Do Luggage Straps Work? Worth it?

By James Smith
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What are luggage straps used for?

Luggage straps are primarily used to prevent your suitcase from bursting open at the seams. However, they also have a variety of other applications which include:

Securing multiple bags together.

Some luggage straps can be used to secure bags together.

These straps are not the same as regular luggage straps, but are beneficial and easy to come by, nonetheless.

They make it easy to lug two or more bags around at the same time.

Easy luggage identification.

Luggage straps, like ID Tags and unique luggage patterns, can be used to identify and distinguish your luggage from the luggage of others.

Straps come in a plethora of colors and design, ranging from classic colors like black and navy to funky patterns like zebra stripes, rainbow, and polka dotted.

Having a luggage strap that can be seen from a distance will make it easier when it comes time to collect your luggage after a flight.

How To Use Luggage Straps

how to use luggage straps

Luggage straps are also known as suitcase belts.

Like traditional versions of any type of belt, there are various types of suitcase belts.

Hoe to use each one differs depending on the type you choose. Here’s a quick (very general) rundown of how to use a few of the most popular types of luggage straps.

Criss-Cross (X-shaped)

  1. First, you need to wrap the strap around the suitcase. Be sure to bring it through each and every handle!
  2. Pull the strap through the metal triangle that It comes with, keeping it at a 90-degree angle.
  3. Wrap the strap around the case width-ways, pulling it through any side handles that may be present.
  4. Then, before securing the strap, pull it so the strap is tight against the suitcase. Secure the straps.

Regular

  1. Set your suitcase in a vertical position on its wheel.
  2. Wrap your strap around the width of your suitcase, weaving it through the handle. If you don’t have a handle on the side of your suitcase, though, you can wrap it around the suitcase’s height and through the top handles.
  3. Adjust the strap so that it’s snug against the suitcase and lock the belt, ensuring that it has been looped through at least one handle.

Benefits of Luggage Straps

do luggage straps work lockable how

Prevent your belongings from getting lost.

Luggage straps are handy things that, when used properly, can do wonders for preventing the loss of personal belongings.

When your suitcase is full to the brim and you fear that your suitcase might come open during transit, you can rest assured that your luggage straps will hold it closed should the zipper give way.

This, as a result, prevents your belongings from falling out and being lost along the way.

Provide an added layer of personal security.

Airports, bus stations, and train stations are busy places.

There can be upwards of 100 people there at any given time, which means that there are likely one or two bad apples in your midst.

If you’re concerned about pick pockets, your luggage straps can serve as an extra security measure to keep prying fingers away from your stuff.

It’s much easier to pry open an unsecured suitcase than it is one that has been fastened with luggage straps.

Affordable.

When it comes to security of your belongings, one of the most important factors is value.

Luckily luggage straps are generally very affordable, with a sub-type and brand to fit every budget.

With luggage straps ranging from $20 – $50 on average, there’s something for everyone.

So why not invest in an affordable security measure?

TSA Approved

While there are various ways that travelers have gotten creative with securing their luggage, the best way by far is by simply using luggage straps.

Unlike rope, string, zip ties, and zap straps, luggage straps are TSA approved.

As long as security can get your luggage strap off should they need to, you’re good to go.

If your luggage strap is secured by way of a pad-lock style fastener, double check that it is TSA approved before boarding – just to be safe.

What To Look For In Luggage Straps

Luggage straps are like any other item; you could just buy the first one you see, or you could be choosy and take time to make your decision.

If you decide to take the latter route, you should know what to look for.

Here are a few of the most important factors.

Size

Not all suitcases are the same size – and neither are all luggage straps.

They come in a wide variety of sizes from small, carry-on suitcase size to extra-large.

Before buying a luggage strap, you’ll want to make sure that you get the measurements of your suitcases so that you can match your strap to the size of your luggage.

Or, you could alternatively match your luggage to your strap, if you happen to buy a luggage strap first.

Style

Luggage straps, despite being relatively unexciting items, come in an impressive array of styles and colors. You can get them with stripes, polka dots, and giraffe print.

You can also get them in neon pink and yellow, or you could choose a basic, earth-toned luggage strap that suits your personal style.

Closure

The kind of closure/lock mechanism that your perspective luggage strap has can make a huge difference.

For example, if you buy a luggage strap with a complicated closure and you’re a busy, often time-lacking traveler, you may find it bothersome to fuss with the complicated lock.

Alternatively, if you hate a certain style of lock, it’s definitely worth the extra time to ensure that the luggage strap you choose to buy doesn’t have it.

Quality

Luggage straps are supposed to hold your suitcase closed, so they should be of high-quality and reliable, right? Right! However, some aren’t.

Before you buy, check the seams of the straps for loose threads and/or unravelling, and missing stitches.

Ensure that the lock mechanism is fastened on securely and can resists a bit of force (gently pull on the lock to test this).

Warranty

If you’re unable to physically see and examine the luggage strap, make sure that it has a good warranty.

Often, luggage straps will have good warranties that cover various accidents and problems that could potentially arise.

The best warranties will have a relatively long period of validity and protect you against random breaks.

Do Luggage Straps Work? Are They Worth It?

Luggage Straps Suitcase Belts Travel Accessories Bag Straps

The answer to both questions is yes! Luggage straps absolutely do work and they are worth the small investment.

The first and most important reason we say this is because they perform well when being used as a backup for a broken zipper.

Even the cheapest luggage straps will be able to keep your contents inside of your suitcase until you reach your destination.

Expensive suitcases should reduce your risk of a broken zipper greatly, but its never a bad idea to equip your bags with a luggage strap just in case.

As a rule of thumb, any suitcase that cost under $200 could do well with the added security.

The additional befits, as we briefly mentioned, include deterring pick pockets and that they are approved by TSA.

In particular, the bit about TSA is a great reason to buy a luggage strap instead of opting to try and get away with using a thick rope, as the rope hasn’t been approved and will often end up cut off before your luggage finds its way back to you.

Luggage Strap FAQ

Where can I buy luggage straps?

Luggage straps can be purchased almost anywhere that luggage is sold.

They can even be purchased online. You can buy the ones I recommend on Amazon here.

Where is the cheapest place to buy luggage straps?

Often times, the most affordable place to buy luggage straps is online.

When doing this, though, you need to read the product descriptions carefully to decide on the right size. You may also have to pay a shipping cost.

Can luggage straps be washed?

Yep! They get dirty and can be washed in the washing machine.

Simply shorten them as much as they will go, close the buckle, and place your straps in a mesh laundry bag before you throw it in the washer.

It’s recommended to hang them so that they can air dry.

What are luggage straps made of?

Most luggage straps are crafted from a durable, industrial-grade cloth.

Materials can vary, though, as can exact material makeups.

How much do luggage straps cost?

Most luggage straps are under $50. However, prices vary by brand, style, and lock mechanism.

What brands of luggage straps are the best?

It depends on your personal preference! Luggage straps are different depending on which brand you go with. Unfortunately, there’s no exact answer for this.

Do luggage straps stretch?

No. Luggage straps don’t stretch.

This ensures that, once in place, they stay where they were put and do not lose their effectiveness as they stretch and grow slack.

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Hi, I'm James Smith, I love traveling and always looking to optimize the traveling life to make it as comfortable and stress-free as possible. I especially love to nerd out about choosing the right luggage.

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