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Review of Outward Hound “Roll Along Pet Carrier”

Kyle Hansen of the Kyjen Company sent me three different Outward Hound carriers to try out and review. Kyjen has not paid for these reviews, and when I warned Kyle that they might not be love-fests, he said, essentially, “let ‘er rip.”

Dog Jaunt’s review policy requires me to give away freebies valued at over $50, and Kyjen has agreed that the products will be given away to Dog Jaunt readers. The Sling-Go Pet Carrier, reviewed on December 24, was won by Amanda of Austin, TX . The Backpack Pet Carrier, reviewed on January 7, was won by Jen of Brooklyn Park, MN.

Here’s the third review, of Outward Hound’s Roll Along Pet Carrier & Backpack. It has a retail value of $79.49 and will be given away to one lucky reader in a giveaway starting tomorrow, January 27th!

Photo by The Kyjen Company

The Roll Along Pet Carrier both rolls and converts to a backpack. At 19Hx14Wx10D, it’s larger than the last Outward Hound carrier I reviewed, but it shares many of the same features, including enormous ventilation panels on the front and sides, and roomy pockets — big enough to carry your dog’s leash, poop bags and treats and still leave plenty of room for a wallet and keys.

This carrier handles its various tasks pretty well. Our 13-lb. dog Chloe is at the upper limit of what it will handle, and with her on board the carrier rolls well but shows a tendency to wobble. Carrying her on my shoulders, I wished for straps that were better-padded, but noted with pleasure that the carrier is quite light and its hard bits rest on the back of my hips, which have sufficient padding of their own. (The backpack carrier that I own, Creature Leisure’s Carry Den XT, is a better-quality bag, overall, but throws a structural support uncomfortably across your backbone.) I could see carrying Chloe in this bag for a while — not all day, but certainly for a couple of hours — and it would work well for people bringing their dogs with them on a scooter.

“Great for airline travel,” says the marketing materials — and indeed, a dog park friend of mine who travels the world with her Schipperke is on her second Roll Along Pet Carrier (the first carrier’s wheels “melted” during a particularly rigorous trip to South America). It needs to be pointed out, however, that this bag exceeds every major U.S. airline’s maximum dimensions for an in-cabin pet carrier (it does much better with international airline maximums). As you know from previous posts and comments, most carriers you see are non-complying. Unlike some non-complying carriers, though, this bag looks big, probably because of its large side pockets.

It won’t fit left-to-right under an airplane seat — the handle will get in the way, and the 10″ depth (which will be the height, once the carrier is laid on its back) is structured enough not to flex. It would, however, fit front-to-back, with the narrower part by the handle inserted first under the seat. A few inches of the widest, bottom part would be visible to an alert flight attendant.

From your dog’s point of view, it works as an in-cabin carrier. Even Chloe, a big small dog, had lots of room, and the padding on top of the handle structure is light but sufficient. Negatives? This carrier has no privacy panels, which may be an issue if your pet prefers cave-like solitude when she’s traveling. Some users complain that the front ventilation panel droops onto their pet when the bag is on its back. It does, a bit, but Chloe seemed completely unfazed.

I’d buy this bag in a heartbeat for international travel, and I’d probably risk it, with fingers crossed, for domestic travel too. Frankly, I wish I’d bought it instead of my Creature Leisure Carry Den XT (purchased for outings to farmer’s markets).

Amazon link:
Kyjen Outward Hound Pet Roll Along Carrier & Backpack

3 comments

  • Edie

    Okay, I definitely want one of these — in case I ever do end up flying with Frankie. I will be looking forward to tomorrow’s post, so I can learn how to get one in your contest (if I’m lucky enough and if I remember)!

  • Tuck

    Hola! Well I’ve adopted Sidney (who broke his little leg after a flying leap) and bought the “messenger bag” which works well (although he is so thin that he is like a “meercat” popping out of the top, even with a splint on his leg. Wish I could send you a photo because it’s pretty funny. So the Messenger Bag is working nicely (and I bought a “precision pet” new pad to put on the bottom, that fits nicely and is cushier, btw). NOW it is time to figure out something that will work for flying. I happened to see the Sleepypod Air carrier that you reviewed, and you are correct: that is the most beautiful, well-designed carrier I’ve seen anywhere. It’s luxurious really, for a decent price. And all the Sherpa’s seem shabby by comparison, I also agree (although their sports bag seems a little more put-together). I really need a good backpack wheely one for airport, that isn’t difficult to turn from wheely to backpack and get “on” the shoulders. From what you are saying, this is the best one thus far, so my question is: how does the dog suddenly go sideways when you want to push this under the seat? (I get that the wheely and backpack work). I don’t want to give the little 9-pound dog vertigo by suddenly up-ending it in a cramped space when its never been on an airplane before and neither of us know what we’re doing together (besides pray for a first class upgrade again from Alaska where there is so much room you could have nearly anything and the stewardesses don’t seem to care about much except giving everyone water right away.) Can you help me out on a decision here? The low-priced one on Amazon got away from me, but I found one someplace else for about the same price I can order. Has anything else come out yet? Can you talk the Sleepypod Air folks into making theirs a little taller? (10.5? no way that is really 10″ is it?) and putting wheels on it? I’d settled for wheels instead of a backpack. They are so good they could probably figure out how to make the wheels “fold in” and not take up any height. The other question is about the Messenger Bag. It says on the box that it is “airline approved.” Does that mean one can take it on a plane and push it under the seat? They’re kidding right? That is just for walking around (sleuthing as you say, which I’m thrilled to have done a couple of times if he would just stop popping his head out and showing his broken leg to “ohhh”) Look forward to your input at this stage (and yes, you were right, am LOVING the little dog). He mashed down the Messenger bag in the car first day I got it, and tried to get in it to sleep, showing me he liked it even though he pretended to hate it 2 hours before)

  • Hello, Tuck! Your message is such a hoot — what a wonderful pet guardian you are. Taking your questions from the top: (1) When I’ve had to tip Chloe over to get her carrier under the seat, I’ve just talked to her throughout, and moved slowly. I know it seems odd to shift your dog’s base from the bottom of the bag to the side of the bag, but she hasn’t seemed fazed by it at all. As you’re tilting, you can reach in and shift your pup’s padding over too, and pat him at the same. They’re pretty tolerant, I think, as long as they can hear from the tone of your voice that what’s happening is expected and okay. (2) I don’t have any other good suggestions for you besides this Outward Hound wheeled backpack — I do, however, like your idea (in a separate comment) about using an old-fashioned wheelie and strapping your unwheeled carrier to it for a roll through the airport. Wheelies are bulky and a pain, but in this situation, I think they’re a terrific solution! (3) Send a tweet to @sleepypod! And I will too! I don’t have any clout with them, but I love their design sense, and would be THRILLED if they came out with a wheeled carrier that fit Chloe and worked in-cabin. (4) I am so happy that PetEgo’s Messenger Bag is working for you guys! I don’t think it’s a good choice as an in-cabin bag since it’s so big, and yet wedge-shaped — so it combines the negative of slightly too big for the space with the negative of not using the space efficiently — but it’s flexible enough that you could probably wedge it under there. It’s padded, and has good ventilation, so that part works too. I just think it won’t give your dog the room he’ll need on a plane.

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