Thursday, June 15, 2006

The handy retractable cable lock

Little locks you put on your luggage or backpack zipper are nice, but what if someone is ready to just pick up your whole bag and go? The best solution is a light retractable lock that can attach your things to something stationary. It makes things quite difficult for a thief and is sure to slow him down. Especially handy when you want to catch some sleep on an overnight bus or train. Just lock your backpack to the luggage rack and have some sweet dreams.

They work kind of like a ski lock, with the cable coming out (up to three feet in some cases) when deployed, then zipping back into the plastic case not needed. You set a combination that you'll remember, so no need to carry around a key.

In about 15 years of traveling, I've only gone through two of these retractable locks, so they win points for durability. There are cheaper ones around, but with a name like "Outpac RetractaSafe 200," this one pictured here has got to be close to bulletproof. Get it for $17.95 at

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