Product Review: COVONO Expandable Pet Carrier

Picking a travel case can be tricky, especially when you don’t have your pet with you. Finding a carrier that both fits your pet and meets airline or train regulations adds more complexity to the matter. I searched the web, watched a lot of YouTube reviews, and visited a few local pet supply shops before I settled on a carrier for Boris.

COVONO Expandable Pet Carrier

One thing I learned quickly is that each airline has slighlty different size and material requirements for pet carriers. This means that even though the carrier you select says it is “airline approved”, it may not fit on the airline you plan to fly with. I recommend you carefully review the pet policies for any transportation company you plan on booking with. If you need a carrier just for vet trips, road trips, etc., then size constraints won’t matter that much.

I planned to fly from Portland, OR to Phoenix, AZ to get Boris, I wanted him to stay with me in the cabin, and I knew I was going to fly Alaska Airlines because I’m a member of their reward program. Alaska Airlines is also my preferred airline, so selecting a case that met their requirements would ensure a longer lifespan for my investment. Alaska has very clear pet policies posted on their website, and as of the writing of this post, a soft-sided carrier can’t exceed 17″ long x 11″ wide x 9.5″ high. In addition, to be approved for travel the carrier must:

  • Be within the listed dimensions above
  • Be clean and leak-proof with absorbent bedding made of material that is safe and non-toxic to the animal
  • Fully enclose the animal and be escape-proof
  • Have adequate air ventilation
  • Be free of tears, cracks, or breaks

I ended up settling on the COVONO Expandable Pet Carrier for a number of reasons:

  • First and foremost its design allowed it to squeeze into the size regulations even though it was a smidge taller and longer, coming in at 17.5″ long x 11″ wide x 11″ high. There is a steel frame inside the case to hold its shape, and I was worried that it may be too rigid to fit under the seat, however it fit nicely. This was one of the few cases I could find that was close to the strict requirements, and the price point was something my budget would allow. At the time of purchase, the carrier was $39.99 on Amazon.
  • The material is leak-resistant, and there are large mesh windows on the top and front, and a smaller window on the back to allow for ventilation.
  • Best of all, the sides of the carrier expand to 28.5″ wide – which means if you have a layover, or have space available, you can give your pet more room to stretch out. The walls of the expanding sides are also made of mesh, so the carrier can really offer your pet a lot of fresh air when it’s fully expanded.
  • There is a small pocket with a flap on one side, a small pocket without a flap on the back. On the other side is a strap that lets you slip the case over the extending handle of your luggage so you have less to carry.
  • Lastly, the carrier was gray with black and green accents, which matched the colors I had selected for all of Boris’s primary pet products: neon green, purple, or gray.
COVONO Pet Carrier in use

The carrier fits perfectly under the seat in front of me. I am slightly taller than average, so legroom is always a challenge on planes, but I was able to sit comfortably with my kitty in his spot. I was also able to open the zipper a little bit and slip my hand inside to pet him, hoping it would help comfort him during the flight. For the most part, he curled up and slept, but he did get a little vocal during take-off and landing, but who could blame him. He had no idea what was going on. All he knew was a stranger kidnapped him from his family and now he was in a dark and noisy space.

Since the initial flight, we have used the carrier for trips to the vet and road trips. The seams have all held up. I always stick a pet pad in the bottom just in case, but Boris has yet to have an accident anywhere. The inner padding is removable for washing if needed.

My only complaint about the carrier is that the bottom pad needs slightly longer Velcro to hold in place. When the sides of the carrier are zipped up, the grey pad has a tendency to pop off. If I give them a good squeeze and ensure everything is lined up they work fine. There has been a moment or two when I was in a rush, the sides fell in on Boris, and I had to pause to address the situation.

Overall I would recommend this product for anybody looking for a sturdy and affordable carrier for their pets.

Here are some short videos where you can see the carrier in use:

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