7 Best Soft Dog Crates to Buy – Reviews
Soft-sided dog crates are a modern alternative to kennels and collapsible wire crates. They are important assets for pet enthusiasts who love being on the move with their pets. Made of fabric and mesh, they can contain a dog for a while as they are also well-ventilated. When used on crate trained dogs, they are a valuable asset that is worth every single penny spent. However, they can be damaged beyond repair. This usually happens when you use them on dogs that have not been properly trained. Even a phlegmatic dog can, in a moment of frustration, damage its soft crate extensively.
The Elite Field 3-Door Crate is the number one pick in this list. It has all the qualities one would look for in a crate; it is easy to use and very durable. Its design enhances convenience as you can use any of the 3 doors to leash your pet or simply give it extra ventilation.
There are several more recommended crates that will be analyzed in this article. How do you land the best soft dog crate in a world awash with options? How do you choose it when making a purchase, what should you look out for? Read on for answers to these and more questions in this review of the best soft dog crates.
Best Soft-Sided Dog Crate:
Ranked as the best soft-sided dog crate, the Elite Field has unique features that ensure dog owners get value for the money. If you have a well-trained dog that needs a cozy but spacious retreat at home or while traveling, this is the brand for you. It measures 36 inches in length but has an extra 2 and 4 inches of space on the width and height. Not only does this make it more spacious than all other brands but also makes it an excellent choice for dogs that do not like being confined in tiny spaces.
The crate can be set up in only 30 seconds. All you have to do is remove it from the bag, place it on a firm surface, unfold it, and lock the frame in place. When traveling, it folds easily to fit into its bag, which takes up minimal storage space. The frame is made from steel, which makes the crate sturdy. Additional pockets at the top and side give room for carrying extra toys, treats and anything else that can fit in there. It also has several straps including two for lifting, although it is impossible to lift a crate with a 90lb dog in it. This may be one feature that is not quite necessary.
The design of this crate offers a mix of ventilation and privacy. The mesh on all sides means it is airy enough for your pet to feel comfortable. There is a foldable canvas that can be pulled over the mesh to enhance some privacy, especially if your dog does not mind. Like every other soft-sided crate, this one must be used for dogs that are already crate trained as it is very easy for one to chew through the mesh sides and destroy it.
- Easy to set up
- Foldable and easily portable
- Too many straps which are not useful
Best Soft Dog Crate for Car Travel:
If you are looking for the best soft dog crates for car travel, the 2Pet is a great choice. Not only is it made of durable fabric but also easily washable in the washing machine. While traveling with a pet, there is always the risk of a messy accident. It could be a spill or something worse like dog poop. Whatever the case, this soft dog crate will wipe and wash easily. The padding at the bottom is waterproof, and the extra fleece cover is also easy to clean.
The 2Pet crate has sturdy handles at the top and the sides, which make it easier to move it from one place to another. These straps are made to facilitate movement over a short distance, preferably without the dog in the crate. It is not advisable to carry the crate by the straps with your dog inside.
Although the mesh on the sides is strong, it is not well-fixed to the edges. The crate is called the best soft side dog crates for small dogs thanks to this mesh. A big dog leaning onto the mesh will cause it to rip apart. This makes the 2Pet more suited for smaller dogs and puppies. It is actually the best soft crate for puppy because it is well-ventilated with leather covers on the sides that can be rolled up for more light and air. These covers once rolled up, are kept secure by velcro straps.
- Waterproof padding
- Easy to clean
- Only suitable for small dogs as the mesh rips easily
Best Soft Travel Crate for Dogs:
With three doors - at the top and on the sides, - this crate is the best soft travel crate for dogs. Imagine opening the crate to harness your over-excited dog only for it to bolt out and force you to go after it. Well, with the Noz2Noz, you can easily open the top door and harness your dog from up. Of course, your dog will probably not bolt from the top of the crate. While this brand has mesh and canvas on all sides like the Elite Field, its canvas is firmer and stretches tighter over the side to give it a sturdy feel. Its sturdiness is also attributable to the firm steel frame.
What makes the Noz2Noz one of the best travel soft crates for dogs is the thick, rubbery padding at the bottom. It is so comfortable that you may not have to buy an extra mattress to fit in and replace the thin padding that comes with most crates. This black rubber also surrounds the bottom of the crate, almost like a skirting on the floor of a house. It is an added advantage that the floor padding has a non-slip texture for the rare event when there is a water spill.
Another advantageous feature of this crate is the rounded edges that protect household furniture. Bumping into this crate may not hurt as much as it would if the corners were sharp and not rounded.
Dogs can be messy, and there lies the one flaw of this crate. It holds odors for quite some time. God forbid anything with a strong odor spilled in there; it will be a pain to get rid of the smell. There have also been a few complaints of a strong chemical odor when the crate is new. These two reasons are way the Noz2Noz comes next after the runner-up in this list.
- Has thick rubbery padding
- May have a strong chemical smell when new
Best Soft Dog Crate for Large Dogs:
Are you wondering which the best soft dog crate for large dogs is? The crate by DogGoods is a perfect choice for owners of large dogs. What makes this crate good for large dogs? Its tough steel frame and strong canvas fabric are its best qualities. These make it quite sturdy and suitable for a large dog.
All components of the crate are easily washable, the exterior canvas can be removed, and hand-washed, the soft fleece bottom can also be removed for washing. Mark you, the bottom is waterproof and allows you to wipe off spills. The fleece, however, may not be thick enough and one might have to add blankets.
One very big flaw with this crate is that the sidebars are hard to set up, making the entire process quite cumbersome. It can be hard to get the frames to slide into place at once, but with some practice, the set-up process gets much easier. If the bars are not properly aligned, the Velcro also misaligns, making it harder to tape up the side covers.
- Large enough for big dogs
- All parts can be removed and washed separately
- Difficult to set up
- The fleece at the bottom is not thick enough
Best Portable Soft Dog Crate:
Made of oxford cloth with a polyester lining, the Petsfit is the best portable soft dog crate for more than one reason. First, it has a soft fleece mat at the bottom. This is unique, as most crates usually have thinner and less comfortable mats. The base is also waterproof so that any accidental spills are not absorbed. Another unique feature is several pockets on the sides for the dog lover who is always on the go. You can store treats, toys, and much more in these pockets.
Like other portable soft crates, it has mesh on the sides for ventilation. The cover can be pulled down to decrease visibility for dogs that love dimly lit kennels or pulled up for those that love well-lit ones.
The only worry when purchasing this crate is how well the zippers stay intact. Heavier dogs leaning on the canvas might exert enough weight to cause the seams to rip, especially where the zipper is sewn in. This may be a design flaw or a random occurrence, but it is worrying.
- Has soft fleece mat at the bottom
- Has pockets for storing toys, treats, etc.
- Zippers may come off
Best Soft-Sided Foldable Dog Crate:
This is one of the best soft-sided foldable dog crates because of its size and easily collapsible feature. While it is quite a large crate, it is not difficult to fold and takes up much less space when folded. Thanks to this feature, it is quite convenient for a crate its size. When you need it to become portable, all you need to do is fold it down to the bottom floor and latch the sides in place using the brackets that are fitted onto the bottom.
Crates by Arf Pets have an aluminum frame that is strong enough to support the weight of its fabric. It is quite sturdy, almost as sturdy as the other crates in this review that have steel frames. Because the weight is evenly distributed on the crate, it is lightweight but also stable. Dog lovers who fancy a day at the beach can easily carry this crate without fearing that it will get blown away by strong winds. To ensure proper ventilation, the crate has mesh on all sides. The front panel can be rolled up and secured with Velcro to allow your dog to move about as he pleases.
Cleaning this portable kennel will not be a hassle. The bottom is made of waterproof material, meaning no spills will be absorbed. You can easily wipe off any stains. The fabric on the sides is easily washable. Overall, caring for this kennel is easier than most, and that is what makes it the best collapsible soft dog crate.
Ironically, the crate’s waterproof bottom is also its worst feature. It is too thin to be comfortable for any dog, especially when the crate is placed on a hard surface. You will have to buy a padded mattress or a blanket to add to it and make your dog comfortable.
- Easily foldable
- The bottom is made of waterproof material
- Bottom is too thin, one must buy a thick mattress to add to it for comfort
Best Soft-Sided Pet Carrier:
This is the best soft-sided pet carrier thanks to its soft, cozy interior. It is quite comfortable for pets to sleep inside because it is made of polyester fabric all through. This fabric can be washed by hand using ordinary soap and water and also air-dried. Unlike most crates that have steel frames, this one has it made of PVC. One would argue that this makes it less sturdy, but this is not true. This crate is just as sturdy as the others reviewed so far.
It has two doors; one at the top and one at the side. These doors are covered with mesh that can be rolled up and secured with the straps. It also has windows for more ventilation. When comparing the Amazon Basics crates to other popular brands, many will notice that they are a bit more affordable. It is the best purchase for dog owners who do not have much to spend but would not like to compromise on quality.
On the flip side, the Amazon Basics crate lacks handles. Carrying it from one point to the other is a bit cumbersome. Because people prefer soft-sided crates due to their portability, the lack of them on this crate definitely throws a spanner in the works. This is not to say that the crates are not portable; they collapse very quickly to form a flat, compact, and lightweight shape that can be carried and stored very conveniently.
- Has soft, polyester interior
- Easily collapsible
- Easy to clean
- Lacks handles, therefore not very portable unless collapsed
What You Should Look for When Buying Soft-Sided Dog Crates
Even with a list of the best-rated dog soft crates for cars, it is possible to be confused when making a purchase. How do you know which one suits your needs? The following five qualities are a must-have for any crate that you choose:
- Ventilation — the best soft dog crate has mesh on the sides for ventilation. Ideally, it should have a canvas that can be rolled up to ventilate the crate and rolled down when need be.
- Sturdiness — the best portable soft dog crates are those that are sturdy enough to hold a few items on the top. Picture yourself going for an outdoor event. How convenient would it be to place a few items atop the carrier?
- Easy to set up — the whole point of a portable crate is the ease of set up. If you will have to wrestle with it as you did with a metal cage, what’s the point?
- Padded bottom — your dog will be spending quite some time in his crate. You want one that has a cushioned surface that is comfortable for him to lie on. If you compromise on this quality, you will have to buy a thick blanket or mattress to add on and make the crate comfortable.
Frequently Asked Questions About Soft-Sided Dog Crates
Can I use the soft-sided crate for training? - No, it is not advisable to use such a crate for training as your dog will destroy it.
How do I measure the size of my dog before making a purchase? - Measure the length from its tail bone to the snout and its height from the top of its head to the bottom of its paw.
How long can I leave my dog in the crate? - You can have your dog in a soft-sided crate for as long as he is comfortable. Since the crates have doors, it is best to leave one door open while in a controlled environment to allow your dog the freedom to walk in and out of the crate.
Which are the best soft-sided crates for large dogs that chew? - There is no soft-sided crate for such dogs, especially when these dogs chew through the crate fabric. It is advisable to train your dog properly before buying soft crates. Any dog that is not well-trained might get anxious when left in the crate and destroy it.
Now, You Can Make an Informed Purchase
It is never easy to get the right soft crate for your dog when there are so many options to choose from. However, with the right information, you can make the right purchase. You must know the qualities of the best soft pet carrier. These include ventilation, sturdiness, ease of set up, and a cushioned pad at the bottom. You must also understand your dog. If you have an anxious dog that will not sit still, you are better off taking time to train him before buying these soft crates. You must know whether your dog loves a lot of lighting or prefers a dimly lit crate, to buy the most appropriate one. These are just a few examples of the questions you should answer to make an informed purchase.
These best soft dog crates reviews give you a list of the best products in the market. Which of these 7 crates do you like most? Are you still undecided about your next purchase? Do not hesitate to contact us with your questions and comments about this article.