Buyer's Guides Dog Crates Soft Crates

Best Soft Dog Crates for Small and Large Breeds: 2020 Buyer’s Guide & Reviews

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If you love to bring your dog with you, wherever you go, then the best soft dog crate can be one of the best investments that you make for your pup. These crates make it easy to transport your pet, while giving them a comfortable, secure place to rest and relax.

Many advantages come with using a soft crate over a hard-sided model. Also referred to as a dog carrier, these crates are made out of soft, flexible materials, so they’re easier and much lighter to carry and transport. When you’re not using the crate, you can easily fold it down for storage. These benefits make this type of crate ideal for travel.

However, choosing the right crate for your dog isn’t easy. How can you tell if a crate is high-quality? There are so many products to choose from, finding a crate that’s functional, easy to use, and light can be a challenge. Because of this, it’s definitely worth doing some research before you buy. I’ve reviewed several of the top-selling crates on the market and I’ve narrowed it down to the five best models that all dogs will love. These crates are comfortable, lightweight, and most importantly, durable. Below, you’ll find a comparison chart that showcases each of the models that made it onto my best-of list, complete with important information, such as size options and the type of breed the crate is designed for.

Soft Dog Crate Comparison Chart

ProductSize OptionsWaterproofMax WeightRating
EliteField 3-Door Care

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5No60lbs
2PET Foldable Dog Crate

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5Yes30 lbs
Veehoo Folding Dog Crate

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5No70 lbs
AmazonBasics Folding Crate

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5No30 lbs
Go Pet Club Soft Crate

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1Yes30 lbs

EliteField 3-Door Folding Soft Dog Crate


Our Rating: (5/5)

This enclosure is available in five size options, offering a more spacious feel for your pup. It also comes fully assembled and features the classic fold-down design that so many pet owners are looking for. The frame is made out of steel tubes, with a crate cover that’s made out of six hundred denier fabric and hex mesh, for a well-ventilated design, and an enclosure that’s durable, lightweight, and stylish. The enclosure features a total of three mesh doors, located on the side, front, and top. This will allow your dog to see outside while offering ultimate breathability. For storage on the road, you’ll love the two included pockets located on the side and top. The cover and mat are removable and washable.

A fleece bed and carrying bag are also included. The handles and carrying straps make the enclosure easy to transport and highly portable.

It’s also covered by a two-year product warranty, which will give buyers peace of mind knowing that the crate can be replaced in the event of damage.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Five size options available
  • Free carrying bag and fleece bed
  • Low price
  • Highly portable
  • Fully assembled

Cons

  • Not designed for large breeds
  • Max weight of sixty pounds

Conclusion

This enclosure comes in five size options, with a max weight of sixty pounds. The crate isn’t designed for large or extra-large breeds and isn’t recommended for destructive dogs. The highly portable design, comfortable fleece bed, and convenient carrying handles and shoulder strap allow you to easily take the crate with you, wherever you go. It’s great for home use and on the go, providing the type of secure, comfortable sleeping and resting space that will keep your dog content when you’re traveling or on the road.

2PET Foldable Dog Crate


Our Rating: (4.5/5)

This soft, foldable enclosure is a model that combines innovation and functionality, resulting in a highly portable and secure crate that will keep your dog comfortable and secure. It’s designed for both indoor and outdoor use, and its durable design makes it perfect for travel. The tough steel tube design improves the enclosure’s durability, yet it still features the type of lightweight design that allows you to easily break it down, set it up, and transport it. The included top handle also adds to the enclosure’s portability, so you can pick it up and go. The cover is made out of soft material that’s water-resistant. The oxford six hundred denier material is machine washable, breathable, and comfortable. The durable zipper will prevent even destructive dogs from escaping.

The mesh panels and bone-shaped windows make the enclosure highly breathable while allowing your dog to check out their surroundings. This model also comes with a washable fleece cushion pad and a waterproof mat, so it will work for seniors who have the occasional accident or pups who are still going through the potty training process.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Portable
  • Foldable
  • Durable
  • Includes waterproof cover and mat
  • Fleece cushioning

Cons

  • Max weight of thirty pounds
  • Not recommended for medium, large, or extra-large breeds

Conclusion

This model comes equipped with a steel tube frame for ultimate durability, without adding too much weight. Folding and unfolding the enclosure is a breeze, thanks to the instant push-button mechanism that allows you to collapse or open the crate in seconds. The outer cover is made out of water-resistant material, so it can be used both indoors and outdoors. Since it has a soft bottom design, it’s not recommended for larger dogs that weigh over thirty pounds. However, if you’re looking for a durable, reliable crate for extra-small and small breed dogs, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a model that’s as comfortable and convenient to use.

Veehoo Folding Soft Dog Crate


Our Rating: (4.5/5)

This model is designed for large breeds up to seventy pounds. It’s made out of durable six hundred denier oxford fabric and comes complete with heavy-duty mesh, for ultimate breathability. The enclosure comes equipped with a total of five mesh windows and three roll-up entrance doors located on the left, front, and top of the enclosure. The semi-closed design will allow you to keep a close eye on your dog. The durable steel frame design is perfect for larger breeds, while the washable fleece mat can provide the type of comfort and joint support that older dogs need. Setting up the enclosure is simple, thanks to the retractable springs and collapsible steel frame. The adjustable strap and easy carry handle will allow you to quickly pick up the crate and go.

Pros

  • Designed for large breed dogs
  • Fleece bed
  • Carry handle and strap
  • Lightweight design
  • Ultimate breathability

Cons

  • Not designed for small breed dogs
  • Cover is not waterproof

Conclusion

This model is perfect for medium and large breed dogs that weigh in at seventy pounds. It’s collapsible design and spring action will allow you to quickly set up and break it down. It’s a great choice for car travel, vacations, camping, and indoor use. The outer cover is not made out of waterproof material, so it’s not a good choice for outdoor use, however, if you’re looking for a secure enclosure, one that’s comfortable and highly portable, then this is a model that definitely delivers.

AmazonBasics Folding Soft Dog Pet Crate Kennel


Our Rating: (4.5/5)

This is a smaller crate that’s not designed for medium breeds and up. Instead, it’s a better choice for extra-small and small breed dogs that weigh up to thirty pounds. The enclosure comes with a couple of doors located on the front and top, mesh windows on all four sides and on the front door, which is designed to keep your pet cool and happy during transport. The crate is made out of polyester fabric and PVC tubing, so it won’t be a great choice if you have a hyper puppy or a destructive dog. The enclosure will fold completely flat, so it’s perfect if you’re looking for a model that offers a space-saving design. A great choice for calm dogs who in a secure place to sleep and rest, this model will work for outdoor adventures such as camping and road trips, but due to the flimsy frame, I wouldn’t recommend it for air travel or dogs with behavior issues.

Pros

  • Perfect for extra-small and small breeds
  • Lightweight
  • Fully collapsible
  • Breathable design

Cons

  • Not recommended for destructive dogs
  • Not a good choice for air travel
  • Max weight limit of thirty pounds

Conclusion

This soft enclosure is a great buy for the dog owner with an extra-small or small breed dog, who needs a model they can use on the next family vacation. However, due to the flimsy frame and thin cover, it’s not recommended for destructive or hyper dogs, and cannot be used outdoors in inclement weather, since the cover is not waterproof. This model is best suited for calm dogs who are not escape artists and need a comfortable place to rest their head during the next car trip or camping adventure.

Go Pet Club Soft Crate


Our Rating: (4/5)

This affordable, lightweight crate is highly portable and made out of heavy-duty, polyester material that’s water-resistant, so it’s designed for both indoor and outdoor use. The screen mesh doors allow your dog to take in the sights and are designed to keep them cool and happy, providing better than average airflow, which is essential if you live in a hotter climate or you’re traveling with your dog during the summer months. The frame is made out of PVC material, so it’s not the sturdiest frame, however, since the crate is designed for small breed dogs, this shouldn’t be an issue. The fast-folding design allows you to quickly pack up and go. When fully collapsed, the enclosure is only two-inches thick, so it can easily be stored in a trunk, under the bed, or a spare closet. The three windows add to the highly breathable design and can be rolled up or rolled down if your pup needs some peace and quiet.

Pros

  • Three windows
  • Breathable design
  • Lightweight
  • Waterproof

Cons

  • Thin padding
  • Not designed for medium-sized dogs and large breeds

Conclusion

This affordable, waterproof enclosure is perfect for extra-small and small breed dogs. The highly breathable design is perfect for summer travel, while the fully collapsible design will allow you to store the enclosure pretty much anywhere. However, the included padding is rather thin, so if you have a dog who has joint issues, you may need to purchase extra padding or a fleece bed for extended use.

Soft Dog Crate Buyer’s Guide

There are many reasons why a dog owner would want to purchase this type of crate. First, soft crates are more comfortable compared to metal crates, so it will quickly become your dog’s go-to space to rest and relax. Additionally, it’s easy to store and highly portable, so you can take it with you when you travel. Basically, these crates are the perfect space for a dog to go to when they’re anxious, stressed, or tired.

If you have a smaller dog, then it’ll also come in handy. If you have a small breed dog that weighs under ten pounds, then you’ll find that these crates give you a more convenient way to transport your dog, or have them with you during the day, when you’re running errands, without having to worry about their comfort and security.

This type of pet enclosure doesn’t require screws, locks, hinges, or panels, which makes them incredibly convenient for storage and transport. When it comes to camping and vacations, they’re the best choice.

But if you don’t want to end up with an uncomfortable, flimsy crate, there are many factors to take into account, such as ease of assembly and setup, cushioning, ventilation, and size.

Size

Most soft-sided crates are very small, so double-checking what size of kennel your furry companion will need will be important. A dog needs enough room in a crate to be able to stand up and turn around. A model that’s too small will make your dog feel imprisoned and cramped. Check out a crate’s spec sheet and pay attention to the dimensions and breed recommendations.

Shoulder Strap

If you’re the owner of a small breed dog, then you’ll also want a model that comes with a shoulder strap, which will make it much easier to transport the crate and your pup. The strap should be padded and highly adjustable.

Frame

pretty kennel

The quality of the frame is the next important factor to consider before you buy. Look for a model that has a well-built frame that’s lightweight. Most models will come with a pop-up style frame. A frame that’s too heavy can have a negative impact on its portability. However, a flimsy frame can make the crate unsafe for your pet. There are many top of the line models that have lightweight, durable frames.

Ventilation

Many models will come equipped with windows that are made out of mesh material. This type of material provides the type of ventilation the crate needs to keep your dog cool and comfortable. Finding a model that offers excellent ventilation will be important, especially if you live in a hotter climate and you plan on having your dog travel with you in the car.

Bottom Design

All crates will come with a mat that fits inside the bottom of the crate. It should be heavily padded and washable. If the mat lacks padding, then it can be very uncomfortable for your pet. If you have an older dog that has joint problems, then you’ll want a model that features orthopedic padding. If you have a younger dog, who isn’t yet potty-trained, then you’ll want to ensure that the mat is washing machine friendly.

Visibility

How much visibility do you want your dog to have? Are they very anxious and stressed when they travel? If so, then you’ll need a model that provides a quiet, dark, safe space for your dog to rest during transport. On the other hand, some dogs may have anxiety if they’re not able to see out of their crate well. There are many models that come with zippered panels and adjustable covers, which will allow you to easily control a dog’s visibility by zipping up windows or adding the cover to give your dog a quiet place to relax, or you can open the window panels and allow your dog to take in the sights.

Assembly

While most crates are pretty easy to set up, there are some that will require more setup and assembly steps than others. There are also models that won’t require any tools for the assembly process. If you travel often, then you’ll want a model that can be set up and broken down easily and quickly.

Storage

Since you probably won’t need to use this type of crate often, you’ll want one that can collapse and fold down easily, for compact storage. A collapsible design will save tons of space. Many of these models will have a foldable, accordion-style structure that will allow you to lower the height, which makes them very easy to store.

Pockets

Storage pockets will come in handy if you take your crate on camping trips and other types of long, outdoor adventures. Some crates will come with one or two built-in pockets, so you can store treats, dishes, water bottles, toys, and other dog gear. Pockets will allow you to store all of your dog’s supplies and stay well-organized when you’re on the road.

Benefits: A Portable Crate for Easier Travel

These crates are flexible, space-saving, lightweight, and portable. Many types of soft-sided crates come equipped with great features that are designed to make travel much easier for both you and your dog. They’re very versatile and can provide your dog with a cozy, comfortable spot to relax, take in the sights, and sleep.

Ultimate Comfort

Unlike a plastic or wire crate, this style of crate is made out of soft fabrics that make them incredibly comfortable. There are many models that are equipped with thick cushioning, so it’s bound to quickly become your dog’s favorite spot to rest on the road or if you decide to leave it set up at home.

Low Weight

Aside from comfort, another big plus that comes with a crate that’s made out of softer materials is the lightweight design. These crates tend to weigh significantly less than wire or plastic models, so it won’t be difficult to move, carry, or transport.

Great Visibility

If you have a dog with anxiety, then keeping them contained in a crate, while allowing them to see their environment is a great way to reduce anxiety while also making your pet feel safe and secure.

A Cooler Way to Travel

As I mentioned earlier, these crates are also highly breathable. Unlike models that are made out of plastic, these enclosures offer excellent airflow, which is crucial if you’re traveling in the summer or you live in a warmer climate. A plastic model will not have very many openings, which can easily cause your dog to overheat.

Collapsible

Most soft-sided crates are collapsible, allowing the owner to fold them down if they’re not in use and easily store them in a trunk, small closet, or under the bed. This type of space-saving design is perfect for homes or cars that are short on space.

Perfect for Travel

The biggest benefit is the fact that these crates are perfect for travel. Their light weight makes them perfect for travel since they’re so easy to carry around. Additionally, the foldable design will also come in handy when your car is filled with plenty of other gear for your road trip or vacation. However, you should know that some of these models cannot be used for air travel. Only crates that are IATA certified can be used in the cabin.

Great Choice for Calm, Small Dogs

This type of crate is the best choice if you own a small breed dog. Unfortunately, they’re not a great option for larger breeds. They’re also ideal for calmer dogs who simply want their own safe space to relax in, but don’t really need a crate that can contain them.

When Are Soft-Sided Crates a Bad Choice?

This type of crate will not be a good choice for all dogs. In some cases, a dog will benefit more from using a model that’s made out of wire or metal.

Behavioral Issues

If you’re having a hard time teaching your dog commands and basic training, they’re destructive, and you need a crate that can keep them contained, then this type of crate is a bad choice. Because of the soft construction, the crate is easy to tear and escape from, compared to a standard style metal crate. This makes them unsuitable for aggressive dogs or young pups. These dogs would benefit more from an indestructible enclosure.

Safe Car Travel

If you travel with your dog in the car daily, then this type of crate may not be the best option, since they cannot provide the same type of safety and security that a metal crate can. These enclosures aren’t designed to protect a dog in the event of an accident, in which case plastic and wire crates are a better choice. Soft enclosures are a much better option for infrequent travel, such as a road trip, camping trip, or vacation. However, they’re not great if your dog travels often in the car with you.

Not Potty-Trained

Accidents happen, but if your dog is not potty trained, then you may find yourself constantly tossing the crate’s mat in the wash. This can wear out the padding or, if it has an orthopedic mat, you may find it difficult to get the smell out.

Escape Artists

If you have a very clever dog who somehow always manages to escape out of their confined space, then a soft enclosure may not be the best choice. Because of its presence of zippers, a dog that’s determined can easily find a way to undo the zipper by pawing at it. For these types of dogs, a wire or plastic model with locks and a secure, more durable design will be a much better choice.

Outside Dogs

Even though many of these enclosures can be used outdoors, keeping one outside at all times is a bad idea. If you’re looking for a durable crate to set up for outside use only, then go with a plastic model, which is designed to withstand the elements and provide your dog will some shelter from inclement weather.

Final Thoughts

The best soft dog crate can quickly become your dog’s favorite place to rest. They don’t just provide coziness and comfort, but they will also give you some peace of mind knowing that your dog is secure and safe. With the right model, your dog can travel in style and total comfort, it will be easy to set up and break down, and you’ll have a more convenient way to travel with your pet on your next camping trip, road trip, or flight. My guide and product recommendations are designed to help you make the best choice for you and your pet, based on your budget, their personality, and space needs. I hope this guide has helped to point you in the right direction, so you end up with a durable crate, one that’s reliable, easy to use, and designed to keep you and your pup happy when you’re on the road.