Which is the right collapsible dog crate for your daily life? Soft-sided crates are great for frequent transport & special trips. Collapsible wire-crates are good for primary home use.
Why Are Foldable & Collapsible Crates So Important These Days?
We all know the need for “easy & convenient” becomes more and more important in our daily lives. The ability for a dog crate to collapse down and be ready for transport saves a lot of time and hassle. It’s pretty much a must for carting our “fur-babies” around these days; which is why so many crates on the market make this pretty standard now.
Many basic wire-frame kennels fold flat like a briefcase and have a carry handle. This setup is ideal if you are crate-training a puppy or just want to contain an already trained dog while you are out. If you only need to take a crate with once in a while, a wire-frame crate is what you want to go with, since it serves it’s main purpose for around the house. They save a lot of space for storage purposes as well.
If you take your dog to the groomer, dog-sitter, or any other trip pretty regularly though, a collapsible soft-sided crate will give you a much easier time (provided they are already used to staying calm in a crate). They are lighter and more compact, which will be much easier to stick in your car. They are much easier to carry your dog inside as well.
The main things you’ll want to consider while choosing a crate to fit your lifestyle; and your dog are:
- Your Routine (daily, weekly, etc;)
- Main Purpose of Crate (transport, crate training, containment)
- Space Usage (based on your dog’s current & future size)
- Behavioral Habits & Level of Comfort (how well trained and calm they are in a crate)
You want to think about your daily routine, and decide what will work well for home, in the car, a hotel, or even a camping trip. We’ve picked out a handful of good quality crates that are all collapsible (some soft-sided, and some wire-frame models). We will spell out what they’re good for, what we liked, what we didn’t like about them, and also what’s unique about them.
- Why Are Foldable & Collapsible Crates So Important These Days?
- Our Top Collapsible Soft-Dog Crate Picks:
- 1. The EliteField 3-Door Folding Pop-Up Dog Crate: All Kinds of Amenities & Extra Options
- 2. Parkland Pet Foldable Dog Playpen – a Great Place for Small Dogs to Play
- 3. Arf Pets Soft-Sided Dog Crate: a Neat & Cozy Space for Carry & Car Rides (Also keeps your dog’s feet dry)
- 4. Noz2Noz Soft-Krater Indoor and Outdoor Crate: Good for Most Breeds & Sizes
- Collapsible Wire-Frame Crates – Here Are Some Base-Models Worth Looking Into
- Recap – Which Style of Dog Crate Best Fits Your Lifestyle?
- Final Thoughts:
Our Top Collapsible Soft-Dog Crate Picks:
Soft-sided collapsible dog crates came about mainly because people find themselves more on the go these days. Because this growing need arose, for people needed to have something lighter and more convenient to take their dogs with them. Alas, the birth of the soft-sided dog crate was invented to solve this problem.
Some people’s routines require transporting their dog quite often to the groomer, the dog-sitter, the vet, or anywhere else. For some people’s dogs, it’s easier to crate them while in transit. A soft crate that collapses down in a few seconds and carries very easily is the best thing for that.
When you’re in the market for a soft collapsible dog crate, those two factors above all, are the most important things to look for. Here are four of our preferred crates that do just that; and more.
1. The EliteField 3-Door Folding Pop-Up Dog Crate: All Kinds of Amenities & Extra Options
There’s a long list of top-notch components and features that make this collapsible dog crate our favorite pick of the bunch. The different size options are a plus; the amount of colors it comes in give it an even greater ability to suit everybody’s needs & preferences.
This is a stand-alone “great crate” in and of itself. The EliteField 3-Door has it’s own unique pop-up system, which is quick and painless to unfold. It folds and unfolds in a V-shape pattern to get the maximum amount of compactability out of it for when you are on the go.
EliteField has a reputation for their dog crates, and it shows. By the look of this one we can see that they make appealing, useful, and dependable products. Here’s a rundown of all of this crate’s amenities.
- (+) 13 Colors; 5 sizes – The EliteField has 13 different color options to choose from, so everyone can have their favorite look. Also they have 5 optional sizes to meet the needs of smaller to mid-sized dogs.
- (+) Great storage – It has 2 pouches on the side & on the top that are fairly large. You can hold a good amount of basic necessities while on the go.
- (+) Soft floor mat – The floor is cushioned with a removable & washable fleece floor mat that they include as part of the whole setup.
- (+) Additional carry case – They threw in an extra carry-case with an adjustable shoulder strap to go hand-in-hand with the crate.
- (+) Strong materials – Collapsible steel-tubed inner frame, with a thick 600D fabric. Durable mesh ventilation windows on all 4 sides and the top door for good air flow & breathability.
- (+) 3 Entry points– There are 3 mesh-ventilated doors (top, front, & side doors) to allow for ease of use & to let in plenty of air & Sun for your dog. The 3 entry points also make it very convenient for travel.
- (+) Retractable visors – There are pull-down visors over the windows to adjust the amount of Sunlight coming in when moving place to place with your dog.
- (+) Comfortable carry straps – There are 2 hand straps with a velcro folding clasp on the crate, to make it easier to hold and carry by hand.
- (+) 2-Year Warranty – The manufacturer backs the Elitefield with a 2-year warranty; and offer a 100% money back guarantee with special terms & conditions.
- (-) Not built for containment – As the doors of soft-sided dog crates typically zip closed instead of locking, they are not designed for dogs that like to break out of their kennel. This crate is no different; if you are looking for a crate for containment purposes, a lockable door wire-crate or heavy-duty crate are the way to go.
The Bottom Line:
The EliteField 3-Door portable dog crate scores the top spot on our list. It was built with good quality by a company with a good reputation. They’ve taken the time to think about the many needs of someone traveling with their dog and how they can meet those needs the best they can.
It go’s above and beyond as far as the “customization” factor is concerned by making it available in 13 colors. With 5 different size options available it can comfortably fit dogs with alot of cozy space. The largest size should be able to fit most 50 or 60 pound dogs with no problem. We recommend this crate to have the best use for travel and transport purposes. It can still easily be a cozy indoor/outdoor dwelling for your pooch around the house too.
With it’s ideal best uses in mind; this crate would not be good for a dog that has separation anxiety, and would try to break out of their crate and tear up your house. They would need a lockable wire crate in that instance; or a heavy-duty crate depending on the strength of your dog.
2. Parkland Pet Foldable Dog Playpen – a Great Place for Small Dogs to Play
This is a nifty little setup for smaller breed dogs and puppies. The Parkland Pet playpen is extra lightweight and compact when folded, it sets up within a matter of seconds. You just pull a couple of straps loose, and unfold the sides until the framing snaps into place, and you’re all set. It’s just as easy to fold it back flat and carry wherever you and your doggo decide to go with it.
The overall look of the crate is very appealing; made from a multi-color canvas material and heavy-duty mesh for the windows; it makes for an ideal “doggie tent”. It’s octagonal in shape, which maximizes the space your dog has to turn and move around while tenting out in it.
- (+) Removable shade cover – has a zippered removable top to cover or uncover the mesh roof to keep your dog cool & ventilated. Also acts a good cover if it begins to rain.
- (+) Thick mesh ventilation – The 8 walls have durable thick mesh-windows for outdoor viewing purpose & to provide a well-ventilated space for your pup.
- (+) Optimal space – The crate has a rounded octagonal shape to open up for optimal space-usage. It gives your dog a chance to run around & stretch out.
- (+) Indoor/outdoor use – Makes a great indoor & outdoor play place or lounging hang-out spot.
- (+) Fast & easy setup – Pops open in seconds & collapses back down; folds up for easy carrying. No tools are needed.
- (+) Comes in 3 sizes – Gives you 3 different size options to pick the right size playpen for your pup. *(Small: 27” x 17”, Medium: 36” x 24”, & Large: 48” x 24”)
- (-) Not suitable for medium or large dogs – The Parkland Pet playpen has a low clearance height. They were made for smaller dogs and puppies.
- (-) Not intended for containment – Typically, most soft-sided dog crates aren’t for the purpose of keeping them contained or for crate training purposes. Soft collapsible crates have zippered doors instead of locks; they are better suited for lounging, transport, or in this case, for playing.
The Bottom Line:
We love this one for the outdoors, and there’s no reason why it wouldn’t go great in any living room for a hangout space. There is alot of wall-to-wall space for them in it. With limited height of it, the Parkland Pet is only fit for smaller breed dogs and puppies that stand pretty low to the ground. The recommended max weight for the playpen is 25 lbs. if that gives you a rough idea if it is best for your dog.
3. Arf Pets Soft-Sided Dog Crate: a Neat & Cozy Space for Carry & Car Rides (Also keeps your dog’s feet dry)
This setup is just simple and neat when it comes to the overall look. But it has a few primary features that are not so plain. They had the inside of your car in mind when they designed it with rounded corners and padding. This is the stand-out aspect about the Arf Pets that we like so much.
It’s fully washable so you can keep it clean and fresh; and hopefully giving you a long time to get good use out of it. The water-resistant bottom will also do a good job insuring your dog’s feet will stay dry if the crate comes into contact with water or rain. It’s basic, but useful and appealing. That’s what we like about it.
- (+) Stays dry – The base of the crate is made of a water-resistant material & keeps the floor from taking in water or getting damp, so your dog’s feet stay dry.
- (+) Fully washable – The material of the crate is 100% washer-friendly. That way you can keep it fresh and in have it for a good long time.
- (+) 3 Big doors – It has 3 wide open entries (top, front, & side) to make it easy for your dog to enter and exit. Also, it makes it easier for you to put them in while on the go.
- (+) Carry straps – This model has 2 detachable carry straps that hook onto the crate. Making things much easier for you while in transit than having to hold it underhand.
- (+) Good ventilation – A large percentage of this crate’s surface area is vented mesh-window. This model is very good for keeping your dog cool and making sure they get plenty of fresh air.
- (-) Only 2 sizes – The crate offers 2 size options (27. Inch & 36 inch) which both fit best for mid-sized dogs. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; it’s just a little bit exclusive.
The Bottom Line:
The makers of the Arf Pets dog soft dog crate did a good job sticking with the basic look, and still being functional. It does not have all the “bells and whistles” that the EliteField 3-Door crate has; but will still keep a dog safe, comfy, cool, and their feet dry.
The best uses for this crate would be for transit purposes. It’s a good one for road trips or a visit to the vet. It makes a good form of simple transport for more uses too, like taking your dog to a friend that is going to watch them for a weekend. As for the sizes of the crate, they are big and spacious, and can fit a good number of breeds comfortably.
The 27.5 inch holds dogs up to 40 lbs., while the 36 inch model can keep a dog up to 70 lbs. It’s a nice crate and serves it’s purpose well, although it would have been a little better if they offered 2 or 3 more sizes. Below is another comparable crate with a similar setup, but comes in a few more sizes for smaller & bigger dogs.
4. Noz2Noz Soft-Krater Indoor and Outdoor Crate: Good for Most Breeds & Sizes
Like the Arf Pets crate, the Noz2Noz has round padded corners to prevent your car from getting scraped. There’s lots of ventilation and a nice basic frame with a water-resistant base. The color scheme isn’t quite as appealing as the Arf Pet; but it has more sizes to choose from, and suits a wider variety of dog breeds.
The Noz2Noz comes in 5 different sizes; the 21 inch crate is their smallest one, and is good for dogs up to 15 pounds. The largest being the 42 inch model is rated to hold dogs up to 100 pounds. Not a bad way to bring a dog for a car ride with this one.
- (+) 5 Sizes – The Noz2Noz holding capacity ranges from 10-15 pound dogs, all the way up to 100 pound dogs (depending on what size crate you go with).
- (+) Strong material – It’s made from a durable material, mesh-ventilated windows, & roll-back sun visors to aide in your doggie’s comfort.
- (+) Easy setup & breakdown – The crate comes fully assembled. The pop-up & collapse process takes only a few seconds.
- (+) Crate is washer-friendly – When it’s time to clean the crate, just remove the outer layer of it from the steel frame, and throw it in the wash machine.
- (+) Water-resistant base – The bottom base of the crate has a protective layer to help keep water out, & your dog’s feet dry.
- (-) Only 1 color – While the Noz2Noz has more size options available than the Arf Pet, it only has 1 green color to choose from.
The Bottom Line:
The Noz2Noz is good for anyone that just wants a basic setup for a collapsible dog crate, and where protecting the interior of their car from scratches is important to them while traveling. It’s a great option if you and your “dog do the outdoors” alot; with it’s ability to keep water from pooling into it.
The Noz2Noz dog crate is a very comparable choice to the Arf Pet; except Noz2Noz will accommodate both smaller & larger dogs. They serve the same basic purpose; but Arf Pet is kind of limited to the 40 to 70 pound dog range. Other than that, both are good for taking your dog for a car venture or dog-related chore.
It’s not the ideal crate for “escape-artist” dogs, as this style crate has zip-up doors instead of locks or latches. It works well as a basic-purpose crate for longer road trips and camping adventures. There are also crates with more added features, for those of you who like more use of the crate. The previously mentioned EliteField 3-door, and the HiCaptain are perfect examples. They have more fancy features about them to be well prepared for longer trips.
Collapsible Wire-Frame Crates – Here Are Some Base-Models Worth Looking Into
Your typical wire-frame crates these days are made to collapse flat and make your life a little easier. Some of them have a carry handle so you can carry it around like a briefcase. They compact to a very flat surface, allowing you to store them in your attic or closet. Also many of them have similar components like slide out trays & multiple entries.
Beyond that, a lot of them have their own little differences that make them unique to all the others. Whichever main features and little variances you prefer; you will want one that folds and transports easily, and also encloses them safely. Here are our picks for good wire-frame enclosures.
5. MidWest iCrate Double Door Wire-Crate: the Adjustable Dog Crate with Great Space & Value
For a basic wire-frame crate, the Midwest iCrate has some cool little features. It offers 7 different size options, and comes with a divider panel to make the dog crate adjustable; making the enclosure more of a custom fit.
Convenience & safety were built into it as well to help eliminate ways for a dog to cut themselves on sharp corners. The foldable crate has a carry handle to make it even better for toting around purposes. It also has 4 small roller-cylinders on the bottom to glide along your floor & prevent scratches. The iCrate is an excellent value for the money.
- (+) 7 Sizes – They made a size for almost any dog. From the tiniest (18 inch) one for small breeds and puppies, to the extra spacious 48 inch crate. There’s plenty of room for comfort & growth.
- (+) Divider panel – The enclosure space for your dog is customizable with the divider panel it comes with. It gives you the option to let them grow into the kennel, separate 2 dogs in the crate, or just adjust it to the size space your dog feels the most calm in.
- (+) Floor-rollers – This was a clever idea. The bottom bars of the cage have small roller cylinders to protect your floor from scratching & makes it easy to move around.
- (+) Carry handle – Along with the quick fold-up aspect of the iCrate, it has a handle to hold and carry it around.
- (+) 2-Door entry – There are 2 doors (a front & a side door) to open up the crate and make it easy for your dog to climb in and out of.
- (+) Safe design – The smooth clips that hold the panels together are rounded to help prevent your dog from cuts & scrapes.
- (-) No lock – The iCrate door latches are simple levers. This is a typical design of basic wire-frame crates. If your dog likes to “Houdini” the door open, you’ll want to upgrade to a heavier-duty crate with a better lock.
The Bottom Line:
This dog kennel was truly made for dogs of many shapes and sizes. It has plenty of turn-around room, 2 big doors, and an adjustable divider panel to custom fit your pup to grow into. This is a good wire-crate for home use; it works as a good one to bring to a dog-friendly hotel, or a stay at a dog-sitter too. This is the crate you’ll want to get if you have hardwood floors that you want to protect.
Because it has so many size options, it fits most dog breeds very comfortably. With exception to maybe a “mammoth-sized” dog, such as a Mastiff. Even the 48 inch may be a little tight for them. Most any indoor wire-crate on the market is not suitable for dogs that are well over 150 pounds fully grown.
6. Precision Pet Petmate ProValu: a Folding Dog Crate With a Long-Standing Brand Reputation
The Precision ProValu is a Petmate brand dog kennel. The company that makes it has a reputation for building quality pet and dog products that “pet-parents” are pleased with for over 50 years. Without surprise, this one was a pretty well thought out design.
It offers a variety of different sizes. One of it’s more unique features is a patented 5-point door locking system to hold the door shut a more securely. This is not a heavy-duty style locking system, but for a lightweight wire-frame crate, it can help keep your dog contained a little better than some other options.
- (+) 5-Point locking double-doors – On top of the door latch, the kennel doors have 4 dog-safe hooks to further hold the door shut. Keeping “Rover” at bay, and out of the garbage can, while you are away.
- (+) Rust-resistant – The wire-frame crate has an eco-friendly rust resistant coating on it to make it longer lasting.
- (+) Very compact – The ProValu collapses down to about 2 inches thick, for when you break it down to take it on the road, or store it in the closet.
- (+) Divider panel – This crate comes with a divider panel to let you customize your dog’s enclosure space. It’s also good for crate-training puppies; as it allows you to adjust it as they grow into it.
- (+) 6 Sizes – The Petmate ProValu offers 6 different sizes (from a 19” crate, all the way up to a 48”) to accommodate for almost any breed of dog.
- (-) No rollers – Every crate has little differences regardless of of it having a very similar resemblance to comparable models. For example; this one has a better door locking system than the iCrate does, but it does not have the rollers like the iCrate has. It’s still very lightweight and easy to move, you will just need to be a bit more careful on hardwood floors.
The Bottom Line:
The Petmate ProValu is a reliable crate, made by a reputable brand with a long standing reputation. It’s a comfy crate ,and it was well thought out. It was built to last and give your dog an adjustable space to grow into. If you like the warm feeling of a dependable brand with a long-standing reputation, then Petmate is definitely that brand; with over 50 years under their belt.
This is a very good kennel to use for crate training a puppy. Expanding their enclosure space as they grow gives you more value for your money since you won’t have to buy another crate unless you want to. It’s a very lightweight and travel-friendly collapsible crate.
If you are super worried about your hardwood floors being scratched, you may need to put a throw rug or towel under the crate to protect the floor. Otherwise you can always get the iCrate. It also comes in many sizes & has a divider-panel. But you will have the added floor protection of the rollers.
7. Paws & Pals Double-Door Folding Wire Dog Crate: Lots of Latches; Ideal for Smaller Breeds & Puppies
Here’s another double-door crate that payed mind to little extra measures of containment. The Paws & Pals doubled up on the door latches to make it more difficult for your pup in training to open it. It’s still not completely impossible to open with no locks, but the extra steps do make it more difficult.
The Paws & Pals dog crate has a nice open bar-spacing; which depending on the dog, can make them feel more comfortable & at home while inside. Just be sure your dog’s head and paws are not really tiny, to avoid the possibility of them getting stuck. The kennel has many similarities to the previous ProValu & the iCrate. Here is what it has to offer.
- (+) 6 Sizes – The Paws & Pals offers a variety of kennel sizes to accommodate any puppy, and most full-grown dog breeds. Ranging from 20 inch, all the way up to a 48 inch crate. (We recommend this crate for smaller breeds & puppies though)
- (+) 4 Door latches – The crate was made as a double-door, quadruple latch system to help keep your pup inside during their crate time.
- (+) Divider panel – You will also get a divider panel with this one, to adjust to your dog’s growing needs.
- (+) Quickly collapsible – The crate collapses flat to carry, transport, and store it almost anywhere. Just like the other wire-crates, it looks like a briefcase when it folds.
- (-) Thin bottom tray – The slide-out tray on Paws & Pals is not extremely thick. There may be some challenges as far as durability goes. We recommend to use this crate for smaller dogs under 25-30 lbs. if you choose this one.
The Bottom Line:
The Paws & Pals is a fairly decent crate. It has pretty much the same setup as most wire-frame dog kennels. It is a 2-door crate, with a divider panel. It has double latches on each door, and it comes in 6 different size options.
Although, due to the slide-out floor panel being known to be on the flimsier side, it is best suited for smaller dog breeds and puppies, with one of the smaller crate-size options (20 or 24 inch). Not the ideal crate for larger breeds.
If you are buying a bigger crate for a fairly larger dog than say, 25 pounds or so; you would probably be better off going with a more reliable brand like the Petmate ProValu. Or “beef up security” a little with a heavy-duty crate. All and all, it’s still not a bad crate for smaller, less rambunctious dogs.
The most notable element that makes it worth looking into, would be the extra door latches for the added containment of your dog or pup. If you don’t have a professional “escape-artist” on your hands, but you want to take some extra precaution to making sure they don’t open the doors themselves, then this could be a good way to go for a smaller crate.
Recap – Which Style of Dog Crate Best Fits Your Lifestyle?
- The EliteField 3-Door Folding Pop-Up Dog Crate – Offers plenty of options
- Parkland Pet Foldable Dog Playpen – Best place to play
- Arf Pets Soft-Sided Dog Crate – Simple & practical
- Noz2Noz Soft-Krater Indoor and Outdoor Crate – Accommodates most dog breeds
- MidWest iCrate Double Door Wire Crate – Excellent value
- Precision Pet Petmate ProValu Dog Crate – Longstanding brand reputation
- Paws & Pals Double-Door Folding Wire Dog Crate – Suitable for small breeds
Let’s break these crates down into categories, based on your primary use for them. For frequent “on-the-go’ers”; the Elitefield 3-door gives people a colorful custom variety to pick from, and is a terrific value for it’s many features. Parkland Pet is good for having an easy to relocate playpen, and could be a fun addition on a camping trip with your dog (or just for in the yard).
The Arf Pets Soft crate is very simplistic, but has a nice look and definitely serves it’s primary purpose for car rides & outdoor trips. The Noz2Noz is a good option to accommodate a medium to fairly large-size dog on their next travel experience with their humans as well.
As far as wire-frame crates for home use and occasional trips; the iCrate is probably the best bang for your buck. It is a trusty enclosure and we feel you get a good value for the money. The Petmate ProValu is a quality made brand, with a reputation & over 50 years experience making dog kennels.
The Paws & Pals is a decent wire-frame crate that has extra door latch levers and helps keep them enclosed. However, due to the bottom panel not being the best quality, it’s a good recommendation to stick with this crate for only smaller lightweight dogs.
By now you should have a good “lay of the land” for what’s out there for collapsible dog crates. These products are a good representation of what’s on the market. We picked these particular ones for their features and special uses we thought stood out as significant.
Hopefully they gave you a better idea of what you need for when on-the-go with your dog. After considering mainly what you will be using your crate for, it becomes easier to hone in on the best crate for your lifestyle (& for your dog). The common factor being that these crates are all well-compactable, and should fit into your daily routine with much ease.