Can a handheld shower such as this:

Hand Held Shower

be taken on-board or is it going to be a problem with some airlines? I don't use checked luggage.

Is there going to be difference to the security if it's already used? Or does it have to be packaged? My concern is of course people taking this on-board is probably rare but I don't want to have to buy a new one locally everywhere we go.

Am I to expect extra attention from security in Canadian or European airports?

  • 5
    I'm sorry but I have to ask. Why? Commented Jan 18, 2015 at 3:58
  • 2
    Because if you're from a civilized country that uses handheld showers, it can be hard to get used to the wall-mounted showers usually mounted at navel height in various barbarian wastelands. Commented Jan 18, 2015 at 12:19
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    @DJClayworth: Cause someone I know has a physical issue and cannot shower without one and what jpatokal said too. :-)
    – verve
    Commented Jan 18, 2015 at 15:56
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    I know you don't want to buy a new one whenever you travel, but if you are in the US, you know you can buy one of these cheaper versions from the home depot for 10 bucks. Commented Jan 18, 2015 at 22:05
  • Are the fittings the same internationally? Do you plan to haul a wrench large enough as well? Tools are definitely not allowed in carry on.
    – user4188
    Commented Jan 16, 2017 at 20:04

4 Answers 4


My experience:

  • The US, the TSA agents are lazy time-servers but fairly literal-minded. If it isn't on the sign (which a shower hose isn't), they aren't going to take it from you.
  • The Third World, guards are mostly bored teenagers who will frisk you but won't do anything that risks creating paperwork for themselves unless you actually brandish a weapon.
  • The UK, guards are resentful proles, looking to screw over anyone with the means to travel internationally, but the X-ray process is mostly automated and the worst they can do is hold you up for a few minutes.

These are only my observations, and perhaps a little over-generalized, but I wouldn't worry about it too much.

  • 2
    Nothing to do with a handheld shower, but still +1 for entertaining
    – Xen2050
    Commented Jan 19, 2015 at 2:51
  • Upvoted, this is the best non-Answer I've seen her an a while.
    – DTRT
    Commented Jan 16, 2017 at 13:24

From reading some reviews on the amazon link, I think the hose and whole shower head is plastic, even the "chrome" version. If so, there should be no problems with it being x-rayed through security. Even if it were metal, and especially if you had the original package it should be fairly easy to examine (could even blow air through the hose to show it's empty).

I'll paste a few relevant clips from some of the reviews here:

"the cord felt cheap (rubber)."
"the rubber hose does not straighten"
"buy plastic plumbing equipment?"
"The shower head itself is so lightweight I'm afraid it will crack if I drop it and it weighs practically nothing. It is made of a very light weight cheap plastic"

There are a lot more positive reviews than negative, I owned a similar shower head & hose that was all plastic, though it looked like shiny chrome. It worked great for a long time, despite some negative reviews too. And I've read sometimes people receive different items from different amazon sellers, even when buying the supposedly exact same item...

  • the fittings are in my experience always metal.
    – jwenting
    Commented Jan 16, 2017 at 13:52

I suspect it may be a problem. The hose in your example may not allow X-rays to penetrate. And this may lead the security agents to wonder if it conceals a forbidden item.

  • What if I buy the plastic version?
    – verve
    Commented Jan 17, 2015 at 20:03
  • I suspect that would be okay. They might want to swab it to make sure that there are no explosives inside -- but with that test and with their X-rays able to penetrate the plastic, I doubt they would have any reason to prevent your boarding with it.
    – Joe DeRose
    Commented Jan 17, 2015 at 20:08
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    If thin metal were such a problem I don't think they'd let people take stainless drinking bottles through, yet they do. Commented Jan 20, 2015 at 6:36

Q: Can a shower hose be taken on planes worldwide without hassle?

Since it is not possible to answer for every terminal entrance operator in the world, the best you'll get here is advice based on experience.

While a hand-held shower might seem unusual on it's own, it's probably not that unusual among thing people take on an airplane, all totally harmless.

Using US/CA/UK as the standard, a hand-held shower is not prohibited. But if the screener doesn't recognize it or you just picked the wrong lane, you might get some additional careening. If this happens, 99%, it'll just be an verification of what it is and a swab test.

To reduce chances of this happening, perhaps chose a plastic model which would have less substance on the belt scanner.

Also note, in the US/CA/UK, if you declare this a medical device, especially if your friend has a visible condition, you back them into a corner making it much more difficult for them to refuse it, but only do this as a last resort.

Q: Is there going to be difference to the security if it's already used? Or does it have to be packaged?

It's probably better if it's unpackaged since it would make it easier to swab if it gets to that.

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