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Luggage Locks

Old May 12th, 2002, 03:56 PM
Michael Snowdon
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Luggage Locks

We are leaving in about six weeks, and I have been told that we want locks on our luggage and back packs. Can anyone recommend something. I don't want the ones that you can break with your hand. I am hoping to prevent loose hands from getting into our day packs.

Old May 12th, 2002, 04:18 PM
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Eagle Creek and others make small easy to use combo locks. I use them on my daypack and my luggage. If someone really wants your stuff they'll get it. But I think locks deter a lot of thieves when so many are unlocked.
Old May 13th, 2002, 04:54 AM
Lock it up
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Small, chintzy locks break off when checked bags are tossed about. We bought long bicycle cable lock for each bag, which we wrap around the outside of the bag, threading it through the two handles found on most bags. The rolling tumbler lock is affixed to the cable and it won't break off. You can use this cable lock to secure your bags to train luggage racks so nobody walks off with your stuff during stops. We also use the cables to secure our bags in the hotel room.
Old May 13th, 2002, 05:24 AM
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To make a really terrible pun, the use of locks on luggage is really a mixed bag.

The smaller ones with keys are useless or worse, because they flag you as an idiot.

The smaller ones with 3-digit combinations are only slightly better, but I have had at least 2 just snapped off between being checked and claimed on a 2-leg trip.

The heavier ones with 4-digit combinations are much more difficult to be snapped off, but that meant the whole zipper-tab was snapped off, rendering my bag useless. Unfortunately, I didn't notice it until I was not in a position to go back to the airline and claim damage.

On the other hand, the absence of a lock is indeed an invitation to intrusive hands.

Perhaps the best suggestion I've ever seen, although I admit I haven't followed through on it yet, is to use the plastic loops that some clothing manufacturers use to put tags on new clothes, or else the "locking" type of plastic pull-through serrated-edge ties that sometimes come with trash bags. If you cut the loose ends back so they can't snag on anything, they should hold the luggage closed but it will be instantly obvious if they have been cut through and someone has tampered with your luggage.

Added advantage: they make your bags easily identifiable on the carousel, and they can be cut by security people if necessary without having to get in touch with you for a combination (which happened to us when our bags were lost and could not be brought to our hotel until security had cleared them).
Old May 13th, 2002, 06:58 AM
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You can buy plastic fasteners in bundles of various sizes. These fasteners, when tightened, basically lock up your luggage. After you've tightened the fastener, cut the excess and you have a pretty good lock. I have used them when I didn't have my luggage tags and they are effective. The only way they can be opened is by cutting them. You can pick them up at any hardware store or Costco.
Old May 13th, 2002, 07:02 AM
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Just so you know, they're cable ties. I use them a lot. The only problem was once at the hotel, I had to borrow a pair of scissors beacuse I could no longer have anything sharp in my carry-on.

Most of them do have a little tab you can push down to release the strap, but it is definetly a deterrent.
Old May 13th, 2002, 07:04 AM
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I used to use wire ties they seem to provide a measure of security the trouble is now you can't take the little knife you need to cut them off. I quess you can cut them off with nail clippers which are now allowed. Haven't tried yet.
Old May 13th, 2002, 07:20 AM
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Delocked, you can buy little zipper repair kits with replacement tabs to do fast repairs on broken zippers. Yes, they actually do work, so they're a worthwhile addition to the packing list.

As for the locks, I'm with Betsy; you're looking to slow thieves down, not have an invincible barrier. Any kind of lock is better than nothing.
Old May 13th, 2002, 11:45 AM
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Where did you purchase your zipper repair kit? A sewing store?
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