With theft and loss of backpacks on the rise, having a reliable tracking device provides an extra layer of security and enables anyone to locate a missing bag. This comprehensive guide examines the top backpack trackers on the market and how they can prevent theft while recovering lost or stolen bags.
Why You Need a Backpack Tracker
Backpacks offer a convenient hands-free way to transport essential items like laptops, keys, wallets, and more when on-the-go. However, their portability also makes them a prime target for thieves.
In fact, over 200,000 laptops are lost or stolen annually in the U.S. alone. Backpacks left unattended are often stolen within minutes.
Utilizing a backpack tracking device provides an added layer of anti-theft protection. Main benefits include:
- Real-time location tracking to recover lost or stolen bags
- Motion alerts notify you if someone disturbs your unattended bag
- Remote alarm can help identify location of missing backpack
- GPS history tracks past locations if stolen
- Secure encrypted data prevents unauthorized tracking
Whether you’ve simply misplaced your bag or had it stolen, a Bluetooth or GPS tracker gives you the best chance of retrieving your belongings quickly.
Top 5 Backpack Trackers
1. Apple AirTag
The Apple AirTag is the best backpack tracker for iOS users. It connects via Bluetooth and Ultra Wideband to precisely track locations using the Find My app on iPhone, iPad, or Mac.
- Works with global Find My network of 1 billion Apple devices
- Precision Finding guides you to AirTag using AR, sound, haptics
- Small, lightweight design at just 11 grams
- User-replaceable CR2032 battery lasts over 1 year
- IP67 water and dust resistance rating
With AirTag slipped into a backpack pocket, you can pinpoint your bag’s location anywhere in the world. If stolen, built-in security measures prevent tracking you instead.Shop AirTag on Amazon
2. Tile Pro
The Tile Pro is the best anti-theft backpack tracker for non-Apple users needing long 400ft range and replaceable battery.
- 400ft Bluetooth range to track belongings
- User-replaceable CR1632 battery lasts 1 year
- 90dB ring helps locate missing items
- Lost item history shows location if stolen
- Water resistant design
The Tile Pro slips discreetly into any backpack pocket or strap. Use the app to view real-time location or activate ring to pinpoint.Shop Tile Pro on Amazon
3. Chipolo Card Spot
The Chipolo Card Spot is the most compact and versatile Bluetooth tracker that easily slides into wallet slots.
- Ultra-slim 3.3mm design fits discreetly into bags and wallets
- 200ft Bluetooth range helps find misplaced items
- 70+dB ring to pinpoint position
- IPX7 waterproof and dustproof
- 6 month replaceable CR2032 battery
For maximum portability and stealth tracking, the Chipolo Card Spot backpack tracker is a great choice.Shop Chipolo Card Spot on Amazon
4. LandAirSea 54
The LandAirSea 54 is the best battery-powered GPS tracker for extended global tracking range without monthly fees.
- Works anywhere with GPS and cell tower positioning
- Tracks globally with over 150 country SIM card
- 2-3 week battery life on rechargeable Li-ion battery
- Instant text/email alerts if backpack moves or exceeds geo-fence
- Historical location data if stolen
- IP67 waterproof rating
For maximum tracking capability worldwide, the LandAirSea 54 GPS tracker is an excellent choice.Shop LandAirSea 54 on Amazon
5. Trackimo GPS Tracker
The compact Trackimo GPS tracker provides app-based monitoring and mapping with no monthly fees.
- GPS and WiFi tracking locates globally
- Free app with family location sharing
- No monthly fees for basic tracking features
- Geofences and speed alerts
- IP67 dust and water resistance
- Rechargeable battery lasts 7-10 days
For reasonably priced lifetime tracking capabilities, the Trackimo GPS tracker is a solid choice.Shop Trackimo on Amazon
For more on choosing a tracker, see our guide comparing Bluetooth vs GPS trackers.
What To Look For in a Backpack Tracker
Backpack trackers utilize different technology to pinpoint locations:
- Bluetooth trackers like Tile use Bluetooth connectivity and crowd-sourced networks for tracking short distances. Limited to around 400ft from paired smartphone.
- GPS trackers like LandAirSea 54 use cellular signals and satellites for live tracking globally. No distance limitations.
- Hybrid trackers like Jiobit combine Bluetooth, WiFi, Cellular, and GPS tracking for comprehensive monitoring capabilities with or without your phone nearby.
Maximum tracking range depends on technology:
- Bluetooth trackers allow tracking when in close 150-400ft proximity. Ideal for identifying general area.
- GPS trackers use satellites so can track position anywhere. Best for pinpointing exact real-time location.
- Hybrid trackers switch between Bluetooth and advanced tracking for short and long range capability.
Rechargeable and replaceable batteries power backpack trackers:
- Replaceable coin batteries in AirTag last 1 year while rechargeable batteries in Trax Play avoid disposable waste.
- Charging frequency depends on usage. GPS tracking drains faster than Bluetooth.
- Removable batteries allow quick swapping. Some devices recharge via USB cable.
- Advanced trackers provide battery notifications when power runs low.
Backpack trackers must withstand wear and weather. Key durability factors:
- Water and dust resistant ratings like IP67 protect against the elements.
- Rugged designs and protective housing prevent damage if dropped.
- Tamper-proof and hidden tracking devices deter theft.
- Attach securely with hooks, adhesive, or compartments.
Data privacy and protection against stalking risks is crucial.
- Encrypted tracking data prevents location monitoring by strangers.
- Anti-theft modes disable unauthorized tracking if stolen.
- Permission required for anyone to view real-time location.
How Backpack Trackers Prevent Theft
Backpack trackers like Tile leverage various technologies to aid recovery of lost and stolen bags.
Once paired to a smartphone, trackers allow you to monitor your backpack’s movement in real-time using a mobile app. This allows:
- Identifying exact location if misplaced nearby
- Viewing travel path if stolen
- Tracking moving history to place last known
- Locating globally via cellular and GPS networks
Backpack trackers with accelerometers can detect motion when idle and send mobile alerts if someone disturbs or takes your unattended bag.
Trackers like Tile Pro with 90+ decibel alarms allow you to remotely trigger a loud sound to pinpoint position when nearby a missing backpack.
GPS trackers like Trackimo utilize geofencing alerts if bags leave set areas.
Strategic concealed placement inside special pockets or lining helps prevent discovery and removal.
Some trackers enable securely sharing real-time location with selected guardians to coordinate recovery.
Historical Tracking Data
Viewing past location points allows tracing the path of a stolen backpack. GPS models store weeks of prior movement.
Tips for Deterring Backpack Theft
While backpack trackers aid recovery after the fact, taking preventative measures can help avoid theft altogether:
- Maintain control of your bag in public and avoid setting down unattended
- Use lockable zippers or small locks to secure compartments
- Carry your backpack in front of you on public transportation
- Be wary of thieves creating distractions to steal bags in crowded areas
- Avoid exposing expensive designer brand logos or electronics
- Consider anti-theft bags with cut-proof material and steel cables
- Keep the tracker hidden in a concealed pocket for maximum stealth protection, like hiding AirTags in a backpack
Finding Peace of Mind with Backpack Trackers
Left unattended, backpacks make easy targets for crimes of opportunity. A reliable tracking device offers the best chance of recovering your stolen valuables while keeping your data secure.
If you regularly transport phones, laptops, keys, or other irreplaceable items in a bag, a Bluetooth or GPS tracker should be considered an essential accessory. For less than $30, systems like AirTag and Tile provide an affordable safeguard to protect your belongings.
Q: How accurate are Bluetooth trackers for backpacks?
A: Bluetooth trackers can locate backpacks within a 150-400ft range which is ideal for identifying the general area a misplaced bag is located. For pinpoint accuracy, GPS trackers are recommended.
Q: Can a tracker be used to steal my data or stalk me?
A: Reputable trackers use encrypted tracking only accessible by the owner. Anti-stalking modes disable location tracking if someone else finds your tracker.
Q: How long do backpack tracker batteries last?
A: Depends on the model, but replaceable coin batteries last around 1 year on average. Rechargeable batteries may provide 1-2 weeks of usage before charging needed.
Q: What carrying options help hide backpack trackers?
A: Concealed interior pockets, hidden zipper compartments, and lining pouches prevent trackers from being easily discovered and removed.
Q: Can backpack trackers work globally?
A: Cellular-based GPS models work internationally. Some support global SIM cards and cellular networks for worldwide usage with no distance limitations.