I'm very excited to be going on my first REI adventure in July, I'm not really sure what I should carry on the plane and what I should check...my plan was to have the backpack already packed and check it, any advice would be appreciated?
Hi @Kat1 - THe TSA site will provide specifics about what you can and can't take in the cabin with you, what needs, to be checked, and what can't come at all (no fuel canisters, etc.)
However, I would strongly recommend getting an inexpensive duffel bag and putting your packed backpack in there.
If you use your pack as luggage and it gets damaged, the airlines will treat it as normal wear and tear and they won't do anything to help you out. To them, a broken buckle on the hip belt is wear and tear but to you, it renders the pack unusable. If you pack it inside a duffel bag, then it becomes "content" and the airline will replace/fix it if anything goes wrong.
> THe TSA site will provide specifics about what you can and can't take in the cabin with you, what needs, to be checked, and what can't come at all (no fuel canisters, etc.)
If you're travelling out of country it's also important to check what their air security agency allows/disallows. Otherwise you risk losing an item on the way back even though it was allowed on the way over there. You may want to contact REI Adventures to see if they can provide links to relevant non-US sites.
One restricted item that people often miss is a pair of hiking poles. Even if they collapse to fit inside a carry-on bag they're still not allowed and can still get confiscated.
Hi @Kat1 . Osprey makes a product called the Airporter, which is designed for just this purpose. You put your backpack inside when checking to protect it and its straps from damage. It's lightweight and packs down into a small pouch so you can store it away inside your pack upon arrival. It has a shoulder sling to use when carrying through the airport, etc. They are very generously sized, to the point of being oversized, so you can probably get one size smaller than you think you may need, so check that out carefully. I have one for me, and ne for my daughter, and they've worked out great.
You can check them out here .
That's awesome, @Rob6 - thanks for sharing that. The obvious downside to the cheap duffel is what to do with it after you get to your destination. Sure you can just pack it with you but that would add a pound or so.
@Dad_Aint_Hip when we travel overseas we usually stay at a budget hotel near the airport or at the destination city the first day we arrive and the last day before departure. This gives us a lot more flexibility when booking flights and ground transport. It also lets us get ready for our hiking and get cleaned up afterwards. Sometimes we stay a few days longer if we want to sight-see after our hiking. In any case we often leave excess clothing and gear at the hotel.
We've also looked at storing a bag at the airport or train station but they usually charge several dollars a day. We've never been charged by a hotel and they've never lost our bag.
Well you could always just get an "expensive" 3.2oz one and just carry it with you...
although you can also find cheap (~$15) packable duffels that only weight about 8oz.
I used a nylon laundry bag tied with cord to get a backpack to Europe and back although I could not tell you how much it weighed.
If you have a pack that has a hard plastic belt core like my old Baltoro 70 then you probably will want to pack your sleeping bag or similar in the belt to make it a bit crush resistant. I would tie the bag to the backpack in case the duffel rips.