I’m happy to report that I’ve found a new, excellent dog travel tote, the Acorn Everyday Tote from Alite. The only downside is that it may be falling off Alite’s product list. It’s not in their online catalogue, and that’s never a good sign. However, the company’s bricks-and-mortar store in San Francisco has “a lot” of back stock of the bag, in different colors, and it’s still available through Amazon (currently, the red is full price and the blue, which I have, is a screaming deal).
A bit of background: Long ago, I bought two different L.L. Bean totes to organize Chloe’s gear at home and on the road. Her home tote, monogrammed with her name and a Brittany Spaniel (alas, no Cavalier option), was soon discontinued. Her travel tote, a very peppy orange and pink nylon, was also discontinued. I was reduced to recommending that folks seek out diaper bags instead, because what I want in a travel tote for dog gear is a top zipper and a lot of outside pockets.
The top zipper is important to me because it prevents your dog from nosing around things you want to keep away from her, like that packet of Frontline Plus, and those extra sacks of treats (just to choose a couple of items currently living in Chloe’s travel tote). Those of you with bigger dogs are already nodding your heads, but even a smaller dog can get into trouble in an open tote while it’s resting on the floor of a hotel room, for example, or if it tips off the top of her travel crate.
A top zipper also provides structure to a loaded tote, and it’s crucial for keeping stuff inside the tote, where it belongs, if you pack your dog’s travel tote in her suitcase (or if you heave your pet’s tote into the back of your car for a road trip).
The outside pocket requirement is easier to explain. Chloe’s totes are girdled with pockets containing bottles of shampoo and enzymatic cleaner, small rolls of paper towels, grooming supplies, and empty water bottles — all stuff that she has no interest in pulling out and chewing, and most convenient when close at hand and not sloshing around inside a tote.
All that said, imagine my delight when I found the Acorn Everyday Tote. It has it all: a great, packable size; a top zipper; many outside pockets; plus a useful outer loop to clip stuff onto with a carabiner, and a contrasting bright lining so you can see what you’ve stowed in there. It’s offered by Alite, a company based in San Francisco, and it’s really well made.
If you’re anywhere near the Bay Area, step in to the Alite store in San Francisco’s Mission neighborhood and snap up this tote; otherwise, here’s that Amazon link again.
Please note that I bought my Acorn Everyday Tote, and paid full price for it, too — I will always let you know when I’m reviewing stuff that someone else has provided to me.