Best Pet Carriers

Pet owners understand the importance of a reliable pet carrier, whether it’s for a trip to the vet, a weekend getaway, or just a comfortable space for your furry friend. Here are our picks for the best pet carriers on the market, taking into consideration factors like comfort, durability, style, and functionality.

10 Best Pet Carriers

  1. Sherpa Deluxe Pet Carrier: Known for its airline-approved design and plush interior, the Sherpa Deluxe provides a cozy travel experience for your pet.
  2. Petmate Two-Door Top-Load Pet Kennel: This carrier offers easy access with its top-loading design and excellent ventilation, making it perfect for short trips.
  3. Pawfect Pets Soft-Sided Pet Carrier: Ideal for smaller pets, this soft-sided carrier is not only stylish but also comfortable and easy to carry.
  4. AmazonBasics Soft-Sided Pet Travel Carrier: A budget-friendly option that doesn’t compromise on quality, with ample mesh ventilation and a well-padded interior.
  5. Bergan Comfort Carrier: Designed for both comfort and convenience, the Bergan carrier features an adjustable strap and multiple pockets for your pet’s essentials.
  6. Sherpa Original Deluxe Carrier:: This classic carrier is favored for its durability and thoughtful design, ensuring your pet’s safety during travel.
  7. SturdiBag Flexible Height Pet Carrier: With its flexible frame and expandable design, the SturdiBag is perfect for larger pets who need a bit more room to move.
  8. Sleepypod Mobile Pet Bed: Not just a carrier but also a cozy bed, the Sleepypod offers a luxurious travel experience for your pet.
  9. A4Pet Soft Collapsible Dog Crate: This versatile carrier can also double as a crate, making it suitable for various situations, from travel to training.
  10. Pet Magasin Hard Cover Collapsible Pet Carrier: If you need a sturdy option with a hardshell cover, this carrier provides both security and comfort for your pet.

What type of pet carrier is best?

When it comes to determining the best type of pet carrier, several factors come into play. The choice largely depends on your specific needs and the type of pet you have. Here are some factors to consider.

Soft-Sided Pet Carriers:

  • Best for Small Dogs and Cats: Soft-sided carriers are lightweight and often designed for small to medium-sized pets. They are great for short trips and are usually comfortable for pets due to their padded interiors.
  • Ideal for Air Travel: Many soft-sided carriers are airline-approved, making them suitable for flying with your pet in the cabin. Check airline regulations for specific size requirements.

Hard-Sided Pet Carriers:

  • Durability and Safety: Hard-sided carriers are sturdy and provide excellent protection for your pet. They are particularly suitable for larger or more active pets that might need extra security.
  • Easy to Clean: These carriers are typically easier to clean, which is essential for longer journeys or trips to the vet.

Top-Loading Pet Carriers:

  • Convenient Access: Top-loading carriers are great for pets that may resist being placed in a carrier from the front or sides. They offer easy access and are suitable for cats and small dogs.

Expandable Pet Carriers:

  • Extra Space for Comfort: Expandable carriers allow your pet to have more space when needed. They are excellent for larger pets or those who need room to move during travel.

Pet Backpacks:

  • Hands-Free Convenience: Pet backpacks are a trendy choice for small pets. They allow you to carry your pet on your back, leaving your hands free. They’re excellent for short hikes and urban adventures.

Wheeled Pet Carriers:

  • Ease of Transportation: Wheeled carriers are practical when traveling through airports or over longer distances. They reduce the strain on your arms and shoulders.

Convertible Pet Carriers:

  • Versatility: Some carriers can be converted into a pet bed or car seat, providing a multi-purpose solution for pet owners.

Fashionable Pet Carriers:

  • Style and Aesthetics: If style is a priority for you, there are pet carriers available in various fashionable designs, materials, and colors to match your taste.

Ultimately, the best type of pet carrier depends on your pet’s size, temperament, your travel needs, and your personal preferences. Always consider the comfort and safety of your pet as the top priorities. If you plan to use the carrier for air travel, ensure it meets airline regulations. Additionally, choose a carrier that is easy to clean and maintain for your convenience.

What is FAA approved pet carrier?

An FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) approved pet carrier is a pet carrier that meets the specific regulations and guidelines set forth by the FAA for the transportation of pets on commercial aircraft. These regulations are in place to ensure the safety and well-being of both the pet and the passengers on the flight. Here are some key features and requirements of an FAA approved pet carrier:

Size and Dimensions: FAA regulations typically specify the maximum size of the pet carrier that can be used in the cabin of an aircraft. The carrier must fit under the seat in front of you, so it should be of appropriate dimensions to fit within the space provided.

Ventilation: Proper ventilation is crucial to ensure that your pet gets a constant supply of fresh air during the flight. FAA approved carriers usually have multiple ventilation openings or mesh panels to provide adequate airflow.

Secure Latching: The carrier must have secure and reliable latching mechanisms to prevent accidental openings during the flight. This ensures that your pet remains safely contained inside the carrier.

Leak-Proof Bottom: The bottom of the carrier should be leak-proof to contain any accidents or spills that might occur during the flight. This helps maintain a clean and hygienic cabin environment.

Soft-Sided vs. Hard-Sided: Both soft-sided and hard-sided pet carriers can be FAA approved, but they must meet the specific criteria outlined by the airline and the FAA. Soft-sided carriers should have a rigid frame to maintain their shape.

Visibility: The carrier should allow airline staff to see your pet without opening the carrier, which is important for safety inspections and ensuring your pet’s well-being during the flight.

Identification: The carrier should have identification tags with your contact information and your pet’s name. This is important in case the carrier is separated from you during the journey.

Pet Comfort: While not specifically an FAA requirement, it’s essential that your pet is comfortable inside the carrier. Ensure that there’s enough room for your pet to stand, turn around, and lie down comfortably.

Compliance with Airline Policies: In addition to FAA regulations, it’s crucial to check the specific pet travel policies of the airline you plan to use. Airlines may have additional requirements or restrictions for pet carriers.

Booking in Advance: Many airlines have limited space for in-cabin pet carriers, so it’s advisable to book your pet’s spot well in advance to secure a spot for your furry friend.

Keep in mind that while the FAA sets certain guidelines, individual airlines may have their own variations and rules regarding pet carriers. It’s essential to research and adhere to both FAA and airline-specific requirements to ensure a smooth and safe journey for your pet when flying.

Do cats prefer hard or soft carriers?

Cats’ preferences for hard or soft carriers can vary from one individual to another. It often depends on the cat‘s personality, past experiences, and the specific context of travel.

Ultimately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to whether cats prefer hard or soft carriers. It’s essential to consider your cat’s individual temperament and needs when choosing a carrier. You may also want to consult with your veterinarian for guidance on selecting the most suitable carrier type for your specific travel plans and your cat’s comfort. Regardless of the type of carrier you choose, proper acclimation and positive associations can help your cat feel more at ease during travel.

Can I take a 25 lb dog on a plane?

Certainly, you can take a 25 lb dog on a plane when traveling, but there are certain regulations and guidelines you should be aware of, especially if you plan to bring your furry companion into the cabin with you.

Check with the Airline: Different airlines have varying policies regarding pets in the cabin. It’s crucial to check with the specific airline you plan to fly with to understand their requirements, fees, and restrictions. Most airlines do allow small dogs in the cabin if they meet size and weight requirements.

Pet Carrier: You will need an airline-approved pet carrier that fits under the seat in front of you. The carrier should provide enough space for your dog to stand, turn around, and lie down comfortably. Make sure it meets the airline’s specifications for dimensions and construction.

Health and Documentation: Ensure that your dog is in good health and up-to-date on vaccinations. Some airlines may require a health certificate from a veterinarian issued within a specific timeframe before your flight. Additionally, you may need to provide documentation of your dog’s vaccinations.

Reservations and Fees: Inform the airline in advance that you will be traveling with a pet. There may be limited space for pets in the cabin, so making a reservation early is advisable. Airlines typically charge a fee for bringing pets on board.

Security Screening: Be prepared for security screening procedures. You will need to remove your dog from the carrier and carry them through the metal detector while the carrier goes through the X-ray machine.

In-Flight Behavior: Ensure that your dog is well-behaved and calm during the flight. It’s a good idea to exercise them before the flight to help reduce anxiety. Some dogs may benefit from familiar toys or blankets in their carrier.

Comfort and Care: Pack essentials for your dog, such as food, water, and any necessary medications. You should also have cleanup supplies in case of accidents.

Remember that regulations and policies may change, so always double-check with the airline for the most up-to-date information and requirements. Traveling with a dog can be a rewarding experience, but it requires careful planning to ensure the safety and comfort of both you and your pet during the journey.

Is a soft or hard pet carrier better?

When choosing between a soft or hard pet carrier, the decision depends on various factors, including your dog’s size, temperament, and the specific travel circumstances. Let’s discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each type to help you make an informed choice:

Soft Pet Carrier


Lightweight and Portable: Soft carriers are typically lighter and easier to carry, making them a good option for small dogs like yours.

Comfort: These carriers are often more comfortable for your pet to snuggle in during the journey.

Flexible: Soft carriers are more flexible and can be squeezed into tight spaces, like under the seat on an airplane.


Less Protection: Soft carriers may offer less protection against impacts and external elements compared to hard carriers.

Chewing and Clawing: If your dog is prone to chewing or clawing, a soft carrier may be more vulnerable to damage.

Hard Pet Carrier


Durability: Hard carriers are generally more durable and provide better protection for your pet.

Security: They often have secure latches that prevent your dog from escaping during travel.

Easier Cleaning: Hard carriers are typically easier to clean and maintain.


Heavier: Hard carriers are bulkier and heavier, which can be less convenient for carrying, especially in crowded places.

Less Comfortable: Some dogs may find hard carriers less comfortable, especially for long journeys.

Considering your 25 lb dog and potential air travel, a soft carrier could be a suitable choice due to its lightweight and flexibility, making it easier to fit under the seat. However, ensure that the soft carrier is well-ventilated and has secure closures to prevent any escapes.

Ultimately, your dog’s comfort and safety should be the top priorities. Whichever type you choose, make sure it complies with airline regulations and provides enough space for your dog to stand, turn around, and lie down comfortably. Additionally, familiarize your dog with the carrier before the trip to reduce anxiety and stress during travel.

The Bottom Line

Choosing the right pet carrier is crucial for your furry companion’s comfort and safety. Each of the carriers mentioned here offers unique features to cater to different needs and preferences. Whether you prioritize style, durability, or budget-friendliness, there’s a pet carrier on this list for you. Make sure to consider your pet’s size, temperament, and your specific travel requirements when making your decision.