If you have a small dog or cat, you likely know that you can travel by air by using an airline approved cabin pet carrier.
Today, we have a roundup of the top six airline-approved pet carriers designed for use in the cabin of the airplane.
Depending on your needs, you will find at least one of these airline-approved pet carriers will meet your needs for travel with your pet.
Top 6 Airline Approved Pet Carriers for 2020
We have looked at, tested and analyzed reviews of over 2 dozen pet carriers that are airline approved and whittled our list down to the best of the best.
Below is a summary of all the models of pet carriers that made our list. We then give a more detailed review of each product, highlighting the pros and cons of each dog carrier.
Comparing the features, price and quality of each pet carrier should help you easily find the best pet carrier for airplane travel to suit your needs and budget, as well as keeping your pet happy and healthy.
1. Sherpa Travel Original Deluxe Pet Carrier
The Sherpa Travel Original Deluxe pet carrier is in a league of its own, most notably due to its luxurious design coupled with its rich set of features. It can be ordered in three different sizes, and six appealing colors including charcoal and plum, where the large size can carry pets weighing up to 22 lbs.
This airline approved pet carrier features a patented wire frame, which allows you to push the rear of the carrier several inches down to easily conform to under seat requirements of several airlines. Furthermore, it features large and wide mesh windows for excellent ventilation, and two entryways secured with locking zippers to prevent accidental escapes.
But that’s not all, the Sherpa Travel pet carrier features a secure seatbelt security strap that doubles down as a luggage strap. It comes with top and side entry options for easy loading of pets, and a non-slip adjustable shoulder strap that’s well-padded for optimal comfort.
Moving to the interior of the Sherpa pet carrier, your pet is welcomed with a soft faux liner that is machine washable. Replacements liners are also available and sold separately. The Sherpa Travel Original Deluxe pet carrier is backed by Sherpa’s Guaranteed On Board program, which ensures it is compatible with each participating airline’s rules and regulations.
2. Paws & Pals Airline Approved Pet Carrier
Coming in at the #2 position on this list of best pet carriers is the airline approved pet carrier by Paws & Pals for several reasons. For starters, it can be ordered in a choice of eleven exciting colors including onyx black and sapphire blue, and in two different sizes – small and large.
It measures 18.5″L x 19″W x 13″H inches (large) and weighs under 2 pounds when empty. This pet carrier can accommodate up to 20 lbs max weight. The Paws & Pals pet carrier is crafted from robust breathable and water-resistant material, which is mated with a reinforced frame, and a solid base insert. This pet carrier is machine washable and leak resistant, making it easy to clean after use.
The base insert of the Paws & Pals pet carrier stays securely in place for optimal body support, thanks to a dual Velcro strip retention system. Speaking of the design, this pet carrier is equipped with adjustable straps that are fitted with high quality plastic security buckles, making it easy to safely secure it to big and small bags/suitcases or to seatbelts when riding in the car.
The Paws & Pals pet carrier comes with a longer, adjustable, comfortable as well as removable plush padded shoulder strap. It also includes a bone shaped lost ID tag. With regards to comfort, this Paws & Pals dog carrier doesn’t disappoint with its removable fluffy and cozy fleece bed, which provides a high level of head and neck support for your pet.
The Paws & Pals pet carrier is airline compliant, and conforms to seat dimensions of most leading airlines. It is emblazoned with three reflective strips for safe use in low light conditions, comes with two doors – an inflight door that opens halfway and stationary door that fully opens, mesh screen windows for great ventilation, mesh side pocket and a Velcro secured additional storage compartment to store toys, treats, etc.
3. PetAmi Premium Pet Travel Carrier
The PetAmi Premium Pet travel carrier slots in at the #3 position on this list of best dog carriers for its eye-catching design that will perhaps even leave your pet in awe. Adding to this, this pet carrier can be had in a choice of two sizes – small and large, and in an assortment of colors including heather grey, heather pink and light grey, where each measure 19.5 x 10.2 x 12 inches (L x W x H).
It is an ideal choice for small to medium size cats, dogs and other pets, and showcases a well-ventilated design that provides optimal airflow. The PetAmi cat and dog travel carrier features a soft and cozy Sherpa lining in its interior, making it easy for your pet to relax and rest while on the go.
In terms of safety, the PetAmi pet carrier scores high with safety buckle zippers and a safety strap to prevent your pet from pulling a Houdini. Adding to its list of safety features is the ability to strap the bag to luggage or a car seatbelt for top notch safety when travelling. The PetAmi dog and cat machine washable travel bag is made from high quality polyester, so it will last you years to come with proper care.
It is airline approved, appointed with several airy mesh windows for great ventilation, and a provides a panoramic view for your pet. Loading your pet and getting it out can be done easily via any of the dual side access points, whereas the adjustable strap of the bag makes it a joy to carry across longer periods. The PetAmi pet carrier can handle up to 12 lbs weight, comes with a collapsible bowl for food and water, and a name ID tag.
4. EliteField Soft Sided Pet Carrier
The EliteField Soft Sided pet carrier is available in a choice of two sizes – medium and large, and in six colors including charcoal grey and pink. It is airline approved, and measures 17″L x 9″W x 12″H, making it a great fit for small dogs, cats and other similar size pets.
This pet carrier by EliteField comes with a removable fleece bed cover coupled with an insertable sturdy support board, both collectively designed to help your pet feel comfortable, and enhance the service life of the carrier. On that note, the interior of the Soft Sided Pet carrier features a built-in leash, which secures your pet to the carrier, and a buckle belt to restrain the carrier to a seatbelt or other piece of luggage.
Made from superior quality durable and lightweight material, the EliteField Soft Sided pet carrier is easy to clean, and features mesh netting on the sides and top for extra sunlight and great breathability. When it comes to storage, the Soft Sided pet carrier by EliteField doesn’t fall short with two pockets to store pet essentials while on the road.
Carrying the bag can be done with either the onsite hand carrying straps or the adjustable padded shoulder strap. To top things off, the EliteField pet carrier is backed by a 3-year manufacturer warranty, and a 100 percent money back guarantee.
5. X-ZONE PET Travel Carrier
The X-ZONE pet carrier measures 17.5” L x 11” W x 11” H, and can be ordered in a choice of two different sizes, and three colors including brown and purple. It is perfectly suited for carrying pets weighing less than 16 lbs, and fits the under-seat dimensions of most reputable airlines.
Adding to this, this pet travel carrier from X-ZONE features mesh panels at the sides for superior ventilation, and two entryways – top and side to easily load and unload your pet. Furthermore, it comes with a removable base insert, which provides great support for your pet to rest on, and a hand washable, removable fleece insert for added comfort when travelling.
The X-ZONE pet carrier features a sturdy steel frame at the top to prevent it from collapsing, and a thick bottom plate for excellent stability. Additionally, it can be hauled around easily with either the integrated adjustable shoulder strap or the carrying handles, and can be fastened to your luggage with the included back strap.
6. Henkelion Pet Carrier
The Henkelion pet carrier is our #6 pick for this list of best dog and cat carriers, owing to its innovative airline approved design, which allows you to take your pet almost anywhere you go. It is available in a choice of five colors including blue and pink and two sizes – medium and large, and arrives equipped with an adjustable shoulder strap for hands-free carrying.
This pet carrier by Henkelion features a sturdy footprint of 17″ x 11″ x 11″, tips the scales at 2 lbs when empty, and is made from high quality and durable lightweight polyester fabric. It features mesh on all four sides, which provides excellent ventilation for your pet, and allows you to a keep a close eye on them at all times.
The Henkelion pet carrier comes with two loop handles, which can be used to carry the bag or strap it to your suitcase or seatbelt. In the interior is a cozy fleece pet bed, which can be removed easily and machine washed before your next pet outing. It comes with several zippers, and can be opened to let your pet in and out via any of the doors located on different sides.
Best Pet Carrier Buying Guide
There are a few factors to consider when on the shopping trail for the best carrier including:
- Size – perhaps the most important factor to consider, the size of a pet carrier dictates the level of comfort your pet will enjoy. Pet carriers can be had in several different sizes, so be sure to measure your pet first, and then checkout the manufacturer size chart to get the right fit.
- Material – most of the best pet carriers are made from high quality washable materials such as polyester, which makes them easy to clean and offers great longevity.
- Airline approved – while guidelines for carrying pet carriers varies across airlines, airline approved pet carriers are designed to meet stringent size restrictions and safety standards.
- Handles – the last thing you want is for the pet carrier to bog you down when out and about, so look for one that comes with an adjustable strap, and a couple of carry handles.
- Ventilation – your pet just like you need sufficient air to breathe, so buy a pet carrier that offers great ventilation that flows throughout the carrier, generally provided via mesh netting.
- Access points – having many entryways allows you to load and unload your pet with ease. It is important to buy a pet carrier that offers more than one entry point if you have a feisty pet that’s not so keen on travelling.
- Pockets – if you’re going to be carrying pet essentials while travelling with your pet, look for a pet bag that offers a few storage compartments.
Buying the best pet carrier can feel a bit overwhelming, given the plethora of options available. But the six options mentioned on this list come with the right set of features including airline compatibility, so you really can’t go wrong with any of them.