Creature Leisure “Den”
Best suited for: Hotel or vacation rental crate
Also works for: Everyday crate, if your dog doesn’t scrape to escape
Overall rating: ★★★★★
We own three of these Dens, two medium ones (for travel and for a vacation home) and a large one (for everyday use at home). The Den comes in three sizes: Small (17Hx22.5Lx15.5W), Medium (24Hx29.5Lx22W), and Large (30Hx38Lx28.5W). We like the Den because, assembled, it is sturdy and solid; and it collapses with the simplest of approaches — the four aluminum poles that provide structure at the four long seams of the crate slip out of their sleeves and are stored in one of the end panels, allowing the mesh side panels to collapse between the two end panels. The resulting 4″ deep rectangle has a strap to hold it closed. The crate comes with a shoulder strap, which I’ve never had a reason to use, and the company also sells a fairly durable soft bag for the collapsed crate, with enough extra room to fit a supplemental floor pad and some extra bedding.
Other things we like? Its mesh panels extend almost to the ground, so a dog lying down can still see out of her crate. It has D-rings in convenient places, to secure it in the rear compartment of your station wagon, SUV or minivan. The manufacturer even included a reflective PVC-coated nylon sun shade that can be snapped on to the top of the crate, in case you decide to use it outside on a sunny day.
Things we don’t like? The included floor pad is minimal, so you really need to buy one or two thick pads to make the floor comfortable. Chloe does sometimes scratch to escape her crate, and she managed to work her way through the reinforcing tape on a corner of the door of her large-sized Den in a very short period of time. I think it was a flaw in that particular crate, though, since her medium-sized Dens are still fine. My main complaint about the Den is that it does not include a clip designed to secure the two tabs of the zipper closing the front panel.