DMM Flight 45L Review: Good Allround Sport Climbing Backpack (2020 Update)

A good sport climbing backpack is one of the things that just make your life easier. Sure, they’re not super crucial for climbing per-se, but if you ask me, life is just more comfortable when you have a decent backpack. Not only to hold your rope, but also carry a jacket, some food and water supply for a session at the local crag or gym.

My verdict for the DMM 45L long term review? It’s a very good all-round sport climbing backpack. I’d give it a 5.0 rating if it weren’t for some little flaws like the zippers. They are getting stuck a little too easy. The upper liner material is not super durable, either. But all the really important features are spot-on. And that’s why the DMM 45L backpack achieves a whopping 4.8 out of 5.0 in our review!

Quick Pros and Cons of the DMM Flight 45L Backpack


  • Very easy to unload and load
  • Clean and minimalist design
  • Belt pocket
  • Storage for guide book and glasses
  • Rope straps for helmets and mesh outer pockets for quick storage
  • Big volume for carrying rope and water bottle
  • Rope tarp included high quality and detachable
  • Zipped compartment for jackets


  • Zipper somethings hangs and needs regular cleaning, sometimes the cord around it shifts and makes zipping hard
  • The outer liner of the front side of the backpack gets ripped a little to easy on rocks
  • Volume is limited: Sport climbing only
  • Not super great stability or suspension (but I don’t need it for sport climbing)

Review Verdict

DMM made a sport climbing crag pack with the 45L that is a little unique: It has enough storage to carry more than just the essentials, while still being surprisingly comfortable. It’s clean and compact, and with a little effort, I can carry two sets of climbing harnesses and helmets, quickdraws, rope and safety devices with it! I haven’t had a sport climbing backpack with this capacity before! Thanks to the suitcase design, it’s easy to load and unload and move to different routes, and you can also use it in an airplane as it is clean and minimalist with almost no loose ends.

Things I loved about it (subjective):

  • I love how easy to pack and unpack it is
  • The suitcase design makes it super easy to carry it from route to route while at the crag – no closing of the zips needed, I just throw my shoes into the backpack, fold it and carry it
  • I can find my gear easily, as it lays open and organized – no need to stuff and rummage through the bottoms of the backpack
  • The top pocket is super large; i can fit my belay glasses, knife, sunglasses, and guide book
  • Extra rope can be carried or two sets of harness

Detailed Review: The DMM Flight 45L Is Really Spacious yet Compact

Time for our detailed review.

Comfort and Fit: 4/5

The DMM Flight 45L comes in one size that fits well on average-sized climbers (6ft give or take), but if you are smaller or for some female climbers, I can see it being a little bulky. My wife, who is only around 110 lbs, has trouble carrying the Flight 45L when packed to capacity. The back of the backpack is supported with an HDPE frame with padding of foam and mesh. It’s not the best suspension, and for a longer hike, I would prefer something more stable, but for sport climbing, this is perfect.

It’s also fairly well ventilated, making the DMM Flight 45L backpack a good choice in summer or hot days.

Stability and Suspension: 4/5

The backpack is pretty stable for a sport climbing backpack. That being said, I think the waist belt combined with the non-existing compressing straps are not ideal if you have very heavy loads or scramble through steep and difficult terrain. But it’s not what the Flight 45L was designed for anyway, so I’m not blaming DMM. For a sport climbing day pack, it has plenty of support and stability, even when you carry a full climbing set and a rope!

Storage: 5/5

DMM really outshined themselves in this regard. The DMM Flight 45L doesn’t look or feel large when empty, but you can stuff so much into it that it’s almost frightening. There are dedicated rope storage, a zipped mesh panel on the other side with a gear loop, and outside pockets. You have external stretching pockets, a top loader pocket with a zipper, and even slings for your helmet as well as a flap to cover the helmet. You can use this flap to store an extra coiled rope too. And within all this, there is always enough space to squeeze an extra soft-shell jacket for the colder days of spring and another water bottle for backup.

Durability: 4/5

The exterior panels of the DMM are foam-lined, which provides shape to the whole backpack. The foam also protects the outer fabric from scratches from the hardware that you store inside. If you use the mesh pocket, where the gear loop is placed, cams can damage the outside shell of the backpack. Better pay attention when packing them!

The front side panel is also fairly thin, so make sure not to throw the backpack on rocks, as they might damage it. It’s kind of a bummer, but I think you should treat your gear good anyway.

Pro tip: Wrap your sharp hardware into a linen cloth and store them in the mesh pocket. That way, they won’t pierce through anything and cannot damage slings.

The main zipper, which is YKK #10, works well, but I noticed that after some months of use, it tends to hang from time to time. I identifier the cord loop connected to the zipper as the reason for this problem, as it moves under continuous use, ending up in an awkward angle that makes it hard to pull the zipper. It’s easy to readjust, and then the zipper works well again. Overall, the DMM Flight 45L is well designed and has good durability.

Extras: 5/5

DMM comes with lots of extra features. There is a generous rope tarp that you can detach from the backpack, and it works quite well. Its yellow color can even serve as an emergency flag when you climb in exposed conditions. The inside of the backpack offers two internal straps that you can use to secure rope and tarp, and on the top side of the backpack, you can find a security pocket for your wallet or key. The straps on the outside of the backpack secure your helmet, and you can hide them away if you don’t use them.

Thanks to the rectangular shape of the backpack, you can stow it everywhere, even when it is fully loaded, and it leaves a convenient opening for a clip stick to store. Handles on the sides complete the picture, and when moving the backpack into the trunk of your car, you can easily haul it around with the handles – super easy and nice!

Others love the DMM Flight 45L too apparently 😀

Personal Long Term Remarks and Conclusion about the DMM Flight 45L

I had the DMM Flight 45L given to me as a present. And to this day, it’s the best climbing backpack I ever had. Not only can it carry all my gear, but I routinely pack my wife’s harness, helmet, and shoes into it as well. I can access all the gear without problems and quick. Simply opening the two-way zippers and flapping it open is convenient!

I even fit my via Ferrata and traditional set into it. Show me another day pack with THAT amount of storage!

The only downsides I noticed are the moving loops on the zippers. And the fact that the outside liner of the backpack could be more durable. Ah, and the gear loop is not super large. I think it could be a little wider and would work even better to store large sets of quickdraws and carabiners.

The DMM is perfect for any sport climber. I would probably get a more durable backpack with more stability for mountaineering or long multi-pitch routes. But that’s not what DMM designed it for!

If you need a super large, convenient backpack for everyday sport climbing, and need to carry your partners or kids gear, the DMM Flight 45L is more then perfect!

My Rating: 4.8 / 5

Thanks for reading and check out my reviews of other climbing gear too:

La Sportiva Tarantulace

Best Winter Climbing Pants 2020

Best Climbing Helmets 2020


Climbing Mountaineering Reviews

The Best Climbing Backpacks of 2020

Looking for the best and most reliable backpack for climbing is not a simple task. It doesn’t matter if you are out with colleagues for a few days of cragging or settling in for a bouldering session, you will require the best backpack to efficiently and snugly carry your important accessories or gear. However, how will you know if the backpack in front of you is the best option?

Gone are the days of climbing consisted of swami pants, a hobnailed boot, and weeks spent nailing pitons in granite swaths. Today’s preferences in climbing gear have changed to durability, simplicity as well as careful style, and bags have followed suit.

Juts the most excellent climbing bags, like the ones listed below, can provide that combination of simplicity, lightweight, as well as comfort needed while climbing. A climbing backpack like the harness is an extension of your body and provides the freedom of movement needed while holding precious tools closer to you. Please join us as we review the best backpacks for climbing available on the market. This gives you an assurance that you are buying only the best and most reliable one.

Best Climbing Backpack 2020
Best Climbing Backpack 2020

1. PETZL – Bug Climbing Pack, 18L / 1098 Cubic Inches, Gray: Best Follower Backpack

Key Features

  • Lots of essential features
  • Durable
  • Climbing oriented

If you are searching for a superbly well-featured, well-made climbing backpack, look no further than PETZL bag. It does exceptionally well on the approach as well as the climb and will hold all your gears easily for a long day on the ice or rock. This is the most reliable follow backpack and shines once it used along with another minimalist, light pack.

Best Climbing Backpack 2020

2. Black Diamond Unisex Creek 20-Pack: Ideal for Cragging

Key Features:

  • The front flap is zippered with internal organizer pockets 
  • Top loading style with drawcord closure 
  • Tuck-away rope belt and stowable rain hood which serves as a storage of rope and a helmet 
  • 1200d polyester coated with TPU
  • The flat base keeps this bag standing for fast loading 

If you are into cragging and looking for a backpack to maximize the experience, Black Diamond Unisex Creek 20-Pack is the best option. This is a straightforward crag backpack with the hardiness or haul bags, as well as the versatility of groundbreaking packs to secure the requirements of on-route essentials. This crag bag is made of lightweight and durable nylon. It has a standing shape as well as a top drawstring with comfortable dual purposes shoulder belts as well as waist belt, which include a thermoformed back panel for additional comfort on long climbing. 

Best Climbing Backpack 2020

3. Mammut Trion Pro 50+7: Easy Access Backpack 

Key Features 

  • Detachable 7 L lid to lessen and ease the backpack or just bring a small daypack
  • The external water bottle container 
  • Belt under the lid to keep the rope secure and safe 

This climbing backpack is made by a Swiss Company, so you assured of durability and toughness. This is a perfect backpack for people who enjoy climbing on ice with easy access pockets in many points. It has a zipper on the base of the bag that enables you fast access to bigger gears packed away first, without the need of taking the whole thing out. It is also integrated with side zipper pockets that can accommodate smaller items such as snacks. Thermos and water bottles can be accessed fast once they are kept in the exterior bottle pockets. The Mammut bag comes with a tiny pocket located on the waist belt to store small stuff like keys and cellphones to avoid misplacing. 

It also comes with a zipper pocket at the front, which opens wide enough to hold crampons. For carrying tools, this bag has ice pick tool panels located at the lower portion of the bag, which picks easily to suit into with tabs on its side to keep the handles secure and safe. To lighten or reduce the volume and the load, this climbing bag comes with a detachable lid. And underneath the cover, you will find a cinch belt that can be utilized to secure a cord on top, so you don’t need to store it in the backpack. This is considered the lightest backpack. However, it will keep things organized. 

Best Climbing Backpack 2020

4. Black Diamond Mission 55: Ideal for Ice Climbing 

Key Features 

  • Ice tool attachment 
  • Detachable hip belt 
  • Front crampon pouch 

Black Diamond is a leading provider of tools for climbing, and their latest offering is the Black Diamond Mission 55. This climbing backpack offers climber with the state of the art features needed for a successful and memorable ice climbing. This backpack is made for holding ice tools with the tabs located on the front intended to secure handles. It also equipped with ice pick tip panels located at the bottom to avoid falling off. 

Best Climbing Backpack 2020

5. Arc’teryx Alpha FL 30 Backpack: Best Alpine Backpack

Key Features

  • The tough made back panel offers support and structure at the same time keeping comfortable against your back.
  • Seam-sealed for water resistance
  • The collar is extendable with drawcord for extra capacity
  • Removable, adjustable sternum belt
  • Thermoformed shoulder belt

If you are looking for an alpine backpack, look no further than Arc teryx Alpha FL 30 Backpack. This is fast and ultralight, weather-resistant, alpine strong as well as a sterling example of sophisticated, use specific design. This is made for climbers. There is an intense focus on the realities of moving quickly in alpine settings led to this streamlined, versatile backpack that combines leading edge.

This backpack is made of weather impermeable, extremely tough N400-AC fabric, RollTop closure, and taped seamed combine to keep out elements as well as secure the contents inside. Without extraneous aspects or materials, this bag sheds gram, however, doesn’t sacrifice vital features. It has external bungee attachment secures tools, belay parka, sleeping pad, helmet as well as crampons. A simple belt located at the top ensures a wire, and the exceptional laminated shoulder belt construction provides a comfortable carry without needless weight. There is an external safety pocket where you can store some of your small essentials like keys and hand sanitizers.

Best Climbing Backpack 2020

6. Black Diamond Stone 42: Best Bag for Long Approaches

Key Features

  • Super lightweight framesheet that has back panel for extra comfort
  • Tuck away cushioned shoulder belts as well as a webbing waist belt
  • Full-length zipper access
  • It has a detachable rope tarp with a dimension of 1.2 by 1.5m
  • Dual internal zippered organizer pockets

If you are searching for a backpack ideal for long days climbing or long approaches, look no further than Black Diamond Stone 42 Duffer Backpack. This amazing climbing pack blends all of the conveniences in a climbing backpack with easy access as well as durability of the duffel bag. As a result, Black Diamond Stone 22 is an ideal backpack for long days climbing and long approach many single pitches.

This type of climbing backpack was made keeping in mind the comfort and lightweight. This is integrated with a back cushion panel as well as a super lightweight framesheet to fit your comfortably and snugly. It is also combined with tuck-away cushioned shoulder belts as well as a basic webbing waist belt for better flexibility if you are on the crag.

It has full-length zip and carrying handles that provide stress-free and simple carrying options, and the fastest access to your gears while sorting out is ideal and easy with the integrated dual internal zip pockets. What makes this backpack for climbing exceptionally is the detachable 1.2m by 1.5m rope tarp for extra versatility.

Best Climbing Backpack 2020

7. Black Diamond Bullet 16 Backpack: Offers Lots of Storage Space

Key Features

  • Couture fit for excellent comfort
  • Hydration nose port
  • Durable and tough due to the superior ballistic nylon build.

Aside from being thin and sleek, this backpack for climbing offers lots of storage space as well as toughness. This is a superb all-rounder, which will surely please professional and first-timers’ climbers. Sporting a respectable sixteen-liter capacity, this backpack has external zippered pocket what is more to the main, cushioned one and detachable foam back panel.

It also comes with a 20mm webbing waist belt that can be detached with ease if required. It has a hydration hose port that allows you to drink water regardless of your position, without getting rid of the bag on your shoulders. The integrated straps are made to fit in your without affecting the movement comfortably. The shell is made of high-quality ballistic nylon materials offering sufficient toughness.

Best Climbing Backpack 2020

8. Patagonia Linked 18L: Reliable Backpack for Climbing

Key Features

  • Comfortable
  • Fast access
  • Durable

From climbing to hiking, the company is synonymous with reliability as well as toughness. This backpack for climbing is sturdy, well-made, a climbing-specific backpack that does just as well on your shoulder and back as linked to the end of a haul line. It comes with a tapered build that sits high and close to your contour and is secured with soft but comfortable shoulder belts, while the tough nylon fabric, as well as reinforced haul, handles, make it sufficiently strong to drag up the coarse rock. This pack hangs with ease from the anchor by two loops, which allows it to open extensively and offer fast access without dropping the gears inside. This backpack weighs 3.7 ounces, which is more substantial compared to other models of the same capacities.

Best Climbing Backpack 2020

9. Metolius Crag Station: Cheap Crag Backpack

Key Features

  • 41L capacity
  • Weight 10oz
  • Very durable
  • Cheap

Combining the convenience of duffel bags and carrying comfort of backpacks, this backpack for climbing from Metolius boasts exceptional styles and designs. It zips open wide, so you can easily access the gear inside. It also comes with a reinforced side with Duathane, a similar component utilized on haul bags- to improve durability. However, it just comes with one size suspension system, meaning it will not fit people with small or large builds. What is more, the style does not give access to a u-shaped zipper. There is no padding to give a wall between the sharp gear and your back.

Best Climbing Backpack 2020

10. G4Free 50L Climbing Backpack: Toughest Backpack for Climbing 

Key Features 

  • Los of storage space
  • Waterproof material
  • A rain cover is included.
  • Numerous available small pockets for small gears

If you are one of the many climbers out there searching for a backpack with lots of storage spaces, then G4Free might be the best option. This pack is made of hard and water-resistant nylon materials. This stays its shape no matter what gear you place inside and has lots of additional wallets to store small belongings. Inside the bag is a shoe compartment and sufficient space to keep garments as well as tools for many days. 

There is also a hydration bladder, a rain cover, in order to complement the superb water-resisting features. You will also find waist belt pockets for keys and phones, dual side pockets for tissues and umbrellas, as well as a big zipper pocket for fast access to gears. 

How to Find the Right Climbing Backpack – Your Buying Guide

If you don’t know how to pick the right climbing backpack, or if it is the first time you purchase a backpack, there are many factors you must think of. Picking the right backpack is essential. You carry your backpack during the whole duration of hikes, bet it many days or few hours; it holds all your needs; hence you want to be of the right size, not too small or not excessively big.

Finding a good climbing backpack for your needs requires thorough research, spend some time and spot deals. Here are the essential factors to consider when buying a backpack.


Comfort and fit may be the most vital features to consider when buying a backpack. A lot of backpacks available are integrated with chest straps, waist belts as well as adjustable straps, and this allows you to modify the feel and deal out the weight as best as you can. When choosing a backpack for climbing, make sure to move it around in a loaded backpack prior to heading anywhere near a rock wall, and bring the backpack bag when anything does not feel good.


This goes along with comfort. How you put the accessories inside your bag will affect the feel of the backpack. However, having bands or belts to loosen or tighten is a feature which expert suggests having if you have a plan of going on a long trip. Your objective will be to have a backpack that not just fits comfortably on your back but does not sway around while you are moving. Therefore, you need to check for the design and well-placed belts when making a choice.

Size and Storage

Different backpacks have different capacities. A crag pack is likely to be bigger as it needs to accommodate more things, while a follower pack is smaller. Pick cautiously prior to setting out, since a bag which is just half-full is annoying and risky to carry on the rock walls. It is advisable to stuff a smaller backpack to its limit, instead of leaving it empty. The dimension has to be balanced to your body, enabling you to move without stress and hindrances and without causing distort.


A lot of backpacks for climbing are made of nylon materials; however, you have to pay attention to the number next to it to get an idea of its durability. A durable backpack is required for climbing as it often comes in contact with unforgiving thorns as well as sharp rocks. What you must do is to look for ballistic nylon, as it offers superb toughness while keeping the weight low.


Ounce matter when climbing, and this is the reason why alpine backpacks look simple and plain from the exterior, without outside pockets. As they are made for a particular task, this is made to suit the needs of such a task. However, a crag pack comes with many pockets as well as storage compartments given that it is able to afford to be heavier.


Nylon is an extensively utilized material in backpacks for climbing. It keeps the weight low at the same time offering a good toughness and durability, features which are absolutely required in a piece of climbing accessory. When the nylon is thick, the backpack will be stronger and tougher, so this is what you need to aware of if you need reliability and strength. However, if you opt to agility and speed, you can give to shave off some nylon layers, keeping in mind that extra care is needed.


It is highly advised to pick a bag for climbing, which has sternum belts as well as waist belts. These additional belts initially might seem to get in the way; however, once you know how important in distributing the weight, you will not want to be without these traps. Your back and joints will be saved from pressure, thanks to these sternum belts and waist straps. 

Closing Systems

When purchasing a crag backpack, then you will take pleasure in a bit more freedom in your option of closure systems. The fact that it does not endure alpine bags you can bring one shaped and get pleasure from your time. However, when climbing, you have to stick to backpacks, which have one top opening as it will keep away your gear from falling out when you opt to open your bag while you are hanging.

Exterior Gear

Fastening your accessory to the exterior of your bag can prove dangerous since an excess of tools will begin swinging around and perhaps change your balance. Once you take with a backpack, you must find lots of space, but ensure to fasten only items that you’ll be wearing.

Organization and Pockets

A crag pack features the most choices for organization and sorting out. This bag also comes with an array of side pockets as well as internal pockets that allow you to sort out your belongings neatly. A follower backpack does typically away with lots of pockets since their objective is to be user-friendly and fast to access. You have to keep this difference in your mind so you will not be astounded when perusing in climbing bag reviews.

Hydration Compatibility

A hydration bladder is a matter of choice. Some climbers do not want to hinder with surplus weight or fear that the bladder may get broke. Some take pleasure in having water close all the time, so many backpacks for climbing will have space to accommodate one, and anyone you pick perhaps you will get one.


What exactly is a crag backpack?

This is a kind of backpack intended to carry all the required accessories to the base of the wall. Then the pack stays next to one who is holding the belay and normally will be tougher and bigger than other forms of bags or packs.

What is the importance of a backpack for climbing?

A backpack for climbing is an essential fear for those who love going to the mountain to carry the accessories required when climbing, such as water, food, and clothing. If you are a serious climber, you must have this one.

How many types of backpacks for climbing are there?

There are many types of backpacks for climbing available on the market today. You can choose from a follower, alpine as well as crag backpacks. A crag backpack keeps all the needed accessories for your hiking, serves as your portable home for the tools, and is more prominent as well as more cushioned. A follower backpack, on the other hand, is made to be utilized on multi-pitch routes and can accommodate many supplies. An alpine pack withstand both climbing as well as hiking and is a bit bigger compared to the two mentioned and ideal to use when climbing for a few days.


An ideal and reliable backpack for climbing is one of the best and essential pieces of equipment that climbers both skilled and newbie must-have. In this review, we have shown the top ten best choices, the ones which combine lightweight with durability as well as user-friendliness. Follow this guide to make an informed choice and find one that meets your needs and, of course, your budget. Good luck in your search!

Follow our guide to make the best decision and find yourself an excellent ally for those but rewarding days on the rocks.

For more reviews:

Best Crashpad in 2020 for Bouldering

Best Climbing Pants 2020

Best Climbing Helmets 2020

Bouldering Climbing Mountaineering

Can You Bring Climbing Rope as Carry-On Luggage in an Airplane?

Is it allowed to bring a climbing rope bag on a plane, maybe even as a carry-on item? Since I want to go on a trip overseas and want to bring my climbing gear, I was thinking of carrying my rope inside a backpack. Along with a laptop and other stuff. With all the weird regulations regarding carry-on items, I was not sure if this is actually allowed. And I did some research on Reddit and some climbing forums.

Can You Bring Climbing Rope as Carry-On Luggage in an Airplane? Yes, you can. According to current TSA regulations in 2019, climbing rope and carabiners as well as quickdraw slings and chalk can be carried along on a plane.

Climbing Rope Is Allowed as Carry-On Gear in Airplanes

There is no TSA regulation against climbing rope! You can bring as many feet of rope as you want. Some other climbing gears. TSA regulations usually only forbid items that can be used as weapons. Or somehow can be used to damage the airplane or passengers. A rope is just not dangerous, and there is not much else you can do with it. Except trying to tie someone down – which is unlikely and won’t put the airplane’s safety in jeopardy. It doesn’t matter that the climbing rope is a bit unusual as a carry-on. Sure it will earn you some weird looks from the TSA personnel and maybe even the cabin crew, but that’s not a dealbreaker, right? If you want, go ahead and check the TSAs exact rules, you can find them here.

I once traveled with an oversized hiking backpack and a skateboard as carry-on, and while the cabin crew had a good laugh, there are no regulations or restrictions against this. So go ahead, pack your rope into your cabin bag, it’s allowed, and you’re good to go!

What other gear can you bring on a plane as cabin luggage or carry on?

When we talk about allowed gear as carry on, let’s have a look at some other climbing gear. Climbing rope is okay, as I explained above. But what about other things like crampons, carabiners, chalk and maybe even crash pads? Well, let’s go through the list:


Chalk is one of these funny items: It’s perfectly allowed to bring on a plane, but it’s dusty, and usually, I have it in a Ziploc bag. There is no law against it, but make sure to bring the time when you go security: A Ziploc bag full of white powder WILL draw attention to your backpack that you might not want ;-).

Be prepared to do some explaining, but know that you are not doing anything wrong. TSA will be suspicious, but ultimately, they will let you pass as there is no rule against chalk.

Crash Pad / Bouldering Mat as Carry-On or Baggage

Like I said before, if you carry oversized or heavy stuff with you on a plane, costs quickly pile up higher than you can count. A bouldering mat can easily cost you 300$ to carry it two ways, and for that money, it’s usually smarter to buy a bouldering mat or crash pad at your destination, and then sell it when you’re going home.

Example: Buy a decent pad in the shop for 300$, use it for two weeks, sell it for 240$, which is a very fair price for an almost new bouldering pad. That way, two weeks of bouldering with a brand new pad cost you $60, vs. $300 when you bring your own pad from home. That’s a 5x difference, and well worth the hassle to buy a pad and then sell it again if you ask me. You can easily sell a used pad in most climbing stores that sell used gear!

Quickdraws and Carabiners, Nuts, Belay Devices as Carry-On

Hardware that is not sharp, like belaying devices or nuts and cams, but also quickdraws, are allowed as a carry-on and also in your checked baggage. However, keep in mind, most TSA personnel doesn’t know anything about rock climbing or mountaineering and expect them to be suspicious and give you an extra pad down.

As soon as they don’t know an item, they will single you out and give you some extra “love,” after all it’s their job to be suspicious!

Soft Goods – Slings, Ropes, Harness, Shoes, Clothes

All these items are fine to carry inside your cabin luggage or checked baggage. Most airlines will even allow you to stow these items in the overhead compartments. You’re free to bring as many shoes and harnesses etc. as you want, but keep in mind that you have a maximum capacity for cabin luggage.  Weight and size are limited to most around 10 kg (22 pounds) and the size of a small suitcase or backpack.

Personal Protection like Helmets

Helmets are no problem. You can even wear them when you board the plane, that way you save weight in your luggage – sure it looks funny, but there is no rule against it!

What climbing or mountaineering gear is not allowed as carry-on in an airplane?

So, all the stuff above is unproblematic, if not a bit heavy to bring as carry on or baggage in a plane. But some items for rock climbers and mountaineers can be a problem. Sharp tools usually are a bad idea to bring as carry on.

White Gas, Stoves, Propane Gas and Fuel Canisters

If you want to bring a stove, you need to bring one that separates the fuel from the stove. You can bring a cleaned and non-smelling stove with you, but you are not allowed to pack propane gas or white gas canisters. Neither in your checked baggage and not in your cabin luggage. So make sure to check that your destination has stores that sell fuel for your stove if you bring it! 

Ice-Climbing Hardware

Be careful with ice climbing gear. Things like screws, crampons, and other tools often have very sharp edges and are made from steel or metal, which means they need to be checked as luggage. You cannot bring these things with you as carry-on gear! But they are allowed in checked baggage, which means you might need to pay extra for this bag. The extra amount varies from airline to airline, but you can usually assume to pay somewhere between $25 and $50 per checked bag. Bags that are heavier than 50 pounds (or ca 25 kg) will usually cost even more, expect to pay around $100 each way

Cooking Knives, Knives, Axes, Saws

If you plan to spend time outdoors, and you bring knives and an ax with you, you need to check these items. It’s not allowed to carry them inside your cabin luggage, and when you go through security, you will either need to throw them in the trash or have them confiscated!

Pro Tip: If you forgot about your knife and security wants to confiscate it, tell them you need to store it somewhere. Most airports have lockers for these situations. You can rent them, pay a little fee of around $10 to $20 and retrieve the item when you come home. Better than throwing your beloved Kershaw Knife into the bin!

5 Tips to Make Life Easier When Traveling With Climbing Gear on an Airplane

Here are some handy tips to make your life easier when you travel with rock climbing gear.

Find out Rules of the Airport

Airports have their own rules, and while there might not be TSA regulations against an item, some airports may have extra strict rules. Especially when you fly overseas, it might be smart to inform before you go! A security officer in India might not be really keen to hear why you think you should be allowed to carry gear. Even if it’s according to TSA regulations in the U.S:!

Be Polite and Calm

Always be polite and calm. Don’t get angry with nosy TSA officers; they’re just doing their jobs. Sure they might seem annoying and sometimes even harsh. But if they give you a hard time, try to be the better person, defuse the situation and ask to talk to their supervisor! TSA rules are standardized, so there is not much room for scrutiny and arbitrariness!

Explain the TSA That You Are a Climber and Show Them Your Gear Upfront

If you want to save some time, just put all the climbing stuff in an extra tray when you go through the scanner. Then tell the TSA officers upfront about it: You’re a climber and on your way to a climbing destination, and this is your gear. It might save you some time!

Wear Your Jacket, Helmets and Even the Rope to Save Weight in Your Bag

If you have a lot of baggage, wear your rope around your shoulder, and maybe the helmet while you go through security. You might look funny, but it can save you from paying extra money for overweight luggage! And there is no rule against carrying a rope around your shoulder.

Buy Some Gear at Your Destination

If you have very heavy gear that you need to bring or fuel, consider buying it at the destination. It might be cheaper than bringing it. Especially consumable products like fuel, you cannot bring them anyways due to regulations!. You can also buy things like a crash pad, use it for two weeks and then sell it for a high fraction of the original price!


I hope this post was informative and helps you when you fly to your next climbing or bouldering destination. Know what you can or cannot bring on a plane!

If you want some more gear recommendations for your next trip, check out some of our gear recommendations and reviews: