If you've ever had items stolen from your luggage, you'll know that nothing ruins a holiday quite like it. It's one of the worst feelings in the world to open up your bag and see it's been tampered with or have it trundle towards you on the luggage belt and see the zip has been torn open.
Luckily, to avoid this heart-dropping ordeal, there is a solution: luggage locks. These largely inexpensive security items can be the difference between returning to your belongings to find them safe and undamaged or a holiday nightmare.
Luggage locks come in all shapes and sizes, from high-tech smart locks to your classic lock and key design. There are hundreds of variations on the market, but with so much choice, how do you find the best luggage lock to suit your needs?
Well, that’s where we come in. The Recommended has found the best to keep your stuff safe. With family packs, combination locks, and some helpful added info, we’re here to help you crack the code to optimal luggage security (see what we did there?).
The best luggage locks at a glance:
- Best basic lock: ZHEGE Combination Lock, £7.99, at Amazon
- Best combination lock: Diyife TSA Luggage Locks, £10.99, at Amazon
- Best for families: Temu 10 Mini Luggage Locks, £22.49, at Temu
- Best key lock: GoTravel Glo Key Locks, £7, at Boots
- Best cable lock: Go Travel Retractable Cable Luggage Padlock, £9.99, at John Lewis
- Best smart lock: ENER-J Fingerprint Padlock Black, £29.99, at Robert Dyas
- Best small lock: Mountain Warehouse Twin Locks, £7.99, at Mountain Warehouse
- Best versatile lock: Master Lock 1534EURD, £18.53, at Amazon
The best luggage locks
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This durable combination lock is reliable and affordable with a classic design. Its four-number combination makes it much more reliable than the classic three-number style lock (if you can trust your memory).
It is made with a durable zinc alloy and hardened steel for weatherproof and saw-resistant security. It also comes in seven different colourways if you fancy adding a bit of colour to your luggage.
These TSA-approved luggage locks are effective and affordable and made with durable zinc alloy and cut-resistant steel. The lock features a classic combination mechanism and a flexible cable that allows it to be fastened to a variety of bags and cases.
The travel sentry symbol helps to ensure your luggage can be searched safely if needed without damage to your belongings. You can buy the locks in five different colourways and each one is made with cut-resistant metal.
Value for money
This 10-pack of luggage locks is perfect for families, with each one coming in a different colour with a different key. The ten locks are strong enough to hold luggage and mean each person in the family gets their own personal lock.
There are enough in the pack that if your child loses one, which is quite likely, you'll be able to replace it with ease - just make sure they don't lose the key.
Best key lock: GoTravel Glo Key Locks
These key locks are great for travel as they come in vibrant colours which helps you identify your bag when travelling. They are not only aesthetically appealing but also provide a solid and dependable security layer between you and potential thieves.
Each pack includes two locks, each with its own set of two keys. If you want further help identifying your bag then why not try a luggage tag?
This retractable cable lock is a quick and versatile way to secure luggage and connect multiple bags for added safety. The 75cm steel cable attaches to permanent fixtures and adjusts to your desired length.
The cable can then be retracted by the press of a button. The user-friendly 3-dial combination lock eliminates the need for keys, allowing you to set a code for convenience.
This keyless padlock offers simplicity and convenience by using your fingerprint as the key, making it user-friendly for all ages. You can store up to 10 different fingerprints, ensuring access for your family members as well. It unlocks in just 0.5 seconds, and its zinc alloy construction provides robust security against theft.
With a rechargeable battery that lasts up to three months on standby, this padlock is a reliable and hassle-free choice and also comes with a 1-year guarantee.
Best small lock: Mountain Warehouse Twin Locks
Simple and secure
These padlocks are designed to perfectly fit through lockable zip sliders on all luggage cases so you can enjoy peace of mind when it comes to the security of your belongings.
They are crafted with sturdy brass construction and durable plastic casing to offer reliable protection. They also come with two spare keys, making them perfect for sharing responsibilities when you go on holiday.
Best versatile lock: Master Lock 1534EURD
This versatile lock can be used for all types of luggage and is highly resistant to cutting and sawing. The user-friendly 4-dial combination, featuring soft touch dials and 2 grip points, offers a secure, keyless experience.
With over 25 million personalised combinations, it is almost impossible to crack, plus it comes with the assurance of a lifetime warranty to provide you with added peace of mind.
Luggage Locks Buyer's Guide
Our guide to luggage locks to help you choose which one to buy:
What is a TSA-approved lock?
TSA-approved luggage locks are any locks that display the Travel Sentry Logo. These locks are made with an added mechanism that allows the lock to be opened by airport security staff using a specific key only available to them. This means that your luggage can be searched if needed without breaking the lock. Airport security teams will unlock your luggage, search it, and then relock it securely, helping to keep your belongings safe throughout your journey.
Luggage locks by design
- Combination: Combination locks generally use three or four-digit mechanisms to secure your belongings. Upon purchasing the lock, you can set your own passcode, which you’ll then need to open your luggage lock.
- Key: These classic locks use a traditional lock and key design to secure your luggage. Simply attach your lock to your luggage and unlock using the key provided. Make sure to keep it safe!
- Cable: Cable locks can use either key or combination mechanisms. Their defining feature is the flexible cable they use to secure luggage. These cables allow for added versatility and can be used on bags and cases of all shapes and sizes.
- Smart lock: Smart locks can be equipped with fingerprint ID or remotely controlled apps that control their use, allowing for added security.
How to use a luggage lock
If you've never used a luggage lock, here's a step-by-step guide on how to do so:
- Choose the right lock: Ensure you have a reliable and TSA-approved lock for air travel. TSA-approved locks can be opened and relocked by airport security without damaging your lock if they need to inspect your luggage.
- Set the combination (and don't forget it): If your lock is a combination lock, start by setting your unique combination. To do this, locate the combination dials on the lock's body. Most combination locks have three or four dials with numbers or letters on them. Rotate each dial to a specific number or letter to create your unique combination. Make sure you write down or remember the combination, as you'll need it to unlock your luggage.
- Lock the luggage: Zip up your luggage or suitcase and insert the shackle (the U-shaped metal part) into the holes or loops on the zippers or the designated lockable area of your luggage. Push or pull the shackle or cable through until it's secure. If you have a key lock, simply insert the key into the lock and turn it until it locks. If you have a combination lock, scramble the dials to hide your combination, preventing others from guessing it.
- Test the lock: Give the lock a gentle tug to ensure it's securely fastened to your luggage. It shouldn't easily come undone. Then, open at the destination.
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Isobel Nutbrown is a Staff Writer at The Recommended and works with leading industry experts to help readers make informed decisions and shop smarter online.
Finn Byrne is a Digital Writer for Immediate Media. He works across several brands including The Recommended, RadioTimes.com, MadeforMums and BBC Gardeners’ World. Finn has previously written for publications including MyLondon, The Mirror, The Express, and The Star. When not writing Finn enjoys spending time on the football pitch and getting stuck into a book.