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11 Best TSA-Approved Locks for Travel

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Are you planning your next trip and wondering how to lock your luggage securely? Well, don’t get stressed out. Here are the best TSA-approved locks to protect your stuff while traveling.

Whether you want to visit London or Paris, traveling is always fun. But, the whole experience can be ruined if you lose or misplace some of your stuff during the trip. You never know who you’ll encounter, where you’re going, or how safe the place is.

Protecting your valuables with TSA luggage locks is necessary to ensure the journey is fulfilling. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. For this reason, you must carry luggage locks that protect your luggage against snoopers and thieves.

Over the past few years, luggage locks have significantly evolved, with many quality locks available in the market. Lucky for you, we have come up with a list of the best TSA-approved locks, which will ensure the safety of your belongings during your entire trip.

TL;DR

Best TSA-Approved Locks for Travel

1. Master Lock TSA Combination Luggage Lock

Master Lock 4688D luggage lock

We recommend the Master Lock TSA Combination Luggage Lock for travelers looking for a TSA-approved lock with a convenient combination feature and durability. The Master Lock 4688D is a reliable luggage lock designed to make traveling more secure without causing any hassle during TSA inspections.

The lock’s metal body ensures durability, while the vinyl-covered flexible braided steel shackle provides resistance against abuse from baggage handling equipment. This lock is ideal for those who want a hassle-free, keyless security option for their luggage and backpacks.

One notable feature of this lock is the ability to set your three-digit combination. This means you won’t have to worry about keeping track of a key during your travels. However, be aware that dial precision is required when unlocking, and accidental combination changes are possible if you release the button during the setting process. This lock offers great value for its price.

Pros

  • TSA-approved for easy inspection
  • Set your combination for convenience
  • Durable metal body with a vinyl-covered flexible braided steel shackle

Cons

  • The cable length might be too long for some users
  • Dial precision is needed for unlocking
  • Accidental combination changes are possible during setting

2. Forge TSA Approved Cable Luggage Locks, 4 Pack

Forge TSA Approved Cable Luggage Locks
Forge TSA Approved Cable Luggage Locks / Amazon

Forge’s TSA-approved cable luggage locks offer a durable and versatile solution for securing your belongings while traveling. The Forge TSA-approved cable luggage locks are designed to withstand rough handling and provide a reliable way to secure your luggage.

With an easy-to-use lever mechanism, setting and changing the 3-digit combination is a breeze. The cable lock offers flexibility that traditional lock shackles can’t handle, making it easy to thread through standard-sized zippers and hard case lock holes.

Besides suitcases and luggage, these versatile locks can be used on briefcases, gym lockers, purses, backpacks, or laptop bags, providing versatility for your security needs. With their lifetime guarantee, it’s worth considering these locks for your travel security needs.

Pros

  • Most durable TSA-recognized and accepted lock
  • Easy-to-set 3-digit combination
  • Flexible cable lock for diverse situations

Cons

  • The cable may be too thin for some preferences
  • No key option for added security
  • Limited to only 3-digit combinations

3. Master Lock TSA Luggage Locks

Master Lock TSA Luggage Locks
Master Lock / Amazon

We recommend the Master Lock TSA Luggage Locks for those who seek a convenient essential lock set that offers basic luggage security and prevents damage from TSA inspections. The Master Lock TSA Luggage Locks come in a pack of four, making them an excellent choice for travelers with multiple bags or families.

These locks are specifically designed for backpacks, bags, briefcases, and luggage. Constructed from a solid metal body and featuring a steel shackle, these locks provide an added level of security, protecting your belongings from opportunistic thieves. While they may not be enough to thwart a determined criminal, they deter casual luggage tampering.

Pros

  • TSA approved for hassle-free airport security checks
  • Solid metal body and steel shackle for cut resistance
  • Convenient for multi-luggage travel with a single key for all locks

Cons

  • May not deter determined thieves
  • Small size and potentially flimsy feel
  • It could be difficult to unlock initially without lubrication

4. Fosmon TSA Accepted Cable Luggage Locks

Fosmon TSA Accepted Cable Luggage Locks
Fosmon / Amazon

These Fosmon TSA-approved luggage locks are excellent for secure and worry-free travel experiences. Fosmon’s luggage locks provide peace of mind during travel by allowing TSA agents to check your luggage without damaging the locks.

With a 3-digit combination, the locks are easily resettable and offer keyless convenience, eliminating the worry of losing a key. The zinc alloy body and steel cable ensure durability, while the cable’s flexibility makes these locks suitable for numerous applications, including backpacks, suitcases, and lockers.

The locks’ easy-to-read dials and versatile design make them a solid choice for travelers seeking security, convenience, and reliability.

Pros

  • TSA accepted hassle-free inspections
  • Durable and flexible with zinc alloy body and steel cable
  • Versatile and easy to use with a 3-digit combination

Cons

  • The release button may allow accidental unlocking
  • Not the highest level of security with only three digits

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5. BV TSA Approved Luggage Travel Lock

BV luggage locks

This BV TSA Approved Luggage Travel Lock is a reliable and secure option for protecting your belongings during travel. The keyless combination lock system is convenient and easy to use, offering 1,000 combinations to ensure your belongings’ safety.

The lock is also TSA-accepted, which means that the TSA agents can open and inspect your luggage without breaking your lock. Given its pros and cons, we recommend considering this lock for your travel security needs, but you must consider the potential limitations.

For those who love traveling, these BV travel locks are excellent for safeguarding your belongings. The locks will ensure that you travel in style and comfort. You can choose from eight available colors depending on your preference. BV travel locks are an incredible choice for family vacations or business travel.

Pros

  • TSA accepted hassle-free inspections
  • Keyless combination lock – hassle-free with 1,000 possible combinations
  • Versatile usage – suitable for luggage, gym lockers, and more

Cons

  • It may be susceptible to cutting by wire cutters
  • Instructions for setting combination could be clearer
  • Potential issues with durability over time

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6. Black 4 Pack TSA Approved Travel Luggage Locks by Forge

Forge luggage locks

This Forge travel lock is made from solid zinc alloy and hardened steel for the shackles. It comes as a pack of four, with simple-design keys that can open each. These are among the best TSA-approved locks that can fit almost anywhere, including luggage bags, travel purses, gym lockers, wheeled backpacks, or laptop computer bags.

One fantastic feature of these locks is that when an agent opens it, they must lock it back to remove the key. This feature ensures that your luggage is properly locked after inspection.

Pros

  • Durable and TSA-approved
  • Unique security feature with an advanced dimple key and hardened steel tumbler system
  • Must be relocked to remove the key, ensuring luggage remains locked
  • Versatile use for various items and locations

Cons

  • It may be more expensive than other TSA-approved locks
  • Keys might be easy to misplace, leading to inconvenience

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7. 4 Digit Combination Padlocks with a Hardened Steel Shackle by Anvil

Anvil luggage locks

This highly-rated set of four TSA-approved baggage locks is ideal for family travel. These luggage locks allow you to seamlessly set a four-digit combination to protect your luggage against theft or any loss during transit.

Besides their sturdy zinc alloy bodies, the locks also come with hardened steel shackles that are pretty hard to break. This helps keep your stuff secure throughout your journey, including any inspection at the airports and your stay in the hotels.

Pros

  • TSA-approved and secure with a 4-digit combination
  • Sturdy construction with zinc alloy body and hardened steel shackle
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Easy to change the combination

Cons

  • Potential difficulty in setting or remembering the 4-digit combination
  • Bulkier than other lock options, potentially taking up more space on luggage

See Related: Best Travel Hangers for Trips

8. 2 Pack TSA Approved Luggage Locks For Travel by TravelMore

TravelMore luggage locks

This is another set of unique locks that are pretty sturdy and durable. If you are planning to carry on luggage during travel, these locks can come in handy in securing your luggage. The pack can include one padlock or a set of 2, 3, or 4 locks.

The tough zinc alloy used to make these luggage locks helps to increase the security level and your peace of mind.

Pros

  • Durable, sturdy, and TSA-compliant design
  • Interchangeable keys for convenience
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Versatile for various uses
  • Features a 3-dial combination security system

Cons

  • The smaller number of dials may be less secure than 4-digit combination locks
  • The design may not be as sleek as other lock options, potentially affecting aesthetics

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9. Lumintrail TSA Approved All Metal International Travel Luggage Locks

Lumintrail luggage locks

No matter if you’re a domestic or an international traveler, these luggage locks by Lumintrail come in handy. They help you to keep calm, knowing that your luggage is safe. The steel-coated bodies and the steel-made shackles make the locks unbreakable, thus protecting your luggage from petty thieves.

The locks are also multipurpose, which means you can use them for various purposes, such as locking your backpack, bag, small cabinets, or suitcases. 

Pros

  • Durable steel-coated material and steel shackles
  • TSA approved
  • Four-digit security combination
  • Flexible steel cables
  • Multipurpose design
  • Assorted colors

Cons

  • Bulkier than some other lock options

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10. Triple TSA Luggage Security Lock by Lewis N. Clark

Lewis Clark luggage locks

Like most locks in this category, these triple security locks make it easier for TSA agents to inspect your belongings. The locks also ensure peace of mind as you travel worldwide.

The unique feature that these locks boast of is their triple security features. Lewis N. Clark incorporated this triple security feature to ensure your luggage is safe from thieves and damage.

Pros

  • Triple security features for enhanced protection
  • Versatile for various uses
  • 3-dial combination system
  • Strong cast zinc alloy construction with ABS plastic covering
  • Robust steel braided cables

Cons

  • Bulkier than other lock options due to triple security features

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11. TSA Compatible Travel Luggage Locks by Sure Lock

TSA approved Locks by Sure Locks

This luggage lock had to feature in this list of the best TSA-approved locks. Why? These locks by Sure Lock have all the essential features to offer you peace of mind during your tour. The Sure Lock luggage locks are highly rated based on price and quality.

Pros

  • Versatile and easy to use
  • TSA search and open alert indicator
  • TSA compliant
  • Foolproof keyless locks with a preset combination
  • Durable ultra-tough alloy body

Cons

  • It may be more expensive than other TSA-approved locks

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What are TSA-Approved Luggage Locks?

These locks have passed the TSA’s (Transportation Security Administration) minimum security requirements and features. A TSA luggage lock must come with a Travel Sentry logo.

Travel Sentry is the body responsible for overseeing the manufacture and endorsement of travel locks. The TSA-approved locks are made in a way that they can be opened by security agencies accountable for the travel security of US citizens.

It means the TSA has a universal key to open all locks containing the Travel Sentry logo. Travel Sentry was established in 2003 as a security countermeasure and ensures that the locks meet the TSA lock requirements.

Buying Guide for the Best Luggage Locks

We understand the importance of keeping your luggage secure during your travels. That’s why we’ve put together this buying guide to help you choose the best TSA-approved luggage lock. This section will discuss essential factors to consider when purchasing a good luggage lock.

Lock Type

There are various types of TSA-approved luggage locks available on the market. These include:

  • Keyed locks
  • Combination locks
  • Retractable cable locks
  • Smart locks

Consider your preferences and usage when selecting the lock type that suits you best.

Lock Material

Look for locks made from high-quality and durable materials. Common materials used for luggage locks are:

[TABLE SEE WORDPRESS AND LEAVE AS IS]

MaterialProsConsSteel (Zinc Alloy)Highly durable, resistant to cuttingMay be heavier, susceptible to rust aluminium AlloyLightweight, resistant to corrosionLess durable than steelABS PlasticVery lightweight, affordableLess durable, less secure

Consider your travel habits, weight preferences, and desired level of security when choosing the material for your lock.

Lock Size

Ensuring the lock will fit your luggage zippers, zipper pulls, and handles comfortably is crucial. Pick a lock size that is easy to use and compatible with your luggage.

Ease of Use

Ensure your lock is user-friendly, especially if you open and close it frequently. For combination locks, look for those with easy-to-set combinations or large dials. For keyed locks, ensure the key is easy to insert and turn.

How Does a TSA-Approved Lock Work?

A TSA-approved lock has a keyhole at its bottom. This keyhole enables the TSA to open the lock using its unique universal key. This helps them quickly inspect the luggage without requiring you to open or break the lock.

For this reason, using a TSA-approved lock is mandatory to ensure that your luggage remains safe even after the inspection. If you use a different lock that the TSA can’t open, they will break it, exposing your belongings.

Identification

Although numerous companies do manufacture these locks, the locking mechanisms are only created by two manufacturers. These include the Travel Sentry and the Safe Skies companies.

Both companies include a red logo on all their locks to make it easier for buyers, TSA agents, and airport workers to identify them.

The logo for the Travel Sentry is a 3D open-squared-diamond design, while that from the Safe Skies includes a torch and a flame.

Codes

Each TSA-approved lock has a unique code inscribed for easy access. Every code resembles a specific key in the set of master keys in possession of the TSA agents. The master keys are only available to TSA agents.

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Are TSA Locks Safe?

Although the locks are not entirely theft-proof, they are an incredible way to keep your luggage safe. Also, since the TSA may require you to open your suitcase to inspect what is inside, having a TSA-approved lock ensures that they can do so and leave your luggage locked and safe. If you use a different lock, the TSA authority will break your lock and leave your luggage without any certainty.

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What’s Wrong With Luggage Locks?

Locks on bags are usually easy to break off. I have seen this happen before. A thief was trying to get into a bag in a train station but couldn’t. He punched the lock with an ice pick and broke it, so everyone could see what was inside the bag.

Locks are easy to grab. Lift the suitcase by the handle and yank. This is one of the main reasons that I never trust them. If both of my locks are off, someone can go in my suitcase and steal my precious belongings without breaking anything.

Types of Luggage Locks

Some locks for luggage are pinned to the suitcase handle with a longer strap, and others can be locked around the luggage’s zipper so that they don’t get detached.

Some locks use keys like a traditional lock on your front door, but some have combination codes. For the more common locks, there is usually a tiny hole on one side of the lock that you can push something into to open it.

Combination Lock

Combination locks are like the ones used for bicycles or school lockers; they have a combination code to open them. To open combination locks, spin until the numbers line up and the lock opens. If you make a mistake, there are usually arrows that show you which direction to turn in to fix your error.

Combination locks can use numbers from 0 to 9. Some locks have more than a three-digit combination. But some only have one or two numbers. These are easier to crack because you only need to try those a few times.

Key lock

Key locks are just like the ones used for your front door. Just push down on the shank, and the cylinder will pop up, allowing you to turn and unlock it.

Pin locks

One of the most common types of padlocks, a pin lock, is generally used for securing gym bags and toolboxes. The differentiator between them and key locks is that keys cannot be inserted into them, which can be problematic if you are trying to pick them.

Cable lock

A cable lock has a metal loop, while a key lock has a plastic shank that goes into a hole on one side of the cable lock. Be careful if you’re checking your baggage onto an airplane because it’s common for baggage handlers to cut off locks when they don’t have the right tools. So after you see them put your bags on the conveyor belt, look them over to make sure they’re still there.

Traveling can become a headache when you constantly think about your luggage’s security. But with these impressive locks, you can relax knowing your luggage is safe.

And although the locks are not entirely theft-proof, they offer considerable peace of mind during travel. You are sure that even after the luggage has been checked, it will remain safe as a locked bag. Our list of the best TSA-approved locks offers you a variety of locks that have been tried, used, and passed the test.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are TSA-approved locks?

TSA-approved locks are locks that the TSA approves. When agents go through your luggage, they can unlock your lock using their master key and relock it for you. This is done so that they can inspect without damaging the contents of your luggage.

Can I use non-approved locks during air travel?

You can use any lock during air travel, but it needs to have the ability for a TSA Master Key. The TSA Master Key is a master set of two keys that can unlock any lock. Every TSA agent has one for when they want to access your luggage.

Where can I buy a TSA-approved luggage lock?

A TSA-approved luggage lock is a particular type of lock that is typically made out of metal and has a key. This allows the TSA to open the lock to inspect your luggage for explosives or other dangerous materials. You should be able to find these locks at most stores that sell luggage or any reputable online retailer, such as Amazon or Target.

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