I have two large doggies that I take everywhere with me whether it is a grocery run or a wilderness getaway. They love the road trips and the idea of getting to enjoy some fresh air and see new people. While it is fun to travel with my best buddies, I am constantly scared for their safety after a past fender bender incident. I decided to invest in their safety for my peace of mind and it was during my research that I came across the Variocage 4X4 North America and boy did my life change.
The Variocage 4X4 North America is a safety transport crate designed to protect your dogs from injury after accident impacts. It stands out as the only crash test certified safety crate on the market using the SPCT method. With this and features like adjustability, quality materials and spaciousness, it is definitely worth considering as a dog owner.
In the sections below, we will take an in-depth look at what makes this crate so awesome as well as a few compromises you may have to make. That way, you know exactly what you are getting yourself into should you decide to get it. But first, let us take a look at some of its coolest features and why we recommend it to dog owners everywhere.
What We Like About The Variocage By 4X4 North America
Crash Test Certified
This was done by SP Technical Research Institute in Sweden and included a variety of assessments from frontal crash simulation to drop testing. All the tests proved that the crate is more than up to the task of protecting your pooch with a gravitational force capacity of up to 28G. For some perspective, it would take about 16G of force to cause fatal injury in an accident.
It means that everything from the construction to the materials and design are up to national safety standards. That way, you can rest assured that even in the worst case scenario that your dog will be safe within the travel crate.
Built-In Crumple Zone For Impact Absorption
One feature that makes this carriage so safe for your dog is the fact that it contains a crumple zone. Without turning this into a whole physics class, this is a system within the crate that is designed to essentially absorb the force from impact during an accident. It prevents or at the very least minimizes the level of injury by pretty much slowing down the forces acting on the crate. It is what is found in cars and rail carts for protection against high-velocity collisions and is truly the best way to protect your furry best buddy during your trips together.
High-Quality Powder-Coated Steel Construction
Another major contributing factor to the high safety rating with the Variocage 4X4 is the use of powder-coated steel. Steel, in general, is one of the strongest materials which makes it ideal for use as a safety crate for road trips with your dog. The powder coating just serves to improve the strength and overall durability of the material. It prevents corrosion and chipping which would have otherwise caused faster deterioration of the material with potentially detrimental consequences. This plus the expert design and high-quality construction techniques make it not only safe but also durable ensuring you get value for your money. This definitely makes that steep price tag look a little less problematic.
It Has Adjustable Sides
When considering the double Variocage for my two pooches, I was concerned about whether or not it would fit my car. If you are having the same concerns, the adjustable design should quell all your doubts. This cage allows you to adjust the depth at 14 different points on either side. That way you can customize the fit to ensure that it fits perfectly while still giving the pooch some space to breathe and move around. Check out this video for more on how to adjust the crate.
The Emergency Escape Hatch
In the event of an accident with your dogs in the car, the last thing you want is for your furry besties to be trapped and endangered in a crate that was designed for their protection. That is what makes the escape hatch on the Variocage 4X4 a feature worth celebrating. This exit is on the back end of the crate with quick-release knobs for easy access. That way you can get your dogs out and away from the source of harm as fast as possible.
The Gas Hydraulic Motion Springs On The Lockable Doors
In addition to being a fantastic safety unit in case of accidents, the Variocage 4X4 by North America is a wonderful way to keep your dogs restrained while in the car. This will come in particularly handy if you have a dog that likes to roam around in your car whether it is a quick drive or a long road trip. One feature that makes this possible is the door locks. The hydraulic motion springs make it very easy for you to pop the cage open and to close it without allowing the dog freedom to do the same and wreak havoc as you drive.
It Allows Both Key Locking And Padlock Security
If you wish to further secure your crate, you have two options. The first is a key lock system. With the double crate, there are two separate doors, each with its own set of keys so you can take your doggies out or put them back into the car one at a time without too much hassle. You also have the option of using a padlock for additional security. For this, the Variocage crate has padlock mounts that are easily accessible for quick locking and unlocking.
Wide Enough Grills For Visibility And Breathability
Road trips with dogs are fun for everyone including the furry little fellas. They love the views and the breezes and it is, therefore, important to ensure that this is not hindered during the trip. This is where the grill design on the Variocage comes in handy. The rods are far enough away that the dog gets to see what is going on around as you drive.
It is also fantastic to keep things nice and airy which is particularly important when you are traveling with two dogs at the same time. The best part is that all this is possible without compromising the safety and overall functionality of the crate.
Rubber Carpeting For Comfort
Another excellent thing you have to look forward to with this crate is the rubber flooring. If you have travelled with a dog before then you know how messy they can be. From fur to potty accidents, the last thing you want is to have your trip ruined by cleanup. The rubber carpeting on this crate is super easy to clean. All you have to do is hose it down and leave it up to dry and you are good to go. In addition to this convenience, it also offers fantastic grip and cushioning making the crate more comfortable for the dog especially during long trips.
It Is Available As A Single Or Double Carriage Crate
This is fantastic for everyone. If you have one dog, you could get the single crate with the same features and quality constructions. If you have two dogs or multiple small ones, the double crate would be perfect saving you the trouble of investing in and setting up two separate singles. Both the single and double options are further available in a variety of sizes offering you more options so you can find the very best option based on your specific needs.
Adjustable Middle Divider
The double Variocage 4X4 North America safety cage is different from other double unit crates with its adjustable middle divider. This is a complete panel that offers each dog its own space and privacy which comes in handy when dealing with dogs that tend to fight a lot. The adjustability on the other hand is useful with dogs of different sizes. That way your furry giant doesn’t have to squeeze into a tiny space when the little one has more than they need. Simply slide the dividing panel to create more room and lock it in place.
Convenient Sizing Chart
While the crate is adjustable in terms of depth, you still have to make sure that the width and the height are appropriate for your vehicle and most importantly for your dog. This is important to ensure that you can comfortably fit it into your car during the setup process. It also ensures that the dog has enough room to comfortably move around the crate without either feeling squeezed in or having so much room that they end up getting tossed about inside the crate as you drive.
To help you out, here are both the car and dog size charts so that you can better decide what would best fit your needs.
Load-Tested Straps For Easy Installation
After assembling the unit, setting it up is pretty easy. Just use the straps to anchor it to your vehicle and you are good to go. The straps themselves are also load tested to ensure that the crate remains as steady as possible in the event of an accident to avoid having your doggy thrown around in cases of rolling crashes.
Accessories Like Leash Hooks And A Water Bowl
Finally, we liked the little bonus details like the leash hooks and the water bowl. The leash hooks offer the benefit of additional support in the event of rough road trips as you can attach your harness or collar to the crate for stability.
Set-Backs But Not Deal Breakers
Despite all these wonderful things that can be said about the Variocage safety crate, there are a few setbacks that I experienced using it. Fortunately, they are minor inconveniences that in the grand scheme will not necessarily affect your experience with it. Either way, it is important to know so you are fully prepared to make an informed decision. So without further ado, here are some of the minor cons.
Assembly Can Be Difficult
From my own personal experience and those of many reviewers that have used the product, the Variocage 4X4 North America is not the easiest crate to assemble. The crate comes disassembled and with quite an assortment of parts. The package features an instruction manual that is meant to help offer guidance on the assembly process.
Despite the details and pictures, it is not the easiest manual to follow which makes setting up more complicated. Fortunately, there are numerous resources out there like this video that will definitely help make your life easier and allow you to start enjoying your crate as soon as possible.
Not Super Comfortable For 2 Very Large Dogs
The Variocage 4X4 comes in a variety of sizes as earlier explained. However, a common problem in the community among users who have tried the product is that even the max-size option for the double crate may not be sufficient for really big dogs.
This includes the likes of giant dog breeds, such as Great Danes and Mastiffs. It is also problematic with large dogs like Rottweilers. With the latter, the animals will fit but they may not have a lot of comfortable wiggle room especially if both sections are occupied by equally large dogs.
After all that is said and done, the Variocage 4X4 North America is a product we would fully endorse. It is without a doubt one of the safest travel crates out there with a track record that backs all the claims. And with the high-quality construction, flexibility, and comfort features, you can rest assured that you will be getting full value for your investment and then some. So if you are in the market for a safety crate for your dog, you now know all you need to make an informed decision on what is easily one of the best options on the market.