Originating from Roto Mold LLC in 1999, Ruff Land Kennels emerged in response to the demand for sturdier kennels from customers in the hunting industry. Ranked at No. 3,181 on the Inc. 5000 list for 2022, Roto Mold/Ruff Land has demonstrated extraordinary growth with a remarkable Three-Year Revenue Growth of 167 percent, solidifying its position among America’s fastest-growing private companies.
About the Ruff Land Kennel
The Ruff Land Kennels (previously also called Ruff Tuff Kennel or RTKs) are made in the USA and designed by outdoorsmen with durability and functionality in mind.
The kennel boasts a sturdy design, constructed with ToughOne™ One-Piece Roto-Molded technology from UV-stabilized polyethylene. Unlike two-piece kennels, the Ruff Land kennel eliminates the need for assembly and a bolt-through ledge, saving side space and ensuring enhanced strength. CleaningCleaning is also effortless with no seams with no seams, and the kennel remains crack-resistant even in extreme subzero conditions.
One of the standout features is the incorporation of Race Car-Inspired Ruff-Flex™ Energy Dissipation Technology. Recognizing the unfortunate reality of dogs being injured or killed in vehicular accidents, Ruff Land kennels prioritize safety. The one-piece roto-molded construction, combined with somewhat flexible walls, top, and floor, absorbs energy during impacts and doesn’t crack like most hard plastic crates.
The Full-Bore™ Double Door Design offers configuration options, allowing doors on both ends or on one end and either side to provide easy access for different situations. It is important to note that the side entry styles add ~1 1/2 inches to the normal dimensions.
The composite doors with a no-bite grid pattern are engineered for strength and energy absorption, featuring six locking lugs for added security. The doors are ambidextrous and can open both ways. The kennel also incorporates heavy-duty tie-downs, designed akin to driver retention devices in race cars, ensuring optimal safety during transportation.
Ruff Land offers customization options for ventilation with the option to remove the bottom vent holes in case keeping mess in is a priority. The crates are stackable and can be further customized with add-on options such as custom nameplates, ventilation fans, insulated kennel covers, tie-down accessories, and more.
Ruff Land promises a lead time of up to 4 weeks for most orders, with continuous efforts to improve processes for quicker shipping. Pallet orders may have a longer lead time of 10-12 weeks. They regularly have limited edition color options, which tend to have significantly longer lead times.
Ruff Land GenI vs. GenII - What is the difference?
In 2022, Ruff Land Kennels introduced the Gen II version of this crate, an upgrade driven by the wear on their molds and the need for refinements. A new standard color, Millstone, was also introduced with the GenII line.
All GenII kennels now have recessed handles for stacking and easy lifting, and the fit and finish were uniformly improved. The Gen II kennels offer a broader range of accessories tailored to various sizes. Gen II kennels should still stacked with previous versions.
Ruff Land Kennel Review
I wanted to upgrade our car setup for a long time, and after a long consideration and checking every single crate on the market, I purchased this intermediate, double-door (front and right) Ruff Land crate. After using it for six months, I still love it more than expected!
First of all, I would like to acknowledge that the GenI Ruffland crate failed the CPS’s (Center for Pet Safety) crash testing in 2015. The reason for failing was that the tie-down brackets failed on three of four corners, and the door popped off the crate. The GenII was never tested, and I was told by Ruff Land that they are not planning to test it. However, this doesn’t mean it cannot be a good option within its category for many.
I needed a crate that I could use in the back of a small SUV with a side door (they call the side door the one on the longer edge) while also fitting the backseat of my sedan where I need to use the normal door to access the dog. I needed a crate that was solid enough to protect the dog, but I needed to be able to carry it alone as I moved it between cars regularly, and I needed to be able to get it out alone in an accident.
Having two doors was very important to me for having an emergency exit as I might not be able to use the car door or cargo door after an accident - potentially trapping the dog in the vehicle. The two-door construction is also great for increased airflow, which is important for me as search dogs are staged from the car during training or an actual callout - even during the summer.
I had many plastic crates before but when receiving the Ruff Land, I was very impressed with the quality. I especially like the handles and the door, which are pretty solid and feel durable. I was unsure about the composite door - imagining a weak plastic door and thinking about ordering their wire replacement door, but it feels sturdy! Even though I only use crates at home or in the car, the wire doors always start to rust after a few years. I appreciate that this crate has no parts that can rust over time.
The thicker material of the car door is also perfect for attaching the water and food bowls securely (these are not sold by Ruff Land).
Ordering from the Ruff Land website can come with long wait times (especially for limited edition colors) and additional shipping costs. I ended up ordering mine through L.L. Bean who offered free, two-day shipping - however, they have less custom and color options. Ruff Land has a page on their website showing where you can buy it in your area - some stores even have it in stock, so you can go in and check for sizing in person.
I bought the intermediate size for the 30 lbs Zulu, who is very laggy, all dog compared to her weight. As we spend a lot of time in the car, or at training where she is crated, I wanted to be sure she is comfortable. This kennel measures 30 1/2" in length, 20" in width at the widest point, and 23 1/4" in height externally. Internally, the dimensions are 30" in length, 19 1/2" in width at the widest point, and 22" in height. The floor dimensions are 28 1/2" in length and 17 1/2" in width, weighing approximately 20 pounds.
There are two things I want to highlight about these specs: one is that while 20 lbs doesn’t sound like much, it is significantly more than our previous plastic crates. Be sure to consider this if lifting heavy items is an issue for you - especially if you are getting a bigger crate that will weigh more and will be more awkward to carry due to the shape and size.
The second note is that while the base dimensions of this crate are perfect for Zulu, I wish their sizes would be proportionally taller. Having a small space for the dog is safer in the car as they have less room to be thrown around in an accident, but as I mentioned, we can be away for a 12 hrs training day (including driving), and I would prefer her to be able to sit up comfortably in the crate. Sizing up isn’t really an option, as that would be a huge crate in every other dimension. Again, this is not a concern for most people as dogs usually just lie down while traveling.
Functionality Review of the Ruff Land Dog Crate
- Using in the Car
The Ruff Land crate is a very popular option for securing dogs in vehicles. It is in a sweet spot between the significantly more expensive and heavy metal crates and the cheap but significantly less safe plastic crates. Again, the door and the tie-downs failed when crash testing, but the one-piece mold and the material’s flexibility provide huge safety factors in an accident.
The option to add two doors in different variations is also great for providing better airflow.
- At-Home Use
Great, solid crate for at-home use; however, it might be overkill for a crate-trained dog as a cheaper, collapsible option might also work for this purpose. It is more solid than those, but a strong dog with serious separation anxiety could chew through the crate over time.
- Using it for Traveling, Hotels, Events, etc.
It is a versatile crate, and the two-door option makes it easy to set up in different environments or when switching between cars. It is managable to carry it in and out of hotels but the intermediate size is probably my limit of easily handling that. A collapsible crate would probably be more practical for this.
The Ruff Land crate is probably the most popular option among dog sport and dog show crowds for a reason. It is more expensive than the regular plastic crates but is safer and offers many custom options and accessories. Ruff Land found the sweet spot for those who want to travel with their dogs safely but also need to be able to move the crate and use it in different scenarios.
I appreciate the simplistic one-mold design, the two-door options, and the holes for the tie-downs (I ordered the tie-downs separately from Amazon as L.L.Bean didn’t carry any of that). They offer plenty of accssories so everyone can find what they need - the newest product being the Kennel Divider that allows you to adjust the crate size as the puppy grows.
Where To Buy
You can buy the RuffLand Dog Kennel through their website.