5 Best Pet Carriers for Any Travel Destination

By Tamara Jude | February 6, 2023

Woman in colorful cardigan and cat lying in plastic carrier outdoors

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These days, businesses are more pet-friendly than ever, making it that much easier for your fur baby to be your constant companion—at home and on the go. Whether to and from the office each day, on an occasional visit to the gym, or for a week-long stay in a relaxing Airbnb, taking your cat or dog along for life’s little adventures requires a reliable pet carrier.

The good news is that “reliable” doesn’t have to mean “basic” when it comes to style. With so many options on the market, you can find a trendy carrier that matches your pet’s personality.  We have researched the best carriers on the market and compiled our top picks to help you find a carrier that fits your lifestyle and looks good.

Pet Carrier Features

Regardless of make or model, pet carriers are generally designed with portability and safety in mind. Beyond that, you have many choices, depending on your pet’s size, your style, and how you plan to use your carrier. 

Examples include the following:

cat in pet carrier on a park bench
Photo: Adobe

The Best Pet Carriers for Travel

Here are some of the best pet carriers we found:

For Frequent Use: ROVERLUND Airline Compliant Pet Carrier

Dimensions (inches): 

Materials: Polyester

Available colors: Black and yellow, black magenta, bright blue, camo magenta, camo orange, black yellow

This versatile pet carrier from ROVERLUND can be used on an airplane, in your car, or even at home. This carrier, which is available in several unique color combinations, has a flexible rear frame with a removable insert that can be taken out while traveling in the air.

Additionally, this career includes a bonus shoulder strap for easy carrying that can also be used as an additional leash to secure the carrier in place in the car. This carrier comes in both small and large sizes, so it can fit almost any-size pet.

For Jet-Set Pets: Petmate Sky Kennel Pet Carrier

Dimensions (inches): 21–48

Materials: Heavy-duty plastic, metal wire (door and window panels)

Available colors: Gray

As its name suggests, the Petmate Sky Kennel is made to fly the friendly skies. It comes in six sizes, so it’s a viable option for large and small pets alike. With its added safety and comfort features, this carrier is an excellent option for long flights where you can’t or don’t want to stow your pet below your seat. 

The Sky Kennel is made from durable plastic that meets airline and federal highway standards for safe travel. It’s also equipped with a mechanism that helps reduce sliding and shifting while in transit and comes with “Live Animal” identification stickers and clip-on water and food bowls.

For Day Trippers: Sherpa Original Deluxe Pet Carrier

Dimensions (inches):

Materials: Polyester, faux lambskin

Available colors: Black, charcoal

Lightweight and well-ventilated, this pet carrier from Sherpa is our choice for the best everyday carrier because it is just as suited for a trip to the vet as it is for an international flight. 

Available in multiple classic colors, the Sherpa can be carried by hand or with a detachable shoulder strap. The carrier’s flexible frame allows it to fit in tight spaces, including under your airplane seat. It has top- and side-loading options and lots of little pockets and pouches to store treats, toys, and other necessities. A faux lambskin liner keeps your pet cozy and warm but can be removed for easy cleaning. 

The carrier comes in three sizes with three corresponding maximum weight limits. The small version can accommodate cats and dogs up to 8 pounds, while the medium size holds up to 16 pounds. The large carrier can fit a pet between 17 and 22 pounds.

For Outdoor Enthusiasts: PetAmi Backpack Dog and Cat Carrier

Dimensions (inches): 16.3 x 12.5 x 10.2

Materials: Polyester

Available colors: Black, charcoal, dark gray, heather gray, light gray, heather navy, red, pink, heather purple, heather taupe, light blue, sea blue

If you are an avid hiker—or like to head to the park or beach as often as possible—PetAmi’s backpack carrier might be worth considering. With padded shoulder and back straps and waist and chest buckles, the carrier provides a supportive spot for your dog or cat (up to 18 pounds) while helping to keep you comfortable and free from muscle strain. 

The PetAmi Backpack Dog and Cat Carrier’s variety of colors allows you to match your carrier to your style. And a mesh window lets your pet take in the surroundings and stay cool. 

For Anxious Animals: Sleepypod Air In-Cabin Pet Carrier

Dimensions (inches): 23 x 11.5 x 4

Materials: Nylon

Available colors: Jet black, glacier silver, orange dream, dark chocolate, robin egg blue, strawberry red

The Sleepypod carrier creates a cave-like experience for anxious pets by removing outside stimuli. While most carriers have window panels, the Sleepypod completely closes up, creating a dark environment to help animals feel safe and sleep better. To further relax your cat or dog, the carrier has a plush interior cushion that is machine washable. The Sleepypod is durable but lightweight and compresses easily to fit under airline seats. 

For your comfort, the carrier comes with a padded shoulder strap. As a bonus, it looks just like a standard carry-on bag and comes in multiple shades to make it easier to coordinate with existing luggage.

Our Recommendation

If you’ve invested in the hippest at-home pet gear that blends beautifully with your decor, rest assured that your four-legged friend can be just as chic when on the road. But, while finding a carrier you’ll want to carry around is undoubtedly important, it’s so much more than just another accessory. 

The carrier you pick will hold precious cargo and help ensure your canine companion or feline friend becomes a constant co-traveler with you for many years. Once you’ve clearly defined your needs, be sure to comparison-shop and check out customer reviews to see what other pet owners like and dislike about each product.