Whether you’re traveling to the vet or across the country, carriers are a convenient way of moving your lovable pup from one spot to the next.
After researching, testing, and reviewing several pet carriers, we’ve established a guide for the best rolling dog carriers. This review will explore the essential features of a portable kennel, safety tactics, and the top of the line rolling bags available today.
Why You Should Consider Rolling Carriers For Your Pet
You are a busy person; whether you’re planning your next trip or looking to explore around town, bringing your pet along with you is all part of the excitement. However, coordinating the logistics behind traveling and exploring with a dog can be overwhelming.
A rolling pet carrier could be the answer to many of your travel obstacles.
A pet carrier is a safe way to secure your animal as they move from point A to point B. Whether you’re traveling via plane, boat, or car, the right carrier can help make the experience less stressful for your pet and less exhausting for you.
While any carrier can help with travel woes, rolling bags can be specifically beneficial. If you’re running through an airport, trying to catch your next flight, a heavy carrier could weigh you down. You don’t want to drag your bag and pet along the ground. A rolling kennel can ease some of the weight; you won’t have to haul the gear on your shoulder.
How to Choose the Best Rolling Carriers
We know your dog is like family. We can completely relate. You want your pet to be comfortable and receiving the best of the best when it comes to food, toys, and equipment. When looking for a rolling carrier for your pet, there are several important factors to consider to be sure you’re choosing the best fit for you and your dog.
Measure Your Pet
To select the carrier that will work best for you and your dog, the first thing you should do is measure your pet. Take a tape measure from the ends of their tail to their nose. Then, measure from their feet to the top of their head. Knowing exactly how much space your animal will occupy can help determine the dimensions you need in a carrier.
Be sure to weigh your pet, as well. Most carriers have a weight limit to ensure your animal is comfortable and the pack is sturdy.
Fortunately, wheels make it significantly easier to carry heavy items, but your carrier’s weight is still crucial.
Soft-side carriers are easier to maneuver and typically lighter than hard-side kennels. “Soft-side” really means that the carrier’s structure consists of cloths, fabrics, wires, and other flexible materials. The containers are still structurally sound, but they’re easier to manipulate, and they’re lighter in weight. They may also fit better under airport seats or in smaller vehicles.
When you search for carriers, one common phrase you’ll see is “airport approved”. That does not mean that every “airport approved” bag will fit on your flight. It’s still best to contact your airline provider to double-check their pets’ policy on a flight and appropriate carriers.
“Airport approved” typically means that the carrier has clear breathability, space for your pet to move around, and won’t leak.
Dog Rolling Carrier Safety
We do want to clarify that the effectiveness of dog carriers depends significantly on your pet. Your animal’s size and demeanor can play a big part in whether you’ll have a comfortable experience with any kennel on the market.
While our research and review of the best rolling dog carriers are extensive, it’s still up to you to use these products correctly.
If you have a giant pet, soft carriers are not the best option for you. It would be best if you looked into hardtop plastic or metal crates for extra reinforcement and space. There are also several large backpacks available, but you’ll need to carefully check the bag’s dimensions and weight capabilities to be sure your dog isn’t cramped.
Dog owners should consider their physical health and their animals’ health, as well, before investing in any dog carrier. If you’re prone to injury or struggle with back pain, a backpack carrier may not be the best option. It could further strain your body, especially if you’re carrying a heavier or squirmier dog. Opt for rolling bags expressly to limit overexertion.
If you have an anxious dog, traveling in carriers could make them feel even more worried or scared. A scared dog is often unpredictable, and no pet owner wants to put their animal through undue stress.
To help limit anxiousness and make the traveling experience altogether easier for you and your dog, acclimate your pet to their carrier long before your trip. If your carrier converts to a backpack, practice lugging your dog around in both forms. By adjusting your dog to their new rolling carrier, you teach them that it’s safe. It’ll make traveling significantly more comfortable for your animal and prevent them from acting out.
The American Kennel Club has a comprehensive list for recognizing anxiety in your dog and treating nervousness. You can find it here.
The 5 Best Rolling Dog Carriers
If you’re on the go and need a versatile carrier for your small to medium-sized dog, consider the UG Pet Backpack Carrier. It’s both a rolling carrier and backpack, and it’s spacious enough to fit pets weighing 20 pounds or less comfortably.
The large trolley carrier comes with a removable suitcase-style base. The wheels and handle can detach from the backpack portion, so you can quickly alternate between rolling and carrying your dog.
The package comes with a removable fleece bed for added comfort for your pet, as well as a removable support layer. That support helps keep the structure of the carrier intact while it’s in use. Together, they provide a solid base and cozy environment for your pet.
The entire carrier is also collapsible, which can be helpful for storage. The wheels easily pinch on and off, and the trolley portion is foldable. The kennel then folds several times over, reducing its size immediately. This handy assembly and disassembly can be useful on a train or plane if you need to quickly remove the wheels to place the carrier under a seat.
Of our best rolling carriers list, the UG Pet Backpack Carrier is the most affordable option. If you’re looking for a flexible carrier on a budget, this device serves as a safe, spacious, and cost-friendly choice.
- The mesh windows allow for better airflow and flexible space for your pet.
- The cubic design of the carrier means more space for your pet.
- If you remove the wheels, the pack can fit under most airplane seats. Some users report having to flatten the top a bit, though, to position the carrier fully.
- You will not have to tip the bag to roll it because the kennel comes with four wheels.
- The large trolley carrier costs less than its competitors.
- When using the carrier as a rolling bag, the backpack straps may drag on the ground if they’re not tucked out of the way.
- The bag’s structure is flexible; when you’re wearing it as a backpack, the soft sides may squish inwards, limiting your pet’s space.
- Some reviewers online did note that the stroller/trolley base feels a bit unstable at times. If the backpack portion of the carrier isn’t secured to the trolley, it can seem as though the bag is sliding off its wheels.
Structural support is a clear priority for this pet carrier. The Gen7Pets Geometric Roller is made with durability in mind. The carrier’s base is reinforced, and the inside chamber is lined, so it’s comfortable for your pet.
This roller is available in two sizes: up to 10-pounds and up to 20-pounds. When you unzip the sides, the bag can fold up for easy storage.
One of the smartest features of this particular carrier is its adaptable platform. The base of the rolling kennel moves with you. As you roll the bag along, the platform adjusts to keep your pet secure and prevent them from falling around. If you prefer to carry your pet in backpack-form instead, you simply push the carrier’s handle down and pull on the backpack straps. It’s a quick transition.
If you’re driving, the Gen7Pets Geometric Roller comes with a seatbelt loop to ensure that your pet is strapped in and not sliding around the car. That can help limit distractions and make sure you both get home safely.
The interior pad and lining of this carrier can be removed and washed in a washing machine. You can clean the outside of this rolling kennel with soap and warm water.
This bag is airline approved, but the manufacturer does recommend that you contact your airline before a flight to double-check the seat and pet carrier restrictions.
Compared to other rolling dog carriers on our guide, this bag is the most expensive option.
- The rolling carrier’s platform base continuously adjusts to limit tipping while you’re pulling the roller.
- You can tuck backpack straps away when the bag is in rolling or carrying form.
- The carrier and inner pads are easily cleaned.
- The carrier has a built-in car seatbelt loop for safe and steady vehicle travel.
- The bag comes with several mesh windows for proper ventilation and extra headspace for your pup.
- The carrier comes in a fun color and design.
- The carrier is a pull-carrier and not a push-carrier. Your pet will be behind you while you’re walking. If you prefer to keep your eyes on your dog at all times, you should consider a pet stroller instead.
- The bag isn’t indestructible; if your dog gets hold of a strap and starts chewing, they may be able to chew through that strap.
- The “up to 20-pounds” roller carrier is on the larger end and may not fit under every airplane seat.
Check out the Gen7Pets Geometric Roller here.
For a versatile bag that can fit pets up to 25-pounds, check out the roller carriers from Pet Gear. These bags serve as a backpack, a rolling suitcase, and a car seat for your dog.
The handle acts just like a suitcase handle. It can be pulled upwards and pushed down out of the way for easy maneuvering. The pack also comes with a tether inside the bag, so you can clip it to your pet’s harness to prevent them from sliding around while being carried. The bag carrier comes with a removable plush mat for pets. You can throw that mat into the washing machine for quick cleaning.
In total, this carrier only weighs about 6 pounds, which is ideal if you have an active lifestyle. Whether you’re hiking, biking, or walking, this bag won’t weigh you down. Furthermore, this roller bag comes with a back cover that can stretch over its wheels, so when you’re wearing the carrier as a backpack, the wheels won’t rub against your back or shirt.
The Pet Gear I-Go Plus Traveler comes in two different colors: black and ocean blue. For its valuable features, this backpack is worth its price. It’s typically cheaper than its soft-side, rolling dog carrier competitors.
- It’s a functional bag; you can use it in the car, fit it under airplane seats, wear it as a backpack, or roll it like a suitcase.
- Handle functions exactly like a suitcase handle and can be tucked out of the way when you’re wearing the bag as a backpack.
- The carrier has an interior strap that clips on to your pet’s harness as an added security feature.
- This roller carrier is budget-friendly.
- The carrier is broad and deep enough even to fit some pets while they’re wearing cones around their necks. The width and length are more than 12 inches long, and the pack is nearly two feet tall.
- This roller bag is a two-wheeler. You’ll have to tilt the carrier to pull it around.
- Some people note that the wheels are small, and it can be difficult to roll them over particular lips or ledges, rougher terrain, or other small obstacles.
- The soft-sides may not hold their shape as well as competitors. Some users report that it squished in on their pets slightly.
If you’re looking for a small pet carrier that is shaped more like a duffel bag than a backpack, the Katziela Pet Carrier is an excellent option.
It’s a soft-side travel carrier with mesh sides and a mesh top. It has excellent ventilation for your pet and, when its wheels are off, the bag is typically compliant with most airline carry-on size requirements. If your puppy or dog is on the shorter side, this bag will give them space to sit up, lay down, and turn around.
One security feature that stands out on this carrier is its zipper locking system. If you’re nervous that your dog may be able to wiggle its way out of the bag or that the zipper may come undone while you’re moving, that lock can help keep your dog in place. This rolling dog carrier also has an interior strap, or “safety leash,” that can attach to your dog’s harness.
This rolling carrier has a telescopic handle. That means the handle can fold into itself and tuck away, and then extend back open into a nearly 3-foot long metal rod when you need it again. This feature keeps the rod protected and saves you much-needed space.
Several velcro straps secure the wheels of this kennel. While the wheels are secure when in use, they can be removed quickly by just unstrapping the velcro.
- Dog carrier comes with both an interior leash for your pet and a zipper-lock to ensure your dog won’t accidentally slip out while you’re on the run.
- Wheels are secured through several velcro straps but are easily removed when you need to place the carrier in a small space.
- The telescopic handle slides into the bottom of the carrier when not in use.
- The carrier comes with a removable and washable fleece bed.
- This “Luxury Rider” can carry pets up to 20 or 25 pounds.
- This carrier is one of the pricier options on our comprehensive guide list.
- Users note that if you have more than one small animal in this carrier, it could tip over if they’re moving around frequently.
- Occasionally the wheels stick a bit on this carrier. While it has several wheels, it may not roll as smoothly as a suitcase with four wheels.
- Some buyers say the zippers were not as sturdy as they had hoped, and some even broke off.
For pet owners who need a sturdier carrier, consider checking out ibiyaya. Their 4 in 1 pet carrier closely resembles a suitcase. Its structural design means the sides will not collapse in on themselves like soft-side carriers may.
This carrier’s four functions are as a shoulder carrier, backpack, rolling dog carrier, and a car seat. Its shape is aesthetically interesting, but it is not airline approved.
When not in use, the container’s sides can be folded and zipped together for easier storage.
This carrier does require assembly. Some users say the instructions can be difficult to follow while putting the rolling bag together. They recommend that you double-check your wheel attachment is securely fastened to be sure the bag is safe for your pet.
This rolling carrier is on the smaller side; the company recommends you only use it for dogs up to 18-pounds. Any pet larger than that may not fit or be comfortable on the journey. If your dog is exceptionally agile or jumpy, they could tip this bag over when it’s in “rolling carrier” form.
This dog carrier comes in several color options, including brown, blue, pink, green, and orange. It does contain a zipper pocket for storing smaller items, like a leash or doggy bags. The handle for this “suitcase” carrier is telescopic. It slides out of the way whenever you need it.
- The sturdy structure of this carrier is top-notch. It won’t collapse on itself or squish in on your pet.
- The bag is versatile. It can be used in several different ways, depending on what you need for your pet.
- The removable padding inside the carrier is washable, and you can wash the sides of the pack with damp towels and a vacuum.
- The mesh windows provide proper ventilation for your pet without compromising sturdiness.
- The recommended weight for this carrier is pets up to 18-pounds. It’s a bit smaller than the other rolling kennels on our best list.
- This carrier is not airline approved. You would need to call ahead of your flight well in advance to see what kind of roller bags are acceptable.
- The assembly process may not be easy-to-understand for some users.
I’m a dog owner myself, and I would bring my pup everywhere if I could. A carrier makes each adventure just a bit more manageable for both of us.
I would never recommend a product I wouldn’t also use for my dog. Of all of the carriers we tested, researched, and reviewed, the top choice is Gen7Pets Geometric Roller. The bag comes in two size options to fit the needs of your pet. The interior has space for your animal to move around a bit. The bag has all the benefits of a soft-side kennel while still maintaining some structural sturdiness.
It is the most expensive option on our list, but this bag is designed to last. Its features are unique, and the carrier itself is easy to clean. It’s our favorite rolling dog carrier available.