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Dog Tents Compared

Pet Tent Designs go Head-to-Head

With so many designs available on the market we thought we'd look more closely at pairs of tents that have a similar target audience. Whether they are large dog camping tents, small indoor pet tents or from any other niche that different designs might share, we'll put two together and look at their relative pros and cons. Hopefully by doing this we can help to narrow down your search a little and assist you in finding the right tent for your dog and you.

To the Comparisons:

Snoozer Cozy Cave V Best friends by Sheri Igloo

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EliteField V Guardian Gear

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ScientistPet Tent V United States Pop-Up


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Alcott Explorer V ABO Gear Dog Haus

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Petego Umbra V Petego Dog-Bag

snoozer cozy cave dog tent bed V best friends sheri igloo
Snoozer Cozy Cave Best Friends by Sheri Igloo

The Little Tent Bed Tussle

Comparing dog tents isn’t easy at the best of times but when it comes to pet tent beds the whole process gets even harder! This is because we mere humans can judge on things such as size, sturdiness, air circulation, waterproofing and price on behalf of our dogs, but with tent beds most of these considerations diminish in importance or vanish altogether. You could research tent beds for your pooch until the cows come home, finally buy one, only then to find your little friend prefers the box it was delivered in! And so it is very much a matter of the dog’s own taste, leaving the owner only able to take his or her best guess!

Knowing all of the above, we still decided to go ahead and do our best in comparing a couple of products. We ordered the ‘Best Friends by Sheri Igloo’ and a small ‘Snoozer Cozy Cave’. We chose these items predominantly because they are two of the most popular tent beds on the market and both of their designs, although very different in style, are based upon Sherpa fabric. We managed to get both tents at roughly half-price through Amazon’s ‘open-box’ offers (always worth checking out!) but brand new, a small Snoozer costs around $60, and the Sheri Igloo around $30 (prices vary with color for both beds). Both items were delivered quickly (both less than a week) and our task could begin…

The first thing we noted were the sizes: 25” x 25” x 8” for the Snoozer and 17” x 13” x 12” for the Igloo – both definitely for diminutive dogs! Here was the first advantage for the Snoozer when the entire ranges of both products were considered: the Snoozers are available in bigger sizes whilst the Igloos are not. This limits the Igloo, of course, to very small dogs only. That said, the Snoozer’s size options upon their product page are confusing – care should be taken when ordering! (Check the product details/description further down the page for each item rather than depending on the size buttons at the top - and ask questions if you’re still not sure.) (This confusion, we're happy to say, has since been addressed since the writing of this article) The next small advantage for the Snoozer we noticed is that the interior is Sherpa fabric-lined whereas with the Igloo only the exterior is covered. This interior lining would surely keep a dog cosier!

On the plus side for the Igloos, however, is a removable, washable pad as well as an Oxford cloth base. The Snoozer does have a removable and washable cover but this isn't as convenient as its competitor: the entire Igloo tent bed is washable! The Igloo also has a handle at the top for portability, but just how useful this is with such a lightweight item we’re not sure - we could lift the bed up via the entrance comfortably with our little fingers! Maybe with the pooch still inside the handle would make more sense!

And so there we have it - that's about all we can say! There are pros and cons to both designs. But having seen both of the products side by side, the Snoozer Cozy Cave looks and feels more substantial – but it probably should do at basically double the price of the Sheri Igloo! Overall, however, our conclusion is that we, as humans, prefer the Snoozer - it just has more quality about it. But if we were very small discerning dogs, on the other hand, things might be different!

You can find both of these products in our small tent bed section.

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elitefiled crate V gaurdian gear xl
EliteField 3 Door Crate guardian Gear XL

Which Soft Crate’s Great?

We thought for our latest comparison that, for a change, we should test out a couple of dog crates rather than tents. We all agreed that this was a good idea – even though it would mean spending some company money (Dog-Tent’s funds are both sacred and scarce!). Despite our best and desperate efforts, we couldn’t find a cheap way of running a fair test. And so, with deep remorse, we reluctantly dusted off the revered Visa card!

Our next problem was in deciding which two crates to compare. We wanted a nice fair fight, held on an equal footing: both crates had to be roughly the same size, price and so on. We finally decided upon large versions of ‘EliteField’ and ‘guardian Gear’ (pictured above). We thought that this would be an intriguing battle: the consistently highly-ranked EliteField versus the more diversely-rated guardian Gear.

We would order the 42” x 28 x 32” size from the EliteField’s 3 Door range and the 42” x 29” x 34” XL from guardian Gear as its opponent. The prices were $85 and $97 respectively. Very similar sizes and prices we thought, but would our final opinions of the two crates also be alike, we wondered. We clicked the order button, winced and waited…

When the two crates had arrived (both quickly) we set to work. We were impressed with both as far as setting up/assembly times were concerned. Sat side by side you could see that the guardian Gear was a touch taller (2 inches as expected) and so a small point to its credit there. But the EliteField’s generally sturdier build quickly took this point back and more. This is probably down to it having a tubular steel frame which its opponent does not. We all agreed that the EliteField had a much better feeling of robustness about it in general: it seemed better suited to a boisterous hound.

As far as ventilation goes, both crates do well although, once again, we feel that the EliteField just edges this one with its 3 door options. But the gG shouldn’t be marked down too much on this point. It has good ventilation too and options of its own as far as the opening and blinding of vents are concerned.

Both crates came with a free/included carry case into which both crates (fairly) easily converted. And both designs also came with mats which is a nice freebie to have, although I would personally prefer something a little more substantial than either of them for my own dog – but that’s not a big deal to correct. The two designs also incorporate an array of handy storage pockets (one also on the carry case to for the gG) but we did feel that the EliteField’s were a little more practical.

And so – which was best? You’ve probably already guessed that the EliteField, in our view, is the superior crate. The guardian Gear isn’t bad and a well-behaved dog would do just fine inside of one, but the EF wins the day on both strength and price; it has a feeling of quality about it that the gG doesn’t quite match.

(Remember that a soft crate, or any crate for that matter, should only really be occupied by a crate-trained dog!)

You can find both of the above designs to buy on the large dog tent page.

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scientistpet doggie tent V united states puppy tent
ScientistPet Durable Tent United States Pop-Up Tent

ScientistPet V U.S. Pop-Up in the Tiny Tent Challenge

In the interests of balance, having so far compared some of the bigger dog tents out there, we thought we would compare two of the smallest. We also thought that this was a good idea as they’re both very cheap to buy! Both coming in at around $10, we ordered the ‘United States’ Pop-Up Puppy Tent (14” x 14” x 14”) and the ‘ScientistPet’ Durable Pet Tent (small size - 15” x 15” x 13”). They duly arrived and here’s what we thought…

The first thing we noted is how incredibly small they both are. Obviously, we had seen their dimensions when we’d ordered, but when they were set up in front of us it really brought it home just how tiny both tents were! Still, small dog tents are what we wanted and that’s exactly what we got. But if you do consider ordering either of these two products yourself for your own puppy or dog, just be sure of his or her small size also.

On a similar note both designs look and feel quite delicate – probably due to their diminutive size again. Here, we’re used to bigger, bolder tents and crates in general and so we decided that we shouldn’t judge this pair too harshly for appearing a little fragile. After all, it wouldn’t be bigger bolder dogs that would be using them. Even so, a boisterous pup that likes to use its teeth and claws might not be compatible with either of these designs, we felt.

On a more positive note, both tents were very easy to set up and, as you might expect, stow away. We tested out the waterproofing on both by employing a garden hose. The ScientistPet coped much better than the United States tent, but we felt that the U.S. design would breathe a little better due to its mesh roof. Overall, however, the ScientistPet tent, we felt, was superior. It’s a little larger and, so long as you have a well-behaved, little dog, it seemed better suited as a realistic pet tent. It just seemed to have a touch more quality about it and a better build than its competitor. And so if you have around $10 to spend on a very small dog tent we suggest the ScientistPet solution.

You can find both of these designs for sale on the small dog tent page.

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Alcott Explorer Pup Tent V ABO Gear Dog Haus
Alcott Explorer Pup Tent ABO Gear Dog Haus Pet Shelter

 Alcott Explorer Pup Tent V ABO Gear Dog Haus

These two dog tents are two of the most popular in the medium to large range and both just about share the medium price range also. The Alcott is a little smaller (35” x 28” x 45”) than the Abo Gear (42” x 32” x 42”) but that is reflected in its price: around $40 compared to just over $60 at this time. We already knew much about the Alcott and we believe it to be a very good tent for the price – that is reflected by its customer reviews and the number of referrals we have made on its behalf so far. But we didn’t know so much about the ABO Gear. It also seems very popular gets very good reviews for the most part… but is it a better buy than the trusty Alcott? Fortunately for us a friend of ours (hello Mac!) recently returned from a holiday park near Otterton – a small village on the south coast of Devon, England. The park was tent and dog friendly and there he came across a pitched Abo Gear. Owner (John) and tenant (Lucy) were available and so Mac, our improvised researcher, found out what John thought about their tent. What follows is our paraphrasing of his and Mac’s opinions…

The ABO is easy to set up, popping up in no time at all but be sure to stake it down securely when used outdoors as wind, when combined with a leaning dog, can have unfortunate consequences! The owner also pointed out that the tent was easy to take down, stow and transport. The interior was more than large enough to house Lucy (Golden Lab. estimated at 80lbs) and her added cot, and the various ventilation options with the closable mesh windows added to her comfort.

We had previously heard that waterproofing was an issue with the ABO but John refuted this: it had rained quite heavily twice during his and Lucy’s stay and the dog and interior had remained dry on both occasions! Also, on a previous rainy camping trip waterproofing had not been a problem.

The only negative talked about in regards to the ABO Gear was one that’s common with many dog tents: they are not really designed for dog’s that do not want to stay in them! Lucy was happy in her tent and well-behaved but, as her owner pointed out, a determined dog that felt imprisoned could cause some damage to the structure. But no such problems existed for John. He said that he would not even consider another tent!

Well, what do you say to that, Alcott? We like the Alcott very much. Okay, it’s a little smaller than the ABO – it takes a little longer to set up – but it is a little cheaper! Apart from these things we would echo much of the musings from above. And so we feel in this comparison test that we will have to have a tie. Both the Alcott and the ABO Gear are great tents at very reasonable prices. In our opinion, then, they are both winners!

Visit the large dog tent page to buy the Alcott - unfortunately, for the time being, the ABO is unavailable.

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petego umbra tent V dog bag tent
Petego Umbra Tent Petego Dog-Bag Tent

The All-Petego Tent Battle

If you search the internet looking for a dog tent it won’t be long before you bump into a Petego product – especially the Umbra Pet Tent which seems prevalent upon the pages. Its slightly shyer cousin is the Petego Dog-Bag Pet Tent which, although of a different design, caters for the same part of the spectrum in the dog-camping world. The size ranges are similar (roughly 24” 29” and 35” cubed for both) and the prices are alike too ($100 to $140 encompasses the small, medium and large tents for both products at this time). Also, both items are currently similarly rated by the reviews. And so the question is: which one is better?

To answer that question we had to look for ourselves. One of our team, Paul, already had the small Umbra tent for his dog, Charlie (a very lively bichon), and so we just had to order the similarly-sized Dog-Bag tent and then compare the two side by side. Here’s what we thought (and what Charlie thought too!)…

Both tents emerged from their provided carry-bags and opened up easily. The Umbra, however, with its umbrella-style mechanism, seemed to provide a more satisfying and strong lock on opening whereas the Bag Tent undid in a less impressive way, simply unfolding into shape. The first impression we had, as the two tents sat together, was that the Umbra was, by far, the sturdiest of the pair. Charlie’s first reaction was to sit in it! After tempting the helpful dog out with a treat we staked the the tents down and that seemed to improve the stability and strength of both a little.

The design for the Bag Tent, we felt, allowed for much more air circulation than the Umbra – even when the latter had its optional canopy removed. Lots of mesh is great for hot, lazy days, but we did wonder what would happen with such big vents on a windy day with sideways rain! Both tents were well put together with similar materials involved: steel frames and claw-proof mesh. Charlie’s tent had obviously been in the wars a little after several camping trips with his owner; it appeared to be a little lopsided but its integrity still remained intact and it still functioned well. We can’t say at this time whether or not the Bag Tent would fare so well or better after similar use.

When packing away the two tents back into their respective carriers we had some trouble with the Bag Tent. It was a little tricky to fold the design back up small enough to fit it back in its bag. But this tent was new to us and so we can’t criticise it too much for the origami that was required. On our second attempt we succeeded much more quickly in stowing it than on our first, and so we feel that just a little more practise and familiarity is required here. The Umbra Pet Tent, in the meantime, collapsed down and was bagged almost as quickly as it had been erected!

So, what were our conclusions? We couldn’t help thinking that the Bag Tent was more of a fair-weather yard tent than a true camping product – and maybe that is what it’s supposed to be. It’s seemed to us to be much flimsier than the Umbra, and as if a lot less thought had gone into its design. That’s fair enough for a fair-weather tent, but its price doesn’t reflect this: the Umbra Pet Tent is generally equivalent, or even a touch cheaper, in price for the same sizes. We unanimously agreed (Charlie included) that therefore we would choose the Umbra as the winner of this all-Petego battle.

You can find both of these designs to buy on the multi-sized tent page.


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