There’s nothing like getting a good night’s sleep to feel energized and refreshed. But when you travel, sometimes you don’t have the luxury of your own bed.
So if you’re planning a trip and want to bring your favorite sleeping bag, you’ll need to know some rules and if it’s allowed on the plane.
A sleeping bag will probably be the largest item you are taking on your trip, and it is also one of the most important.
That is why you will need to know how to neatly prepare your sleeping bags for airlines, and what you can expect at the airport, especially at the TSA checkpoint or With other airport security .
Keep reading to know everything about taking a sleeping bag on a plane, and how to pack your sleeping bag in a suitcase and a backpack.
Let’s dive right in.
The TSA Security Rules
The TSA (Transportation Security Administration) regulates what you can and can’t take on both carry-on and checked luggage.
And they do not have any issues with taking sleeping bags through the security checkpoint.
Here is what they have to say on their website.
You may notice the little warning in the screenshot that says “The final decision rests with the TSA officer on whether an item is allowed through the checkpoint”.
If the TSA officer feels that there is something wrong with a certain item he / she can not allow it on the plane, even if the website says that it is allowed.
but don’t worry, this only occurs in few cases when a security officer is not familiar with an item or see it as a threat for the safety of the passengers and the aircraft.
But for a sleeping bag you can pack any size in your carry-on or checked luggage. You just need to make sure that they are within the airline size limits.
Keep in mind that if you show up to the gate with a large backpack or suitcase, your bag will be gate checked and mostly some additional fees will be applied.
Here are some of the AskTSA customer service responses on Twitter.
Gavin said that he is flying for a camping trip and he want to take his tent, sleeping bag and a hatchet for chopping firewood.
The TSA replied that tents and sleeping bags are good to go in both carry-on and checked luggage, while Hatchets, tent stakes & poles must be packed in checked bags.
Can I Bring a Sleeping Bag As a Personal Item?
Yes, as long as it is within the weight and size of your airline and fits under the seat in front of you, most airlines do not have a problem about the kind of the bag you take.
Most airlines define a personal item as a small backpack, a laptop bag, a duffle bag, a purse, a briefcase, or a tote bag; and as a general rule if it fits under the seat in front of you perfectly it will be considered a personal item.
Take Sleeping Bags In Checked Luggage
Because some of the sleeping bags will be way too big to be carried in carry-on luggage, taking sleeping bags in checked luggage is the best idea.
Joe asked the TSA if he can bring his sleeping pad attached to a backpack in checked luggage.
And the TSA replied that sleeping pads/ bags are allowed in checked luggage without any problem, and packing sleeping bags outside or attached to a backpack is okay but it should be the responsibility of the passenger to pack it perfectly.
Taking sleeping bags in checked luggage is allowed on most airlines, and it will be counted as a piece of checked luggage.
Sometimes it is at risk to be lost or stolen, just make sure that you will pack and protect your sleeping bag, whenever you place it, attached with a backpack, inside a suitcase or a duffel bag.
How Do You Transport a Sleeping Bag?
We all know the drill when it comes to packing large items for a trip. but with just a few tips you can make it easy.
Here are some tips on how to pack your sleeping bag for both a backpack or a suitcase.
How To Pack a Sleeping Bag With a Backpack?
The air inside the sleeping bag is helpful and cozy when you are sleeping but not when you are packing, it will really keep your bag oversized and it will consume too much space in your backpack.
Most of the experts claim that there is no single way to pack a sleeping bag, but flattening the sleeping bags is better than rolling it if you are not using a compression sack, that will help remove all the air inside before placing it inside its stuff sack and then the backpack.
Make sure to always use a good and durable backpack and to place lighter items first in the bottom of your backpack, and heavy items in the top. Heavy items will put more weight on your back, and it will make you unbalanced and even make your back hurt, in addition you will only need your sleeping bag at the end of the day.Tip
If you want to attach it with your backpack but it does not have straps, you can use separated straps or bungee cords to tighten them.
There are many ways to do that, check out the video below.
Julian in this Video demonstrates ways to attach a sleeping pad with a backpack, almost the same way as attaching a sleeping bag.
How Do You Put a Sleeping Bag In Your Suitcase?
Some airlines will count your sleeping bag as a piece of checked luggage, and if they do charge for it, it is better to place it inside your suitcase or any other bag.
Sometimes it is not recommended to place a large sleeping bag in a small suitcase because it will take too much space for your essential items.
But if your airline charge for checked luggage and you have space in your suitcase, just go for it.
Most sleeping bags come with a stuff sack or a bag that will fit in easily in the bottom of your suitcase, otherwise if you do not have a stuff sack you can just use straps and tighten the bag.
How Do You Pack a Sleeping Bag Without a Stuff Sack?
The best sleeping bags come with a compression sack that will help you reduce your bag size.
Once you roll the sleeping bag and place it in the sack you can easily tighten the straps, that will squeeze the sleeping bag and make it smaller in size.
Otherwise if you do not have a stuff sack or a compression bag here is how to pack a sleeping bag for your next trip.
- Roll or fold the sleeping bag and tighten it with straps or elastic ropes, i recommend straps as they are more flexible and easy to control, you can use two or more straps.
- make sure that you empty the bag from air, try to empty the maximum.
- place it in the bottom of your backpack or suitcase or you can also attach it to the backpack if it is rolled and it will just work fine.
Traveling with large items can be a hassle, but there is no reason the TSA or any other airport security will not allow to take a sleeping bag, the only thing you need to consider is your airline size and weight limits.
If you take a large sleeping bag, it is better to make sure that it is well packed and compressed.
We hope that now you know everything about flying with sleeping bags.
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