6 TSA Approved Locks: Safety and Convenience Guaranteed

Here are 6 high quality, durable and affordable TSA approved locks for a safe journey ahead.
best luggage locks

TSA approved locking is an important safety investment necessary for any traveler wanting to protect valuables while on the go. It’s the most stressful and scary thing to have deal with a missing luggage or stolen items when you’re at the airport. Although I know you can’t fully secure your luggage, ensuring you have a TSA approved lock can help prevent such issues from happening.

What’s terrible is that theft and missing luggages happen on a daily basis, and employees are often involved in it. I remember when I bought my first basic lock… it was obvious to me that I had nothing to worry about since my luggage is locked. As you may have guessed it, I found that the lock was removed and an item was missing from my luggage. Although I didn’t have any valuables in there, it definitely created a sour taste in my mouth about protecting my belongings.

What are TSA approved locks and how to use them?

If you’re just getting around to the safety benefits of TSA approved locks, then you’re at the right place. These locks are a little different from your traditional kind because it doesn’t have a regular locking system. Rather, it’s a padlock that is placed on your zipper which prevents anybody from opening your bag, even with a device to do so.

When airport officials would like to check your luggage, you give them permission to do so regardless of what lock you use. This may cause employees to open up luggages and remove items without your knowledge. But, with a TSA approved lock, an official would need a universal key that would allow the checking of your luggage, and once completed, your luggage would be locked up by them. That prevents any issue of damaged, stolen or missing items while checking your luggage. It also removes any worry about an official having to manually cut a lock from a luggage they aren’t able to open.

That’s what makes having a TSA approved beneficial and a necessary step in having a smooth and stress-free travel experience.

When it’s time to set the lock, you would have to follow the instructions in the leaflet that comes with the product. TSA locks also come in different styles and sizes, so depending on the manufacturer’s instructions, that would help you easily maneuver around it.

>>>>>>Watch this video to learn how to use a TSA lock>>>>>>

Are TSA locks perfect for international travel?

Unfortunately, TSA approved locks don’t always work well when it comes to traveling internationally. Most European and other foreign airports aren’t as obsessed with opening bags, and if they would like to, having a TSA approved lock can prove a problem.

Although most luggages come with a TSA locking system, it’s not always the case that international airports would accommodate that. That’s why it’s recommended to use such locks only with national flights involving the U.S.

Are TSA locks necessary or worth it?

TSA locks are important if you’d like to have a protected luggage. A lot of things can happen while you travel, and the least of your worries should be how safe your luggage is. Over 30 000 claims have been reported from 2012 to 2014 according to Forbes, and undoubtedly most of the luggages didn’t have secure locking.

However, it’s not necessary to have a TSA lock in order to travel, but it takes out any stress you may experience if your luggage is deemed missing, damaged or items stolen.

Practical tips to having a safe luggage

There are some ways that you can avoid your luggage from getting stolen or damaged while you travel about. Here they are;

  1. Make sure that you protect your luggage by locking it with a TSA approved lock
  2. Go for brighter and bold looking luggages which reduces the chances of theft. Thieves definitely wouldn’t want to steal a brightly designed bag.
  3. Never pack important and valuable items in your luggage. Rather leave them at home or take them with you in your hand luggage.
  4. Keep your luggage as close to you as possible at the airport. It’s a terrible idea to ask anybody to look after your belongings
  5. Rush to your flight’s carousel. You don’t want to leave room for anybody to quickly run off with your luggage
  6. Keep a lost of items you’ve packed to check once you land that everything is still intact.
 Desired Tools TSA Approved Locks Alpine Rivers UltraTuff TSA Approved LockTravelMore TSA Approved LockForge TSA Lock TravelMore TSA Luggage Locks Tarriss TSA Lock
Star Rating 4.6 4.5
Product Dimensions3 x 2.9 x 0.8 inches5.3 x 3.3 x 0.7 inches1.2 x 3.1 x 0.4 inches5.5 x 3.9 x 1.5 inches1.7 x 0.6 x 0.6 inches5.7 x 4.1 x 0.3 inches
Color Black, blue, green and redBlack, grey and silver Orange and black Black, blue, green and purpleBlack and orange Black, blue and red

#1 Desired Tools TSA Locks

TSA Luggage Locks (2 Pack) - 4 Digit Combination Steel Padlocks - Approved Travel Lock for Suitcases & Baggage - Black


These two black TSA locks match with any luggage design and pattern, and have a 4 digit combination locking system. You have the option of setting and resetting the code to your liking, and have 10 000 combinations to choose from. A 4 digit code system is much more secure than one that’s 3 digits.


  • 4 digit code
  • 10 000 combinations to slow thieves down
  • Easy to use numbers
  • Locks aren’t made from plastic
  • Made from zinc alloy and steel
  • Different color options
  • Multi-functional to use with any luggage and storage i.e cabinets and lockers
  • Approved for international travel
  • Easy to follow instructions


  • Funny enough, there isn’t much of a con for this lock besides the fact that it’s harder to read off the black lock compared to the brighter ones.

Bottom line

These padlocks are affordable for you if you’re looking for a budget-friendly and convenient lock. You have 10 000 combinations to choose from which is a great feature that not a lot of locks have to offer. I’m sure you’d love the fact that these locks can also be used for international travel.

#2 Alpine Rivers UltraTuff TSA Approved Lock

This lock isn’t only beautifully designed, but it has great features that is convenient for you while you travel. For instance, the lock comes with an indicator which pops up to notify you that your bag has been checked. That’s a great feature not every lock has, and it keeps you aware of the safety of your luggage


  • Made from zinc alloy which is durable
  • Indicator to notify you of a checked bag
  • 3 different colors to choose from
  • Practical for different bags i.e gym and suitcases


  • It has a 3 digit coding rather than 4 digits.

Bottom line

This lock is unique in its design and definitely has a minimal look to it. It also has great features such as the pop-up indicator which you can use to keep up-to-date with your luggage’s safety. It’s both convenient and stylish all at the same time.

#3 TravelMore TSA Approved Lock

2 Pack TSA Approved Travel Combination Cable Luggage Locks for Suitcases & Backpacks - Orange

Looking for an eye-catching padlock that is vibrant and unique? This TravelMore lock comes in a pack of 4 and is easy to set and reset. It can take up to 1 000 combinations, and with its flexible cable, it can fit with any size luggage.


  • Flexible cable to fit any luggage type
  • Made from zinc alloy which doesn’t corrode easily
  • Easy to identify with vibrant color


  • Only come with 1 000 code combinations and few color options to choose from.

Bottom line

Perfect for easy identification and practicality, this padlock is TSA approved because it’s claimed to not break when officials check your luggage. It’s also easy to set and reset, as well as comes with a flexible cable that isn’t only fitted for your luggage but other travel essentials as well.

#4 TravelMore TSA Luggage Locks

4 Pack TSA Approved Luggage Locks with Keys for Travel – Flexible Ultra Secure Mini Key Padlock & Metal Zinc Alloy Material – Orange

This lock is definitely a unique spin from the traditional looking ones. With its cable and lock barrel, you would be investing in an eye-catching locking system. I personally love the orange color which makes identify your bag on the carousel easy and gives a fun touch to your luggage.


  • Detachable wire stem
  • Durable and high quality
  • Unique design
  • Can lock other devices besides luggages
  • Flexible cable
  • Made from plated steel and zinc alloy


  • Doesn’t give an indicator feature which is great for notifying you of your bag been checked.

Bottom line 

If you’re considering this as an affordable and travel-friendly lock, this might be worth your spending. Besides a unique looking appearance, the material is both durable and flexible to work with other travel bags a like. Luckily for you, you aren’t restricted to having options.

#5 Forge TSA Lock

Forge TSA Lock 4 Pack - Open Alert Indicator, Easy Read Dials, Alloy Body

This highly reviewed pack of four lock is recognized to be durable and resist to any environment. You won’t have to worry about a broken lock while you travel. What’s also impressive about this lock is that it has a red indicator which shows when your bag has been searched, as well as a feature which requires it to be locked back up once an official opens it.


  • Red indicator to let you know that your bag has been searched
  • Feature that requires official to re-lock the lock once opened
  • Dials are easy to use
  • Comes in a variety of colors
  • Internationally approved
  • Gorgeous design


  • Comes with a 3 digit code combination rather than 4.

Bottom line 

This lock is perfect if you’re somebody willing to invest in a convenient and safe locking system. It’s not only approved for international travel, but features such as the re-lock requirement ensures that your valuables remain safe.

#6 Tarriss TSA Lock System

TSA Lock w/ SearchAlert Red by Tarriss, 2 Pack TSA Luggage Locks /

I love the unique look of this Tarriss lock system which sets it apart from other locking systems out there. You get three different colors to choose from (red, blue and black) which all look durable and high quality. This lock also has a 3 digit code system for added security as well as an alert when anybody opens your bag.


  • Alert indicator to let you know when your bag has been opened
  • 3 different colors to choose from
  • Flexible cable made of steel
  • Easy to use digits
  • A free insider’s guide to safety at an airport
  • Internationally approved


  • Would prefer a 4 digit code system to slow down thieves faster rather than 3.

Bottom line

This lock is both unique and durable for frequent use. I love the free guide you receive to get tips on having a safe luggage at the airport, and the different colors make it easy to find your luggage among many.

Final Verdict

Taking care of your luggage is important to avoid unnecessary stress and worry while you travel. That’s why the Desired Tools TSA Locks are not only beautifully designed, but they have a 4 digit coding system which is great for improved security. It’s also highly reviewed and perfect at keeping your luggage safe from thieves.

The Alpine Rivers UltraTuff TSA Approved Lock is great for a traveler who values convenience and style. This lock has an indicator system which lets you know when your luggage was opened. This seemingly tiny feature really helps in keeping you aware of your belongings while you’re at the airport.

TravelMore TSA Approved Lock’s suits anybody who’s a frequent traveler and wants a lock that is efficient and high quality. This lock has a flexible cable which gives you options when it comes to the which luggage, bag or suitcase you’d like to lock. That’s a convenient feature considering not all locks give you the option of locking multiple different bags for travel.

The TravelMore TSA Luggage Locks are not only unique, but comes in two colors (orange being my favorite) which makes identifying your luggage easier for you. The flexible cables also allow using the lock simple and the plated steel is great for durability.

Have you considered the Forge TSA lock? It’s not only internationally approved, but it comes with a 3 digit coding system that slows down thieves from stealing your belongings. It also comes with an indicator that notifies you of when your bag has been opened which is important for peace of mind.

Lastly, the Tarriss TSA Lock System is for anybody who is looking for an easy-to-use starter lock. It comes with your usual 3 digit coding system as well as a guide to protecting your luggage while on the go. If you travel internationally often, you would be glad to know that the lock is approved for such an occasion.




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