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I bought one of these for my girl rats to use as I thought it would provide extra entertainment in the cage - some where to play and possibly even sleep.
The tunnel is made from a purple (haven't seen it in any other colours) nylon type material and has a metal hoop in each end to keep the entrances open. When pulled open and put into the cage it stays up of it's own accord which is a good start. The material does make a rustling noise to the touch, which is an intended feature to give extra dimension to your pets play.
When I first put this in the cage my rats did go through it a couple of times but it wasn't long before they flattened it (easily done by a rat standing on it) then dragged it into their wooden house - they seemed more keen on using it as bedding rather than a tunnel.
The tunnel is quite narrow so it wouldn't be suitable for larger rats - it's fine for my girls but would be too small for my boys. It would also be suitable for hamsters, gerbils and mice. I believe they make a much larger version of these for guinea pigs and rabbits too.
Most of us small pet owners will be aware that rodents like to chew things alot. My rats have made numerous holes in the tunnel through chewing it and this started within a couple of days which has resulted in it looking very tatty. I also found that with prolonged use it kept collapsing and didn't really stand up of it's own accord - I'd regularly pull it open, put it back in the cage only for the ends to start folding inwards and the middle going flat. I think this could be vastly improved with another metal ring in the middle or prehaps a flexible metal bar down the length of the tunnel.
The only packaging is a small bit of cardboard which goes through the tube and is used to hang the tunnel up in shops, the packaging is of course recyclable.
Overall I would just about recommend it - my rats enjoy it but it doesn't really fulfill the purpose its intended for and it gets trashed pretty quickly. This is the only 'soft' tunnel that I have found on the market so there aren't really any viable alternatives if this is the sort of thing you are looking for.