Proper bag for flights

Discussion in 'Fencing Discussion' started by Catherine, Jul 4, 2019 at 8:04 AM.

  1. Catherine

    Catherine Rookie

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    Hi. I’ll be relocating to a new city and wanted to get advice on which type of fencing bag do you use to check in on flights. I currently have a soft bag which is too big as a carry on and don’t believe they will allow foils on the plane. I don’t want to purchase a golf case. Any suggestions on which travel bag to purchase that hold at least 3 foil + mask which can be checked in? Or any other travel suggestion is appreciated.
     
  2. jkormann

    jkormann Podium

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    Ship the bag to your new address. Most shipping companies will pack it for you.
     
  3. Catherine

    Catherine Rookie

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    Yes. That is a good option but will need to fly with gear at some point for out of state tournaments.
     
  4. Strytllr

    Strytllr DE Bracket

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    I wonder if pre-shipping to a hotel is a viable option for fencers. I know that the sales people at my company regularly pre-ship their show boxes to their hotel... i don't know if the price is worth it or not...
     
  5. ReadyFence

    ReadyFence Podium

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    We fly regular “soft” fencing bags all the time (AF, LP, etc) with zero issues- it’s just a checked bag. We’ve even checked strip bags with weapons with no problems or breakage. Check whatever you have and you’ll be fine.
     
  6. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    It's more expensive than flying with a checked bag. Cost varies with the provider but none is comparable with flying commercial air. Sometimes there are additional obstacles such as limited days or having to bring the bag to a central office ( others providers will pick it up and deliver it ).
     
  7. jjefferies

    jjefferies Podium

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    I just had an experience which might be relevant to Catherine's question. Flew into Columbus for Summer Nationals on SouthWest and as usual when flying I used my SKB (remember that brand) hard case. It's a golf bag that I've slightly modified and I've used for at least 5 international flights and usually 3 cross country flights a year. But Southwest crushed the bag. Think one of their fork lifts or tractors must have run over it as the back side was seriously crushed in. I'll attach a photo. The SW agents were apologetic and using a laptop found that you can purchase one through Walmart for $200. which they wrote me a check for. This was 2AM and I was in no state of mind to think it through. Now the bag did what it was supposed to do and protected the contents. Despite being crushed, nothing inside was damaged or lost. Will skip some of the irritating bits. Bottom line is that Walmart and other shops could obtain it but not before my return flight. So I taped up the break and made it home July 3 with no further issues. The bag can be found second hand on Craigslist and other such sources but I reached out and contacted SKB directly to see if the bag could be salvaged. The chap at SKB response was "no", salvage wasn't really an option due to the edging needing to mate, but the bag was covered by a lifetime warranty and if I would send him pictures of the damage he would send me a new bag. One of the few times in my life where "Life Time Warranty" actually meant something. Caveat the warranty may apply only to the original owner.

    So while I haven't yet received the new bag. <just made contact this morning> I do very much recommend "SKB" ATA golf bags for use as fencing bags. I normally carry 5 epees, 1 mask, 1 uniform, 1 pair of shoes and other odds and ends (tools, body cords, clothing) in mine when traveling to a tournament. Caveat, as posted elsewhere, when traveling to an event I carry the mask and uniform in my carry on as prudent insurance against the airline misplacing the bag. You can always buy weapons at most tournaments. Uniforms/masks are more expensive and fitted to you. But when returning home everything including dirty laundry goes in the SKB fencing bag.
     

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  8. Goldgar

    Goldgar Podium

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    They did that to an SKB case? Impressive! But as you found, SKBs are covered by a lifetime warranty. For me, that's worth the extra weight.
     
  9. jjefferies

    jjefferies Podium

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    Your comments caused me to wonder what the weight differences are. I went to the garage where I have an empty damaged Leon Paul soft bag and the empty SKB and weighed them on a POS scale that I wouldn't try to pass off to anyone as being accurate. But the same scale on both bags should give a reasonable comparison. The LP bag showed 12-12.5 lbs. The SKB was 14.5 lbs. The LP bag is missing the sliding handle and the SKB bag has a couple of extra intenal fittings. Amazon shows the SKB bag in a shipping container(card board box) as 18 lbs.

    In the process of researching this question I noticed the new prices of the different pieces. From Leon Paul the team bag - $281. I have one and love it for being so pretty. But it is fragile. The SKB and this gets to be seriously subjective from the company direct is $300. and change but from Walmart it is $199. Go figure I suppose this is them supporting their distribution system.

    So basically I agree with Goldgar's comments and think the SKB may be way more reasonable over time.
     
  10. wwittman

    wwittman DE Bracket

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    do you protect individual blades within, with PVC or something else hard?

    I have the same sort of issues with scuba gear.
    I'm always afraid of treatment like what JJEFFRIES shows above... and that contents could be crushed in a soft bag.

    I"ve had a bass guitar come off the plane in a serious heavy flight case looking like someone literally drove a fork lift into the side of the case. If it had been anything less than a 3/8" thick wooden walled case the instrument would have been destroyed.
     
  11. ReadyFence

    ReadyFence Podium

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    Sometimes yes, but often no. Haven't had a blade break at all last season and flew the strip bag 12+ times.
     
  12. brtech

    brtech Podium

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    99% of international fencers use a large soft bag, mostly the Uhlmann, but lots have an LP or other brand. The zip off top bag is especially helpful for carrying weapons, spare cords, water bottle, towel, etc to the strip.
     

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