Getting your luggage and your bags secured and locked up when you travel is a no-brainer. Nowadays, horror stories about missing bags and items are becoming more common. Securing your luggage with a good and sturdy lock is not just convenient, it’s almost a necessity.
Let’s get one thing straight: having a luggage lock is not a fool-proof way of keeping your things secured. It’s a way to deter or slow down would-be pickpockets who are looking for a quick win. They won’t be hanging around to fiddle with a lock if there’s another unlocked, unsecured bag begging to be stolen.
All locks in this list are “TSA-approved”. This means that if you’re traveling to North America or Canada and the TSA decides to open your luggage for further inspection, they can do so with a master key. They wouldn’t have to destroy your lock or your luggage. Some of the latest TSA-approved locks also have an indicator that shows when the lock has been opened. This way, you’ll know if the TSA has searched your luggage. Of course, that’s somehow a vulnerability if the airport staff has itchy fingers, but there are other ways to secure your belongings inside.
The first step is finding the best lock for your luggage every time you travel.
Tarris TSA Lock with SearchAlert
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Lewis N. Clark TSA-Approved Triple Security Lockdown
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4-Digit Combination Steel Padlocks
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Acrodo TSA-Approved All Metal International Luggage Lock
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The Tarris TSA Lock with SearchAlert is an affordable measure to keep your items secure. It has a three-dial combination with large numbers so it is easy for you to align the code. Each dial also has a large diameter so it’s easier for you to turn. The white numbers against the flat black dial also makes it easy for you to see the combination as opposed to the usual chrome numbers in most locks.The the clicks are crisp and firmly hold the dials so you’re sure that the numbers are not partially rotated preventing you from opening the lock. A large push-button on the side releases the lock.
The flexible steel cable also makes it easy for you to thread the lock through small or irregularly-shaped zippers.
A key feature is the SearchAlert indicator. The LED indicator above the dial turns from green to red. This means that the lock has been opened by TSA and your belongings have been searched through. Hopefully nothing goes missing, but if something does, then you can alert the TSA. The indicator can be reset to green when you reset the combination.
Another big convenience with this lock is that you don’t have to set the combination to lock the cable. Just push in the cable regardless of the combination on the dials and it will lock.
While the Tarris TSA Lock has been one of the highest rated luggage locks on all review sites, some people have noted how easy it can be to open the lock. Some locks will open by pushing in the side button and turning the dials until the cable is released. While it doesn’t happen for all buyers, this causes some concern. Nevertheless, your purchase is protected by 100% satisfaction guarantee and backed by lifetime warranty. If you have any problems with your purchase, you can always get in touch with Tarris, which has an excellent customer service record.
The Lewis N. Clark TSA-Approved Triple Security Lockdown lock is the most versatile locks available in the market.
Its most distinct feature is its two cables. One cable is long to attach to the luggage handle or to any other item like a railing to keep your luggage from rolling away. It also keeps thieves from moving the bag. The shorter cable is for threading to zippers. Both cables are flexible and can be twisted any which way.
The three-dial chrome combination adds security to the lock. The lock is also very slim and compact for easier handling.
The lock also comes with a resetting key that triggers the reset points. You can reset the combination any time. If you lose the key, a paperclip or anything similar can still reset the triggers.
The lock gets a bit tricky if you’re not careful. The long cable and the short cable go into specific parts of the lock, so fastening the cable to the wrong ends will lock you out of your luggage. Also, only the short cable is TSA-approved, so make sure that the short cable is the one attached to your zippers. Otherwise, the TSA won’t be able to open your bags with their master key, and they will have to destroy the lock, leaving your bag vulnerable as it rolls down the baggage claim.
The 4-Digit Combination Steel Padlock comes in different bright and shiny colors. This makes it easier for you to spot your luggage in a sea of black and gray bags at the airport.
They’re lightweight and compact, but still very sturdy and secure. The 4-dial combination also takes 10 times longer to crack than the 3-dial counterparts.
The steel lock is slim and can go through small zippers, but it’s not flexible and a little bit more difficult to lock than the cables.
The combination locks may be tricky to set in the beginning, but there are links to video instructions in the packaging.
As a testament to the quality and durability of the locks, your purchase comes with a 60-day money back guarantee, a 3-year warranty, and excellent customer service.
Since the locks are small and the numbers are chrome, it can be difficult to read the numbers and set the locks. Regardless of this tiny flaw, there have been very few complaints about these locks with many users attesting to how difficult it is to crack the lock open.
If you’re more into letters and less into numbers, then Wordlock is for you. Number combinations can be easy to forget, so Wordlock uses letters and words as combinations.
Their patented Wordlock technology combines the best mix of vowels and consonants on the rotating letter dials. It may take a bit of time for you to find the best four-letter word, but the 4-dial combination is more secure than the 3-dial combination counterparts.
The black dials with white lettering makes it easier to see the combinations, especially in dim lighting. Older versions of the lock use a plastic piece for where the bar drops into. The new version now has a metal insert that secure the steel bar, making the lock more sturdy and secure.
A possible vulnerability is the locks come with suggested four-letter word combinations. While highly unlikely, anyone with a copy of these suggestions can crack the code.
The locks come in several colors for easier identification, but not bright enough to see from afar.
The Acrodo All Metal International Luggage Lock is made of solid steel and is probably one of the sturdiest locks out there. The solid steel arch of the lock is designed to prevent being broken and cut. Since it’s TSA-approved, your lock can be opened by the TSA without it being destroyed (because they might not be able to).
The 3-dial combination features black numbers on chrome, but are larger and bolder than other counterparts. This makes the numbers easier to read even under dim lighting.
The lock also features a pop-up indicator. The red button at the bottom of the lock pops up if your lock has been opened by the TSA.
The lock is also magnetic, which means that the steel bar doesn’t “click” into the lock. It will be held in place by twisting the dials to a random combination.
While the lock is sturdy and durable, it’s also a bit bulkier than most other locks.
Having a luggage lock is an easy and quick way to add security to your belongings. While it doesn’t 100% prevent your luggage from being stolen, it’s meant to slow down would-be thieves and just deter them from fiddling with your items all together.
Just like with any travel gear, the best lock depends on the kind of travel you do. The important thing is you have something sturdy, durable, and secure to keep your luggage safe.