Can You Bring Weights On A Plane?

Travelers often seek to maintain their fitness routines while on the road, which raises an intriguing question—can you bring weights on a plane? The concept of traveling with weights isn’t new, but it has gained more attention in recent years with the rise of health-conscious lifestyles and the popularity of portable workout equipment.

Historically, bringing any sort of weights onto a plane would not have been common practice. Early air travel focused on essential baggage due to limited carrying capacity and stringent weight restrictions. However, as commercial aviation evolved, baggage allowances became more lenient, enabling travelers to consider bringing along additional items, such as exercise equipment, to enhance their travel experience. In the current context, with advanced aircraft capable of carrying more weight, passengers might contemplate including small weights in their luggage to stay fit during their journeys.

The rules and regulations regarding what can be taken onboard an aircraft are determined by various agencies, with a primary emphasis on safety. These regulations are subject to change and can vary by airline and destination. Generally, weights could be considered as potential weapons or as items that could cause injury if not properly secured during turbulence or an emergency. Thus, airlines and security agencies have developed specific guidelines about carrying weights and similar equipment on planes.

Passengers interested in taking weights on a plane should be aware of their airline’s baggage policy, specifically concerning weight limits for carry-on and checked luggage, and any additional fees that might be incurred for overweight baggage. It is also essential to consider the practicality of traveling with heavy objects, such as weights, and to explore alternative workout options that are more travel-friendly and comply with aviation safety standards.

can you bring weights on a plane

Can You Take Weights On A Plane?

When considering whether you can take weights on a plane, it’s important to understand the regulations set by airlines regarding luggage weight and contents. Generally, passengers are allowed to bring weights in their checked luggage, subject to the airline’s weight limits and potential additional fees for overweight bags. However, carrying weights in your hand luggage might be subject to scrutiny due to security concerns, as heavy objects could potentially be used as a weapon. It’s always best to check with the specific airline for their rules and restrictions before traveling. In the next section, we will delve deeper into the guidelines for flying with weights, including tips on how to pack them and advice on avoiding extra charges.

Understanding Weight Limits for Carry-On Bags

In the United States, there is no standard weight limit for carry-on luggage imposed by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). However, each airline sets its own policies, which typically range between 15 to 22 pounds (7 to 10 kilograms). Passengers are advised to check with their specific airline before flying to ensure compliance with these limits. For reference to the TSA’s guidelines, consult the TSA website.

Bags Checked at the Airport

The weight allowance for checked bags can vary greatly among airlines and can be dependent on factors such as the destination, class of service, and frequent flyer status. While the standard limit is often around 50 pounds (23 kilograms) per piece of checked luggage for economy passengers, it’s crucial to verify with the specific airline for the most accurate information. Excess baggage fees for overweight luggage can be substantial and are typically enforced for bags that exceed the weight limit.

Considerations for Frequent Flyer Programs

  • Members of frequent flyer programs may enjoy higher weight limits
  • Varying tiers within programs offer different benefits
  • Elite status often permits additional weight allowances for both checked and carry-on luggage

Special Items and Sports Equipment

Airlines often have specific policies regarding special items such as musical instruments and sports equipment. These items may be subject to special allowances or fees depending on their size and weight. It’s imperative to inform the airline in advance and ensure any additional costs or considerations are understood.

Tips for Avoiding Overweight Baggage Fees

  • Pack smartly by prioritizing necessary items
  • Use lightweight luggage to save weight for contents
  • Consider wearing heavy clothing or shoes instead of packing them
  • Utilize travel scales to pre-weigh luggage before heading to the airport

Regulatory and Airline Policy Changes

Passengers should be aware that airline policies and regulations about luggage weight can change. It is recommended to review the most current guidelines before every trip to avoid any surprises at the airport. The TSA website and official airline websites are reliable sources for updates and policy changes related to baggage.

✔ Pros ✘ Cons
Allows for maintaining workout routine while traveling Can be heavy and difficult to transport, leading to extra baggage fees
Convenient for areas without accessible gym facilities May take up valuable space in your luggage, reducing room for other items
Can lead to cost savings on gym fees at travel destination Potential for injury if not packed securely
Weights can be used to offset the weight allowance if packing light elsewhere Some airlines may have specific restrictions or bans on weights in carry-on or checked luggage
Useful for outdoor workouts or in-room exercise at your destination Could be regarded as potential weapons, causing issues with airport security

International Air Transport Association (IATA) Guidelines

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) sets forth guidelines that are widely adopted by airlines for the safe transport of baggage and cargo, including weights. These guidelines are designed to ensure safety and standardization across international airlines. The IATA regulations cover a range of topics from weight limits for checked and carry-on luggage to the transportation of hazardous materials.

  • Maximum weight and dimensions for checked luggage
  • Restrictions on weights as carry-on items
  • Guidelines for packing and securing weights within luggage
  • Procedures for declaring heavier items

For the most current IATA guidelines on luggage weights, please refer to the IATA Baggage Reference Manual or contact the specific airline for their interpretation of these guidelines.

Country Specific Regulations

When flying internationally with weights, it’s crucial to be aware that each country may have its own set of regulations that could affect how you travel with weights. These regulations can vary widely and may impact the allowable weight limits, whether the weights are considered sporting equipment or personal items, and any additional fees that might be applicable.

United Kingdom

For specific regulations regarding flying with weights in the UK, please consult the UK government’s official website or the individual airline’s baggage policy.


European countries follow the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) regulations, which align with IATA standards but may have additional country-specific rules. Check the respective government or airline website for details.


The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) provides guidelines for what is permissible on flights originating from Canada. For more information on flying with weights in Canada, refer to the CATSA website.


The Australian Government’s Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, and Communications outlines the rules for flying with weights. Visit their website for detailed information.

New Zealand

For New Zealand’s specific regulations on flying with weights, the Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand (CAA) is the governing body that provides these guidelines.


Asian countries may have varying regulations when it comes to flying with weights. It’s best to check with the local aviation authority or the airline’s baggage policy for the country you are traveling to or from.


The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) sets the guidelines for flights within Singapore. For detailed information on flying with weights, consult the CAAS website.

10 Airline-Specific Regulations for Flying with Weights

Different airlines have their own specific policies regarding flying with weights. These policies can include fees for overweight baggage, restrictions on the types of weights allowed, and packaging requirements. It’s important to review these regulations before flying to avoid any surprises at the airport.

American Airlines

  • Weight restrictions for checked and carry-on luggage
  • Overweight baggage fees

For the most accurate information, visit the American Airlines Baggage Policy page.

Delta Air Lines

  • Guidelines for sporting equipment, including weights
  • Excess baggage charges

Delta’s baggage policy can be found on their official Baggage Overview page.

United Airlines

  • Maximum dimensions and weight for checked baggage
  • Special items policy for weights and gym equipment

United Airlines provides detailed baggage information on their Baggage Information page.

British Airways

  • Free baggage allowance and potential charges for additional weight
  • Restrictions on weights in hand luggage

Consult the British Airways Baggage Essentials for their specific rules.

Air Canada

  • Weight limits for international flights
  • Information on traveling with sports equipment

Air Canada’s baggage policy is outlined on their Baggage Information page.


  • Checked baggage allowances
  • Guidelines for sports equipment, including weights

For details on Qantas’ baggage policy, visit their Baggage Information page.


  • Baggage rules for international and intercontinental flights
  • Special baggage regulations, including for sports gear

Lufthansa’s baggage guidelines can be found on their Baggage Overview page.


  • Baggage allowances and charges for exceeding weight limits
  • Transportation of sports equipment

The Emirates baggage policy is available on their Baggage page.

Air New Zealand

  • Checked in baggage allowances
  • Excess baggage charges

For the latest information, refer to Air New Zealand’s Baggage page.

Singapore Airlines

  • Free baggage allowance details
  • Charges for additional baggage weight

Singapore Airlines’ baggage information can be found on their Baggage Information page.

Packing Weights in Carry-On Luggage

When packing weights in your carry-on luggage, you’ll need to consider both airline regulations and practical packing strategies to ensure that you are not only complying with the rules but also not overwhelming your bag or yourself.

  • Check Airline Policies: First, verify your airline’s weight limit for carry-on luggage. Most airlines have a restriction, often around 15 to 22 pounds (7 to 10 kg).
  • Choose Smaller Weights: Opt for compact weights like ankle/wrist weights or small hand weights. Avoid packing bulky or excessively heavy items that may exceed the limit.
  • Wrap Weights: Use bubble wrap, clothing, or towels to wrap the weights. This protects other items in your luggage and prevents the weights from shifting during transit.
  • Use the Center: Position wrapped weights in the center of the carry-on and surround them with softer items to act as a buffer and maintain balance.
  • Security Considerations: Be prepared to explain to security why you’re carrying the weights. Some weights may look suspicious on an X-ray machine.

taking weights through airport security

Packing Weights in Hold Luggage

Hold luggage, or checked luggage, often has a more generous weight limit compared to carry-on luggage, which gives you a bit more flexibility when packing weights. However, proper packing is still essential to prevent damage.

  • Know the Weight Limits: Confirm the weight limit for checked luggage with your airline – typically 50 to 70 pounds (23 to 32 kg) – to avoid additional fees.
  • Distribute Evenly: To keep your luggage stable, distribute the weights evenly on both sides of the suitcase.
  • Layer Wisely: Place weights at the bottom of the suitcase when it stands on wheels. This creates a stable base and prevents the weights from crushing other items.
  • Provide Ample Padding: Use clothes, bubble wrap, or travel organizers to separate weights from fragile items and to cushion impacts.
  • Securing Weights: If your suitcase has internal straps, use them to secure the weights so they don’t move during travel.
  • Check for Prohibited Items: Ensure the weights do not contain any materials listed as hazardous or prohibited by airlines, like certain metals or chemicals.

Travel-Friendly Fitness Equipment

Aside from weights, there are several portable fitness items you might consider packing for your trip. Resistance bands are lightweight and versatile, perfect for strength training exercises on the go. A jump rope can provide an excellent cardiovascular workout and takes up minimal space. If yoga is part of your routine, a travel yoga mat can be easily folded or rolled into your luggage. Hand grips are small and effective for working on your forearm strength, and a compact, inflatable exercise ball can be deflated to fit in your carry-on, then easily inflated for a full-body workout at your destination. Remember to check airline regulations for any restrictions on equipment in both carry-on and checked baggage.

FAQ’s About Can You Bring Weights On A Plane?

Travelers often have queries related to the items they can bring with them on a flight, and weights for exercising are no exception. Whether you’re a fitness enthusiast looking to maintain your routine while traveling or you’re moving and need to transport your gym equipment, it’s important to know the airline regulations concerning weights. Below are frequently asked questions that aim to clarify the rules and guidelines about carrying weights on a plane.

Can I bring dumbbells in my carry-on luggage?

Most airlines allow dumbbells in carry-on luggage as long as they adhere to weight restrictions for carry-on items, which is typically around 22 pounds (10 kg) or less. However, they might be considered potential weapons, so it’s best to check with your specific airline before traveling.

Are there any weight limits for checked luggage that include weights?

Yes, airlines have weight limits for checked baggage, usually ranging from 50 to 70 pounds (23-32 kg) per bag. If your weights exceed this limit, you could be charged additional fees. Always check with your airline for their specific policies.

What is the best way to pack weights to ensure they’re allowed on board?

To pack weights, wrap them securely in bubble wrap or clothing to prevent movement and potential damage. Place them in sturdy luggage and try to center them to balance the weight. Inform the check-in staff that you’re carrying weights, and consider using a hard case for better protection.

Are kettlebells treated the same way as dumbbells when flying?

Kettlebells are generally subject to the same rules as dumbbells because they are both considered weights. However, due to their shape, they can be more problematic to pack securely, so take extra care and check with your airline ahead of time.

Can weight plates be brought onto an airplane?

Weight plates can be brought onto an airplane, typically in checked luggage due to their heavy nature. Ensure they are well-packed and do not exceed your airline’s weight limits to avoid additional fees.

How can I avoid extra fees when bringing heavy weights on a plane?

To avoid extra fees, pack weights within the weight limits set by the airline for both carry-on and checked luggage. Consider distributing the weight across multiple bags if possible and check for airline-specific policies that may offer more generous weight allowances.

Are there any airlines that are more lenient with weights in luggage?

Some airlines may have more lenient policies regarding baggage weight, but this varies greatly. It’s essential to check with your particular airline. Budget airlines tend to be more strict, while some premium carriers might offer a higher weight allowance.

Can resistance bands be a suitable alternative to heavy weights when traveling?

Resistance bands are an excellent alternative to heavy weights when traveling. They are lightweight, portable, and provide a versatile workout option. Most airlines will have no issues with these in either carry-on or checked luggage.

Will I have to declare my weights when checking in my baggage?

You don’t typically need to declare weights as a special item when checking in baggage, but it’s a good idea to mention them to the airline staff so they’re aware of the heavy contents, as a courtesy to baggage handlers.

Is it possible for the TSA to confiscate weights from my luggage?

The TSA generally does not confiscate weights from luggage unless they view them as a security risk. However, they have the authority to remove any item they consider dangerous, so ensure your weights are appropriately packed to avoid raising concerns during the screening process.

Packing It All Up

In conclusion, transporting weights on a plane is generally permissible, but it’s essential to abide by the airline’s specific luggage policies regarding weight limits and extra fees. Carry-on allowances often range from 7kg (15lbs) to 10kg (22lbs), while checked baggage typically permits between 20kg (44lbs) to 32kg (70lbs) per piece, with the option to pay for additional weight capacity. It’s advisable to contact the airline ahead of time to verify their regulations and consider the type of weights you’re carrying, such as dumbbells, kettlebells, or weight vests, which could affect screening procedures. While hand weights may be allowed in carry-on luggage, larger or heavier items should be packed in checked luggage to comply with TSA guidelines and airline policies.

Furthermore, security concerns must be taken into account; any weights carried on board must be screened by the TSA and should not pose a security threat. For travelers planning on bringing weights to maintain their fitness regimen while traveling, packing them carefully to avoid damage to other belongings is crucial. It’s also recommended to explore alternative options, such as resistance bands or portable fitness equipment, which are lighter and more travel-friendly. Ultimately, a balance between staying active on the road and adhering to airline regulations is key to a hassle-free journey with your fitness equipment.