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Can an expandable 3 foot tripod be carried in my hand luggage on a flight?


Posted by
658 posts

That's going to depend an awful lot on which airline and which airports are involved.

A quick five minute call to the airline should clear it all up. At the end of the day they are the final arbiters regarding what is and what is not carry-on.

Posted by
77 posts

I can fold it into my carry bag. I was more curious about getting it out of Houston and dealing with the TSA.

Posted by
9363 posts

Same anwer, Emily -- call your airline and ask. And check the TSA website for their rules --

Posted by
12172 posts

I've heard many stories of people not being able to take their tripods. Check with TSA or equivalent before you pack it.

Posted by
5678 posts

I've always checked mine. Tripods generally have pointed ends on them. Sometimes they are covered up by rubber tips, but those pop off quite easily. Also, they are made strong materials that can elongate to over 3 feet. Is it really surprising that they want this checked? I think I'd be uneasy if they weren't being checked! Pam

Posted by
5 posts

Flying between San Francisco & London in March 2008, I carried my Manfrotto 718B tripod in my hand luggage, with no hassles from TSA or British Airways.

Although it's only 19½ inches when collapsed down.

You can call TSA & the airline, but I would have a plan 'B' to either check it or leave it with a friend at the airport.

TSA is notorious for arbitrarily turning people down on the day of the flight and it doesn't matter who you talked to ahead of time.

Posted by
32268 posts


I packed my Tripod in checked Luggage on a trip to Hawaii earlier this year, just to avoid any hassles.

I did check the rules and from what I've been able to determine, Tripods manufactured of metal are not permitted in aircraft cabins, while those manufactured of carbon fibre often are permitted.

I suspect that security personnel may not be able to tell the difference between the various Tripod models, so they may just ban all of them from carry-on. As the others suggested, contact the airline or TSA for clarification.

Good luck!

Posted by
368 posts

Well, the TSA's web page on permitted and prohibited website mentions nothing about tripods and actually says all camera equipment is OK. As well, you can bring an umbrella on the flight as long as it is inspected.

Personally, I see no reason why they should not allow you to carry on a tripod considering all the other items that they list as permissible (sharp scissors under 4 inches, cork screws, etc.).

This TSA page specifically says you can bring on one bag of camera equipment as well:

I guess for your peace of mind, I would call the TSA ahead of time.

As well, the airline itself could have specific rules about carry on as well, so make sure the tripod will fit in their requirements.

Posted by
6788 posts

You can't take a tripod?! Since when? I've never heard of such a thing.

I've traveled many, many times (yes, post-9/11) with a compact, collapsable tripod in my carry on. Collapsed, it's about 13" long. I really cannot imagine any security agent having any worry about it (and I think many security staff are idiots who make up random crazy stuff on a whim -- even them).

Really, I would not worry about this at all.

Posted by
852 posts

Suggest you type into the search box at above, right the single word - tripod.