Aspen is a line of pet crates from the world-famous pet brand – Petmate. Now Petmate doesn’t just manufacture crates, this brand carries a vast array of classic pet products such as the Aspen Pet Traditional Kennel (which we will be reviewing today), training collars, leashes, dog toys, and lots more, all competitively priced.
From our research and review on Aspen pet products, customers favor Aspen. And why not? Its products serve their purposes and they are also of high quality. Always worth the money spent.
But beyond functionality, Petmate goes the extra mile to add a touch of beauty to its crate. So, usually, you can expect your Aspen crate or Aspen anything else to look as good as it works.
Are you just bringing your pup home? Click here to read our article on dog supplies to draw up your own personal checklist for bringing your baby home.
Who Is Aspen Pet Traditional Kennel For?
The Aspen Pet Traditional Kennel is obviously a hard-sided dog crate which makes it a great crate for shy dogs. You know how some dogs just like to keep to themselves and enjoy some me-time. This crate is very suitable for such dogs.
Also, hard-sided dog crates work as pet carriers. The handle on the top is pretty convenient which makes it easy to take this along for your pet visits and all.
About sizes… There are 3 sizes: 20 inches, 24 inches, and 28 inches. So, this crate is available in sizes that tend more towards small breeds.
Features Of The Aspen Pet Traditional Kennel
1. Recycled Pre-Consumer Plastic
Great news for green parents, this crate is made entirely from recycled plastic. So, yes Petmate shows that it cares for our environment with this crate.
But here’s the thing, this crate is not sturdy enough to be used by aggressive dog breeds. And we’re not very sure that recycled plastic is as tough as heavy-duty plastic. Heck! Some of these aggressive dogs even break down metal wire crates.
So, this is eco-friendly but be careful though because this was not built with the aggressive, chewy breeds in mind.
2. 360-Degree Ventilation
When we think of well-ventilated crates, our minds naturally wander off to wire dog crates. And in truth, they are very well aerated units. The bars surrounding the crate give enough space for air to get in and out of the crate.
But this crate doesn’t do badly in ventilation. There are holes on the sides, at the top, and at the bottom. This way, air will get in and get out freely and your pup will feel comfortable.
The only thing issue we foresee is visibility. Your pet might like it if he’s the reclusive type. But for you as the parent, it might be a bit difficult seeing through the crate to your pet.
These issues are general for hard-sided crates, though and isn’t specific to the Aspen Pet Traditional Kennel.
To make this also great as a pet carrier, Pet Mate fits this crate with a plastic handle as well. This way, you’ll be able to conveniently carry your pet around for vet visits and other such things.
4. Single Door With Squeeze Latch
This crate comes with a single door only. So, there’s none at the top like some other hard-sided crates usually come with. Of course, the fact that this is a single door crate will come with the attending inconveniences. So, prepare for that.
Now, let’s talk about the locks. Pet Mate uses a squeeze latch. This latch kinda makes it easier for you to load and unload your kennel. Plus, since you’ll need your thumbs to squeeze, your pets shouldn’t be able to figure out how to open up the latch.
Except they are crazy clever, that is.
But here’s the catch… two catches actually…
One, if you don’t secure the latch properly, your pet will just strut through the doors and out of the crate. He won’t even have to put up a fight.
Two, the holes where you’re supposed to squeeze the pins into are not reinforced. And now we worry how long the holes will last before they get damaged altogether.
5. Can Be Assembled
Like most plastic crates, the Aspen Pet Traditional Kennel can be assembled and disassembled. Question is, would you want to assemble and disassemble this? Don’t worry, it’s not a trick question. We will explain.
To ensure that this crate is well put together and secure, the crate comes with a lot of nuts and bolts. Trust us, if you ever put this thing together once, you won’t exactly enthusiastically look forward to the next time you have to put it together again.
It’s just too stressful.
Nonetheless though, when you put all the bolts and nuts into their places, this crate should be all well and dandy. But if you’re worried that it’s not secure enough, then a couple of zip ties should do the trick.
6. Can Be Used For Airline Travel
At least that’s what Pet Mate says, and we have no reason to doubt them. From all indications, this pretty much looks like most airline-approved pet crates.
However, Pet Mate still inserts a caveat emptor. You should call your airline company and find out if your crate fits into their requirements so you don’t get stranded at the airport. Better to err on the side of caution than to go and waste your time and get frustrated.
7. Three Available Sizes
The Aspen Pet Traditional Kennel is only available in a limited range of sizes. And by limited, we mean 3 sizes. So, there’s the 20-inch crate, the 24-inch, and the 28-inch.
As you can see, these tend more toward the smaller breeds.
Pros Of The Aspen Pet Traditional Kennel
1. Airline-adapted and so can be used for airline travel.
2. Comes with a handle for convenient carrying.
3. Eco-friendly dog crate made with recycled plastic.
4. Great as a pet carrier or a travel crate.
5. Latches are relatively secure.
6. Excellent 360-degree ventilation.
Cons Of The Aspen Pet Traditional Kennel
1. Setting this up is pretty time consuming and difficult – too many nuts and bolts.
2. It’s easy to engage the latch incorrectly and your dog can easily bust out of the crate.
3. If you need this travel, double-check that the crate is large enough for your pet for airline travel regardless of what is advertised as the size of the crate. In other words, don’t take the manufacturer’s word for it in this respect.
Alternative Options To The Aspen Pet Traditional Kennel
If you need something more affordable than our featured product, here’s another one from the same brand. The Petmate Navigator for Pets Dog Crate is quite affordable but offers really impressive features still.
For instance, its door can open either way. Plus, it comes with a divider panel.
So, it’s great as a travel crate but it can also work as your regular dog crate.
PS: It comes in all the sizes including large breeds but not extra-large.
High-End Option — The Petmate Ultra Vari Kennel
This is a much stronger, and higher-end dog crate for those who wish to spend the little extra for their precious pooch. This is made from heavy-duty plastic and is a very comfy way for your pet to travel.
Of course, it does meet airline requirements, but as Pet Mate advises, it’s always best to check with your airline company anyway.
This crate is also made from recycled plastic so, it is kind to our Mother Earth. And it comes in sizes enough to fit any dog weighing between 25 and 90 pounds.
Wire Dog Crate Option — Try The Aspen Pet Single-Door Dog Crate
Pet Mate metal wire dog crates are known for one thing – their patented 5-point precision lock system. This unique lock system helps to keep the crate as secure as possible.
That said, the Aspen Dog Crate is quite affordable and a reliable option if you need a wire dog crate.
It comes with a dividing panel, of course, and a removable pan as well. Plus, the crate unit usually comes spacious and roomy. It only comes with one door though so be prepared for that little inconvenience.
Soft-Sided Crate Option — The Beatrice Home Fashions Pop Up Kennel
The Beatrice Home Fashions Pop Up Kennel is a great crate option for pet parents looking for a lightweight, affordable dog crate they can use for travel purposes.
It isn’t created for everyday use, mind you. But for the purpose of light usage every now and then, this works perfectly.
There are several color options to choose from and they all look really beautiful. This only comes in the 32-inch size, by the way. So, it’s only for certain dogs.
Quick Comparison Table
|Featured||More Affordable||More High End||Wire Crate||Soft Crate|
Aspen Pet Traditional Kennel
Petmate Ultra Vari Kennel
Aspen Pet Single-Door Dog Crate
Beatrice Home Fashions Pop Up Kennel
|Material||Plastic||Plastic||Heavy-duty plastic||Metal wire||Polyester|
|Sizes Available||3 – 20 inches, 24 inches, 28 inches||6||Max weight capacities: 25 – 30 pounds, 30 – 50 pounds, 50 – 70 pounds, and 70 – 90 pounds||6||32 inches|
|Colors Available||Grey||Dark brown||Taupe/Black||Black||Green, blue, fuchsia, black, red, white, and purple|
|Best For||Crate-trained dogs, especially reclusive ones||Crate-trained dogs especially reclusive ones||Reclusive, shy pets||All kinds of dogs except aggressive breeds and chewers||Crate-trained medium breeds|
|Top||Petmate||Aspen Pet Traditional Kennel, 28", for Dogs 20-30 Lbs.||Prime||Buy Now|
|Top||Petmate||Petmate Navigator Pet Carrier with Antimicrobial Protection,||Prime||Buy Now|
|Top||Petmate||Petmate Ultra Vari Kennel 28" 25-30LB||Prime||Buy Now|
|Top||Beatrice Home Fashions||Beatrice Home Fashions SOLPPK00RED POP UP PET Kennel, Red||Prime||Buy Now|
What Customers Are Saying About The Aspen Pet Traditional Kennel
It’s a general consensus that the Aspen Pet Traditional Kennel offers value for money. Once you set it up, customers agree that it is sturdy enough.
However, customers are not excited about the fact that it’s almost rocket science putting the crate together. Way too many nuts and bolts.
Other complaints about the latch system and airline adaptability were isolated. So, you could overlook those.
Now, if we were to put the customers’ comments about this crate simply, it would be this. This crate is lovely but why in tarnation is it so dang stressful to put together?!
We couldn’t agree more with the customers. But here’s something that makes us wonder. The Petmate Navigator for Pets is a lower-end crate as compared to the Aspen Pet Traditional Kennel.
But we wonder why Pet Mate chose to include a divider panel to the Navigator and not to the Aspen Pet Traditional Kennel, especially since this is more expensive.
Be that as it may, though, there’s no doubt that this is a good crate. Why Pet Mate decided to make assembling a test of handiness still beats us. You’ll probably never disassemble this crate for fear of assembling it back.
But hey, it’s airline adaptable and that’s always a good thing.