The Honda Fit has way better gas mileage than my minivan did- almost twice as good- but way less space. I've been experimenting for the last few months with the best set up that keeps the dogs safe and contained, and all of our gear accessible but secure.
In July, I purchased two used crates for the car. One is a green Impact crate, and one is an older aluminum Bob McKee crate that is less pretty but just as functional. These crates will keep my dogs much safer in case of an accident, but also are much easier on my hands, as they don't use squeeze latches like our previous car crates.
|Snug and secure in her Impact crate|
This month, we added a Frisco Quilted Water Resistant Hammock Car Seat Cover, courtesy of Chewy.com. It might seem silly to put a hammock car seat cover into the back seat when my dogs ride in crates, but really, it is genius. (We were provided with this car seat cover in exchange for our honest review, but were not compensated in any other way.)
|Flight in the Bob McKee crate|
Adding the hammock means the seats are protected from scratches from the crates, and from any dirt, grime, or water as the dogs hop in and out of the car. The hammock also allows the crates to sit more securely, without the risk of tipping into the open foot space. (Ideally, the crates will be secured with cargo straps soon, but I am still working on good anchor points.)
|Back to back crates|
The two crates manage to fit back to back just barely, and you can see that the hammock, at the bottom of the picture, stops just below the air holes in the crates, allowing for plenty of airflow.
|All my extra gear is tucked in around and under|
The hammock also allows me to tuck commonly needed dog gear in next to the crates without worrying that it will slip down into the cracks of the seat or onto the floor, never to be seen again. In the above photos, you can see toys, towels, leashes, and treats tucked in next to the crates. It also leaves the floor space clear to stash stuff and stay tidy. Each side of the car has one locking lidded box- one is emergency car gear, one is a first aid kit. These are easily accessible but out of the way. I also have extra blankets tucked under the back seat, as well as the sun shades I use in the summer. In between the front seats, I can reach back to the foot space and access a small trash can I have stashed there, as well as some bottles of water, or other gear I want handy but not piled on the passenger seat.
|Koira lounging in the back|
Overall, I am really happy with our set up so far. I am sure it will continue to evolve, but it is in a great place right now. The quilted car seat cover was a fantastic addition to our set up, and I would absolutely recommend one to anyone else, even if your dogs ride in crates. This particular one is very sturdy, and doesn't feel cheap at all. It has held up great over the last month against rain, mud, sand, and water, and it was super easy to install.
How do your dogs ride in the car?