Best Locks to Use at the Hostel 2024

Combination Locks vs. Key Locks

When staying in a hostel, your security and the safety of your belongings should always be a top priority. While hostels provide affordable and sociable accommodation options for travelers, the shared living spaces also introduce unique security concerns. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive overview of the best locks, taking into account various factors such as security, durability, ease of use, and TSA compliance. We will evaluate and compare different types of locks, including combination locks and key locks, to help you make an informed decision. Stay tuned as we reveal our top pick for the overall best lock at the end of the article.

Key Locks

Key locks are the traditional choice for securing belongings. They operate with a physical key that fits into a lock mechanism, turning to unlock or lock the device. Their straightforward design has been trusted for generations, offering a tangible level of security.


  • Tangible Security: The physical key-and-lock mechanism provides a solid barrier against unauthorized access.
  • No Combinations to Remember: Unlike combination locks, you don’t need to remember a sequence of numbers, which can be a relief for those prone to forgetting.


  • Risk of Losing Keys: Carrying a physical key means there’s always a risk of losing it, which could leave you locked out of your belongings.
  • Management of Multiple Keys: If you’re using several key locks, managing multiple keys can become cumbersome and confusing.

Combination Locks

Combination locks do away with physical keys, using a set sequence of numbers that you dial to unlock. They’re highly versatile and can be reset to new combinations as needed.


  • No Keys to Carry: Eliminating the need for physical keys means one less thing to worry about losing.
  • Easily Resettable: If you suspect your combination has been compromised, most combination locks allow you to reset the code.


  • Forgetting Combinations: The convenience of not having keys comes with the risk of forgetting your combination, especially if you change it frequently.
  • Potential for Guessing Attempts: Simple combinations or those not changed regularly may be vulnerable to guessing attempts by determined thieves.
tsa lock, and symbol need to understand the locking prop

TSA Approved

  • Explanation of TSA Approval: Traveling with locks means considering the regulations of airport security, particularly the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in the United States. TSA-approved locks are designed to allow security agents to open and inspect your luggage without damaging the lock.
  • For travelers moving through airports and staying in hostels, TSA-approved locks offer a seamless security solution. They provide peace of mind, knowing that your luggage can be inspected by security without the risk of your lock being cut.
  • Choosing TSA-Approved Locks: When selecting a TSA-approved lock for hostel use, look for locks with a recognizable TSA symbol. These locks are accessible to airport security but still offer solid protection for your belongings in a hostel environment.
  • Let’s continue to the next section, focusing on the Hostel Locks FAQs, to provide valuable insights and advice for travelers.

Hostel Locks FAQs

What are the factors to consider when selecting the appropriate locks for a hostel?

For Portugal hostel stays, the choice between combination locks and key locks largely depends on your personal preference for convenience versus traditional security. Combination locks are generally recommended due to their ease of use and the fact that you don’t need to carry a key that could be lost or stolen. Opt for a sturdy, durable lock, possibly with a shackle thick enough to resist cutting but small enough to fit the lockers provided by hostels. If you opt for TSA-approved locks, you’ll also be prepared for any air travel without needing to switch locks between your stay and your journey.

Can I Lock Up My Bags at the Hostel?

Most hostels provide lockers or secure storage areas for guests to lock up their bags and valuables. It’s advisable to use these facilities, especially when staying in shared dorm rooms. The type of lock you choose should fit the hostel’s lockers, which is why compact and versatile locks are preferred. Before traveling, check the hostel’s amenities list for information about locker sizes or contact them directly to ensure your lock will fit.

Do I Need to Use a Lock at Hostels?

While many hostels are safe and have security measures in place, using a lock is a simple step that significantly increases the security of your belongings. It acts as a deterrent to opportunistic theft, which can happen in any shared living situation. Locking up your luggage and valuables can give you peace of mind while you’re out exploring, ensuring that your focus remains on enjoying your travels instead of worrying about your stuff.

Additional FAQs

Availability of Lockers in Hostels: While most hostels offer lockers, the size and availability can vary greatly. It’s always best to check in advance, especially if you’re carrying items that require more secure storage. Some hostels offer lock rentals, but bringing your own ensures that you have control over the security of your belongings.

Dealing with Lost Keys or Forgotten Combinations: For key locks, always keep a spare key in a separate, secure location. For combination locks, choose a memorable combination that’s not easily guessed by others but won’t be easily forgotten by you. If you do forget your combination, some locks come with a master key or a reset mechanism, though it’s a feature that varies from lock to lock.

What we Don’t recommend For Hostel Locks

While TSA-approved locks offer convenience for air travel, it is important to note that they should not be used as hostel locks. TSA locks have a master key that airport security personnel can use to inspect luggage without damaging the lock. This means that anyone with access to this master key, including potential thieves, could potentially open your hostel locker.

For hostel stays, it is recommended to use a sturdy, durable lock with a unique combination or key that is not easily duplicated. This will provide better protection for your belongings in a shared hostel environment.

SureLock is not recommended for hostel lockers since people can use TSA master keys to open them. It is, however, TSA-compliant and is suitable for airport security.

The Best Overall Hostel Locks for Secure Travel

Master Lock heavy-duty combination locker lock is a superior choice for hostel lockers due to its robust construction and reliable security features. Here’s why it stands out:

  1. Durability: A high-quality hostel lock is made of durable materials like stainless steel or brass, which can withstand heavy use and harsh conditions. It should also be rust-resistant to prevent corrosion, especially in humid environments like bathrooms or near the beach.
  2. Security: A secure combination lock is essential for keeping your belongings safe. Look for a lock with a four-digit or higher combination that is difficult to crack. Some locks also have anti-theft features like a double-locking mechanism or a key override option for added security.
  3. Convenience: A convenient lock is easy to use, especially when you’re in a hurry or carrying luggage. Consider a lock with a large dial that’s easy to grip and a smooth combination mechanism that doesn’t require excessive force.
  4. Cost-effectiveness: While a high-quality hostel lock may have a higher upfront cost, it is a cost-effective choice in the long run. A durable and secure lock will last longer, reducing the need for frequent replacements. Additionally, the peace of mind that comes with knowing your belongings are safe can be priceless.
  5. Versatility: A high-quality hostel lock should be suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. It should be able to withstand different weather conditions, such as rain, snow, or extreme heat. This versatility ensures that your lock can be used in a variety of settings, whether you’re staying in a dorm room, a private room, or a locker.

Final Thoughts on Securing Your Belongings in Hostels

When it comes to securing your belongings in hostels, TSA-approved locks are the gold standard for travel, ensuring your luggage passes through airport security without hassle. However, for daily use in hostels, locker-made locks are highly recommended due to their compatibility with common locker sizes and security needs. Our top advice is to opt for TSA-approved locks for air travel and switch to locker-specific locks for your hostel stays, providing an optimal balance between convenience and security. This approach guarantees peace of mind, allowing you to focus on enjoying your travels with the assurance that your possessions are safe.

Remember, the best lock is the one that suits your travel style and security needs. By considering the factors outlined in this guide, you can make an informed decision that enhances your hostel experience, letting you focus on the adventures ahead with peace of mind.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *