Folding Kayaks Forum

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 1:29 pm 
recent arrival

Joined: Mon Mar 06, 2017 6:58 pm
Posts: 4
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

PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 5:06 pm 
lord high faltbotmeister

Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 8:05 am
Posts: 804
Location: atlanta, georgia

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!


"There is nothing--absolutely nothing--half so much worth doing as simply messing around in boats"

1990's A1 Expedition
2010 Klepper Quattro
Balogh sail rig, 24 + 36 HP
Torqeedo outboard
1938 Sachs-Fichtel seitenbordmotor

PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 7:09 pm 
Site Admin

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 12:34 pm
Posts: 1694
Location: Southeast Michigan
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.

Michael Edelman Webmaster

PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:16 pm 

Joined: Wed May 17, 2017 6:17 am
Posts: 5
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.

Feathercraft Java and K2
Homemade sectional hardshell

PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 7:26 pm 
recent arrival

Joined: Mon Mar 06, 2017 6:58 pm
Posts: 4
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...

PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 12:42 pm 
forum fanatic

Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2015 2:10 pm
Posts: 54
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.

PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 11:05 pm 
forum fan

Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2017 8:21 pm
Posts: 21
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.

PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 2:43 pm 
knight of the folding kayak realm
User avatar

Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 10:46 am
Posts: 465
Location: inland Pennsylvania, USA
How did your traveling with the XT and Puffin turn out?

Feathercraft Wisper
Pakboat Quest 135
Pakboat Puffin 12
Pakboat Swift 14
Greenland SOF
P & H Easky 15LV
Feathercraft Kahuna
Feathercraft K-1 Expedition
Pakboat XT-15

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