Gundog trainer Ryan Kay tests the CAB Animal Transit Boxes and comes away very impressed with these comfortable, safe and durable transit solutions

credit: Archant

CAB Animal Transit Boxes have been making bespoke products for over 16 years and seem to have developed a great understanding of what consumers want when it comes to custom-built design, with thoughtful touches and additions that have obviously been included as their manufacturing experience has grown over the years. The result is a product that looks great, is comfy and secure for your dogs and will last many years. There’s a price to pay but with CAB, you really do get what you pay for. The finish and quality are second to none. The one I have here includes many extras and the total price was around £3,000. That’s a lot, you may say, just to transport your dogs around, but I don’t plan on buying another over the next decade or so. And if you think I’m in the minority for wanting something like this, think again – I ordered this in October when I visited to get measured up and to discuss options, then took my truck back for the final fitting at the end of January! The waiting list is long, such is the demand for their products; but the wait was worth it.

We opted for the full fitted box system, which makes the most of the space in your truck, integrating full-length drawers (plenty long enough to store a gun or rifle in its slip), with the main dog box sat above on the wheel arches, plus lights, ventilation air system, and internal multi-positioned partitions that can be removed and repositioned to create different sized compartments. There are also two smaller drawers with the same paddle locks that run up to the wheel arches. The trunked ventilation air system is unique and a series of vent holes run along the trunking in the roof to distribute air evenly across all the sections. It’s driven by an internal fan (attached to the back of the main box), which is wired through the truck to a control button underneath the steering wheel. This keeps air moving through the canopy and can be left running when parked up. The trunking also hosts the internal lights for each section and the wiring. Everything is cleverly hidden away from sharp teeth. The whole body of the product is made from strong 6mm polypropylene and welded together beautifully. It’s a very hard-wearing material that’s easy to clean and maintain, and there are drainage holes added at either side of the main box, allowing you to hose it down internally. The special alloy doors are fitted with 25mm stainless steel mesh and they’re attached via strong piano hinges. Everything is lockable, too, keeping the dogs safe and allowing safe temporary storage for your guns when out and about or staying away.

Soft, thick rubber matting is included in the accommodation, plus the drawers are also lined with removable rubber sheets, and the tailgate mat, which ensures the dogs get in and out safely, folds away nicely when travelling. I decided to stop the main dog box a little short of the drawers - 15” or so – allowing for a shelf which then provides room to drop bags or a sack of feed, etc. on top. Here, there’s also a water-container holder in place too. My vehicle is a VW Amarok; this does allow for a taller box, but CAB owner Chris advised that I take it down an inch, so the whole thing could then transfer straight into a Toyota Hilux or an Isuzu D-Max should we decide to opt for a different truck in the future. Plus, it opens up the resale value… not that I’ll ever sell it. I’m not sure how many dogs I can fit in with the partitions taken out, but probably 10-plus spaniels. In the meantime, the central partition keeps my sometimes temperamental vizsla from eating the cockers!

The last extras we’ve gone for are the detachable and chew-proof drink bowls. Other extras available include a welly holder, a walking-stick holder, and a gun rack. One of the main reasons we picked this product above others is the praise we heard from those who already have one – some for over 10 years and they’re still going strong. Plus, the proprietors Chris and Denise were extremely helpful and accommodating – we genuinely felt that if it wasn’t perfect then it wouldn’t be leaving their premises.

We’ve managed to test it out quite extensively with overnight stays and trips to the beach, and although the dogs have been undoubtedly comfortable and safe, the main attribute to the system is without doubt the drawers. Being able to neatly pack away dirty boots, wet towels, gaiters, etc. does make the usual faff much easier and less disorganised.

RRP: around £3,000