Buyer's Guide: Stay + Play vs. PIF300 Wireless Fences

A wireless pet fence is easy to setup, easy to use and will keeps pets safe
The PetSafe Wireless Containment System has long been the standard bearer for wireless dog fences, but now there's a new kid on the block that's aiming for the title of top dog (fence).

The Stay + Play Wireless Fence is also made by PetSafe, so build quality, attention to detail and level of features is of an equally high standard, but is there a clear winner between the two?

We put both systems through their paces and evaluated the strengths and weaknesses of each to bring you the definitive buyer's guide between PetSafe's PIF300 and Stay + Play systems.

PetSafe's Usual High Standards

The PIF300 wireless fence is one of the best-selling pet containment systems available
The Stay + Play and the PIF300 Wireless Containment System both operate in the same way; generating an invisible circular containment field from a central wireless transmitter. Each system provides 5 adjustable levels of static correction, as well as offering a tone-only mode.

Both can contain an multiple pets by purchasing additional collars (the collars are waterproof) and each system is compatible with both PIF300 and Stay + Play collars, so if you're switching from one system to the other you can reuse any existing collars. The systems' compatibility also means you can add one system to the other to expand the containment zone and you don't necessarily have to pair like-for-like. Both systems can be set up and fully functional in one to two hours.


Where the Two Systems Differ

  • Pet Size. PetSafe recommend that the PIF300 is not suitable for dogs under 8 pounds, whereas the Stay + Play can be used with dogs as small as 5 pounds. However the Stay + Play's collar will only fit a neck size up to 23 inches, whereas the PIF300's collar will fit a dog's neck up to 28 inches.
  • Range. The PIF300 can generate a containment field 180 feet in diameter, giving about half an acre of coverage. The Stay + Play's range is larger, offering a 210 foot diameter containment zone which is about three quarters of an acre in total.
  • Time Out. Should a pet breach the containment boundary both systems send out a continuous correction with an automatic time out built in. The PIF300's correction lasts 30 seconds, the Stay + Play's lasts 15 seconds.
  • Batteries. The PIF300's collar only uses PetSafe RFA-67 batteries, whereas the Stay + Play's collar contains a quick-charge rechargeable battery.
  • Price. The Stay + Play is more expensive, around 30% more (at the time of writing) at pet specialist PetStreetMall.com but both still represent excellent value for money.

It's all in the box - everything you need to contain your pets with the Stay + Play
And the Winner Is...?
This is a tough one... Both systems perform well and have the same features. We felt the difference in range was unimportant for anyone living in an urban environment because both provide more than enough coverage for a typical property. Maybe for someone in a rural area with more land the larger range of the Stay + Play might be beneficial, but it's only a small advantage. Similarly we felt the difference in the time out duration made little difference.

What did make a difference was the Stay + Play's rechargeable battery. This was not only convenient but will represent a considerable saving over the years. However, the savings are offset by the system's higher retail price...

That the PIF300 can't be used with dogs between 5 and 8 pounds would obviously be a deciding factor if a pet fell into that size range.

Okay decision time... The reality is that both PetSafe systems are great wireless fences and excellent value for money. We were extremely happy with each, but if we had to choose we'd go for the Stay + Play because of its rechargeable battery which we liked for being more eco-friendly and offering long-term savings.

By John Bone
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