Last Updated on September, 2023
Are there any crates made explicitly for truck beds? Yes, there are.
The issue is that they are mixed amongst the generalized crates. That’s why most people buy regular crates for high prices and end up disappointed.
But you’re at iPetGuides, and if you know what we do, you know this is the only place to get the most unbiased reviews.
For anyone who doesn’t know me, why should you trust me?
Table of Contents
- Why Trust Me?
- 7 Best Dog Crates for Truck Beds
- Buying Guide: The Best Dog Crates for Truck Beds
- Different Types of Dog Crates for Truck Beds
- How to Train Your Dog for Dog Crates for Truck Beds?
- Types of Dog Crates Unsuitable for Truck Bed Travel
- Correct Way to Mount the Crate to Your Truck Bed
- Pros and Cons Dog Crates for Truck Beds
- In Conclusion: Best Dog Crates for Truck Beds
Why Trust Me?
As always, I selected about 20 dog crates for truck beds and did the first layer of analyzing to bring it to the top 12.
We bought 12 crates and tested them with real dog owners who were looking to get these crates with the supervision of myself and our team.
That’s why this is the ONLY truck bed crate list you need.
Let’s start with the first.
7 Best Dog Crates for Truck Beds
1. GUNNER G1
If you didn’t already know, Gunner is a brand recognized for safe and comfortable dog crates.
The Gunner G1 is my best recommendation, which is crowned as the world’s safest traveling kennel.
Let’s see what makes it the best.
For starters, the product video shows that it was MADE for truck beds, a big green flag. How does that work?
For example, this heavy-duty crate’s unique shape brings an extra layer of safety. When you consider the non-slip feet and the wider base, that secure factor increases further.
Before you judge it for not being a metal crate, remember that Gunner G1 is the only rotomolded crate with double wall construction in the market. It’s almost as if the crate has insulated walls.
What about resilience?
This crate is severely crash-tested in so many ways that your dog’s safety is certified, even if yours is not. Gunner brings a lot of credibility by SHOWING you all the test videos. I believe this sense of guarantee is why so many pet parents rely on Gunner G1.
It’s natural for metallic crates to get heated when carrying on truck beds. This crate is 12% cooler than leading aluminum crates. That’s on hot days.
On colder days, this heavy-duty crate will make your canine companions expend 20% less energy to stay warm inside compared to ALL leading aluminum AND single-wall rotomolded kennels.
One of the most critical issues of modern dog crates is the escape-proof factor as well. You don’t have to worry about that with the paddle latch door locking system that includes a key-in-the-hole lock.
This paddle latch is attached to a robust reversible door that has backup & safety latches that not even Houdini could escape from.
A powerful aluminum frame holds the door of this dog box; it’s designed to keep a canine safe before, during, and after a car accident. So, it doesn’t matter that the crate doesn’t have an emergency escape hatch.
Dog parents shouldn’t take risks with dog crates on truck beds; this is how you eliminate risks by design.
Just as much as the safety factor, the Gunner G1 designers have paid attention to physical comfort. Thanks to the element-repelling windows, colder weather will not affect a dog inside the G1 kennel.
It’s impressive how these windows and the door ensures all-around ventilation, ensuring your dog is fully comfortable in that aspect too.
Rainwater doesn’t normally go inside the G1. But what if there was an accident, and you wanted to clean the crate faster and keep your dog dry? The recessed crate floor AND an oversized and removable drain plug make that process easier and keep the dog comfortable.
Many dog owners would love that.
Portability must be a top priority with these crates. This dog box comes with two super strong carry handles to help you move the Gunner G1 easier. You can also use these to tie the kennel better too.
But there are separate built-in tie-down pins tested not to rip. These tie-down pins are stainless steel, so they’re built to last.
Couple that with Gunner’s free tie-down straps, and you get an immovable dog crate on your truck bed.
All of this is made in the USA with a lifetime warranty.
You can get this dog box in three solid colors and two dual colors for more personalization. The size range is across four sizes whose smallest has inner dimensions 21.75″ (L – Floor) x 14.5″ (W – Floor) x 15.5″ (H) / 16.5″ (W) at the kennel’s widest interior point, weighing 27lbs.
The largest’s size’s inner dimensions are 33.25″ (L – Floor) x 21″ (W – Floor) x 29″ (H) / 23″ (W) at the kennel’s widest interior point weighing 72 lbs.
Let me remind you that you can perfectly use the Gunner G1 as your everyday crate too. It could also suit search and rescue dogs and professional dog handlers.
Gunner G1 is the ideal crate with compelling features unmatched by its competitors.
Get to know more about this dog crate through our comprehensive gunner crate review.
2. Petmate Sky Kennel
The Petmate Sky Kennel will immediately remind you of the Gunner G1; that’s one of the reasons why it’s the second best.
For starters, this dog box comes in six sizes ranging from 21″ to 48″, but it comes in one color; light gray.
The smallest size weighs 12.5 lbs with dimensions 21″ L x 16″ W x 15″ H, and the largest weighs 51.5 lbs with dimensions 48″ L x 32″ W x 35″ H. It’s for both small and large dogs.
Being a travel kennel, it’s a relief to know that there’s ample space for your furry friend to sit, turn around, and lie down comfortably.
Petmate’s Sky Kennel is made from 90% pre-consumer recycled plastic content. This heavy-duty plastic construction ensures the strength factor. Not only that, it’s an eco-friendly product.
This travel kennel is designed to contain dogs securely with a solid yet easy-squeeze latch system that interlocks. It adds more security by design, and that’s why it qualifies for air travel.
The 360-degree ventilation will ensure comfort when your dogs ride inside the crate. The ventilation design is interesting; the rear ventilation has holes and metal side vents. Because of that, it’s very comfortable for your dog or even a cat.
What else does this crate make suitable for a truck bed?
Remember that crates on truck beds are typically exposed to strong environmental conditions. That’s why non-metallic crates last the longest. Even the nuts and bolts of this crate are plastic covered.
Although the Sky Kennel doesn’t come assembled, you can easily assemble it. Once you do, the plastic-covered wing nuts and bolts will ensure durability in terms of construction.
When you move to the finer details, you’ll notice that it has tie-down strap holes. Combining that design feature with the tamperproof nature makes the Petmate Sky kennel a well-fitted crate on the truck bed.
On top of all this, Petmate gives you 2 “live animal” stickers and ID stickers, along with a free food AND water bowl and an absorbent paper pad.
The combination of all these features, and the brand’s reliability, make the Petmate Sky Kennel the second-best dog crate for dog owners.
3. Impact Bantam Dog Crate
Impact is yet another legendary dog crate brand known for the highest quality dog crates. Their Bantam crate is another dependable crate for truck beds.
For starters, the Bantam crate is meticulously engineered to be a truck bed crate; the product images will communicate that better.
This crate’s bottom has stackable edges, ultimately providing great friction on truck beds. So, you don’t have to worry about the slipping risk, unlike most wire crates.
Impact dog boxes are recognized for locks. That’s why the Bantam crate comes with a slam latch.
While this makes the crate escape-proof, the two layers of aluminum increase the reinforcement of the crate.
So, it’s safe to say that the heavy-duty crate is designed to protect your dog. But I wouldn’t say its protection factor is as superior as that of Gunner G1, which is rigorously crash tested.
What about the comfort factor when traveling on truck beds?
The Impact Bantam crate boasts diamond-shaped ventilation holes throughout the crate. This ensures your furry gets optimal airflow always. Additionally, the door has similar ventilation holes, ensuring their separation is not triggered too.
I personally love the non-toxic powder coat finish. Not only does it make the crate look amazing, it also keeps your dog’s health better. Because what’s the point of looking if the crate doesn’t do a great job as a truck bed crate?
Handles in Impact dog boxesalways provide a firm yet comfortable grip. The best use of them in truck beds is that you can tie them up better. There’s no such thing as too much security when transporting dogs in truck beds.
Impact Bantam crate boasts two sizes, ensuring most dog breeds and sizes can travel in them.
The smaller size fits small dogs inside dimensions 20.47L x 16.45W x 16.85H (all in inches). The larger size is 24.47L x 18.45W x 18.85H inches weighing 18 lbs.
The personalization factor is a priority for Impact, so you get six colors.
This amazing truck bed dog crate comes assembled and made in the USA. That’s why they give a lifetime warranty with free shipping and free exchanges.
As an alternative, the Impact Bantam crate is a dependable dog crate for truck beds.
You can learn more about this crate on our Impact Bantam crate review.
4. Rock Creek Crates ALUMINUM DOG CRATE
I know I said metallic crates tend to get warmer, but as an alternative, the Rock Creeks Aluminum dog crate brings a lot to the table.
Personalization is at the heart of Rock Creeks brand as they let you pick this dog box in six colors, including even pink! How vibrant.
On top of that, the dog box is available in four sizes with lengths ranging between 30″ to 48″. That size-range ensures a wide range of dog breeds travel comfortably.
The comfort factor further increases as the Rock Creeks dog bix comes with impressive 360 degrees of ventilation. Did you know that it was a mandatory requirement for air travel crates?
Additionally, this crate door has vertical metal bars. This bar design ensures the safety and protection of the dog immensely. However, it’s not as optimally covered as the Gunner G1. That lack of coverage could potentially trigger separation anxiety.
The solution for this is crate training them even better.
But let’s assume even the most tamed dog experienced agitation. This is when the crate should be strong enough to hold the dogs until they have calmed down. Rock Creeks aluminum crate has ensured that by integrating a beefy door WITH vertical bars.
This door system is complemented by a lockable slam latch door that can contain a dog easily. For the escape artists, there are two secondary butterfly latches.
So, you never have to drive constantly worrying about whether they have gotten out.
The stackable corner guards reminded me of the Gunner G1. Similarly, the friction factor will be slightly higher, lowering the slipping risk.
Knowing that the Rock Creeks aluminum dog box is 5-star crash-tested will bring great relief. In fact, they claim it’s the only dog cage to pass that test.
However, there’s a clear issue of heat and coldness when exposed, unlike Gunner’s rotomolded design. A possible fix would include warmer bedding inside when it’s colder outside.
I almost forgot; this crate also has two recessed and easy-to-carry handles. You can perfectly use them to tie the crate to the crate bed.
All things considered, I’d definitely recommend this crate to you as an alternative.
5. Diggs Revol Dog Crate
The next option is from another recognized brand: the Revol dog crate.
Unlike the previous ones, the most significant feature of this is its collapsibility. You can fold it flat and pop it up within a few seconds; that convenience goes a long way.
But how suitable is this crate for truck beds?
For starters, this crate is made with high-grade aluminum, steel mesh wire, and reinforced plastic.
This ideal material distribution makes it quite lightweight while preserving strength. It also has enough ventilation.
Also, the crate doesn’t rust, too — one of the special benefits of plastic crates.
Unfortunately, the crate is not crash-tested in any way.
But the downside of mesh crates is that separation anxiety or general agitation is triggered when they travel on truck beds. You also don’t want to cover the crate entirely, which might scare them.
A possible solution with crates like Revol is to cover it partially or crate train your canine buddy more than the usual amount.
Moving on, you’ll love the two ceiling hatches that enable interaction with the dog without the risk of them running out.
Don’t worry; these openings aren’t too big for them to jump out, either.
In addition to these two hatches, the Revol crate contains two adjacent doors; the smaller one and the garage door. Needless to say, it makes both you and your dog manage the limited space inside truck beds to move better.
Thanks to the removable tray, it’s extra easy to clean this crate. For accidents during traveling, these little details go a very long way.
This magnificent crate is available in three colors and four sizes; small to large. The smallest comes with dimensions 5 “L x 17” W x 19 “H, and the largest is 44 “L x 28 “W x 30 “H.
With three color options and free shipping to the contiguous United States, you won’t regret having this as long as you accept its shortcomings compared to the Gunner G1.
6. 4×4 North America MIM Safe VarioCage
4×4 North America MIM Safe VarioCage is my next suggestion. Let’s see why it is so special.
The first thing you’re likely to notice is its unique shape. You can sense that the crate is resilient, as it’s made for the transportation of dogs.
In fact, 4×4 North America claims the VarioCage to be another crash-tested dog crate for truck beds. After all, it’s made from resilient carbon steel.
Although you can’t visually see its resilience like how Gunner shows on G1, you’ll be relieved to hear that the cage is certified to meet (and exceed) safety standards by United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.
I also love how the crate has a built-in crumple zone to absorb impact.
In other words, the VarioCage is very strong.
The bottom of the crate might not be special, but it still gives a decent amount of friction. But you need to get the size right to ensure there isn’t additional force that enables sliding.
That’s why the 4×4 North America brand produces this crate in six standard crate sizes. The smallest has dimensions 38.97 “L x 21.85 “W x 23.22 “H, and the largest has dimensions 41.73 “L x 27.55” W x 30.71 “H.
But here’s where it gets impressive; the crate boasts a feature that helps you to elongate its length. All you need to do is drag a slider. This ultimately delivers you 18 sizes.
So, many dog breeds can comfortably travel inside this crate.
It also features a locking door reinforced with vertical steel bars with gas hydraulic motion springs.
The crate is well reinforced, and its unique shape discourages even the biggest escape artist dogs.
That’s the kind of reassurance you need to drive peacefully.
But I was a bit discouraged when I saw its high price.
However, it performs terrifically as a dog crate made to transport dogs on truck beds. After all, this is just another alternative to the best recommendation.
7. Bushwhacker® – K9 Canopy w/ Pad
My last resort of recommendation is the Bushwhacker canopy.
This is a soft-sided or fabric-based container; you shouldn’t expect much from this one.
But I will tell you that you could use this for a slower ride while allowing your dog to see outside.
The Bushwhacker boasts durable 600 denier polyester material even as a fabric-based container. Its resilience in the fabric context is higher thanks to the tear-resistant mesh.
Ultimately, that increases the lifespan compared to typical fabric-based dog containers.
Another admirable feature of this container is that it doesn’t absorb sunlight; it reflects. Coupled with the fabric’s breathability, your canine companion will feel much more comfortable.
However, it’s a clear downside that this is a container with two sides open. This pushes pet owners to either tie their dogs to the truck in the best way. That’s why you must go out of your way to crate train your dog to remain calm.
On a positive aspect, the canopy comes with a bed. It might not be as comfortably stuffed or insulating as Gunner G1’s bottom, but it’s not terrible.
There’s no risk of rusting since it’s non-metallic, and I love the tether that attaches to the truck’s tie-down brackets, which gives you enough reassurance of the Bushwhacker’s stability.
This canopy assembles in minutes, and installation is quick and easy. You can secure it to your truck bed with four straps and gutter hooks.
The challenge is to get the positioning right because this canopy comes in only one size with dimensions of 8″ Length x 32″ Width x 30″ Height.
As the last recommendation, the Bushwacker canopy still brings a lot to the table under specific circumstances.
Buying Guide: The Best Dog Crates for Truck Beds
Choosing to invest in a dog crate made specifically for truck beds is wise. To help you rationalize my recommendations better, here are the guidelines that I follow.
- Ensure the size and fit are near-perfect
An unfitted crate with a dog inside anywhere can be uncomfortable. So, take your time to measure the dimensions of your dog and match it better.
Remember that there should be enough for your canine companion to sit, stand, turn around, and lie down in. But the crate shouldn’t be too large that they slide around during the ride.
- Pay attention to the material quality
Metal isn’t always the best in this case, but solid truck bed crates are always better.
You should choose a material that says sturdy, weather-resistant (to keep dogs warm), and easy to clean. I advise choosing a dog box like the Gunner G1 with proven superior material quality.
- Safety & security must be a top priority
If the dog box is on the truck bed, there will be accessibility limitations. Ensure there are dependable locks. You also need to ensure there’s enough ventilation, drainage, and insulation for your dog to be comfortable at all times.
Gunner G1 is crash tested with all these features present.
- Portability convenience
You wouldn’t want one permanently attached to the truck bed. That’s why it’s better to have a dog box with handles strong enough. I wouldn’t recommend crates with wheels, even if they’re lockable, as that’s a risk you shouldn’t take.
- Overall travel-friendly features
Gunner G1 is certified as the safest travel kennel for dogs due to all its features. So, make sure that the crate of your choice has special features such as non-slip bottoms to guarantee a secure placement.
- Dog’s personality and behavioral patterns
Some dogs are extremely tamed, while some are mischievous. I don’t need to emphasize how you shouldn’t take risks. Opt for a strong and secure crate, better than an average dog crate, that can contain any dog with any personality.
Want to know the overall best dog crates that fits all the needs? Read and find the best pick for you and your dog.
Different Types of Dog Crates for Truck Beds
There are many types of dog crates for truck beds, and let me cover the main types.
- Metal wire crates: Made from metallic wires, these truck bed dog crates provide ample ventilation and visibility. But the dogs won’t be very comfortable and can be quite noisy.
- Rotomolded crates: Gunner G1 is the only double-walled rotomolded crate, bringing crash-tested safety, comfort, and stability.
- Plastic panel crates: plastic crates might be lightweight and cheap, but they won’t ever be remotely close as secure as metallic or rotomolded crates.
- Fabric pop-up crates: these cheaper dog crates made of fabric fold or pop up into a tent-like structure. Use them with caution in your truck beds.
Next up is about how to train your dog; read everything carefully.
How to Train Your Dog for Dog Crates for Truck Beds?
Training a dog for a truck bed is challenging, and I’m sure you already know it. But it’ll be much easier if you follow these simple steps.
- Step #1: Choose a dog box that fits your truck bed, and your dog and is sturdy, weather-resistant, and easy to clean.
- Step #2: Create positive associations with the crate by rewarding your dog for going in calmly and willingly. Avoid yelling or associating the crate with negative experiences.
- Step #3: Make sure your furry friend is comfortable in the crate by providing them with a soft bed, water, food, and a special toy or chew.
- Step #4: Start by keeping the door closed for a few seconds and gradually increase the duration. Remember to give them treats and praise them for remaining calm.
- Step #5: Shift the dog box to the truck bed, and start testing if they behave the same when the crate is on the truck bed. If not, repeat the initial process slowly.
- Step #6: Once they get used to the crate on the truck bed, practice driving with the dog in the crate. You can have someone familiar at the start. Like crate training, you can slowly increase the duration and remove the supervising person.
But it’s imperative to monitor your dog’s behavior all the time. No matter how trained they are, they also can have bad days like we do.
Types of Dog Crates Unsuitable for Truck Bed Travel
As I mentioned, you probably shouldn’t take fabric-based or soft-sided crates as they can be easily torn or damaged. Who knows, they could even fly away in the wind. Besides, why should you when there are solid crates?
But not all solid crates are dependable. For example, a fully wooden crate can splinter, crack or rot over time. While insulation and stability are there, wood crates are much heavier.
The third type is any crate that is too big or too small. These crates are either too large or too small for your dog’s size and comfort. They can cause your dog to slide around, get injured, feel cramped, or escape from the crate. They can also affect the balance and safety of your truck.
Correct Way to Mount the Crate to Your Truck Bed
Now, this part can be a little bit tricky. But let me teach you how to do this in only seven steps.
- Step 1: Choose a stable, secure, and convenient location, preferably near the truck’s cab.
- Step 2: Use straps, bolts, or magnets to attach the truck bed dog crate to the truck bed, following the instructions with the crate or the device.
- Step 3: Check if the crate has any special features/accessories to tie it better, such as handles or pins.
- Step 4: Test the stability and safety by gently pushing, pulling, or shaking it to see if it stays in place.
- Step 5: Drive around slowly and carefully and see if the truck bed dog crate remains stable and secure, and adjust or tighten the straps, bolts, or magnets if necessary.
- Step 6: Put your dog in the crate and make sure they are comfortable and happy, providing them with a soft bed, water, food, and a special toy or chew.
- Step 7: Monitor your dog’s behavior and adjust if they are showing signs of distress or discomfort, and stop the car and let them out for a break if needed.
So, these are my 7 steps to mount the crate to your truck bed, but you can always try deviating to do it better.
Pros and Cons Dog Crates for Truck Beds
Related article: Best dog crates that fits back of your car
In Conclusion: Best Dog Crates for Truck Beds
Buying a dog crate for truck beds ensures your dog feels most comfortable during traveling. But I understand it’s a challenge to satisfy many requirements that bring 100% peace to your and your dog’s mind.
The recommendable solution for that is the Gunner G1 kennel which showcases all the truck-bed-friendly features and many more. The cherry on top is getting it with free shipping and a lifetime guarantee.
I hope this review helped you, and I hope you make the right choice so you can drive peacefully.
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