Bergan “Comfort Carrier”
Best suited for: In-cabin airplane carrier (Small only, with warning)
Also works for: Over the shoulder carrier, car carrier
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.