I flew to Colorado in September and took my Glock 19 pistol with me. One key piece of hardware was the Master Lock TSA luggage lock that I put on the outside of my checked baggage.
Since returning, I’ve used the lock to keep people out of my emergency kit bag, and I want to talk briefly about the features of the lock and why you might want to pick one up, even if you don’t intend to fly any time soon.
I typically keep an office boo-boo kit around. It has stuff like elastic bandages (Band-Aids), antacid medication, first aid adhesive, a stain pen, etc. I don’t mind if people take things from this bag, and frequently I come back from lunch or a meeting to find my boo-boo kit open. It makes me happy that someone could use something out of the kit.
However, there is another kit I usually take with me, and this is for more serious stuff. It has true bandages, a mouth barrier, medical shears, and so on.
The last thing I want to have happen is an emergency. The second last thing I want is to discover my kit has been pilfered for someone’s paper cut.
So, when I got home from Colorado I put the Master Lock 4688D luggage lock on my emergency bag. I looped the thin little flexible shackle through the two zippers of the main pouch. This does not keep the two zippers completely closed, but it’s definitely good enough to keep someone from pulling out a roll of gauze.
The lock can be opened by one of two ways. One is via a TSA key at the bottom. This probably will only be relevant for some of my readers.
Most of us will use the three digit tumbler on the side of the lock. The lock comes pre-set with a combination, but it’s very easy to set the lock to something custom. I’ve set all of my Master Lock luggage locks to the same combination.
The lock is opened by lining the numbers up with the white dots.
I considered getting older-style luggage locks that required a key, but I already have a ton of keys and I don’t want to have a different key for every small lock on bags like this one.
The lock is lightweight and physically innocuous. I feel like the cable would be easily defeated with a pair of snips, but the point isn’t to completely keep someone out of the bag — it’s to keep casual fingers from going through it.
At about $5 – $7 a pop these locks aren’t cheap, but considering the cost of medical supplies or the circumstances under which you may need to use them, I think it’s worth the spend.