Can You Build a Better Mousetrap – I mean, Gun Dog Kennel?
There’s a dizzying array of dog kennels available on the market, ranging from flimsy boxes that couldn’t safely house a hamster to fortified vaults that could withstand a hostile invasion. Prices, too, have an extraordinary range that could easily scare off the casual shopper.
If you’ve already decided that you’re willing to spring for a high-end dog kennel, feel free to skip ahead to the specific details about the new Primos KennelUP kennel. If you aren’t quite there yet, read on.
The basic purpose of a kennel is to safely contain a dog during transport. If everything in life went according to plan, the design requirements would be simple. But unfortunate things do happen, which is where the safety and security of the design come in. Can the kennel be securely restrained? Is your dog adequately protected in the event of an accident? Can the dog be safely housed overnight and unattended? This is where the various kennels begin to set themselves apart. The best kennels offer features such as secure tie-downs, locking doors, robust construction, and – ultimately – peace of mind.
Insert comments here about how much money you’ve already spent on your shotgun, your vehicle, and your dog . . . so why not shell out for the best kennel as well? But I get it – the gear adds up fast and we’re not exactly getting rich by following our dogs into the uplands. So the kennel question is a personal choice, albeit an important one. For me, my dog is my partner and an integral part of our family. If the unthinkable were to happen, I’d want to know that I gave her every possible opportunity to be safe and to survive. That’s my compelling reason to invest in a high-end kennel.
With all this in mind, it’s time to talk about why the Primos KennelUP is a solid choice in a field of worthy contenders.
Construction of the Kennel
The first thing you notice about the Primos kennel (after the fact that it’s quite green) is the solid construction. The rotomolded plastic is sturdy and durable. The attachment points for the tie-downs and handles are solid. The door, despite being plastic, feels substantial and closes securely with the slam latch. The rubber feet are a nice addition to increase stability.
The kennel only comes in one size, which fits an average-sized hunting dog just fine. It also fits nicely behind the driver’s seat of our crew cab pickup truck (yes, my pup is spoiled in climate-controlled comfort!).
Despite such solid construction, the Primos KennelUP is remarkably lightweight. This is a huge advantage for lugging it around or loading and unloading from a vehicle.
Usability of the Kennel
The Primos KennelUP boasts a number of features that improve the overall usability and convenience. My favorite is the slam latch which is perfect for one-handed operation, especially if you’re trying to manage a dog and gear at the same time. The latch is also key lockable for added security, both when unattended as well as when underway.
The door itself is easily reversible, without the use of tools, to accommodate your particular configuration. Since we carry the kennel in the truck cab, it’s always nice to have the door swing away from the seat.
The side vents slide open and closed to control the ventilation inside the kennel. There’s an adjustable knob to retain the slide in any position. This has worked really well and seems robust enough to withstand repeated use.
I did find a few things that could be improved for better usability. For example, the top-mounted handles are great if you’re lifting the kennel off the ground. But since they are the only lift point, it’s challenging to maneuver the kennel around if it’s up in a truck bed or loaded inside a vehicle. Unfortunately, the vent holes in the door and on the back panel are too small for fingers, so they can’t serve as an additional grip.
The back vent curiously does not have the same clever design as the adjustable side vents. To open the back vent, you have to unscrew the vent, pull it off, remove the cover plate, and reinstall the vent with screws. Then you hope you place the cover plate where you might find it again when you want to reinstall it. It’s an oddly cumbersome design when the side vents are so beautifully simple.
Overall Thoughts on the Primos KennelUP
I made it a point to use the Primos KennelUP for several trips before forming a real opinion on this new entry to the high-end kennel market.
I really like the sturdy construction. It seems like it is truly built to last. The light weight makes it easy to move around. Whether my usability nitpicks matter depends upon your typical usage. If you tend to keep the kennel tied down in your truck and not move it around much, then the lack of lift points may be inconsequential. For me, the dog kennel is often being loaded in and out of vehicles, so the lack of places to grip is annoying.
Overall, this is a very nice kennel with some great features. It’s certainly an impressive product for a company otherwise known for making hunting calls. The construction and usability may or may not be enough to really set it apart from the competition, but if nothing else, it’s absolutely worthy of your consideration.
Primos KennelUP Review 499.99
Last modified: March 28, 2019