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Camping chairs are known for their portability. You can pack and carry these chairs on your back wherever you go. But what about taking it on a plane?

Can you take camping chairs on a plane without causing any discomfort to yourself or other passengers? Will the TSA or the airlines allow it? Well, here’s the truth:

There’s no problem taking a camping chair on the plane as long as you adhere to airline baggage guidelines. TSA doesn’t object to camping chairs in your luggage, as per their own statement. Depending upon its size, you can take your foldable camping chair in the carry-on or checked baggage.

You’ll need to pack your camping chair the right way if you want to fly with it. Apart from that, it’s also a good practice to call and ask your airline directly whether you can bring a camping chair on board.

If you don’t want to do that, read ahead to learn about the general luggage rules for most airlines. I’ll also share some tips you can follow while taking your camping chair on a plane.

How to Take Camping Chairs on a Plane?

Taking a camping chair on a plane is not something complex. In fact, almost all camping chairs are easily portable. This makes flying with it a swift task.

You can take the chair as carry-on luggage, or you may check it in too. How you take it is your decision, but it also depends on the size of your chair. Further sections will explore the options of flying with your camping chair, viz., as a carry-on and checked-in luggage.

But, before dealing with your airlines, you’ll need to deal with the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) checkpoint. If you’re confused about whether they’ll allow it, read on to find out more.

Will TSA Allow a Camping Chair to Pass Through?

TSA is responsible for the safety & security of the transportation system in the US. They’ll be the first to check your luggage and won’t allow you to carry any prohibited items.

Thankfully, camping chairs are not prohibited by the TSA, and they’ll pass through their checkpoint without any issues. The TSA website doesn’t specify anything on this, but many users have asked the same question on Twitter. This was their reply:

Although this was in 2021, the rule still holds true.

So, as you can see, there isn’t any problem with bringing any type of foldable chair on the plane. The only problem is when your chair has too many sharp edges, which can harm other passengers or baggage handlers.

TSA allowing a camping chair to pass through doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll fly with it. The next hurdle is the size and weight of your camping chair, which should fall within the permissible range of the airline’s limit.

Carrying Your Camping Chair in Carry-on Luggage

You can take a camping chair as carry-on luggage if the airline allows it. Most airlines only allow one carry-on bag (to keep in the cabin) and one personal item (to place under the front seat).

So, if you want to take your camping chair, you’ll need to fold it, pack it and keep it inside your backpack. This is only possible if you have a small chair. A bigger chair won’t fit inside a backpack.

You must also ensure your carry-on is under the allowed weight and dimension measures. If it exceeds the limit, you may be charged extra, or worse, you won’t be allowed to take it.

As a general rule, the dimensions of the carry-on bag should not be more than 22 inches long, 14 inches wide, and 9 inches high (22x14x9). There aren’t any weight restrictions for carry-on luggage, but try keeping it under 30 lbs (13.6 kgs).

Another option is to take your camping chair as a personal item. Almost all airlines allow you to carry a personal item with a carry-on bag that you can place under the seat.

The dimensions of the personal item vary according to the airlines you travel in. This table shows the allowed dimensions for the personal item for a few major airlines.

AirlinePersonal Item Dimensions (L x W x H) (inches)
United Airlines17 x 10 x 9
Southwest Airlines16.25 x 13.5 x 8
American Airlines8 x 14 x 18
Jetblue Airways17 x 13 x 8
Spirit Airlines18 x 14 x 8
Allegiant Air18 x 14 x 8
Frontier18 x 14 x 8

Using this table, you can match the size of your camping chair with the airline you’re traveling with. Don’t hesitate to do so if your chair can fit as a personal item.

Carrying Your Camping Chair in the Checked Luggage

This is the most comfortable & viable option if you don’t want to carry your camping chair as a carry-on. You also have an advantage here in terms of size.

Packing your camping chair in the checked luggage is easier. If you have a large camping chair, this is the best option. Checked baggage has higher permissible dimension limits.

There aren’t any fixed dimensions for the check-in baggage. The standard measure of your check-in bag (length + width + height) shouldn’t measure more than 62 inches.

If you’re traveling in the economy class, the weight of an individual bag shouldn’t cross 50 lbs (23 kgs). While in business class, it can go up to 70 lbs (32 kgs).

However, weight is not an issue while flying with a camping chair as they tend to be lightweight. You only need to ensure that its dimension adheres to airline baggage rules.

Most camping chairs would fit inside a duffel or trolley bag, which you can check-in. Make sure that your bag’s total dimension is under 62 inches. If not, you’ll have to pay extra charges to your airline for carrying it.

A few premium airlines also allow 2 pieces of checked baggage for free. So, you can keep your camping chair in one and other stuff in the second one. You can check with your airline for more information about this.

If your camping chair is oversized or you have more than 2 bags, there’s no need to worry. It’s not that you’ll have to leave them at the airport. You can travel with them wherever you’re going by paying an extra charge ($40-$150, depending on your airline and travel route).

Some Tips to Follow When Flying With a Camping Chair

Now that you know how to fly with your camping chair, you can stop worrying about it. However, there are still some things you should remember while doing so.

Here are a few pointers you should keep in mind while traveling with your camping chair on a plane. These tips make your journey effortless while keeping you and your chair safe.

  1. Pack your camping chair efficiently. Use bubble wrap, foam sheets, and cardboard paper to wrap the chair, so it stays safe & protected.
  2. If you’re packing multiple camping chairs, try getting a dedicated travel bag to avoid storage issues.
  3. Make sure your camping chair doesn’t have any sharp edges. Otherwise, TSA may not allow it to pass through. Sharp objects can be a threat to other passengers or baggage handlers.
  4. Pack your camping chair in a way that it’s easily reachable. You may need to pull it out at the security checkpoint if asked to. Keeping the chair within your reach will save you a lot of time in such cases.
  5. Don’t panic if your camping chair or the bag you put it in exceeds the allowed baggage dimensions. You can still carry them by paying some extra baggage fee.
  6. It’s always best to call and talk to your airline if you’re unsure. Suppose the size of your bags exceeds the permissible limit by a few inches. In that case, your airline may not charge you any fee if you inform them beforehand.

What if You Don’t Want to Fly With Your Camping Chair?

There are many instances where traveling with your camping chair won’t be an option. Here are a few scenarios I can think of:

Whatever the case, you’ve all the right to decide whether to take your chair or not. But what are the options if you can’t fly with your camping chair?

One option is to mail your camping chair beforehand. This ensures it remains safe from damage, and you won’t need to bear the discomfort of carrying it around. Several mail services provide premium shipping options and ultra-fast delivery.

You can mail it to the hotel you’re staying in or to someone in the area you know already. If you’re camping on private ground, you can also ask their management to receive the chair and other camping gear on your behalf.

If none of these options are available, you can ask the mailing provider to hold it till you arrive at your destination. You can then collect your camping chair from their office personally.

Another option is to rent camping chairs at your destination. Nowadays, there are a lot of shops that allow you to rent camping gear, including camping chairs.

This is an excellent option for those who prefer comfort more than anything. You won’t have to carry it all the time or worry about mailing it to someone you don’t know.

That said, remember that both of the above options can cost you a hefty sum. Traveling with your camping chair is always the most affordable option. But if you’re willing to spend extra bucks in exchange for some comfort, you can choose either option as you see fit.

Conclusion

Traveling with a camping chair is not a problem if you follow the airline’s luggage guidelines. Depending upon size, you can take your camping chair in your carry-on or checked luggage.

As far as TSA is concerned, they won’t stop you from carrying a camping chair in your luggage. Several users have asked them this question on Twitter, and they have confirmed that camping chairs are allowed through a TSA checkpoint.

If you’re flying with your camping chair, make sure to pack it up in the right way to avoid any damage. You can then take it as carry-on luggage if it’s small in size. If it’s bigger, carrying it inside the checked baggage is the next & best option.

Even if you exceed the permissible limit, you’ll only have to pay a small fee. If you are traveling with multiple camping chairs, get a separate travel bag for them, as most airlines allow up to 2 checked luggage per person.

Apart from flying with your camping chair, you can also mail it to your destination before leaving. If all these options are inconvenient, you can always choose to rent a camping chair as a last resort.

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