dog crate, carrier, harness, or travel seat?
11-04-153 mins read
With a definitive study on the effectiveness of crates, carriers, harnesses and travel seats, pet owners can make informed decisions based on evidence, not claims.
Pet Safety

With a definitive study on the effectiveness of crates, carriers, harnesses and travel seats, pet owners can make informed decisions based on evidence, not claims.

Dog Crate, Carrier, Harness, Or Travel Seat?

My stomach turns when I see a dog untethered in the bed of a pickup truck, riding shotgun in a car or curled up in the backseat unrestrained. I even get a little unsettled when a dog is in some kind of pet traveling safety product, be it a carrier, harness or a substandard crate. The testing Gunner Kennels has done, and independent testing done by the Center for Pet Safety and Subaru of America has really opened my eyes.

I never really trusted those flimsy plastic crates, but until I tested them for myself, it never occurred to me how unsafe they are. Which of course is why I started Gunner Kennels in the first place: to create the best dog crate for my best friend, Gunner.

The tests show that while many manufacturers claim to secure your best friend in the event of a crash, those claims are false. Finally, with a definitive study on effectiveness of crates, carriers, harnesses and travel seats, pet owners can make informed decisions based on evidence, not claims.

If you have a medium to large size dog, the products that are recommended (Center for Pet Safety does not endorse products. They recommend products that pass testing.) is a short list. Of all the products tested, there were only two that passed for larger dogs: A Gunner Kennel G1 Intermediate crate and one brand of harnesses.

Below is some alarming footage from the studies. We share it not to scare you, but to warn you. When shopping for safe crates, carriers, harnesses and travel seats, phrases like “appropriate for auto travel” or “designed for using in a vehicle” doesn’t translate to “tested,” “crash tested” or “crash protection.”

Carriers

No carriers passed on keeping a dog over 45 pounds secure in a 30 MPH crash simulation.

Harnesses

Of the eight pet harnesses tested, only one (Sleepypod Clickit Utility) was deemed sufficient in design, materials and overall performance.

Crates

Center For Pet Safety reports:

The Gunner Kennel is the hands-down top performing crate of the 2015 study. Using the strength rated connection straps (sourced from Gunner Kennels) the product withstood the significant forces generated in the CPS testing.

The Gunner Kennel is unique. It has a dual locking feature on the door that provides significant structural support to the door in the case of an accident.

With the strength rated anchor straps tightened, the Gunner Kennel’s rubber feet gripped the carpet, unlike any other crate we have tested. This is a significant travel device, with outstanding structural integrity.

Travel Pet Seats

The Pet Travel Seat Pilot Study found that while a pet travel seat may offer distraction prevention, it will likely not offer crash protection in the event of an accident, which could lead to injury of the pet and the human vehicle passengers. The quality of commonly available pet travel seats did not provide effective protection in a crash scenario.

Here is CPS’s conclusion of the tests:

“Based on the scientific test evidence collected over the past four years, in part through its partnership with Subaru, CPS can now identify the safest travel options for most pets. For small dogs and cats, Center for Pet Safety recommends one of the 2015 Top Performing Carriers; for medium and large dogs either the 2015 Top Performing Crate – Gunner Kennels G1 Intermediate with 8’ Tie Down Straps, or a Center for Pet Safety Certified Harness.”

That really narrows a pet owner’s search for the safest travel options. When it comes to crates, the choice is clear: Man’s Best Kennel. Whether it’s in the back of your pickup truck or the cargo space of an SUV or minivan, no other crate performed better at offering protection in the event of a crash. Pair this with our lifetime warranty – a rarity when it comes to travel kennels and crates – and we know this is the last travel crate you will need to buy. It’s, dent proof, crack proof and escape-artist proof, and gives you peace of mind when traveling with your dog.

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G1™ KENNEL
Regular price
499
Sale price
499.00
5 Star Crash Tested. The original.
Double-Wall Rotomolded. 2x impact protection.
Lifetime Warranty. All kennels.
American Made. No corners cut. View More Details
Quantity must be 1 or more
Color:Gunmetal
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TIE-DOWN STRAP KIT
Regular price
79
Sale price
79.00

GUNNER strap sets are the only ones that we recommend, and have met each of the brand’s crash test standards. They are the straps that the Center For Pet Safety recommends using when anchoring your crate to your vehicle for 5 Star Crash Test certified safety.

Our new & improved tie-downs are made with an extra-thick custom cam buckle for additional break strength and a synthetic material that ensures you can leave these out 24/7: better guarding against fading and stretching, and perfect for high abrasion environments.

Read why it's important to use GUNNER straps for safe travel.

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Strap Color:Blaze Orange
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PERFORMANCE PAD
Regular price
Starting from
89
Sale price
89.00

This GUNNER tough-skin insert provides a 3/4” pad of cushion for the crate, as well as waterproof comfort for the sporting dog’s tired joints on the ride home.

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Performance Pad Color:
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GUNNER FAN KIT
Regular price
229
Sale price
229.00

Your dog works hard for you – this fan works hard for your dog. The GUNNER Fan Kit is a high-powered device designed to mount easily to the crate, with a stainless steel mounting rod and custom tensions bolts. Built to provide significant ventilation, especially while kennel is stationary. A durable structure, just like our customers are accustomed to.

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Fan Color:Black
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Regular price
499
Sale price
499.00
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Regular price
79
Sale price
79.00
intermediate_black
Regular price
99
Sale price
99.00
black
Regular price
229
Sale price
229.00
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BM
07/05/2021
Brandon M.
United States United States
  • How would you describe your dog? Gun or Bird Dog
  • What's your primary use of the product? Travel
It’s like an insurance plan….

This is by far the best kennel made. I use mine daily and they take lots of abuse. They never even seem to wear at all. Hose them off with soap and water and they look brand new. I encourage all of my puppy buyers to get them as well. It’s like an insurance plan for your best friend!

GUNNER G1™ KENNEL Review
KT
06/14/2021
Kris T.
United States United States
  • What's your primary use of the product? TravelHomeHome & Travel Equally
  • How would you describe your dog? Family or Companion Dog
Wow, Just Wow

Wow, this kennel is the Yeti of dog kennels! everything about this kennel is first rate. Yes, there are cheaper, but none can compare to a Gunner kennel.

AL
05/31/2021
Alec L.
United States United States
  • What's your primary use of the product? Travel
  • How would you describe your dog? Family or Companion Dog
Amazing travel kennel

This thing is built like a tank. I have no doubt this will protect our little guy if we are ever involved in an accident. We recently completed an 800 mile road trip with him in the crate. It was well worth the money. This was the first time he was calm in the car and not whining. He slept easily during the drive. We felt calm know he was secure and comfortable. Cannot recommend this crate enough!!

AO
05/08/2021
Angus O.
United States United States
  • How would you describe your dog? Family or Companion Dog
  • What's your primary use of the product? Travel
Unlike any other crate I have seen

I purchased two Gunner kennels, a medium and a small, for my pups. Immediately, you understand this is a different level of product compared to what you’ve used before. The construction is fantastic and legitimately heavy duty. I feel so much better knowing I’ve done everything I can to keep my dogs safe in case of a worst case scenario.

PK
03/18/2021
Patrick K.
United States United States
  • What's your primary use of the product? Travel
  • How would you describe your dog? Gun or Bird Dog
Best purchase for my best friends

I’ve been buying cheap kennels for the four years I’ve owned my dogs, none of them seemed to hold up. I’ve wanted a Gunner for a year now, and the more I read stories of how they have saved dogs lives, it made me think of how losing my best friends would damn near **** me. So I made the purchase and will never look back. It is one solid kennel and I will not let the kennel hold me back from traveling farther to hunt anymore. It’s well worth the investment. I’m a firm believer in you get what you pay for, and this will not let anyone down.