So many bike accessories, even high-end gear, are made overseas with sub-par materials and hit or miss quality control. Just look at Amazon customer reviews — many companies have spotty quality control for even generally high quality products. More and more, Americans are wanting to supporting domestic, smaller businesses over large corporations. New Hampshire based Peterboro Baskets is right in line with that trend, boasting handmade baskets from domestically sourced wood. They make a high quality bike basket for dogs that is worth considering.
The Oldest Basket Maker in the USA
The founder, Amzi Childs, began weaving baskets in 1854, during the Industrial Revolution. Through several building fires and location changes, Petersboro Baskets has retained the business model of artisan, made to order baskets. As the oldest basket makers still operating in the U.S., these guys have over a century and a half of experience with making baskets built to last. (Fifty of those years reside with Walter Hood, who has worked there since 1962.) To back that experience up, they offer a limited lifetime warranty on all of their containers.
Pet Carrier Basket
They have several bicycle baskets for sale, including a pet carrier basket for smaller dogs or cats. The website claims up to 25 lbs of carrying capacity, but at 18-1/2″x11-3/4″x 12-1/2,” a 25-lb dog will be a little bit squashed. Instead, carry your 10 to 15 lb dog or cat and rest assured that he/she is securely below the weight limit.
It’s not cheap at just over $100, but, as they point out on their website, their baskets are made from Appalachian White Ash (think baseball bats) and brass hardware. It’s a handsome basket, with a leather carrying handle and a safety latch, that would go beautifully with a classic or vintage-styled high-end touring bike or commuter.
Some pets might feel trapped in the basket, as its design is not very open, and the lid is not detachable, instead opening and closing with brass hinges. But this design will allow a dog to ride in the basket without a leash, which might be more comfortable for some pets. Some dogs and cats might actually like the design, as it is similar to conventional pet carriers that they may already be used to and feel safe in. They will still be able to see out, and get plenty of airflow, but not escape. One drawback would be the lack of lining, making the whole thing harder to clean. Whether the wood is resistant to scratching is unclear.
Several Finishes to Chose From
The pet basket comes in cherry, honey, or natural, to coordinate seamlessly with your bike’s color scheme. (Though some of the other baskets for offer come in a wider variety of colors, the pet carrier is only available in natural wood finishes.) For a small additional fee, there is the option to add a small or large plaque inscribed with your pet’s name or a message of your choice, for that little something extra.
All in all, the Peterboro Pet Carrier (With Leather Handle) is adorable and stately at the same time, invoking a sort of Mary Poppins feel. Its cost is balanced by its warranty and assurance of quality, and it might make a good choice for someone who likes the finer things in life, and who has a small, calm dog or cat.
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