The Best Non-TSA Luggage Locks for Backpacks and Suitcases

TSA-approved luggage locks are great for traveling through the airport, but what about when it comes time to lock your bag to a fixed object for that extra peace of mind? Whether you’re staying in a hotel or hostel, there are better anti-theft options for keeping your backpack or luggage secure while you’re away.

You may also not want to give TSA access to your bag without you being present. Plus, I provide you with options to securely store your most valuable possessions outside of your luggage.

First, let’s take a look at the fingerprint padlock.

MYPIN Fingerprint Padlock


This waterproof fingerprint lock can certainly come in handy during your travels. The beauty of using this lock is that you don’t need to worry about misplacing a key or remembering a combination.

I once had a combination lock stop working for me while I was in transit and ended up having to break the zipper on my backpack. With this lock, you don’t need to depend on a combination.

The USB lock runs on a 300 MAH lithium battery that can stay charged on standby for up to 2 years!

The lock is designed to unlock over 2500 times. The wire rope is easy to pass through zippers on any bag, which means you can use it for the gym, while you’re exploring the city, on your backpack, or luggage.

The only downfall is that the cable isn’t long enough to hook most bags to a fixed object.

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Travel Security Cable


Another great non-TSA option is a simple travel security cable. These braided steel cables allow you to hook almost any type of suitcase or backpack to a fixed object.

Most thieves inside hotels or hostels don’t have the equipment to cut through one of these without being noticed. During my years of traveling, I’ve only seen thefts occur due to bags not being locked to fixed objects.

By using a travel security cable, you make it nearly impossible for grab-and-go thieves to take your bag in a hurry.

You can also connect your luggage like in the photo below:

travel security cable example 1

Or even add an extra layer of security to your door as pictured below:

travel security cable example 2

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Click here or the image below for a lock I recommend to secure the cable:

SAFEGO Portable Travel Safe

The SAFEGO travel safe knocks out two birds with one stone. The cable on the box is long enough to hook it through your suitcase or backpack handle before attaching it to a fixed object. You can then put your most valuable possessions inside the safe while keeping your luggage secure as well.

The only downside is if you wish to travel super light, this lockbox may take up too much room in your luggage or backpack. However, you could always fully load the SAFEGO before you pack it inside your luggage.

If you take a look at the Amazon reviews, almost everyone loves theirs. There are currently 82% 5-star reviews out of 1,251 total reviews.

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Master Lock Portable Key Safe


Here’s another solid option for a lock that can attach your backpack to a fixed object and hold small valuables as well. The key safe uses a 6-inch cable and combination lock to keep your valuables safe during your travels.

Here are a couple of screenshots to give you an idea of how to use it:

master lock portable key safe ideas 2 master lock portable key safe ideas 1

Doesn’t it feel good to think outside the box?

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Lewis N. Clark Retractable Cable Lock


This type of lock is one of the best luggage locks for international travel. This lock is lightweight, and the longer cable gives you a ton of options for locking your luggage or backpack to a fixed object.

You can also choose to connect all your bags or other items together using one of these locks. The one con is the cable is a bit thin, but most thieves won’t have the equipment or time to cut through it.

Here’s an example of how you can use this lock during your travels:

retractable luggage cable lock

The lock also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee from the reputable anti-theft gear company Lewis N. Clark.

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Master Lock 5900D Portable Safe

The 5900D is another option by Master Lock with more storage space and a thicker cable than the key safe above.

The beauty, once again, of this type of safe is that you can hook the cable through your luggage or backpack handle and then to a fixed object. This gives you the ability to keep your most valuable possessions inside the safe while also securing your luggage.

Thieves will have an even harder time trying to cut through this cable than the thinner cable used in the retractable lock.

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Samsonite Rolling Suitcase w/ Combination Lock


Here’s the exact suitcase I’ve been using for more than three years consecutively, and I absolutely love this rolling suitcase. You may be wondering why I included it here?

Well, what I do is use the combination lock to essentially turn my suitcase into a giant safe. The screenshot below shows the zipper lock featured on the suitcase:

samsonite combination lock

I then use a retractable cable lock similar to the Lewis N. Clark model above to add an extra layer of security. When I’m staying somewhere long-term, I’ll lock larger valuables inside the suitcase and store my suitcase.

Yes, the lock on the suitcase is TSA-approved, but I think this is a nifty idea nonetheless that some of you may like.

Also, this bag stands the test of time. It’s been through tons of airports, and the hard shell is the real deal. It still looks new outside of a few scratches here and there. I also like the internal mesh divider and pocket for keeping my items separate.

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 Pacsafe Steel Mesh Bag Protector

Whoa, what are we looking at?!? No, we’re not going fishing. This is Pacsafe’s steel mesh bag protector that comes in three sizes (55, 85, and 120-liter). This gizmo is definitely one of the best travel locks for backpackers.

It fits all the way around a suitcase, backpack or duffel bag. When not in the use, you can compact it and store it inside the included carry pouch. It also includes the padlock with a set of keys. This is definitely one of the more ingenious items on this list.

Here’s a screenshot of the bag protector in action:

pacsafe bag protector

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Lumintrail Combination Padlock w/ 4′ Braided Steel Cable


In case you prefer to buy the padlock and travel security cable in one swoop, here’s a combo package with mostly 5-star reviews by Lumintrail. The padlock is also a non-TSA luggage lock for those of you who prefer the non-TSA option.

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Final Thoughts

The locks above are currently the best non-TSA luggage locks on the market. I can smell the wood burning now that you’ve seen these options!

I think the most important takeaway from this article is to always think outside the box when it comes to travel security and anti-theft gear.

The peace of mind you get with a solid anti-theft plan in place during your travels is invaluable.

Cheers and stay safe out there!