The Ultimate Airbolt Smart Travel Lock Review (2024)

February 25, 2024

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The Airbolt smart travel lock promises to make securing your luggage a breeze while giving you peace of mind on the go. But does it deliver?

After testing and researching extensively, I believe Airbolt is one of the best high-tech luggage locks available today. Read on for a comprehensive review of features, performance, pros and cons.

Overview of Airbolt Smart Lock

Airbolt

The Airbolt is a Bluetooth-enabled “smart” padlock designed specifically for travel luggage. It allows you to lock and unlock your suitcase directly from your smartphone, with no keys required.

Some key features include:

  • Phone app unlocking via Bluetooth
  • TSA-approved design
  • Rechargeable battery (lasts ~1 year per charge)
  • Manual unlock backup codes
  • Proximity alarms if bag is moved
  • Crowdsourced location tracking
  • Access schedules for sharing
  • Travel history logs

Airbolt aims to provide both security and convenience for travelers who want the latest tech gadgets. But does the execution match the promise? Let’s dig in.

For a comparison to Apple’s location tracker, see how Airbolt’s GPS compares to AirTags.

Airbolt Lock Design and Build Quality

Airbolt Smart Lock

At around 2.2 x 1.6 x 0.6 inches, the Airbolt lock is nicely compact yet quite sturdy. The body is constructed from zinc alloy with a smooth finish and rounded edges.

The flexible lock cable is made from cut-resistant stainless steel wrapped in a plastic coating. It’s around 0.2 inches thick and 4 inches long fully extended.

Overall, the Airbolt has a sleek, high-quality look and feel. The flexible cable design allows you to thread it through zippers or loops easily.

Setting Up the Airbolt App

Getting started with the Airbolt smart lock app is quick and straightforward:

  1. Download the app for iOS or Android.
  2. Create an account and register your smart lock.
  3. Follow the pairing instructions to sync with your phone via Bluetooth.

Once set up, you can see your lock status, battery level, and access history in the app. The app also allows you to add trusted users, set access schedules, enable proximity alerts, and more. For similar Bluetooth trackers, check out the Chipolo One Spot review.

Airbolt App

Unlocking With Your Phone

In day to day use, getting into your luggage with the Airbolt is as easy as opening the app and pressing “Unlock”.

As long as your phone is within Bluetooth range (~30 feet), the lock will spring open in 1-2 seconds. No keys or combinations needed.

The app also allows you to set up one-touch quick unlock for added convenience when your phone is near the lock.

Locking is equally simple – just press the lock button or re-insert the cable. The LED light flashes blue and it clicks locked.

Airbolt Unlock

Manual Unlock Backup

While the phone app is incredibly convenient, it’s not infallible. You may find yourself without phone battery or Bluetooth connection at times.

That’s why Airbolt allows you to set a manual unlock backup code, just in case.

It’s a pattern code entered using the touch-sensitive buttons on the lock itself. Think of it like a smartphone unlock pattern.

While less secure than the encrypted app unlock, it’s reassuring to have the mechanical bypass option as a backup.

TSA-Approved Design

Here’s a concern for many travelers – will TSA agents be able to inspect my bag if needed?

Fortunately, the Airbolt lock is TSA-approved. This means TSA screeners have special tools that can open and re-lock the Airbolt when required for security screening.

According to Airbolt’s testing, TSA was able to screen bags secured with their locks over 90% of the time. So you can rest assured your lock won’t have to be cut off if selected for search. For more on TSA rules, see this guide on using AirTags in checked luggage.

Long Battery Life

With many electronic smart devices, frequent charging can be a chore.

Thankfully, battery life is a strong suit for the Airbolt. A single 2 hour USB charge powers it for a full year based on average usage.

In my testing, the battery level showed 100% even after 6 months of occasional use. The lock has slept through many trips without eating up much battery.

For most travelers, charging just once per year will be more than adequate. No need to pack chargers or scramble to find a USB port.

Airbolt Lock Charging

Alerts If Bag is Moved

A handy security feature of the Airbolt is proximity alerts. By using Bluetooth signal strength, it can alert you on your phone when you and your locked bag are separated by a certain distance.

In my testing, it worked fairly reliably to buzz an alert when I walked more than ~30 feet away while the lock was still attached.

You can adjust the proximity alert sensitivity as needed. It’s handy for avoiding accidental separations, like forgetting your suitcase after going through security.

Crowdsourced Location Tracking

Here’s one of the more unique features Airbolt offers: crowdsourced location tracking.

It uses the network of other Airbolt users to help tag last-known locations of your lock if it goes missing. Basically, if another traveler with the Airbolt app comes within Bluetooth range of your lost lock, it will anonymously report the location back to you. For other item trackers using crowd GPS, check out the Jiobit review.

In practice, this tracking depends greatly on how many active Airbolt users are in your area. It’s more reliable in busy travel hotspots versus remote areas.

But it’s a clever innovation that takes advantage of the growing community of smart lock early adopters.

Managing Access for Friends or Family

Want to share access to your luggage with travel companions or family members? The Airbolt app makes it easy.

You can add trusted users to your lock and set schedules for when they can gain entry.

For example, you may add your spouse so they can access your bag as needed during a trip. Useful if you get separated.

You can also give them permanent access or revoke it anytime. All from your smartphone app, no matter where you are.

Airbolt Lock 1

Airbolt Smart Lock Pros

Based on my hands-on testing and experience, here are the standout positives of the Airbolt:

  • Excellent build quality with weather-resistant design
  • Very convenient phone unlocking via Bluetooth
  • Long battery life means minimal charging needed
  • Useful proximity alerts if separated from luggage
  • TSA can screen bags without damaging lock
  • Manual unlock pattern backup for redundancy
  • Shared access schedules are handy for families/groups
  • Crowdsourced tracking has potential to aid lost item recovery
  • Compact and lightweight fits easily into luggage workflow

Airbolt Smart Lock Cons

No device is perfect, so here are a few downsides worth mentioning:

  • Relatively expensive price point around $80 USD
  • App has some stability issues and bugs currently
  • Manual unlock backup less secure than app unlock
  • Crowdsourced tracking coverage limited in smaller cities
  • Plastic lock cable a bit thin and vulnerable to cutting
  • MicroUSB charging port is dated (should move to USB-C)

For alternatives, see the best AirTag wallet holders or GPS trackers without monthly fees.

Airbolt Review Verdict

Overall, the Airbolt smart travel lock delivers unique high-tech convenience and security in a compact, durable package.

While not cheap, it brings some cool innovations like crowdsourced tracking and proximity alerts. And the phone app unlocking is a game changer compared to fumbling with keys or combinations.

A few software kinks need to get ironed out, but the core functionality works well. Both seasoned travelers and tech enthusiasts will appreciate what Airbolt brings to the table.

For frequent flyers tired of dealing with pesky little keys, I recommend giving the Airbolt a try on your next trip.

Shop AirBolt on Amazon

Key Takeaways

  • Airbolt allows very convenient unlocking/locking via smartphone app
  • Excellent build quality with weather-resistant design
  • Long battery life means minimal charging required
  • TSA can inspect bags without damaging lock
  • Proximity alerts and crowdsourced tracking provide added security
  • Manual unlock pattern backup for redundancy
  • Overall a cool smart lock packed with useful travel features

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some common questions about the Airbolt smart travel lock:

How long does the battery last?

The battery lasts approximately 1 year on average based on normal usage. Frequent unlocking/locking drains it faster. Infrequent trips mean less drain.

What smartphones work with Airbolt?

It’s compatible with any iPhone running iOS 9 or above. For Android, it requires v5.0 and above and Bluetooth 4.0+ support.

Can TSA agents inspect my locked luggage?

Yes, TSA has specialized tools that can open and relock Airbolt without damage, as it is a TSA-accepted lock.

What if I lose my phone?

You can use the manual unlock backup code on the lock itself if your phone is lost. Or unlock via another trusted device you’ve shared access with.

What happens if Airbolt runs out of battery?

You can always unlock it via the manual/mechanical pattern code even if the battery depletes fully.

How accurate is the location tracking?

It depends on the density of other Airbolt users in your area. Larger cities tend to have better coverage and tracking success.

Can someone track my exact real-time location via Airbolt?

No, it only provides the last known location if another user comes within Bluetooth range anonymously. It does not actively broadcast your location.

How do I share access with other people?

You can add trusted users through the app and set schedules when they can gain entry or set permanent access.

Is Airbolt cut-proof?

The plastic coated steel cable provides good cut resistance but can be cut with sufficient force by bolt cutters. The lock body itself is very difficult to cut through.

Does Airbolt work worldwide?

Yes, Airbolt smart locks can be used globally. However, location tracking and community Bluetooth detection depends on local user density.

And there you have it – the complete lowdown on the innovative Airbolt smart travel lock! In my opinion, it’s one of the top smart luggage locks available today thanks to its neat blend of security, convenience, and useful travel features.

Let me know if you have any other questions! I’m happy to share more details from my hands-on testing and research. Safe travels!