Top 10 Best Portable Dog Playpen for Camping Reviews

Many pet owners tend to stick to a singular kennel, or crate, and generally don’t bother with keeping an alternative portable dog kennel, or one for their cat, as the case may be. However, it’s surprising what a difference portable dog playpen for outside, make to owners’ and their pets’ lives. A Portable dog playpen is, as the name suggests – portable.

What Portable Dog Playpen for Camping?

We love our pets, don’t we? They become a part of us. A part of our family. For some of us, they are the only family we have. It’s no surprise that when we go camping, we want them to come along with us for the adventure.

While camping in the wilderness, if your dog(s) are prone to wander, a portable dog playpen can safely contain them while they are outside. If you are in a campground, rules will definitely be in place saying your dogs have to be restrained in some manner.

In such cases, a portable dog playpen can come in handy. Dog playpens come in large and small sizes to accommodate almost any breed or size. Even the best portable dog playpen is no substitute for proper walking. The most essential ingredient to a happy and mentally stable dog is plenty of exercise. These pens can make the chore of potty time easier for you as you can let them out in the playpen area to relieve themselves instead of you having to walk them on a leash until they go.

Top 10 Best Portable Dog Playpen for Camping

ESK COLLECTION Blue 45″ Pet Puppy Dog

Portable Dog Playpen for RVs and Camping

This popular portable playpen has an excellent design, standing at 48”x24” with spacious, eight-panel interiors, two zip-up doors, and a similarly zip-on top and bottom. The bottom was initially Velcro-based, but was changed to a zipper-based one, presumably after the manufacturer learned of the multiple complaints from owners of the Velcro’s flimsiness. That’s props for considerate design revisions for the brand.

It’s made of great quality oxford cloth that is sufficiently water-resistant and very breathable, and easily washable too. The frame is solidly built, and holds well to pressure. It’s pre-assembled, and setting up is quite simple. It also folds down to a conveniently flat position, and comes with a carrying case for easy portability. The weight of this playpen, listed at about 6.4 pounds, is quite reasonable for a portable kennel, and adds quite a bit to the convenience in handling and carrying it.

This offering from the ESK Collection is one of the best exponents of the versatility of portable playpens, coming with exterior pockets, and stakes for grounding the playpen when outdoors, if needed – pretty much everything you need. It’s also one of the lowest priced portable dog playpens we reviewed, which means it offers amazing value for the price. For a not-too-frisky small-to-medium sized dog, this is a top option to go.

Zampa Pet 45″ Playpen Foldable Portable Dog/Cat/Puppy

Portable Dog Playpen for Camping

This is another great eight-panel portable pet kennel in the market, and is one of the sturdier playpens we reviewed, with reinforced seams and corners, making it quite safe and effective. The Zampa Pet 45” playpen is also quite roomy, with generous dimensions of 45”x24”.

It’s quite comfortable for small to medium sized pets, and will even house larger pets if they merely need to rest or sleep. The top zips off, if need be, and the panels are made of see-through mesh. It’s quite light, considering its sturdy build and excellent security, at 6.2 pounds. It’s extremely portable, and folds down quite easily, enabling you to store it in the carrying case that comes with it.

What sets this particular portable playpen apart from most of its competition, however, is the permanently attached floor, a revision in design from the earlier models, which featured Velcro-based detachable floors. This feature, while making it a little inconvenient to clean the bottom of the pen, makes this playpen quite a ways more secure than its peers, virtually eliminating any possibility of escape from anywhere around the bottom of the pen, which is where most of the weak spots lie in portable playpens.

Also, the manufacturer includes an excellent range of additional features, such as grounding stakes, pockets, a water bottle holder on the exteriors, and a feeding hole for the bottle too.

The main detractor, if anything, might be the price, which leans towards the expensive. However, considering its excellent build and design, and brilliant functionality, it’s worth it if you’re willing to buy one of the elite, safest and most effective portable playpens out there.

ToysOpoly 45″ Indoor/Outdoor Pet Playpen Cage

Portable Dog Playpen for Camping

This is highly popular dog play pen made of sturdy material, similar to ESK’s option. The two are pretty much identical in terms of measurements and how they’re made, because my guess is that the manufacturer is the same supplier from China. This is not to say the quality of this or ESK dog play pen is poor, only that you need to compare their prices and customer service when picking.

Unleashed Pets Portable Foldable Pet Playpen

Portable Dog Playpen for Camping
Unleashed  Portable Dog Playpen for Camping

8 panels measuring 36″W and 36″H each – A different design of material dog play pen, this one is smaller but sturdier. It’s great for very active small dogs who may hurt themselves in metal crates or chew through other material dog play pens. They also have a smaller (medium) option for small dogs which is slightly cheaper, if that’s what you need.

Parkland Pet Portable Foldable Playpen for Dogs

Portable Dog Playpen for Camping

Parkland is another affordable indoor/outdoor doggy portable playpen which offers good security and portability for small and medium sized pets (including kitties). It  folds down so it can be easily stored while not in use. This playpen comes with a removable zippered shade cover, is lightweight, and sets up in seconds which is a big plus when you travel a lot. Parkland’s playpen is made using strong material that has proven to be durable in most environments.

We love this playpen because it has enough room for pets to roam around in and take naps in, perfect while you’re busy at home or gone for a few hours.  This pen has less netting and more fabric which makes it very easy to clean and maintain. It is brown and white and only weighs approximately 2.1 pounds, so it may not work as well for big dogs but a perfect solution for puppies and small breeds including cats.

All in all, Parkland is another well priced doggie playpen and while it may not offer the full range of features as the previously reviewed pens it is very lightweight and an excellent option for allowing your pet to enjoy the outdoors with you.

Petsfit Zipper Portable Foldable Pop Up Dog Playpen Exercise Pen, Outdoor

Portable Dog Playpen for Camping

This Petsfit product is one of the more sturdy and durable portable pet kennels, and offers good security and portability for small and medium sized pets. Like most pop-up playpens, it has eight panels that are mesh-based, and therefore offer great ventilation and a decent view of the surroundings.

The fabric is of good quality 600D oxford cloth, and is very easy to clean and maintain. Maintenance is even simpler with the removable Velcro-based bottom. The top is a meshed based cover that can be zippered on or off easily. This playpen offers excellent portability, and folds down easily to a flat position that fits easily in the accompanying carrying case, and is pretty light, even if it weighs slightly more than its competitors at about 8.6 pounds.

Considering the quality of materials used, the playpen is priced well, even though it’s not as economical a buy as some of its peers. It doesn’t offer the full range of features as the other reviewed portable playpens, but its light weight and dependable durability enable it to be used reliably in a variety of roles, be it as a portable exercise pen for dogs, or a handy kennel while traveling.

Precision Pet Soft Side Play Yard

Portable Dog Playpen for Camping

This playpen from Precision is a spacious and versatile product, with a strong, epoxy-coated steel wire frame which is covered by good quality, weatherproof canvas fabric. It has two doors that zip-on and also have Velcro tie-offs. This playpen is easy to clean and maintain, owing to the removable zipper-based top mesh, and the Velcro-attached bottom.

It offers excellent portability, being foldable into the matching carrying case that comes with it, and also being quite light. The 29”x17” small-size playpen we reviewed weighs in at a mere 4.6 pounds, making it very convenient to handle.

This playpen is offered in the medium and large sizes, too, by Precision, so you’re not limited for size. The playpen is priced slightly on the higher end of the spectrum, but considering its great build and functionality, and that the manufacturer matches the best offerings of extra features, including pockets, a bottle holder and stakes, this is a good investment.

PETMAKER Pet Pop-Up Playpen Deluxe

This playpen is a decent, economically-priced product from PAW, offering a good-sized and very portable dog kennel that can be really useful as a substitute for a regular dog crate or playpen. It measures at 42”x25” and is a comfortable fit for any small or mid-size breed of dog, and pretty much any cat.

Portable Dog Playpen for Camping

It folds down quite easily to a convenient size, and can be carried around in the canvas bag that comes with the playpen. The top is, again, removable and attaches to the main body with a zipper. The bottom is also detachable, and uses Velcro instead of a zipper. The removable parts of the playpen let you play with the dogs more freely when they’re inside, and also makes cleaning up any messes a much easier and painless job.

The playpen also features two zip-up doors, is overall quite lightweight, at about 6.5 pounds, and also has a nifty exterior pocket to things like treats and small toys. Although the finishing may not be quite as up-to-mark as some of the pricier competitors in the market, the Paw Pop-Up Playpen Deluxe is still a very portable and versatile playpen, that is ultimately great value for the price.

YoYo Moon Pet Puppy Dog Playpen Exercise Puppy

Portable Dog Playpen for Camping

This portable dog playpen from YoYo Moon is 46” wide by 30” high, so it’s perfect for larger dogs that don’t fit in most playpens or putting in several pets who get along together. YoYo Moon’s playpen has 8 panels is made from durable, waterproof, and lightweight material.

Portable pet playpen can also be used for potty time, or just as a play area in your yard or when your RV’ing around.

Zippered top and bottom panels keep dogs safely contained and help prevent dogs from escaping. YoYo Moon’s indoor/outdoor playpen is quick to set up and take down and has mesh windows as well as two mesh doors for maximum airflow and visibility. The mesh keeps bugs out and makes it easy for owners to keep an eye on that their dogs are doing.

To keep in bigger dogs, this playpen has a strong steel frame with two zippered doors that makes it easy for dogs to get in and out. Some other features include a band to attach a dispensing water bottle, two side storage pockets, 4 stakes to secure the playpen to the ground outside, and a convenient carrying bag for portability and storage.

Packed with features this roomy popup playpen is another top choice especially for larger dogs allowing them to stretch their legs out and get rid of excessive energy.

Large Camouflage Pet Tent Exercise Pen

Portable Dog Playpen for Camping

This playpen is designed to be sturdy, durable, yet light in weight to ease with portability. In addition, you can easily fold it flat when it is not in use for easy storage, as you require very little space. It also comes with four metal hooks, which come in handy in securing the playpen firmly into the ground. It is spacious as each panel is 21” wide and 36” high. It also comes with a carry case to enhance portability when on the move.

Guide To Portable Dog Playpens For Camping

Why A Playpen Or A Crate?

Three possible reasons:

  • Containment/Sleeping Area
  • Potty Time
  • Playtime

Pros of Portable Dog Playpens

The advantages that portable dog playpens hold over regular crates and playpens are clear – their lighter weight and portability, often combined with some of the extra features some of the brands provide, allow them to be used for a wider variety of purposes compared to regular crates and pens.

The use of fabrics like canvas, or a mix of canvas and other synthetic water-resistant fabrics as the primary material makes portable dog kennels much easier to move around, whether within the house, or outdoors. No longer do you need to leave your puppy in a crate in some corner of the house where it might feel lonely.

Inside the house, this can be extremely useful – for instance, where you need to separate some of the pets from the others, whether due to sickness or injury, or just as a part of housebreaking. This also lets you tag your puppy or kitten along with you as you move around the house getting your chores done, while also preventing them from getting in the way of things.

Related postTop 7 Best Dog Playpen Reviews

The fact that most of these portable dog playpens are light, as well as foldable is what gives them their greatest strength – portability. You can carry your portable dog play pen virtually anywhere, and store it away immediately if you so wish. Most of them also come with a carrying case with straps, making it all the more easy to carry them with you.

Traveling with your pet is a much less daunting prospect with the insurance of a handy and portable playpen when you need it. Again, you don’t have to leave your poor puppy in a crate back home anymore, and can take him along on your travels.

Ideally, portable dog pens are for outside use, where they have regular pens and crates completely beat in terms of convenience and ease of set-up, maintenance, and storage. If your dog is well trained for the outdoors, portable dog pens for outside can be incredibly fun.

The open top lets you play with the dogs to your heart’s content, and lets you use it as a handier version of one of those exercise pens for dogs. In fact, your dogs would probably enjoy these more than regular exercise pens for dogs, due to the see-through fabric of the mesh walls. These give a den-like feel to the playpen, that is often absent if the enclosure has grills or a wire mesh.

This quality makes the dogs feel more secure, while also allowing a view of their surroundings, as well as good ventilation. Additionally, some brands provide some useful extra features such as the ability to stake the playpen to the ground when outdoors, to prevent your dog from rolling or flipping it over in exuberance.

Also, most portable dog kennels for sale these days have a detachable floor. This, and the fabric material used in the walls makes cleaning the playpen much easier than a crate. You can use a regular sponge or cloth with some common cleaning product to simple wipe it clean, or even give it a more thorough wash, if you so wish.

The weight and portability, again, makes things much simpler in this regard. The simple maintenance of the playpen also makes it ideal for crate training, before you put your puppy in a crate, as cleaning up after accidents is more convenient.

Cons of Portable Dog Playpens

In many ways, the very qualities that work for portable dog pens for outside, i.e. light weight, foldability, detachable tops and floors, etc. is what often becomes their undoing when put through their paces. This may be the case, especially, if you have a really spirited, escape-minded dog, who might not be trained enough for an enclosure that trades in some of the security for convenience.

The fact is, the primary material that is confining your dog within the playpen here is canvas fabric, which can hold out only so long if your dog worries at the seams and corners enough. These playpens are not built for holding an escape-minded pet for extended durations, or to withstand the aggressions of a very energetic and/or large pet. Most of the portable dog kennels for sale come with Velcro-based detachable floors, which aren’t as secure as permanent, or even zipper-attached floors.

Another common complaint with portable dog kennels is with their sometimes confusing folding instructions, which aren’t clear or specific enough in some cases. They’re straightforward enough to set-up, but when the time comes to put them away, owners sometimes struggle to fold them down.

Despite all this, though, the fact remains that portable playpens offer amazing value, and are fairly safe, secure and proven alternatives to a standard pet playpen or crate.

When you are camping in a campground, there are going to be rules against allowing your dog to roam free. This is, of course, for the safety of your dog and for the safety of other dogs plus the people in the campground.

No-one, and we repeat, NO-ONE likes when a strange dog comes bounding up to them, sniffs at their crotch then proceeds to pee all over their stuff. Dogs also don’t appreciate other gregarious dogs running up to them either, leashed or not. These things can cause a dog fight and/or a human fight to break out.

Therefore, you need to keep your dog contained, be it on a leash or in a playpen or a fenced in area.

These types of dog playpens can also be used at home. They can be used to teach a dog to go potty in a certain area of the yard. You can also use them indoors as a place for your dog to sleep, or to contain them when guests come over, or for whatever other reason you may need it. These pens should NEVER be used as a form of punishment.

Dog playpens can go by different names: puppy playpen, outdoor playpen, portable dog pen, and portable dog runs, for example. They all serve pretty much the same purpose… to keep your pet contained with a bit of wiggle room.

Laura Norwood
Laura Norwood
The ultimate founder and enthusiast who investigates every piece of pet news.


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Dog Playpens For Camping




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