Travel Products - Zippers less secure?
Apr 15, 12, 1:32 pm
Apologies if this has been covered countless times before. I'm looking for a new case to replace my trusty but very battered samonsite. Looking at the samsonite spinners and noticed that most tend to zipped.
I always though zippers on bags we less secure than a hard case with latches. Seem to recalls video with a ball point pen. That wouldn't tally with samonsite produce mainly zippered bags though so what am I missing?
Apr 15, 12, 3:31 pm
You are not missing anything. With the popularity of lighter soft side bags came the self repairing zipper. Poke it with a ball point pen, open, slide lock attached zipper pulls over the opening and it is re-closed.
If you insist on a soft side bag look for one that has a D ring attached near the top handle. The D-ring is visible in some of the photos of Eagle Creek bags. You can then use a TSA approve cable lock such as Triple Security Luggage Lock (http://www.magellans.com/store/Luggage___Luggage_Accessories___Luggage_Locks___Ta gsSL116) to keep the zippers from being moved. I see that some of the Samsonite's have a TSA lock mechanism on it to keep the zipper pull is place but the zippers can still be ball penned.
A detected thief will still get into your bag. In that case the cut or opened zipper will be very apparent when it arrives on the baggage carousel. Good idea to take a picture of the bag on the check in scale.
I personally use a hard side bag with a
PacSafe StrapSafe (http://pacsafe.com/www/index.php?_room=3&_action=detail&id=71) The strap cannot be loosened once closed and has an indicator to show if has been opened with a TSA key. Unless you have the combination opened one cannot reset the indicator. Because of the stripes it stands out, is readily identified and an airport baggage claim thief would be reluctant to take it. Mine does not have any steel cabling in it so it can be cut with a knife. Also keep the bag from popping open during rough handling.
Coil zippers can be pried open with a pen and closed without leaving marks. Teeth zippers cannot.
A hardframe case with locked latches will off the best protection against thievery. If you want the sturdiest and hardest to open, you get a Pelikan case with good locks. They will still be able to cut those off but they will need a decent bolt cutter.
One of the reasons most manufacturers are going with zippers now is weight. The other is that if a hardframe gets bent, the repair can be costly or impossible. With baggage volume and baggage handlers being what they are today, bending a hardframe out of shape is not an impossibility anymore. Zips and EVA shells will just spring back. A hardframe won't.
Still, for transporting fragiles and valuables (too big to carry-on) I use my hardshell/frame Rimowa. It has never been pilfered but the TSA magpies really like to open it up more than any of my other bags. They know it's an expensive bag and probably has expensive contents, so they want to see if they can't find anything to "confiscate" they might enjoy. Fortunately, my taste in clothing is probably too refined for them. :D
Yes, a strap that can be locked and not loosened is also part of my strategy. It helps also against TSA, because it means they have to open one more lock and they are lazy.
Apr 15, 12, 5:37 pm
A friends light weight Samsonite EVA was received cracked like an eggshell with pieces missing and held together with tape (no logos on the tape).
Samsonite and airline said sorry...
My trusty Samsonite Oyster has held up since 1988 with only one wheel knocked recently by U'r Always Late.
It is so scratched and beat-up on the outside that it is ignored by the TSA Airport Security Screener's
That with the PacSafe yellow and black striped luggage strap makes it undesirable to the thieves that frequent the baggage claim areas..
Apr 18, 12, 12:34 pm
Thanks, that helps and makes sense.
Off to invest in some new locks..:D
Apr 23, 12, 12:14 am
Poke it with a ball point pen, open, slide lock attached zipper pulls over the opening and it is re-closed.
One thing I like about my new Rimowa - although it's sealed with a zipper they can't slide the zipper when it's locked - although I wish it had an indicator.
I personally use a hard side bag with a
PacSafe StrapSafe (http://pacsafe.com/www/index.php?_room=3&_action=detail&id=71) The strap cannot be loosened once closed and has an indicator to show if has been opened with a TSA key.
I am thinking of getting one of those, but this review from Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/review/R1BEW6IOKOIT1G/ref=cm_cr_pr_viewpnt#R1BEW6IOKOIT1G) makes me wonder:
Yes, this is easy to use. However, one can adjust the strap after it is locked. Simply pull up on the adjustment and push the strap through the bottom loop. It loosens enough to open any compartment not locked. If the belt is through a case handle, then it can't be slipped off, but if not through a handle, it could certainly be slipped right off the suitcase. I don't understand the advert that the strap can't be adjusted. I don't feel fully confident in this trap.
Apr 23, 12, 10:41 am
I got a pacsafe venturesafe luggage and found it expensive but good enough. The bag is simple backpack and surprisingly light weight. Its the perfect for my laptop and easy to pull out. Its extra pockets are very convenient to keep small things. It has a reasonable size, not too big or not small but the shoulder straps are a bit uncomfortable. However, security is its paramount concern and it contains all the precautionary ways to stop anyone might try and access your things.