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If you like to travel with your pet, having a portable soft dog crate is a necessity and a blessing. Soft dog crates are not just good for transportation – they provide a safe space for your dog in unknown environments and offer a comfortable place to sleep on the go.

Portable soft dog crates, or soft-sided dog carriers, are a better choice for travel than hard-sided crates (metal, plastic) because they are made from flexible fabrics, which makes them lighter and easier to carry, but they're not suitable for all dogs.

Is a Soft Dog Crate a Good Choice for Your Dog?

Soft sided crates are well-suited for all dogs that are well-trained. However, if your pup is not crate trained yet, or likes to chew and scratch on things, a soft dog crate is not a good choice. Escape artists are unlikely to remain contained by soft crates as they can be damaged easily, especially compared to the hard-sided crates.

Another problem with soft crates is when a dog hasn't been potty trained, or if they have incontinence issues. Soft crates are harder to clean because their fabrics will absorb urine. And while some bases of soft crates are removable and machine washable, most are not. One possible solution for this issue are using dog diapers or pee pads.

Finally, it's difficult to find soft crates for big dogs. Large breeds (those that weight 90 lbs or more) will not fit well into most soft sided dog crates. They are heavier and stronger, and even the calmest large dogs will likely do serious damage to the crate just with their weight alone.

If these three factors do not apply to your situation, then some of these best portable soft dog crates we've tested, reviewed and ranked below may be a great choice for your pup.

Benefits of Portable Soft Dog Crates

Testing different soft sided dog cratesIn addition to being portable and lightweight, soft crates have other advantages to make them perfect for trips with a dog.

For example, they are often foldable and easy to store. Also, most soft pet crates are not just fit for indoor use – they can also be used outdoors. Many are waterproof and even though they're fabrics-based, they're often made of sturdy materials to withstand the elements and rough terrains.

Soft crates for dogs also come in a wide variety of styles, and you can find the model that suits your situation and your individual dog. Many include pockets where you can keep a dog supplies (e.g. leash, toys and treats), removing the need to carry another bag.

Many soft crates come with multiple covers that allow you to cover their mesh windows to your dog’s liking. Some dogs will prefer an open view to see what goes around them, while others will enjoy being covered to make them feel like they are in a den.

Switching Your Dog to a Soft Dog Crate for Traveling

If your dog is not already crate trained, it is better to get them used to hard crates before you try to teach the pet how to use a soft crate. Chances are that your pooch will destroy or at least damage the soft crate during the crate training process, when they're still not used to the confinement.

However, if your pooch is already crate trained, it won’t be difficult to teach them to use a soft crate as well. Move their bed, toys and bowl to the new crate and your pup will most likely switch to the soft crate on their own. If not, lead the dog into it using treats. Do this long before you set off to travel, and make sure the dog is comfortable with the new crate while you're still at home.

How to Choose the Best Portable Soft Dog Crates?

You can make the right choice by paying attention to some of these features.

Size and Height

The most important aspect is a crate's size and height. The crate needs to have enough space to make your dog comfortable and not feel cramped inside, allowing them to stand up, turn around and move easily.

How to measure a dog for a crate

Most soft crates for dogs come with sizing charts or recommendations for specific breeds. However, you should still measure the dog beforehand. Start from the top of a dog's head down to the floor. Then, measure from the tip of the nose to the base of the tail. The crate should be 1-2 inches taller and 4-6 inches longer than your pet.

Materials

Portable soft dog crates are usually made of two types of materials – one is the fabric that the crate is made from, the other is material for window panels, typically some type of mesh. Both materials should be sturdy enough to withstand a dog's scratching and pawing, and have strong stitching to prevent the dog from tearing it easily.

Framing

Perhaps as important as materials, framing should ideally be made of something durable and lightweight. Soft crates with plastic frames are only good for small dogs. For dogs that weigh more than 25 pounds, the best choice is a steel frame (although an aluminum frame could also do the job if your dog is well-trained).

Elitefield best soft sided dog crate reviews
Testing soft sided EliteField crate for portability.

Portability and Storage

Some soft dog crates are easier to store and carry than others. This depends on several factors – whether the crate is collapsible and how easily it can be folded, how much room does it take when it is folded, does it come with handles that will allow you to carry it easily and more.

Most soft crates for dogs today can be folded to save storage space, which is a great feature for traveling in cars or by plane. However, carry handles are usually included on soft crates for small breeds only, while large crates don’t come with handles.

Ventilation and Visibility

Good ventilation on any pet crate is necessary, particularly for long trips. The number of openings on a soft crate is crucial. More of them allow for a better flow of air and sunlight, and provide better visibility. Most soft pet crates come with two or three windows made of mesh fabric to provide sufficient ventilation for the dog.

Some soft dog crates come with flaps that allow you to cover the windows if your dog prefers a more secure environment. Keep the windows open on hot days or your pooch may get too hot inside, and you can cover them for whenever your pet needs some rest.

Other Features

Side Pockets. Some crates come with storage pockets where you can put your dog’s things, usually a couple of them in different sizes.

Cushioned Bottom. A crate may include a cushioned bottom or a mat to make your pooch more comfortable. Some mats or cushioned bottoms may be orthopedic, others will be water-resistant, and some can be both.

Zippers. While all soft crates will include zippers, it is important to choose crates with sturdy locking zippers so your pet can’t easily undo or destroy them.

Knowing what to look for when you buy a portable soft dog crate can help you make the right decision and pick something that'll last a long time.

Top 10 Best Portable Soft Dog Crates

1. EliteField 3-Door Folding Soft Dog Crate

With an wide selection of sizes and colors, and useful features, this soft dog crate is one of the top rated choices on the market, and our most favorite among those tested. The dimensions this crate is available in range from 20″L x 14″W x 14″H to 42″L x 28″W x 32″H, which is the largest size suitable for dogs that weigh around 90 pounds. This crate is also available in 14 different colors, which is rare.

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EliteField 3-Door Folding Soft Dog Crate, Indoor &...
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EliteField 3-Door Folding Soft Dog Crate, Indoor &...
  • Size: 20" long x 14" wide x...
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  • Free carrying bag and fleece...
  • 2 Year Warranty from...

This model has three mesh doors – one on the front, one on the side, and one on top. It came with one window on the side and a partial mesh window on the back to ensure proper ventilation and visibility.

This portable soft dog crate has a lightweight internal frame that is sturdy enough since it is made of a durable steel tube. The crate cover is made of high-quality canvas and hex mesh fabric and it can be easily removed and washed. It's foldable to ensure easy transport and storage and easy to set up when you want to use it.

EliteField 3-Door Folding Soft Dog Crate Review EliteField 3-Door Folding Soft Dog Crate Review

The crate arrived with a comfy fleece mat so your pooch can be cozy without having to put additional bedding inside. The package also includes a carrying case to make this crate portable enough when combined with the built-in handles. This soft crate includes a couple of pockets too.

Now, although this is the first choice among our best portable soft dog crates, there were a few small issues with the zippers not securing enough; they can’t be locked in position properly sometimes. Another pet owner who has the exact same crate told us that the canvas got torn quickly, even though it should be strong and durable but this could also depend on the dog.

» PROS: Available In Many Sizes and Colors, Great Ventilation System, Strong Frame, Foldable, Removable Cover, Has Pockets, Includes a Fleece Mat, Includes a Carrying Case

« CONS: Somewhat Expensive, Unsecure Zippers

 

2. 2PET Foldable Dog Crate

This is another good crate and a perfect alternative to the EliteField one. It comes in various sizes and colors as well: 5 different colors and 5 sizes, ranging from small to XX-large. The small size is 24 inches long, while the XX-large one is 36 inches long and can withstand dogs up to 90 lbs. of weight.

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  • DOING THE RIGHT THING –...

The crate came with a solid steel tube frame so it is one of the strongest crates on our list. Combined with the sturdy Oxford 600D fabric cover (a type of nylon), this product feels durable enough at the first sight. The cover can be removed and machine washed.

This soft crate has two openings – one on the bottom and one at the top. It also has two side windows to ensure proper ventilation and visibility. The crate includes carrying handles to make it easier to transport when folded.

The mesh on this crate is not very durable though, and it may be easy to tear for some dogs. The quality of the zippers could also be improved.

» PROS: Available In Many Sizes and Colors, Good Ventilation System, Strong Frame, Foldable, Removable Cover, Has Carrying Handles

« CONS: Expensive, Zipper Quality is Subpar, Some Dogs Can Easily Tear the Mesh

 

3. Noz2Noz Soft-Krater Indoor and Outdoor Dog Crate

This soft dog crate only comes in one color but you can get it in 5 different sizes to accommodate dogs from 15 to 90 pounds of weight. The accordion-like design of this crate makes it feel more spacious and your pooch will not feel cooped up in this crate.

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In addition to this, the crate has 3 zip-open doors to ensure proper ventilation and reinforced, rounded corners to make it more durable and protect your home decor. The crate has steel tube framing, while the cover is made of heavy-duty mesh fabric that is woven tightly to make it stronger.

Since this crate is also meant to be used outdoors, the base of the crate is strong and water-resistant. That also means that you can easily remove it and wash it in your machine if your dog has an accident in the crate.

The crate has a very famous problem – it came with a strong odor. It can be vented but it takes time. The mesh is not too durable for very strong or destructive dogs, and the zippers are easy to break and damage for some dogs.

» PROS: Available In Many Sizes, Good Ventilation System, Strong Frame, Foldable, Removable Cover, Water-Resistant Base, Has Carrying Handles

« CONS: Only Available In One Color, Have Strong Odor, Unsecure Zippers, for Some Dogs It'll Be Easy to Tear the Mesh

 

4. Petnation Port-A-Crate Indoor/Outdoor Crate for Dogs

This portable soft dog crate comes in four different sizes ranging from 16″ to 36″. The largest crate is big enough for dogs that weigh up to 70 lbs. However, the crate is only available in one color, although it does look appealing and stylish.

Petnation Port-A-Crate Indoor and Outdoor Home for...
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Petnation Port-A-Crate Indoor and Outdoor Home for...
  • lightweight, portable and...
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The crate has openings on the front and on the top and mesh windows on the sides to provide adequate airflow. The cover is made from the strong woven mesh fabric, while the frame is durable steel. This crate is foldable and was easy to store and carry, especially since it has carrying handles (and smaller sizes also include a carrying strap).

Unlike some other best portable soft dog crates on our list, this one actually has strong zippers that can be locked in place to prevent your pooch from opening it. But, again, the mesh may be too easy to tear for some dogs.

» PROS: Affordable, Available In Multiple Sizes, Good Ventilation System, Strong Frame, Foldable, Has Carrying Handles, Durable Zippers

« CONS: Only Available In One Color, Easily Torn Mesh, Cover Can’t Be Removed

 

5. Petsfit Soft Portable Dog Crate

If you are looking for a portable soft crate for dogs that provides great ventilation and can be used outdoors, this one is a good choice. It's available in three different sizes to accommodate different breeds. The largest size has dimensions of 35”L X 29”W X 30”H. However, this crate is only available in one color – grey.

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Petsfit 30" x24”x25(LxWxH) Inches Medium Soft...
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The crate is foldable and it arrived with a carry bag for easy transportation and storage. The canvas is made of 600D Oxford cloth, which is high-quality nylon fabric. The lining is made from polyester and the frame is made out of flexible materials. The zipper has a metal slider and nylon teeth and it seems durable enough on the first few uses.

This crate has two huge entrances and it can also be opened on the top by unzipping it. The bottom of the crate is waterproof and we also received a comfortable fleece mat with the crate that we could take out and wash in the machine.

One drawback that we've noticed is with the flexible frame which is not strong enough and the crate may seem a bit flimsy because of it. Also, researching other pet owners' reviews of this crate, we found reports of defective and easy-to-break zippers among those with large breeds.

» PROS: Available In Multiple Sizes, Great Ventilation System, Foldable, Includes  a Carrying Bag, Includes a Fleece Mat, Water-Resistant Bottom, Has Pockets

« CONS: A Bit Expensive, A Bit Flimsy, Defective Zippers

 

6. AmazonBasics Premium Portable Soft Dog Crate

This crate made by Amazon is easily one of the most affordable ones while maintaining high quality, showing the retailer’s prowess in manufacturing dog supplies. The crate is available in 5 different sizes and colors, with the biggest one able to house dogs weighing up to 90 lbs.

AmazonBasics Premium Folding Portable Soft Pet Dog...
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AmazonBasics Premium Folding Portable Soft Pet Dog...
  • Soft-sided carrier crate for...
  • Made with durable polyester...
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The portable soft dog crate has a frame made from aluminum and the cover made of durable polyester. There is one entrance but the top can be unzipped open, which allowed us to place the dog inside from the top as well. On the sides, there are two screened windows for ventilation.

This crate can be folded to provide easy transport and storage. It also has a top handle and a shoulder strap for carrying. Like the other one above, it also came with a comfortable fleece bed and there are multiple accessory pockets on the sides of the crate and on top of it.

Once again, we found the zippers to be bad quality and easy to break. The mesh also seems like it'd be easy to tear by a destructive pet.

» PROS: Available In Many Sizes and Colors, Good Ventilation System, Solid Frame, Foldable, Has Pockets, Has a Carrying Handle, Includes a Fleece Bed

« CONS: No Removable Cover, Unsecure Zippers, Easily Torn Mesh

 

7. Zampa Portable Pet Crate

This portable dog crate is available in 7 different sizes, including the largest size of any crates we reviewed with dimensions of 48” x 31” x 31”. Still, despite being bigger than some others, it is not advisable to use this crate for dogs over 90 pounds of weight. The crate also comes in two colors – grey and beige.

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This one has a single entrance on the front but it also opens on the top as well. On the sides, there are two bone-shaped windows, as well as a large square window in the back to ensure proper ventilation, although it doesn’t provide as much visibility as other best portable soft dog crates we've reviewed above. This crate is foldable, easy to store and transport. It is also the easiest crate to set up among those we've tested, with assembly done in about 2 minutes.

The canvas is made from durable materials, while the windows are made of soft mesh. The frame is made of steel, so the crate should be sturdy enough for long-term use. However, the stitching on the side windows is weak and easy to tear. Also, the zippers, which are unprotected and not durable enough, are another problem.

» PROS: Available In Many Sizes, Available In Two Colors, Good Ventilation System, Strong Frame, Foldable

« CONS: Poor Visibility, No Removable Cover, Unsecure Zippers

 

8. Arf Pets Dog Soft Crate

This soft pet crate is only available in two sizes but the larger size is 36 inches long and can hold pets that weigh up to 70 lbs. It's also only available in one color. It has three entry points and mesh windows to ensure air passage from all four sides and the top which can also be unzipped open.

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Arf Pets Dog Soft Crate 36 Inch Kennel for Pet...
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The frame of the rate is made out of heavy-duty steel, while the crate itself is made from strong and durable fabrics. The base of the crate is water-resistant and washable, so you won’t have any problems to keep it clean. However, the cover is not removable and if you want to wash it you will have to do it by hand.

This crate also included a carrying strap and it is completely foldable to make it easy to store. However, the zippers that come on all three openings could be more durable and we found them too easy to damage. They also don’t come with any locking mechanism, so your pooch may even learn how to unzip the crate.

» PROS: Good Ventilation System, Solid Frame, Foldable, Has a Carrying Strap, Water-Resistant Base

« CONS: Only Available In Two Sizes and One Color, No Removable Cover, Unsecure Zippers

 

9. Pet Gear 3 Door Portable Soft Crate for Dogs

While this crate may look too soft from the outside, the foundation of the crate is a durable steel tube frame. The frame is sturdy but easily collapsible for storage and transportation purposes. The simple push-button folding system is perhaps the best thing about this product. In addition to this, we got a storage bag for even more convenient storage.

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Pet Gear 3 Door Portable Soft Crate, Folds Compact...
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The sturdy frame is covered with 600 denier nylon covers that are removable and washable. The crate has three doors – one on the top, one on the front, and one on the side. The door on the side is the largest and allowed our pet to enter the crate with ease.

This item can be bought in many different sizes and colors, while the largest size is suitable for dogs up to 90 pounds. With the crate, we've also received a waterproof mat and a fleece pad to make the dog more comfortable.

On the other hand, the mesh on the windows could be better quality because it can be torn easily. It's a bit flimsy as well, and the zippers are not durable enough.

» PROS: Available In Many Sizes and Colors, Great Ventilation System, Foldable, Removable Cover, Has Pockets, Includes a Fleece Mat, Water-Resistant Base, Includes a Storage Bag

« CONS: A Bit Flimsy, Zippers Not Very Durable, Easily Torn Mesh

 

10. TopPets Portable Soft Pet Crate

The topPets is another foldable soft dog crate that is a good choice for traveling and it was easy to store when we weren't using it. The crate comes in three different colors but it only comes in two sizes – small and medium. That means that this crate is not suitable for large dogs. In fact, the medium size is only suitable for dogs that weigh up to 20 pounds.

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topPets Portable Soft Pet Crate or Kennel for Dog,...
  • Portable soft-sided kennel or...
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The frame of the crate is made from steel with an injection-molded lock mechanism. This is included to make it easier to put the crate up and to collapse it. The outer fabric is made of washable and water-resistant 600D fabric that is durable enough for small dogs.

The crate came with big mesh windows on all three sides, so it has air flow from all sides to keep the crate ventilated. Carrying straps are also part of the crate’s design and we also received a soft fleece mat for your dog’s comfort.

However, like most best portable soft dog crates on this list, it has a problem with low-quality zippers that are not very durable. Mesh may be easily torn as well.

» PROS: Affordable, Available In Three Different Colors, Great Ventilation System, Solid Frame, Foldable, Water-Resistant, Has a Carrying Strap, Includes a Fleece Mat

« CONS: Only Available In Two Sizes, Cover Not Removable, Unsecured/Defective Zippers, Easily Torn Mesh

READ NEXT: 11 Dog Crate Safety Tips [Infographic]

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Top 10 Best Portable Soft Dog Crates for Travel

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