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flying w/ backpack

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flying w/ backpack

Postby goofball » Thu Jun 17, 2010 4:16 am

maybe this is a weird question...

were going to be flying soon and i wonder if it will be a problem to pack in my backpack (3500 ci, but won't be that full) and take it as carry on ? the external pockets and straps and cinches won't be problem will they ?
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Re: flying w/ backpack

Postby mrchad9 » Thu Jun 17, 2010 4:25 am

The airline's website will list the size limit for carry on. You can usually get away with a little bigger, not sure about 3500. Depends on the airline and if international or domestic. International they usually check a little closer (actually, I'm not sure if that is international flights, or foreign airlines).

The external stuff isn't issue if you carry on.
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Postby brokesomeribs » Thu Jun 17, 2010 6:51 am

I've been able to get my 60L Osprey full of gear on the plane more than once. Conversely, I just came back from 3 weeks abroad and I took my Cilogear 45L - on the way out, I took it carry on without a second glance, but on the way back to the states, they made me check it.

The moral of the story: it's really crap shoot. It depends entirely on the security/gate officials.

One very valuable suggestion: Go and buy the largest nylon stuff sack you can find. Large enough that your entire backpack, fully loaded, can fit inside. This way, if they force you to unexpectedly check your backpack, you can quickly pull out the sack from inside your bag and "sheath" the entire backpack. This way, the stuffsack will prevent buckles and straps from being ripped off by lazy baggage handlers and conveyor belts. Nothing ruins a trip like getting to your destination and finding yourself without a waist belt.
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Postby Charles » Thu Jun 17, 2010 11:07 am

International or inland? Might make a difference.
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Postby bird » Thu Jun 17, 2010 11:28 am

I've never had a problem with my 50 liter. Taken it all over the country and South Am.
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Postby sneakyracer » Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:01 pm

I have taken my 40-45L pack absolutely stuffed inside the cabin no problem. Everything was inside the pack, nothing was attached outside.
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Postby John Duffield » Thu Jun 17, 2010 2:08 pm

brokesomeribs wrote:you can quickly pull out the sack from inside your bag and "sheath" the entire backpack. This way, the stuffsack will prevent buckles and straps from being ripped off by lazy baggage handlers and conveyor belts. Nothing ruins a trip like getting to your destination and finding yourself without a waist belt.


+ 1

I bought one to fit when I bought my Osprey (80 or 90). Really can't imagine traveling without it now. Saves so many little transfer problems. Stuff falling out of side pockets. Carefully adjusted belts getting moved. Dangling things. Even gives you an extra bag in a pinch. Dump some stuff in it at a hotel you'll hit on the way out. Baggage handlers move a lot of stuff really fast and need to locate a center of gravity in milliseconds. A backpack can be confusing.
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Postby MRoyer4 » Thu Jun 17, 2010 3:20 pm

The biggest concern is the attendants at the check-in counter. If you can get past them (use web check-in if you have no other bags, keep the pack on your back and make sure it's not sticking way above your head, or set it down below the counter where they don't get a good look at it), security isn't going to do anything. So, the worst that could happen is they make you plane-side check it at the gate, which isn't that bad as it will be waiting for you as soon as you get off the plane. I've rarely had a problem with large carry-ons (packs or regular bags), and I exceed the size limit for almost every trip I take.
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Postby brenta » Thu Jun 17, 2010 4:48 pm

Some airports are worse than others in regard to carry-on luggage. London Heathrow is by far the strictest in my experience. I've had my carry-on luggage measured for size and weight multiple times and not only at the check-in counter. US airports used to be lenient, but things are changing now that airlines are intent on making a lot more money from baggage fees.

I'm not sure what happens if they check in your baggage at the gate and you already have reached your allowance. They probably don't, but I wouldn't be terribly surprised if they charged you a fee. Speaking of which, the mistake to be avoided the most is showing up at the airport with individual bags to be checked in that exceed the weight limit. The penalties are quite stiff and bags are systematically weighted. United charges $100 for each overweight bag. They will usually invite you to redistribute weight if you can. It is less expensive to check in another piece of luggage than to have an overweight bag.
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Postby John Duffield » Thu Jun 17, 2010 6:06 pm

brokesomeribs wrote:

The moral of the story: it's really crap shoot. It depends entirely on the security/gate officials.



+ 1

Fact is, anything involving air travel is a moving target. I heard yesterday American Airlines will charge extra so people can run ahead onto the plane and grab all the overhead. So later arrivals will find nothing. Have to carry it back off the plane and check it. Seen that happen.

In a related thought, has anyone noticed how much tighter overhead is on a flight to any of the Spanish-speaking countries to the South? Take a climbing trip to the Andes and you'd best arrive in a wheelchair. Board with the children.

It's an ongoing problem that gear-intensive sports fliers will face more and more. Security concerns necessitate checking certain things, weight issues necessitate carrying on more etc.
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Postby peladoboton » Thu Jun 17, 2010 6:15 pm

lots of guys going to alaska this year had their stuff shipped to the bush pilot service they flew with just to avoid the mess....
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Postby goofball » Thu Jun 17, 2010 8:35 pm

thanks bunches for all the advice/info everyone ! we are flying w/in the united states. it sounds like i should have no problem, but i'll take a big "stuff sack" maybe just in case i have to check it. and were off !
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Postby jrc » Thu Jun 17, 2010 8:44 pm

An alternative to the "big stuff sack" is a big heavy plastic bag they can supply you at the check counter.
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Postby tigerlilly » Fri Jun 18, 2010 12:13 am

Some of the airlines no longer provide the plastic bag. We saved ours and reused them.

We've had packs as carry on. Security was a disaster. They pulled everything out and we almost missed our flight. BUT they found the culprit, German foil wrapped creamed potatoes, that my husband wanted to eat for his outback breakfast. !! You know how dangerous potatoes can be on a flight.
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