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umbrella in carry on?

Happy New Year Everyone!

Has anyone ever carried on an umbrella that was longer than carry on dimensions and had it denied as a carry on when boarding? I am doing the Camino Frances in Spain in July (would not have been my preferred month but that's when I could go) and I want to take a trekking umbrella to help with the heat of the sun. It is much more lightweight than a typical umbrella (and supposedly sturdier) but it is 25 inches. There are no sharp metal pieces like you would see on a golf umbrella.

Both TSA and many of the airlines say an umbrella is allowed as a carry on but they don't specificy if there is a size maximum. And the airline has not responded to my inquiry. I know that, ultimately, it is up to the gate agent but I would like to see what experiences others have had.

And has anyone get checked something awkward like an umbrella?

Posted by
10527 posts

May be easier to just buy one there.

Or get a collapsible one that will fit in your carry on. That is the only type I have ever traveled with.

Posted by
4374 posts

Joe is spot on. Buy one there or take a collapsible one that will fit in your carry on.

Posted by
3134 posts

Kristen, I, too, have a specialized umbrella, but haven't taken it to Europe...yet. Have you thought of having someone make a quilted cover for it, like a long, narrow bag, and checking it? If you have a specialized bag like this, if they won't let you carryon you are ready to check it with protection. OR another less convenient solution...Would it fit in one of the round, long mailing containers; i.e., for posters, etc.? Personally, I'd check it as I believe it is too long to be allowed "in carryon" as TSA qualifies it.

Would you please come back and let me/us know what you decide and how it worked out?

Posted by
503 posts

I can't remember when, but I have seen someone carryon ski poles and put them in the overhead bin.

Posted by
417 posts

I'm guessing your trekking umbrella might be the size of a golf umbrella. TSA says umbrellas are allowed but please check with airline for size and weight restrictions. I could see you getting hassled about a golf size umbrella. May boil down to which TSA or gate agent you get.

Posted by
6107 posts

Buy a cheap one there, and leave it. Umbrella salesmen pop up like mushrooms as soon as rain starts falling. If there's no rain, any department store or even odds-and-ends store will have them.

Posted by
792 posts

I understand everyone's recommendation to just buy an umbrella there- normally this is would be my go to, if I even bothered to use an umbrella (I prefer a raincoat with a hood). But this is a much different trip. I will be trekking with all of my luggage on my back in the heat. I am trying to keep my backpack weight under 10 pounds without water. Every ounce matters and this umbrella only weighs 8 ounces. And I don't know for sure if it will rain but I do know for sure it will be sunny and hot and I want an umbrella that will do the trick and not break after using it twice. This umbrella has consistently excellent reviews with how it holds up in wind and how sturdy it is.

Wray: I think I will probably end up checking it in a cylinder type mailing tube like you suggested. I think I will put it diagonally in my backpack and test it in a sizer (the day of) before making the final decision, with a bag on hand if I am asked to gate check. I actually carried it on an AA flight yesterday from Tampa back home to Chicago and it wasn't an issue. I put it in my personal size bag. It was sticking out by several inches but tucked into my armpit, no one noticed. But for this upcoming flight, I am changing plans in Paris to a regional European airline so I don't feel like I can rely on trying to hide it. And I am concerned about extra fees if I need to gate check.

Maria: I am looking at a Euroschirm umbrella although I keep seeing the same umbrella under different brand names but I haven't seen any collapsible umbrellas that are classified as trekking. Do you have recommendations of a brand?

Thanks!

Posted by
4429 posts

I haven't used it and don't know where to buy it, but it is the first Google hit and the same brand
http://www.euroschirm.com/trekking.php
I would try to get the parts for the hands free set up. Hiking and carrying an umbrella hours a day is going to be painful.

Posted by
792 posts

Oooh, I didn't see those smaller models on my search. I will research. I plan on making the umbrella "hands free". I have seen some youtube videos about rigging it to the backpack. I agree it would get very old to carry an umbrella for 5 hours.

Posted by
32110 posts

Kristen,

Depending on how much spare room I have, I often pack a compact travel umbrella in my carry-on, and have never been questioned about it. The model I use is similar to this - https://store.ricksteves.com/shop/p/travel-umbrella . I've bought umbrellas from street vendors in the past, but I've found that the quality leaves a lot to be desired and they don't last long.

Posted by
14152 posts

Would a wide brimmed, well ventilate hat work instead of an umbrella?

You might want to conisider one of these as well. They will help a little in the heat:

Cooling Neck Wrap

Posted by
2349 posts

Instead of a mailing tube, would it fit in one of those cases for those collapsible lawn chairs?

Posted by
1206 posts

Even if trying to get a collapsible umbrella though security we've found it quicker if we unpack the umbrella from our hand luggage so the security guys can have a good feel of it out of any case/container, including its own. We fell foul of this once and had to retrieve the umbrella from our luggage to be checked - we were told when we queried their interest (it was a new one to us and we both travel with collapsible umbrellas on some trips) that apparently some people, whether with malicious intent or not, have tried to get knives through security in the folds of an umbrella. So having the umbrella out in plain sight for them to check can speed the mail so to speak.

Posted by
3972 posts

If the umbrella fits in your carryon and doesn't have a pointy tip, you're good to go. I have a portable one that is made for when the wind is gusty. You can never find those from vendors on the streets which is why I always travel with it.

Posted by
40 posts

Kristen, would it be possible to mail/ship your umbrella ahead of time to your first overnight accommodation?

Posted by
792 posts

Ken, Thank you for the recommendation! I didn't realize those umbrellas were so light. That might work.

Frank, I have very thick hair so I tend to overheat pretty easily in hats. But I really like the looks of that cooling wrap!!

Karen, That is a great idea! Then it would be easy for me to store in bag if I need to do an unexpected gate check.

Ian and Julie, That's a good point to be up front with the umbrella from the get go.

Continental, There is definitely nothing sharp. Since it's a backpack, it sort of fits if I angle it. But it will probably depend on the sizer, and how the other things are sitting in the pack and potentially, the mood of the gate agent at the time.

Alison, I have thought about that. Costs range from 22 to 60 (with a more accurate delivery time) on a quick perusal just now. It would depend on the willingness of the hotel to receive the package. I can ask them. I can see of my companion wants to join forces because I think she wants to bring trekking poles. That might make it more cost effective.

Thank you for the input and ideas everyone!

Posted by
3972 posts

Continental, There is definitely nothing sharp. Since it's a backpack,
it sort of fits if I angle it. But it will probably depend on the
sizer, and how the other things are sitting in the pack and
potentially, the mood of the gate agent at the time.

Kristen, it makes no difference how you pack your backpack (vertical, horizontal, diagonal, upside down!). As long as the dimensions of the packed backpack are not exceeded in any dimension, you'll have no problem with the sizer.

Posted by
792 posts

It's a math thing. The umbrella is 25 inches. The only way I can put it in my backpack and close it is if I lay the umbrella diagonally along the length of the backpack. But I can't really tell if that reduces the "packing" length enough that it would fit into a sizer without the end sticking out a bit in that portion of the backpack especially once I pack other things. Being able to close the bag doesn't always mean it would fit in the sizer and you never know when someone will ask.

Posted by
8293 posts

Well. Such a dilemma. Maybe you could just check your bag? Or is that absolutely out of the question? And if so, why?

Posted by
792 posts

I don't want to check the bag because if the bag gets lost, I will have a difficult time getting it back since I am starting the Camino the next day and will be staying a different place every night along the way. I also wear a US size 16/18 and clothes are not an easy find in Europe for me. So it is not easy for me to replace a travel wardrobe along with some specialty hiking things on short notice.

My initial question was simply "what's the deal with carrying on a bigger umbrella? No one has gives specific guidelines". Not many were able to offer firsthand experiences (and there is always the gate agent/security variable) but I am appreciative of the advice/experiences people did share.

But to your point, I am considering checking the umbrella only since that is the cheapest/most hassle free. But it would be a bummer to have to buy a different umbrella. And this one was a Christmas gift.

Posted by
31564 posts

That's such a considerate Christmas gift. Using it could be so special....

Posted by
2679 posts

Let's start with fact one. The TSA will let you bring anything on as long as it can go through the screener and they don't decide it's a weapon

So your real question is will the airline allow it? I mainly fly Delta and I am 99% sure you would have no problems on Delta. I have actually never seen anyone measure an umbrella on any airline so I am pretty sure this is not an issue

Posted by
3972 posts

I mainly fly Delta and I am 99% sure you would have no problems on
Delta. I have actually never seen anyone measure an umbrella on any
airline so I am pretty sure this is not an issue

Carol is right about Delta; I mainly fly them too. I always fly with my portable umbrella packed in my carryon and it is perfectly allowable.