If you are traveling to or from a country (or state) where rain is likely and you don’t want to get wet then being able to take an umbrella on a plane with you would be good. I have arrived at a few smaller airports and had to walk across the apron to get into the terminal building in torrential rain and wished I had an umbrella in my carry on.
The TSA allow you to take an umbrella through airport security but whether you can take it on a plane does depend on the size as some airlines won’t allow golfing type umbrellas. Folding umbrellas are always allowed in either carry on or checked bags.
Read on to find out more about what umbrellas you can take in detail as it is not as clear cut as you might imagine.
The TSA security umbrella rules
The TSA state “Umbrellas are allowed in carry-on bags. Please check with your airline for any size or weight restrictions.” which would seem to indicate that you can take any size or type of umbrella through airport security without a problem.
Of course, umbrellas will be subject to screening using the x-ray machine to ensure that they don’t contain anything sinister. Obviously you cannot take umbrellas with a sword in the handle. As stupid as it seems even pointing that out, people do try to take them through airport security.
However, whether the airline you are flying with will allow you to take an umbrella on a plane is another matter. Although, depending on how you interpret it, they say “allowed in carry-on bag” which would perhaps suggest that you could not take a large umbrella through eg. a golfing umbrella or non-folding type of umbrella as that wouldn’t fit in your carry on bag. However, a folding umbrella is allowed.
A larger umbrella may count as you “personal item” which you can take on top of your carry on bag, so take note of that if you intend taking carry on and a purse.
Large non-folding umbrellas
Many larger types of non-folding umbrellas often have a spike on the end. Golf umbrellas normally have these, for example, so you that can stick the umbrella in the ground while you take your shot. Since these would probably be considered as a potential weapon if taken on board, I would suggest that you do not take one unless in a checked bag (if it will fit).
Some airlines stipulate that umbrellas cannot be longer than 18inches long. Even if longer umbrellas can be taken on board some airlines will count it as a personal item so you may not be allowed another, such as a purse, to be taken with you.
Small folding umbrellas
My advice would be, if you need an umbrella where you are traveling to, then take a folding umbrella on a plane in your carry-on.
Having bought numerous folding umbrellas in the past, many of which didn’t last beyond the first slight breeze, I would say don’t buy one that is too cheap or light. You certainly get what you pay for with these.
If you are taking a stroller on board it will be allowed if it has a small umbrella. As strollers are usually taken from passengers as they reach the aircraft and stowed in the hold then if it is attached then that won’t be an issue anyway.
Best folding umbrellas
If you don’t have a folding umbrella then these three types are the most popular on Amazon:
- The number 1 best seller on Amazon
- This umbrella folds to only 11.5″ long and weighs less than 1lb so ideal for putting in your carry on bag
- It has 9 resin-reinforced fiberglass ribs, which is more than most portable umbrellas
- To prevent the umbrella turning inside out in gusts of wind the ribs are designed to flex a little
- It comes in a range of colors
- It also comes with a lifetime replacement guarantee so if anything goes wrong with the umbrella they will rend a replacement
- This umbrella uses a vented double canopy to prevent the wind turning it inside out
- Fully automatic opening and closing
- Folds to only 11 inches so ideal for your carry on bag
- Stainless steel and fiberglass so wont rust
- Comes with a lifetime guarantee and a 90 day money back refund
- Teflon double canopy construction
- Auto opening and closing
- Comes with a handy storage pouch
- 12 inches when closed and weighs 17 oz
- 2 year replacement guarantee