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5 Best Motorcycle Dog Carriers: Road Cruising With Your Canine!

If you really were born to be wild, shouldn’t you have something wild on your bike with you? Like say, your bad-ass Bichon Frise?

That’s not a joke – you really can bring your little buddy along with you as your cruise up the highway with the wind in your hair. You just need a safe way to keep your canine securely attached to you and the bike and a pup willing to ride atop your hog.

Check out our quick picks below, or read ahead for more details!

Quick Picks: Best Motorcycle Dog Carriers Our Rating Price
#1 Pick: Kuryakyn Pet Palace Bag  $$$$
#2 Pick: T-Bags Pet Carrier Tail Bag  $$$
#3 Pick: Outward Hound Kyjen PoochPouch  $$$$
#4 Pick: NICREW Front-Facing Dog Carrier  $$
#5 Pick: Saddlemen Pet Voyager    $

Do Dogs Like Riding on Motorcycles?

When it comes to motorcycles, dogs are just like people: some love them, others don’t. It varies from one individual to the next.

Typically, dogs who have strong, confident personalities are more likely to take the noise, vibration and gale-force winds in stride than timid dogs are. This even applies to tiny breeds, who often have with big and bold personalities that belie their size.

In fact, because they are often accustomed to being carried and held above the small dogs are frequently feel more comfortable riding on motorcycles than larger dogs are. Many large dogs find the notion of being carried slightly horrifying, and they respond by flailing about and trying to escape the situation.

Small dogs are also better suited for being passengers for logistical reasons. They fit in smaller spaces and are easier to lift and manipulate. While a few riders manage to get their large dog to climb aboard and remain cool, calm and collected, this is the exception and not the rule.

This all means that your spunky Chihuahua may be a much better riding buddy than your sensitive Doberman.

motorcycle dog carrier

Important Considerations When Selecting a Motorcycle Dog Carrier

There are a variety of products designed to make it safer and more comfortable for your dog to ride. As with all products, there is a big difference between those that work well and those that do not.

Consider the following features when selecting a motorcycle carrier for your dog:

Crate-Style Carriers Vs. Wearable Carriers

There are two basic carrier styles: Some are small crates designed to mount on the back of your bike, while others are backpack-like products, designed to be worn on your body.

Either style can work well for you and your pup, you’ll just have to consider your needs and your dog’s personality when making the choice.

Crate-style carriers will protect your pup better from the winds and road debris, as well as in the case of an accident. However, they don’t allow you as much contact with your pet and some dogs may feel safer riding around while directly strapped to mom or dad.

Safety

No matter which carrier style you select, you must ensure that it contains your dog safely. Crate-style carriers should feature secure locks or latches to keep your dog from hoping out, and they must attach to your bike properly. Wearable carriers must keep your dog contained and prevent excessive wiggling, which may throw you off balance.

Be sure to outfit your dog with a good pair of protective goggles or glasses to ensure he doesn’t get anything in his eyes. It’s also a good idea to fit your little buddy with his own helmet, to better protect him in the case of a crash.

 Weather-Proof Design

You probably won’t be riding through a downpour, but you’ll probably need to scoot through a little sprinkle from time to time. You may even ride in some light snow on occasion. In either case, you’ll need to ensure the carrier keeps your pup warm and dry during such times.

Obviously, crate-style carriers will work better in this regard, but wearable carriers made of water-resistant materials can keep your dog relatively dry.

Canine Comfort

If your dog isn’t comfortable in his carrier, he won’t enjoy the ride. Be sure that wearable carriers are made from comfortable materials and that none of the components will rub his skin and fur.

Crate-style carriers should feature enough space for your dog to turn around, sit up and lay outstretched, as well as a comfortable floor surface.

Mounting and Assembly

You’ll need to select a crate-style motorcycle dog carrier that is designed to fit your bike properly. Many units feature a number of adjustment points, enabling them to work with almost any bike, but others are designed for a specific make or model.

Of course, the same applies to wearable carriers – you need to make sure they’ll mount securely to your body. This is most likely to be a problem for riders who are especially tall, short, thin or not-so-thin.

 Durability

Racking up the highway miles will take its toll on just about everything, including your dog-designed motorcycle carrier. Accordingly, you’ll want to look for products with durable finishes and quality craftsmanship to prevent you from having to replace the carrier.

 Legal

Some municipalities place legal restrictions on riding motorcycles with dogs. They may require certain minimum standards, or they may prohibit the activity entirely. Always be sure to check with the locally relevant authorities to stay on the right side of the law.

 Styling

Some carriers are better-looking than others are, and if these kinds of things are important to you, be sure to consider the styling of your motorcycle dog carrier before making your final selection.

Styling shouldn’t be one of the primary factors influencing your decision (you should place things like safety, comfort and durability at the top of the list), but it will factor into the equation for most riders.

 Portability

You’ll likely find it necessary to move the carrier around from time to time; some carriers even double as portable kennels. Look for models that feature handles to facilitate this mobility. Portability isn’t really a concern for wearable-style carriers.

 Price

Dog carriers for motorcycles vary quite a bit in price. Generally, wearable carriers are less expensive than crate-style carriers, but prices also vary within each category and from product to product.

Try to avoid the cheapest products in any category (there’s usually a reason they have low price tags), and limit price comparisons to similar products.

5 Best Motorcycle Dog Carries for Hitting the Road

There aren’t a great number of options in the motorcycle carrier market, but fortunately, a few of them are really good products. The following five represent the best of the bunch:

1. Kuryakyn Pet Palace Bag

About: The Kuryakyn 4199 Pet Palace Bag is a premium motorcycle dog carrier, designed to surround your pet in safe, great-looking luxury. Made from water-resistant material and supported by a rigid internal frame, the Kuryakyn Pet Palace provides everything you’d want for cruising with your pup.

Price: $$$$
Our Rating: 

Features:

  • Made with reflective piping for improved visibility
  • Comes with adjustable leash, 2 dishes, 4 metal ground stakes and adjustable straps for motorcycle mounting
  • Available in both black and gray versions
  • Includes an external drink-bottle pocket for you and an internal food-dish holder for your pet

Pros: Most dogs and their owners loved this bag. The combination of mesh side windows and openable top gives your pet a number of ways to look out into the world while riding on your bike. Many owners were even pleased with minor features of the bag, such as the interlocking food dishes and premium zippers.

Cons: Most customers who purchased the Kuryakyn Pet Palace loved it, and had nothing but good things to say. However, some explained that they upgraded the adjustable straps that came with the bag.

Outside Dimensions: 21.5 x 18 x 17 inches

2.  T-Bags Pet Carrier Tail Bag

About:  The T-Bags Pet Carrier Tail Bag is a nylon, foam-insulated bag, designed to keep your pup safe and comfortable while cruising around with his pet parent. Although this dog carrier for motorcycles is designed specifically for the Harley Davidson Touring bike or a Honda Goldwing, many customers have used it for other makes and models.

Price:  $$$
Our Rating: 

Features:

  • Mesh-paneled top and sides feature fully weather-resistant covers to keep your pet warm and dry
  • Foam-lined bottom features a lamb’s wool pad that can be removed for washing
  • Adjusts to fit backrests from 7 to 14 inches wide
  • Sunroof has three different options (closed, open, mesh window) for maximum flexibility

Pros: Most owners raved about the quality of the bag, and were quite pleased with their selection. Many singled out the flexibility offered and the ease with which the carrier could be loaded as especially valuable. The removable bottom pad is a very nice feature not found in all similar products.

Cons: There were very few complaints about the T-Bags Pet Carrier, but a small number of buyers complained that it would not comfortably fit their dog. It is the smallest crate-style carrier in our review, and it is best used with very small dogs.

Outside Dimensions: 19 x 13.5 x 12 inches

3.  Outward Hound Kyjen PoochPouch

About: The Outward Hound Kyjen PoochPouch provides a safe, secure and comfortable ride for dogs and owners who prefer to ride in tandem.

Made from water-resistant nylon fabric, the PoochPouch is a great way to carry your small dog around, whether you are on your bike or traveling around bipedally.

Price: $$
Our Rating: 

Features:

  • Padded straps, padded back and a padded pouch combine to create unsurpassed comfort for you and your pet
  • Includes both a safety-harness attachment and a drawstring top to keep your pet safe
  • Mesh sides provide ventilation
  • Can be worn on your front or your back

Pros: The PoochPouch is a great way to carry your toy or small breed while riding around town or for longer journeys. The backpack design is a great way to help keep nervous pups calmer and feeling more secure, and you’ll love the ability to just hop off your bike with your pooch already in tow.

Cons: While most users found the bag to work very well, a few mentioned problems with the straps. Additionally, a handful of reviewers found the straps to be inadequately padded.

Outside Dimensions: 11 x 8 x 10 inches

4.  NICREW Legs Out Front-Facing Dog Carrier

About: The NICREW Front-Facing Dog Carrier is designed to allow your puppy to ride with his legs and paws extended and exposed. It’s a clever design, that both supports your dog well and allows you to carry him in a comfortable manner. You can also wear this pack on your back, but your pup probably wants to see where you’re going, not where you’ve been.

Price: $
Our Rating: 

Features:

  • 1 ½-inch-wide, comfort-padded straps won’t dig in to your shoulders
  • Mesh panels to provide great ventilation
  • Available in four sizes to ensure a great fit
  • Comes in three color patterns: black, denim blue and striped

Pros: Most owners found the NICREW Legs Out Carrier to be a great way to carry their dog wherever they went and however they got there – be it a bike or their feet. Unlike some other carriers, this product received great reviews by those owners with dogs weighing more than 20 pounds, and the vast majority rated it highly.

Cons: Despite being marketed as having comfort-padded straps, a few buyers complained about the comfort of the straps. However, such comments were relatively rare, and most who reported them just added some sort of additional padding.

Outside Dimensions: 16″ to 24″ Chest Girth, depending on the size selected

5. Saddlemen Pet Voyager

About: The Saddlemen 3515-0131 Pet Voyager is a flexible and feature-packed motorcycle dog carrier that provides comfort and safety for your pet and convenience for you.

It not only features an array of pockets and pouches for storage, it can attach to your bike via a versa-mount seat harness or an adjustable sissy bar strap system.

Price: $$$$
Our Rating: 

Features:

  • Includes several different vents and access flaps, giving your pup several ways to look outside or extend his head
  • Quick-connect straps allow you to load or remove the bag in seconds
  • Features removable bottom tray and comfort pad
  • Sturdy handle-grip and backpack straps make it easy to carry
  • Includes tether ring to keep your pet securely leashed

Pros: The Saddlemen Pet Voyager includes more useful bells and whistles than any of the other carriers in our review. Most customers rated the bag very highly, and several noted that they were surprised by the quality of the bag. If you want a high-quality bag with a gazillion pockets, flaps and features – this is your bag.

Cons: The Pet Voyager primarily received great reviews by owners, but a handful of people reported compatibility issues with their bike.

Outside Dimensions: 18.4 x 15.9 x 15.3 inches

***

Does your dog like to tag along when you go cruising? What style carrier do you use? What have you learned about using a carrier that may benefit those who are looking for their first?

Let everyone know in the comments below.

About the Author Ben Team

Ben is a proud dog owner and lifelong environmental educator who writes about animals, outdoor recreation, science, and environmental issues. He lives with his beautiful wife and spoiled-rotten Rottweiler JB in Atlanta, Georgia. Read more by Ben at FootstepsInTheForest.com.

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