A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it

Advertisement

Luggage Transfer Correos

Must Check My Ruck for Flight

2020 Camino Guides

Flig

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Ingles (2020)
A bit of a rant.

Measured my ruck/backpack and it is about an inch too long to take onboard as a carry on. I really like my Osprey Kestrel men’s 48, which I bought with the internet of using it on the Camino Primitivo. I’ve had it for about a year and it is the best backpack I have used. Admittedly my other packs were all old military issue (ALICE), so the bar for “best pack ever” was probably pretty low.

After one thing, and then another I’ll be doing the English route rather than the Primitivo and have much less time to complete the pilgrimage. The shorter time frame is why I don’t feel like I can risk checking my ruck for the flight, with connections, rather than as carry on.

I know in the grand scheme of things this is minor; I have plenty of time to find a solution and it is not a show stopper. Just a bit annoyed at the situation which I should have avoided in the first place. The worst part is having to explain to my wife why I “need” ANOTHER pack when i just bought this new one that I keep going about how great it is.

end rant
 

davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
If you haven't already, make sure that nothing is in the lid/brain, and that it is laying flat on top of the main bag. If you are allowed to carry on a small computer type bag, as well a the luggage carryon, put some stuff from the pack into the small bag if you need to.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
An inch doesn't seem like much so I looked up your model/size online. Not packing it quite as full and cinching down the top should take care of the problem, but I assume you have already tried that.
 

Flig

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Ingles (2020)
Thanks davebugg & Camino Chrissy, but the internal frame is the problem. Even empty it’s just a wee bit to long. I could probably get away with it as carry on 8 out of 10 times. I just don’t want to take that chance without a bit of flex in the start date for the Camino.

really just venting.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
The backpack that I used was definitely 2" over the max length for carry-on, and there was no way that I could squish it down, because the rigid frame sheet was that long. I was never challenged about it being too large to carry on.
 

Rainey

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
de Madrid May 2018
del Salvador May 2018
If you have a hotel booked that you are using coming and going they will may store your luggage. I put my pack and poles in a suitcase and then wore (carried in a carryon) my essential clothing and boots and then checked my bag (hoping it would arrive). It arrived no problem. But if not I could buy a few things in Spain to ensure I could still walk. I also stored my 'after the camino' clothes in the suitcase which were so great to have waiting for me when I returned to that hotel! Hope that helps as an alternative idea
 
Camino(s) past & future
Spring 2016: Camino Frances, Finisterre and Muxia
April 2019: Frances, Salvador, Primitivo
I flew from the US to Madrid last spring with my old Z Pack Arc Blast -- that I've carried on flights several times. Since my ticket was 'basic economy', they asked me to put my pack in a different container to measure -- it was all cinched down and I always carry a light pack. The frame was the problem, like yours, it was just a wee bit over the line. But a gate agent was strolling by and the desk person asked if it would be ok for me to carry it on. He said yes.

But I'm not sure what I'll do next trip -- probably make sure I don't have really tight connections.
 

Rainey

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
de Madrid May 2018
del Salvador May 2018
I did not mention I flew Canada to Madrid and my pack has a frame and that is what prevents it from squeezing down when you pull the ties tight. I tried to fit it into the sizing tool at the airport but the frame prevented it from fitting so it would not pass the size test. So this was my backup plan of putting it in a suitcase with my regular clothes, plus I could take my poles this way as well and not buy ones over there.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
A bit of a rant.

Measured my ruck/backpack and it is about an inch too long to take onboard as a carry on. I really like my Osprey Kestrel men’s 48, which I bought with the internet of using it on the Camino Primitivo. I’ve had it for about a year and it is the best backpack I have used. Admittedly my other packs were all old military issue (ALICE), so the bar for “best pack ever” was probably pretty low.

After one thing, and then another I’ll be doing the English route rather than the Primitivo and have much less time to complete the pilgrimage. The shorter time frame is why I don’t feel like I can risk checking my ruck for the flight, with connections, rather than as carry on.

I know in the grand scheme of things this is minor; I have plenty of time to find a solution and it is not a show stopper. Just a bit annoyed at the situation which I should have avoided in the first place. The worst part is having to explain to my wife why I “need” ANOTHER pack when i just bought this new one that I keep going about how great it is.

end rant
My standard technique is to obtain a brightly colored nylon laundry bag, in a dollar store if I can, My 48-liter Osprey Kestrel used to fit with room to spare.

I would attach a luggage tag to the pull cord using a nylon zip tie so it could not easily fall off. Then I knitted the cord appropriately so it could be untied, but with a some effort and thought. Just wanted it to not come open on its own.

I actually twisted the throat of the laundry bag and wrapped the extra pull cord around it, tying clove hitches to keep the cord secure... having been a Boy Scout, and a sailor, sometimes pays dividends...

TIP: The address on the luggage tag should be where you intend to spend your first night or two in Europe, before you start walking. This way, if your bag is waylaid, they deliver it to where you will be, NOT your home.

So, and by way of example, if I am walking the Camino Frances from St. Jean Pied de Port, I will have made hotel reservations, as is my practice. The luggage tag will read FIRST NAME, LAST NAME, c/o Hotel X... St. Jean Pied de Port... Hotel Phone Number. This way, the bag will show up later that day, or the next day.

When securing the bag opening, I leave a cord loop for the airline person to securely attach the baggage tag. This technique has never failed me in six Caminos, including with connecting flights.

Use as bright a color laundry bag as you possibly find. Mine is neon Wasabi green...think electric lime. This makes YOUR bag easier to spot coming off the baggage carousel, and makes it less likely that a thief will grab an innocuous looking black bag and leave.

After arrival, you can use the laundry bag as a rucksack liner, or mail it ahead to your destination with any other surplus-to-needs items or souvenirs you acquire along the way, or which you ask yourself early on ...why the HELL did I bring (x). . If it is too valuable or sentimental to donate at an albergue, send it ahead. Spanish postal rates are very reasonable.

Ivar (forum operator) accepts parcels sent to him. See Casa Ivar above.

Hope this helps.
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
2 Camino Frances, next: April 2020 Primitivo
I would buy a smaller backbag for carry on, because I've seen quite many bags are taken to check in even though they fit by their size. It's because people have so much carry on bags these days, they can't all fit in. So, if you definetely absolutely want to have your backbag with you, I think it would be wise to have a smaller one. Maybe the old one 😉👍
 

Rainey

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
de Madrid May 2018
del Salvador May 2018
Great idea, I too had thought of this but used the suitcase as a way to take extra clothes and bring back any treasures on my travels.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I flew from the US to Madrid last spring with my old Z Pack Arc Blast -- that I've carried on flights several times. Since my ticket was 'basic economy', they asked me to put my pack in a different container to measure -- it was all cinched down and I always carry a light pack. The frame was the problem, like yours, it was just a wee bit over the line. But a gate agent was strolling by and the desk person asked if it would be ok for me to carry it on. He said yes.

But I'm not sure what I'll do next trip -- probably make sure I don't have really tight connections.
Yes, I've noticed more and more that gate agents are watching like hawks to look at our carry-ons and backpacks...it's a ploy I believe to make sure we pay to send them below, even if at the last minute. So far, so good for me, but wonder how much longer I will be lucky even thoigh I do abide by their dimensions.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Or maybe it's to ensure that there is enough room in the overhead bins for those who have brought the proper size carry on?
I agree, but all I can say is I have definately noticed they have increased their awareness to check far more than in the past. I think it comes from all of the imposed baggage fees that get tacked on to the cheaper, no frills air fares and they want tp make sure customers are paying.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
A bit of a rant.

Measured my ruck/backpack and it is about an inch too long to take onboard as a carry on. I really like my Osprey Kestrel men’s 48, which I bought with the internet of using it on the Camino Primitivo. I’ve had it for about a year and it is the best backpack I have used. Admittedly my other packs were all old military issue (ALICE), so the bar for “best pack ever” was probably pretty low.

After one thing, and then another I’ll be doing the English route rather than the Primitivo and have much less time to complete the pilgrimage. The shorter time frame is why I don’t feel like I can risk checking my ruck for the flight, with connections, rather than as carry on.

I know in the grand scheme of things this is minor; I have plenty of time to find a solution and it is not a show stopper. Just a bit annoyed at the situation which I should have avoided in the first place. The worst part is having to explain to my wife why I “need” ANOTHER pack when i just bought this new one that I keep going about how great it is.

end rant
I was in the same situation for my 2018 Camino Portugues. I booked a very cheap flight to Portugal but it came with no checked baggage allotment, carry on only. I measured the backpack I had used on my 2016 Camino Frances, which had served me well, and it was about an inch too long. It was the internal frame that was the problem so there was no getting by it. I then measured the backpack my son had used in 2016 and it was okay (a bit shorter and squatter). So I took that one and was reminded of our Camino together every day when I put it on.
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
..it's a ploy I believe to make sure we pay to send them below,
No. They often beg people at the boarding gate (at the last minute) to let their bags go below with checked bags, at no charge! (That is even for correctly-sized bags.)

Because of the charges, many people now try to carry ridiculous amounts into the cabins. The overhead bins usually fill up, leaving people wandering up and down the aisles with rolling suitcases, looking for a spot. This delays boarding.Thus, the need for more enforcement earlier in the process.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
No. They often beg people at the boarding gate (at the last minute) to let their bags go below with checked bags, at no charge! (That is even for correctly-sized bags.)

Because of the charges, many people now try to carry ridiculous amounts into the cabins. The overhead bins usually fill up, leaving people wandering up and down the aisles with rolling suitcases, looking for a spot. This delays boarding.Thus, the need for more enforcement earlier in the process.
That also makes sense. I believe it is probably both.
 
Last edited:

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
I would buy a smaller backbag for carry on, because I've seen quite many bags are taken to check in even though they fit by their size. It's because people have so much carry on bags these days, they can't all fit in. So, if you definetely absolutely want to have your backbag with you, I think it would be wise to have a smaller one. Maybe the old one 😉👍
Have a look at the ultralight, very compressible when not used Sling Bag” from Sea to Summit. It holds 16 liters, has a zip closing and works great as a carry on bag, pillow when stuffed with clothes, laundry bag, shopping bag and compresses to the size of a lemon.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
My Osprey and most others I have seen has an adjustable frame. I separated the Velcro holding the frame and compressed it so that it was within the carry on limits
Many Ospreys have a rigid trampoline back, mine included. I have a 36L women specific Sirrus and have never had a problem bringing it in the aircraft cabin. I have started leaving the top section free of items until I fill it with some snacks after I land.
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(10,11,17), Vasco(12), Salvador(13), CP(13), CN(14), Madrid (16), Mozarabe (18), VdlP(19)
A bit of a rant.

Measured my ruck/backpack and it is about an inch too long to take onboard as a carry on. I really like my Osprey Kestrel men’s 48, which I bought with the internet of using it on the Camino Primitivo. I’ve had it for about a year and it is the best backpack I have used. Admittedly my other packs were all old military issue (ALICE), so the bar for “best pack ever” was probably pretty low.

After one thing, and then another I’ll be doing the English route rather than the Primitivo and have much less time to complete the pilgrimage. The shorter time frame is why I don’t feel like I can risk checking my ruck for the flight, with connections, rather than as carry on.

I know in the grand scheme of things this is minor; I have plenty of time to find a solution and it is not a show stopper. Just a bit annoyed at the situation which I should have avoided in the first place. The worst part is having to explain to my wife why I “need” ANOTHER pack when i just bought this new one that I keep going about how great it is.

end rant
Flig:

I used the same pack for years and it is a great pack. Never had a problem getting it on the airplane or in overhead storage. I now have a stratos 36 or 38 simply because it weighs a half pound less.

Ultreya,
Joe
 

Moorwalker

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
The Saint's Way, Cornwall
I flew from the US to Madrid last spring with my old Z Pack Arc Blast -- that I've carried on flights several times. Since my ticket was 'basic economy', they asked me to put my pack in a different container to measure -- it was all cinched down and I always carry a light pack. The frame was the problem, like yours, it was just a wee bit over the line. But a gate agent was strolling by and the desk person asked if it would be ok for me to carry it on. He said yes.

But I'm not sure what I'll do next trip -- probably make sure I don't have really tight connections.
A bit of a tangent, how do you like the Z-packs pack? I'm looking ta them, not least because they do a very short back length which I need.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
@C clearly's suggestion of trying to put the pack in at an angle works better in theory than in practice because the pack will be full and that will limit the angles you can try.

The following may work though. Stores that sell large appliances may have large sheets of corrugated cardboard that are left over from unpacked display models. Use this to create a box that will fit the box that the airline uses to test the size of the carry-on luggage. Try to fit the empty pack into the box. If it fits then pack your gear around the pack and put a lid on the box that will allow security easy access. At your destination throw the box away and stuff your gear into the pack. On the way back home the pack can go into the hold (use @t2andreo's method). If misplaced by the airline on the return flight at least your camino isn't ruined.

This won't help the OP at all but on my recent camino I didn't want to buy a new pack that would qualify as a carry-on. I already had a large-ish day pack that would meet the requirements if nothing were put into the lid pouch but at 25 liters or so it was too small. I took a bum bag that I had for hand luggage and while walking that was strapped onto the pack underneath the lid. That gave me a small pack that I could use for shopping if I needed it.
 

alaskadiver

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017-Camino Primitivo
April 2019-Camino de Invierno
A bit of a rant.

Measured my ruck/backpack and it is about an inch too long to take onboard as a carry on. I really like my Osprey Kestrel men’s 48, which I bought with the internet of using it on the Camino Primitivo. I’ve had it for about a year and it is the best backpack I have used. Admittedly my other packs were all old military issue (ALICE), so the bar for “best pack ever” was probably pretty low.

After one thing, and then another I’ll be doing the English route rather than the Primitivo and have much less time to complete the pilgrimage. The shorter time frame is why I don’t feel like I can risk checking my ruck for the flight, with connections, rather than as carry on.

I know in the grand scheme of things this is minor; I have plenty of time to find a solution and it is not a show stopper. Just a bit annoyed at the situation which I should have avoided in the first place. The worst part is having to explain to my wife why I “need” ANOTHER pack when i just bought this new one that I keep going about how great it is.

end rant
What airline are you flying that this is a problem? We always carry on my husband's Kestrel 48 and my Kyte 46 without any problem. They both fit comfortably in the overhead of any major carrier. They never even take a second look (of course they aren't packed to max).
I'm guessing your concern is because you are flying a budget airline?
 

Flig

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Ingles (2020)
It looks like I’ll be flying Iberia/BA, all the budget airlines cost about the same, and most were longer flights.

Good to hear folks have been able to get the Kestrel 48 onboard as a carry on. I’ll probably carry it on, but pack a fold away backpack cover duffel that I can use if I am required to check the bag.
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(10,11,17), Vasco(12), Salvador(13), CP(13), CN(14), Madrid (16), Mozarabe (18), VdlP(19)
It looks like I’ll be flying Iberia/BA, all the budget airlines cost about the same, and most were longer flights.

Good to hear folks have been able to get the Kestrel 48 onboard as a carry on. I’ll probably carry it on, but pack a fold away backpack cover duffel that I can use if I am required to check the bag.
I believe I have carried that pack on both airlines. That said, probably not every type of aircraft they fly.
 

KJFSophie

My Way, With Joy !
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014 & 2015 ),Via San Francesco, Italy (2017 )Camino Portugese (2018 )Camino Ingles(
A bit of a rant.

Measured my ruck/backpack and it is about an inch too long to take onboard as a carry on. I really like my Osprey Kestrel men’s 48, which I bought with the internet of using it on the Camino Primitivo. I’ve had it for about a year and it is the best backpack I have used. Admittedly my other packs were all old military issue (ALICE), so the bar for “best pack ever” was probably pretty low.

After one thing, and then another I’ll be doing the English route rather than the Primitivo and have much less time to complete the pilgrimage. The shorter time frame is why I don’t feel like I can risk checking my ruck for the flight, with connections, rather than as carry on.

I know in the grand scheme of things this is minor; I have plenty of time to find a solution and it is not a show stopper. Just a bit annoyed at the situation which I should have avoided in the first place. The worst part is having to explain to my wife why I “need” ANOTHER pack when i just bought this new one that I keep going about how great it is.

end rant
The reality is, that no matter what the experience of others with their packs at the airports, no matter what style pack, we are at the mercy of the security agents at the airports. My pack, a tiny bit 'chubbier' than the dimensions allowed was not even questioned leaving Boston, and my friend had to check a visibly smaller pack, no reason given. I also had my poles tightly wrapped, with one tucked inside on each side...no issue. My friend was pulled aside in Madrid after clearing Boston....all of it makes no sense...every year, every pack, every airport, every agent , a new verdict. We did do the Camino Ingles this past Sept and found the flight from Madrid to A Coruna to be most subject to inspection at the airport , which was odd, because we had just been on a larger, long flight into Madrid. We took the train from ACoruna to Ferrol and began walking from there. No doubt you will make the right decision...buen camino
 

gerip

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, Lourdes to Burgos, Oct 2018
CF, Burgos to Santiago, May 2019
Ingles, Sep - Oct 2019
Like everyone says, it depends. Flew into Santiago and out of Madrid last month with my 55l Greogry Maven. No one even questioned me, as I was clearly on the pilgrim route. When I had trouble finding a place to put my bag on the way back the flight attendant found one of those empty single overhead bins that was a perfect fit. There was even a guy who flew into Santiago with his pole in his backpack for all the agents to see, no problem. But not to worry if you fly into Madrid. I checked my pack with poles last spring and by the time I go to the baggage claim it was there on the carousel for me. From the gate to the front of the terminal in 10 minutes!!!! Most efficient airport exit ever! But security departing from Madrid was pure hell.
 

Book your lodging here

Get e-mail updates from Casa Ivar (Forum + Forum Store content)


Advertisement

Booking.com

Most downloaded Resources

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store

Casa Ivar Newsletter

Forum Donation

Forum Donation
For those with no forum account, it is possible to donate here as well. Thank you for your support! Ivar

Follow Casa Ivar on Instagram

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 15 1.3%
  • February

    Votes: 9 0.8%
  • March

    Votes: 47 4.1%
  • April

    Votes: 174 15.0%
  • May

    Votes: 282 24.3%
  • June

    Votes: 85 7.3%
  • July

    Votes: 23 2.0%
  • August

    Votes: 26 2.2%
  • September

    Votes: 331 28.5%
  • October

    Votes: 145 12.5%
  • November

    Votes: 17 1.5%
  • December

    Votes: 6 0.5%
Top