Padlock

Travel Forums Travel Gear Padlock

1. Posted by ElDad (Budding Member 9 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

Hello everyone

I'm going on a long trip to South America with only a carry-on bag and an "accessory bag" as the airlines call it

I'd like to secure both bags with a padlock, as I'll be carrying photography and video equipment, but I can't seem to get my hands on a well-secured padlock (as opposed to a TSA lock) with a handle thin enough to fit through the zipper holes in my bag

Does anyone have a suggestion?

Also, I will be staying in hostels at times and am also looking for a lock that is secure enough for the lockers if you know of any

Thank you ;)

2. Posted by Psamathe (Budding Member 322 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

I'd suspect that many readily available locks are stronger than the bags they are locking closed. Zippers are not particularly strong!

In what situations are you trying to protect your bag? On an aircraft is just avoiding tampering and most light/TSA locks will work fine. On many buses (e.g. Peru & Bolivia) bus companies will take on the security of your bag and is there is theft likely then entire bag will be taken, lock and all (lock to be cut off at the thief's home at their leisure). In a hostel you only need enough to make a thief make enough noise to attract attention of others.

The stronger the lock the bigger it gets and the heavier it gets to the point it wont fit on the locker or the eyes on the locker become an easier target.

Ian

3. Posted by ElDad (Budding Member 9 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

Hello Ian

To be honest, I've watched too many videos of the lock-picking lawyer and other people opening locks of all kinds in minutes or even seconds, so all locks under $75 seem useless to me haha (and at that price, the handle is way too big for a bag and probably even a hostel locker)

That said, the bag that will be in the bus hold won't hold the expensive stuff, I have another bag I'll keep with me for that.

So I'm looking for locks that can't be cut or pick open without me noticing while I'm sleeping (for my bag) and a good solid hostel lock that can't be pick open in seconds and, as you said, would be noisy if broken ;)

4. Posted by Sander (Moderator 5850 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

Do please consider your threat model. What is the likelihood that your bags are going to be targetted by people with in depth knowledge of lock weaknesses? And what is the likelihood that your bags would just need to defend against attacks of opportunity, for which it's only important that they aren't the slowest gazelle?

Don't flaunt your expensive equipment, keep it all stowed away in a daypack which is on your body as much as possible, and then a cheap lock plus good insurance should be everything you need for peace of mind.

[ Edit: Edited on 21 Nov 2022, 09:25 GMT by Sander ]

5. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 4633 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

(I've watched too many videos of the lock-picking lawyer and other people opening locks of all kinds in minutes or even seconds, so all locks under $75 seem useless to me haha (and at that price, the handle is way too big for a bag and probably even a hostel locker)

-

If you have a fabric bag, vinyl or even leather, a cheap razor knife can bypass a lock by slicing open your bag!

Pants (trousers) and shorts with pockets with button or velcro flaps on them can keep wallet secure. Side pockets with flaps can hold passport. (Keep passport dry, by the way.) So, what is left in your hostel is underwear, socks, t-shirts, toiletries and maybe snacks.

This leaves your valuable camera and maybe a guide book plus wet-wipes (for cleaning hands before eating) in your small carry bag.

If you frequently get falling down drunk as rule - you could be more of a target! When in a hotel, if you invite strangers in this is where you might have wallet and camera gear stolen.

Don't travel with a single source of spending money. A single debit card could be lost, stolen or damaged and not work. A credit card can come in handy to for real emergencies like paying for medical care or buying an unplanned local flight.

6. Posted by Psamathe (Budding Member 322 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

Quoting ElDad

Hello Ian
...
So I'm looking for locks that can't be cut or pick open without me noticing while I'm sleeping (for my bag) and a good solid hostel lock that can't be pick open in seconds and, as you said, would be noisy if broken ;)

Sleep with your bag on the floor and your legs through the strap(s) or bag on your lap with strap wrapped round an arm. Worked for me (I did have a bag lock but never bothered to use it and in S. America I did sleep on a lot of buses).

Don't let paranoia spoil your travels (and it is easy to slip ever deeper into the more security black hole). Hostels are not crammed full of expert lock-pickers. Buses mostly have locals wanting to get from A to B who don't have the first idea about silently picking locks ... etc.

When travelling just as at home there are risks and you need to take a sensible balance view to those.

Ian

7. Posted by ElDad (Budding Member 9 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

Alright thanks for your answers

I've bought two combination padlocks for my main bag (handle is only for 3 mm for both because 4.8+ wouldn't fit in my zippers and i wasn't able to find 4mm)
And i have for my photography/videography bag a steel cable with a padlock from packsafe that i will wrap around the bag once the rain cover is on