The Best Dog Carriers (2021 Reviews)

Skylar Dial
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Your pet needs to get to the veterinarians, from boarding, to dog shows, to the family vacation near or far, to your local neighborhood bar you need to get them there. They need a dog carrier.

Finding the best dog carrier is something of a mission for anyone who has to cart their four legged friend around, after all there is no shortage of options to choose from. An easier way to compare and contrast the various offerings is to first determine what you are looking for in a dog carrier.

Some carriers will be more suited to your needs than others. Here is a look at the different features you may want to consider while choosing a dog carrier:

NameCategoryProduct
Sherpa Travel Original Deluxe Airline Approved Pet CarrierBest OverallSherpa Travel Original Deluxe Airline Approved Pet Carrier
Paws & Pals Airline Approved Pet CarrierBudget PickPaws & Pals Airline Approved Pet Carrier
Kurgo Dog Carrier BackpackUpgrade PickKurgo Dog Carrier Backpack

1. Sherpa Travel Original Deluxe Airline Approved Pet Carrier

Our rating: 9 / 10

Sherpa Travel Original Deluxe Airline Approved Pet Carrier

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2. EliteField Soft Sided Pet Carrier

Our rating: 9 / 10

EliteField Soft Sided Pet Carrier

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Pros:

  • Removable and adjustable dividers Are ideal for organizing and protecting your pets
  • The built-in safety buckle keeps your pet safe and secure
  • Very stylish and durable
  • The 3D mesh window allows you to easily see your pet
  • Made from high-grade materials
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Comes with a storage pouch

Cons:

  • Accepts small to medium-sized pets only
  • There’s not enough padding
  • More expensive than other dog carriers

We often recommend this dog carrier to our customers because it is airline-approved. It’s also waterproof so it keeps your cat from walking around and spreading his dirt inside the car.

What’s more, the mesh window also allows the pet to enjoy the scenery while in its carrier.

This carrier is perfect for medium-size dogs and cats. It’s capable of fitting a pet up to 14 pounds.

3. Premium Airline Approved Expandable Pet Carrier by Pet Peppy

Our rating: 9 / 10

Premium Airline Approved Expandable Pet Carrier by Pet Peppy

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Pros:

  • Easy to transport
  • Fits multiple pets at a time
  • Secure design
  • Holds up to 15 dogs

Cons:

  • Stitching at the seams
  • No separation for multiple pets
  • Hard for dogs to go in and out

The Pet Peppy pet carriers are made to shape fit your pet. They can hold dogs or cats up to 15 pounds each. Can also be used for multiples. There’s room for two carriers in one.

This carrier is approved for use on all major airlines and will fit under the seat in front of you. There are ventilation holes at the bottom, top and sides. It’s not too much so that they are open and letting in all sorts of air.

One of the great things is that the price is pretty low and you can use it for other pets besides dogs, which is great.

4. Alfie Pet

Our rating: 8 / 10

Alfie Pet

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Choosing the right pet carrier for your four-legged friend can sometimes be a bit tricky. Especially if you have multiple pets. The Alfie pet sling is one of the most popular pet carriers out there and for several good reasons.

Because the pet is in front of you, you have complete control of the direction and position, which makes it easier for your pet, especially if they’re anxious or if they want to see what’s happening.

The sling is made of the breathable mesh fabric and is durable and lightweight. It’ll last you a long time. However, the mesh is delicate so you’re advised to be careful.

5. PetAmi Deluxe Pet Carrier Backpack

Our rating: 8 / 10

PetAmi Deluxe Pet Carrier Backpack

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Coming in at fourth on our review, this carrier comes with a large foam pad for superior comfort.

The interior of the bag is made of a 600D oxford cloth that’s easy to wipe clean.

This bag is great for travel, hiking, walking long distances, and even daily adventures. It’s designed to be ventilated, so it’s not suitable for long car rides in hot weather.

6. Kurgo Dog Carrier Backpack

Our rating: 8 / 10

Kurgo Dog Carrier Backpack

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Pros:

  • You can use a tablet while walking your pet so you have both hands free
  • Great for trips to vet – easier to carry your dog
  • For small to medium sized pets
  • Allows you to carry your pet without any problems
  • If you travel often for work, this is a great carrier
  • If it rains you are dry, if you go out in the snow, your dog is warm
  • This backpack carrier is very light so you don’t feel any extra weight
  • It is all machine washable: the straps, the bag, and the bottom
  • It is airline approved for small pets from 8-14 pounds
  • The best feature about this backpack carrier is that your pet has complete freedom of movement

7. K9 Sport Sack

Our rating: 8 / 10

K9 Sport Sack

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Pros:

  • The Backpack offers durability and comfort for pets
  • The adjustable straps makes transporting pets super easy
  • Backpack is small and compact in size for easy carrying
  • The soft interior padding helps keep pets comfortable while carrying them around
  • Backpack has a mesh and ventilated design which helps keep pets comfortable
  • Backpack can be used by pets up to 20 pounds
  • The shoulder straps are padded and easy to carry
  • The high-quality material is perfect for long-term use
  • Adjustable straps make it easy to fit dog of different sizes
  • Can be used for small and medium dog breeds

Cons:

  • Backpack can cause a safety concern for pets
  • Backpack is not easy to use and put on
  • Other dog carriers are more portable

The K9 Sport Sack is a practical and functional backpack for dogs. Pets can use it to travel around, or limit their spaces. It is ideal for smaller dogs and contains adjustable straps for easy application and removal. The material is durable and comfortable for long-term use in different weather conditions.

8. YUDODO Pet Dog Sling Carrier Breathable Mesh Travel Safe Sling Bag Carrier

Our rating: 8 / 10

YUDODO Pet Dog Sling Carrier Breathable Mesh Travel Safe Sling Bag Carrier

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If you’re looking for a dog carrier that’s a bit different and high-quality, then this sling carrier from YUDODO could suit your needs.

Aside from being comfortable and stylish, this dog sling carrier allows you to see your pet without having to remove them from the bag.

It’s available in five different colors: black, wine red, sky blue, khaki, and gray. The bag also comes with a small hoop so you can put on a pet leash.

9. Petsfit Soft Pet Backpack Carrier

Our rating: 8 / 10

Petsfit Soft Pet Backpack Carrier

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Pros:

  • Secures your pet to prevent them from barking or causing a hassle when you’re out and about
  • Plenty of ventilation to keep them happy
  • High-quality material that’s durable
  • Can be used on most animals – even cats!

Cons:

  • Velcro – while it’s good that the set can accommodate pets of varying sizes, the Velcro could potentially irritate them if it snags their fur
  • Doesn’t allow for much access, which means you’ll need to find a place to place the set down when you want to interact with your pet
  • Maybe a bit small for some dogs

Travel, and Dog Walks.

Every dog owner can appreciate how difficult it can be to try and socialize your pet. They’re fidgety creatures, a trait that often causes trouble while you’re trying to cross town or navigate other environments. But the Petsfit soft pet backpack carrier lets you keep your dog safe and secure while out and about.

10. Paws & Pals Airline Approved Pet Carrier

Our rating: 8 / 10

Paws & Pals Airline Approved Pet Carrier

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Pros:

  • Stylish design suits most cars
  • Made from durable, lightweight materials
  • Adjustable shoulder strap
  • Minimal assembly required
  • Comes with a bolster bed
  • The inside is highly durable
  • Large size
  • 18-month warranty on defects and conditions beyond normal wear and tear
  • Best for small and medium-sized pets
  • Comfortable for pets

Cons:

  • Lacks a floor to easily clean stains
  • Few opinion on durability
  • Lid is made with a thinner plexiglass material
  • Handle is not meant for large pets
  • Hard to store flat

There’s little doubt that the Paws & Pals pet carrier is one of the best travel options on the market. It is suitable for everyone who is searching for a safe and comfortable pet carrier to use for airplane travel, car travel, or strolling around the neighborhood.

11. TOMKAS Small Dog Cat Carrier Sling Hands Free Pet Puppy Outdoor Travel Bag Tote Reversible

Our rating: 8 / 10

TOMKAS Small Dog Cat Carrier Sling Hands Free Pet Puppy Outdoor Travel Bag Tote Reversible

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Let’s start with the TOMKAS dog carrier. This is a perfect back-packing/camping companion for both large and small pets.

The TOMKAS dog carrier is well made and lightweight. It weighs less than a pound and because it’s designed to be ‘folded flat’ you could easily pop it in the trunk when you’re going to the beach or camping. And when you don’t need to use it, it would take up a bit less room.

The carrier is made of quilted material which keeps it from getting too hot. The shoulder strap is adjustable for those of you who have sloping shoulders and the mesh is not brittle or sharp. It’s also padded for the comfort of your pet.

12. Ytonet Dog Backpack Carrier

Our rating: 8 / 10

Ytonet Dog Backpack Carrier

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Pros:

  • Lightweight for comfort
  • Compatible with pet carriers
  • Works for all sizes of pets
  • Sturdy
  • Breathable mesh
  • Easy to clean
  • Easy to assemble

13. Mogoko Comfortable Dog Cat Carrier Backpack

Our rating: 8 / 10

Mogoko Comfortable Dog Cat Carrier Backpack

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Pros:

  • Perfect for traveling
  • The straps are adjustable to ensure a good fit
  • Light in weight
  • Comes with a lifetime replacement warranty
  • Very comfortable
  • Last for a long time

Cons:

  • Some users have reported the clip breaking
  • Has a bad animal smell out of the box
  • The bag can become heavy with a full dog in it

(L)

If you’re looking for a pet backpack, this is one of the best. The product is described as a shoulder bag, but it’s in fact, a backpack with adjustable straps and clips. It comes in two sizes – small and large. In the small size, the bag can be used for cats, while the large size can be used for dogs.

The product is lightweight, and can hold up to 25 lbs. Ideally, it’s better suited for medium-sized pets. The straps are strong and breathable, for added comfort. It’s also made from high-quality materials, including a BPA-Free Tarpaulin material which is also durable and water repellent.

14. Pawaboo Pet Carrier Backpack

Our rating: 7 / 10

Pawaboo Pet Carrier Backpack

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The Pawaboo carrier is perfect for hiking or walking your dog, or even bringing your cat to the vet. It’s designed with large mesh windows so you can see your pet and make sure they’re safe and comfortable.

The carrier has several handles which makes it easy to carry. The top handle is especially useful if you’re carrying your pet on a train or bus. It also comes with an adjustable strap to ensure that the carrier is always properly fitted around your shoulders or waist.

The fabric of the carrier is waterproof. This means that you can easily take your dog to the beach or through the rain. However, the material can feel rough against your skin, so make sure that you wear something soft underneath.

15. GEEPET Legs Out Front-Facing Dog Carrier Hands-Free Adjustable Pet Puppy Cat Backpack Carrier

Our rating: 7 / 10

GEEPET Legs Out Front-Facing Dog Carrier Hands-Free Adjustable Pet Puppy Cat Backpack Carrier

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Pros:

  • Packed with useful features
  • Very comfortable for your pet
  • The ideal choice for tall people
  • Excellent construction
  • Reasonable price
  • Available in two sizes for small and large dogs
  • Available in multiple colors

Cons:

  • The product can’t be used in the car
  • The front door doesn’t close completely
  • The zippers are small and thin
  • The side pockets aren’t deep enough
  • Backrest can’t be adjusted

If there is a dog carrier that can accommodate your pet, GEEPET Legs Out Front-Facing Dog Carrier is one of them. It has everything you could want in the carrier.

The carrying handle is padded and adjustable so you can wear it comfortably. It also features a strap that you can wear around your shoulder, and a waist strap that you can put across your chest. The adjustable waist strap lets you change the balance of the carrier as necessary.

The best feature of this carrier is that it offers a wider range of adjustability for heights. You can wear it with your arms out in front of you or you can move your arms down toward your chest. This gives you full control over the way you want to carry your pet.

16. NICREW Legs Out Front Dog Carrier

Our rating: 7 / 10

NICREW Legs Out Front Dog Carrier

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Comfortable Soft Leash, Pet Face Masks, Front Seat Belts- Free Pocket Book, Doggie Inserts.

Looking for a dog carrier that allows you to carry your pet effortlessly? Then we recommend the NICREW Packed Dog Carriers with the built-in Leg-Out Front Leash.

Although there are plenty of other dog carriers that are ideal for bigger dogs, this carrier can also be used by both small and large dogs.

17. PetLuv "Happy Cat Premium Cat Carrier Soft Sided Foldable Top & Side Loading Pet Crate & Carrier Locking Zippers Shoulder Straps Seat Belt Lock Plush Pillow Reduces Anxiety

Our rating: 7 / 10

PetLuv "Happy Cat Premium Cat Carrier Soft Sided Foldable Top & Side Loading Pet Crate & Carrier Locking Zippers Shoulder Straps Seat Belt Lock Plush Pillow Reduces Anxiety

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Pros:

  • 30 days money back guarantee
  • Comes in a bunch of colors and sizes
  • The stylish and practical design
  • Excellent customer service
  • Space-saver

Cons:

  • Uncomfortable shoulder strap
  • Not very durable
  • Not very good ventilation
  • Relatively small
  • Only for cats

As far as dog carriers are concerned, there are a wide range of things to consider. The way you’re going to use the dog carrier may make you consider one over another. Your dog’s weight and size may influence your decision as well.

PetLuv is a company that makes pet carriers, and one that is well-respected and praised for its practicality and quality. If you’re looking for a cat carrier, then you might want to take a closer look at the PetLuv Happy Cat Premium cat carrier.

The carrier has a waterproof bottom, which makes it easy to clean. The breathable mesh fabric in the top and sides help keep your dog cool and comfortable. The carrier is made from heavy-duty material so it can handle your dog’s weight. The material itself is also rather sturdy and can handle rough treatment.

18. Whizzotech Adjustable Pet Carrier Backpack Pet Frontpack Carrier Travel Bag Legs Out Easy-Fit

Our rating: 7 / 10

Whizzotech Adjustable Pet Carrier Backpack Pet Frontpack Carrier Travel Bag Legs Out Easy-Fit

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If you are planning to take your pet with you on a leisurely stroll, he or she is going to end up with a lot of hair getting on your clothes! With this backpack pet carrier from Whizzotech you can bring your darling pet with you wherever you go, without the hair getting on your clothes or items in your bag.

It can easily be adjusted according to your pet’s size, allowing it to remain comfortable while traveling. The soft cushioning on the backpack absorbs some of the weight, keeping your back comfortable. The backpack also comes with padded shoulder straps, and a small handle on top.

19. PetBonus Denim Front Kangaroo Pouch Dog Carrier

Our rating: 7 / 10

PetBonus Denim Front Kangaroo Pouch Dog Carrier

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Pros:

  • Durable and sturdy
  • Extremely comfortable
  • Air circulation

Picking Up, Lightweight, Durable, Perfect for Senior Dogs.

PetBonus dog carrier is the newest design in dog carriers. It will make dog walking easier than ever before. They have added carrying straps, so you no longer have to bear most of the weight yourself, also the adjustable legs outlet, which allows your dog to step out of the bag easily in case of a toilet break.

The backpack becomes very comfortable to wear as padded shoulder and waist straps ensure that it won’t have to wear for an extended period of time. This model is sewn from denim, which allows a great air circulation inside the bag. When it comes to the quality of stitching, they use the most heavy-duty thread to ensure that they will provide maximum durability and long lasting time.

20. eleQuint Small Pet Hiking and Travel Backpack Lightweight Durable Airline Approved

Our rating: 6 / 10

eleQuint Small Pet Hiking and Travel Backpack Lightweight Durable Airline Approved

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Pros:

  • The backpack is sturdy, durable, and well-made
  • Has a thick exterior material
  • Also comes with straps and a handle
  • Comfortable to wear for a long time
  • Excellent safety feature
  • Perfect for travelling and hiking
  • The interior is spacious enough to hold your small pets comfortably
  • The safe straps keep everything secured
  • The exterior fabric doesn’t cause any irritation on the pet
  • Comes at a reasonable price

Cons:

  • There’s a slight flex in the frame after using it for a long time
  • The zipper on the main compartment is quite weak and fragile

Pack up your pet and take them on a journey or a hike – the eleQuint Small Pet Backpack is the perfect partner. Carrying pets isn’t easy, but this backpack makes it easy with its 25% larger space, which allows you to bring your small pet along. It includes a sturdy frame to keep your pet safe as well as keeping them in place.

21. FurryFido Reversible Pet Sling Carrier

Our rating: 6 / 10

FurryFido Reversible Pet Sling Carrier

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Pros:

  • Best for smaller breeds
  • Made from sturdy and durable materials
  • Breathable and ergonomic design
  • Fits both cats and small and medium dogs
  • Backpack style carrier; maximum comfort for pets
  • Can be used as a front carrier or as a sling
  • Easy to clean

Cons:

  • Somewhat expensive
  • Does not come with a handle, which makes it hard to carry for older people

22. Timetuu Pet Sling Carrier

Our rating: 6 / 10

Timetuu Pet Sling Carrier

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It’s safe to say the Timetuu pet sling carrier is one of the best sellers on the market. We like this product because of its ergonomics.

It’s a fantastic option for pet owners looking for a more balanced experience. Plus, its a dog carrier which can be carried hands-free which is great for both you and your pet.

The straps are nicely padded and conform to your body for increased comfort. You can adjust the length of the straps to suit your needs. And if you’re carrying a heavier pet, you’ll welcome the additional padded shoulder strap to accommodate your weight. It’s very lightweight at just 1.2 lbs.

23. Pet Carrier Backpack

Our rating: 5 / 10

Pet Carrier Backpack

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Pros:

  • Available in two sizes – small and medium
  • The backpack comes with mesh panels for air ventilation
  • They’re safe and comfortable for your pet
  • Great value for money compared to other pet carriers
  • Easy to clean
  • Includes a convenient carrying strap
  • The fabric is sturdy
  • The seams are well-made to ensure your pet’s safety
  • Made from high-quality material
  • Includes a matching leash, which is also durable

Cons:

  • The quality is not as good as it could be for the price
  • The handle of the bag isn’t sturdy

If you’re looking for a pet carrier backpack, then you can’t go past the Pet Carrier Backpack for Small Medium Dogs Cats, up to 20LBS. It has all the benefits of the usual pet carriers, while being compact and easy to carry. You can comfortably walk with your pet without feeling at all labored.

24. Legendog Dog Backpack

Our rating: 5 / 10

Legendog Dog Backpack

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Pros:

  • Stylish
  • Fully adjustable straps make it suitable for small and medium sized dogs
  • Portable seat
  • Has a small storage space
  • Compatible with small and medium sized cats

Cons:

  • Packages take a while to arrive
  • Doesn’t have a belt system for better support
  • The material quality could be sturdy for hiking with your pet

The Legendog pet backpack is a pretty impressive product that allows you to take your dog along with you on your trips. The best part is it’s the only dog backpack that features a real seat and a storage compartment. You can use it for hiking, bringing your dog to the vet and pack it up with food, treats, toys, and whatever else your pet may need for the trip.

The Legendog pet backpack is made of durable nylon and polyester. It features padded sides, shoulders, and chest straps. It’s perfect for small and medium sized dogs. The seat belt is removable and adjustable as well which allows you to put your dog in a sitting position. Not to mention the seat can recline for added comfort.

The storage space on this backpack is rather small with only 2.5L. However, you can manage to store some dog treats and objects if you pack them carefully.

25. SOURCER Cat Backpack

Our rating: 4 / 10

SOURCER Cat Backpack

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Pros:

  • Hand-made, high-quality construction
  • The two-way zipper design gives you easy access to your dog
  • Adjustable straps with pockets for leashes and portable water bottle
  • Removable neck pillow and soft fleece padding provide added comfort
  • 3-point support belt keeps your dog secure and comfortable
  • Reflectors along the bag to maintain visibility and keep you and your dog safe
  • Padded back allows for extra comfort
  • Fits pets between 5-18 lbs
  • 100% Spun Polyester

As a dog owner and a hiker, it’s hard to find a backpack that’s durable enough to handle both tasks. The SOURCER does both in a stylish way.

Thanks to its versatile design, it’s great for any age and breed of dog. There’s plenty of room for your dog to roll around in the backpack. Plus, the backpack comes with extra padding for that added level of comfort.

The backpack has a beautiful woven fabric design, which has a nice sturdy touch. As you wear it, you’ll find that the backpack is extremely comfortable.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best airline approved dog carrier?

Since carriers without documentation should be checked as luggage, this type of carrier is best for travels that involve a lot of luggage. It is also best for trips of longer duration. Because of its size and the fact that it is hard wearing, when not in use it can be stored in the trunk of a car.

Since it does not have wheels, it can be easily carried by one person. It has multiple cores hence allowing a pet to move around and also provides ventilation through the top and the sides. It also has a small opening allowing the pet to comfortably drink while in the cage.

With good ventilation, a carrier doesn’t have to be removed from the car. It is thus suitable for drives of longer duration.

Although difficult to carry from one location to another one, it is best for short drives, as it wouldn’t be safe to leave the pet in the hot car in the event of a stop over.

What is the best pet carrier for dogs?

What you choose will depend on several factors: your preference for a dog carrier (casual vs sporty models; dog size; and folded dimensions), styles and materials of carriers (fleece covers; water bottle pouches; air vents; color choices; padded plush and mesh lining), and your desired features (divider panels; seat belt, handlebar or shoulder strap; backpack vs. chest pack; wipe trays; durability; ventilation and air circulation; and zippers and closures).

The Sport Pet Gear Lite Kennel is a highly-rated, popular choice. It’s a practical choice too as it has room for your pet and has a backpack style. It does not allow for walking as a walking carrier. Instead it has a top handle and shoulder strap for carrying. It comes with a top handle and shoulder strap. This is important if you ever need to pull your pet carrier for a short distance.

Are pet carriers good for dogs?

The benefits of pet carriers for dogs may be surprising. Typically, they come in handy when moving around the house or going for a trip at the airport. Pets are among the most precious things to their owners, and dog carriers can help you show your love for Fido by providing safe, comfortable, portable housing.

Generally speaking, dogs are enclosed in either a hard shell carrier or soft-sided carrier. The variety of dog carriers available are quite large, so you shouldn't have trouble finding the perfect one for your friend.

Are dog carrier backpacks safe?

That depends on what you are actually defining as a “carrier backpack.” Any dog backpack, if you will, can be safe for you and your dog if purchased safely, and as long as it is used responsibly and with the right information.

Honestly, some of the dog backpacks found on the market are downright dangerous and just shouldn’t be used in any situation. This has more to do with the quality and safety rating of the backpack, rather than the idea of using a dog backpack in itself.

Some dog carrier backpacks are completely unsafe due to the materials used to create it, and can cause injury to you and your pet. There are also those that shouldn’t be used in certain weather or during certain activities!

Conclusion

The best dog carriers are those that are well-made, ergonomically designed, affordable, strong and aren’t so heavy that you can’t pick them up.

A lot of dog carriers don’t fit in that category. So we’ve created this article to help you find the best dog carriers for travel and more. Here are our favorite dog carriers of all the top brands, including the best from AmazonBasics, Ancol, Cozydog, Continental Pet, Eloquence, Go Dog, Pet Gear, Petmate, SC, Vari Kennel and more.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Sherpa Travel Original Deluxe Airline Approved Pet CarrierBest OverallSherpa Travel Original Deluxe Airline Approved Pet Carrier
Paws & Pals Airline Approved Pet CarrierBudget PickPaws & Pals Airline Approved Pet Carrier
Kurgo Dog Carrier BackpackUpgrade PickKurgo Dog Carrier Backpack