A dog crate is a cage or a type of box to hold the dog in while in transportation or while no one is around. Dog crates are normally used to raise a puppy and helps with house training duties. Dogs are den dwelling animals originally and they get comfortable with a dog crate very quickly. There are several types of dog crates available. If you are planning on auto traveling with your dog you will only be interested in two types. The wire frame models that fold up into a suitcase configuration for easy storage. The other would be a soft dog crate or dog tent.
First think about what type of dog you have. If your dog is very energetic, a bigger dog and tends to play a little rough then you will want to choose the wire crates that fold up as they are much sturdier than the soft sided models. The downside of traveling with a wire crate is they are heavy and bulky if you have a bigger dog.
If, on the other hand, your dog is reserved, pretty grown and possibly already crate trained then the soft sided model dog crate may be for you. The convenience of this model cannot be beat. The make is pretty sturdy although it is rated as a light duty model. The design of most soft sided dog crates are a light weight but sturdy, collapsible aluminum frame with a nylon or canvas shell stitched on to the frame. Most will have two to three, zippered, rollup doors and mesh screening on each side for plenty of ventilation. The soft sided crates are very light weight and store compactly. Some come with storage compartments on the outside to hold items. Most models are water resistant for easy clean with removable liners for accidents. Almost all of the major manufacturers for regular dog crates make a line of soft sided crates as well. The soft sided models are less expensive as well.
Make sure you get the correct size for your breed of dog and if it is still a puppy expect to buy another one down the road unless you have a toy breed. Soft sided dog crates are perfect for travel and camping due to portability, weather resistant and compactness. As long as your dog is reserved and not aggressive a soft sided crate may very well suit you and your travelling companion. If you are planning on airline travel a soft sided crate is not an option as they are not certified for anything other than carry on.