In our review of the Petmate Navigator for Pets Dog Crate today, we will find out all about what exactly makes this hard-sided dog crate a fave among many pet parents. But just before we get into the reviews proper, let’s find out a bit about the brand behind the crate – Pet Mate.
Over the years, Pet Mate has created thousands of quality pet products that pet parents round the world have come to depend on. These products are not just for dogs, the brand also carries loads of products for cats and fish as well.
In fact, there are three separate product lines under which Pet Mate distributes its products which are Dog Mate, Fish Mate and Cat Mate. Petmate also carries different products in different price categories to cater to customers of different income levels.
The Petmate Navigator for Pets Dog Crate is one of the affordable options and today we’re going to be dissecting it to see if it’s worth the price. Come along!
Who Is The Petmate Navigator For Pets Dog Crate For?
In the first place, hard-sided dog crates are supposed to be used for certain kinds of pets. Most times, such crates are recommended for really shy pets who love the solitude.
More adventurous dogs would prefer a wire crate so they can see the world around them.
Now, besides using this hard sided dog crate for shy dogs, there’s something else. You can’t use this crate for a dog that’s aggressive or a dog that likes to chew.
It will be super easy for them to break through the crate if they get antsy or excited. Plus, plastic parts make fantastic chew toys. So, guess who’s going to be happy with his plastic crate? Yep, you got it.
That said, there’s one last thing. This crate wouldn’t work for an extra large breed. Not for any reason other than there’s no size for it in here. Petmate does not carry this crate in the extra large size.
Features Of The Petmate Navigator For Pets Dog Crate
1. Plastic Body
The Petmate Navigator for Pets Dog Crate is made from plastic, so, it’s relatively sturdy. Not super sturdy, we said “relatively”. But that said, it should be able to withstand antics from a regular dog breed.
Then again, like we said, this isn’t a dog crate for an aggressive breed. An aggressive dog will easily break a hard-sided crate and get out of it easily. Even a not-so-aggressive breed can break this thing if he’s determined.
The plastic is actually quite thin. But then again, this is affordable, so you should expect some cutbacks on quality here and there.
Anyway, naturally, hard-sided dog crates tend to be cozier and darker on the inside than wire crates. So, not every dog will be able to use this crate.
The nature of this crate therefore makes it best for shy dogs or dogs who love their own privacy. If your dog is more outgoing, he might be more comfortable in a wire dog crate. Something that allows him see the surroundings around him.
But as to durability, this crate can be as durable as you want. Just follow the rules and you’ll be okay. Remember, crate-trained dogs only.
2. Perforated Sides
We won’t exactly say this comes with windows but hey it’s not like there’s no plan for your pet to get ventilated. The crate comes with vent-like holes on all the sides of the crate through which air can get in and out of the crate.
Now, these holes are enough to get your pet the fresh air he needs. But they don’t exactly encourage visibility. This is why we say that such crates are best for shy, reclusive dogs.
Because this crate is also made to be a carrier, it comes with a convenient handle on the top part of the crate. So you should be able to conveniently carry this for your pet visits and all.
If you’re asking, the handle appears to be quite sturdy and durable. So, it shouldn’t break off easily except you have the hands of Bruce Banner (the Incredible Hulk).
PS: Only the extra small crate comes with a handle.
4. Single Door
This crate comes with only one door, and we really love the door for a few reasons.
One, it can open either way. So, it makes the crate a really convenient unit. How does it work? It comes with knobs which you can close the door on either side.
So, if you take off the knob on either side, you can open the crate on the other side. In the end, it’s really up to you how you want to open the crate.
It almost makes up for the fact that this only comes with a single door. We said “almost” though because the truth is that this – open and tightening knobs – might not exactly be easy to do when you just need to quickly access the crate.
But when you consider the convenience of having the door swing any way, it should be worth it.
5. Divider Panel
Alright, this right here makes us so impressed. It’s hard to find a plastic crate with a divider panel. You’ll mostly find this in wire dog crates alone, not plastic, or soft crates. Anyway, here’s a good exception to the norm.
It comes with a divider panel so you can use this from your pup’s puppyhood right through his adult years.
Now here’s the problem. It’s not exactly easy installing this divider panel and Pet Mate did not do us the favor of including instructions to this crate. There are no instructions anywhere online either. So, you’ll have to figure out how to install this divider yourself.
Thumbs down on that one.
6. Can Be Assembled
Now you can disassemble and reassemble the Petmate Navigator for Pets Dog Crate if you want. Problem is that this crate isn’t exactly easy to put together. The instructions included are just too poor.
Now, if you’re handy or a jigsaw puzzle hobbyist, then putting this together might be a piece of cake for you. But for the majority, assembling this requires a bit of thought and devising. This wouldn’t have been necessary if Pet Mate had done its homework well.
7. All Sizes Available
The Petmate Navigator for Pets Dog Crate comes in all 6 sizes. The extra small (19 inches), small (24 inches), two medium sizes (28 inches and 32 inches), intermediate (36 inches), Large (40 inches).
Pros Of The Petmate Navigator For Pets Dog Crate
1. Single door conveniently opens either way – left or right.
2. Comes with a divider panel.
3. Perforated side panels for enhanced ventilation.
4. Makes a great travel crate.
5. Super lightweight.
6. Quite affordable.
Cons Of The Petmate Navigator For Pets Dog Crate
1. This crate comes with very poor instructions for assembling the crate. Plus it doesn’t even come with instructions for installing the divider panel.
2. Plastic isn’t exactly heavy duty.
Alternative Options To The Petmate Navigator For Pets Dog Crate
More Affordable Option — The AmazonBasics Two-Door Top–Load Pet Kennel
Our featured product is quite affordable but we understand that people might be on a tight budget at different points. That’s why we have another affordable alternative (as at the time of writing this review — it might change in the future). For this option, we suggest the AmazonBasics Two-Door Top-Load Pet Kennel.
It’s a lot more affordable than our featured product but it only comes in two sizes, and both are on the small side.
This comes with two doors unlike our featured product, though. There’s one at the top actually. The other one in the front opens either way just like the one on our featured crate.
The AmazonBasics Two-Door Top-Load Pet Kennel is worth a shot if you don’t have so much cash right now.
Higher-End Dog Crate — The Ruff Maxx Portable Kennel
If you’ll prefer to give your pet the royal treatment, then splurge a little on the Petmate Ruff Maxx Portable Kennel. This is much stronger than our featured product, so you can guess why it’s kinda expensive.
But besides that it is well ventilated and it is also suitable for airline travel as well.
The Ruff Maxx Portable Kennel was made with the large dog breeds in mind. That is, dogs between the weight of 30 and 90 pounds max. So, it’s quite large and spacious. There’s only one size but there are different weight capacities.
Altogether, this is a fantastic crate worth the price. If you’re willing to splurge, you should give this some serious consideration.
Wire Crate Option — The Carlson Secure And Foldable Dog Crate
The Carlson Secure and Foldable Dog Crate is a reasonably priced wire dog crate, if you still prefer a wire dog crate. It’s relatively sturdy and comes with enough space for your dogs to feel totally comfortable in.
Of course, it does fold down making the crate easy to store and move around. It also folds down pretty quickly too and you won’t even need any tool to do it.
This doesn’t come with dividing panels, though. Just keep this mind. So, if it’s a big deal, then sorry look elsewhere.
Quick Comparison Table
|Featured||More Affordable||More High End||Wire Crate|
|Material||Plastic||Plastic||Heavy duty plastic||Metal wire|
|Sizes Available||6||19 inches and 23 inches||Max weight capacities: 30 – 50 pounds, 50 – 70 pounds, and 70 – 90 pounds||6|
|Colors Available||Dark brown||Blue||Brown||Black|
|Best For||Crate-trained dogs, especially reclusive ones||Crate-trained dogs especially reclusive ones||Large crate-trained breeds||All kinds of dogs except aggressive breeds and chewers|
|Top||Petmate||Petmate Navigator Pet Carrier with Antimicrobial Protection,||Prime||Buy Now|
|Top||AmazonBasics||AmazonBasics Two-Door Top-Load Hard-Sided Pet Travel Carrier, 23-Inch||Prime||Buy Now|
|Top||N/A||Ruff Maxx 36" Kennel for Dogs Weighing 50-70 lbs, Camo/Orange||Prime||Buy Now|
|Top||Carlson Pet Products||Carlson Pet Products Secure and Foldable Single Door Metal Dog Crate, Extra Large||Prime||Buy Now|
What Customers Are Saying About The Petmate Navigator For Pets Dog Crate?
Many customers are satisfied with the Petmate Navigator for Pets Dog Crate at least. It is not super sturdy and many customers agreed to that. But you do get what you pay for, that’s for sure.
The two-way gate though was the bomb diggity for most customers. They couldn’t get over how this crate opens from either side. The knobs that close and open them though are a different story altogether.
Some people consider them more convenient. Others are downright displeased with them. So, it’s a love-hate situation over here.
Now, if there was one message the customers could send to Pet Mate, it would be for the brand to include better instructions with their crate. To put it nicely, the instructions were an utter waste of ink on paper.
But thankfully, the crate was still fairly easy to set up even without them, at least for the handy ones. If you aren’t handy, maybe after one or two mistakes you’d get it right. Let’s hope.
What makes us in love with the Petmate Navigator for Pets Dog Crate is the fact that it comes with a dividing panel. What?! For this feature alone, this crate is what those in the early 20th century would call the bee’s knees.
And just like the customers, we also love the fact that this door can open from either side. It almost makes us forget that this crate comes with only one door.
Altogether, this is a decent crate. We won’t call this top shelf or something but one thing is sure, you get what you pay for with the Petmate Navigator for Pets Dog Crate.
NB: Whether or not you can use this for airline travel depends on the airline in question.