I'm expecting to do some travelling soon - this will involve both backpacking (possibly sleeping on a floor or two, maybe some camping) and air travel.

I'm thinking of bringing a rollmat. It's too big, so I normally let it hang strapped to the bottom of my hiking rucksack. Is this likely to cause any issue as checked in luggage, provided it's tightly strapped? How about extra gear, ie tents and so on?

  • Could you wrap your rucksack in the rollmat, so it's around it, rather than hanging off the bottom?
    – Gagravarr
    Commented Feb 3, 2014 at 23:07
  • How would you secure that though? You'd need a ball of twine to keep it in place. Commented Feb 3, 2014 at 23:11
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    – gerrit
    Commented Feb 4, 2014 at 10:19
  • I'll make sure to check that when I get off the plane :)
    – Andrey
    Commented Feb 4, 2014 at 15:46
  • 1
    For an (only slightly) upmarket version of jpatokal's garbage bag - but quite possibly a slightly more robust one, see my Ocean jumping bag answer here" Commented Feb 5, 2014 at 7:16

1 Answer 1


That's a bit risky, since the roll is only held there by pressure. A couple of good whacks to the side, exactly like the ones the bag will receive on the conveyor belts and in the loving arms of the baggage loaders, and it can be knocked out.

There's a simple trick for considerably increasing the odds of a rucksack and its attachments making it through in one piece: just pop the whole thing in a giant garbage bag, preferably a reasonably heavy-duty one. This also prevents straps, zippers etc from getting caught, and as a bonus makes theft from your bags harder as well.

Some backpackers improvise by using the pack's integrated rain cover, but this usually only covers half the bag, may get pulled off by accident, and is usually no good for securing attachments.

  • 1
    +1 for a garbage bag. Another option is the foiling; you pay for it, but it's probably worth it. They manage to pack in the foil basically whatever you bring there.
    – yo'
    Commented Feb 3, 2014 at 23:15
  • That's an excellent (and cheap!) idea, but I'm wondering how people at the check-in desk would take it. Wouldn't they find it hard to attach the luggage tag thing to it?
    – Andrey
    Commented Feb 3, 2014 at 23:30
  • 1
    Nope, they'll just attach it at the "neck" where you've tied the garbage bag closed. I used to do this all the time with my rucksack, and am still doing it with a baby stroller... Commented Feb 3, 2014 at 23:35
  • If you've tried it and it works, that's my worries settled. Thanks for the advice!
    – Andrey
    Commented Feb 4, 2014 at 15:45

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