Can You Bring Microspikes on a Plane? (According to TSA)

As someone who enjoys hiking all year long and travels to many locations to explore new places to hike, I’m used to packing my sports equipment in both my carry-on and checked baggage. 

However, the first time I wanted to bring my microspikes with me when flying on a plane for a winter excursion, I realized that I didn’t know whether they were allowed by the airline or considered a prohibited item.

Here I’ll tell you everything I learned from my research regarding the TSA rules about bringing microspikes on a plane, so you’ll feel well prepared for your next hiking adventure. 

Quick Summary 

  • You can bring microspikes and crampons on a plane if you keep them in your checked luggage. 
  • Microspikes and crampons are prohibited items in baggage that will accompany you in the cabin because passengers can use them as a weapon during a flight. 
  • Please do not attempt to take microspikes or crampons with you through the security check, as the TSA official will confiscate them based on the current rules and restrictions. 

Can You Take Microspikes On a Plane? 

Kahtoola Microspikes

You can bring microspikes with you on a plane in your checked luggage, but they are prohibited by airlines in your carry-on items.

The TSA considers sporting equipment that can be used as a bludgeon a prohibited item in your carry-on.

Passengers could potentially use the sharp spikes on these items as weapons in the aircraft’s cabin. 

Since you cannot get through airport security with this type of gear due to the sharp edges, you should opt to secure them inside your checked bag instead. This rule applies not only to hiking microspikes but also to snow crampons.  

It is essential that you keep these rules in mind when packing your hiking gear for a trip. Many hikers wish to take a single bag only when traveling (such as a backpack) to reduce the amount of baggage they have to deal with at their destination.

Assuming that you could take these items through the check you will lead to issues when you try to board the plane, as they are prohibited. 

If your hiking adventure requires you to bring microspikes or crampons, plan accordingly and make sure that you place these items in baggage that you will check instead. 

Can You Pack Microspikes In a Carry-On Bag? 

According to guidelines and restrictions, microspikes are prohibited from your carry-on. These devices pose a security threat because a person can potentially use them as a weapon while the plane is in flight.

If the TSA officers find microspikes or crampons in your carry-on, you will not be permitted to pass through the checkpoint until you have moved them into your checked baggage [1, 2]. 

I’ve heard of situations where some travelers could fly with coil-type traction equipment in their carried items, but even with those types of gear, you should not expect them to pass inspection.

Remember, TSA officials, not the airlines, always have the final decision on any item packed in your luggage.

A good way to plan for your next flight is to securely place all of your snow and ice traction implements in your checked bags instead and consider them all as prohibited items. 

Can You Carry Microspikes In A Checked Bag? 

According to TSA rules, microspikes and crampons are generally permitted in your checked bags without any restrictions, and all airlines should allow them.

When you place these items among your suitcase’s contents, ensure that you keep them protected so that the spikes do not get damaged or potentially injure someone who has to search your belongings.

You definitely wouldn’t want those spikes to get damaged while your bag is being tossed around by the handlers. Here’s a helpful tip: make sure to tuck them into a protective sleeve and snugly nestle them between your clothing items to provide a nice cushioning.

That way, your microspikes should stay safe and sound throughout the journey.

Can You Take Crampons On A Plane? 

crampons mounted on hiking boots

You can take crampons on a plane with you if you bring them in your checked baggage. Crampons are prohibited in carry-on luggage, as the airlines consider them a potential weapon due to their heavy weight and sharp edges.

You will not be allowed to continue to the gate with crampons on your person. 

If you’re all set to bring your trusty crampons along on your flight, it’s a good idea to consider bringing an extra bag that you can check in and collect at your destination. This way, you’ll have a dedicated space to safely store your crampons throughout the journey.

The Transportation Security Administration sets the restrictions around flying with crampons, and they will not vary according to the airline. 

Related Article: Can You Put Crampons on Hiking Boots

Tips And Recommendations 

Here are a few other tips I have regarding microspikes on airplanes and for winter excursions. 

  • If I’m going to backpack in a remote area, I often check ahead to see if there’s a nearby place where I can rent crampons, microspikes, or other winter gear so I can pack fewer personal belongings with me while traveling. 
  • The right microspikes can help make your excursion a success. If you’re in the market for a new pair, or new to purchasing this equipment, check out our guide on the best microspikes for hiking that we personally tried and tested.


Jennifer Strom

Jennifer Strom

Jennifer Strom has been a writer for over 20 years and an outdoor and hiking enthusiast for most of her life. After spending much of her career in the corporate world, she decided to freelance to spend more time with her family and explore new places. You will find her always looking forward to her next weekend adventure and writing guides that help others make the most of their own hikes and time outdoors.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *