Folding Kayaks Forum

Concern about folders as Checked Baggage?
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Author:  mrjomo [ Sat Dec 02, 2017 1:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Concern about folders as Checked Baggage?

Hi all.
This is my first time taking folding kayaks on vacation. We will be flying within the US and will be checking our kayaks as baggage. Ours are both Pakboats, a Puffin Swift and a an XT-15. I am prepared to cope with size and weight restrictions and the costs of violating them. My real concern is that the aluminum frame components are rugged enough to be "baggage handled". Should I trust the factory suppled duffle (or similar) to keep the contents safe? Or should I assume that I MUST put these bits in a hard-ish sided case? Does anyone have horror stories to share? Or have y'all done this lots and lots with no issues?
Your thoughts, please?
John Morrison
Auburn, ME USA

Author:  gbellware [ Sat Dec 02, 2017 5:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Concern about folders as Checked Baggage?


Can't speak to Pakboats specifically, but I have travelled a dozen times or so with Feathercraft Kahuna and Klepper A1. Never a problem, although I always take precautions. I wrap both ends of the long pieces/tubes with a towel and wrap that in Gorilla tape. I cinch everything together with extra web belts on the outside of the bag to keep everything from moving inside the bag. And I expect that the travel bag will arrive badly scuffed and sometimes frayed, and I get what I expect! But I have never had any damage to the boats. Hope your travels are safe!


Author:  mje [ Sat Dec 02, 2017 7:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Concern about folders as Checked Baggage?

We’ve had some horror stories in the past about TSA unpacking frames and destroying them in the repacking. It’s a good idea to firmly bundle your frame pieces together in case TSA wants to take them out of the bag.

Author:  kayakspearo [ Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Concern about folders as Checked Baggage?

I have done it a lot without problem. Some advices :
- Keep your bags under the 50 lbs limit and pay for an extra bag if you have to instead of an overweight bag. The heavier your bags, the more risky it is for the frame.
- If you have small plastic frame parts like hatch opening, take them in your carry-on luggage.
- Keep in mind that your bags will probably get opened and repacked by TSA. Make it easy for them to repack.
- If asked, don't say the word KAYAK. It can cost you lots of $$$. I know firsthand. Surfski is a much better term if you really have to tell what's Inside the bags. Most attendants don't know what a surfski is.

Author:  mrjomo [ Thu Dec 21, 2017 7:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Concern about folders as Checked Baggage?

Thank you, folks, for your input. Your experiences and suggestions are about as I imagined, feared and hoped. All in all, not a cakewalk but not bad.
Off like a herd of turtles...

Author:  Alv [ Fri Dec 22, 2017 12:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Concern about folders as Checked Baggage?

I often fly with Pakboats, both canoes and kayaks - mostly on international flights to (and in) Germany and Norway. My flights have never had damage to the boats, but we have had damage to the bag. If you travel with a Swift and an XT, you may want to get a larger bag for the Swift and move enough XT parts into the Swift bag to bring the weight up to 50 pounds. That may save you some money, and the XT will become less vulnerable to damage from rough handling.

Author:  scotjack [ Fri Dec 22, 2017 11:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Concern about folders as Checked Baggage?

During the past year, on two separate flights, I have taken two Folbots from the US to Montenegro - a Greenland II and an Aluet - on Turkish Airlines, and they did not charge me a dime! They are very generous in their attitude to sports equipment. Both times it was in addition to my two 50 lb bags. (Most airlines only allow one 50 lb bag these days.) To protect the aluminium tubes, I wrapped and strapped them in two cheap ($6) foam sleeping mats from Walmart. The mats will be useful as beach mats.
On both flights, everything arrived safely.

Author:  KerryOnKayaks [ Fri Dec 29, 2017 2:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Concern about folders as Checked Baggage?

How did your traveling with the XT and Puffin turn out?

Author:  mrjomo [ Sun Feb 18, 2018 4:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Concern about folders as Checked Baggage?

Specifically to KOK but to all,
We are just now on our maiden voyage with the 2 Pakboats craft. The trip down to Florida was uneventful, both for us and for our luggage. I thank everyone for their input. We found a large LLBean rolling duffle that meets airline criteria and then a HUGE Cabella's rolling suitcase that barely makes it. I was able to put the side trusses of the XT in the bottom of the suitcase stuffed with skivvies, socks,etc. I filled the top half of the suitcase with my regular luggage. The rest of the XT, along with kit, fit comfortably into the Bean duffle. Each of my pieces weighed about 40 ish pounds. My wife put the smaller boat entirely in the Bean duffle and used the big Cabella's case for her stuff. We flew Southwest, who allows two checked bags each. Yum.
I had no adventures with TSA folks, that I know of. I packed a copy of the assembly instructions with each parcel so that the folks could figure out what they were dealing with. So far so good. I hope it's as painless going home again. In the meantime, I have found it wonderful to be able to paddle without thoughts of rentals, guides, Piecesd o' Crap, car topping and all the rest.
Hot Dog! Life IS Good!
Thanks again, everyone.
John Morrison

Author:  KerryOnKayaks [ Thu Feb 22, 2018 5:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Concern about folders as Checked Baggage?

Great to hear that it is going so well! I hope you will post some photos of your adventures. I just create albums (for free) on Yahoo's Flickr photo site and then post a link to them.

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