Can I carry a tent in hand luggage on a flight?

Do poles/pegs present a threat? I mean, they could but they're going to be tightly packed and actually attempting to get them out would draw a lot of attention!

Has anyone had experience doing this?

(I'm flying with Jet2 from Blackpool, UK to Faro, Portugal.)

  • 2
    LP's Thorn Tree forum has a recent (2012) thread on this. Several people there say they've successfully taken a tent in hand luggage… though metal tent pegs might be a problem.
    – Jonik
    Jul 8, 2012 at 14:32
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    "actually attempting to get them out would draw a lot of attention" -- not strictly true. After all you could extract them in the toilets, shielded from view. :)
    – dlanod
    Jul 8, 2012 at 22:44
  • 1
    I can answer this if I can see a photo of this tent.. do you have a photo of it? Jul 22, 2012 at 1:56
  • 2
    when's your flight? If you do, please let us know what happened!
    – Mark Mayo
    Jul 23, 2012 at 22:36
  • 1
    I'd rather not attempt this, my friend's pegs were confiscated once. So I would say it depends on the benevolence of the airport security guards.
    – JohnEye
    Mar 29, 2016 at 14:16

2 Answers 2


These people selling this pop-up shade tent claimed it's "a pop up tent that we carried on jet 2 as handluggage".

So the next question is - does it have pegs.

And from GoPlanetGo, we can confirm that indeed, it comes with pegs.

So to answer your question, yes, Jet2 does allow tents with pegs onboard as hand luggage / carry-on. However, sometimes this does come down to the flight attendant on the day, and your mileage may vary.


I don't have any official source, but a rather extensive experience because I've done this many times to many destinations, mainly in Europe. I've never encountered a single issue.

Before doing it the first time, I asked if they would allow it when going through security on a previous flight. The main thing they were worried about was the sharpness of the pegs. Since this is not an issue (you would have a hard time cutting yourself with a peg), I decided to give it a go. After a first attempt resulted in no problem whatsoever - not even a manual check of my backpack - I have repeated this many times with the same result. The only times it was flagged as suspect was when the tent was still wet. I assume that this triggers the liquid detection of the scanner (please correct me if this is nonsense). Especially Manchester is an airport where this happens to me. It always appears to rain over there.

I have used different tents but on every occasion it was a small 1-person trekking tent. The pegs were small ones and each of those tents has either a single pole or one major pole and one or two tiny auxiliary poles. I have no experience with larger tents.

If you are looking for an official answer, I wouldn't bother contacting the airline. They are not the ones making the security checks. You should contact the airport or the relevant TSA-like organization. Eventual problems will not be airline specific, but airport specific.

  • I think this would depend on two things. (1) The sharpness of the pegs in question (plastic pegs, probably fine; old-fashioned metal stakes, not so much) and (2) the mood of the security guys. Nothing you can do about the latter. Mar 29, 2016 at 18:56
  • Mine were always metal. Mar 29, 2016 at 19:08
  • really? And they let you board? I could definitely kill somebody with a metal tent-stake. I mean, it's a pointy, 8"-long piece of metal. Supposedly, the TSA once confiscated nail-scissors from armed Marines. Mar 29, 2016 at 21:40

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