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Best Overall: Tarriss TSA Lock with SearchAlert at Amazon
"A fantastic option that is slightly different than most padlocks."
Runner-Up, Best Overall: Anvil TSA-Approved Locks at Amazon
"Popular with travelers who prefer a combination lock."
Best Key Lock: Forge TSA-Approved Luggage Locks at Amazon
"With a simple design that prevents people from picking the lock."
Best for Added Security: Lumintrail TSA Locks at Amazon
"Attach bags together using the four-foot steel cables."
Best for One-Time Use: Pick Proof Seals at Amazon
"If you don’t want to tote locks and keys around."
Best Design: TravelMore TSA Approved Luggage Locks at Amazon
"Features a sleek, 'barrel' design."
Best for Durability: Sure Lock Travel Luggage Locks at Amazon
"Claimed as the most durable lock on the market."
Best Luggage Strap: LC-dolida TSA Travel Strap at Amazon
"Comes with the added advantage of a built-in three-digit combination lock."
Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Tarriss TSA Lock with SearchAlert
Improving its original design, Tarriss' TSA Lock Alert is a fantastic option that is slightly different than most padlocks. The shackle on this lock is a flexible – but sturdy – cable cord design that easily bends to slip through zippers. The three-digit lock combinations are located on large dials that are clearly labeled in bright white and stand out against the black lock. Another handy feature is the search indicator light to alert you if the TSA has opened your lock to check your bag. The set comes with two locks made of sturdy zinc alloy (it's available in blue or red).
Runner-Up, Best Overall: Anvil TSA-Approved Locks
For a standard TSA lock that comes in a pack of two, the Anvil TSA locks are popular with travelers who prefer a combination lock. The four-digit combo locks let you choose your own combination and change it at any time. Simply attach the locks through the hole on the luggage zippers. The locks are made of zinc with durable steel shackles and have numbers that pop out against the yellow background. If your luggage looks similar to others, the bright yellow locks can differentiate it in the baggage claim. A lifetime warranty is included.
Best Key Lock: Forge TSA-Approved Luggage Locks
For a classic key lock, the Forge TSA locks are an easy choice. The locks are constructed from zinc alloy, with shackles made of strong, hardened steel. Keys have a simple design that prevents people from picking the lock and each key in your set of four can unlock the others – so you don’t have to worry if you lose one. These TSA locks can fit onto luggage or backpack zippers, gym lockers, purses, and laptop bags. They also come with a lifetime warranty. In the event that the locks are opened by TSA, the agent will have to re-lock it in order to remove the key.
Best for Added Security: Lumintrail TSA Locks
For extra protection, the Lumintrail TSA locks come in a pack of two and have two flexible (but durable) cables — all for a reasonable price. If you’re traveling with a friend or family member, you can easily attach bags together using the four-foot steel cables for additional security, or to easily find your bags in a storage area. They are also ideal for backpackers staying in hostels with shared rooms (attach the cable to the bed or other furniture). The three-digit combination locks can be set (and reset) to the combination of your choosing and come in red, silver, or black.
Best for One-Time Use: Pick Proof Seals
If you’re looking for a less conventional way to secure bags and don’t want to tote locks and keys around, consider the Pick Proof Locks for one-time use travel. The “locks” are made of plastic and are used as a zip tie, but each has a tab with a number that matches the tie. If TSA, luggage handlers, or thieves remove or replace them — you’ll know. The bright yellow tags act as a deterrent but can be opened and removed without scissors by the owner. They come in three packs of 60 “locks.”
Best Design: TravelMore TSA Approved Luggage Locks
Unlike traditional locks, this TSA-approved lock from TravelMore features a sleek, "barrel" design. Despite its unique appearance, the lock is made of durable, zinc alloy to handle any trip. Each lock even comes two keys for extra security for your luggage. In addition to securing suitcases, its detachable wire stem slips easily through zipper pulls to protect your duffel bags, purses, backpacks, or other bags. There's a 1, 2, or 4 pack to choose from, with an orange color option to stand out in baggage claim.
Best for Durability: Sure Lock Travel Luggage Locks
Claimed as the most durable lock on the market, Sure Lock's TSA-approved locks are constructed of ultra-tough alloy to withstand any type of bag handling. The company strongly stands by its locks' strength that they even offer a money-back guarantee. You'll rest assured knowing these locks will last you years, thanks to its stainless steel lock mechanisms that won't rust or freeze. Better yet, it comes with an indicator button for security, which pops out of the TSA lock if the case has been inspected. The cable lock is also flexible enough to use on other luggage or valuables.
Best Luggage Strap: LC-dolida TSA Travel Strap
Luggage straps are an added layer of security for your baggage to prevent it from accidentally opening, but they can also help you combine several pieces of luggage together. The TSA Travel Luggage Strap by LC-dolida comes with the added advantage of an approved three-digit combination lock built right into the strap that is easy to set and to open. The straps fit best on 18 to 32-inch bags and are made of durable nylon webbing. The product come in a variety of colors, thus making it easy to spot luggage on a conveyor belt.
How We Tested
Our reviewers tested a top-rated TSA-approved lock by attaching it to their suitcases while traveling for days at a time. We asked our testers to consider the most important features when using this TSA-approved lock, from its design to its ease of use. We've outlined the major points here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.
What to Look for in a TSA-Approved Lock
Locking mechanism These devices can lock in a number of ways, and each has its advantages and disadvantages. You can opt for a traditional key lock to slip on your keyring (though what if your keys get lost?) or a combination lock (just don’t forget the combo you decided on). Think about how you like to operate while traveling and make your decision from there.
Luggage strap vs. lock Instead of a traditional lock, some travelers swear by luggage straps, which wrap around suitcases (think: a ribbon on a gift) to keep all sides secure. One drawback, though, is that they’re a little more cumbersome to finagle.
One-time use vs. repeated If toting locks and keys around or memorizing combinations isn’t for you, think about getting a one-time use lock. These models are more like zip ties but are as secure as more traditional options.