Having partaken in several travel adventures over the years now, I have acquired quite an extensive collection of bag locks to suit my various bag-locking needs.
I have retractable locks, TSA approved locks and little locks with little keys. I once even owned a PacSafe before deciding I was never going to use it, thus selling it on Amazon.
The truth is, as a traveler with stuff, bag locks are an important security measure — mostly against the opportune thieves, but important nonetheless. Here are some of the locks to consider adding to your packing list:
Little Locks with Keys
These tiny locks are great for when you just need to lock up the zips on your daypack.
This measure tends to keep opportune thieves and pickpockets in check.
Whatever you do, however, don’t lose your key!
TSA Approved Locks
These locks are perfect for locking up backpacks (if yours allows for that) and suitcases before flights.
It makes sure that zips don’t come undone mid-transport, letting your bag unfurl, and it also keeps those opportune thieves at bay!
With the TSA lock, the inspectors can get in and out without damaging your suitcase.
TSA Cable Locks
The locks are pretty much the same size as a normal lock, but their latching mechanism is a cable.
This flexibility helps the lock work in more situations — in hostel dorm lockers, for suitcases, on your daypack and more.
I highly recommend these locks.
Retractable Cable Locks
Retractable cable locks are a bit bulkier than your standard models, but the cable (about a meter long in many cases) gives the lock ultimate flexibility.
You can use this lock for all the above uses plus locking your bags together, locking your bags to bed frames and bars, and anything else creative.
The PacSafe is like a lock for your entire bag. The sturdy exomesh wraps around your backpack and then has a cable that can be used to secure to a fixed object.
However, they are a bit heavy when not in use, and they do sort of make a person stand out more in a crowd.
I did not use my PacSafe lock once while in Central America.
Out of This List
I would recommend a cable lock with combination (no key) as a go-to versatile bag lock. I’ve been using mine for years now on every single trip I take. I also have the retractable cable lock, which is used less often, but also a true asset when needed.
What sort of locks or security measures do you have in line to protect your stuff when you travel?