The 15 Best Dog Carriers of 2022

If adventure awaits you and your dog in 2022, better have a reliable dog carrier. Dog crates come in many shapes, sizes, and colors. There are enough for even the most knowledgeable consumers to be overwhelmed with the options. Keep in mind that the best dog carrier totally depends on your pup’s dimensions (including weight) and where the carrier will go. Once you’ve gathered that information, the rest falls into place.

How to measure your dog

According to the American Kennel Club, a carrier should provide enough room for your dog to turn around and curl up or stretch out and lie down. Portable media like backpacks obviously don’t need as much space; they are meant to look more like harnesses than carriers. Now, there are definitely more options for small and medium-sized dogs (partly because larger dog breeds are less likely to be carried around). But it’s good to know your dog’s measurements anyway for things like vet visits and kennel purchases.

The measurements you need are:

The AKC says it’s wise to add a few inches to these measurements when determining which size bracket to purchase. When you hesitate between two sizes, choose the larger version. It’s better to have more space than to make your dog feel cramped.

How will you use the dog carrier?

Each dog carrier is designed for a specific purpose. Some are versatile, which is great. Others are only intended for use in certain circumstances (motorcycle carriers, for example). Don’t stray off course! If your dog carrier does not have seat belt connectors, do not use it in the car.

Always read the instructions that come with your dog carrier. We know! We know. Who reads the instructions for a glorified soft-sided bag? You should! Find out what your carrier does and doesn’t do. Familiarize yourself with it before you throw your dog in there and walk out the door. You have to know how to lengthen the straps, open and close the transport cage, clean it in the event of an accident for your dog and know how to make the adjustments in the blink of an eye…before you use it.

Consider your dog’s personality

Does your dog like to look out the window during car trips or does he prefer to hide in a comfortable, dark and quiet space? Does your dog move around a ton or generally get loose during transport? Consider these personality quirks when choosing a dog carrier. A carrier can completely change a dog’s outlook on travel depending on its design.

The best dog carriers at a glance

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Best carrier for air travel

Flying with a dog can be stressful for all parties involved. A comfortable carrier like this should have soft sides, a soft bed-like cushion, and good ventilation. We like this one because of its seat belt buckle and luggage strap. (Psst: Always be sure to check with the airline before your flight to make sure your carrier meets their requirements.)

Buy it (from $29)

Best carrier for car safety

Best-selling, this bike rack comes with seat belt straps and can be installed in the front or back seat (we recommend the backrest). This one comes in three sizes and folds up for easy storage. You can even keep it in the car to use when needed. Mesh sides provide plenty of ventilation and opportunities to watch the world go by.

Buy it (from $59)

Best carrier for long car trips

Long car trips require more space for your dog and fewer distractions for you. The Large Pet Fit Carrier is ideal as it can be secured securely with seat belts and has both top loading and side zipper doors. It is collapsible and comes with its own accessories like a water bowl and a liner. MORE! You can install it outside with small stakes at each corner to prevent it from falling or blowing away.

Buy it ($36)

Best Shoulder Bag Carrier

Are you going for a walk and want to keep your puppy close? Slip on this shoulder bag carrier for a comfortable ride. This is a sling designed with pet safety in mind: breathable fabric, reinforced buckles and a safety feature that prevents the sling from unzipping halfway through. It comes in three sizes and has an adjustable opening so your pup can expose as much or as little of their head as they want.

From $25 on Amazon

best wallet

Not only does this coin purse come in three colors (black, pink, and navy), but you can customize it any way you like! We appreciate the mesh opening and head hole (some tote bags don’t have space for a dog to stick their head out). There is also a removable cushion and additional pockets for treats or poop bags.

Buy it ($142)

Best Rigid Carrier

Rigid carriers are often good ideas for puppies who want to push their way through anything and everything. This one comes with a top-loading door that can make it easier to fit your pup into the carrier. It may be a good idea to buy a fleece insert if your dog has arthritis or doesn’t like the feel of hard support on his bottom.

Buy it (from $32)

Best Bike Rack

The best part of the K&H bike rack is the backpack function! If you ride your bike frequently or your little pup tires easily, this carrier quickly converts to a backpack with extra pockets for supplies. (K&H also makes a bike rack just for dogs who like a little more wind in their fur.)

Buy it ($68)

Best Pet Stroller

Whether you have four Chihuahuas that must share a stroller like the ChiGods or your senior pup is too arthritic to walk long distances, a pet stroller may be your best bet. This stroller from Gen7Pets has over 600 reviews and 98% of owners recommend it. It performs well on all types of terrain (gravel trail or smooth sidewalk) and has an optional canopy.

Buy it ($160)

Best carrier for motorcycles

Dogs on motorcycles? Damn, yes. The number one priority for The Rowdy Hound team is safety, which is why we chose it as the best dog carrier for motorcycles. Not only does it provide stability and balance for your dog, but it protects him from the elements and is made of durable plastic that is “impact and abrasion resistant in the event of a collision”. This thing was designed by aerospace engineers, so we think it’s pretty good.

Buy it ($1,800)

Best Backpack Carrier

Outdoor hikes and parties are great with dogs, but once your pup gets tired, it’s nice to have a backpack to put him in. The K9 Sport Sack was designed based on real customer feedback (aka, more comfortable shoulder straps and a detachable bag for goodies). It’s ventilated so hot days won’t give your pup heatstroke. K9 Sport Sack also offers an XXL version (with a much higher price tag) for larger breeds, if your Goldendoodle needs a piggyback ride.

Buy it (from $75)

Best Collapsible Crate/Carrier

Anyone who doesn’t travel with their pet often or only uses a pet carrier for occasional visits to the vet could benefit from a collapsible carrier. It saves space when not in use and offers both a shoulder strap and a handle for added versatility. It’s soft with a fleece lining and comes in four sizes.

From $55 on Amazon

Best Pet Cart Carrier

Sometimes carrying your pet is more intense than a series of triceps dips. Enter: pet carts. This cart rack not only offers a wheeled option, but also a portable option if you decide today is arm day. A seat belt feature makes this carrier even more versatile. Plus, unlike some roller holders, this one doesn’t require your pup to lean back when you roll it.

$135 on Amazon

Best Eco-Friendly Carrier

Unfortunately, finding a completely plastic-free dog carrier is very difficult. Please text us if you make one up! In the meantime, we like the Everyday Carrier from Wild One. The body of the bag is made from 80 recycled plastic bottles. (The inner lining is 100% cotton, and the lining and base contain polyester and spandex.) Plus, that lilac color!

Buy it ($150)

Best Expandable Carrier

Dogs who are happier travel partners when they have room to really stretch out will love this airline-approved expandable carrier (especially when a flight is delayed and you need to keep your pup in check). It’s lightweight, waterproof, and features a removable plush bed.

Buy it (from $38)

Celebrities’ Favorite Carrier

Said to be a favorite among celebrities like Paris Hilton, Mariah Carey and Priyanka Chopra, this backpack from Maxbone is chic and functional. Made from super soft neoprene, it also features a sternum strap for extra support when you’re on the go with your dog on your back. It comes with two liners and can be fully unzipped to lay flat as a dog lounger.

Buy it ($230)

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