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Petmate Compass Kennel Review [Is This The Right Choice?]

If you’re on the hunt for a new cat or dog crate, chances are the Petmate Compass Kennel has made it onto your radar.

Recommended by fellow pet owners or stumbled upon during your own online research, this popular kennel seems to check all the boxes: affordable price, secure design, airline approved, and convenient for travel.

But before you join the legions of Petmate Compass converts, you likely still have some lingering questions.

How difficult is assembly? Is it really sturdy enough for rambunctious pets? And how does it actually hold up during car rides and flights?

As a longtime dog owner and crate purchaser, I’ve tested my fair share of models over the years.

So to help other owners decide if it’s the right solution for their needs, I’ll cover my thoughts and opinions with the benefits and downsides of this popular crate choice.

Short of time, here is my high-level Petmate Compass Kennel Review:

Petmate Kennel

Quick Verdict

The Petmate Compass Kennel is the ideal crate for cat owners or those with small dogs, providing secure containment and stress-free travel at an affordable price point.

Its lightweight yet sturdy design, hassle-free setup, 360-degree ventilation, and airline compliance deliver convenience, comfort and versatility for pets on the go.

For containing and transporting cats and little dogs safely and comfortably on a budget, the Compass Kennel can’t be beat.

What I Like About The Petmate Compass Kennel

Size Variations

The Compass Kennel comes in sizes ranging from 19 inches all the way up to 40 inches.

This makes it a versatile option for dogs of all breeds, ages and sizes.

Some users opt for the smallest size for puppies and cats, and the larger sizes for big dogs like Labradors.

Effortless Assembly

Putting the Compass Kennel together is a breeze thanks to the slide and snap assembly that requires no tools.

You can have it set up in just a few minutes – super convenient when you need to take it with you trips.

Security Features

The two-way opening door provides extra security and convenience.

The dual turn-dial latches keep even clever escape artist dogs safely inside.

Great Ventilation

With ventilation on all four sides plus visibility from all angles, the Compass Kennel promotes airflow and lets dogs see outside.

This makes travel less stressful.

Airline Travel Compatible

The Compass Kennel meets most airline cargo specifications, so you shouldn’t need to worry about buying a separate airline-approved crate.

However, it is recommended to check in with your airline company ahead of travel.


Depending on the size, the Compass Kennel weighs just 3 to 25 pounds.

You should be able to lift it in and out of your car for trips to the park or vet.


Prices range from $41 to $250.

For the versatility, I think the Compass Kennel delivers excellent value.

It’s an affordable option compared to similar crates.

What I Don’t Like About The Petmate Compass Kennel

While the Petmate Compass Kennel is a good overall choice, particularly for cats, there are a few downsides to consider:

Made From Plastic

The plastic construction means this crate can’t withstand as much destructive chewing as heavy-duty wire crates.

Dogs with intense separation anxiety or destructive tendencies may be able to break through the plastic.

Not As Durable As Other Crates

Although it’s sturdy for typical use, the Compass Kennel won’t hold up as well as other heavier steel or aluminum crates over many years.

Not As Visually Appealing

The plastic shell and basic design means this crate has a utilitarian look.

For owners who want a crate that doubles as a stylish furniture piece, decorative wooden or ornate metal kennels are a better choice.

Alternatives To The Petmate Compass Kennel Review

Impact Dog Crate (For Dogs)

Petmate Compass Kennel Alternative

The Impact Dog Crate is a great alternative if you want something more portable and aesthetically pleasing.

Its sleek, folding design is like nothing you’ve ever seen before.

Not only will this nifty crate take up far less room than a traditional dog cage, but it also provides maximum safety and comfort for your dog.

Made out of lightweight yet strong aluminum material, this low-profile crate makes it easy to move around without worry.

You get a lifetime guarantee, can pay on finance, it ships assembled, and it’s available in 7 different colors.

It also has a stackable design and military grade easy carrying handles.

Final Verdict: Should You Buy The Petmate Compass Kennel?

In the end, I definitely recommend the Petmate Compass Kennel, especially for cat owners or those with smaller dog breeds.

For under $100, you get a secure crate that’s easy to assemble, transport, and meets airline requirements.

The plastic construction provides ample ventilation and visibility to reduce travel stress on pets.

Despite some durability concerns compared to pricier steel and aluminum alternatives, the Compass Kennel is reasonably sturdy for typical use.

For larger or extremely destructive dogs, the Impact Dog Crate is a smarter long-term investment.

With its aluminum and steel construction, folding design, and sleek aesthetics, the Impact Crate is ideal for frequently traveling with big dogs.

However, if you just need a simple crate for home use or the occasional car ride to the vet, the Compass Kennel gets the job done.

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