Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
There are pros and cons to both but I use wire crates with a heavy duty wire gauge. A plastic airline type will contain mess better, but my wire crates have pans (with sides) that slide right out, so I don't have to take the crate apart or reach inside to remove a mess. Wire crates are better ventilated (important for me since we often train when it's humid and high 90s) and I find them much easier to fit side by side because the sides are flat/flush whereas the airline kennels either have a ridge on the side or are almost diamond shaped. I like the ability to easy bungee crates together (I have little to no rattling in my van), bungee the doors shut, and strap stuff on top of the crates. One of my wire crates flattens in on itself, so I can make a big space in the back of the van without removing a crate or taking it apart. This is handy when I transport our kayak inside the van. I've got two wire crates side by side in the way back and one in the middle row, so to get the kayak in I just flatten the crate that doesn't have another one behind it and slide the kayak on top of it. Since we travel a lot I just find the wire crates much easier to slide out flat and bring into a house, hotel or cottage or especially if I'm at a dog show and kenneling my dogs inside the venue and don't want to bring extra sets of crates. For me the versatility of wire crates wins, but some of the better made airline crates are stronger and better for dogs that chew on a crate or thrash around.