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Product review: Chloe’s “Elite Kaba” Milk & Pepper carrier

I’ve posted a bunch of pictures of Chloe in this carrier (snoozing on a Batobus, on a train to Chartres), and here are the details I’ve been promising. Milk & Pepper is a French company that makes dog clothing and accessories. I’ve never seen their products in the U.S., but according to the M&P website (click on “Stores”), they’re available in Northern California and New York. We found Chloe’s carrier in Paris at the BHV La Niche, among a line-up of all-European carriers.

The fact is, Chloe absolutely does not need any more carriers. At the moment I was contemplating the carrier selection at BHV La Niche, I had a pet sling rolled up in my purse, and Chloe’s messenger bag and large SturdiBag were stacked in our rental apartment (not to mention the, what, five additional carriers waiting for her back at home). Here’s another fact, though: I cannot pass up a good-looking carrier, and Milk & Pepper’s “Elite Kaba” is both good-looking and well-made.

It comes in two sizes, Medium (about 15″L x 10″H x 7″W) and Large (about 17.5″L x 13″H x 9″W). Chloe fits comfortably in the Large. Hers is made of heavy grey felt (a 50/50 wool blend) with a black nylon lining and black leather-like trim. As you can see, it’s open on both ends, and a large flap with a thumb-latch covers the top. More serious encouragement to stay put is provided by a built-in tether. The bottom is slightly padded; I keep trying to remember to put a handtowel on the bottom for more comfort.

BHV La Niche only had the winter version (the grey felt that we bought), but another store we visited carried M&P’s summer versions of the same bag: “Smart Kaba” (a grey cotton twill) and “City Kaba” (a seriously tempting khaki twill printed with images of famous monuments/buildings). You can see all of these bags by visiting M&P’s site and clicking on “Winter Collection” and “Summer Collection” and scrolling a couple of pages to the right.

Once we bought the “Elite Kaba,” it got a lot of use. By the end of our two-week trip, the felt was pilling slightly, but only slightly. It seems like a durable bag, and Chloe likes being able to observe the world from the open ends. It may be of somewhat less use in the U.S., where Chloe either walks on her own paws or is completely contained in her messenger bag — that said, though, I brought her in it yesterday to the pictured yarn store, Seattle’s Acorn Street Shop. (It’s a small shop, but it’s packed to the rafters with yarn and knitting supplies; I like shopping there all the more now that I know they’re dog-friendly — complete with treats!) They would have welcomed her on a leash, but it was easier for me to have her over my shoulder.

One last note: I was already carrying a purse in Paris (well, kind of — it was Tom Bihn’s small “Imago” messenger bag), and I didn’t want to have two things slung over my shoulder, so when Chloe wasn’t using her new carrier, I stuck my purse in it and carried the M&P bag like a purse. It worked well enough in that role that the one night we had a fancy dinner, I used it as my purse (note to self: It looked good, but next time, pack a clutch).

11 comments

  • [email protected]

    You and Chloe both look fantastic with the Elite Kaba! Our next dog simply must be a small dog. We are missing out on the really cool accessories because our boys are too big to fit in these fabulous carriers. We’d need something that looked more like a hiker’s backpack! 😀

  • Oh, Amy — Just the THOUGHT of Ty in a carrier makes me wish you’d give it a try. Imagine his face! (Actually, he’d probably enjoy being carried around like a sultan!)

  • Sheryn

    I first found the Pet carriers Reviews site and then stumbled upon this one. I thought “Is this the same Chloe?” You’re both looking great and that’s a beautiful carrier. I’m still window-shopping for a economical but sturdy carrier to take a (future) large puppy around town in. Thank you both for your reviews 🙂

  • Thank you so much for your comment, Sheryn, and for making your way here from Pet Carrier Reviews. It is indeed the same Chloe! Can we help you find a good carrier? What size pup are you considering?

  • Liz

    I appreciate the review. My name is Liz and I’m the U.S. Distributor for Milk & Pepper. The Fall/Winter 2010 Collection is our brand’s first in the U.S. The Kaba Elite bag is a part of the Fall/Winter collection. We are also currently working on the Spring/Summer 2011 collection which will be available April 2011 in an exclusive number of stores across the country. The following stores are carrying the current collection. If you have any questions about the brand feel free to email [email protected].

    – Raising Rover & Baby- New York, New York
    – Dog Bone Alley – Alameda, California
    – Dog Bone Alley – Danville, California
    – The Modern Dog – Venice, California
    – Bow Wow Meow – San Francisco, California
    – Bow Wow Meow – San Carlos, California
    – Touleh- Palo Alto, California (opening Jan 2011)

  • Thanks so much, Stephy and Liz! Liz, I had no idea this year marked Milk & Pepper’s first appearance in U.S. stores — how exciting for you guys, and how fun for us. Good luck!!

  • Alexandra

    Hi Mary-Alice.
    My name is Alexandra Vitug. Thank you for your website, and the way that you cover all aspects of traveling with dogs! I find it so helpful in planning for different ways to travel with my pup.
    Anyway, I was wondering if you could point my in the right direction for a carrier for my recently rescued Cocker Spaniel, Bella. Although Bella is a Cocker, she is quite small. She weighs in at 14.8 pounds, full grown. (Half the weight of my previous cocker. This opens up so many travel options!) She measures about 12 inches high at the shoulder, and from neck to tail about 14 inches (15.5 in. if you calculate in her nubbie! ha!)
    I am looking for some suggestions for a tote carrier, kind of like this one that you are using, only larger, because I think Bella is bigger than your Chloe, for quick trips to bring her into some stores. We have some dog-friendly stores here, and for those days when I just want to duck into a store quickly, I’d like to have something to put her in to bring her with me, so I don’t have to leave her in the car. I’m open to tote-style, or messenger style. I’d either be carrying her around on my shoulder for short periods of time, or placing her carrier in the shopping cart, and letting her head stick out for petting. I bought the Sling-Go pet carrier to try out for this, but I’m returning it because Bella was just too large for it, and seemed uncomfortable being squished up in it. The sides were also way too short, so she was kind of unstable. Do you have a suggestion for such a carrier? I would highly, highly appreciate it. I was looking at the celltei pak-a-pet (pricey!), and wondered if it would be any good for this purpose too. Oh, by the way, do you think Bella would fit in the PetEgo messenger?

    Thanks again for your time. I look forward to hearing from you.

    Alexandra Vitug

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