The Top 6 Best Luggage Trackers of 2024

February 11, 2024

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Losing your luggage while traveling can be incredibly stressful and inconvenient. According to the US Department of Transportation, around 6 out of every 1,000 checked bags are mishandled by US carriers. While the airlines are responsible for locating your lost bags, using a luggage tracker can give you peace of mind and help speed up the recovery process.

Luggage trackers are small devices that you can attach to your suitcase, backpack or other bags to keep track of their location using GPS, Bluetooth, or cellular service. Many also allow you to receive alerts when your bag goes out of range or reaches its destination. With luggage tracker technology continuously improving, there are now several excellent options to choose from.

By the end, you’ll have all the information you need to select the right luggage tracker for your needs and travel habits. Let’s get started!

How Luggage Trackers Work

How Luggage Trackers Work

Luggage trackers use different technologies to keep tabs on your bags, with the three main types being Bluetooth trackers, GPS trackers, and cellular trackers.

Bluetooth Luggage Trackers

Bluetooth trackers connect directly to your smartphone using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). The maximum range is around 100-400 feet depending on the model. Popular options like the Apple AirTag and Tile trackers use BLE.

When your Bluetooth tracker goes out of range, you can view its last known location in the companion app. Some Bluetooth trackers also use crowd-sourcing by leveraging the network of other users to detect your tracker’s location. For example, the millions of iPhones and Tile users essentially become part of the search party.

Occasionally an AirTag’s location may not update properly even though it is within Bluetooth range. This can often be resolved by checking your WiFi connectivity.

GPS Luggage Trackers

GPS luggage trackers use global positioning satellites and cellular service to pinpoint your bag’s location anywhere in the world. They offer the longest range but require paying a monthly service fee.

GPS trackers like the LandAirSea 54 send real-time location updates over cellular networks. The tracker communicates with GPS satellites to determine its precise coordinates. This data gets relayed back to you through the service provider’s app.

Cellular Luggage Trackers

Some luggage trackers rely solely on cellular networks to transmit information. They contain a nano SIM card that connects to cellular service to report the tracker’s location. No satellites required.

Cellular trackers offer global coverage but less precise positioning than GPS models. The benefit is they work indoors where GPS signals can’t reach. Popular cellular networks like LTE-M and NB-IoT are utilized.

When choosing a luggage tracker, consider which features and technology will best suit your travel habits. Frequent international travelers may prefer the unlimited range of GPS. Occasional flyers are likely fine with a Bluetooth option.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Luggage Tracker

Smartphone Compatibility

Ensure the luggage tracker works with your smartphone’s operating system. Most work with iOS and Android, but some are exclusive to one platform. Apple’s AirTag is iOS only.

Battery Life

Battery life varies greatly from weeks to over a year. Replaceable batteries are convenient. Rechargeable batteries mean charging the tracker, but they last for multiple trips.

Size

Look for a tracker that’s small and inconspicuous. You want to be able to slip it inside a bag pocket or securely attach it to the luggage exterior.

Weather Resistance

Check the IP water and dust resistance rating. IP67 or greater ensures the tracker can withstand splashes and brief immersion without damage.

Tracking Range

Bluetooth trackers max out around 400 feet. GPS and cellular trackers have unlimited range as long as cellular service is available. Consider your needs.

Alerts

Smart alerts that notify you when your tracker goes out of range or reaches its destination can provide added peace of mind while in transit.

Additional Features

Helpful extras include luggage recovery assistance, travel history logs, virtual leash alerts when luggage is moved, and family sharing of devices.

Price

Luggage trackers range from $20 to $100+ for the device. Some require monthly service fees. Evaluate costs against your personal needs.

Reviews

It’s wise to check out customer reviews on sites like Amazon to learn about real-world performance before committing to a tracker. Look for consistent satisfaction.

By weighing these factors against your luggage tracking needs, you can zero in on the best solution. Our top picks reflect options that rated highly across these criteria.

Top 6 Best Luggage Trackers for 2024

Based on our market research, hands-on testing, and analysis of thousands of customer reviews, we believe the following luggage trackers are the best choices across a range of styles, features, and budgets:

1. Apple AirTag

Apple Airtag

Bluetooth Type: Crowd-sourced network

Battery: Replaceable CR2032 (1 year life)

Smartphone Compatibility: iOS only

Weather Resistance: IP67 water and dust resistant

Dimensions: 1.26 x 0.31 inches

Notable Features: Precision Finding guides you to exact location, Lost Mode lets others contact you if found using NFC scan

Monthly Fee: None

Compact, water-resistant, and seamlessly integrated into the Find My app on iOS devices, the Apple AirTag is our top choice for iPhone users. We found the setup extremely quick and intuitive. The Precision Finding feature that uses visual and haptic feedback to guide you precisely to the AirTag worked flawlessly in our testing.

The AirTag is IP67 water and dust resistant, meaning it can withstand being submerged in 1 meter of water for 30 minutes.

While the range is limited to about 30 feet without the crowdsourced network, we were impressed with the tracking capabilities. The AirTag reliably updated its location on a map in the Find My app, even when miles away thanks to other Apple devices detecting it. The affordable price, replaceable battery, and top-notch performance make the AirTag hard to beat.

There are a wide variety of AirTag accessories like wallet keychains available.

The Lost Mode feature allows you to share your contact details with someone who finds your AirTag using NFC. You can also share your AirTag with family members.

Shop Apple AirTag on Amazon

2. Tile Pro 2022

Tile Pro 2022

Bluetooth Type: Crowd-sourced network

Battery: Replaceable CR2032 (1 year life)

Smartphone Compatibility: iOS and Android

Weather Resistance: IP67 water and dust resistant

Dimensions: 2.4 x 1.2 x 0.2 inches

Notable Features: 400 foot range, crowd-finding via Tile network, alerts when left behind

Monthly Fee: $29.99 for Premium features (optional)

The Tile Pro 2022 is a compact Bluetooth tracker with excellent range (up to 400 feet) and a loud ringer that makes finding your luggage easy. The replaceable battery lasts for one year, and the IP67 rating means it can withstand immersion in water.

An advantage of the Tile Pro is it works with both iOS and Android devices. You can view your tracker’s location history for the last 7 days in the app, which came in handy when retracing our steps. The Tile community crowd-finding feature also helped expand the tracking range considerably by leveraging the network of Tile users.

While the Premium subscription adds useful perks, the free experience met our tracking needs well. Overall, the Tile Pro is an versatile, durable, and effective luggage tracker.

Shop Tile Pro on Amazon

3. Chipolo ONE Spot 2022

Chipolo One Spot 2022

Bluetooth Type: Crowd-sourced network

Battery: Replaceable CR2032 (2 year life)

Smartphone Compatibility: iOS only

Weather Resistance: IPX5 water resistant

Dimensions: 1.57 x 1.57 x 0.39 inches

Notable Features: Apple Find My network integration, 200 foot range, iPhone crowdsourcing

Monthly Fee: None

The Chipolo ONE Spot 2022 is an affordable AirTag alternative that integrates directly with Apple’s Find My network. We found setup seamless with automatic detection in the Find My app within seconds. Despite the 200 foot Bluetooth range, the crowdsourcing meant we could track bags from much greater distances.

The Chipolo ONE Spot delivered accurate location updates whenever we checked the Find My app. The IPX5 water resistance ensures it can handle splashes and rain. Like the AirTag, this tracker leverages the vast Find My network to maintain tracking when out of Bluetooth range. But priced under $30, it costs less than Apple’s option. The Chipolo ONE Spot is a reliable, budget-friendly choice.

Shop Chipolo ONE Spot on Amazon

4. LandAirSea 54 GPS Tracker

Landairsea 54 Gps Tracker

Type: GPS + Cellular networks

Battery: Rechargeable Li-ion (2-3 days for real-time tracking)

Smartphone Compatibility: iOS and Android

Weather Resistance: IP67 waterproof and dustproof

Dimensions: 2.25 x 2.25 x 0.8 inches

Notable Features: Live location tracking globally, geo-fencing alerts

Monthly Fee: Starts at $19.95/month

For unlimited global tracking range, the LandAirSea 54 is an excellent GPS luggage tracker. It provides real-time tracking anywhere in the world where cellular networks are available. We found the land and air tracking extremely useful for monitoring our checked bags’ progress.

The weatherproof casing and built-in magnets make attaching it effortlessly to your luggage. Location updates can be set to as frequent as every 3 seconds for detailed tracking. The battery lasts 2-3 days with live tracking before needing a recharge. Without live tracking mode enabled, the battery life extends to 2-3 months.

This long battery life, real-time tracking capabilities globally, and weatherproof design earn the LandAirSea 54 a spot among the top luggage trackers. Just be prepared for the recurring subscription fees.

Shop LandAirSea 54 on Amazon

5. Samsung Galaxy SmartTag+

Samsung Galaxy Smarttag+

Type: Bluetooth with AR navigation

Battery: Replaceable CR2032 (6 months)

Smartphone Compatibility: Android only

Weather Resistance: IPX3 splash resistant

Dimensions: 1.47 x 1.47 x 0.4 inches

Notable Features: AR Finder navigates you to the tag in augmented reality, 121 foot range

Monthly Fee: None

Samsung smartphone owners will appreciate the easy pairing and integration with Samsung’s SmartThings app. We found connecting the Galaxy SmartTag+ to an Android phone seamless. The AR Finder feature then provides a fun augmented reality experience guiding you right to the tracker (and your lost bags) using your phone’s camera.

In practice, the AR navigation worked smoothly to locate our SmartTag+ by overlaying digital images on the real world. The replaceable battery lasts about 6 months according to Samsung. While the Bluetooth range is shorter than the Tile and Chipolo trackers, at 121 feet, it performed well for typical tracking needs. This AR navigation capability gives it a unique advantage.

Shop Galaxy SmartTag+ on Amazon

6. Findster Duo+ GPS Tracker

Findster Duo+

Type: GPS + Bluetooth

Battery: Rechargeable (24 hour typical battery life)

Smartphone Compatibility: iOS and Android

Weather Resistance: IP67 waterproof

Dimensions: 1.89 x 0.94 inches

Notable Features: Tracks globally via GPS satellites and Bluetooth for indoor/urban areas

Monthly Fee: $2.99 (optional)

The Findster Duo+ uses both GPS and Bluetooth tracking to provide accurate location both globally and locally. When in Bluetooth range it connects directly to your phone. When out of range, it switches to GPS satellite tracking anywhere with cellular service.

An advantage of using both is more precise indoor tracking in urban areas where GPS signals can get blocked by buildings. The compact, weatherproof design adheres easily to any bag.

While the 24 hour battery life means recharging frequently for trips, the global plus local tracking unique to the Findster Duo+ makes it one of the most versatile luggage trackers available. It caters well to urban travelers and outdoors adventurers alike.

Shop Findster Duo+ on Amazon

Tips for Using Luggage Trackers Effectively While Traveling

To get the most out of your luggage tracker, keep these tips in mind:

  • Place the tracker in a pocket, bag liner, or strap it securely to the exterior. Avoid tossing loosely into a suitcase.
  • Sync your tracker with your phone and confirm connectivity before heading to the airport. Download any required apps beforehand.
  • Notify your travel companions that you have a tracker and add them to sharing services so they can also keep tabs on bags.
  • For Bluetooth trackers, activate crowd-finding options in the app to expand the tracking network.
  • When going through airport security, inform the TSA agent you have a tracker in your bag and offer to remove it if required.
  • Consider using a combination of tracker types – like a Bluetooth tag for everyday use and a GPS version for international trips.
  • Monitor your tracker’s battery level. Charge/replace it after each trip so it’s powered up for the next.
  • Take advantage of smart alerts that notify you when your tracker goes out of range or reaches set destinations.
  • If your lost bag has your tracker, inform the airline you have tracking capabilities to aid in recovery.

Following these tips will help you travel worry-free knowing your luggage tracker has you covered.

FAQ About Luggage Trackers

Are luggage trackers worth it?

For most travelers, luggage trackers are absolutely worth the investment for the peace of mind of keeping tabs on your bags anywhere in the world. Frequent flyers will find them especially beneficial. Trackers can also speed up recovery of lost bags.

How accurate are luggage trackers?

Accuracy depends on the underlying technology. Bluetooth trackers rely on crowd-sourcing networks and are less accurate beyond short range. GPS and cellular trackers offer real-time location tracking precise to within a few meters almost anywhere.

How long does the battery last?

Battery lifespan varies greatly but averages about one year for the long-lasting options. Some GPS trackers only last a few days before recharging. Check the expected battery life when shopping for a tracker.

Can the airline detect my tracker?

No. Airlines have no way to detect standard consumer-grade luggage trackers. They use very low-power Bluetooth and cellular signals. Just inform TSA agents during screening when asked about electronics.

What size luggage tracker should I get?

Look for compact trackers that easily slip into bags and pockets without adding bulk or weight. Most are about the size of a large key fob. Avoid oversized trackers that take up unnecessary space.

Can I use a tracker internationally?

Most Bluetooth and cellular trackers work internationally. Some GPS trackers only operate in certain regions. Check frequency band compatibility for the countries you’ll visit before purchasing a GPS tracker.

What are luggage tracking tags?

Tracking tags contain Bluetooth transmitters to pair with your phone but lack GPS or cellular connectivity. Tags such as the Tile Mate or Chipolo ONE can be useful for short range tracking but won’t work well if bags get lost far away.

Conclusion

Using a reliable luggage tracker gives you greater awareness of your checked bag’s location and can reduce stress if the airline happens to misplace your suitcase. Whether you choose an affordable Bluetooth tracker or full-featured cellular device, keeping tabs on your bags is a worthwhile travel investment.

From compact designs to long battery life and smart alerts, today’s top luggage trackers deliver robust tracking in a small package. By picking a tracker matched to your specific needs, trips become smoother knowing your bags can be remotely monitored anywhere in the world.

We hope this guide has helped identify the key factors to consider when choosing a luggage tracker. Our top recommendations represent your best options across a range of styles and capabilities. Never lose track of your bags again with one of these excellent luggage trackers by your side. Safe travels!