The 9 Best Dog Carriers of 2021

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The Rundown

Best Overall: Morpilot Pet Travel Carrier Bag at Amazon

"This bag’s extra features make it great for traveling."

Best Hard-Sided: Petmate Two Door Top-Load Kennel at Amazon

"Made of heavy-duty plastic and has steel wire latched doors for extra protection."

Best Soft-Sided: Sleepypod Air at Amazon

"Reviewers noted the ballistic nylon exterior is sturdy enough to hold up to scratching."

Best Backpack: Kurgo Dog Carrier Backpack at Amazon

"This TSA-approved backpack keeps your hands free while taking your dog through the airport."

Best Sling: Alfie Chico Reversible Pet Sling at Amazon

"It helps your dog feel more relaxed while traveling because you’re holding it close."

Best Expandable: Mr. Peanuts Double-Expandable Tote at Amazon

"The dual fold-out compartments open to give your travel companion a little extra room."

Best for Small Dogs: Wild One Air Travel Carrier at Wild One

"Supporting up to 16 pounds, this sleek bag is perfect for small dogs."

Best for Travel: Sherpa Original Deluxe at Chewy

"Small and medium-sized bags are backed by Sherpa’s Guaranteed On Board® program."

Best Wheeled Version: Katziela Pet Carrier with Removable Wheels at Amazon

"Its extendable telescopic handle that makes transporting your dog easy and versatile."

Dog carriers are a necessary travel accessory to have if you're a pet owner. They transport your furry friend safely and comfortably, no matter how short your trip is, and allow you to easily carry them through airport terminals. Dog carriers also come in a few different varieties these days—there are hands-free backpacks, stylish purses, slings, and traditional hardsided cases. To help you narrow down your search, we researched the top dog carriers on the market today.

Read on for the best dog carriers available.

Best Overall: Morpilot Pet Travel Carrier Bag

Morpilot's Pet Travel Carrier Bag is an affordable bag that’s compliant with most major airlines and has extra features that make it great for traveling. It includes a collapsible water bowl to keep your dog hydrated, and all four sides are made of breathable mesh, allowing your dog to look out while they’re en route to your destination. It also has a collar buckle built in and comes with a pocket to store a lost and found tag, so you can travel with peace of mind knowing your dog is safe. Its sherpa-lined floor is reinforced with a hard support board to provide extra stability. 

You can buy this carrier in large or medium sizes. The medium measures 17 x 12 x 13 inches and is available in three different colors.

Best Hard-Sided: Petmate Two Door Top-Load Kennel

While soft carriers are great a choice for bringing your furry friend on planes, hard-sided carriers can be a better option for longer trips. Petmate’s Two Door Top-Load Kennel is no exception. This durable carrier is made from heavy-duty plastic and is designed with steel wire latched doors for extra protection. It features both a top and front-load option, which gives you a few different ways to load your pet into the carrier if they tend to be squeamish. The sides and roof are ventilated so your pooch can access fresh air while you’re on the road. Best of all, Petmate designed this crate to fit your pet’s natural sleeping shape. 

This plastic carrier comes in two different sizes: 19.4 x 12.8 x 10 inches and 24 x 16.75 x 14.5 inches. While these sizes are great for long car rides and trips to the vet, they’re too large for most carry-on requirements. But the top and bottom fasten securely with a wing-nut and bolt design, making it secure enough to travel with as airplane cargo.

Best Soft-Sided: Sleepypod Air

The Sleepypod Air is the perfect soft-sided carrier for your pooch because it can compress from 22 inches to 19 or 16 inches, making it fit easily under any airline seat. It includes a machine-washable plush pad, durable mesh panels, and ergonomic zipper pulls. Some people might consider this carrier a luxury item because it retails for slightly less than $200. But it’s worth the investment—the exterior is made of luggage-grade ballistic nylon, which reviewers noted is sturdy enough to hold up to scratching. Sleepypod made this versatile carrier safe for car trips too. The bag features buckles on the front and back that attach to seatbelts so you can secure it to your rear car seat. 

This carrier can hold dogs weighing under 18 pounds and is available in a variety of unique colors such as dark chocolate, glacier silver, jet black, orange dream, robin egg blue, and strawberry red. 

Best Backpack: Kurgo Dog Carrier Backpack

Backpacks are a very useful way to transport your pet. They allow you to keep your hands free while taking your dog on a hike or through the airport. This dog carrier backpack by Kurgo is TSA approved so it can fit easily under most airline seats, and it has straps that tuck into the back transforming it into a traditional carrier. The front-facing mesh top zips open for visibility and allows your dog fresh air while staying secured by an interior tether. You’ll also have all of your pooch’s essential at arms reach with its zippered storage pockets, including a laptop sleeve. 

This backpack is suitable for pets under 25 pounds and is available in red or black. It also comes with a lifetime warranty, so you can take it on all of your adventures with peace of mind knowing it can be fixed if it has a manufacturing defect.

Best Sling: Alfie Chico Reversible Pet Sling

Alfie Pet Sling

 Courtesy of Amazon

Keep your dog close with the Alfie Chico Reversible Pet Sling. Slings are a convenient hands-free way to carry your dog on short trips, and they can help your pet feel more relaxed since you can touch and talk to them while you’re traveling. This lightweight carrier is made of durable cotton and can hold dogs up to 12 pounds. For extra stability, it has an adjustable strap and a safety collar hook. It’s available in multiple colors including grey, pink, and blue, and features a grey or polka dot lining that can be turned inside out for additional styling options.

Best Expandable: Mr. Peanuts Double-Expandable Tote

Keep your dog comfortable throughout your trip with this expandable carrier. The dual fold-out compartments open to give your travel companion a little extra room during the flight. Plus, they’ll love the fleece padded floor, mesh sides, and open-air top. It measures 18 x 10.5 x 11 inches when the sides are folded up, and the top is pliable, so it can fit under most airline seats.

This durable bag is made of waterproof nylon and features self-locking zippers for extra protection. It also comes with a padded shoulder strap, leash tether, zippered storage compartment, and luggage strap to make it easy to travel with. Mr. Peanuts recommends this carrier for dogs that are 15 pounds or less.

Best for Small Dogs: Wild One Air Travel Carrier

Wild One Air Carrier

 Courtesy of Wild One

You and your pooch can travel in style with this carrier by Wild One. Supporting up to 16 pounds, this sleek bag is perfect for small dogs. Pamper them throughout your trip with its extra specs—the shoulder strap doubles as a leash, the interior quilted cushion folds out to a mini bed, and the vented mesh walls have retractable privacy screens.

It’s easy to travel with, too. Featuring a lightweight neoprene outer shell, a luggage strap that makes it easy to slide on and off your suitcase, and button-locking zippers to ensure your dog doesn’t open the bag accidentally. It’s airline compliant and comes in tan and black.

Best for Travel: Sherpa Original Deluxe

Sherpa Original Deluxe

Courtesy of Chewy 

This carrier is perfect for travelers that are nervous about not being allowed through security with their dog. Small and medium-sized bags are backed by Sherpa’s Guaranteed On Board® program. If for any reason TSA or the airline denies boarding to your pet, Sherpa will reimburse the cost of your flight and pet travel fee. The program also provides a pre-flight checklist to guarantee that you and your travel buddy arrive at your destination safely. 

Your dog will be comfortable in this carrier with its machine-washable faux lambskin liner and ventilated mesh panels. And you’ll carry them easily with the bag’s non-slip shoulder straps and padded hand straps. This bag comes in three different sizes: small (15 x 10 x 8.5 inches), medium (17 x 11 x 10.5 inches), and large (19 x 11.75 x 11.5 inches).

Best Wheeled Version: Katziela Pet Carrier with Removable Wheels

Both you and your pet will travel comfortably in this wheeled carrier by Katziela. Featuring six wheels and a telescopic handle that extends up to 34 inches, this carrier makes transporting your dog easy and versatile. Your furry friend will enjoy the ride too, since it has four mesh panels and a fleece bottom. The wheels are removable, so it can transform into a traditional carrier with a shoulder strap and handle if you need to bring it through the airport. Best of all, the secure zipper locks, name tag holder, pockets, and safety leash will give you peace of mind while you’re bringing him or her to your final destination.

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