5 min read • By Wyatt West, Staff Writer & Outdoor Fiend, Timberdog®
A DOG TRAVEL BAG MAKES GETTING OUT A BREEZE
One of the many phenomena of COVID-19 was the record numbers of dog adoptions across the country, with many crowded shelters emptying out for the first time ever. Today, there are around 77 million dogs in US households (some records say up to 90 million). That’s more dogs than kids in the average US household!
Why is this relevant? Well, with the worst of the pandemic behind us (knock on wood), there’s a rush of folks who are taking back to the skies, sea, and open road once more. And that means more dogs are traveling, too.
I only have one dog, Angus, and I can’t imagine not having a separate travel bag for him. But if you’ve got more than one dog, you definitely need to invest in a dedicated travel bag or two for your pups. It makes life a lot more organized and easy when traveling.
JUST LIKE US
Just like us, our pets have their own daily routine, needs, and wants, whether you’re home or adventuring out. For instance, for a weeklong trip, I packed the following necessities for Angus: jacket, sweater, dog first aid kit, styptic powder, poop bags, brush, tick comb, wipes, towels, collapsible bowls, travel water bottle, silicone spoon, light-up collar, GPS collar, leash, chew toy, treat dispenser and treats, kibble, wet food, can opener, silicone can lids, toothbrush and paste, paw wax, seat belt and harness, and probably a handful of other things I can’t remember at the moment!
I used to use an old backpack to toss all of these things into (and maybe you’ve got something similar), but after my umpteenth trip, it was time to toss that bag out. I got tired of the ratty loose ends, catching zippers, lack of strategic pockets, and rifling through its frustratingly dark recesses. It was time for an upgrade.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN BUYING A DOG TRAVEL BAG
As with any purchasing decision that’s strategic and may cost a good bit of money, I’ll refer back to the advice I’ve given in my other blogs: make a simple list of the features you find important in a good dog travel bag. This will help you limit the unending options out there and truly hone in on your top few top contenders. If you’re short on time, don’t worry, I’ve assembled four of my top picks below to help make your decision process easier.
Things I looked for in a travel bag for dogs:
- Large capacity
- Organizing pockets that are easily accessible (but not too many!)
- Looks nice - it’s a piece of luggage, after all
- Affordable, but willing to pay top dollar for a great travel bag
Then I hopped online to see what was out there and came across some truly outstanding options.
Before I get into the finalists, I want to mention that there are only four in my list, as the rest of the options online were either copycat products or a dizzying number of options on Amazon that just didn’t grab me. I usually love Amazon for other dog products, but a bag this dialed in needs to come from a dog company, in my opinion. Anyway, read on, and let me know if you agree in the comments below.
The Mobile Dog Gear Week Away Tote Pet Travel Bag (phew, say that 10 times fast) is a patented beauty of a travel bag for dogs. It’s got a built-in waste bag dispenser, packing cubes for storing treats and kibble, dividers inside the bag to help keep food neatly stacked, handy side pockets, and even an included mat for dog bowls. Like a backpacking backpack, it also has straps and bungees on the outside to secure things like clothing or towels, as well as a large, drop-down storage compartment on the bottom of the bag. I love the bone-shaped ID tag for air travel and the various configurations the bags come in to accommodate a day trip, weekend excursion, or week-long getaway. And the NCAA collection, if you’re into that, is a fun way to rep your alma mater. The stylish and urban Ultimate Week-Away Backpack is $89.99 on their site.
If you’re looking for a more affordable option, PetAmi’s Dog & Cat Travel Bag is almost identical to Mobile Dog’s regular (not ultimate) Week-Away Tote and retails on Chewy for just $34.99. Don’t let the low price tag fool you - the bag features water-repellent Oxford canvas and has an inner waterproof lining, to boot. It also comes with two food containers and two collapsible bowls. The only thing missing is the food mat, but you can always buy one separately or use an old towel for that if you really need it.
Orvis’s Tough Trail Chuckwagon Dog Tote is not only attractive, but is the earth-friendly option with 100% recycled, waterproof Cordura Eco fabric. At $99, it’s a bit pricey, but you definitely get what you’re paying for. Cordura is five times stronger than Oxford canvas, for one, and the zippers are magnetic, so you can open the bag with one hand if your other hand is occupied with a leash. The inner dividers are quite high, and, having mesh, are breathable.The other sides of the tote also have 9-inch-high mesh pockets.
The dividers are removable, making this tote modular, and the bag comes with a large, roll-top, BPA-free food container that holds 14 cups of food, and two collapsible bowls. Finally, we love the thoughtful little details that Orvis - a trustworthy and longstanding dog brand - thought of, such as a removable shoulder strap and a reflective logo to find the tote bag in the dark.
Last but definitely not least, Timberdog’s RuffRest has something for everyone. It combines all of the features of the bags above but also converts into a dog bed, complete with a built-in blanket-sleeping bag! Unlike the totes above, however, the RuffRest is unique in that it has a removable, hangable organizer with several see-through pockets, so you can reach for what you need in a flash. It also compresses by rolling up into a duffel and comes with a shoulder strap that converts into a tangle-free, reflective leash. At $279 for the medium, it’s an investment, but one that will stand the test of time, due to its military-grade nylon, craftsmanship (individual stitching), YKK zippers, Duraflex buckles, high-density foam, and eco-friendly PU coating (which makes it waterproof). I love that Timberdog pledges to plant two trees for every RuffRest sold, making it not only a carbon neutral company, but a carbon negative one.
Watch the demo of this unique and multifunctional dog travel bag-bed and you’ll see why we think the RuffRest should make your shortlist.
What system or bag do you use when you travel with your pets? Let us know below!
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