I've spent a lot of $$$ trying different things in my Mazda CX-7 to keep my rambunctious 1 year old 55-pound lab mix safe and comfortable while allowing her to have some freedom. I've tried the zip line and harness (dog almost strangled herself when the line got wrapped around her neck when she turned around), seatbelt harness (dog did not like downward slope of seat for laying down and just wouldn't settle down), and a soft-crate (which was a royal pain getting it into and out of the car). I decided to try one last product, the Petego Pet Tube Car Kennel, Large, and if that didn't work, I'd go back to the better of the previously mentioned products. Bottom Line Up Front: We LOVE the Pet Tube but it is not quite perfect. What I like:
- The Pet Tube was easy to install in my back seat. Just put it in your car and pop it open. There are three straps that you can use to anchor the tube to your back seat. That plus the front seats means the tube isn't going anywhere. I always leave it in the full size configuration since if it isn't in my car, it's in a hotel or relative's house that I drove to. If I need to fold it down I just use a couple of bungee cords to wrap around it rather deal with folding it back down perfectly so you can pack it away.
- My dog can easily move back and forth across the back seat, turn around, and sort-of do a slouchy-sit up and the mesh top gives the dog some (but not a whole lot of) visibility without her trying to poke her head out the window. Sometimes I leave the back windows fully open and my dog can poke her nose out a bit against the mesh and I don't worry about her jumping up on the window ledge or debris hurting her.
- The dirt and pet hair stay contained in the tube and it is easy to vacuum out and wipe down.
- My dog can chew on a bone in it and if I stop suddenly, the bone doesn't go flying or get lost under the front seat.
- There's room for another medium or small dog to fit in the tube when making short trips to the dog park or when traveling to pack walks. Wouldn't have another dog in there for a long trip though.
- On sudden stops, I don't particularly care if my dog loses her balance as she won't get hurt because she won't slide off the seat or bang into anything hard. The Pet Tube gives me peace of mind when traveling with my dog--I find that I'm no longer looking back to see if my dog is tangled up with straps or if the zip line is stuck.
- In a pinch, I use this as a portable kennel. Because the tube is round it needs to be wedged up against a bed or wall with your suitcases or a chair. If you can't use a soft-crate because your dog chews, scratches or whatever, you won't be able to use this one either.
-If making a shopping trip without your dog, you can throw your packages into the tube and zip it up and your packages will stay put. Just don't put anything in there that may rip the tube fabric.
What I don't like:
- I couldn't find any crash safety information to determine if the stitching will hold if a heavy loose dog goes flying forward during an accident. It holds well during sudden stops though.
- Once you zip your dog up in the tube you will need to be a bit of a contortionist if you or your passenger want to pet your dog or give it a treat as you will have to reach the zippers on the end. You'd have the same problem if you used a soft crate so this isn't an issue unique to this product. I would have liked this product to have a small zipped opening in the top so you can access your dog from the middle.
- Although there is a lot of mesh over the top, it is hard to see your dog inside the tube as the mesh material is dark. If your backseat normally gets a lot of light this won't be a problem.
- Even though I used the straps that came with the product and anchored it to the back seat, the tube still slides a smidge on my leather seats. Because of this, the obscenely expensive comfort pillows that you can buy with this end up sliding as well. I'm going to try putting the pillows underneath the tube and velcro in a bath runner or doggie mats inside for her to lay on as laying on the nylon wouldn't be comfortable. I suggest you skip the related pillows and come up with a cheaper solution that works for your dog.
- If you don't already have one, you will need to get a no-spill water bowl if you want your dog to have water in the tube. There's no place for a crate-style watering tube and water will slosh over a regular bowl.
For these reasons, I didn't give the product 5-stars but, on the whole, I'm really glad I bought the tube. My dog relaxes better in the tube and sleeps more and I'm not worrying about what's going on in the back seat. As for quality, I haven't had any issues with the zippers like others have had. I hope you find this review useful to you.