Bergan “Comfort Carrier”

photo-20Best suited for: In-cabin airplane carrier (Small only, with warning)
Also works for: Over the shoulder carrier, car carrier
Quality: ★★
Price: $$$$
Overall rating: ★★★★

Amazon carries a lot of Bergan carriers, so I thought I’d take a look at their most appealing product, the Bergan Comfort Carrier. I ordered the Large size (19Lx10Wx13H), but for airplane use you’d want to order the Small (17Lx8Wx11.5H). That’s officially larger than most U.S. airlines’ maximums, but the carrier is very flexible, so it will actually work. It also looks trim, especially in black, so it may not catch a ticketing agent’s eye at all.

Please note that the carrier also comes in a “Plus Small,” which turns out to be the same size as the Small but with a water bowl, leash and treat bag thrown in. Stick with the Small size — the water bowl and leash you buy elsewhere will be better quality, and Ziploc bags work fine for treats.

There are a lot of things I like about this carrier. It has huge ventilation panels, including one on top, so you can see your dog while she’s at your feet, where she’ll be for most of your journey. A small zip along one edge allows you to reach in easily and pet (and feed) your dog. It has several good-sized pockets, a thick fleece pad, and it collapses for storage. A small clip secures together the two zipper tabs at each end, so the zippers cannot work open (or be worked open by your dog). The carrier is light, so it won’t kill your weight allowance, and it has sturdy loops through which a seat belt can be secured.

Here’s what I don’t like: It’s not a very sturdy product. I love the idea of the plastic zipper clip, but the clip itself is flimsy, and wouldn’t resist a really concerted escape effort. On the bag I received, the zipper for patting access arrived opened behind the zipper head — it closed when I zipped it open and shut again, but it was a bad sign, and the zippers are, in fact, very lightweight. At this price, this is one of the best bags I’ve seen, but it will not hold up to repeated use.

Amazon links:
Bergan Comfort Carrier Soft-Sided Pet Carrier, Small, Black
Bergan Comfort Carrier Soft-Sided Pet Carrier, Large, Black

2 Comments »

  • rebeca says:

    I own one of these in large, and we’ve traveled quite a bit with our 16 lb chug in it. It’s done very well, and we’ve even traveled internationally. Willie can turn around easily in it, he does often, and loves that he can see us at every angle. So far, we’ve had no problems with the zippers but our dog doesn’t try to escape. It fits very well under the seat, doesn’t stick out at all and when i put him under the seat length wise I can even put my feet on either side of him. He doesn’t stick out at all.

    My only complaint is that doesn’t have a top entry access (it’s not fun trying to “push” Willie into this bag, but a top-entry bag he has no problem with). Also, the only side entrance happens to be the side that has a mesh pocket. Our first trip we had Willie’s favorite bone in there and when we opened up the side to take him out to go through security it fell out and we didn’t even notice. The only thing we keep in that pocket now is the leash, which can clip on to a hook there. Otherwise, it’s too easy to lose things when you open and close.

    I’ve been looking for something easier to carry, preferably on wheels, but there are very few products and so far none of them seem to work for under the seat for my size dog, so I’ll be sticking to this Bergan carrier for the time being.

  • m-a says:

    Thanks so much for your comment, Rebeca! That kind of feedback, from someone who’s flown with the carrier, is invaluable. I too looked for a good wheeled carrier for Chloe, and thought I’d found it in the Creature Leisure Pet Pilot, but it’s just a touch too small for her (and would be for your pup too, alas).

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