I just acquired a Klepper Aerius II folding kayak. I have a trip planned which will require checking the equipment on a commercial airplane. I have the 2 canvas bags that Klepper supplies, but these don’t provide much protection for contents. I’m looking for suggestions on how to manage this, perhaps a source for transport cases. Maybe plastic storage containers or other shipping cases?
I have checked a Klepper as luggage many times and used the traditional canvas bags supplied by Klepper. You might get a separate paddle bag if you have light carbon paddles. If you are worried maybe just padding the ends of the long skinny stinger bag might be worthwhile.
Check your intended airline’s baggage restrictions CAREFULLY. They’ve tightened up and changed them in recent years and will charge really high fees on bags that exceed their maximum weights and dimensions. I’ve had to take two bags out of travel service, an oversized rolling softside bag and a giant duffel that I used to pack with camping gear that I would take to research field work. With most of the carriers the “maximum unified dimension is 62” which means length + height+ width. I’m flying to the UK with my folder next month so I’ve researched this – Icelandair allows one free checked bag but it must be under 50 pounds and within the 62" dimension. Any larger or heavier and fees of up to $100 per leg of the flight can apply.
I prefer to use rolling “sports” duffels for packing and hauling folders (i’ve owned 6 of them). I just got one that is 32" x 16" x 14" that even has a full length foam padded outside pocket on one side that fits my 4-piece paddle perfectly. The frame at the back protects that side and I lay my ensolite foam pad over the top of the packed boat components to pad the side and front. The Ross Dress for Less stores are a great source for these bags – I’ve gotten several for under $35 each. Having the wheels and extendable handle makes negotiating the airport much easier. My boats (Feathercraft and Pakboat) have short pole length, but if yours has bigger longerons, you might want to consider a padded golf club or ski bag.
Avoid United. The baggage handlers treat luggage like Asian doctors
Seriously pack it tight. I saw a United baggage handler throw my Feathercraft Khatsalano out of the hold. The gate agent could not be bothered. Kayak was no worse for wear. It was packed tight