Real Life Crash Test: Variocage Double XXL

Posted: July 3, 2018 in Crate Arrangements, Product Reviews, The Other Kind of Accident
Tags: ,

If you’re anything like me, your dogs are important members of your family. When I replaced my main vehicle in 2012, while writing this blog, I specifically looked for vehicles that would work for my pets as well as my human family. After settling on the 2011 RAV4, I started researching safer crate options and stumbled across the Variocage in 2013. I was impressed by the thought that went into the design AND the crash testing. The fact that it was designed not to displace the seats it rested against was huge for me as we expected to be adding a little human to our family in a few years. I hoped never to find out how it actually worked in an accident, but I was confident it was a good option for my current animals and an eventual human addition.


On June 7th, 2018, I found out exactly how well the Variocage works, thankfully on a trip when I wasn’t carrying a dog or two as I often do.

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A box truck ran into my RAV4 while I was stopped at a light. The police report estimates that they were going about 40mph (65kmh) at the time of impact.  There were no signs of braking beforehand. I was shoved into the vehicle in front of me. Steam began pouring into the passenger cabin as soon as we came to a stop. I turned off the car and leaped out, screaming at the truck, and raced to check on my 2yo son sitting in his car seat behind me.
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He was covered in glass, and upset about being awoken by the impact, but safe. The seat his carseat was resting on had moved forward, but the Variocage had done what it was supposed to: it had slid in on itself, absorbing crash forces, and not harming the seat my son’s carseat was attached to. 

 

The impact of the crash hadn’t been straight on because of the rear spare tire mount on my RAV4. The Variocage had flexed a bit, in addition to the controlled crumple action, and the middle yellow pillar and been shoved inward, though the doors were still tightly latched. There was glass inside the kennel, and if there had been dogs inside they would have been jostled about, but certainly not skewered or loose! IMG_2987The divider had bent a LOT more than it would have if it had been properly secured – it was only secured by two instead of the full complement of bolts because of a recent adjustment – but it still was not dangerous. At the tow yard later, I was able to pull items in the Variocage out via the ‘escape hatch’ with no issues whatsoever.

I am forever sold on the value of Variocages, and I’ve already ordered my replacement for my new vehicle from 4×4 North America, who now has a policy to replace any Variocage destroyed in an accident! How awesome is that?!

Thank you Variocage, for being there when dog people need you the most!
Comments
  1. Bruno says:

    Hi, thanks for the very good review of the variocage I’m about to purchase and happy that you were not injured during that crash.
    I was interested in getting the Single L one as I’d like to keep half of my cargo capacity but it comes with only 650mm heigh which I think would be a bit short for my Malinois.
    Would you confirm or do you think it should be fine?
    Thanks.

    Bruno

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