The Best Luggage Locks (TSA Approved) To Keep Your Stuff Safe

Key Takeaway

  • While evaluating TSA-approved luggage locks, important factors to consider include durability, security, and ease of use.
  • The Master Lock 4688D combination lock, made of alloy steel for durability, is a keyless lock that unlocks using a specific three-digit combination code.
  • Talonport KeyCard Luggage locks are equipped with extremely high battery life, high-grade security, backup codes, and crowd-sourced location tracking.

Before making any purchase, please go through my recommendation process here to see how I recommend products.

Locks have become an integral part of our lives. With crime rates on the rise globally, it has become rather crucial to lock not only our homes but also other essentials like bicycles, gym lockers, laptop bags, and even travel luggage. 

Travel luggage locks make our travels quite convenient and stress-free because who wants to be in the air worrying about the safety of their luggage? And with TSA-approved travel locks for luggage, we can now travel without being concerned about the luggage lock being damaged by the airport authorities during inspection and checks. 

Now, let’s face it – choosing the right luggage lock can be a bit of a puzzle, especially with the gazillion types and models out there. But worry not, my fellow lock-lover, because I’m about to spill the beans on some of the best TSA-approved luggage locks out there. Buckle up and get ready to have your lock-loving mind blown!

What Is A TSA Approved Luggage Lock?

What Is A TSA Approved Luggage Lock?

The luggage locks that are approved by the Transportation Security Administration or TSA are basically the locks that can be unlocked and relocked by the airport authorities without any damage to the lock in case of any inspection of your luggage. These locks can be distinguished by a Travel Sentry logo on them. Simply put, any lock that has the Travel Sentry mark is a TSA-approved lock. 

Travel Sentry, founded in 2003, is the organization in charge of regulating the development and licensing of luggage locks that may be unlocked by airport security authorities like the TSA. The TSA approves and recognizes Travel Sentry locks and even advises using the locks that have been approved and recognized by the TSA to secure your checked luggage.

What To Consider While Buying A Luggage Lock?

What To Consider While Buying A Luggage Lock?

There are a few aspects of luggage locks that users must consider while deciding to buy one for themselves. I am listing a few of these aspects below.

TSA Approved

While investing in a travel lock for luggage, it is important to look for the Travel Sentry logo to see whether your luggage lock is TSA approved or not. While, it is not mandatory to have a TSA-approved lock on your luggage, it is definitely advised as it allows the airport security personnel to unlock and relock your luggage without any damage in case of any security investigation. 

Type Of Lock

There are a variety of luggage locks available in the market. These locks can be distinguished on the basis of their type.

Keyed Luggage Padlocks: The traditional padlocks can be locked and unlocked using a specific physical key.

Combination Luggage Locks: The luggage locks that unlock using a specific code. The code can be set by rotating the dials on the lock body.

Cable Luggage Locks: The luggage locks with cable instead of a shackle, allowing the user to lock bags where loops are far off.

Key Card Luggage Locks: The luggage locks that unlock using a credit-card-sized key card, just like your hotel room key card.

Smart Luggage Locks: The new-age luggage locks that lock and unlock using your smartphone or fingerprint. These locks are best suited for travelers that want to avoid carrying keys or memorizing combination codes.

I personally prefer cable luggage locks with combination codes, as they don’t burn a hole in my pocket, are compatible with most types of bags, and don’t require me to carry the key around.

Price

Depending upon the type and material of your luggage lock, the price may vary. You may buy a luggage lock for as low as $5 to as high as $50. So, the budget that you have decided for your luggage lock is crucial in deciding the lock for yourself. However, I do not recommend compromising on features and quality to lower the cost. After all, you don’t buy locks every other day, and they are worth the investment.

Material

Luggage locks also come in a variety of materials. The material of the lock affects the reliability and durability of the lock as well. The locks made of zinc-cast or steel alloy are difficult to pick. The locks made up of hardened steel are considered high-security locks. The material of the lock also affects the price of the lock. In my opinion, this is an important factor to consider while buying a TSA-approved lock.

Size

Size is also an important parameter to consider while buying a luggage lock. You must weigh your needs and preferences to decide whether you want a compact-sized travel lock or a medium-sized one.

9 Best TSA-Approved Luggage Locks

Here’s the list of my top picks of the best luggage locks (TSA-approved) that ensure securing your luggage while traveling globally. I have had my hands on all the locks listed below. While some I have tested and reviewed, some I have used for an extended period. All the comments about the locks are based on my expertise and usage.

The Best Combination Luggage LockThe Best Keyed Luggage LockThe Best Smart Luggage LockThe Best Key Card Lock
Master Lock 4688D Combination Luggage Lock (Personally Using)
Master Lock 4688D Combination Luggage Lock
Forge Ultra Secure Keyed Luggage Lock (Tried And Tested)
Forge Ultra Secure Keyed Luggage Lock
AIRBOLT Smart Luggage Lock (Tried And Tested)
AIRBOLT Smart Luggage Lock
Talonport KeyCard Luggage Locks (Heard Not Tried)
Talonport Key Card Luggage Lock
– Cost -efficient
– Limited lifetime warranty
– Alloy steel body
– Cost -efficient
– Compact sized
– Zinc alloy body
– Advanced dimple key
– Die-cast zinc body
– Battery last upto one time on single charge
– Limited lifetime warranty
– Lifetime replacement of keys and key cards
– Zinc alloy body
– Slender and compact body

1. Master Lock 4688D Combination Luggage Lock (Personally Using)

Best TSA approved luggage lock
Price$6.75
Dimensions0.75 x 1.19 x 3.33 inches
TSA ApprovedYes
Color/FinishAlloys Steel
Battery RequiredNo
Lock TypeCombination Lock
Guarantee/WarrantyLimited Lifetime Warranty

As a frequent traveler, I can vouch for the effectiveness of the Master Lock combination lock. I’ve been using this TSA-approved lock for quite some time now, and let me tell you, it’s a game-changer when it comes to securing my luggage during my travels.

The Master Lock combination cable lock is made of alloy steel, which makes it super durable, and the vinyl-covered cable can take a beating without getting damaged. And let’s not forget the convenience of a keyless lock – no more fumbling around for keys or worrying about losing them. Just align the three dials inside the lock body, and voila! You’re good to go. Plus, the option to program my own three-digit combination gives me peace of mind that my luggage is secure.

Another good thing that I like about this lock is its flexible cable. I can fit it into any kind of luggage. In-fact this is also my go-to lock to lock my fridge. Now to me, the cable flexibility is a plus but to some, it might come as too flimsy.

The Master Lock combination lock comes in four different colors – black, red, blue, and silver. I received a blue one, and it works perfectly as a backpack or luggage lock.

Overall, I highly recommend the Master Lock combination lock for anyone who wants a reliable, durable, and convenient lock for their travels. It’s been a lifesaver for me, and I’m sure it’ll be one for you too!

Pros

  • TSA-approved
  • alloy steel body
  • Vinyl covered cable for cut resistance
  • unlocks with a combination code

Cons

  • Color cannot be chosen as it is selected randomly
  • Does not fit all bags

2. Master Lock 4683Q Keyed Luggage Lock (Used In the Past)

Master Lock 4683Q Keyed Luggage Lock (Used In the Past)
Dimensions6.56 x 3.75 x 0.75 inches
TSA ApprovedYes
Color/FinishBrass, Polished
Battery RequiredNo
Lock TypeKeyed Lock

If a padlock is what you prefer, Master Lock 4683Q Keyed luggage lock is a set of 4 padlocks which are ideal for backpacks, suitcases, briefcases, etc. The TSA-approved luggage lock is the basic padlock that opens and locks with a key; hence, best suited for travelers that do not prefer combination locks or smart locks. Using the lock, the Transportation Security Administration screeners can access and relock your baggage without damaging the lock.

Solid brass is used to make the padlock’s body durable, and a steel shackle is used for cut resistance. Since all the locks of the Master Lock lockset open using the same key, the set is ideal for travelers with multiple luggage. I used this lock on my luggage in the past until I invested in a combination lock, and trust me, minus the key-related hassle, this lock is just amazing.


Pros

  • TSA-approved
  • Cost-efficient keyed luggage lock
  • Cut resistant steel shackle
  • Solid brass body

Cons

  • Comes in a set of 4
  • keys need to be taken care of

3. Forge Ultra Secure Keyed Luggage Lock (Tried And Tested)

Forge Ultra Secure Keyed Luggage Lock (Tried And Tested)
Price$13.95
Dimensions1.1 x 1 x 1.85 inches
TSA ApprovedYes
Color/FinishAlloys Steel, Zinc
Battery RequiredNo
Lock TypeKeyed Lock
Guarantee/WarrantyLifetime Guarantee

Very recently, I got to have my hands on the Forge Ultra Secure Keyed lock and found it an impressive option for those who prefer keyed locks. I bought this lock for my parents when they visited us in Toronto, and I think It was a great choice. The lock comes with a lifetime guarantee and can be used on a wide variety of items like gym lockers, laptop bags, etc., besides suitcases or luggage.

I would rather rate it better than the master lock keyed padlock for its alloy steel body vs the brass body of the Master lock padlock. Additionally, the Forge Ultra Secure Keyed lock opens with an advanced dimple key. While most luggage locks use traditional tumbler keys to unlock, which are easier to pick, Forge locks are quite robust and relatively difficult to pry upon.

The lock boasts of its high-quality steel shackles and patented locking mechanism. Forge offers the users a replacement or refund if the user can bypass the lock. Another great positive of these locks is their compact size which makes them easy to carry and store.

Pros

  • TSA-approved
  • alloy steel body
  • high-quality steel shackles
  • patented locking mechanism that uses advanced dimpled key
  • lifetime guarantee

Cons

  • keys need to be taken care of
  • relatively high cost as compared to other keyed luggage locks

4. Fosmon Combination Luggage Lock (Tried And Tested)

Fosmon Combination Luggage Lock (Tried And Tested)
Price$6.75
Dimensions5.63 x 4.8 x 0.87 inches
TSA ApprovedYes
Color/FinishAlloys Steel, Zinc
Battery RequiredNo
Lock TypeCombination Lock
Guarantee/WarrantyLimited Lifetime Warranty

If you’re a family planning a trip together, you might want to consider investing in a set of 4 baggage locks. These locks are designed to help protect your luggage and other belongings from potential theft during transportation.

One of the best features of these locks is how easy they are to set up. With just a few simple steps, you can set your own unique three-digit combination that only you and your family members will know.

But it’s not just the combination that makes these locks stand out. They’re also incredibly durable and can withstand even the most rigorous airport treatment. The zinc alloy body and reinforced steel shackles are built to last and will keep your belongings safe and secure. I had my hands on this lock when I received it for a review and I was quite impressed.

These locks are also versatile and can be used on a variety of different items, including backpacks, suitcases, and lockers, in addition to luggage. And with the flexible cable, you can easily attach them to your belongings and have peace of mind throughout your trip.

Pros

  • TSA-approved
  • Zinc alloy body
  • Combination code keying mechanism
  • high-quality steel shackles
  • patented locking mechanism that uses advanced dimpled key
  • lifetime guarantee

Cons

  • Comes in a set of 4
  • relatively high cost as compared to other keyed luggage locks

5. AIRBOLT Smart Luggage Lock (Tried And Tested)

AIRBOLT Smart Luggage Lock (Tried And Tested)
Price$49.95
Dimensions3.4 x 3.5 x 1.4 inches
TSA ApprovedYes
Color/FinishDie-Cast Zinc
Battery RequiredYes, Rechargeable
Lock TypeSmart Lock
Guarantee/WarrantyLimited Lifetime Warranty

I personally don’t prefer smart locks while traveling as I think combination locks do the job well for me but if you are a modern world traveler, AIRBOLT Smart baggage locks are versatile TSA Approved locks that can be used to secure all types of luggage and travel bags. Thanks to its extremely high battery life, high-grade security, backup codes, crowd-sourced location tracking, etc., you can use this lock to secure nearly anything.

The strong die-cast zinc body makes these locks durable and long-lasting. The lock can be charged with a micro USB connection and will last for nearly a year on a single charge. Smart censored, the lock can be operated using a smartphone, so you can control and open the lock from anywhere without having to memorize keys or complicated combinations. 

The lock boasts being the luggage lock in the world that allows the user to turn off the TSA feature when not required. I gifted this lock to my sister after having my hands on it for a few months. Honestly, we both have no complaints.

Pros

  • TSA-approved
  • Zinc alloy body
  • last for nearly a year on a single charge
  • high-quality steel shackles
  • crowd-sourced location tracking
  • One-touch unlocking

Cons

  • high-cost

Below are some of the options that I have heard about but never tried myself.

6. MyPin Fingerprint Luggage Padlock (Heard Good Reviews)

MyPin Fingerprint Luggage Padlock (Heard Good Reviews)
Price$49.95
Dimensions3.4 x 3.5 x 1.4 inches
TSA ApprovedYes
Color/FinishZinc
Battery RequiredYes, Rechargeable
Lock TypeSmart Lock
Guarantee/WarrantyLimited Lifetime Warranty

Now this is one lock I really want to have hands-on as I have heard numerous great reviews about this one from my fellow lock enthusiasts. As per my research, MyPin fingerprint luggage lock is a terrific lock for not just luggage but also suitcases, purses, bicycles, and gym lockers. The lock is small, portable, and TSA Approved.  The body and shackles of the fingerprint lock are built of a zinc alloy with high-tensile steel wire and smooth joints, making them anti-theft, anti-dust, and anti-erosion.

An advanced fingerprint identification chip within the lock allows for a rapid unlock in 0.5 seconds. The lock is simple to use and has a total fingerprint collection capacity of up to 19 prints. The 150MAH lithium battery in the lock can be recharged through USB and has a standby duration support of up to 6 months. The lock can unlock more than 9,000 times in one hour of charging time. It means you won’t need to worry about the battery running out for 6–12 months.

Because the thief cannot grab your finger, do not worry about losing the key or the password becoming known. If you require troubleshooting or technical help, the locks come with a two-year guarantee and a two-month return policy.

Pros

  • TSA-approved
  • Zinc alloy body
  • fingerprint collection capacity of up to 19 prints
  • unlocks more than 9,000 times in one hour of charging time
  • rapid unlock in 0.5 seconds
  • two-year guarantee and a two-month return policy.

Cons

  • high-cost

7. Nanuk Three-Dial Combination Luggage Lock (Heard Not Tried)

Nanuk Three-Dial Combination Luggage Lock (Heard Not Tried)
Price$22.67
Dimensions1 x 1 x 1 inches
TSA ApprovedYes
Color/FinishZinc Alloy
Battery RequiredNo
Lock TypeCombination, Keyed Case Lock

Nanuk combination lock is another lock that has recently gained good reputation in the lock-enthusiasts’ community. The new and enhanced TSA-approved Nanuk three-dial combination lock is an excellent baggage lock that can be opened with both a combination code and a key. The best thing about the lock, as per my opinion, is the compact size. I looked around a lot on the internet but couldn’t look for a better compact lock with features as great as this one. 

The lock provides the same level of protection as a padlock, but it is simple for airport security to open, check, and then lock it again. The silicone tether keeps the lock and the tough steel shackle together when unlocked. The compact size makes these locks a preferred option over many other luggage locks.

Pros

  • TSA-approved
  • Zinc alloy body
  • Combination code locking mechanism
  • Compact sized

Cons

  • High-cost
  • Not as robust as other locks in this category

8. Talonport KeyCard Luggage Locks (Heard Not Tried)

Talonport KeyCard Luggage Locks (Heard Not Tried)
Price$29.99
Dimensions10.75 x 6.89 x 0.67 inches
TSA ApprovedYes
Color/FinishZinc Alloy
Battery RequiredYes
Lock TypeSmart Key

Finally, a TSA lock that eliminates the need for cumbersome keys or combination code memorization. I got to try this lock at an event and trust me if I switch to a smart lock for my luggage in near future, it would be this. The Talonport lock automatically opens when your key card is inserted into it and boasts of a strong and durable zinc-alloy body. Additionally, they send free replacements for the rest of your life if you ever lose your cards. How cool is that!

The Talonport keycard luggage locks are designed to last a lifetime and the compact, slender shape of the lock makes it easy to store and fit on any piece of travel luggage. You can efficiently lock your backpack, briefcase, suitcase, handbag, tent, laptop bag, etc.

Pros

  • TSA-approved
  • Zinc alloy body
  • Key card locking mechanism
  • Free replacement of key if lost

Cons

  • Size not compact

9. Pacsafe Key Card Luggage Lock (Heard Not Tried)

Pacsafe Key Card Luggage Lock (Heard Not Tried)
Price$13.31
Dimensions1 x 7 x 18 inches
TSA ApprovedYes
Color/FinishZinc Alloy
Battery RequiredYes
Lock TypeCombination, Key Card

I recently heard about a fantastic luggage lock option from a friend of mine in California who travels frequently. She swears by the Pacsafe key-card accessible lock and highly recommends it to anyone who wants a hassle-free and reliable lock for their travels.

One of the best things about this lock is that it eliminates the need for keys or remember combination codes. Instead, you’ll receive two pocket key cards that are coded to unlock the lock – just like using a credit card. This makes it incredibly convenient and easy to use, even for those who tend to forget combinations or misplace keys.

Not only is it easy to use, but it’s also TSA-approved, which means it’s accepted by airport security and won’t be damaged or removed during baggage inspections. 

The Pacsafe lock is also incredibly durable and secure. The zinc alloy body gives it the strength and sturdiness it needs to withstand rough handling and makes it challenging to pick. You can trust that your belongings will be safe and secure with this lock.

Pros

  • TSA-approved
  • Zinc alloy body
  • Key card and combination locking mechanism
  • Cost efficient
  • Compact sized

Cons

  • No free replacement of key if lost

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Is TSA approval mandatory for all baggage locks?

Answer – Use of a TSA-approved lock is advised but not mandatory or required by law. You may definitely use a non-TSA-approved travel lock for your luggage, but if you don’t utilize a TSA lock and the TSA searches your luggage, they will have to cut your suitcase or break your lock to get inside. Using TSA-approved locks will help airport security to unlock and relock your luggage without any damage to the lock or the bag.

Q2. How can I reset a TSA-approved luggage lock?

Answer – Unfortunately, Travel Sentry does not allow you to reset a TSA-approved lock to its factory default settings if you forget the combination due to security concerns. Hence, you cannot reset your TSA-approved luggage lock.

Q3. Do all countries support the Travel Sentry program?

Answer – No, all countries do not support the Travel Sentry program, but many major nations do. Currently, the travel Sentry program is accepted at 600 airports across 20 countries, which make the lives of around 1.8 billion passengers convenient. The countries that support the program include the USA, Japan, Israel, Finland, Togo, Sweden, etc.

Q4. Does using a TSA lock mean that your luggage and lock won’t be cut by airport officers anywhere internationally?

Answer – The TSA approval will save your luggage lock and luggage from being cut by the airport officers only in around 600 airports that support the technology. On the rest of the airports, your lock may still be cut in case of airport inspections.

Conclusion

Luggage locks are quite a necessary form of security for travelers. The locks come in a variety of sizes, shapes, keying mechanisms, price ranges, materials, etc., but another important aspect of the lock is whether they are TSA approved or not. The TSA-approved luggage locks can change the way your travel for good as you no longer have to worry about your luggage or luggage lock getting cut by the airport security authorities.

I hope that the article must have helped you choose the best TSA-approved luggage lock as per your needs and preferences. If you found the list useful, do share it with your friends and family who travel frequently. For any assistance on luggage locks or locks for suitcases when traveling, write to me in the comment section. I’ll gladly assist.

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Hey! I am Mark. Though I am not a locksmith by profession, but locks have always fascinated me since my teens. And it all started when I got locked out of my house and I had to pick the lock. Since then it has become my hobby to learn more about different kinds of locks, understand their working and methods to pick them up. In due course of time, I have also become better aware of how installing the right lock goes a long way in ensuring iron clad security. I aim to share my passion (about locks) through this blog. If you are also passionate about picking locks or are just looking to beef up the security, hop on the ride.