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9 Best TSA Approved Locks for Travel (2022 Guide)

9 Best TSA Approved Locks for Travel (2022 Guide)

Are you planning for your next trip and wondering how to lock your luggage securely? Well, don’t get stressed up. Here are the nine best TSA-approved locks that are ideal for protecting 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. The fact is, you never know who you’ll encounter where you’re going, or how safe is the place.

Protecting your luggage is, therefore, a travel necessity, to ensure that the whole journey is fulfilling. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

For this reason, it’s quite necessary that you carry luggage locks that can 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.

You don’t want to keep worrying the whole way. But before that,

What are TSA Approved Luggage Locks?

These are locks that have passed the TSA’s (Transportation Security Administration) minimum security requirements and features.

A TSA luggage lock needs to come with a Travel Sentry logo on it.

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 responsible for the travel security of US citizens.

It means that the TSA has a universal key to open all locks that contain the Travel Sentry logo.

Travel Sentry was established in 2003 as a security countermeasure and ensures that the locks are as per the TSA lock requirements.

How Do TSA Locks Work?

A TSA approved lock has a keyhole at its bottom. This keyhole enables the TSA to open the lock using their special universal key.

This helps them to easily inspect the luggage without requiring you to open the lock, or having to break it.

For this reason, it’s mandatory to use a TSA-approved lock 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, leaving your belongings exposed.

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.

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Codes

For easy access, each TSA-approved lock has a special code inscribed on it. Every code resembles a certain key in the set of master keys in possession of the TSA agents.

The master keys are only available to the TSA agents.

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Are TSA Locks Safe?

Although the locks are not completely theft-proof, they are quite 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 lock.

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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 ended up punching the lock with an ice pick and broke it, so everyone could see what was inside the bag.

Locks are also pretty easy to grab off too; just lift another 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, then someone can go in my suitcase and take it without breaking anything.

Types of Luggage Locks

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

Some of these locks use keys just like a traditional lock on your front door, but there are also locks that have combination codes. For the more common locks, there is usually a small 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, just 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 spin in to fix your mistake.

Combination locks can use numbers from 0 to 9. There are 36 possible combinations. It takes about 5 minutes for someone to crack a combination lock and it could take longer if the person tries different combinations that work.

There are locks that have more than 6 numbers. But some only have one or two numbers. These are easier to crack because you only need to try those 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 which then allows you to turn it 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

9 Best TSA Approved Locks for Luggage

With these TSA-approved locks, you can travel with ease, having the desired peace of mind.

Tarriss TSA Lock with SearchAlert (2 Pack) by Tarriss

best TSA approved locks

The 4.5 stars rated lock from Tarriss is one of the best TSA-approved locks in the market.

The pack comes as a pair of two flexible cable locks, with a lifetime warranty. With Tarriss you can be sure to have the best value for your money.

These locks are recognized and approved by the TSA across the US. This means that your bags can easily be inspected, without the presence of any damage on the lock. While the lock helps to keep your bags safe from thieves, the search alert feature notifies you whenever the bag is electronically searched.

Some of the most incredible features of this Tarriss lock include:

  • Lifetime warranty and complete satisfaction: helps to offer the much-desired peace of mind as you know your luggage is safe from thieves. Whether it’s in your hotel, or at the airport, the two-pack TSA-approved locks ensure the safety of your bags.
  • Robust, durable, and reliable: made from a sturdy zinc alloy that provides unmatched security.
  • 3-Dial combination: you can set a three digits combination code for added security to your luggage. The dials are large and easy to read for anyone.
  • Flexible cable lock: this provides easy winding through your luggage zipper.
  • SearchAlert: this feature alerts you any time your bag is being checked electronically. When the lock is opened, the indicator will change color from green to red. Read these tips for luggage-free travel if you want to travel lightly.

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Black 4 Pack TSA Approved Travel Luggage Locks by Forge

Forge luggage locks

Forge is another company that makes incredibly strong travel locks. This Forge lock is made from strong zinc alloy and hardened steel for the shackles.

It comes as a pack of four locks, with simple-design keys that can open each of the four locks.

These are among the best TSA-approved locks that can fit almost anywhere, including luggage bags, travel purses, gym lockers, wheeled backpacks, or laptop bags.

One amazing feature with 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 not left unlocked.

Other incredible features of the Black 4 packs luggage locks include:

  • Durable and TSA approved: these locks by Forge are made from strong materials both on the body and the shackles. These, together with the patented internal mechanisms make the locks quite sturdy. The company will refund or replace any lock that has been broken.
  • Security: Forge Company uses an “advanced dimple key and hardened steel tumbler system,” which guarantees more security than the traditional systems. Most other luggage locks use the old style which is prone to theft and freezing during very cold weather.
  • Always relocked: since you need to relock the padlock to remove the key, it means that you can never leave the padlock unlocked. After the TSA agents have inspected your luggage, you are sure that they will relock it.
  • Various uses: the locks are quite versatile, meaning that you can use them to lock other places apart from checked luggage. For example, they can also be great locks for backpackers and gym lockers to protect your personal belongings.

These locks are very popular and have a 4.7 stars rating on Amazon. 

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4 Digit Combination Padlocks with a Hardened Steel Shackle by Anvil

Anvil luggage locks

This is 4.6 stars rated set of four TSA-approved baggage locks that are ideal for family tours. 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 quite hard to break.

This helps to keep your stuff secure throughout your journey, including any inspection at the airports, as well as your stay in the hotels.

And, since it’s a TSA approved luggage lock, airport security and a TSA inspector can easily access your luggage.

Some excellent features of these locks include:

  • A four-digit combination for more security
  • Made of strong zinc alloy and steel
  • Lifetime warranty
  • 100% approved by the TSA
  • Easy to change your 4-digit combination
  • Comes in different colors

See Related: Best Travel Hangers for Trips

2 Pack TSA Approved Luggage Locks For Travel by TravelMore

TravelMore luggage locks

This is another set of unique locks that are quite sturdy and durable. If you are planning to 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 as well as your peace of mind.

The most notable features of TravelMore luggage locks include:

  • Unique, sturdy, and sleek design that is TSA compliant
  • All four locks can be opened by keys, from either of the other locks
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Versatile, making it ideal for various uses
  • A 3-dial combination security system

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2 Pack Lumintrail TSA Approved All Metal International Travel Luggage Locks by Lumintrail

Lumintrail luggage locks

Whether you are 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, as well as 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. 

Other features that make the locks unique include:

  • Four-digit security combination
  • Flexible steel cables
  • Made of a durable steel coated material
  • TSA approved
  • Assorted colors

The locks have a four stars rating on Amazon, which shows that they are quite popular. If you want to protect your luggage, these are ideal locks for you.

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TSA Approved Luggage Travel Lock by BV

BV luggage locks

For those people who love traveling, these BV travel locks are excellent in safeguarding your belongings.

The locks will ensure that you travel in style and comfort. With 1000 potential lock combinations, the locks guarantee impeccable safety, whereby you can set any three-digit code of your choice.

The BV locks are excellent for various uses like gym and school lockers, suitcases, or travel backpacks.

You can choose from the three available colors depending on your preference. What makes the locks unique?

  • TSA accepted designs
  • A 3-digit resettable combination code
  • Impressive versatility
  • Sturdy, durable design
  • Affordable prices

With 4.4 stars rating, BV travel locks are an incredible choice when going for that family vacation or business tour.

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Master Lock 4688D TSA Approved 1 Pack, Luggage Lock by Master Lock

Master Lock 4688D luggage lock

The Master 4688D combination lock is a versatile and secure lock that allows TSA agents to inspect your luggage with ease.

It ensures that the agents can easily unlock and relock your luggage after inspection, thus minimizing damages.

The locks are durable and quite sturdy.

Best features include:

  • A vinyl-covered flexible cable that doesn’t scratch your backpack
  • Various beautiful colors
  • 3-digit combination system
  • Durable metal body with steel cable
  • Multipurpose design

Although the padlocks are not totally theft-proof, they help prevent petty thieves and snoopers from accessing your luggage. This means that you have considerable peace of mind regarding your valuables during your travel.

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

Lewis Clark luggage locks

Just like most locks in this category, these triple security locks make it easier for the TSA agents to inspect your belongings. The locks also ensure that you have peace of mind as you travel throughout the world.

The unique feature that these locks boast of is their triple security features. The features are incorporated to ensure that your luggage is safe from thieves and damages.

Other excellent features of the Lewis N Clark cable lock include:

  • Versatility: they can be used for numerous purposes including locking your laptop bag, suitcase, diaper bag, or even your purse.
  • Security: includes a 3-dial combination system which you can reset to any combination of your choice.
  • Strength and durability: they are made of a strong cast zinc alloy, with ABS plastic covering.
  • Robust steel braided cables

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TSA Compatible Travel Luggage Locks by Sure Lock

TSA approved Locks by Sure Locks

This is another luggage lock that 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.

These features include:

  • Versatility and Ease of use: Can be used with virtually any kind of luggage
  • TSA search and open alert indicator: this notifies you every time the security agents inspects your luggage
  • TSA compliant
  • Foolproof Keyless locks: this helps to increase security as you have to open with a preset combination
  • Durability: made of ultra-tough alloy body that guarantees durability

The Sure-Lock luggage locks are rated 4.7 stars on Amazon, which means most people are satisfied with the service that these locks offer.

See Related: 7 Best Minimalist Travel Backpacks

Conclusion on the Best TSA Approved Locks for Travel

Traveling can become a headache when are constantly thinking about the security of your luggage.

But with these impressive locks, you can relax knowing that 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 padlocks offers you a variety of locks that have been tried, used, and passed the test. We hope that you’ll find one that will make your next trip a stress-free one.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are TSA-approved locks?

TSA-approved padlocks are locks that are approved by the TSA. When agents go through your luggage, they have the capability to 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.

How do I know if my locks are TSA-approved?

If you have 3 dials on your lock or people mention seeing “TSA” marked on your lock, then it is considered a TSA-approved lock. Otherwise, there is no way to know if the lock is approved.

Can I use non-approved locks during air travel?

You can use any type of 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 keys that has the power to unlock any kind of lock. Every single TSA agent has one and they are used when they want to access your luggage.

Where can I buy a TSA-approved luggage lock?

A TSA-approved luggage lock is a special type of lock that is typically made out of metal and has a key. This allows the TSA to open the lock if they need to inspect your luggage for any 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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