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FAQ Print

Important information concerning all discussions about Variocage safety!! A crash can happen at any speed and there are many variables with respect to the circumstances involved in an accident. Predicting every possible scenario and outcome is impossible. Depending on your vehicle, speed and circumstance, it might be possible that nothing can protect all occupants from injury or fatalities. Please drive safely and always use your MIM Safe Variocage for transporting your animals.

Who is 4×4 North America, Inc?

4×4 North America, Inc. is the exclusive importer of all products on our website. We have authorized dealers in the United States & Canada which are all listed on our website. However, we also sell direct to consumers. Please always check with us when you are ready to purchase to see if we have any special offers or coupon codes available.

There is a three (3) year warranty on all MIM Safe Variocage Products purchased from our Authorized Dealers.

 

Direct customers of 4×4 North America get the following guarantees.

* Gauranteed Sizing & Fit If You Call & Consult With 4×4 North America

* 100% Risk Free / Money Back / 30 Day Trial

* Free Replacement Cage After a Documented Accident

* Offer Available To Customers of 4×4 North America

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What is Genuinely Crash Safe?

WHAT IS GENUINELY CRASH SAFE?

I would also question those who promote products as “Crash Safe” without having the qualifications, science or facts to back it up. I personally believe that no company should be making claims or implying otherwise unless there is genuine, scientific, real world crash testing to back it up. Again, the biggest issue I see is when tests are “made-up” or “ reverse engineered  to achieve a desired result is that they do not replicate any real world crash scenario.

The flawed test methodology behind these the majority of tests either do not replicate a use, application or installation that can actually be duplicated in a vehicle or a real world scenario. Typically, and in fact, they use test methodology that is not even close to representing what happens in a real world crash scenario.

What is genuinely crash safe?

You can learn more at these links.

SAFETY & TESTING KNOWLEDGE CENTER

https://4x4northamerica.com/safety-and-testing/

VIDEOS

https://4x4northamerica.com/video-archive/

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ROTO-MOLDED PLASTIC DOG CAGES

We do not recommend any Plastic Roto-Molded Cage with respect to Crash Safety for a variety of reasons.

Please read why as noted below.

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ROTO-MOLDED CAGES / SAFETY HARNESSES vs. CRASH TESTED MIM SAFE / KLEINMETALL PRODUCTS

For example, Roto-molded cages have some inherent issues when it comes to crash safety.

To be specific, Roto-molded cages break if hit with a decent amount of force on an edge or a corner.

Roto-molded structures are stiff and will not form around the dog’s bone structures in the event of an impact. For example, the ribs in a dog’s chest.

The entire plastic wall will deflect to some extent, but the problem has to do with the fact that it is not ductile.

When impacted, the wall will give back all the energy consumed by the deflection.

Meaning, once the flexible limit is reached, the impact force will snap back and be directly generated in to whatever hits it which in this case would be the dog.

The dog will also bounce off the wall once that energy is sent back to the dog causing an equally dangerous secondary reaction.

In a side collision, like some of the ones we have seen, it could very well break the ribs or cause internal damage and bleeding. That of course, is not a soft tissue injury. It is much worse.

Compare this to a Variocage, where the metal parts will bend and form around the bones and absorb energy in a collision.

This takes the energy away from the dogs verses a the roto-molded cage will have a much more aggressive reaction since it is in fact, nothing more than a non-energy consuming plastic box.

Soft padding does not solve the problem either. The high force levels generated during an accident would require extremely stiff deformable closed sell foam pads to make a difference.

However, it is extremely difficult to balance the crush performance requirements of the padding to the bone strength for all dogs since every dog’s build, weight and bone structure are different.

In addition, a pad that might would be very, very thick and leave no room on the cage for the dog. Even with a pad like this, you still need a good structure to contain the dog safely and to assure they are safe.

The door is also a serious issue which is true on all of the cages we have tested using real world, scientific crash test methodology that is based on published Government Automotive Crash Test Standards.

Also, engineering analysis and physics predict “Ropes & Straps” we currently see used on cages will at best handle a load of 2,000 pounds or less in a rear end crash. Typically the straps and ropes used are often rated less than that.

The fact is, collisions can generate extremely high energy and forces far greater than this which can easily exceed tens of thousands of pounds.

Without additional engineering and safety features combined with a proper crash tested installation these other cages will fail in a real world crash scenario.

In addition, plastic buckles are not designed and engineered to handle heavy loads or impacts. We have never found a plastic buckle that can survive a real world crash test and we have tried for years to find one. This is why we only use Mil Spec Metal buckles on our AllSafe Comfort Harness.

Plastic buckles will release and open at much lower levels of impact or applied force. Since the largest loss of dogs in an accident is due to the doors opening and/or the cage breaking and failing to contain the dogs, this is a critical factor to consider.

Truth be told, and to the best of our knowledge, e have yet to see any real world crash testing done for any other cage except MIM Safe Variocage.

In fact, MIM Safe Crash Tested products are the only genuinely, honestly Crash Tested Dog Cages in the world.

Variocage meets all the criteria for Real World Crash testing using a real world scenario in multiple crash test scenarios using published Government Automotive Crash Test Standards.

Will the MIM Safe Variocage fit in my vehicle?

The MIM Safe Variocage available in Eighteen (18) Sizes and Configurations and it is designed and crash tested for use in Station Wagons, Minivans, and SUV’s. The Variocage design, features and adjustable length allow it to fit in most suitable vehicles.

The Variocage is angled to match the slope of the back seat and the slope of the rear cargo door. The roof of the crate is also narrower in width than the floor. These features allow for a proper fit in almost all suitable vehicles.

The MIM Safe Crash Tested MultiCage  is available is Six (6) Sizes and Configurations and it is designed and crash tested for use in a Van, Truck, RV, or Boat.

The MIM Safe Crash Tested CARE-2  Seat Box is available in Two (2) Sizes and it is the ONLY Crash Tested Seat Box in the world tested and rated for 1st, 2nd or 3rd Row Seat Placement with Airbags.

What is the Specification for Variocage Bar Spacing?

Variocage Bar Spacing


The tubes are either 14 or 19 mm in diameter with a thickness of 1.0 mm.

The flat steel used for the top and bottom sections have a thickness of 0.7 mm.


 

Variocage Single

 

Side Bars

 

Center to Center:                    68 mm / 2.67 inches

Space Between Bars:              50 mm / 1.98 inches

 

Diameter – Larger Bars:          19 mm / 0.748 inches

Diameter – Smaller Bars          14 mm / 0.551 inches

 

Door Bars

 

Center to Center:                    75 mm / 2.95 inches
Space Between Bars:              58 mm / 2.28 inches

 

Diameter Bars:                        16 mm / 0.629 inches

 


 

Variocage Double

 

Side Bars

 

Center to Center:                    68 mm / 2.67 inches

Space Between Bars:              50 mm / 1.98 inches

 

Diameter – Larger Bars:          19 mm / 0.748 inches

Diameter – Smaller Bars          14 mm / 0.551 inches

 

Door Bars

 

Center to Center:                    75 mm / 2.95 inches
Space Between Bars:              58 mm / 2.28 inches

 

Diameter Bars:                        16 mm / 0.629 inches

 


 

Variocage Compact 

 

Side Bars

 

Center to Center:                    68 mm / 2.67 inches

Space Between Bars:              50 mm / 1.98 inches

 

Diameter – Larger Bars:          19 mm / 0.748 inches

Diameter – Smaller Bars          14 mm / 0.551 inches

 

Door Bars

 

Center to Center:                    70 mm / 2.75 inches
Space Between Bars:              52 mm / 2.04 inches

 

Diameter Bars:                        16 mm / 0.629 inches

 


 

Variocage Minimax

 

Side Bars

 

Center to Center:                    45 mm / 1.77 inches

Space Between Bars:              25 mm / 0.98 inches

 

Diameter – Larger Bars:          19 mm / 0.748 inches

Diameter – Smaller Bars          14 mm / 0.551 inches

 

Door Bars

 

Center to Center:                    50 mm / 1.98 inches
Space Between Bars:              35 mm / 1.37 inches

 

Diameter Bars:                        16 mm / 0.629 inches

 


 

VarioGate

 

Center to Center:                    68 mm / 2.67 inches

 

Space Between Bars:              50 mm / 1.98 inches

 


 

Variobarrier / VarioBarrier HR

 

Center to Center:                    60 mm / 2.36 inches

 

Space Between Bars:              45 mm / 1.77 inches

 


 

 

 

What is Safe for Small Dogs & Cats?

For smaller dogs, as well as cats, we recommend the MIM Safe Variocage MiniMax, which has smaller openings between the bars. The MIM Safe Variocage MiniMax will properly accommodate smaller breeds as well as cats while keeping them safe and secure.

The Mini-Max as different spacing between the bars to prevent smaller dogs for poking their nose or head in to the opening between the bars. The gap between bars is 0.98″ for a Mini-Max verses a Variocage which has 1.98″ spacing.

For very small dogs & Cats, we recommend our Crash Tested CARE-2 Seat Box. CARE-2 is available in Two (2) Sizes and it is the ONLY Crash Tested Seat Box in the world crash tested and rated for 1st, 2nd or 3rd Row Seat Placement with Airbags.

What about Multiple Dogs in a Van, Truck, RV, or Boat?

Our Crash Tested MultiCage may serve your needs better, especially for multiple dogs, when installed in a Van, Truck, RV, or Boat.

Please call or e-mail for more information on custom configurations.

You can reach us by calling 845-853-7711 or via E-Mail at admin@4x4northamerica.com.

General Variocage Set Up Guidelines

The proper set up and use of the MIM Safe Variocage is important for the safety of your pets, family and loved ones. Most of these safety guidelines apply to ANY Dog Kennel placed in your cargo area. Please consider our recommendations regardless of which dog kennel you may use to transport your pets.

The crumple zone and escape hatch are just a few of the Variocage features that make this crate so innovative and unique. Variocage is also the ONLY Crash Tested Dog Cage in the world tested for Front, Rear and Rollover Impacts using Government Automotive Safety Standards accepted worldwide.

In addition, Variocage is the only Crash Tested Dog Cage certified using human crash test dummies and designed to work in harmony with the safety features of all modern vehicles.

In order to utilize all of the safety features of the Variocage, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines.

Here are our recommendations:

1) Variocage should always be situated with the front doors of the crate facing the rear door of your vehicle and the emergency hatch placed securely against the 2nd or 3rd row rear seat. This is the correct placement and positioning of the Variocage and will ensure that the Variocage Crumple Zone works effectively as designed and engineered.

2) Never place a Variocage “sideways” Placing a Variocage sideways is not the recommended by the manufacturer since the Variocage Crumple Zone engineering is effectively defeated in this position.

3) Do not put the Variocage on any solid platform. This is very dangerous. A solid platform will act as a battering ram in a rear end impact and transfer energy into the vehicle and seats, effectively defeating your vehicle’s safety engineering. In addition, a solid platform can splinter, break and penetrate seat backs causing potential harm to your dog, as well as human occupants. If necessary, you may raise the Variocage a few inches using foam insulation panels. You can purchase these foam insulation panels from Lowes or Home Depot in various thicknesses to suit the height you need. These foam panels will simply disintegrate in a rear end collision without causing any harm to your dog or human occupants in the vehicle. Please make sure that foam panel is flush with the floor of the vehicle and do not use it as a raised platform for your cage.

4) Variocage must be setup with the rear of the Variocage making contact with the 2nd or 3rd row rear seat. It is OK to place the Variocage Double or Single against Captain’s Chairs that have a gap between the two 2nd row seats, as long as the cage makes contact with the seat backs.

5) Variocage should never be placed behind the driver’s seat or the front side passenger seat. The 2nd and 3rd row rear seats in current production vehicles include a metal plate to protect human occupants from impacts by objects being transported in the cargo area. The Variocage is designed to work with your vehicle’s safety engineering features and will dissipate the energy of the impact across the surface area of the rear seat, while absorbing energy generated during impact with its crumple zone. Variocage has been tested using the SPCT Method, which utilizes a combination of Government Automotive Safety Standards accepted worldwide.

6) Never stack Variocage. A 2nd cage or objects placed on the top of any crate in a cargo space are not secure and may likely become dangerous projectiles in a crash, potentially causing injury or death to passengers or drivers in the vehicle.

7) Never bolt a Variocage down in your vehicle. Doing this will defeat the Variocage unique and lifesaving crumple zone engineering. This crumple zone is designed to work with your vehicle’s safety engineering, protecting both your dog and all human occupants in your vehicle.

8) Make sure your Variocage is mounted level and setup against a 2nd or 3rd row rear seat in your cargo space. Typically, crates can be off level when placed in a space that is too narrow or when placed on seats that do not fold down flat causing the cage to tip upwards in the rear. Make sure when measuring your vehicle for a Variocage that the narrowest point of your trunk space is wider than the width of your crate. If you have an uneven floor surface, you may wish to place a foam panel under your crate as noted in Guideline #3 above. Again, please make sure that foam panel is flush with the floor of the vehicle, and do not use it as a platform.

9) It is recommended that you use a second person to assist you when moving a larger Variocage. It is OK to lift the Variocage by the side rails. This is the easiest way to grip and move a Variocage in and out of your vehicle.

Can the Variocage be used in a Pickup Truck?

Variocage is primarily intended for use in the enclosed area inside a vehicle. Variocage is not designed to be used in a pickup truck without a hard top over the pickup bed. However, if you choose to install a Variocage in a pickup truck with a hard top, then you must place the Variocage in the bed of the pickup with the back of the cage against the rear of the driver / passenger cabin. The Variocage must be in this position in order to assure the crumple zone of the Variocage will work as designed.

Please be sure that the backside of the Variocage is firmly placed against the wall in the pickup bed behind the passenger cab. The Variocage must also be securely strapped down to the bed of the pickup truck. Please note that the purpose of strapping down the Variocage is to keep it from sliding and to keep the Variocage in the best collision safe position as described above.

A mat (rubber or other suitable material) is recommended to protect both the surface of the Variocage as well as the pickup bed. This also serves to prevent the Variocage from sliding.  All cargo must be placed and secured in such a manner that it cannot damage the Variocage in case of emergency braking or collision.

Please note that a Variocage installed in a pickup bed without a hard top is not ideally protected in the event of a serious rollover accident. The use of a Variocage not in full compliance with any of the above installation methods will be at the user’s own risk.

Do I need to use the straps that are provided with the Variocage?

Yes! Please make sure the MIM Safe Variocage is strapped down properly to the anchor points in your vehicle behind the 2nd row seats using the supplied straps shipped with your cage. These straps are integral to the safety design of the Variocage. The straps are engineered to give way in a severe impact allowing the crumple zone protection of the Variocage to work properly.

What type of steel is used to make the Variocage?

The type of steel used is ASTM A366 / ASTM A1008. This malleable and strong steel is used in MIM Crash Tested Products including Variocage, VarioGate, VarioBarrier,

VarioBarrier HR, VarioBarrier Divider and Multicage, CARE-2 uses aircraft grade aluminum which is also malleable and provides protection for small dogs.

The malleable metals we use as well as the gauge of the metal plays a critical role in the survival of your pet in the event of an accident.

The metal used in MIM Safe Crash Tested products is designed to absorb and take energy away from the dog in an accident.

The metal is also designed to wrap around the skeletal structure of the dog to avoid breaking bones or causing internal bleeding, hemorrhaging and hematoma.

There are a variety of dimensions used throughout the MIM Safe Variocage. The tubes are either 14 or 19 mm in diameter with a thickness of 1.0 mm. The flat steel used for the top and bottom sections have a thickness of 0.7 mm.

This is a critical advantage exclusive to MIM Crash Tested Products.

Are there any breeds you do not recommend putting in the MIM Safe Variocage?

MIM Safe Variocage Single, Double and Compact have not been designed for the very, very small breeds. These dogs are so small that the head of the animal may get stuck between the tubes. This can be a potential cause of injury for the very, very small breeds.

For smaller dogs, as well as cats, we recommend the MIM Safe Variocage MiniMax, which has smaller openings between the bars. The MIM Safe Variocage MiniMax  will properly accommodate smaller breeds as well as cats while keeping them safe and secure.

The Mini-Max  as different spacing between the bars to prevent smaller dogs for poking their nose or head in to the opening between the bars. The gap between bars is 0.98″ for a Mini-Max  verses a Variocage which has 1.98″ spacing.

For very small dogs & Cats, we recommend our Crash Tested CARE-2  Seat Box. CARE-2  is available in Two (2) Sizes and it is the ONLY Crash Tested Seat Box in the world crash tested and rated for 1st, 2nd or 3rd Row Seat Placement with Airbags.

Can I use a Double Variocage without the divider to allow more room for a large dog?

Yes. The dog can travel “sideways” in the cage. Owners of larger dogs have purchased Double Cages for big dogs requiring more room. In these cases, they take the divider out. Examples of this would be a large German Shepherd or a Rottweiler.

Please note that we do not recommend traveling with Two (2) Dogs without a divider if they is more than 20% difference in weight. However, with dogs that are within 20% of each others weight you can travel without the divider installed providing they get along. This will offer more room for your dogs while traveling if needed.

Removing the Divider is very helpful in situations where the cargo space of your vehicle is not long enough to accommodate the full depth of a Variocage. In this case, compressing the Variocage to fit and taking out the divider will provide more room for larger dog(s) in a shorter cargo space.

Can I carry two (2) dogs in a double cage and keep them separated from each other?

MIM Safe Variocage Double Models have been tested with Two (2) dog dummies. However, if you have several smaller dogs you can transport them if they are all small enough to fit together comfortably in a larger MIM Safe Variocage.

Please note that we do not recommend traveling with Two (2) Dogs without a divider if they is more than 20% difference in weight. However, with dogs that are within 20% of each others weight you can travel without the divider installed providing they get along. This will offer more room for your dogs while traveling if needed.

This is very helpful in situations where the cargo space of your vehicle is not long enough to accommodate the full depth of a Variocage. In this case, shorting the Variocage to fit and taking out the divider will provide more room for larger dogs in a shorter cargo space.

Transporting Two (2) smaller dogs in a larger cage is better than putting One (1) smaller dog in a larger cage. However, if you put a small breed in a very large cage by itself, and have a crash, the potential for harm is greater. A single dog in a smaller cage is better than a single dog in a larger cage. This is true of any cage especially with smaller dogs.

For smaller dogs, as well as cats, we recommend the MIM Safe Variocage MiniMax, which has smaller openings between the bars. The MIM Safe Variocage MiniMax  will properly accommodate smaller breeds as well as cats while keeping them safe and secure.

The Mini-Max  has different spacing between the bars to prevent smaller dogs for poking their noes or head in to the opening between the bars. The gap between bars is 0.98″ for a Mini-Max  verses a Variocage which has 1.98″ spacing.

For very small dogs & Cats, we recommend our Crash Tested CARE-2  Seat Box. CARE-2  is available in Two (2) Sizes and it is the ONLY Crash Tested Seat Box in the world crash tested and rated for 1st, 2nd or 3rd Row Seat Placement with Airbags.

Why are the outer poles on the front of the crates shorter than the rest?

The reason for the outer tubes being shorter is to prevent the door from getting caught in the rear entryway opening and to allow the MIM Safe Variocage door to open all the way.

For smaller dogs & cats we offer the Crash Tested Variocage Mini-Max. The Mini-Max as different spacing between the bars to prevent smaller dogs for poking their noes or head in to the opening between the bars. The gap between bars is 0.98″ for a Mini-Max verses a Variocage which has 1.98″ spacing.

For very small dogs & Cats, we recommend our Crash Tested CARE-2 Seat Box. CARE-2 is available in Two (2) Sizes and it is the ONLY Crash Tested Seat Box in the world crash tested and rated for 1st, 2nd or 3rd Row Seat Placement with Airbags.

What if I have a Minivan or SUV with 2nd row captain’s chairs?

MIM Safe Variocage can be installed in a Minivan or SUV with the 3rd row seats folded down or removed. The 2nd row captain’s chairs would then act as the rear seat. This should work even if there is a gap between the Two (2) Seats. Please make sure the MIM Safe Variocage is strapped down properly to the anchor points in your vehicle and that you have support from the 2nd row seats for the cage.

Can the cage be installed anywhere else in a vehicle other than behind the rear seat?

For alternate installations of a Variocage you should contact us directly. It is possible but must be explained in detail. Please call or e-mail us for a courteous response. A phone call is best since every situation is unique. You can reach us by calling 845-853-7711 or via E-Mail at admin@4x4northamerica.com.

Also, you may find that our Crash Tested MultiCage may serve your needs better, especially for multiple dogs, when installed in a Van, Truck, RV, or Boat. Please call or e-mail for more information.

MIM Safe Variocage offers the best protection in the event of an impact or rollover when properly installed and secured to the floor behind the rear seat of your vehicle. There are several reasons for this which are outlined here:

In most vehicles, there is a protective plate that covers most of the width and height of the rear seat. This plate is designed to prevent penetration into the rear seating area by the corners of hard or sharp objects being transported in the cargo area thereby helping to protect occupants from serious harm or injury.

The front seats in most vehicles do not have a protective plate. They only have a frame. The frame is designed to withstand impacts but not penetrations by hard or sharp objects. In fact, putting a plate in a front seat might cause damage to rear seat occupants if they were to contact the plate with a body part or their head. The front seat typically allows for some cushioning for human occupants during impact yet still serves to protect front seat occupants from serious harm or injury.

Placing any cage on top of a folded seat that does not fold completely flat into the floor can be hazardous. Any elevated position above the floor increases the risk of penetrating a seat with the base or lower corner of the cage. This position can also apply more force against the upper portion of the front seat, causing it to break. Also, if it is not secured properly to the floor, the cage is more likely to become a projectile in your vehicle placing all human occupants as well as your dog at risk of serious harm or fatal injury.

If you do place a cage behind your front seat, please bear in mind that you are compromising safety when using this location. If you decide to put a cage in this position, please understand you do so at your own risk. MIM Safe Variocage cannot recommend this installation. The cage must be placed up against the rear seat and secured to the floor for the best possible result in the event of a crash.

MIM Safe Variocage has not tested cages for crash protection when placed sideways in a vehicle and properly secured to a floor. Therefore, MIM Safe Variocage cannot recommend this placement since no test data is available for this type of installation.

Placing a any cage on a rear seat is never recommended. The cage cannot be properly secured in this location and it places the cage at an unsafe height in the vehicle. MIM Safe Variocage does not recommend this installation for Variocage but in some cases, depending on fit, a Crash Tested MultiCage may work and can be safe if installed properly.

Why should the Variocage be up against a rear seat-back when installed in a vehicle?

MIM Safe Variocage is designed for installation behind the rear seat for added support in the event of a crash. The back seat and the resistance it provides play a critical role in the crumple zone of the Variocage.

There are also tie-down straps that come with the cage to keep it secured to your vehicle’s tie-down points. These straps are integral to the safety design of the Variocage. The straps are engineered to give way in a severe impact allowing the crumple zone protection of the Variocage to work properly.

The Cargo Hooks in your vehicle are not strong enough to secure ANY cage in the event of a serious accident. This is especially true in a rear end impact. Once the load hooks fail the cage becomes a loose object in your vehicle presenting a serious risk of injury or worse for human occupants in the vehicle.

If the rear seat is folded down or removed, and only the tie-down straps are used to keep the cage in position, it can present a danger to both your dog and human occupants in the event of a severe impact.

MIM Safe Variocage is the ONLY crash tested dog cage in the WORLD tested and certified for front, rear and roll over impacts that protects BOTH human occupants and dogs the way it is actually used and installed in your vehicle. This is true for all Crash Tested Products we offer.

MIM Variocage is the ONLY proven crash tested dog cage in the WORLD that has an established track record of safety since it was introduced 14 years ago.

For alternate installations of a Variocage you should contact us directly. It is possible but must be explained in detail. Please call or e-mail us for a courteous response. A phone call is best since every situation is unique. You can reach us by calling 845-853-7711 or via E-Mail at admin@4x4northamerica.com.

Also, you may find that our Crash Tested MultiCage may serve your needs better, especially for multiple dogs, when installed in a Van, Truck, RV, or Boat. Please call or e-mail for more information.

What is the correct way to install the MIM Safe Variocage in my vehicle?

MIM Safe Variocage is designed for placement behind the rear seat (or a barrier similar to it) with the sidebars traveling in the direction of the car. This placement allows the cage to work with the car’s crumple zones in the event of a crash.

The Variocage is safest mounted level on a flat surface secured to the floor in your vehicle. It is important to use the straps provided with the Variocage to secure it to the tie-down hooks in your vehicle. These straps are integral to the safety design of the Variocage. The straps are engineered to give way in a severe impact allowing the crumple zone protection of the Variocage to work properly.

Proper use of the Variocage relies on the crumple zone protection designed in to your vehicle and the Variocage. For best safety and by design, the Variocage must be facing lengthwise in the vehicle for maximum protection of both your dog and human occupants. Please make sure you measure your vehicle with this placement and positioning of the Variocage in mind.

How do I calculate the inside dimensions for a Variocage I am interested in purchasing?

To get estimated interior dimensions for a Variocage, deduct from the outside dimensions as follows:

Height 0.60 in
Width 1.96 in
Depth 2.36 in

NOTE: Please review the measuring instructions and sizing guides on our website to choose the correct Variocage that is best for your dog and your vehicle.

If you are not sure exactly what size you need, going one (1) size larger than indicated by your measurements is and acceptable and safe alternative.

Please review the following measuring and sizing guides before selecting your Variocage:

How can I choose a Variocage that is the correct size for the safe transport of my dog?

A properly installed Variocage of the correct size offers the best protection available on the market for safe transport of your dog as well as all human occupants in your vehicle.

To assure a proper fit, please use these links to see the measuring guide for Measuring Your Dog and Measuring Your Vehicle.  The detailed instructions will provide you with information on how to properly measure your dog and your vehicle for a Variocage.

When measuring your dog, please remember that the Variocage is a transport cage and it is not a kennel. Transport cages serve a specific application and therefore have specific requirements. A kennel is not designed for the safe transport of your dog.

There should be enough room for your dog to stand-up in the cage with just a few inches of clearance above the shoulder. There should also be just a few inches of clearance from the base of the tail (not the tip of the tail) to end of the cage. These clearances are perfectly normal for the Variocage when used for safe transport of your dog.

Professional handlers typically use the correct size cage based on the measuring instructions found on each product page of our website. Oversized is not necessarily better, especially when it comes to safety.

Typically, your dog will want to lie down in the Variocage once they settle down for the trip. In fact, the design of the Variocage tends to contribute to the dog relaxing and lying down while in motion. This keeps your dog calmer and contributes to their safety as well.

There may be instances when the size of your dog and/or your vehicle may require you to make certain exceptions to the recommendations made above.

Large dogs that exceed the maximum length of the cage may require the use of a Double Variocage versus a Single Variocage, even when traveling alone. The width of a Double Variocage will provide them with the room they require that the length of the cage cannot. Restrictions on the length of the Variocage imposed by your vehicle may also require the use of a Double Variocage to allow enough room for your dog.

Typically, we do not recommend putting a single dog in a larger oversize cage. A larger transport cage is not necessarily as safe for the dog and is not desirable from a safety perspective. However, you can transport several smaller dogs in a larger Variocage as long as they are always traveling together.

What makes the MIM Safe Variocage the safest animal transport cage on the market?

MIM Safe has developed hundreds of crash tested safety products for the automotive industry. All products meet the strict requirements of automotive manufacturers and European regulatory agencies for crash safety. This experience combined with a passion for safety engineering makes MIM Safe a leader in crash tested safety products.

Steel Construction – MIM Safe Variocage is made of ASTM A366/A1008 Steel. There are also a variety of dimensions used throughout the MIM Safe Variocage with Air Space in the tubes to allow the metal to be malleable and compliant. The tubes are either 14 or 19 mm in diameter with a thickness of 1.0 mm. The flat steel used for the top and bottom sections have a thickness of 0.7 mm. This allows for the metal to wrap around the skeletal structure of the dog preventing broken bones, internal bleeding or hemorrhaging.

Most other cages are made of wire mesh, plastic, or aluminum. These materials do not provide the same level of protection, durability, malleable characteristics or strength as the MIM Safe Variocage.

Escape Hatch – MIM Safe Variocage features an emergency escape hatch. This important feature allows you to fold down your rear seats and get your dog out of the cage after a rear end collision. In many cases, especially after a severe impact, the rear hatch or door of a vehicle cannot be opened easily. This critically important feature allows you to get to your dogs, remove them from the vehicle, and if need be, tend to them after a collision.

Crash Tested – MIM Safe Variocage is the only cage on the market that has been tested for both front and rear collisions. Variocage has also been evaluated for a vehicle rollover. *

* Crash testing & evaluation performed by The Technical Research Institute of Sweden.

Crumple Zone Protection – MIM Safe Variocage is the only cage designed to work with your vehicle’s crumple zone protection. The crash testing and crumple zones are critically important. These help protect both dogs and humans in the car. A rigid cage can be dangerous to both your dog and human occupants in the event of a severe impact. Variocage is the ONLY Crash Tested Dog Cage that will not break the 2nd Row Seat in a vehicle thereby saving Human Occupants from serious or lethal injury in a rear end impact.

Adjustable Fit – MIM Safe Variocage is designed to be adjustable. The adjustability is not only crucial for safety (crumple zones), but is also allows flexibility for placement in your vehicle or across multiple vehicles. MIM Safe Variocage will fit your lifestyle and provide you with many years of safe and reliable service.

MIM Safe Variocage provides comfort and proven safety for your dog as well as the human occupants in your vehicle. This is a fact that is overlooked by all other manufacturers of dog transport cages.

Please look over the detailed information below and check out the links below for more information. Also, please feel free to call us and discuss the features, benefits, and advantages of Variocage before you purchase any product designed to protect your loved ones.

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Generally speaking, MIM Safe manufacturers the ONLY genuinely, honestly, realistically and proven crash tested dog safety transport cages, gates and barriers in the world.

We are the only company that tests for BOTH human and dog safety in Front, Rear and Rollover accidents.

We are also the only company that has a proven 14 year track record of safety.

We test our products for using not only published government automotive crash test standards but more importantly, real world crash analytics and data.

All of our engineering, testing, track record of safety and lives saved are all documented and and proven by real world accidents.

In addition, all of our data and a sampling of real world examples are published on our website for all the world to see.

There is a three (3) year warranty on all MIM Safe Variocage Products purchased from our Authorized Dealers.

Regarding the Variocage measurements & sizing for your dog.

Please note that it is most important to first and foremost figure out the correct size for your dogs … and then see if that size fits your vehicle.

If need be, you can go One (1) Size Larger than recommended for your dog.

In some cases, with our Double Variocage Models, you can sometimes go two (2) Sizes larger.

However, we suggest that all measurements be taken using our published measuring guides. Once you have your measurements, please call us  to discuss sizing to assure the dogs are still in a proper size cage for their ultimate safety.

Typically, we recommend measuring your dogs 1st … and your vehicle 2nd … to assure you choose the correct size Variocage for your specific needs.

Here are a few links that may help.

 

Measuring your Dog

https://4x4northamerica.com/measuring-your-dog-for-variocage/

NOTE: We always recommend measuring your dog 1st for a proper fit and safety.

* The bars are spaced in the Variocage according to the breed size that typically fit in a specific Variocage Model.

* For example, our smallest MiniMax  Variocage and CARE-2  are  suitable for small dogs and toy breed dogs. These models can also be used to transport cats safely.

* It is OK to go size a Variocage 1 size larger in almost all cases or maybe even 2 sizes larger in some cases and still provide completely safe transportation for your dogs.

 

Measuring your Vehicle

https://4x4northamerica.com/measuring-your-vehicle-for-variocage/

NOTE: We recommend measuring your vehicle 2nd.

* Please measure at the floor level of your vehicle for A and C Measurements as shown in our Measuring Guide.

* Please note that our Variocage is engineered to fit most vehicles based on Measurements A and C.

* To check clearance for height, please measure the from the top center of your cargo door opening straight down to the cargo floor.

NOTE: We also have solutions for vehicles with a shallow cargo depth or a vehicle that has limitations or does not accommodate the best size Variocage for you application. For example:

* 2 Dogs without a Divider in a Double Variocage or 1 Dog in a Double without the Divider provides more room for the dog(s) if needed.

* For safety reasons, Foam Board Insulation may be recommended for use to raise the cage a few inches … or to support the cage across a floor gap or hollow area.

http://building.dow.com/na/en/products/insulation/rigidfoam.htm

* We NEVER recommend traveling with a Variocage installed improperly.

The 2nd row rear seats should be in the upright position and the Variocage placed against the rear seat.

The Back End of the Variocage should be placed up against the rear seat.

We can explain the Crash Engineering Principles behind our cages and will explain the importance and safety of a proper installation if you call us.

We can also make recommendations if you cannot ravel in the ideal manner we recommend to best keep you, your family and your dogs safe.

 

Variocage Dimensions

https://4x4northamerica.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/mim-variocage-dimensions.pdf

NOTE: Variocage Dimensions Chart provides great detail about the sizing of every Variocage Model.

* Please scroll to the right in this chart to see all dimensions.

* Again, please note that typically, only the floor measurements A and C and the Height Measurement at the center of the opening are all that is required for a proper fit.

 

Maximum Room for Your Dog

It is important to note that due its angular design, Variocage, will provide more room for your dog at the floor level than any rectangular cage design.

Please see the MIM Variocage Dimensions guide for exact outer and inner dimensions.

We often suggest that potential customers lay out the size of the cage on the cargo floor in their vehicle or on the floor of their garage of kitchen using Tan Masking Tape or Blue Painters Tape.

To represent the divider, you can take a very narrow piece of tape that is ¼” wide at most or a piece of thin string and place that down the middle of the Tape Outline from front to back.

Then, if possible, you can corral your dogs inside the tape marks to see if they will fit.

You can always call us to discuss sizing … which is always a good idea since the sizing guarantee only applies to customers who call us.

Our main office number is 845-853-7741 and dial Extension 101.

Also, you can us directly at 845-853-7711.

We will be happy to assist you in choosing the correct Variocage for your dogs and your vehicle to keep you, your family and your pets safe.

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The Truth About Safe Pet Travel
CONSUMER EDUCATION 

To enlighten and inform you, we are providing additional information and several links that you may find helpful prior to purchasing any Dog Travel Cage or Kennel.

The information and web links below provide information that will provide helpful facts related to the science, engineering and crash testing of our product line compared to others.

For a quick overview to start, here are some links to just a few of our product information pages as well as links to educational videos.

4×4 North America, Inc. Video Library

https://4x4northamerica.com/video-archive/

We specifically recommend these two (2) videos:

VARIOCAGE – Life Saving Engineering… Proven Real World Performance

https://player.vimeo.com/video/171395668

VARIOCAGE – The Science of Pet Safety – Standard Dog Cages Fail In Common Crash Scenarios

https://player.vimeo.com/video/171395676

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Proven Performance

Here is a brief overview of presenting the facts about our products and safe pet travel.

Also, we want to make it clear that our issues with “Pet Safety Product Companies and Agencies” has to do with the fact that their crash test methodology is flawed. In other words, their test methods are not practical and most often cannot be reproduced or duplicated by any consumer in any vehicle.

In fact, in many cases, their test methods are strictly theoretical and often seem designed to achieve a specific outcome favorable to their products verses any consideration related to genuine safety and crash testing for real world use and real world applications.

In addition, crash tests standards alone are not enough to assure safety. MIM Safe uses Real World Data collected by On-Staff Certified Automotive Crash Test Engineers over serval decades.

You can research all of this on your own and decide for yourself what this means and why they do this.

For example, if you read the information on this page here…

https://4x4northamerica.com/safety-and-testing/

You will learn that manufacturers and testing agencies consistently make false claims using flawed test methodology that cannot be reproduced in the real world.

At 4×4 North America, we ONLY post the facts about our products.

All of our facts are based on real scientific testing by 3rd parties and outside agencies.

All of our testing is in compliance with with  Government Safety Standards accepted Worldwide.

All of our testing is done in compliance with how are products are actually installed & used by the end user in a real world application.

Our goal is to educate people and let them make their own informed choices about how they choose to travel with their pets.

Here are a few verifiable and documented facts about our products which may help you determine the viability and honesty of the sources of information out there on the web.

* MIM Safe manufactures hundreds Crash Tested products for people, dogs and cats that are meet Government Automotive Safety Standards Worldwide.

* MIM Safe designs all Crash Tested Safety Products based on over 14 years of real world data compiled from field research.

* MIM Safe even manufactures a safety jumping gate for horse trials approved by the FÉDÉRATION EQUESTRE INTERNATIONALE.

* MIM Variocage is the ONLY crash tested dog cage in the WORLD tested and certified for front, rear and roll over impacts that protects BOTH human occupants and dogs.

* MIM Variocage is the ONLY proven crash tested dog cage in the WORLD that has a proven track record of safety since it was introduced 14 years ago.

* The Original AllSafe Harness is the strongest and safest pet seat belt in the WORLD and the ONLY pet safety harness that has a perfect track record of safety going on over 17 years.

* Our partners, MIM & KleinMetall, are the ONLY pet products companies in the world that employs a team of crash safety biomechanics engineers on staff. Their background includes, but is not limited to, work as crash safety engineers for Volvo, Volkswagen and the Swedish Government.

* We are the ONLY Pet products company that promotes truth in advertising and provides ONLY the facts about safe pet travel.

* We are the ONLY pet products company that openly publishes our crash test results including test methodology, specifications and videos on our website for everyone to see.

* You can find product & crash test videos here:

https://4x4northamerica.com/video-archive/

* You can find our Government Crash Test Results & Certification here:

https://4x4northamerica.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/variocage-double-spct-test-report.pdf

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The Truth About Pet Safety

There is a great deal of misinformation, as well as  self-proclaimed crash testing, related to products based upon unproven, self-designed test methodology that is highly suspect.

These self-designed test methods are not only impractical but also impossible to reproduce in any real world application.

In fact, these self-proclaimed test methods put consumers at greater risk by providing a false sense of safety and security for consumers, their pets and their loved ones.

We have examples of failures for both “crash tested” harnesses and cages.

Here are some examples of failures related to cages:

Subaru-CPS Pet Crash Study Fails the Test

https://medium.com/@ismypetsafe/who-will-vet-the-testers-816b5a8f9e45#.3jsc6h5mv

Follow-Up – How CPS and Subaru Failed Pet Parents (and hurt their own reputations)

http://ismypetsafe.com/entry/follow-up-how-cps-and-subaru-failed-pet-parents-and-hurt-their-own-reputations

What makes a Crash Test Good?

http://ismypetsafe.com/entry/what-makes-a-crash-test-good

Finding a Safe Travel Crate: When Benevolence Goes Wrong, Who Can You Trust?

http://ismypetsafe.com/files/travel_crate_report_web.pd

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Additional Information & Contacts

4×4 North America, Inc. has dedicated sales, customer service and technical contacts to assist you with any concerns or questions you may have.

We have assembly videos and provide assembly assistance and technical support to both dealers and consumers.

We handle all warranty service and maintain an inventory of parts on hand for warranty and damage clams.

All warranty service and damage claims are prioritized to assure customers are 100% satisfied.

We value our customers and welcome your comments, suggestions and input anytime.

————-

IMPORTANT ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT CRASH TESTED SAFETY PRODUCTS

——————————————————————

4×4 – Safety & Testing Knowledge Center

https://4x4northamerica.com/safety-and-testing/

——————————————————————

Is My Dog Safe / Article

https://4x4northamerica.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/pet-travel-crates-help.pdf

Is My Dog Safe / Article

https://4x4northamerica.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/travel-crates-pet-safety-theater.pdf

Is My Pet Safe / Article

https://4x4northamerica.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/follow-up-howcps-and-subaru-failed-pet-parents.pdf

Is My Dog Safe / Article

https://4x4northamerica.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/what-makes-a-crash-test-good.pdf

Is My Dog Safe / Article 

https://4x4northamerica.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/travel-crate-follow-up-the-manufacturers.pdf

Is My Dog Safe / Article

https://4x4northamerica.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/mwhfc.pdf

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Safe Pet Travel Overview

https://4x4northamerica.com/safe-pet-travel-overview/

10 Requirements for Safe Pet Travel

https://4x4northamerica.com/10-requirements-safe-pet-travel/

The Truth About Pet Safety

https://4x4northamerica.com/truth-pet-safety/

MIM Variocage Safety & Testing

https://4x4northamerica.com/mim-variocage-safety-and-testing/

The Science Behind MIM Safe Variocage

https://4x4northamerica.com/the-science-behind-mim-safe-variocage/

Pet Safety & Travel Links

https://4x4northamerica.com/pet-safety-and-travel-links/

——————————————————————

Video Library

https://4x4northamerica.com/video-archive/

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