dog crate for hatchbacks

The VarioCage Compact Dog Crate for Hatchbacks

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dog crate for hatchbacksWe know that safely transporting the family pet may not be a priority when choosing a vehicle, but finding a crash tested and safe dog crate for hatchbacks is not easy. We offer one of the few solutions, the MIMSafe VarioCage Compact, a fully crash tested, crush proof dog crate built specifically for hatchback cars.

For more than twenty years, we have worked alongside vehicle manufacturers to design safety details and have documentation from hundreds of crash tests and real-life road traffic collisions. Our dog crates are built to work alongside the safety features of vehicles to ensure that both pets and passengers are kept safe. The safest place to locate dogs during transport will always be the boot of the car. This is because the back seat of the vehicle is built to withstand the weight of any products the car may be transporting, protecting passengers from the force of these items during an impact. However, finding a dog crate for hatchbacks is not easy because of the restricted boot space.

Our MIMSafe VarioCage Compact dog crates are built primarily to suit hatchback cars. They are designed to house one small dog up to 38cm at the withers and are fitted with a 23cm elevated door to match the sill on the hatchback’s boot. The length of the cage can be reduced or extended to fit the boot, leaving room for luggage alongside the crate.

All of our crates have been fully crash tested to the same standards as baby car seats. In the event of an impact, the VarioCage Compact will safely compress in a controlled manner along the vehicle crumple zone. This protects both passengers and dog from an increased risk of injury.

Each crate is fitted with a built in locking system, gas spring doors and an emergency exit in case the primary exit is blocked.
The MIMSafe VarioCage Compact can be fitted in the top 5 hatchback cars of 2020:

  • The VW Golf
  • The Ford Focus
  • The Seat Leon
  • The BMW 1 Series
  • Mazda 3

It will also fit many more vehicles – visit the model selector on our website.

safest dog crate

What makes the VarioCage the safest dog crate?

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safest dog crate

Our intensive crash testing process and our experience with running hundreds of crash tests mean that we design and manufacture the safest dog crates worldwide.  The design and production of MIMSafe dog travel crates is subject to, and based upon, regular and ongoing crash testing to ensure that we are protecting our dog and human customers as much as possible in the event of an accident.

Three types of test

So what are the tests we carry out?  We have three tests that we regularly perform at a certified testing centre.  Firstly, we test the performance of our dog travel crates during a frontal impact to ensure that the cage does not open up in the rebound phase.  Secondly, we have a rear impact test where we compress the crate to test that it doesn’t lock up,  deform and that the doors do not open.  Finally we carry out a drop test to simulate a rolling vehicle.  When a vehicle rolls, there will be a constantly bouncing crate with the dog inside.  This leads to a lot of twisting and puts a lot of pressure on the structure of the crate meaning that the doors could open during the collision.  When a vehicle rolls, the windows will usually break.  Ny dog that is being transported in a crate that is not crash tested would be at risk of the crate door opening, leaving it vulnerable to injury as it falls out of the crate.  If dogs do survive this type of impact, they are frequently afraid and will run away into traffic.  We aim to ensure that these eventualities will never happen with our dog travel crates.  No other dog transportation manufacturer tests to this extent, which is why The VarioCage is known worldwide as the safest dog crate on the market.

Additionally, all our crates have escape doors, so that if a vehicle is hit from behind or is otherwise damaged and the boot door is not operational, which is a common occurrence in an impact, then the dog can be released from the escape door at the front of the crate.

As safe as possible

Our dog travel crates are all manufactured at our headquarters in Sweden.  Sweden has a very long tradition of safety, with a fantastic record of employment health and safety.  We believe that we should build “as safe as possible”, not something that only just pass the crash tests or are slightly better than our competitors.  We ensure that our products are as safe as it is possible to be for everyone in the vehicle, humans and dogs.

Our testing schedule incorporates our own dog travel crates as well as those of our competitors to ensure that we are always aware of the latest technologies and ideas and can incorporate these into our designs if necessary.

THE safest dog crate

This focus on building THE safest dog transportation products means that MIMSafe dog travel crates are not cheap.  We have a lot of small details to incorporate into the designs that make a big difference and there are tolerances that need to be perfect to ensure that the crates absorb energy in the right way.  These features, and the materials used, mean that the price will inevitably be higher.  However, bearing in mind the phrase “you get what you pay for”, it is worthwhile investing in the safety of your family and your pets.

MIMSafe Ambassador - Jess Coates

Our First MIMSafe Ambassador – Jess Coates

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Jess, aged 30, is a very talented photographer, specialising in capturing the bond between dogs and their people. She lives in Nottingham and has two border collies, Echo and Sol, who she is training to compete in agility. She has been competing in agility for over 12 years, since the age of 18.

MIMSafe Ambassador - Jess Coates

Echo is 21/2 years and is about to start his agility career. Sol is 8 months old and will compete in agility when he is old enough. Both dogs love trick training and this is evident in some of the wonderful photos that Jess has captured of her dogs.

"I wanted to become a MIMSafe Ambassador because I think safe travel is one of the most overlooked aspects of keeping a dog yet it’s so vital for their safety! I’ve always been careful to keep my own dogs safe and I wanted to be part of an organisation that is committed to improving awareness of safe dog travel across the globe."

Jess CoatesMIMSafe Ambassador

Jess has a BSc in Animal Biology and is a registered member of the Guild of Photographers. We’re delighted to welcome her to the MIMSafe team.
You can see more about Jess and her dogs in her two Instagram accounts:

Variocage Keeps Dog Safe

MIMSafe Variocage Keeps Dog Safe During Horrific Accident

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In August 2017, whilst driving near Horno, Sweden, Tomas, his 17 year old son Jonathan and their large hunting dog Assi, were involved in a terrifying road traffic accident. Despite extensive damage to their car, Tomas, Jonathan and Assi all survived, which Tomas attributes entirely to the MIMSafe Variocage he always uses to transport his dogs.

Tomas describes what happened:
We were driving near our home town of Horno when an elk ran across the road directly in front of the car. There was nothing I could do to avoid it and we ended up hitting the elk, which crashed through the windscreen. The car continued to skid and eventually rolled into the ditch to finally crash against a tree. Then all went quiet…”

Variocage Keeps Dog SafeMy son and I were both alive but we couldn’t hear anything from Assi. I feared the worst and thought that she hadn’t survived. But when we looked round, she was not only alive, but up on her feet and wagging her tail! She had survived completely unharmed. We were so surprised and also extremely relieved. The cage, a MIMSafe Variocage double cage, had done its job.”

Both Tomas and Jonathan suffered serious injuries but thankfully are now both fully recovered although Jonathan has facial scarring from the shattered windscreen.

MIMSafe always advise that once one of our cages has been involved in such a serious accident, they are replaced, even if they appear to be intact.

Tomas said:

“Some time after the accident, I contacted MIMSafe to find out what help I could get after such a serious accident. I was delighted by the incredible service I received. MIMSafe were kind enough to replace the crate for me free of charge, but even if they hadn’t, I would have bought a new Variocage. I will never use another manufacturer’s dog crates, even if they claim to be “crash tested”. They will never be crash tested to the extent that MIMSafe crates are tested, under the same conditions as an actual car accident.”

He added: “Some people complain about the cost of a properly crash tested, crush proof car crate from MIMSafe but if you have been involved in something that I have experienced , you understand that the value of a MIMSafe crate is totally worth the spend. I mean , quality costs. All the research and development that MIMSafe have put in over the years is worth investing in.”

Variocage Keeps Dog SafeToday, Tomas is one of MIMSafe’s Swedish ambassadors. He works as a floor paver but in his spare time he keeps and breeds Plott Hounds. His dog Assi went on to give birth to two litters. The first after the accident consisted of 13 puppies and the second litter there were 11, big litter sizes for this breed.

Tomas added “She will always be special and we are so grateful to MIMSafe for keeping her alive during that dreadful day.”

Care2 Dog Crate Giveaway!!

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We recently ran a competition in which we gave away one of our fully crash tested & crush-proof Care2 small dog crates worth over £300.  Perfect for dogs or other pets weighing up to 9kg, these are the only small dog crates that are fully crash tested to the same standards as child seats, meaning that they are THE safest way to transport your pet. The stylish and attractive crates are brand new to the MIMSafe range and can be used as a home from home resting place for your pet when you travel.

As part of the competition, we asked entrants three questions to find out more about how people feel about pet safety while travelling in their vehicle.  You can see the results of this survey in this infographic.

90% of people worry about the safety of their dogs AND their passengers while traveling.  They say you should only worry about things you can’t change and change the things you can!  Have a think about purchasing one of our dog crates then that is one less worry on your list!

In order to enter, we asked entrants to post a picture of their pet travelling in their vehicle, in whatever way they normally travel, along with their name and breed.  All the entries can be seen in the gallery below.

Thank you to everyone who entered and completed our survey!

Small dog crate statistics