Traveling with your dog is great, but choose the wrong carrier and it can be a very stressful and unpleasant ride. Do you know the difference between a soft-sided dog bag and hard travel dog crate? Do you know the best airline carry-on dog carrier? Do you know how to keep your dog cool while traveling?
By the end of this article, you’ll be a dog travel pro and never worry about your dog getting stressed and uncomfortable ever again.
You’ll learn everything you need to know to find the best dog carrier for your dog: soft carrier bags vs hard travel crates, airline-approved soft carriers, issues with soft dog bag volume, and even how to easily keep your dog cool on a long trip.
|X-ZONE PET Airline Approved Soft-Sided Pet Travel Carrier||Best Overall|
|iPrimio Dog and Cat Sling Carrier||Budget Pick|
|K9 Sport Sack||Upgrade Pick|
1. X-ZONE PET Airline Approved Soft-Sided Pet Travel Carrier
- Easy to clean
- Perfect for cat owners
- Maximum air flow
- Comes with two sets of wheels.
- Not suited for dog owners with larger or stronger dogs
- The top handle makes it difficult to access pets in certain situations
- The assembly instructions are a bit sketchy
The X-Zone Airline Approved Carrier comes from a trusted brand that has been around for years. It provides you a high level of comfort as well as peace of mind.
And the best part is that it is an airline approved carrier. This type of soft carrier is made out of the highest quality of materials and offers a range of ventilation.
2. Sherpa Travel Original Deluxe Airline Approved Pet Carrier
- Made with premium-grade fabric
- It’s super easy to clean and maintain especially when you use the waterproof features
- It’s pet friendly and airline approved
- Great value for the price
- Soft interior for comfort
- Airline approved design makes it ideal to travel
- The price cuts into coupons percentage savings
- It can get smelly
You never want to travel without your dog, but it’s not easy to figure out a way to bring them with you. Many passengers don’t like the idea of bringing a dog on flight, and airlines like to keep dogs as far away from passengers as possible.
It’s no surprise then that airlines are strict when it comes to dog carriers and will only allow approved and manufactured dog carriers on-board.
Luckily, the Sherpa Deluxe offers great value and is airline approved. You can actually fit this carrier underneath the seat in front of you if you’re in economy class.
3. PetAmi Premium Airline Approved Soft-Sided Pet Travel Carrier
- Strong and sturdy
- Made of durable and easy to clean material
- Ideal for small to medium sized dogs
- The safety belt provides extra comfort
- Possibility to choose between two colors
- A bit bulky
- The carrier doesn’t come with any accessories to hold water or food while traveling
Traveling with pets can be challenging. However, with the PetAmi carrier, you can rest easy knowing that your pet is safe thanks to its durable and sturdy construction.
The PetAmi is made from strong and sturdy materials, but that’s not the only reason you should trust this carrier. It also features a safety belt that provides comfort and a secure protection from jolts and sudden movements.
Another small, yet useful detail you’ll appreciate is the water bottle holder that keeps your pet drinking water all the way. Now, when you reach your destination your pet will still be hydrated.
4. AmazonBasics Soft-Sided Mesh Pet Travel Carrier
- Very Affordable
- Light-Weight And Easy To Carry
- Fast Easy Setup And Take Down
- Strong Mesh Allows For Easy Eye Contact
- Can Be Used For Multiple Animals
- Sturdy And Durable
- Strong Zippers And Constructions
- Not Suitable For Travel On Airplanes
- Things Built Into The Outer Carry Case
- Doesn’t Include A Free Leash And Harness
The AmazonBasics Soft-Sided Mesh Pet Travel Carrier review says it all – Basic and reliable, keeping your precious pet safe and secure at a price anyone on a budget can afford.
With over 6,000 reviews the AmazonBasics Pet Travel carrier is an all-around great deal. Unlike the hard plastic carriers you could get for a few dollars less, this soft sided carrier is perfect for long trips.
The mesh material (although not as sturdy as hard plastic) allows you to easily check on your pet. The carrier is light weight and easy to carry, this is extremely important for people who have to carry their pet through a good amount of distance. The top is detachable and can be used as a separate carrier for small animals. This means you can simply take off the top of the carrier, and place your cat or other pet in that one.
5. EliteField Soft Sided Pet Carrier
- Somewhat affordable
- Three year warranty
- Multiple sizes and colors available
- Cat friendly
- Travel friendly
- Kennel friendly
- Pet friendly
- Some reviewers noted that their pets escaped while the door was open
- Some reviewers noted that the product arrived defective or broken
Cat, Travel, Kennel, Pet.
Our number one pick is the EliteField Soft Sided Pet Carrier which comes in multiple sizes and colors and has a three year warranty.
With a water-resistant outer layer and soft shell this carrier can be easily cleaned. The carrier features ventilation windows that are created with mesh. This means that even during the hottest summer days your pet will feel comfortable. The carrier is great for short trips, walks or outings, with your pet feeling safe and secure.
6. Akinerri Airline Approved Pet Carriers,Soft Sided Collapsible Pet Travel Carrier
- Great value for the money
- Top notch customer service
And Dogs, Pet Travel Carriers Cat Bag, Great for Travel Pet By Akinerri.
Not all dog carriers are created equal. Some carriers can be a bit difficult to put together, some are too big or bulky, while others are just not well made. It can sometimes be a challenge getting the right one for your pet.
According to many reviews, the Akinerri carrier is an affordable pet carrier that doesn’t disappoint in the quality department.
7. YUDODO Pet Dog Sling Carrier Breathable Mesh Travel Safe Sling Bag Carrier
- Good price
- Material feels strong and high-quality
- Comes in a variety of colors
- Clear instructions and professional looking website
- Sling strap is adjustable
- Affordable price
- Only two available sizes
- No additional pockets
- No padding
- Some users say to be extremely careful with harness because it can break
The YUDODO Dog Sling is a bag that you can use to carry your pet comfortably. The bag is great for traveling because you can use it to carry your beloved pets. The material of the bag is strong and the material feels extremely high-quality. The bag comes in a variety of colors, so you can choose the color that goes best with your style. The material of the bag feels extremely soft and your pet will feel comfortable in it.
The bag is great for carrying your pet because you can adjust the strap. The strap is adjustable in three different lengths, allowing you to adjust the bag to fit your pet. The bag can also be adjusted as your pet grows. You can adjust the bag to carry a smaller dog. The bag can also be adjusted as your pet grows to carry a larger dog. The sling strap is adjustable, which will give you more comfort when using the bag.
8. Alfie Pet
- Has a roomy interior
- Has 4 safety belt loops
- Comes in multiple colors
- Built-in handle on top
- Comfortable shoulder straps
- Can be worn in 4 different positions
- Not recommended for dogs over 45 lbs
- Not for very active dogs
- Appears small for dogs
The Alfie Pet Chico Reversible Pet Sling Carrier is one of the best dog carriers for travel you can find. The main benefit of this product is that it allows you to have easy access to your dog while you travel. There are many features, which make this dog carrier ideal for travel.
The first thing you will notice is the fact that this sling carrier allows you to have easy access to your dog while you are traveling. The Velcro opening gives your dog plenty of room to roam around back there but also means you can easily get a snack cup to them without having to completely unload them from their seat.
The other benefit that comes with this type of pet carrier is that you get the right kind of comfort for your dog. The straps hold the dog securely in place, and there are handles on the top to help you get your dog in and out of the car.
9. Pawaboo Pet Carrier Backpack
- Adjustable straps
- Affordably priced
- Waterproof design
- Great reviews
- Can be used for cats and dogs
- Front access
- Uncomfortable band
A backpack style carrier is an excellent option for traveling because your pet’s front paws will be out of harm’s way, which will make them feel more secure. This backpack carrier is well-made and has a fully padded interior.
It’s meant to carry dogs that weigh under 25 lbs, but many reviewers say they’ve been able to carry dogs that weigh up to 30 lbs with the help of an extra strap. (Be aware that this carrier may be too heavy for smaller people, especially if you’re carrying a dog on your back!)
10. PetAmi Deluxe Pet Carrier Backpack
- Includes two doors with safety lock
- Traveller friendly
- Lightweight, strong material
- Expandable carrier
- Comes with a divider
- Easy setup
- Air can circulate around the dog during summer
- Smaller and shorter dogs can get out easily
- Uneven walking when the dog is on the back
- Not so trendy
This product is made of polyester nylon which is strong and durable. The size of the carrier is 16.8″L x 10.4″W x 13.7″H. The front and top doors are convenient for easy access to your dog from both sides. It is also equipped with 6 safety buckles which secure your dog in place. However, it’s important to avoid yanking or pulling these buckles as pulling too hard can cause the dog to escape. You can also adjust the top straps and hand straps which you can use to hold the carrier.
11. RETRO PUG Dog Sling Carrier
- High-quality material
- Perfect for lugging your dog anywhere
If you’ve ever needed to walk your dog around town, especially in busy tourist areas, you know how hard it can be. The main carriers are a pain in the back, the sling style carriers can slip around your dog’s neck, and you need to hold them the entire time.
Our top pick is the RETRO PUG Dog Sling Carrier Pet Sling which solves most of the problems of the traditional carriers. First of all, the RETRO PUG is a sling carrier which means you can free up your hands.
This carrier is great for smaller medium-sized dogs and cats, weighing between 15 and 20 lb. There are three sizes of the carrier – small, medium and large – so make sure to pick the right one.
12. PetAmi Premium Pet Carrier Backpack
- Plenty of Storage
- Very lightweight
- Wide enough for cats to move around easily
PetAmi’s carrier measures 33 centimetres by 28 centimetres by 27 centimetres. This is slightly larger than most cat carriers, but it is also designed to carry medium-to-large sized dogs too. The base has an extra wide width so your pet has plenty of room to move around.
The extra width is great for dogs and allows them to stretch out more easily. Your pet will experience less stress and it will be much easier to accommodate your dog’s size. It also provides plenty of room in case you find yourself travelling with an oversize dog.
The carrier’s ventilated design keeps your pet cool on hot days and reduces stress and anxiety. Since your pet is travelling in a confined space, it’s important to give them as much cooling as possible.
13. Paws & Pals Airline Approved Pet Carrier
- Very affordable
- Carries pets up to 25 lbs
- Safe, secure, and comfortable
- Easy to get your pet in and out
(Mini XL Black 24-Inch)
Our budget pick is the Paws & Pals Airline approved soft sided carrier, taking into consideration several factors like price, ability to carry & store pet, and portability. The premium tripod zipper opening opens fast and allows your pet to walk in on their own for easy walking and slow introduction to the carrier, also has a mesh top for ventilation. The soft sides go nice and high, ensuring your pet will be comfortable and feel secure and it will expand a bit, creating extra space inside, so your pet's bed can fit. This puppy dog cat carrier is airline approved, also has a removable pet bed and is airline approved included. It measures 24" long, 14.5" wide, and about 9" tall, making it a perfect fit for smaller cats and dogs.
This pet carrier is easy to carry, with a removable lightweight shoulder strap, allowing you pet to ride next to you while you walk or travel. The pet bed is removable and machine washable, so it’s easy to take with you.
14. SlowTon Pet Carrier
- Good Styling
- Versatile carrier for cats, small dogs, or anything that can be transported
- Good customer service if something was to go wrong
- Large side pocket to store food, water, and other accessories
- Only weighs 2 lbs
When it comes to travel with your pet on the road, most people are limited to pet carriers due to zoning restrictions and general travel preferences. The SlowTon Pet Carrier is the best pet carrier for medium small sized dogs and cats.
The carrier is made of a soft cotton and mesh material for ventilation and a nylon strap on the inside for extra durability. The mesh material also serves as a gentle scratch guard for your pet that prevents them from damaging either the carrier or themselves as they ride.
15. X-ZONE PET Airline Approved Pet Carriers,Soft Sided Collapsible Pet Travel Carrier
- Very lightweight – no need to worry about your pup on your back after a long hike
- Storage space
- Many reviews from happy users
- It’s soft-sided which means it’s suitable for longer treks
- Not very durable
- The zippers are only designed for light pets
- It’s expensive
The X-ZONE PET is one of the most lightweight dog carriers you can find in the market and is the perfect option for those who hope to trek for extended periods of time with their pup.
This dog carrier is basically a backpack you put your dog into. The main advantage of this option is that there is no extra weight on your shoulders.
Once you put your dog into the bag, you’ll be left with an empty backpack which can be used for extra storage purposes.
16. iPrimio Dog and Cat Sling Carrier
- Available at multiple color and size combinations
- Washable inside and outside fabrics
- Has a removable mesh netting, which allows you to safely hold your dog
Here at PetSolutions we’re dog lovers. As such we’ve made sure to thoroughly test a ton of dog carriers and find the best of the best.
Our top pick doesn’t disappoint as it has the perfect pet carrier for travel. It’s light, durable, has multiple color and size combinations, and is easy to use. The out of the box padded shoulder straps not only make it comfortable for you, but allow you to safely and securely hold up to 25 pounds.
Also, like any good dog carrier, it’s easy to wash. Simply throw it in the washing machine and have it warm tumble dried. Once it’s good as new, simply get the carrier out and let it air dry.
17. Ytonet Dog Backpack Carrier
- Excellent ventilation and generally comfortable
- Easily adjustable waist belt
- Sufficient storage space
- Problems with back support
- Some quality control issues
This YTONET backpack is designed for both dogs and cats, so it seems pretty straight forward to use. It has an ergonomically designed ventilation system and a sternum strap for added safety and comfort. It also has a strap on the top for carrying water bottles. It comes in different colors and your choice of four sizes.
This lightweight pet carrier backpack is not really that suitable for taller dogs. However, it is suitable for cats as well as small dogs, weighing approximately 8 to 15 pounds. If you are planning to take your dog out for a hike or go camping with them, this backpack could be a good choice, especially because it is well priced. It is also quite spacious, so the animal will be able to sit down and your pet will enjoy the trip.
18. K9 Sport Sack
- Fully adjustable backpack straps
- Plenty of ventilation panels
- Great for outdoor activities
- Great for different sized dogs
- Extra large side zipper
- 2 sizes available
- Comes in different colors
- Not a lot of storage space
Front and Side Zipper | 31-58 pounds Many Sizes and Colors.
The K9 Sport Sack is the premiere backpack carrier for dogs. It’s 100% handmade, but the manufacturer has extensive expertise that helps them create great products.
The K9 Sport Sack is made from high quality material that provides excellent ventilation and comfort for your dog. There’s a lot of padding around all the straps, including the padded waist strap that you can use to control balance.
19. TOMKAS Small Dog Cat Carrier Sling Hands Free Pet Puppy Outdoor Travel Bag Tote Reversible
- You can take your furry friend anywhere you go
- Provides safety and comfort for both you and the pet
- Relieves the pressure to carry your pet, making it easier to carry objects
- Unique design helps carry the pet without stressing out the owner
- Durable material and high-quality construction
- Provides no cover from the sun
- Can be difficult to adjust
- The size may be too small for large dogs
If you have a dog that you love to bring with you everywhere you go, the TOMKAS carrier will be the perfect addition to your life.
Being able to carry your dog with ease can be a life changing experience, allowing you to take your dog wherever you need to go with no negative consequences to either of you.
This carrier allows both you and your dog to enjoy a more comfortable travel experience.
20. Premium Airline Approved Expandable Pet Carrier by Pet Peppy
- Peace of mind with the airline approved design
- Highly expandable
- Easy to travel with
- Bright color that’s easy to spot
- Available in two sizes
- Spacious for pets up to 30 lbs
- Held up to airline travel well
For Air Travel, Parks, Camping – Perfect for Indoor & Outdoor Use!
This airline approved carrier is a great option for anyone looking for a spacious soft carrier. The carrier is crafted from a water resistant material which makes it ideal for indoor and outdoor use.
Thanks to the expandable zipper design, the carrier can expand up to 15% and is designed to accommodate pets up to 20 lbs.
21. Pet Gear I-GO2 Roller Backpack
As its name suggests, it’s a carrier that combines two of the most useful features – a back pack and a carrier. So, the most difficult element: transporting your best friend, is taken care of.
With this pet carrier, you will find it very easy to stash your pet on the back of your bike, surfing board, or whatever else you want, thanks to its extendable telescoping handle and the adjustability in the straps.
22. NICREW Legs Out Front Dog Carrier
- Padded shoulder straps
- Well-made and spacious
- Lots of ventilation
- Adjustable seatbelt strap and harness belt
- Carriage works also for cats
- Well-padded handle
- Adjustable seatbelt strap
For Small Large Dogs, Compatible with Car Seat and Strollers.
This may be a pet carrier, but it’s well suited to carry many other things as well.
The pet carrier is quite trendy thanks to its ergonomic design. It has a round shape, which is great when you go for a walk with your dog.
23. Outward Hound
The Outward Hound portable pet carrier is made from lightweight and durable oxford fabric that ensures comfort for your pets. This top rated dog backpack is also equipped with a tough and sturdy handle that can fold down easily for storage when not in use.
The mesh windows allow your dog or cat to easily see the outside environment. This dog carrier backpack has two zippered mesh doors that can be opened for better ventilation and a removable floor tray for easy cleaning.
What’s also great about this carrier is that it comes with a removable safety leash that you can use to restrain your dog if necessary.
24. Whizzotech Adjustable Pet Carrier Backpack Pet Frontpack Carrier Travel Bag Legs Out Easy-Fit
- Can be carried by two people at the same time
- Center strap for additional support
- Tons of extra compartments for storage
- Huge mesh windows for visibility
- Can be a bit difficult to put on and take off
- Top strap might slide off during transportation
It’s always nice when there’s a dog carrier that can allow you to put the dog outside even when it’s pouring down rain or snowing heavily.
While its price might be slightly higher than other carriers, the Whizzotech carrier is worth every penny. It can be neatly folded and placed in your car’s trunk. It’s very compact and doesn’t take up a lot of space inside the house.
You can also comfortably wear it on your back while holding your dog in it. Another great thing about this carrier is that larger dogs can use it as well. It comes with a leash and carabiner system that can help you put your dog on your shoulders without having to worry about the dog falling off.
25. Jet Sitter Luxury Soft Sided Pet Carrier
- Available in 2 sizes: Large and Extra Large
- Side panels block wind and rain
- Easy to store when not in use
We know that going outdoors with your dog can sometimes be difficult, considering their energy level and the inevitable need to answer nature’s call.
That’s why we made sure to pick the best dog carrier for you, that way you can easily and safely take them with you wherever you go.
The carrier featured in this article is the Jet Sitter Luxury Soft Sided Pet Carrier. We chose this model based on its excellent quality, excellent features and very good price.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is the best airline approved dog carrier?
Enter, the Sky Kennel. The Sky Kennel is the best dog carrier for going on a plane. It’s also a great choice for traveling by car or train. Designed with a metal frame and soft sides, it supports your dog’s weight comfortably while your pet sticks their head and paws out the top or front. It’s collapsible, free-standing, and fits perfectly inside of a closet.
So what’s the best dog carrier? It depends on what you’ll use it for. So if you’re likely to need to travel by plane occasionally, then the Sky Kennel is a must-have. Otherwise, there are a lot of good fold-out pet carriers that are pet carrier approved on the market that you can choose from. These carriers are great for car trips and shorter train rides.
What is the best pet carrier for dogs?
The answer depends on what is most important in your situation. Many pet owners think that soft pet carriers are the answer to be the best dog carrier. However, this isn’t always the case. We think that your pet carrier choice depends on the situation and your needs. You can make sure that you’re considering all your options by checking out our complete buying guide.
Are pet carriers good for dogs?
Here’s what we know: The fear of your dog in the carriers is mostly a psychological one. The truth is that dogs are naturally den animals and love to be cozy and safe. But because we house them outside the home and have them sit in carriers, most dogs associate that space with being in the vet’s office and are afraid to venture inside.
Frequent positive associations with carriers is the key to helping your dog get used to them. This means: taking your dog to the vet in the carrier, using the carrier as a blanket during car rides, or putting the carrier in the car for everyday car rides so that the dog becomes used to it.
Are dog carrier backpacks safe?
Dog carrier backpacks are extremely safe for dogs, and they’ve become more and more popular over the past few years. One of the most important things to consider when looking to buy a dog carrier backpack is the quality of the product of course.
However, when it comes to dog backpack carriers, the leading brand is the Pet Sherpa. They’re a US manufacturer and stand behind their products with a lifetime guarantee.
As a final word, make sure that you never leave your baby unattended while in a carrier. Make sure the backpack is strapped tightly, and that you’re fine-tuning the tether that goes between the bag and pet.
So, what is the best dog carrier backpacks of 2019? Treat your dog like you would your baby and go with the Pet Sherpa Pet Carrier.
The highest quality pet products should be made from materials that are both durable and comfortable for your pet. We noted how the carriers with comfortable padded shoulder straps really stood out from the crowd. Comfort is critical. We noticed the top quality carriers also used high quality plastic hardware on their zippers, buckles and straps. The best carriers also had multiple opening options.
We also felt that the number of pets that each carrier could accommodate was critical. That’s why we looked for the largest numbers that we could find on the carriers that we reviewed. Our recommendations cover every size, shape and style of canine.
|X-ZONE PET Airline Approved Soft-Sided Pet Travel Carrier||Best Overall|
|iPrimio Dog and Cat Sling Carrier||Budget Pick|
|K9 Sport Sack||Upgrade Pick|