Since I have big dogs, traveling in the car can be a little uncomfortable for them. Maya likes to stand up when she rides in the car. So even with her dog car harness on, she had a difficult time keeping her front paws on the edge of the seat. If I stopped too fast, she’d slip and her front paws would end up on the floor. If I ever had to make an emergency stop, she could have been hurt. So how did I solve this problem while at the same time giving my big dogs more room to stretch on out long road trips? I’ve done it with seat extenders like the Backseat Bridge, Pet Dek, or Portable Pet Flat Seat.
The Backseat Bridge from Kurgo has been around for a while. I’ve always loved it, and still do. Then the Pet Dek came along and I fell in love all over again. It solved some of the issues with the Bridge. But now there is the Portable Pet Flat Seat. How is one to decide which one is best for them and their dog? Here are some comparisons:
The Portable Pet Flat Seat was so easy to install, I didn’t even have to read the instructions! While the Pet Dek was easy too, I did have a problem with one of the legs that kept coming off. I was able to fix it, but if I hadn’t been handy I might have requested the product be replaced. I probably just had bad luck. If this one had not had this trouble, the Pet Dek would have been very simple to put in the car. The Backseat Bridge has four wrap-around straps, making it just a tad bit more work to set up in the car. Rating installation, I’d say the Pet Dek is #1 for the easiest. The Flat Seat is #2. And the Bridge is #3.
Both the Flat Seat and the Pet Dek can be a little heavy as compared to the Bridge. I’m not sure of the exact weight but if you are a small petite person, the Flat Seat and Pet Dek can be slightly cumbersome. Also, the Bridge folds up nice and small while the Pet Dek only folds in half and the Flat Seat doesn’t fold at all. So for bulkiness, the Bridge is less bulky and I rate it as #1. The Pet Dek is #2. And the Flat Seat is #3.
Flatness & Gaps
Unless the back seat is completely flat, the bridge leaves a bit of a lip that my dogs Maya and Pierson didn’t care for. Although they had more room to stretch out, this lip could be a challenge. Neither the Pet Dek nor the Flat Seat has a lip. They are completely flat. Regarding gaps, however, the Bridge had minimal gaps. But because the Pet Dek is one size only, there tended to be a gap between it and both the front and back seats. I solved this problem by putting stuff between the gaps. You may be able to see it in the photo. Because the Flat Seat is so thin, the gaps are extremely minimal. Rating flatness, I put the Portable Pet Flat Seat at #1, the Pet Dek at #2, and the Bridge at #3. Rating gaps, I put the Flat Seat at #1, the Bridge at #2, and the Pet Dek at #3. By the way, the front seats have to be even with the Bridge. You can’t have one seat further back than the other.
The Backseat Bridge is the least expensive. That is because it is manufactured by a large company (Kurgo) that makes a number of pet products. This allows them to be very cost effective. They even provide a lifetime guarantee and have a great repair and replacement policy to cover normal wear and tear or any other damage your dog might do. Both the Pet Dek and the Portable Pet Flat Seat don’t have these features. They are designed by individual entrepreneurs who only have this one product and are considered small family run businesses. Another thing that makes them more expensive is they are made here in the USA. So in rating costs, the Bridge is #1, the Pet Dek is #2, and the Flat Seat is #3. If you’re all about supporting small US businesses, then the Pet Dek and Flat seat are both #1.
Using Dog Seat Belts
There is no rating on which of these three pet travel products are best when it comes to being able to use your dog seat belt. All three allow for the use of seat belts. However, I will say that as a company both the Bridge and the Flat Seat actively promote buckling up your dog.
No single one of these pet travel seat extenders rated #1 in everything. So consider which features are most important to you. While I love all three of these products, I’ve decided that I like the Portable Pet Flat Seat the most. I think my dogs Maya and Pierson do too.