Product Review: Mountainsmith K-9 Cube

Kevin Roberts
by Kevin Roberts
The first official sign of spring at PetGuide is when canine camping pro Kevin Roberts subtly sends us requests for all the cool, new gear he wants to try. Starting off the season is the Mountainsmith K-9 Cube – does it stand up to Kev’s tough trial?

My philosophy has always been: “Have dogs will travel.” I love the outdoors and so does my pack – it’s only natural that my two passions should combine flawlessly.

Exploring the great outdoors is an instinct that drives most of my leisure time. And with the hint of warmer temperatures, my need to commune with nature (and my dogs, of course) kicks into high gear. I can see the lawn again… well, at least a good part of it (I do live in Winnipeg, so it takes a little longer for the snow to melt). I don’t need any other encouragement to make a break for it and go camping. And as if Mountainsmith could read my thoughts (get out of my head, you iconic outdoor adventure brand!), the K-9 Cube arrived just in time for my backcountry excursion with Belle.

Related: Adventures In Canine Canoeing

Yurt Kidding Me!?

To start the season off, we headed off to a yurt that could only be reached by make a multi-mile trek through rugged hiking trails. Now, a yurt isn’t like a hotel… or at least this one wasn’t (technically, a yurt is a round tent-like structure based on the tents used by the nomadic people of the steppes of central Asia). Belle and I decided to stay at Minaki Yurt Adventures, located 2.5 hours west of Winnipeg. That means no bell-boy or Sherpas to carry the gear I needed to bring for our stay away from civilization. Everything that was needed, I needed to carry… while hiking. And since Belle isn’t a huge fan of helping (unless bacon is involved), the load was all on me. So, you can bet that I was willing to try out the K-9 Cube, which is designed to make travel with your pet easier and more organized.

Related: 10 Essential Tips For Camping With Your Dog

K-9 Cube Features

Made with 150d RipStop Poly on the outside and 210d poly liner on the inside, the Mountainsmith K-9 Cube is designed with an interior divider, a separate PEVA lined food container (PVC-Free), collapsible dishes (as well as the K9 Bed, which is sold separately), and a padded shoulder strap (it also comes with dual haul handles for tote-style carrying). I have to say, the K-9 Cube made packing and carrying Belle’s gear much simple – good news for my aching back!

I really appreciated the design of the Cube – its rectangular shape offered plenty of room while still fitting neatly behind the seat of my truck. I was happy with the separate PEVA line food container, which held all of Belle’s food for the stay. Belle is a medium-sized dog, and I could have easily filled it for a week-long trip.

The bag itself features three mesh pockets: one on either side of the bag, and one sewn into the inside of the bag’s top. I used one of the outside pockets for keep poop bags, so they were handy and accessible, and the other to store a couple of guide books. I slipped in Belle’s camping leash into the top pocket – this is the leash that keeps her from roaming around and getting into trouble when we are camping.

It’s compact, but it is the perfect size for everything needed for a weekend getaway. Besides the food, camping leash, poop bags and guide books, here’s what else I packed into the K-9 Cube: Belle’s pretty pink Head-Lites collar; a Chuck-It glow disc; my Howling Dog Alaska Trekking Belt; Belle’s hiking harness; Belle’s Outward Hound coat (temperatures were forecast to be well below 0°C in the evening); and a cozy dog blanket. Yep, that’s a lot of gear… but it all fit easily into the K-9 Cube!

A Few Of My Favorite Things

Belle’s favorite feature of the K-9 cube is the front pocket that opens up and revealed two dog bowls inside, ideal for both water and food. And since I never leave dog bowls out when my dogs are finished with them (especially in the wilderness, where hungry and curious critters will happily take leftovers), it was handy to be able to zip them away as soon as Belle was done with them.

My favorite thing about the K-9 Cube is just how much it holds within its neat and compact frame. The separate food container is soft sided, so it was easy to remove at feeding times and got a little smaller as the trip went on. I can’t stress enough the importance of being able to bring all the dog supplies needed in one convenient place that tailor-made for my weekend camping getaways. And being able to carry it lengthwise across my body (thanks to the padded shoulder strap) made the burden seem insignificant.

The Verdict

To buy or not to buy? Yes – and I don’t just recommend it for campers and avid outdoors enthusiasts. It’d be great for long car rides or overnight trips away from home as well – that’s what I plan to use it for when we’re not exploring the backcountry! Because it holds so many doggy essentials, it’s like an all-purpose go-to when you need dog luggage.

My only suggestion is that I would have preferred the separate food container had a different closing mechanism at the top. I did find the zipper handy and easy to use, but because of its placement in the bag, there was some unused empty space near the top container I couldn’t pack kibble in.

If you’re planning a trip in the future, make sure to pack a Mountainsmith K-9 Cube – because of its versatility, hassle-free design and durability, its well-worth the $64.95 price tag.

Note: was NOT compensated for this review. Our reviewer received the Mountainsmith K-9 Cube to review. The opinions expressed in this post are the author’s. We provide unbiased feedback of the products and share products we think our readers would enjoy using and learning more about.

Kevin Roberts
Kevin Roberts

Kevin Roberts lives for adventure. Together with his pack of rescue dogs and his husband, he spends as much time outdoors as possible. Kevin lives by the motto: "Get outside and play with your dogs!

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