by James Williams
Traveling can be exhilarating and a time we tend to throw caution to the wind. Spending that extra $15 to try the cocktail special is a well-deserved treat, after all. The one area we can't afford to ignore precaution is on our safety. About 17% of robberies happen in locations like hotels and other travel lodgings.
That means that of the 400,000 robberies per year in the United States 68,000 fall into this category. With a simple gadget you can add another layer of protection and enjoy your travels worry-free. We broke down the options to help you find the best portable door lock for you.
A portable door lock is a device that wedges a door shut from the inside. Features vary depending on the manufacturer and may be a simple idea like a door stop pushed under a closed door. This uses friction to keep the door shut against an intruder.
In our review we've chosen only ones which hook into the strike plate of the door, offering a stronger resistance from outside pressure.
Xelar's portable door lock is a classic, easy to use design. There are two components that make it work a metal plate and a red plastic key.
The metal plate has a hole with two brackets on either side that clip it onto the strike plate while the door is open.
The door is then closed, making sure the latch engages. Taking the red key, the metal knob on it is pushed through a corresponding hold on the plate. To finish the lock, the key slides down until it clicks. Attempts to open the door from either the inside or out are useless, even with a key.
The lock is easily removed by sliding the key back up and opening the door. The Xelar door lock is a very small, light weight tool, making it an easy choice for traveling. Weighing in at only 4 ounces even air travel isn't impacted by this device. This one couldn't tip your baggage weight over the limit if it tried.
The Xelar is also intuitive to use and one of the most affordable locks on the list. The lock comes with a carrying bag and can easily be slipped into your pocket, a great feature for women traveling alone who want to feel more secure.
The Addalock is the first patented portable door lock. It works like the Xelar lock, by fitting into the strike plate and then affixing the key after the door is closed. Addalock's key is held to the metal plate by a medium gauge metal chain.
The entire system is constructed from stainless steel and molded plastic. The metal plate has two prongs that can clip it into most strike plates, from the standard plate to square ones often found in commercial buildings like hotels. The button that attaches the key to the metal plate is stainless steel as well.
It comes with a carrying pouch with "Addalock" labelled on the front, making it impossible to misplace after packing your luggage. Another light weight option, Addalock weighs 4.2 ounces and measures only 5.8" x 3.5". It can be slipped into most pants pockets at this size, or into a purse without taking up too much room.
As easy to disengage as it is to install, the Addalock is certainly a great choice for the best portable door lock if ease and quickness of use are important to you. This door jammer works so well it has been adopted for use by many schools and companies for lock-down procedures during active shooter situations.
Rishon Enterprises offers videos and instructions on their website on the use of their portable travel door lock. When you buy one of their locks you also receive the back up and support of their extensive security knowledge.
With the realization that travel isn't limited only to hotels any longer, Rishon attempts to solve the security issues associated with the use of rentals like Vrbo and Airbnb. They acknowledge that a slew of strangers may have access to the key to the home you're renting for a week.
With this in mind the portable door locks made by Rishon give back control and privacy in any setting. Ensuring a tight, secure lock from the inside of the door, a person attempting to gain entry would have to break down the entire door, hinges and all, when the lock is applied.
Using the same method already explained of wedging the door from the strike plate, Rishon taps into a broad market for easy to use portable door locks. The Rishon Enterprises door jammer is widely available and sells at a great price for a quality product.
The ToolsGold lock is probably the best travel door lock for someone looking for a one piece option. The ToolsGold device has a really functional design and just makes sense.
This one requires less space between the door and the frame, needing only 2.5 mm, exactly the width of three credit cards put together.
To use it, the button on the red plastic piece is pressed and the lock slides all the way open. Then, with the door open, the claw on the metal piece is hooked into the hole of the strike plate like the other models reviewed. Holding the lock at a slight angle, the door is closed over top of it.
Once again pressing the button, the travel lock will slide in and engage. This applies pressure and prevents the door from being opened in one, smooth movement. The FoolsGold portable lock is hefty and a bit larger than its competitors, a nice feature if you worry about the strength of the lock. That heft comes from a thicker gauge steel and the fact that the entire lock is once piece.
FoolsGold also includes a cinchable black carrying case with its lock to keep it easily wrangled while you travel.
This lock is in a category of its own. Even the packaging is unique, with a zippered soft case to tote your lock in. Still connecting to the strike plate, the Traveler's Security Door Lock doesn't have to be compatible with the size and shape of the hole for the door latch.
Instead, it uses one hook which catches onto the inside edge of the strike plate hole. This allows you to use your lock with any door, anywhere in the world.
Able to be used on right and left opening doors, you will first attach the metal bar to the striker plate using the "R" or the "L" side, then close the door.
The locking mechanism has two bolts that apply pressure evenly to the door and the door frame. Sliding the lock over the metal bar make sure the words "door knob" and the arrow are pointing towards the knob. Tighten the bolts gently until the padded feet touch the door and the frame, without over tightening. The lock is now secure and tight.
Undoing the travel door lock is as simple as loosening the bolts and removing the bar from the door. Newton's 3rd Law is applied by the bolts and prevents the door from budging.
Once you have decided where to go on that long awaited vacation it all seems like smooth sailing. And really, it is. With the details in mind of where you'll be and the local environment, you can easily make sure you buy the best portable door lock to ensure your safety.
Depending on where you travel, not all door latches and strike plates are the same shape. If you're outside of the US, the standard curved rectangle is not so standard any more.
If you're traveling to an area, or even renting an Airbnb with an ultra modern door with a square latch, the right lock for you will not be dependent on matching up perfectly to the strike plate. Choose an option with just one prong to hook to the plate instead of two.
The amount of space between the door and the frame make or break the effectiveness of door locks. If the space is too tight for the lock you purchased you can damage the door or jam it shut so that even you can't get it open.
Forcing the door to close is never a good idea. Instead, look around for brands that will fit the amount of space you will most commonly need. Most will tell you the width that their locks can fit into.
Some locks take longer to install. If you want a lock to put in in an emergency situation that may not be a good choice. Consider how quickly the lock can be engaged and purchase accordingly.
If the portable door lock is going to be used for a company or school situation anyone should be able to install it quickly and easily. Two handed options or ones which require adjustment could end up using too much valuable time.
If you only travel once in a blue moon and feel that your house is secure enough you may not want to splurge on the most expensive portable door lock on the market.
On the other hand, if you live alone, especially in an apartment setting, travel frequently, or have good reason to worry about your safety it is probably worth investing in the sturdiest, most versatile lock. Constant, daily use in general calls for a resilient product. Infrequent use generally doesn't require as much longevity and strength. Choose accordingly.
Portable door locks range from very inexpensive to around $50. Depending on your situation that could set you back more than you had hoped. It's important to weigh your concerns for your safety and your financial needs and reach a balanced decision.
Applying door locks is very easy, no matter the model you choose. The door you want to secure is opened and the metal plate with either one or two hooks on it is attached to the donor's strike plate. When the metal bar is in place the door is closed and the locking mechanism is secured to the bar.
In some models this is a one step process by pushing a button and sliding the lock into place. In others this may entail hooking a button through a hole on the metal plate. This video demonstrates how to apply the classic Addalock.
Addalock is a brand of portable door locks designed to be used inside a closed door to keep intruders out.
Doors can't be locked from the outside if there is no lock on them. Portable door locks work from the inside by applying reverse pressure when someone is trying to open the door. An outside swinging door does not apply pressure.
While you would require permission from your landlord to change the locks on your doors, portable door locks are not permanent and would not require permission. They are added after the door is closed and only provide extra protection while you are inside. If your landlord needs to get into your apartment they should inform you that they will be entering.
Assuming you don't want to change the door knob to one with a lock, you can use a portable door lock to keep it closed while you're inside. This will not keep it locked when you are gone, as you have to be in the room to apply the lock.
A door stop at the base of the door may stop it from opening if there is enough friction for it to catch. Portable door locks are a better option because they can be applied to the door strike plate and wedge it shut.
Portable door locks are installed by opening the door and attaching the metal locking bar to the interior of the strike plate. The door is then closed and the locking mechanism applied to the metal bar. The locking mechanism will vary depending on the model you've purchased.
Portable door locks are versatile tools for ensuring your safety. They barricade a room or even a building's entrance from an invader and provide peace of mind when you're out of your element.
Next time you're at a hotel you don't have to worry if the maid will come in while you're in the shower, because, until you release the lock, no one will be opening your door.
There are different options for everyone and they are all suited to different needs and levels of travel. You can easily get all the security you crave whether at home or away.
About James Williams
Hi, This is James from HomerDIY. I have great experience in writing about everything related to Pump and DIY tools. For the last few years, I am researching the different types of tools and sharing my opinion on this blog.