Screen Cage Comparison (18x18x36) – Zoo Med ReptiBreeze Vs Exo Terra Screen Terrarium

Screen Cage Comparison (18x18x36) – Zoo Med ReptiBreeze Vs Exo Terra Screen Terrarium


I own and use both of these cages for my chameleons, and they are a great value. The 36-inch height is perfect for adult females and growing juveniles. The size has a balance of volume and rigidity that I enjoy from frequent moves and cleaning that can begin to wear on a larger more fragile cage like the 48-inch varieties. So, which one should you choose? Below I am going to point out the main differences and my personal choice so that you can better make the decision what suits your needs.

Door Latches

Reptibreeze: The two latches on the Reptibreeze door are made of a black plastic material that rotates and clamps onto a rivet like fixture on the frame wall. These initially felt cheap, and I was concerned that some may eventually break or fall off. That being said, of the 30+ Reptibreeze cages in this size I have, I have yet to have a failure. I did have a couple come from the factory with the rivet part slightly loose, but it still functions and works as intended. These latched also have an advantage where when they are in the vertical or open position, they do not extend much over the edge of cage. This helps when you have the cage setup next to a wall, another cage, or a physical divider that would otherwise prevent to opening of the latch. These latches also stay in the vertical position when rotated up. This allows for easy one-handed opening operation. This is not the case for the Exo Terra latch which I will get into in the next section.

Exo Terra: The two Exo Terra latches are made of a shiny metal material that feels study and seems like a step up in quality and security over the Reptibreece variety. The metal clasp rotates a pointed pin like feature which slides into and slightly beyond the receiving fixture on the door frame. Both parts of the latch are riveted to the door and frame in two locations for a total of 4 securement points which add to the quality and strength of the latch. The latch also visually looks better than the black plastic Reptibreeze variety. The frustration that I have is to open the latch, the clasp needs to be rotated up and beyond the edge of the cage from to release the pin fully. If there is a wall, another cage, a physical divider, or any object against that side of the cage, it will prevent the release of the latch mechanism. This extended rotation is caused by the length of the pin which I mentioned earlier that extend into and slightly beyond the pin receiver. Also, and probably my biggest gripe with these latches, is that it takes both hands to open the door. This is because the latch freely rotates without resistance, so when you rotate the top latch to open it, as soon as you remove your hand, it rotates around to the bottom and the edge of the clasp keeps the door closed. This results in having to have each hand on each clasp and rotate them simultaneously in order to get the door open. This is a huge annoyance for me because if I am opening a cage door, I now have to put down what I have in hand such as feeder cups or cleaning supplies.  

My strong preference when latches are considered is the Reptibreeze due to the annoyance I encounter daily for some of my cages Exo Terra cages that are next to an object that slows me from opening the cage and having to use both hands to open the cage.


Reptibreeze: The Reptibreeze bottom of the cage is open and secured with a removable flat square black PVC sheet that fits snugly on the inside bottom of the cage. The PVC bottom fits almost perfectly inside the bottom and, in my experience, nothing larger than a ¼-inch cricket could escape assuming the cage is on a level surface and put together properly. The smooth flat surface is easy to remove and clean or leave in place and clean.

Exo Terra: The Exo Terra bottom is a textured square black plastic tray with curved up edges and indentations for rigidity. The Exo Terra bottom tray reminds me of a cheap square planter saucer that was pressed into form. The tray is approximately 1.5 inches thick with the rim included. The thickness of plastic material approximately 1/16-inches thick. The corners of the tray do not seat and seal on all 4 corners inside the bottom of the cage which can cause insects to escape or get trapped between the cage and the tray around the perimeter. If the cage is not fully on a flat surface, these insects that squeeze by the corners can fully escape the cage via the open bottom. Another issue I have observed is some insects like crickets cannot crawl up the edge of the rim of the tray. This a problem for my chameleons that like to target crickets off the sides of the screen when crickets normally try to climb to a high point. Instead, the crickets are stuck on the bottom which can sometimes have a reptile dropping, which is not where you want your feeders hanging out. The bottom tray is also watertight which is why I compared it to a planter saucer earlier. This may be an advantage for some people that want to prevent runoff beyond the cage, but for me I end up with dirty puddles of water when I water my plants too much or over spray.  

A clear winner for me is the Reptibreeze flat black PVC bottom.

Build Quality

Both cages are built well for what amounts to coated window screens screwed together with a hinged door on one side. The build quality is so similar in fact, that I wonder if they are constructed in the same facility and branded differently. The Exo Terra cages take a slight lead in this aspect due to the quality touches with the metal latched and the embossed chrome Exo Terra logo on the bottom of the door frame. I also encountered the two Reptibreeze cages with loose rivets on the latches which makes me deduct points for lack of quality control.

Exo Terra slight winner in build quality.

Corrosion Resistance

Both cages have been surprisingly corrosion resistant. I keep my cages outside for 5-6 months out of the year and these cages have withstood the elements very well. Going on three outdoor seasons with these cages and still showing little to no corrosion resistance. Aluminum is naturally corrosion resistant, so the weak points could be the latches or screws. I may have seen some corrosion spots in some of these areas, but overall, I am pleased with their performance equally.

Tied for corrosion resistance.


Both cages assemble the same and take the same amount of time. No difference in my opinion.


Both cages can be found for $85-$100 online when in stock. Availability has been hit or miss with both products over the past two years. Any price over the $85-100 range is price gouging by the retailer and I would suggest waiting or shopping around if you can.

Tied when price is considered.

General Differences

The Exo Terra cage is approximately ½-inch shorter than the Reptibreeze cage. Not a big deal unless you have them next to each other, and visually it can be an eye sore. Not a good vs bad aspect, but something that buyers should be aware of.

Overall and Conclusion

For my needs, the Reptibreeze is my preferred 36x18x18 cage on the market today. The Reptibreeze flat PVC bottom is superior for bug containment and cleaning. The annoyance of the Exo Terra latches being blocked by objects when opening and needing both hands to open and close is something I can do without.







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