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Best Dog Car Crates and Carriers for 2021

If you have ever been to a certain flatpack furniture store and tried to get everything home in your car, you may have realised that the boot can’t really hold large, cubic objects which weren’t designed around its shape. Cue a boot door that won’t shut.

This makes fitting a conventional metal dog training crate into this space quite a challenge, too. A dedicated dog car crate is slanted so you can shut the door and carriers are designed especially to fit inside the majority of cars so the door is able to shut without you having to compromise on space.

When you’re choosing a crate or a carrier, you need to consider the level of safety that the product offers, the size of your car, and the size of your dog. To see our overall pick of the best dog car crates, read our reviews below.

We’ve also written about soft dog crates here, and our guide to the best dog crates can be found here.

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    Our Top Picks

    Image Product Details
    A R North America Inc Variocage Single Crash Tested Dog Cage
    • Adjustable size
    • Safety openings in case of crash
    Check Price
    Sleepypod Mobile Carrier
    • No assembly required
    • It straps into a seatbelt which is safer than the boot
    • Designed to contour around your pet
    Check Price
    4pets ECO Dog Crate for Cars Grey
    • Strong build
    • Anodized bars to prevent rusting
    • Easy to assemble and specifically made for use in the boot of the car
    Check Price

    Top 10 Best Dog Car Boot Crates and Carriers Reviewed

    1.
    COZY PET Car Dog Cage

    A large dog crate is needed for breeds such as Collies, Labradors, Vizslas and Dalmatians, and if you have a generously sized boot.

    The slanted front should allow you to shut your boot safely, and it should be short enough so you can still see out of your rearview mirror. It also benefits from a heavy duty ABS tray which means no rust, easier cleaning and less noise when your pet moves around.

    The cage also has a second escape door in the rear panel, so you can access your pet if you’re unable to open your boot door.

     

    Features

    • Double opening
    • Spacious
    • Non-rust, easy clean tray

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: 48.5 x 77 x 53.3 cm
    • Weight: 6kg

    2.
    A R North America Inc Variocage Single Crash Tested Dog Cage

    The Variocage Crash Tested Car Crate is an innovative range of dog crates which have been tested in crash and roll-over situations. In fact, it is the only one on the market which passed Front, Rear and Roll-Over Crash Tests.

    They include a crumple zone. This range includes single and double doors, as well as dog crates designed for hatchbacks and also for the smaller dog. Each cage is size adjustable so you can get it just right to a point, as well.

    In the case of an accident, a trapped dog can be released via the unique escape hatch so you can ensure they are safe and don’t have to remain within the car for longer than needed. The locking doors with Gas Hydraulic Motion Springs will keep your pet secure when they’re in the cage, so they can’t work their way out and end up as a distraction.

    Each cage is equipped with rubber carpet for comfort, quietness, and ease of cleaning in case of any accidents or muddy paws.

    Features

    • Adjustable size
    • Safety openings in case of crash

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: 99 x 55.5 x 59 cm
    • Weight: 17kg

    3.
    Trixie 3930 Transport Cage

    With a removable divider included, this would be a good crate for two dogs or for a puppy who will eventually grow into the full size.

    Galvanised wire is strong, and you get a removable tray which will capture any accidents and can also be padded out with bedding.

    When it isn’t in use, the whole thing is collapsible, so you can remove it and store it in the garage or hallway when you’re off to do the weekly food shop.

    You can pick from six size choices, making it the best dog car crate for dimension options, but the upper size is by far the biggest we found. The only downside is that the larger options don’t have a slanted side, so you will also need to have a big car.

    Features

    • Divider optional
    • Strong build

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: 6 Choices
    • Weight: Varies

    4.
    A R North America Inc Variocage Double Crash Tested Dog Cage

    Transporting two dogs in one crate can be hard enough, but minimising the risk of injury if there is a crash can be even harder.

    This is the infamous Variocage but now made with two sections, so both dogs are safe from crashes and from the impact affecting each other. The emergency escape hatch at the rear will come in handy if you suffer a bump from the back, as the back seats can be taken forward and the dogs still released.

    There’s a built-in key lock for extra safety, so any dogs which have mastered the old bar slider door lock will not be able to demonstrate their skills on this. It has passed the stringent crash test safety standards established by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, so don’t just take our word for how safe it is!

    Features

    • Plenty of space for two dogs
    • Impossible for dogs to get out of

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: 103 x 93 x 65 cm
    • Weight: 34kg

    5.
    Sleepypod Mobile Carrier

    While it may be small, this carrier is mighty. It ticks a lot of boxes thanks to the clever design and heavy-duty construction, but most importantly, it received a five-star safety rating from the Center for Pet Safety when they crash-tested it.

    The pod is designed to provide privacy to your dog. At the same time, you travel and reduce the level of anxiety that pets can often feel when commuting, and it provides just enough space to allow your dog to move and feel comfortable without putting them at risk of being thrown if you have a collision.

    It’s made from luggage-grade nylon outside and ultra-plush polyester making it both durable and water-resistant. You simply place both parts of the seatbelts through the harnesses provided and strap it in place.

    Features

    • No assembly required
    • It straps into a seatbelt which is safer than the boot
    • Designed to contour around your pet

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: 43.2 x 43.2 x 33 cm
    • Weight: 2.5kg

    6.
    Gen7 Commuter

    Another carrier that’s been put through the test, the Gen7 Commuter also received a 50star rating from the Centre For Pet Safety protecting dogs up to 20 Ibs. It’s fitted with seatbelt straps throughout and is made from heavy-duty ballistic nylon.

    Features

    • Industry approved for dogs up tp 20 Ibs
    • Folds flat for easy convenience
    • Industrial-grade stitching for added durability

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: 2.54 x 2.54 x 2.54 cm
    • Weight: 1.36kg

    7.
    Ferplast Atlas 80 Professional Dog Carrier

    As leaders in pet products, Ferplast is a brand that you can rely on for a quality dog crate, and the Atlas 80 Professional Dog Carrier is no different. It’s specially designed for large dogs and has a range of features that shows a clear focus on safety and attention to detail.

    The net door on the carrier conforms to the current IATA regulations regarding the transportation of domestic animals. It is built with handles on the side to allow the use of harnesses and seatbelts to help secure the carrier in place.

    The door is solid and made from plastic-coated steel for extra durability and benefits from a small food or water bowl attached as well. The side grids ensure proper air circulation for your dog’s safety too.

    Features

    • Safe and easy to use closing system
    • Suitable for Large Dogs

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: 88 x 80 x 118cm
    • Weight: 6-8kg

    8.
    Ferplast Atlas Car Dog Carrier 100

    When you would prefer a carrier-style crate as opposed to a big metal cage, this option is ideal.

    It has been specially designed to fit into the boot of most cars, so is a better option than your traditional carrier. The plastic-coated metal door is sturdy, and we loved the fact that it slides as opposed to opening outwards, which will really help if you need to grab your dog before opening the boot fully.

    There are handles on the sides, and large ventilation holes will keep it airy. The otherwise solid plastic sides will be good for anyone who needs to restrict their dog’s visibility due to motion sickness or overexcitability.

    You get two really handy storage compartments on the top of the crate for any bits and bobs, such as brushes, treats and their lead. A draining hygienic pad is included, which keeps it all clean.

    There are three size choices, so you can select the one which is best for your dog. The largest size also has the option to divide it into two sections.

    Features

    • Top can be removed from the base for cleaning
    • Sliding doors

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: 3 Choices
    • Weight: 7kg

    9.
    4pets ECO Dog Crate for Cars Grey

    There are a lot of reasons to be impressed when it comes to this car crate. Not only does it come in three sizes making it suitable for all cars and sizes of dogs, but its crash-test approved and certified by the TUV SUD Germany and has been designed with safety and usability in mind.

    The twist-lock latch means that the door can be operated with one hand, leaving your other hand free to hold the dog in place, while the specially engineered construction ensures the crate won’t rattle or make any distracting noises while you drive. And since the crate benefits from an IPS back wall, double dock locking system and aluminium bars as well as fibreglass-reinforced plastic connectors, you can rest assured the crate has been built to withstand impact.

    Features

    • Strong build
    • Anodized bars to prevent rusting
    • Easy to assemble and specifically made for use in the boot of the car

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: Small - 54.4 x 54.5 x 73.5cm; Medium - 66 x 68 x 83.5cm; Large - 66 x 81.5 x 93.5cm
    • Weight: 17 kg, 40kg, 50kg

    10.
    Ellie-Bo Deluxe Sloping Puppy Cage

    At just 24 “, this crate is ideal for owners with small cars and small dogs. It folds flat for added convenience and also comes with fleece cushioning for a little extra comfort.

    The steel tray is non-chew and removable just in case you need to clean it and the sloping front is designed to ensure your boot closes with ease. While this crate will fit most cars, we don’t recommend using a smaller crate in a big car (to prevent it from moving) and it’s always necessary to measure your boot before you buy.

    Features

    • Slimmer design for space in boot
    • Heavy duty latch for secure locking

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: 62 x 49 x 17 cm
    • Weight: 7.64kg

    Buying Guide

    Car Boot Size

    A cage which just about fits into a Range Rover will not squeeze into a Ford Ka.

    It is important to measure the width of your boot, taking into account any bits which stick out or aren’t entirely flat. You should also measure the space between the door and back seat, and take into account whether the shape and slant of your boot door will have an effect on the shape of the crate you can buy.

    Crates can also be placed onto a back seat and fastened using seat belts or straps, but do remember that there is a good chance your seats aren’t entirely flat and this could cause a bit of wobbling.

    Dog Size

    It is all well and good getting a crate which fits perfectly in your car boot, but you need to ensure your dog can then comfortably fit into the said crate.

    The height of the crate should at least go up to their neck, so they can lie down comfortably. While most other items need to be quite roomy, you shouldn’t give your dog too much vertical space as they could jump up, get thrown around or fall over when you’re driving due to sudden movements.

    The width should match their length when they’re lying down. This will encourage them to do this, so they are safe.

    If you’re buying for a puppy but don’t want to have to buy another model in a few months when they have grown, try a crate with a divider. This way, you can restrict space but increase it when the time is ready, without having to buy a whole new crate.

    Alternatives

    If your car is small, your dog is too large, or you don’t like the idea of them being in the boot, you may wish to opt for an alternative method of getting them round.

    Car seatbelt clips or harnesses are the best way to transport your dog if you want them to sit in the front seat or on the back seat, without any restrictions or cages. You can also purchase boot guards which close off the open part between the boot and back seat, so they can’t jump over the seats but have the maximum amount of space possible in the boot.

    Of course, this can mean that they aren’t as secure when it comes to things like emergency braking, or if they’re generally restless, so a cage would be good for any dogs who move around a lot.

    Crate Door

    Most crates are designed so you can open the door and the dog can jump straight out, or so you have enough space to see to them when they’re still in the cage.

    Ensure that the open boot door will still allow the door of the crate to open fully so they can jump in and out.

    Material

    The majority of dog crates are metal wire. Your dog can see out, they’re easy to keep clean and they are the most secure option so your dog’s movement is restricted.

    There is the option of a soft material crate, too. These could be good for any dogs who get car sick so you need to restrict their movement and visibility, or if you will need to use a crate at the chosen destination and don’t want to carry a bulky metal cage around.

    Soft crates can also be good for boots which are odd shapes, or if you want something which can be used on the car seats and adapt to shapes. Bear in mind they’re harder to look after and clean should the dog have any accidents, however.

    Double Openings

    Most cages will have a door which will open once your car boot is open. But many also have a second door, which is either at the top of the cage or rear.

    If you were unable to open the boot for some reason, such as a car accident or parking restrictions, you will still be able to access your dog by folding down the back car seats or reaching over. This could be worth thinking about.

    Other Buyers Ask...

    Why Do I Need A Car Crate?

    According to the Highway Code, you need to ensure all animals are suitably constrained so they can’t distract you while you are driving, or injure anyone in the car.

    There are no rules on how exactly this is done, however. A car boot crate is good if your car is otherwise full of passengers, or if you know your dog will be restless or do all they can to distract you. You should not have to take your eyes off the road to check up on them.

    Can I Fasten It To My Boot?

    A big question is how to secure your crate to the boot. This could be a good idea if your boot is larger than the crate and you know your car journey involves some bends and traffic as opposed to a flat, smooth motorway.

    A few bungee cables or something similar could help it to attach to any Isofix points in the boot, or around car headrests. You may also wish to pad out the rest of the free space with cushions, bags or something similar so the cage can’t move.

    My Dog Gets Car Sick – Can Crates Help?

    A car crate will restrict the amount which your dog can move around, said to reduce the likelihood of motion sickness.

    A crate which has solid, closed sides can also help reduce visibility which is said to help travel sickness, but open crates can also be covered with a blanket or towel.