Review: the HiCaptain Portable Soft Dog Crate – a Tough All-Purpose Crate With a “Soft Side”

Some crates are very basic and serve 1 or 2 purposes. The HiCaptain Portable Soft Dog Crate has many uses and unique qualities built into it.

Picking a soft-sided dog crate over a traditional wire-frame kennel absolutely has it’s advantages. The main one being they are more easily portable and less clunky when toteing it around. Beyond that, they have some more extra “perks” which we will go over shortly.

Genius Dog 336 x 280 - Animated

Beyond the convenience of transport factor, they just have more ways you can use them in your life than traditional crates. There are many soft-sided portable crates on the market that you can get your good use out of (for indoor, outdoor, & on-the-go use).

Many of them have similar features for a multitude of good uses. Most of them are a solid buy (provided you research them a bit). We’ve gone ahead and researched one for you, and we liked what we saw with this one.



The HiCaptain Portable Soft Dog Crate: Soft-Sided & Strong On the Inside

The HiCaptain portable soft dog crate has a number of little details put into it that make it so versatile, and a patented frame-structure designed to both “hold up, and fold up”. The frame is made of steel, with a collapsible spring system that can withstand about 200 lbs of pressure. and still allows you to fold it up and bring it with you wherever you go.

The crate has storage pouches, an opening to let your dog get a drink of water (along with some other features that we will dive deeper into). They designed this crate so your dog can partake in a number of different activities with you. Here’s a few ideas of what you can use this for with your dog.

Genius Dog 300 x 250 - Animated


All in One, All Purpose Crate – Designed for Many Uses

  • *Airline Travel – (provided your airline allows dogs as carry-on and this crate meets their carry-on criteria)
  • Road Trips
  • Vacations
  • Transport
  • Dog-Sitting & Family Visits
  • Camping
  • Backyard Lounging
  • BBQ’s

It also dubs as a good at-home crate for lounging around inside the house, or for when your dog wants to sit out in the back yard on a beautiful day. It’s well ventilated and can provide a nice cool place for them to lay in the shade.

The HiCaptain was built for both looks and use, with 3 color options to choose from. It offers a choice of 5 different sizes to accommodate for small dogs 10-25 lbs., and up to the 90-100 lbs. range with the largest crate size. 100 lbs. is not too shabby for a soft-model crate.


Here’s a closer look at some specific details about the crate’s different options:

Product Specs:

  • Crate Frame: Patented lightweight foldable steel tubing (can bear up to 200 lbs.)
  • Soft-Crate Material: Heavy-duty polyester oxford cloth (scratch-proof PVC coated)
  • Ventilation: Mesh fabric windows and doors

Size Chart:

  • XS: 24” L x 17” W x 17” H Cage Weight: 6 lbs. For dogs up to: 25 lbs.
  • S: 28” L x 21” W x 21” H – Cage Weight: 8 lbs. For dogs up to: 35 lbs.
  • M: 32” L x 23” W x 23” H Cage Weight: 9 lbs. For dogs up to: 50 lbs.
  • L: 36” L x 25” W x 25” HCage Weight: 10 lbs. For dogs up to: 70 lbs.
  • XL: 40” L x 27” W x 27” H Cage Weight: 12 lbs. For dogs up to: 100 lbs.


Features & Uses:

We really liked this soft crate because it has a number of features built into it’s design that make it more than just a basic crate. It serves for a handful of fun and useful purposes while at home, or away from home. Here’s a rundown of it’s amenities to give you a good idea of what it can be used for.

  1. It’s soft & strong – The exterior of this crate is made with a durable scratch-proof canvas material, and coated with PVC. Ventilated with mesh windows on all 4 sides.
  2. Steel-frame underneath – 0.8” diameter patented steel-tubing; made to withstand up to 200 pounds.
  3. Water & storage – Crate has a small storage pocket. Also has a place to strap a water bottle to it, with an opening to give dogs access to drinking water from inside the crate.
  4. Sun-roof – the top load entry dubs as a Sun-visor for outdoor use.
  5. Fleece floor mat – Comes with a removable fleece floor mat for them to get comfy in.
  6. Collapsible – The inner steel frame is fully collapsible; making it easy to fold flat for storage and transportation.
  7. 1-Year warranty – Crate is backed by 1-year manufacturer’s warranty against defects and in-box damage.


Deeper Dive:

1. Soft Crate; Strong Materials

The whole idea of this soft crate was making it built to last and hold up from wear and tear. The HiCaptain’s outer layer is comprised of a durable polyester canvas material, and coated with a PVC coating to make it scratch-proof. Atop of the steel frame and mesh-vented doors and windows, it’s kind of like a strong tent for your dog.


2. Foldable Steel Inner-Frame

There are a couple of “strong points” about this crates inner frame that make it useful. The framing of this model is made of segmented steel-tubing almost an inch in diameter. It was designed this way to make the whole thing able to fold flat and be easily transportable. Even with its segmented design, the framing is still very tough.

The steel tubing is patented, and said to be able to withstand up to 200 lbs. Even though they claim this; it’s still not advisable to “test the limits” for the sake of your dog’s safety (kind of like submerging a “water-proof” cell phone in a glass of water). However, what we are saying is that the frame was built to be durable, and is also a very strong component of this crate.


3. On-the-Go Pouches for Your Pooch

One of things that says “I’m ready for my trip” the most about this crate, is the ability to store stuff. It has a small storage pouch for you to keep doggie snacks and other items handy when you and your dog are going somewhere. A bag of treats on hand will help keep your dog content during travel.

Another storage space comes in the form of a place to strap a water bottle directly to the outside of the crate. There’s no need to bring a water bowl with you. It has an opening to put the nozzle of the water bottle through the inside of the crate, and let your dog help themselves when they get thirsty. With this, the crate itself does it’s job to make sure your dog stays happy and hydrated.


4. Sun-Roof – Adds to Their Enjoyment

The top entry has a pull-back Sun visor for when camping out with your pup, or for just lounging around in the back yard. The visor retracts, revealing another mesh window for more ventilation and letting your dog enjoy a beautiful sunny day outside and a gentle breeze. The crate also comes with 4 ground stakes to hold it down like a tent.

*Just a reminder to keep your dog hydrated and make sure they are not crated for way too long when temperatures are high. Even a well-ventilated enclosure can get hot for them; causing a dog to overheat. Please make sure your dog is safe by giving them enough time outside their crate, and water.


5. Soft Floor for Camping, Travel, and More!

Included with the HiCaptain portable dog crate is a removable fleece floor mat. It was awfully considerate of them to add something in the package to make dogs more comfortable. We wish more crates would come with some padding already included in the box. The removable aspect, is so you can clean it and keep it fresh. Or just being able to put the mat itself on your living room floor so your dog can lay on it.


6. Fold It Up & Save Space

It folds flat quickly and easily to add an extra dimension of portability to it. The quick break down let’s you pick up some extra space in your trunk when going on vacation or in your crawl space during the winter.


7. 1-Year Warranty

The HiCaptain portable dog crate has a 1-year warranty for manufacturing defects and packaging errors. Most crate makers do offer some kind of warranty, in case it came out of the box damaged or defective.


What’s Included?

The HiCaptain soft-sided dog crate comes in very simple packaging with not many components to it. It is very well ready to go right out of the box. They managed to pack a good handful of uses into this crate, and still not need a bunch of “moving parts” to pull it off.


  • 1 Foldable dog crate (already pre-assembled)
  • 4 Ground stakes
  • 1 Removable (& washable) fleece floor-mat


What’s Not Included?

  • A Water bottle

Although the crate has a strap and an opening for your dog to help themselves to some water when they are thirsty, the package does not contain a water bottle itself.


Final Breakdown:

Who’s it For?

The crate is well suited for an “on-the-go” type of person that wants to bring their dog with on road trips, or on your next camping venture. It’s a very good transport device if you are bringing them to a friend or family member’s house to dog sit for you when you go out of town.

For in home use, ideally it works best for dogs to lounge around in both indoors and out. With it’s tent-like setup, it’s perfect for your dog to lay around in the back yard somewhere in the shade. Best uses are for transport and leisure with their pups.


Who It’s Not For?

This crate is probably not the best fit for dogs for the sake of containment. If you are in the hunt for a new crate in order to keep them from tearing up your house while you are away, they will likely find a way to get out of this one (most likely by unzipping the door open).

If containment and crate-training is your reason for getting a crate, then you will want to go with a wire-frame crate or something with lockable doors. This way you can insure that your dog stays safe while you aren’t home (and so does your furniture).


Final Thoughts:

The HiCaptain portable dog crate adds to the fun of taking your dog along with on your next trip because of the way it was designed. It helps you to be prepped for your trip with the storage and water pouches during transport.

The foldable frame, the ground stakes, and the large amount of ventilation make for good fun “setting up a post” for your dog once you arrive at your destination too. Just remember; bathroom breaks, water, provisions, and making sure they don’t get overheated are an important part to them having a good time with you as well.

So have fun! We hope you enjoy your next trip with your doggo.

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