Rated 1 out of 5 by Melissasaurus flimsy plastic, not the high quality product this once was years ago!
I was sorely disappointed by Petmate's lack of quality when they seemed to make high quality products in the past. I was expecting more when I got this crate! Let me explain:
I had previously been borrowing a breeder's "Petmate Delux Vari Kennel". This older one (I'm guessing this crate might be about 7-10 yrs old) has strong thick plastic, it doesn't bend a bit when you push against it. The door was fastened with a circular easy to open twist knob.The fasteners on the side are strong and the entire kennel feels very dependable and secure... something you'd trust your dog in on a plane or while on a long road trip.
That is everything THIS Petmate "Fashion" kennel is NOT. I scoured the internet looking for anything resembling this older model and they all looked like the same flimsy crates. Sure enough, I ordered this and the plastic felt very flimsy... you can easily bend it. My 8lb Papillon goes into it and fits just fine but when I pick up the crate I can feel the bottom bending a little with just her weight. Wow... The pieces that hold it together feel fragile and never seem to tighten all the way. The bolts are plastic. I would feel more confident just zip tying the two halves of the crate together!
The lock on this model is also a little tricky to open if you happen to have smaller/petite hands as well.
Overall, I'm quite dissatisfied... I'm reluctant to return this unless someone can guarantee the next kennel will be of higher quality parts/materials. I'm afraid many dog crates these days will be of low quality and disposable such as this one.
The plus: it's relatively affordable (though, for around $50, I was still expecting something a bit sturdier), the alligator print in the plastic molding is a nice touch, has a 5 year limited warranty, comes with double extra parts (bolts/screws), and this is obviously a light weight crate.
Thanks Chewy for the great service, I just wish Petmate would have kept up the awesome quality they were once known for.
August 6, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by freddicat Strong, easy to use
Purchased two for two 15 pound cats. They are large enough that both cats could fit in one provided they got along! Easy to assemble, disassemble. For pet comfort will line with old blankets instead of purchasing bedding/carrier pads. Clean up (if needed) is a snap!
April 8, 2014
Rated 3 out of 5 by lovemyratz Good crate but plastic has gotten thinner
I've used Vari Kennels for years and they have been a quality product. I needed to buy a new one to air ship a pet and was a little disappointed to find that the plastic is now much thinner than it is in the older models.
December 23, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5
by cathie14 this is a wonderful product that has served the pet industry sucessfully for years (decades)
I ordered these crates because I know their quality.
However I would have appreciated that they matched in color. Ok they are both blue but one is quite a bit lighter that the other, probably due to a different batch. The lighter one also has stress lines where in was either dropped on its front or hit with a fork lift.
June 30, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Mollie100 Terrific product! Chewy is also awesome place to get supplies!
I find the product to be of excellent quality at a great price. Very sturdy. Easy to put together. And the delivery service was superfast! Chewy is the best place to buy your pet supplies. P.S. This is the only review I have every written.
September 10, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by jackmixmom nice color- extra nuts and bolts provided
A good size crate for our Jack Russel Terrier/mix. He likes resting in it as an additional crate in our house in a different room from where his main crate is located. Easy to use for car transport.
June 19, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by VAhavmom Well made kennel
I brought our new Havanese puppy home in this kennel which was a four hour drive. He did really well in it. I'm sure giving him a Himalayan chew helped too. It is well made, easy to assemble, and even has extra screws included. My breeder remarked on how lovely the blue color was. Seems much sturdier than the ones from the big box stores too, I guess only time will tell on how well it holds up.
I don't think it would be approved for airline use as there are no vents in the back of the kennel.
June 18, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Diane67 Great quality that lasts through the years
Been using Petmate Ultra Vari Pet Kennel's for 21 years. Quality is excellent. When I buy a new one its not because it broke, but have a new cat, who deserves their own plus improvements in design are made through the years. Excellent size for a cat for those trips to the vet. Not confining as cat can turn around, stand up, & even get under mat/bed in carrier to hide when we walk through the door going into the vet.
September 6, 2013