point with the Durable Den Soft Travel Dog Crate is the strength of the carrier. This model has 1,600D waterproof Oxford nylon, rather than the 600 denier seen in most of the options below. 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 apparently chew-proof and additional waterproofing to prevent leaks.