Rated 3 out of 5 by RetrieverPapa Good except for door
We purchased two of these along with the floor pads charged separately. The kennel is well designed and engineered except for the high entrance which means the dogs need encouragement (treats) to enter. Additionally, the door rolls up but the velcro needs to be better designed to hold it up tightly rolled and out of the way. We have puts the pads down near the couch where they sleep but they have shown no interest over the past several days. We're trying the kennels and pads out in the house before we make a final decision whether to keep them. We may rate these higher later on.
August 3, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by Citydog Best tent crate *ever*.
I use this for dog trials and shows. I have two of the Rufftough kennels permanently mounted in my Subaru Forester, and needed something portable to use at trial/show sites. This is *fantastic*.
Most tent/fabric crates fold down to a big flat thing, and those can be awkward to transport and carry. This thing is genius. It folds down like a camp chair and can be tucked behind car seats and carried over your shoulder to free up your hands for walking dogs and carrying other things. The frame also makes it harder for dogs to tip over and "roll" than most other designs. It takes less than a minute to put up/take down. The mesh keeps even the tiniest bugs away from the dog. The zip flap on the top allows you to put in pads (I had a custom Primo Pad made) and provides ventilation and easy access to the dog. The mesh is at a level where the dog can best see out when in a reclining position, so it actually encourages them to relax in the crate. The crate is a great size and I have used it with long GSDs and tall Belgians and had plenty of room.
As others have said, the zippers do not seem as well made/beefy as the rest of the crate. While I use my leash to clip the two ends together so the dog can't nose it open, the overall weight of the zippers seems very light for the application. It is also a bit tough to squish it down enough to fit in the carry bag. It would be nice if LL Bean made the bag just a tiny bit larger so there wasn't as much need to stress the crate and its strap to get it back in the bag. The dark green is probably good for hunters, but I'd like to see a lighter color that would be cooler in the sun so I wouldn't need to always bring shade cloths on those in-between days.
A couple of notes:
Dog and puppies should be solidly crate trained before using *any* fabric crate. They should be comfortable in the crate and should be past trying to break out of them before you use one of these.
Unless you truly have a giant breed (well over 28" tall or so), this crate should be fine. If you want your dog to be able to lie on its side and completely stretch out, you probably are looking to buy an ex-pen instead.
In short, I *love* this crate, and it has held up extremely well with my (trained) dogs. Highly recommended.
July 27, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by KristenVT Great pop up dog crate!
I bought this a year ago for a camping trip where we were bringing our not quite 1 year old chocolate lab. I thought this would be easier to transport and pack than her large wire crate (and it was, of course!).
I was worried that she might chew on it or rip it. But those worries were all for naught. She did fine in the crate. We kept it outdoors at the campsite during the day and left it in the shade. She didnt stay in it all the time but I did put her in it when I was leaving the campsite to go to the beach area (dogs not allowed), or when she was wet from swimming and I didnt want her laying on the dirt and getting filthy. And we moved the crate into the tent at night and she slept in there. She didnt try to chew at it. I did drape a blanket over the screen windows last year when I would walk away from the campsite because she would whine when I wasnt close. But I didnt have that problem this year. She actually wants to go inside when she is tired! And the top zipper door is great to get her clipped on a leash before you open the front zipper door, because my lab will shoot out like a rocket and run around if you dont have her on her leash right away.
Its built very well. I did purchase the matching crate pad to put inside. It fits perfect. I'm glad I made this purchase for camping. After using it a 2nd year I realized I should use this crate for when I have her stay at a friend's house so I dont have to lug around the big wire crate.
June 30, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by Verified Reviewer One of a Kind, Great Find
It's so easy to unfold and fold, you'll wish human tents were so simple. The locks are easy to engage and release, materials are strong, and it looks great. The screens are well sized for sense of security and ability to look out in all directions. The top opening helps me clean it out easily. We didn't get the matching cushion even though it is washable with a hose. We use our kennel for hotel travel, so we had another cushion cut down to 38x20" so our German Shepherd would have a softer surface. There is nothing on the market as quick to set up, compact when stored and that looks so nice. It's a great product.
June 29, 2016
Rated 2 out of 5 by KoshNaranek Great idea impacted by poor zipper design
After reading previous reviews I was concerned over the strength of the zippers on this crate. Unfortunately, they were the fatal flaw of this otherwise excellent design.
The crate is light, and easy to set up and take down. The included carrying case works well and makes transportation (minus the pad, not included) simple.
That said, the zipper strength appears to be lacking - my 50lb puppy pushed through the front flap on her second night in the crate and I was awaked by a series of friendly licks..
As it turned out, the zipper chain itself split at the bottom, rending the front flap useless. As expected L.L. Bean accepted the return without question, but I'm hoping they redesign the zipper with stronger materials - at least on the front flap - to prevent this problem.
If this is addressed I'd definitely recommend this crate, until then, you'll have to determine if it is strong enough for your canine friend.
June 28, 2016
Rated 4 out of 5 by indyducktor Compact, light, reasonable price
Since I haven't had the kennel long, it's impossible to rate it on durability. I've zipped/unzipped it a few times and still ok. But the zipper is reportedly a weakness, so we'll see.
The kennel folded is about the size of a dome tent. It's light, has a carrier, and sets up in a minute. The external frame protects the pet from pinches or entrapment. The top opens completely (with a zipper). The door does seem a bit small, especially for a larger dog like a German Shepherd. They price is reasonable but it is cloth, not metal, and it is made in China.
My main concern is the dependability of the zippers.
May 20, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by WetLab Handy and Works
Not a hard side plastic or wire kennel so the compromise is less strength but it is very portable and easy to set up. Use it when traveling with our 2 year old Lab, she is very comfortable in it while staying in pet friendly hotels. Very happy with it!
April 30, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by Idonteatbeansbutllbeansok Perfectly Compact
Sets up in a pinch. I had one for a while now and bring it anytime my dog comes along. It is so much easier to deal with than lugging around a big crate and it works great for camping.
There is one caveat though. Sometimes my dog gets high anxiety when we are in a new place. I went away for a weekend to my girlfriend's parents house and when we all went out for dinner one night, I came back to find he broke (bent really) it in the front by the red tab (where it locks into the frame). He did not manage to get out of the kennel so everything else held up pretty well.
Of course LL Bean sent me a brand new one at no charge (LL Bean credit card is nice since I don't pay for return shipping either).
I don't think that it would be an issue for 99% of owners. My dog is a big guy at just over 70 pounds and is very muscular. Like I said he has some pretty heavy anxiety so if your dog is ok with you leaving I wouldn't be concerned at all.
Tl;dr: Great Kennel, one slight weak point in the frame, but it's guaranteed for life!
March 23, 2016
Rated 4 out of 5 by LibrarianEd Adequate Dog Bed
The Stowaway Dog Bed's best feature is its portability, unlike the wire mesh cages which are a pain to take apart and put together, plus they're heavy. However, the Stowaway crate is not as sturdy as the wire cage nor does the occupant have as good a view from inside the crate since much of it is solid plastic and the mesh is much closer together (darker) than a wire mesh crate.
Warning: You have to be careful how you zip the zippers closed. There is a zipper on each side of the plastic flap and if you zip from both sides down so the zippers meet in the middle at the bottom, a savvy dog (like mine) can stick its muzzle in the bottom and unzip the flap. You need to use one zipper from the top of one side to the top of the other.
If I needed a crate for one place, I'd get a wire mesh one. Since I plan on taking the pup on vacation, though, the Stowaway Crate should do the trick.
October 21, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by abby12 Love this kennel
Love this kennel and so does our lab puppy. We set it up and he naps in it voluntarily. The only problem we had was he was trying to pull it around the room by the velcro tie that goes around it to put it away and the tie ripped off the frame. Probably our fault but now we just have to keep track of it after opening. Great purchase and easy to take traveling.
September 27, 2015