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Hiking Backpack as a checked baggage (dimensions)

London, United...
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Hiking Backpack as a checked baggage (dimensions)

Just bought a great backpack for a round the world trip, it's a Osprey Kestrel 68L (ospreypacks.com/en/product/mens/kestrel_68…), with the following dimensions 30" x 15" x 14" = 59" total (77cm x 39cm x 36cm = 152cm total). However, there are straps and buckles everywhere, I mean, it's a proper hiking-trekking backpack.

The dimensions are close to the maximum allowed check baggage restrictions for most airlines:

- weigh 50 pounds (23 kg) or less

- not exceed 62 inches (157 cm) when you total length + width + height

Do they count the straps or only the backpack's core body? I am quite scared as I never checked any piece of luggage before and I don't want to face an extra fee for that little.

UK
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1. Re: Hiking Backpack as a checked baggage (dimensions)

What do you mean "do they count the straps?"

Are you envisaging they will pull them out to make the bag longer or wider? If so, of course not, that would be no different to having a pull along case and pulling out the extending handle and saying "oh look its too long now".

What I'd advise you to do though is to put it in a thin rucksack bag (it may come with one) every time you check it in, so that any protruding straps dont get caught in some bit of conveyor belt machinery somewhere in the innards of the airport and gum the works up (and rip the bag apart)

Houston, Texas
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2. Re: Hiking Backpack as a checked baggage (dimensions)

They count the external dimensions. That will include handles, straps (how much space does a strap take?, wheels, cages... anything. It is external dimensions, not internal.

You can usually wrap belts around a pack to maintain a smaller dimension.

London, United...
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3. Re: Hiking Backpack as a checked baggage (dimensions)

It's hiking rucksack so there's a hip belt, well-padded, and I am worried that they count the protruding straps and buckles.

Check the picture below to see what I mean:

http://oribags.com/img/p/126-598-thickbox.jpg

Shall I wrap it with cellophane?

Winnipeg, Canada
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4. Re: Hiking Backpack as a checked baggage (dimensions)

hi, i don't know how many flights you are doing in your big trip, but i have a similar back pack i used in a trip around Thailand and for my flights there and back i used the plastic wrap service machine available at the airport for 6$. it wraps the whole schbang in layer of plastic wrap. for my internal flights within thailand i just tied up the loose straps with each other and made sure the chest and hip buckles was snapped together before sending it off on the luggage belt. it came out good as new. probably didn't really need the plastic wrap.

Jo

Nannup, Australia
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5. Re: Hiking Backpack as a checked baggage (dimensions)

My daughter checks a large back pack when she travels - no problems over several years.

Bangkok
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6. Re: Hiking Backpack as a checked baggage (dimensions)

Hi,

Most all airlines will use and do use the largest dimensions or the measurements at it's largest point at each of the sides measured, and that does include all straps, belts, clasps, etc.. Anything that's on the bag is considered a part of the bag.

That said, I'd don't know too many airlines who 'tape measure' bags at check-in (more common on cabin bags plane-side) but may use a template affixed to the baggage scale to 'eyeball' it.. and if suspected over, then will do a more detailed look.. but in the end, if it's over, it's over.. so as a base-line rule, I'd try to be on the right side of their maximums.

This is like a soft-side roller/trolley bag; while the *frame* may measure X-by-Y-by-Z, if you pack it such that the bag "bulges" out, they'll measure over that point as that would be the bags largest point.

I like the wrap idea as it; 1) helps keep it clean *and* (to me the more important benefit) helps prevent anything 'loose' on the bag like straps, etc, from getting caught in airports conveyer belts, and 2) will, to a degree, help minimize the bags overall dimensions to as small as possible.

I've also seen (from outdoor recreation stores like the US' REI) light-weight, rip-proof, water-resistant bags explicitly designed to store back-pack type bags while traveling.

Travel Safe,

Edited: 10:05 pm, January 08, 2013
Florida - Alaska...
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7. Re: Hiking Backpack as a checked baggage (dimensions)

I travel frequently with a roller duffel that is 65 inches total (same dimensions as your pack, just longer) and they never bat an eye at it's size, just its weight.

But as other have mentioned, wrapping or using a lightweight duffel to cover the backpack is a good idea. Nothing worse than claiming your bag only to find out the shoulder strap was ripped out of the pack and you have a four mile walk to your hotel.

London, United...
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8. Re: Hiking Backpack as a checked baggage (dimensions)

I heard many backpackers reproting these stories of a strap or buckle ripped out because of a conveyor belt, even for that I would love to protect it while on transit.

Departing from LHR, I think the wrap or clear plastic bag will do, but from smaller airports I will maybe think of a duffel bag since they might not have anything for their passengers.

Bingley, United...
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9. Re: Hiking Backpack as a checked baggage (dimensions)

Large rubble or garden waste plastic bag and a roll of gaffer tape. You can even use them afterwards to keep the contents of your pack dry.

Edited: 5:41 am, January 09, 2013
Sunnyvale...
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10. Re: Hiking Backpack as a checked baggage (dimensions)

"I've also seen (from outdoor recreation stores like the US' REI) light-weight, rip-proof, water-resistant bags explicitly designed to store back-pack type bags while traveling."

That's what I use. Of course, it's been ripped and now no longer water-resistant but it ensures that the straps and other things don't go loose. When the TSA opens things up, they're not going to bother packing it back the way you had it, or tie-up all the loose straps. They'll probably heap it all into one of those 6$ plastic wrap jobs for you though. I haven't seen anybody getting charged for TSA's use of plastic wrap though.

If you had all of those straps cinched up, the TSA will simply take a lot longer to go through the backpack, thereby ensuring that it will miss your connection.

Backpack cooking items and fuels are another story...

Edited: 4:36 pm, January 09, 2013