Kurgo Explorer : the Best Dog Carrier for Cabin Flights

sac pour chien Kurgo Explorer
We are reviewing the Kurgo Explorer dog carrier purse. We love this bag when we travel in the plane, train or car.

All of our adventures with our miniature Dachshund start with the Kurgo Explorer transport bag. We absolutely love this bag Moscing doesn’t fly without it. It’s great for the car and in the train but it absolutely shines as a cabin bag for doggo. We still use it to this day. Here is an honest review of our best airplane pet cabin carrier bag.

So far, our Kurgo Explorer has been accepted in cabin by the following airlines:

We’ve never flown without it! At some point, we will keep an eye out for offers to be able to buy the same exact model. Ours doesn’t have problems…yet…but it’s been already two years of intense travelling.

Review of the Kurgo Explorer Bag

Whenever anybody asks needs advice to purchase a transport bag for their dog, we refer them to the Kurgo Explorer without fail.

What We Love About This Dog Carrier Bag

  • Our pet loves it and always hops in when she wants to go on an adventure
  • The look, feel and overall design of this fancy baggage is on point!
  • The shape is great
  • Comfortable
  • It’s robust and survived Dachshund digging in it
  • Its height and weight are ideal
  • the presence of a pocket to carry stuff in. It’s a must, trust us.
  • The well thought-out removable mattress

The Little Things We Pick At:

  • The metal frames quickly pierced the fabric and became dangerous so we removed them.
  • Our pet managed to figure out how to stick her snout out after a few flights.
  • Our little dachshund scratched our bottom’s plastic finish
  • Mocsing chewed a tiny bit of her mattress rather quickly
sac kurgo explorer chez le vet
Mocsing in her bag at the vet.

Review of the Small Kurgo Explorer for Dogs in Trains, Planes, Buses and More

This container meets many of the airlines’ specific cabin bag size requirements. It measures 45.7 x 45.7 x 21.6 cm. We traveled with many dog-friendly airlines so we absolutely recommend it. It’s one of the safest bets when it comes to cabin transport bags. It’s light (under one kilo or 816 grams to be exact). Most airlines require that your animal weigh less than 8 kg including the purse itself. That’s why the most important requirement is weight for us.

The Explorer has a very strong and waterproof plastic base. It is supposed to be resistant to scratches and scratches. This is partially true it turns out.

The carriage compartment of the Kurgo Explorer comes with a small mattress at the bottom. It’s velcro-ed on and super easy to remove. It is comfortable and easy to clean, which is very practical in the event of an accident. It is relatively strong, although our dachshund managed to damage it lightly. In the bottom, there is a clip with which you can attach to your animal’s collar, for example.

A small side pocket is located on the side. It can contain treats and important papers. The materials used include breathable fabric on two panels which is great for an aircraft environment. The opening works with two very nifty zippers held together by a strap.

A kind of hook is located at the bottom of one side of the bag to attach it to a belt. The bag is carried with two handles that can be attached together thanks to a scratch that also helps to bring comfort when you hold them. These are made of an ideal length, as they allow the bag to be carried by hand or on the shoulder. The bag is made of a very strong plastic that seems to resist water relatively well.

Where to Buy the Bag Kurgo Explorer

Before purchasing this bag, we reviewed many options on Youtube and other platforms on which advice and guidance are given. We also looked at Amazon, Aliexpress and other marketplaces. It was during this search that the Kurgo Explorer appeared on our radar. After finding it on Amazon.com, we finally bought it on Amazon.ca at a very good price (under 50 Canadian dollars). Delivered quickly, well packaged, no complaints!

sac kurgo explorer dans l'avion
The Kurgo Explorer bag fits perfectly under a plane seat.

Air Travel Test: Success!

The first major test for the bag is in September 2018, during the flight with Air Canada between Montreal and Vienna. During this event, the Kurgo Explorer perfectly fulfilled its role: although the flight was hectic, Mocsing found refuge and slept there all along. Our little lady is not the easiest, proof that the carrier is comfortable and that Mocsing feels safe there. From that point on, we have boarded every single airline’s flight with the Momo in the Kurgo!

During this first flight, we loved it but we had two pet peeves:

  • The Kurgo Explorer closes with zippers and a velcro. The latter is not strong enough to resist our dog, who can push the velcro open and stick her snout out.
  • The bag’s pocket is too small to house the dog’s travel documents that we must keep on hand while travelling. That’s a bit of an inconvenience to us.

During this first trip, we flew between Barcelona and Rome, Rome and Zurich, Budapest and Barcelona, as well as Barcelona and Montreal. So many trips that highlighted how light, comfy and robust this dog purse truly is. It fits snugly under the aircraft seat in front and is easy to lift/move during these repeated trips. With its flexible structure, it can be used anywhere.

However, it was during these journeys that we came across a big limitation: the two metal rods serving as reinforcement quickly pierced the inner fabric that holds them in place. Although these two structural elements had small pieces of rubber to prevent this problem from occurring, this was not enough. Worse still, they quickly detached and made the rods dangerous. Before our last flight, of more than 8 hours between Barcelona and Montreal, we decided to remove both of them. The bag remained perfectly functional but be aware of this potential problem.

This airline-approved pet cabin container has served us well served us well on flights between Montreal, Vienna, Zurich, Berlin, Barcelona and more! Mocsing scraped the bottom several times (out of boredom we think, a common behavior for her breed), to the point where she partially removed her plastic finish. Nothing too serious as it does not impact the functionality, look or comfort one bit.

Train and Car Tested

We took our Kurgo Explorer for several train and car trips. The experience is all the more pleasant during this type of trip vs an airplane trip since there is no need to keep it closed. Our dog can lie down inside or keep his head outside. Thanks to its structural design and heavy bottom, it does not tip over easily, which is very useful in cars and trains.

Unfortunately, Mocsing got carsick one time and threw up in the bag. We were able to quickly remove the mattress and clean it. The bottom is very easy to wash and does not allow liquids to pass through. We washed the removable mattress in the washing machines without issues.

notre chien son le kurgo au restaurant
We take Mocsing everywhere without this bag, including restaurants and cafés (here at Aïda’s in Vienna).

A Versatile Small Dog Carrier

Finally, the Kurgo Explorer is comfortable to carry around for the human! We walked all over Barcelona and Rome for hours. If it starts to feel heavy, you can simply switch shoulders and keep on going.

With this dog carrier bag, we were able to take Mocsing to many restaurants and shops. It’s hilarious because sometimes people wouldn’t even notice the presence of a dog. Its appearance does not scream “dog bag” and many people were surprised by the presence of a dog lounging in there. We think it’s an advantage, because it doesn’t attract attention, especially if you’re passing through a place where you aren’t sure welcome dogs.

Psst: if your dog is too big to be flying in cabin, check out the IATA cage and crate article we wrote for you.


5 thoughts on “Kurgo Explorer : the Best Dog Carrier for Cabin Flights”

  1. Hi! I could have sworn I’ve been to this website before but after checking through some of
    the post I realized it’s new to me. Nonetheless, I’m definitely glad
    I found it and I’ll be book-marking and checking back often!

  2. Hello! I just wanted to reach out and see how large (approximately) your mini dachshund is? In other reviews of in-cabin carriers, they mention the weight and dimensions of their dogs, to allow for comparison? We are looking for a carrier ourselves for our boy, but we are really concerned about the size of the bag and rules concerning their having sufficient space to turn around and lay down. Thanks for your work on this review, and I hope to hear from you!

  3. Hi
    Have any dog carriers to recommend for a taller dog ?
    Mine is a york/poodle mix, 6kg but tall & I was concerned by height of the kurgo…
    Many thanks !

  4. We are planning to travel with mini/standard mix Dachshund next year, and am very glad to have found your site. We live in Bromont, near Montreal, so I’m especially happy to see information that is really relevent to our plans! I will check out the Kurgo. Our dog weigh a generous 23 pounds, so I am crossing my fingers…


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