Best Hard-Sided Carriers – Top 5 Models Review

When it comes to pet carriers, you have a wide array of choices. Among the most popular, however, are hard-sided carriers. These products are excellent as they can easily double as a crate at home and serve as a sturdy carrier for your pet while you travel.

If you only have space for just one carrier or crate, the best hard-sided carriers are among the most practical picks out there.

Hard-sided dog carriers are perfect for dog owners who travel a lot for two reasons. One, it’s very sturdy. It can easily function as your pet’s daily crate at home and you can easily take it on the road with you without any fuss.

Two, the right carrier can also function as an air travel pet carrier so you don’t have to purchase another one if you’re about to go abroad. It’s easily the most practical and cost-effective pet accessory in the market.

5 Best Hard-Sided Carriers – Reviews

If you’re looking for the best hard-sided carriers for your fur baby, here are some of the top rated and reviewed products in the market today.

1. Petmate Two Door Top Load Pet Kennel

Kennels with two-door design are often favored by pet owners with small to medium sized fur babies as the top door allows easy access.

It’s especially beneficial if their pets don’t want to go inside their crates on their own and you already have to transport them. You can just flip the top door open and carry your pet to place it inside.

If you think you have to do this to transport your pet from your home to another place, this Petmate top loading kennel is an excellent option. It is designed to make wrangling with your pet every time you need to take them to the vet easier.

What makes this product great is its great design. Available in a neutral colorway, you don’t have to worry about it clashing with your interiors. It’s also very versatile, making it perfect for everyone.

Aside from the aesthetics, this product is also very safe and sturdy. It comes with a secure metal door, it has a latch that is designed to be a challenge for your pet to open.

Even if your fur baby is a certified escape artist, she will have great difficulties to open this one. Pet owners will also like that the upper and lower parts use screws to lock them in place, offering further safety for your pet.

Being a pet carrier, it also comes with an ergonomic top handle so you can easily carry it around.

2. Petmate Sky Kennel

The thing with traveling with pets is that airlines tend to have very different standards in what they deem to be “comfortable” for animals.

So, what you can do is to look up products that are safe and then check with your airline if the model you’re looking at complies with their regulations before you make a purchase.

This may require a bit of hard work, but it will definitely save you from the hassle of returning items that aren’t airline approved.

One of the best hard-sided crates that you can get for air travel is the Petmate Sky Kennel. Designed to comply to several airlines’ standards, this product has everything you need when traveling with your pet overseas.

For one, it is made with highly durable plastic material that will guarantee your pet’s safety while in cargo. It’s also well ventilated with its steel mesh door and windows. It also comes with a top handle to make carrying your fur baby a lot easier.

As plastic crates come with an upper and lower parts, securing them together properly is important.

Regular plastic crates have snap locks to keep the parts in place, but if you need one for traveling, yours should use bolts to lock the parts together.

This crate from Petmate uses heavy duty plastic bolts. Some airlines allow it as is, but other airlines strictly requires metal bolts, so you might need to get some replacement bolts.

Complete with a “Live Animal” sticker as well as a food and water container, this plastic crate is definitely an excellent choice for air travels.

3. AmazonBasics Two-Door Top-Load Pet Kennel

A lot of people may be a bit worried about top loading plastic crates because the handles are also placed right on top of them so if they’re not designed properly, they can give out while you’re carrying the crate and even let out your pet in the process.

This is why despite the many pros of top loading crates, a lot of pet owners shy away from it.

This is also the very issue this AmazonBasics products resolved with its top loading, two-door pet kennel. It’s top door is designed with two metal rods that are meant to keep it shut while you carry the crate.

This design also lets you to open the top door to the left or right, providing convenience and ease for you, especially if you always need to wrangle with your pet when it comes to going into their kennel.

Made with high quality plastic, this AmazonBasics product will guarantee your pet’s safety and comfort.

It also doesn’t leak, so in case your pet has an issue with confinement while you’re on the way to the vet, your car won’t get soiled with their mess.

While it’s not for air travel, this crate comes with two ways to keep the upper and lower parts together. You can opt to screw them shut or use the snap lock to keep them together.

It’s best to use both, though, especially if you’re constantly going to use it as a carrier to better guarantee that the two major parts are together.

4. Petmate 21100 Ultra Vari Pets Kennel

Another great option for a travel crate is this Petmate 21100 Ultra Vari Pets Kennel.

It is designed to meet USDA and IATA requirements for shipping live animals, so you’re sure that you can use it for flying with your fur baby.

However, just to be sure and skip the hassle of finding a different crate at the last minute, you should still check with your airline before checking in for your flight.

What makes this crate so great is it’s design. It is definitely made to hold your pet safely, even during duress. It is made with high quality plastic that won’t budge, crack, and break no matter what your pet does inside.

With heavy duty plastic screws to fasten the top and bottom parts together, this crate will surely be able to contain your pet safely and securely.

The smallest two sizes also come with a top handle for easier carrying, so if your pet is not more than 30 lbs, you can still easily lug them around with just one hand.

Because ventilation is also an important feature a travel crate needs, this product comes with two metal wire windows and one metal mesh doors.

The smallest size variety doesn’t come with a rear vent, but larger sizes do, so you shouldn’t really worry about the air flow inside.

5. Suncast 23 in. Deluxe Pet Carrier

If you want something that’s a bit different looking than other crates, this Suncast product is a good option.

It’s a lot cuter than the other ones in the list with its contrasting design and bold colors.

The first thing that you’ll notice about this carrier is that it has wide metal grates as windows and a plastic door.

This makes it very well ventilated and secure. The door’s locks will be pretty hard to reach for your pet, so you can rest assured that they won’t be able to break out and cause havoc at home or during your drive.

Another notable feature about this product is it’s handle. Instead of having a suitcase style top handle, it has a recessed one, leaving you with a concave dent on the crate’s roof.

It doesn’t affect the height of the crate and can easily accommodate a seat belt so you can easily secure the carrier in your back seat. It’s actually a unique design feature that has easily solved a security issue.

Made in the USA with heavy duty plastic materials, this product promises great quality. With so many great results online, it’s easily one of the best products for pet owners who’ll love to travel with their fur babies.

Final Verdict

Traveling with your pet shouldn’t be a hassle. With the help of the right products, you can definitely find ways to go on trips with your fur baby without worrying about their comfort, stress levels, and safety.

These five products are just some of the best hard-sided carriers that you can get for your pet. Make sure to check them out if you’re ever in need of a high quality crate that can also double as their travel kennel.

These five are all highly rated and well reviewed, so you can easily opt for them if you want the best of the best.

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