5 Best Collapsible Dog Bowls For Travel (32+ Reviewed)

Last Updated: September 21, 2023 | 23 min read | 1 Comment

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Silicon collapsible dog bowls ready to be tested and reviewed to find the best

It’s a fact:

Your dog needs to eat and drink.

Ideally out of a dog bowl.

But what if you are out and about with your doggy pal, and a bowl isn’t something nearby…

Well, you need a
collapsible dog bowl!

This portable dog bowl is a traveler’s best friend, allowing you to easily feed and water your pooch while away from home.

Like any dog owner, you want the best for your precious canine friend.

which collapsible bowl is best for your dog?

Well, we can answer that.

Our Top Picks

Prima Pets Collapsible Bowl Top Pick Best Silicone Travel Bowl

Best Silicone

Prima Pets

Mud River Oasis Top Pick - Best Collapsible Canvas Travel bowl

Best Canvas Bowl

Mud River Oasis

Ruffwear cinch top portable travel dog bowl

Best Drawstring

Ruffwear Quencher Cinch

At Canine Journal, we spent over 80 hours testing 32 different collapsible dog bowls. With the help of our dedicated doggy testing team, we created the most detailed guide to collapsible dog bowls

Which collapsible dog bowl was best?

We went into this review expecting to pick an outright winner.

However, with continued testing, it soon became clear that certain bowls were better suited to different needs.

For example, those of you who need a rugged collapsible bowl, like hikers and campers, have different needs to those who simply want a portable bowl to take with them on walks or car trips. Throw the dog’s size into the mix and choosing a single winner was virtually impossible.

So to begin with, we are going to cover the two best all-around collapsible dog bowls, one made from silicone and the other from canvas. These two dog bowls were most suitable for a wide range of dogs and applications.

After that, we list suitable options for those looking for something a little more specialized, including recommendations for flat-faced dogs.

Best canvas collapsible dog bowl

Best For Camping and Hiking

Mud River Oasis Top Pick - Best Collapsible Canvas Travel bowl

Mud River Oasis

A rugged outdoor dog bowl to take with you when hiking or camping. Folds up small.

Open:8 x 8 x 4¼ inch
Collapsed8 x 8 x 1 inch
Large Kibble Capacity8 Cups
Small Kibble Capacity9 Cups
Water62 oz

Out of all the canvas dog bowls we reviewed, the Oasis takes our top pick. Mud River, a division of Boyt Harness, has been making rugged outdoor products for hunters and their dogs for years, and their collapsible dog bowl follows this trend.

When not in use, the Oasis folds down and stays put thanks to a sturdy Velcro strap. It takes up about as much room as a small paperback book, and even when jostled around inside my backpack while hiking, it remained collapsed.

The bowl is constructed of a waxed canvas on the outside and a waterproof lining on the inside. When filled with food or water, the bowl holds its shape without folding in, even as hungry dogs chow down as quickly as they could.

Tucker, the Yellow Labrador Retriever, eating food from Mud River Oasis collapsible dog bowl

Capable of holding a generous amount of food or water, what really makes the Oasis appealing is its suitability for dogs of all sizes.

At 8 inches across, this was one of the bigger canvas dog bowls we tested – easily large enough for your big-snouted dog to comfortably eat out of.

Thanks to the flexible sides, even our smaller testers were able to get their food or drink. Barney, our smallest tester, was able to get to his food by slightly bending the side of the bowl down. If your dog needs to bend the bowl to drink, we recommend only filling it halfway with water.

Even our flat-faced testers could smoosh their face inside to eat every last piece of kibble from the bottom of the bowl. However, we have a better recommendation for flat-faced breeds later in this review.

As for durability, well – the Oasis was subjected to an unplanned game of tug of war, as two 100+ pound Labradors decided that the bowl made a good play toy. After breaking up their game, I was surprised that there was no sign of tearing.

While it might not be dishwasher-safe, a quick trip through the washing machine followed by an air dry was all it took to clean the Oasis up for our next outing. Just make sure to remove any crumbs or gunk
before placing it in your washing machine.

Best canvas dog bowl runner-up

The Ruffwear Bivy Ultralight Bowl is a canvas dog bowl that collapses into itself rather than folds. Compact and durable, there is a lot to love. The only downside is the price, but if you are after a premium pick, then check it out.

Best Silicone Collapsible Dog Bowl

Prima Pets Collapsible Bowl Top Pick Best Silicone Travel Bowl

Prima Pets Silicone Bowl

A flexible silicone bowl that collapses to a fraction of it’s size.

Open5 x 5 x 2½ inch7 x 7 x 3 inch
Collapsed5 x 5 x ½ inch7 x 7 x ¾ inch
Large Kibble Capacity1½ Cups3 Cups
Small Kibble Capacity2 Cups3½ Cups
Water Capacity12 oz26 oz

The Prima Pet Travel Bowl looks like any other silicone collapsible bowl. So, why did we place it above the rest?

Well, it all comes down to the shape.

You see, in order for a collapsible silicone bowl to fold in on itself, it narrows toward the bottom of the bowl.

Prima Pet’s Collapsible travel bowl narrows out the
least of all silicone bowls we tested.

This almost invisible design change allowed both flat-faced dogs and larger dogs with big snouts to easily eat kibble from the bottom of the bowl.

The wider opening also reduced the chance of our dogs accidentally collapsing the bowl when in use, something that we observed with other silicone dog bowls we tested.

Yellow Labrador Retriever eating kibble from Prima Pet collapsible silicone dog bowl

Made from FDA-approved food-grade silicone, these silicone bowls squash right down to an impossibly small size when not in use.

Speaking of size, this is one of the few silicone dog bowls that allows you to choose a size, either small or large. Small is suitable for anything up to a Beagle. For breeds larger than this, or if in doubt, choose the large size.

As for the carabiner, well, you’ll either love it or hate it. There is no denying just how useful this simple addition can be – you can attach the bowl to your dog leash, water bottle or even bag loop. Not feeling it? The Carabiner can easily be removed if you want to cram the bowl inside your bag.

As for cleaning, like all silicone bowls, these came up as good as new with a gentle scrub. While many
are top-rack dishwasher-safe, many users reported longer life by hand washing and leaving it to air dry.

Best collapsible silicone dog bowl runner-up:

Petmate Silicone Travel Bowl

Made from a single piece of silicone with no plastic, Petmate’s collapsible travel bowl was another strong performer. However, due to its slightly smaller size, and with no carabiner included, we had to award the win to Prima.

Best Bowl That Can Be Prepared With Food

Ruffwear Quesncher Cinch Bowl Top Pick - Best Drawstring Collapsible Travel Bowl

Ruffwear Cinch-Top

Your dogs own lunchbox. Fill it with food, cinch the top and take it with you.

Now for something different… Up until now, our recommendations focused on dog bowls that take up the least room. And to do that, it needs to be empty.

But what if you want a portable dog bowl that you can fill with kibble and take with you?

Truth be told, there was only one collapsible dog bowl that was up to the task. Fortunately, it performs great.

Open6 x 6 x 4 inch7 x 7 x 3 inch
CollapsedBalls upBalls up
Large Kibble Capacity4 Cups9 Cups
Small Kibble Capacity5 Cups9½ Cups
Water Capacity29 oz66 oz

We were expecting a Ruffwear bowl to win at least one of the categories. They are a reputable outdoor company that produces a variety of durable products for adventurous pups, including a wide range of collapsible dog bowls.

At first glance, the Ruffwear Quencher Cinch Top looks like any other canvas collapsible bag. However, it has one very useful feature…

A drawstring built into the rim of the bowl.

This allows you to fill the bowl with kibble, pull the drawstring tight, and toss it in the bottom of your bag. When closed, no kibble escaped.

Yep, this dog bowl doubles as a doggy lunchbox!

Once your pooch has finished eating his meal, the dog bowl can be wadded into a ball or rolled up – it was just as portable as any other canvas bowl we tested.

Or if your pooch is too excited to finish his lunch, you can cinch the top closed and save it for later.

While the cinch top means there is extra material at the rim of the bowl that needs to be tucked out of the way, it did not hinder our dogs from eating out of the bowl.

Yellow Labrador Retriever eating food from Ruffwear Cinch Top portable travel bowl

Our only concern is that because the bowl narrows at the top, it is less suited to flat-faced breeds.

However, if you want to pack your dog’s lunch for a day trip to the beach or woods, no collapsible bowl performed better.

Best of all, it’s fully machine washable. Highly recommended.

Best collapsible dog bowl for flat-faced dogs

Best Collapsible Dog Bowl For Flat-Faced Dogs

Mountainsmith K-9 Backbowl Top Pick Best Travel Dog Bowl For Flat Faces

K-9 Backbowl

A soft, easy-to-carry dog bowl that folds flat when not in use.

Open7 x 7 x 2½ inch
Collapsed3½ x 5½ x ½ inch
Large Kibble Capacity4 Cups
Small Kibble Capacity5 Cups
Water Capacity26 oz

Have a flat-faced dog? Buy a flat collapsible dog bowl.

The Mountainsmith K-9 Backbowl is little more than a piece of canvas with snaps in each corner. Clip the snaps together to make a shallow portable dog bowl that is perfect for flat-faced breeds.

During testing, we noticed that most collapsible dog bowls are not designed for dogs with squashed faces. Either the bowls were too narrow at the bottom or the soft walls would cave in, making eating difficult.

Although it’s not specifically advertised for short-snouted breeds, the K-9 Backbowl solves all the problems our flat-faced testers faced with other bowls.

The wide opening meant that even large Mastiffs, who eat by smooshing their face into their bowl, could eat every last piece of kibble.

Flat Faced Bulldog eating from Mountainsmith Collapsible K-9 Backbowl

Thirsty dogs will be pleased to know that the K-9 Backbowl passed our leak test without difficulty.

Best of all, due to the simple design, you can fold or roll the bowl, allowing you to pack it as you see fit.

However, if you don’t have a flat-faced breed, we recommend looking at our other recommendations – longer snouts might find the bowl too shallow.

Best collapsible dog bowl for occasional use

Best Collapsible Dog Bowl For Occasional Use

Kurgo Zippy Travel Bowl Top Pick Best Collapsible Dog Bowl For Occasional Use

Kurgo Zippy

Pack it in your bag, stroller or glovebox just in case you ever need a dog bowl when away from home.

Open6½ x 4⅘ inch
Collapsed7 x 3⅓ x ½ inch
Large Kibble Capacity4½ Cups
Small Kibble Capacity5 Cups
Water Capacity29 oz

Our final recommendation is a collapsible dog bowl to keep on hand
just in case.. It might not be something you use every day, but when the need arises, you’ll be glad you have it!

As the name suggests, when not in use, the Kurgo Zippy can be zipped up into a small triangular carry case – small enough to fit into your purse, backpack or even pocket.

No matter how messily you zip away the dog bowl, it will unfold perfectly, ready for use.

It’s this convenient size and shape that makes it perfect for cramming away until you need it.

As for performance? Well, it’s no slouch either.

At 7 inches tall, it holds enough food or water to keep a large dog satisfied. Have a smaller pooch? The soft walls allow you to roll them down, allowing your tiny pups to easily access their meal.

Harper eating from kurgo Zippy Collapsible dog bowl

However, it was these same soft walls that prevented us from recommending the bowl for day-to-day use – setting the bowl up so that the walls don’t fall in is a little fiddly.

Once mealtime is over a quick trip through the washing machine saw it looking as good as new.

Small enough to forget about until you need it and suitable for a wide range of dogs, it’s the perfect every-now-and-then collapsible dog bowl.

The collapsible dog bowls that
didn’t make the cut

Unfortunately, you can’t have winners without losers. Our top picks stood out as being the best collapsible dog bowls. The following collapsible dog bowls didn’t compare and have flaws that held them back in one way or another.

However, that doesn’t mean that these are necessarily bad portable dog bowls. In fact, many users report that satisfaction with them. However, based on our testing, we see little reason to choose these over our top picks.

Okay, so the Guyot Designs Squishy Pet Bowl isn’t designed to be a collapsible dog bowl, but we wanted to see how if it would be a viable option for larger dogs. Made with high-quality silicone and multiple size options, it works well as a silicone bowl. But it just isn’t travel-friendly. While you could squish the bowl down into a tiny size, it popped back up if there was space – there was no way to keep the bowl compressed.

The Comsun Travel Bowl is the number one most popular collapsible bowl on Amazon. Surprisingly, it was our least favorite of the silicone bowls we tested. Only holding a single cup of dog food, it was too small for most dogs. The included carabiner was also of poor quality.

Remember how I said canvas dog bowls are more expensive than silicone? Well, the Outward Hound Port-A-Bowl is the exception to that rule. It’s the cheapest collapsible dog bowl we tested. The thin walls collapsed in on themselves during use, and it was unsuitable for dogs with flat faces. While it passed our water leak test, many reviews suggest leaking issues as the bowl ages.

The Timber and Tide Collapsible Dog Bowl is a good, tough canvas bowl. We couldn’t get the bowl to sit flat on the ground, even when filled with food or water. What really let this bowl down was the cost – you could get the much sturdier Mud River Oasis for the same price.

The Tuff Mutt Collapsible Dog Bowl, which is essentially the same product as the Mountainsmith K-9 Backbowl, came with a case that was nearly impossible to squeeze the bowl inside.

The Ruffwear Trail Runner Ultralight Blue was another solid performer. Easy to pack and unpack, our only complaint was that it didn’t hold its shape as well as similar collapsible bowls.

The Chuckit Hydro Bowl was both durable and waterproof. However, it was less suited to the snouts of larger dogs. Have a medium dog? Go for it!

Dexas is one of the only brands who create a portable elevated dog feeder, which is available in both single and double feeders. Folding down to an impressive 1 inch tall makes it easy to see why the Dexas Popware is such a popular portable feeder – it sports an eye-catching design. I really wanted to like this feeder. However, at 5 inches high, it was too short to truly be called an elevated feeder, but the frame was high enough to keep the bowl off the ground. Also, each bowl was surprisingly small, holding up to just 3 cups of kibble. We also had issues with the bowl popping out of the frame when we tried to collapse the bowl.

Messy Mutts made another silicone dog bowl that would be appropriate for small to medium dogs. This all-around quiet achiever, however, was more expensive and less commonly available than similar silicone bowls.

The Kurgo Mash and Stash Portable Dog Bowl offered something different, a triangular dog bowl. During testing, we soon discovered the reason most brands made round bowls – there are no corners for food to get stuck in. It is also less suited for larger dogs. While this bowl works just fine for water, we don’t recommend it for food.

Another entry from Kurgo, their collapsible portable travel bowl had a more traditional design. Another all-around performer that is priced just a little higher than similar bowls.

What’s missing?

We also really wanted to test the Grrowler bowl – a travel-friendly dog bowl that doubles as a dog collar. That’s right, you can make your dog carry his own bowl!

However, when we contacted Rocky Mountain Underground to obtain more information, such as whether the bowl would be available for sale in the next two months (Part of criteria for review is that the product is readily available for purchase), customer service responded and refused to answer our questions.

Given the poor experience, we decided to leave the Grrowler bowl out of this review.

What is a collapsible dog bowl?

At first glance, there doesn’t appear to be anything special about a collapsible dog bowl – it looks like any other bowl that holds your dog’s food and water.

But if you look closer, you see that these bowls hide a secret feature…

When not in use, a portable bowl can fold in and collapse on itself, reducing the bowl to a fraction of its size.

Consider it your pup’s very own portable dog dish – one you can take with you when you leave your home.

When your dog needs to eat or drink, simply pop open your portable dog bowl and fill it up.

In order to transform to their tiny size, collapsible dog bowls are
not made from a rigid material like plastic, ceramic or metal.

Instead, they are made of soft materials that allow the bowl to bend, shift and fold.

Some are made from a flexible silicone rubber…

Silicone collapsible dog bowl filled with food

Others are made from a waterproof fabric…

Canvas collapsible dog bowl filled with dry dog food

All told, collapsible dog bowls come in hundreds of different styles.

While each collapsible dog bowl may look different, they are all designed to do one thing:

Transform into a portable, travel-friendly size for easy storage.

Which dogs need a collapsible dog bowl?

While collapsible dog bowls are by no means an essential doggy product, many owners swear by them.

you should buy a collapsible dog bowl entirely hinges on one question…

Do you need a dog bowl for traveling?

It’s as simple as answering that yes-no question.

If you are still unsure, let’s look at the common scenarios where you might need a collapsible dog bowl…

Walking your dog

Dog being walked on leash by owner through park

You travel with your dog every single day even though you might not realize it…

I’m talking about your dog’s daily walk.

Let’s face it:

Your dog needs to be walked.[1]

While it’s unlikely that you will walk so far that your dog will get hungry, there is a good chance your dog will need a drink of water – especially if it’s hot outside or you stop to play.

That’s where a collapsible dog bowl comes in. Simply fill the bowl with water from your water bottle, and you give your pooch a refreshing drink after a tiring game of chase-the-ball.

Car trips with your dog

Golden Retriever sticking his head out the car window on a road trip

It’s odd… My dog constantly gets thirsty on car rides. I can’t make him drink before a car trip, but the moment his paws step inside my Honda Accord, he gives me the
where-is-my-water look.

While cars have drink holders for humans, they are not yet equipped with bowls for dogs – seriously, someone
PLEASE invent a dog-friendly car!

So to offer my dog a drink, I pull off on the side of the road, pop open his collapsible bowl and let him slurp to his heart’s content.

If you take long road trips with your dog (or just spend hours stuck in traffic), then a portable dog bowl allows you to offer your dog a drink with minimal effort – store it in your glove compartment or under the seat of your car.

Vacations with your dog

Golden Retriever sitting in trunk of car with luggage packed for summer vacation reminding family to pack his dog bowl

Let’s face it:

It’s not a family vacation if your dog doesn’t come along too.

That means you don’t just have to pack a suitcase for yourself, your partner and your kids, but for your dog as well!

You must feed your dog on vacation, so you need to bring a bowl.

Just one problem…

That space inside your suitcase is precious, and you don’t want to waste it on bulky items.

A collapsible dog bowl squashes down to a fraction of its former size, allowing you to easily stuff it inside your already overflowing suitcase.

Hiking and camping with your dog

Dog on hike in mountains asking owner for collapsible water bowl

I love hiking through the woods. There is nothing quite like surrounding yourself in nature, hidden away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

And if I can bring my four-legged friend along – even better!

When it’s time for a drink break, out comes my water bottle and also my pooch’s collapsible dog bowl – taking a moment to enjoy our surroundings while we rehydrate.

Love hiking as much as I do? I don’t need to tell you how important it is to pack light – even the easiest trail can be as challenging as Mount Everest with a heavy backpack.

Fortunately, collapsible dog bowls are lightweight. So light, in fact, that I can’t even tell if it’s stowed away inside my hiking backpack without checking.

Do you find yourself in any of the above scenarios?

If so, your dog is a suitable candidate for a collapsible dog bowl. If you are constantly on the go, then you might use your portable dog bowl more often than the one at home!

Yellow Labrador Retriever eating kibble from collapsible dog bowl on grass in park

During our research, we talked to local dog owners, pet store owners and chatted with my vet on the topic of collapsible dog bowls.

Collapsible dog bowls were almost universally praised by those who owned them.

One proud Cavoodle owner went as far as to say:

When I leave home with my dog, I make sure I have my house keys, mobile phone and collapsible dog bowl.

Now, that’s not to say that collapsible dog bowls are perfect.

The obvious drawback to any portable dog bowl is that they are not designed with stationary use in mind.

You see, collapsible dog bowls are best used
in addition to the dog bowl you use at home.


Well, portable dog bowls are designed to be used for short periods of time. Because these bowls are designed to be travel-friendly, they are made from flexible materials that allow them to fold small.

The downside to these materials is that they won’t hold up to the same everyday wear and tear that your regular dog bowl does.

You know that stainless steel dog bowl that’s been sitting in your yard? Yeah, the one that’s been exposed to rain, snow and the harsh sun, accidentally stepped on, and even gnawed on by your dog.

Well, a collapsible dog bowl isn’t going to hold up to that same abuse.

Also, due to their lighter weight, collapsible dog bowls are easier to flip and push around than your stationary dog bowl. However, placing the bowl on a rough surface will severely reduce the chances of this occurring.

Finally, if your dog suffers from gas or bloat, a travel bowl won’t slow down your dogs eating in the same way a slow feed bowl would.

If you don’t travel, then I’m not sure you will find a lot of value in a collapsible dog bowl.

Have you decided a collapsible dog bowl is right for you? We tested over 30 different dog bowls to find the best of the best.

Want to know more about our testing process? Read on!

What is our testing process?

Canvas collapsible dog bowls ready to be tested and reviewed

At Canine Journal, we take reviews seriously. We never recommend a product that we wouldn’t happily give to our own dogs.

That’s why our testing team thoroughly evaluates each product we recommend.

By the end of the process, we spent over 80 hours researching, testing and reviewing the most popular (and even some unpopular) collapsible dog bowls on the market.

Which collapsible dog bowls did we test?

The first thing we had to do was decide on which collapsible dog bowls we would test.

It might surprise you to learn that there are hundreds of different portable dog bowls on the market.

Yep! It turns out that needing a travel-friendly dog bowl is a common problem. And, plenty of manufacturers want you to pay them to solve it, each claiming to have the best solution.

So, the first thing we did was narrow down our selection.

After researching the different collapsible dog bowls on the market, analyzing user reviews and interviewing experts, we narrowed down the selection to 32 bowls.

Now this may seem like a lot, but some brands manufactured multiple collapsible bowls in different sizes and designs, and we had to test them all.

By the end, we put 13 different brands to the test:

  • Comsun
  • Chuckit
  • Dexas
  • Guyot Designs
  • Kurgo
  • Mountainsmith
  • Mud River
  • Outward Hound
  • Petmate
  • Prima Pet
  • Ruffwear
  • Timber & Tide
  • Tuff Mutt

With our list complete, it was time to go shopping. Each collapsible dog bowl featured in our review today was purchased on

Yep, at Canine Journal, we buy every product at the same price you pay. We don’t receive discounts for reviewing these products.

Once every collapsible dog bowl arrived, it was time to test them!

How did we test the collapsible dog bowls?

Now that we had our pile of collapsible dog bowls, it was time to compare them to each other to determine which was truly the best.

To find the number one collapsible bowl, we used the following tests…

How portable was the collapsible dog bowl?

Let’s face it… The main reason you buy a collapsible dog bowl is:

Because you need a portable dog bowl to take with you on the go!

With this in mind, we decided that storage convenience should weigh heavily when choosing the winners.

After all, if it’s not easy to stow, then you wouldn’t pay extra for a specialized dog bowl, right?

Well, neither would we.

So, the first thing we did was measure just how small each collapsible dog bowl compressed down to.

Next, it was time for some real-world testing…

Some collapsible dog bowls came with a carabiner to attach the bowl to the outside of your bag or leash. However, we wanted to see how the collapsible dog bowls performed when discreetly stashed away.

We packed each bowl into a handbag filled with everyday essentials – the kind of stuff you would typically take when walking your dog:

  • House keys
  • Mobile phone
  • Wallet
  • Poop bags
  • Water bottle

Some fit neatly….

Collapsible dog bowl folded neatly inside handbag

Others not so well…

Collapsible dog bowl squashed inside handbag poor fit

But this test only told half the story…

How easy is the collapsible dog bowl to open?

Next, we wanted to see how easy it was to set up a collapsible dog bowl mid-walk.

It might seem simple, but setting up a dog bowl can put your multi-tasking skills to the test.

Holding a dog leash in one hand, a collapsible dog bowl and bottle of water in the other while trying with all your might to stop your dog from chasing that squirrel…

It’s a lot to do all at once.

As a result, any collapsible dog bowl that isn’t quick to set up gets old, quickly.

Each bowl was set up on three different surfaces:

  • Concrete
  • Grass
  • A dirt trail

The goal was to have the entire process, from setting up the bowl to packing it away, be almost seamless.

However, the needs of hikers are very different from dog owners who are camping or on vacation and want to set a portable dog bowl up for a few days or weeks.

To simulate these environments, we set each dog bowl up in a home environment and observed how it faired during regular use.

Does it hold food and water?

Collapsible dog bowl filled with dry dog food and water

This might seem like a silly test. I mean, it’s a dog bowl – what good is it if it can’t function like one?

Well, during Canine Journal’s research, we came across complaints that certain collapsible dog bowls leaked or trapped food in crevices.

The complaint of leaks was particularly prevalent in canvas bowls, and reports suggested a failure in the waterproof lining.

So, we tested each bowl with water from our drink bottle and kibble to see how each bowl held up.

Bowls filled with water were left to sit up to 24 hours at a time. Afterward, each bowl was thoroughly inspected for leaks.

Any collapsible dog bowl that did not pass this test was instantly failed.

We even used a few different collapsible bowls that looked like they could transport food inside them. The
Ruffwear Cinch Top, for example, closed with a drawstring, allowing you to pre-fill the bowl with food to take on your hike. However, this was not a feature found with most collapsible bowls.

Testing observations

Suitability for chewers

Yellow Labrador Retriever Chewing On Collapsible Dog Bowl

Now in order for a collapsible dog bowl to fold up, it needs to be made of a softer material – you won’t find a collapsible dog bowl made from plastic, stainless steel or ceramic.

Across the range of collapsible dog bowls we reviewed, silicone and canvas were the two most common materials.

If your dog loves to gnaw, then your toothy canine companion will be able to tear these materials to shreds in no time.

It is for this reason that collapsible dog bowls are less suited to chewers. However, one solution is to put the collapsible bowl down during mealtime and promptly remove it when your dog is finished – before he has a chance to take his bowl to chew city.

Out of the two materials, we found canvas collapsible dog bowls to be much more durable than silicone.

Ease of cleaning

Collapsible silicone dog bowls washed in soapy water in sink

Want to keep your dog bowl free from nasty bacteria and bad smells? Then, you need to wash it.

After all, who wants to take a stinky collapsible dog bowl that is covered in dried dog drool with them on their walk?

Not me!

If you walk your dog every day (and you should), then you want a collapsible dog bowl that’s easy-to-clean and dries quickly.

So, we cleaned every dog bowl after use, observing the ease at which food was removed and how quickly it dried.

All told, we found collapsible dog bowls made from silicone much easier to clean than canvas. Food, dirt and other gunk could easily be removed without a trace left behind.

However, silicone needed to be fully dried before collapsing. Otherwise, it was prone to mildew spots.

Canvas dog bowls were more susceptible to stains and marking, especially if you put the bowls down on muddy soil. While this discoloration may look unappealing, it in no way impacted the performance of the canvas collapsible dog bowls.

Silicone vs Canvas

Silicone Collapsible Dog Bowl Vs Canvas fabric dog bowl side by side

Collapsible dog bowls are typically made from one of these two materials. Both have their pros and cons.

Silicone has the advantage of being cheaper. In many cases, you could buy two or three silicone bowls for the same price as one of our canvas recommendations.

Silicone also collapses smaller, so if you want a product that takes up as little space as possible, you won’t need to look past a silicone collapsible dog bowl.

However, the design of silicone dog bowls also has a flaw: The seams that allow them to compress are made of thinner silicone than the rest of the bowl. With repeated use, these will eventually wear out tear.

Canvas dog bowls, on the other hand, are often larger. While they don’t compress to the same mini size as silicone bowls, they were more suited to a wider range of dogs. They are also more durable and hold up to rough play better than silicone.

At Canine Journal, we prefer long-lasting products. Given a choice between the two materials, we choose canvas collapsible bowls every time.

Who tested the collapsible bowls?

Now that you know what and how we tested, it’s time to introduce to you
who tested the collapsible dog bowls.

Five team members tested and reviewed our collection of collapsible dog bowls.

Let me introduce you to…

1. Tucker

Collapsible dog bowl tester Tucker the yellow labrador retriever

Breed: Labrador Retriever

Tucker loves to walk, run and do all things outdoors. Once let off his leash, it can be difficult to get him to come back – he knows when the leash goes on, it’s the end of the walk. All that playing is thirsty work, and Tucker rehydrates himself with the help of collapsible dog bowls.

2. Cooper

Collapsible dog bowl tester cooper the black labrador retriever

Breed: Labrador Retriever

A little bit on the chubby side but super lovable, Cooper
doesn’t love going for walks. In fact, when the leash comes out, Cooper hides. Since he has been instructed by his vet to lose a few pounds, he doesn’t really have a say in the matter. Testing collapsible dog bowls with food in them has been the highlight of Cooper’s outings.

3. Harper

Collapsible dog bowl tester - Harper the boarder collie cross german Shepherd

Breed: Border Collie x German Shepherd

If you mention the words trail or hike around Harper, you have to whisper. If Harper hears you, she gets super excited and won’t calm down until you take her to her favorite trail in upstate New York. Good news for this four-legged hiker – testing the collapsible dog bowls involved daily trail trips.

4. Barney

Collapsible dog bowl tester - Barney the Shih Tzu

Breed: Shih Tzu

Barney is 10 years old and spends his days lounging in the sunshine and is somewhat of a vacation addict, chasing the warmer weather with his owner whenever possible. This pint-sized tester scored himself a mini-vacation where he happily feasted from a variety of collapsible dog bowls.

5. Chelsie

Chelsie the Human reviewer of the collapsible dog bowl guide

Breed: Human

Me – Lover of dogs and vacations, I am a compulsive hiker, unprofessional photographer and enthusiastic reviewer. Thanks in part to my opposable thumbs, I played a major role in reviewing all the collapsible dog bowls – they were not going to unfold and fill themselves!

Alternatives to portable dog bowls

A collapsible dog bowl is not the only solution to feeding or watering your dog while traveling.

If you want to skip the collapsible bowl, here are some other methods you can use…

Feeding your dog straight off the ground

When going for walks, many dog owners bring a plastic baggie full of kibble with them. When the time comes to feed their pooch, they drop it on the ground for their pup to devour.

Depending on where you go hiking, this may be a suitable option. However, a muddy trail probably isn’t the best place to do this.

Letting your dog drink from your bottle

There are two ways you can do this:

  • Pour a stream of water into your dog’s mouth from the bottle
  • Have your dog slurp from the mouth of the bottle

I have long since given up on trying to training my dog to drink from a stream of water. She just doesn’t get it. More of the water ends up on the ground than in her mouth.

As for sharing my bottle with my dog? Nope. I mean, my dog has good oral hygiene, and I love doggy kisses as much as the next girl…

But dog backwash? That’s where I draw the line.

Using a dog water bottle

Yep, dog water bottles are a thing. The lid on these specialized bottles come with a lid that doubles as a drinking scoop.

The downside is that you need to pack two water bottles with you – a collapsible dog bowl is much lighter than bringing a second bottle filled with water.


There is no denying that a collapsible dog bowl is a situationally useful device.

Want to feed and water your dog while on the go? It really is the best option.

After all, your dog needs to stay hydrated and fed while away from home, and a collapsible dog bowl makes the entire process neater.

What’s your experience with collapsible dog bowls? Let me know in the comments below!

The information provided through this website should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease; it is not intended to offer any legal opinion or advice or a substitute for professional safety advice or professional care. Please consult your health care provider, attorney, or product manual for professional advice. Products and services reviewed are provided by third parties; we are not responsible in any way for them, nor do we guarantee their functionality, utility, safety, or reliability. Our content is for educational purposes only.

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