When traveling, it’s easy for pet owners to stay worried. Anytime you have to leave your animal friends in someone else’s care, there will naturally be a little bit of anxiety. However, you can usually alleviate this problem by taking your dog along.
In most circumstances, you should have no problem doing this, but you will need a good traveling dog bed. With that in mind, let’s take a look at our top six picks in this category. We will evaluate their pros and cons and rank them accordingly.
Quick Picks: The 6 Top-Rated Travel Dog Beds
Last update on 2023-09-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
In a hurry? Check our best pick above, or keep reading for product reviews and more details!
The Best Travel Dog Beds – Reviews
The Most Convenient Bed
This dog bed is made entirely of nylon, which gives it a great durability factor. It has a waterproof suede top, which is very similar to that found on many air mattresses. Dogs seem to find this surface very comfortable, and there are some convenience advantages as well.
Because nylon has a very high tensile strength, you can pull and yank on this bed all you want. This is a good thing because it means you can roll the whole thing up neatly and quickly. This product comes with a stuff bag, which is quite small when the bed is fully packed.
Once folded out, it is 30 inches wide and 39 inches long. This makes it large enough for the vast majority of dogs. If it gets wet, you can easily hang it by the built-in loop for easy drying. Because this bed does not absorb moisture, it should not take long to dry. If it really gets filthy, you can just throw it in the washing machine.
When it comes to problems, we only see a couple of them. For one thing, nylon doesn’t do a good job at resisting tears and rips, so dogs with long nails could be a problem here. Secondly, the padding is not all that thick, reducing the comfort level significantly.
Our Rating: 4 stars
- Soft suede surface
- Very strong nylon construction
- Built-in loop for easy hang-drying
- Machine washable
- Very compact storage
- Nylon doesn’t resist ripping very well
- Padding isn’t all that thick
The Most Comfortable Bed
If you want your dog to have the softest and warmest of beds, this one is worth considering. It gets high marks for its thick memory-foam padding and its faux-fur covering. These provide a bed that is soft enough for even the most pampered of pooches.
That fur lining also provides a little extra warmth. Like natural fur, it will hold body heat and contribute to a more pleasant sleep. This one is great for old houses with hardwood floors. These floors get very cold in the winter, but a thick bed like this will keep your dog nice and toasty.
This one gets high marks overall, but there are two big problems that keep it from getting the five-star treatment. For one thing, that faux-fur top absorbs moisture, which means it will take a lot longer to dry out, should it become wet. The problem is compounded by the fact that this bed is not machine-washable. Washing by hand is a real pain, so this bed loses serious points in the convenience department.
Our Rating: 4.5 stars
- Extremely comfortable and soft
- Provides warmth in cold climates
- Packs neatly with no need for a bag
- Made of water-resistant materials
- Tough canvas underside
- Fur top absorbs moisture
- Has to be washed by hand
The Best Folding Bed
This portable dog bed might be described as a cross between a hammock and a couch. When not in use, the whole thing collapses like one of those foldable camping chairs. This makes it great for hikers and backpackers, as it’s very easy to tie this thing to the side of your backpack.
This one obviously gets high marks for convenience, and because of the nylon surface, it’s completely waterproof. If you leave this thing outside in the rain, a quick shake and an hour or two of sunlight should be all that it needs. Additionally, this bed is built from a sturdy metal frame that can handle dogs up to 90 lbs.
Our Rating: 4 stars
- Very easy to set up and take down
- Very compact when folded
- Durable nylon hammock is unlikely to rip
- Entirely waterproof
- Elevated surface
- Kind of bulky when opened
- Provides no insulation
The Most Durable Bed
This is a high-end dog bed, and you can tell when you look at the price. Still, this looks like a perfect choice for those who can afford to spend a little more. It offers maximum durability and waterproofing, which makes it well-suited for outdoor use.
This thing has a lot of padding, and it’s made of a thick and comfortable material anyway. This should help to provide warmth on cold nights, and the thickly-stuffed edges can be used as a pillow. We also like the built-in storage pouch, as it can be used for dog toys, treats, and other dog-specific items.
This one is made for heavy-duty use, and this is obvious when we look at the lifetime warranty. Most dog beds do not offer this kind of thing, so that’s a pretty big advantage. Of course, you should be aware that this warranty will only cover manufacturer defects.
This one would get five stars, but its quite a bit more expensive than most of our other choices. Also, it doesn’t roll up very well, remaining quite large and awkward. Since we are looking for the best portable bed, that disadvantage is a big one.
Our Rating: 4.5 stars
- Made from very durable material
- Thickly padded, especially around the edges
- Built-in storage pouch
- 100% waterproof
- Lifetime warranty
- Somewhat expensive
- Kind of bulky when rolled up
The Best Waterproof Bed
Like most of Coleman’s products, this one is made with the outdoors in mind. The whole thing reminds us of a sleeping bag, as it uses the same thick nylon covering. As the advertising says, this one repels water like no other on our list.
Since this one is meant for campers and the like, it’s good that they made it from blaze-orange material. Even with the relatively low cost of this bed, it would be a shame to lose it in the woods.
This one definitely offers a lot of convenience because of its soft and crushable nature. You can compress this thing into a very small bag, which is great for those who like to travel light. The straps and handles are also quite helpful.
The only issue we see here is the fact that this bed is kind of thin. It won’t provide much warmth in cold weather, though it should do a good job of keeping your dog dry. Also, nylon material is kind of vulnerable to snags and ripping, especially along the pillow edges.
Our Rating: 4 stars
- Very inexpensive
- Durable nylon top and bottom
- Meant for the harshest outdoor conditions
- Brightly colored = harder to lose
- Machine washable and very compact
- Doesn’t provide very thick padding
- Vulnerable to snagging and ripping
The Best All-Around Bed
This self inflating travel dog bed offers a lot of advantages and very few disadvantages. For one thing, this bed has a comfortable fleece top that dogs find very appealing. It provides a soft place to lay and holds body heat more effectively than faux fur.
The most distinctive feature of this bed is the self-inflating foam mattress. You just flick a switch, and the whole thing inflates with no further effort. Of course, you can use the valve (and your lungs) to adjust the air pressure if you see fit.
We also give this product high marks for convenience. It packs into a very compact roll and has a set of attached straps to tighten things down. Thus, this bed achieves a high level of padding while remaining very compact and portable. The 1-year warranty is also kind of nice.
This one is a little expensive, but its features make it worth the money. The only real problem is the fact that that natural fleece top will absorb some water. Thus, you should try your best to keep this bed from getting wet. Other than that, it seems like the ideal traveling dog bed.
Our Rating: 5 stars
- Provides a lot of warmth
- Self-inflating feature saves time
- Very compact when rolled
- 1-year warranty
- Machine washable
- Fleece top absorbs moisture
- Somewhat expensive
What to Look for When Buying Travel Dog Bed
We’ve taken a look at six good examples, so let’s talk about the qualities that you should look for when shopping for your next traveling dog bed.
This factor is listed first because it represents the main purpose of a dog bed. If your dog doesn’t enjoy sleeping in the bed, then you wasted your money, even if the bed has no obvious problems. The main thing to look at here is the level of padding that offers.
When you look at a certain dog bed, you might ask yourself: Would I want to sleep on that? If the answer is no, your dog will probably feel the same way. Look for thick padding, soft tops, and pillowed edges. Alternatively, your dog might prefer some kind of hammock, like option number three.
Hammocks offer a way to remove your dog from contact with the ground. Depending on the situation, this might be very important. When traveling in wet or snowy conditions, you definitely don’t want your animal sleeping on the ground. The thing is, hammocks tend to be less durable than ground beds, so choose carefully.
Even the most comfortable of beds will be a waste of money if it doesn’t last. This factor is the main reason that you should avoid the cheapest dog beds. It’s cheaper to buy one good product than to buy three or four bad ones. Look for reinforced seams, tough materials, and thick outer layers.
The biggest menace here would be your dog’s nails. These can easily get snagged on the seam of a bed, causing the dog to rip the seam as their paw is pulled free. For inflatable dog beds, this problem is much greater. While inflatable dog beds are very comfortable, you should make sure they are protected by a thick top layer.
Waterproofing also falls under the umbrella of durability. A travel bed must be able to withstand the elements and must be subjected to rougher handling than most others. That’s why most beds of this type are made with a waterproof outer layer. Materials like nylon, polyurethane, and PVC will serve you well.
For our purposes, portability is very important as well. You need something that is not only high-quality but also easy to transport. There were several items on our list that lost points for being too bulky when rolled. If an item like this takes up too much room, it loses part of its reason for existing.
You should look for products that don’t require a separate bag for packing. They should roll or fold up neatly, and straps or bands should be provided. On that subject, you should also choose a bed that can be used inside your vehicle.
When you think about portability, you need to think about the conditions in which your animal will be traveling. If they are traveling in a crate, you need a bed that can fit inside the crate easily. If they are in the backseat of your car, you need something that can fit in the floorboard area.
Dog bed manufacturers offer convenience in a variety of ways, and you will have to weigh the value of these features against the overall quality of the product. For instance, Coleman Pet Roll-Up Travel Dog Bed has a self-inflating feature that helps to save time and effort. However, this feature would not help a poor-quality bed.
Hanging handles are another common feature, and these are meant to make the bed easier to hang-dry. While this is very handy, it isn’t very important to the functioning of the bed. It’s just a nice little bonus that may or may not be worth the cost.
When we look at these products, we can see that Lightspeed self inflating travel dog bed, offers all the advantages that we want. It is extremely comfortable and well-padded and provides plenty of insulating warmth. At the same time, it folds up to a very small size.
While an inflatable mattress will generally be too fragile for dogs, this one is covered in a thick mat of wool, so we think you won’t have any problems. The only downsides of the Lightspeed are a higher price and the fact that wool takes longer to dry. Still, these are small disadvantages overall.
Our two runners-up would be the Kurgo and Petmaker beds. The Kurgo bed was a very close second place finisher because it offers great comfort and maximum durability. However, it suffered in the portability department. The Petmaker, on the other hand, offers maximum comfort. Still, the need for hand-washing kept this product from taking the top spot.
We hope that you have enjoyed this article and that you will walk away with a better understanding of the subject. With the knowledge we have given you, it should be much easier to select the best travel bed for your canine companion.