Portable door locks are a great way to add an extra layer of security to your hotel room or Airbnb rental. With the right lock, you can rest easy knowing that your space is secure and protected. Here are some of the best portable door locks on the market. Use these portable door lock reviews to help find a solution that fits your budget and security needs.
What Is A Portable Door Lock?
Portable door locks are an affordable and easy way to protect you and your belongings while traveling. These locks mount easily on the door and can be removed when needed. Portable door locks come in a variety of styles and this article reviews the props and cons of each.
Why Get a Portable Door Lock?
Are portable door locks even necessary? Hotel rooms and Airbnbs already have door locks, right? The issue isn’t the locks themselves, but who might also have access to those locks. I travel a lot for work and never go anywhere with a portable door lock.
Portable Door Locks For Airbnbs
Besides your Airbnb host, who else has access to your temporary living space? Cleaners? Contractors? Neighbors? Maintenance people? HOA staff? Maybe even previous gusts? Do you know how often your Airbnb host changes the passcode for the door?
My former boss got robbed at an Airbnb in Jamaica. In the middle of the night, two guys came into their rental and robbed them while they were sleeping. Not wanting to risk an armed confrontation, my boss pretended to be asleep during the robbery. In addition to his phone and laptop, the thieves also took his passport and wallet.
The robbery only lasted a few mins, but that’s all it took to turn his weak-long vacation turned into a frustrating exercise in replacing travel documents and credit cards. The Jamaican police eventually caught the thieves. It turns out that they were the two boyfriends of the cleaning ladies. They owed money to a local drug dealer and got desperate enough to rob the Airbnb.
Portable Door Locks For Hotels
I used to feel a little safer in hotels, but recent experiences have changed my mind. In just the last several months, hotel staff have accidentally given me keycards to occupied hotel rooms… twice!
The first time was at the Aloft in Durham, North Carolina. Luckily no one was in the room at the time. I walked in, saw clothes and suitcases, and quickly left the room and went back to the lobby check-in desk.
The second time, I wasn’t as lucky. The hotel staff at a Holiday Inn Express in New York City gave me a keycard to someone else’s room… and they were still inside! There was a woman in the bathroom wearing nothing but a towel. I quickly ran out of the room and into the stairwell. I didn’t want to risk waiting for the elevator and getting into a fight with an angry husband or boyfriend. Unfortunately my room was on the 21st floor. I walked down a few flights carrying my suitcase and then caught the elevator back down to the lobby. So embarrassing!
Portable Door Locks For Renters
For those who live in rental properties, knowing that landlords or former tenants could have easy access to your home can create some unease. Many renters feel uncomfortable knowing that management companies and owners could enter their homes at any time.
Portable Door Locks For Dorms, Bedrooms, And More
Besides rentals, hotels and Airbnbs, you can use a portable door lock to secure any room. Did you get into a fight with your college roommate? Do you have nosy siblings who like to come into your bedroom? Does a creepy sibling or parent like to watch you sleep? A portable door lock can lock anyone out of a room, even if they have a key.
Types Of Portable Door Locks
Portable door locks can be used to secure any door that opens inwards, including hotel doors, Airbnb rentals, bedrooms, dorm rooms, etc. Mostly made of durable materials, such as brass, steel, and aluminum, there are various types of portable door locks.
Addalock Portable Door Lock
Addalock‘s clip and chain style door lock ($10 via Amazon) is the most popular type of portable door lock. When you search online, you’ll find dozens of imitators, but Addalock claims to be the “original”.
This style lock is small enough to fit into your pocket and easy enough for anyone to use. It works by placing the metal plate against the deadbolt. You then close the door with the plate in between the door and door frame and attach the plastic clip. Once secured into place, the plastic clip prevents an inward opening door from opening.
- Pros: Easy Install: No tools are required for installation; Compatibility: You can use this model in most hotels, Airbnbs, schools, rentals, etc.; Portable: This model is lightweight, small, and easily fits into a pocket.
- Cons: Durability: The plastic can become cracked, especially after repeated forced entry attempts; Deadbolt Size Restrictions: This model works with average door types, but not larger deadbolts or door shapes.
- Who Should Buy This? Anyone on a budget who wants to use a portable door lock to secure an inward opening door with a deadbolt.
Urgeeo Portable Door Lock For Travel
More durable than similar models that use a plastic clip, the Urgeeo Portable Door Lock ($15 via Amazon) uses aluminum alloy and stainless steel instead of plastic. Even though the plastic version is more popular, for a few dollars more, it might be worth getting a model made from stronger materials.
You can also use the Urgeeo Portable Door Lock to break glass or as a personal defense weapon.
- Pros: Durability: Upgrade door security device made of aluminum alloy and stainless steel material, makes Portable door lock more durable; Multi-Use: The Urgeeo can also be used to break glass or as a brass knuckles-like weapon; Style: It comes in different colors.
- Cons: Price: The stronger metal materials slightly increase the price of this model.
- Who Should Buy This? Anyone who likes the clip and chain design but is willing to spend a few more dollars for a metal clip instead of the plastic version.
Jian Boland Door Lock
The biggest advantage of the Jian Boland Door Lock ($12 via Amazon), is it doesn’t require a deadbolt. Butterfly style door locks can be used in between the door and the door frame at any part of the door.
These locks work great, but they have a couple potential drawbacks that you need to consider before buying.
If someone tries to forcefully open a door while the butterfly clip is attached, then it can severely dent the door. That’s probably not a concern for a hotel room, but if you plan on using this lock on a home bedroom door, then you might want to try a different model.
Another potential issue is compatibility. To secure a room, the gap between the door and the door frame must be greater than 2mm (if your door does not have a door gap, it may not be suitable for you).
- Pros: Doesn’t Require A Deadbolt: If you are trying to secure a door that doesn’t have a deadbolt, then you will want to consider this model; Portable: This is one of the smallest portable door locks on the market and only about the size of a small cookie; Very Easy Installation: To install this door lock, just insert it between the door frame and twist.
- Cons: Damage Potential: Because of their flat metal design, these locks are more likely to cause damage a door during a forced entry attempt. Probably only a concern if you are using this lock in a more permanent situation, like a dorm room or bedroom; Compatibility: Thicker metal design may not fit in between tight door gaps.
- Who Should Buy This? Anyone who needs to secure an inward opening door that doesn’t have a deadbolt.
Travelers Safety Lock
Similar in design to butterfly style door locks, the Travelers Safety Lock ($99 via Amazon) has softer plastic pads that help prevent damage to the door or door frame. Made from aircraft-grade aluminum, this is the strongest lock on our list.
- Pros: Durable: Made from high-grade metal materials; Protective Padding: Intergraded pads help prevent damage to door or door frame.
- Cons: Expensive: At $99, this lock is 10x more expensive than the average price of the other portable travel locks on this list.
- Who Should Buy This? If you have serious security concerns, this this is the lock for you. It’s as strong as a permanent door lock.
Safety Buckle Portable Door Lock
Unlike the metal and plastic clip models, the safety buckle door lock ($9 via eBay) only has a single locking piece that lays against the bottom of the deadbolt. This design makes it more compatible with different types of deadbolts.
Another advantage of the safety buckle lock is its compatibility with thicker doors. The buckle is adjustable and can easily be secured in different door thickness settings.
- Pros: Compatibility: Compatible with all types of deadbolts and thicker doors; Ease Of Use: Buckle design is easy to install; Lightweight: Smaller and thinner than other pocket door lock models.
- Cons: Durability: Thin metal design isn’t as sturdy as the other items on this list.
- Who Should Buy This? People with larger deadbolts and/or thicker doors that open inwards.
HonesaLoc Portable Door Lock
A hybrid between the safety buckle and plastic clips models is the adjustable button style lock from HonesaLoc ($11 via Amazon). Similar to the safety buckle, the adjustable button lock works great with thicker doors.
This model also secures to the deadbolt, like the plastic clip, but it’s much easier to install than the plastic or metal clips style locks.
- Pros: Easy Install: Fast and easy install only takes seconds; Compatibility: Compatible with thicker doors.
- Cons: Durability: Plastic material may not hold up over time.
- Who Should Buy This? Anyone who has a thicker door or thinks the plastic or metal clip style locks are too hard to install. Also requires an inward opening door.
Calslock Portable Door Lock For Travel
The Calslock Portable Door Lock ($30 via Amazon) has a unique style. At first glance, it looks like a miniature brass chainsaw (it even has a serrated edge). It may look cute, but the Calslock is a sturdy portable door lock that’s also easy to use.
To secure a door using the Calslock, simply hook the lock into the deadbolt’s door plate and squeeze and pull back the slide bar when the door is open. Once the door is closed, squeeze the slide bar and push it against the door, then release.
- Pros: Metal Materials: The Calslock is made using stainless steel and solid brass. Your door will probably break before this does; One-Piece Design: There are no detachable parts like clips or buckles to lose.
- Cons: Price: Because this lock is made using brass, it is more expensive that most of the locks on this list; Rough Edges: The Calslock’s sharp jagged edge makes this lock unsuitable for households with young children who are tall enough to access the door handle.
- Who Should Buy This? Are you worried by the plastic parts or cheaper aluminum metals used in some of the portable locks on this list? If so, you may take comfort in the Calslock’s design and its combination of solid brass and stainless steel materials.
Geanli Portable Door Stop
Portable door locks that either require deadbolts or gaps in the door frame won’t work with all door types. For those situations, you may want to consider using a door stop, like the Geanli Portable Door Stop ($22 via Amazon).
Instead of using the deadbolt to secure your door, a door stop or door jammer uses the pressure of the opening door and the friction from a rubber pad against the floor to keep the door closed.
- Pros: Easy Install/Removal: It only seconds to install and remove.
- Cons: Door Gap Compatibility: A 0.19 inch thick gap between the door and the floor is required; Hard Surface Floor Required: This type of door lock won’t work with carpet or dirt floors. This rules out carpeted hotel rooms and areas with dirt floors, like barns.
- Who Should Buy This? Anyone with a hard surface floor who is also worried about the compatibility of a portable door lock in certain door frames. You will also need an inward opening door that has a small gap between the door and the floor.
DoorJammer Portable Door Brace Review
The DoorJammer ($25 via Amazon) is portable door stop made from heavy-duty steel and aluminum. To install, simply place the base plate on the ground and then attach the footplate to the door. This will hold the door shut, making it virtually impossible to open without removing the DoorJammer.
The footplate has adjustable rubber wedges to ensure it fits snugly in all types of door frames, and the device is even height adjustable to ensure it fits any door.
- Pros: Compact But Strong: It’s smaller than a phone and crafted from tough, lightweight steel so you’ve got a portable door barricade whether home or away.
- Cons: Floor Surface: Hard floor surface required
- Who Should Buy This? The DoorJammer is an ideal choice for those seeking a portable door stop lock for a door with a larger gap between the floor and the door.
The most lightweight portable door lock is the Deadbolt Strap ($7 for two via Amazon). This piece of sturdy nylon fabric secures to the deadbolt lock knob and then wraps tightly around the doorknob. It’s easy to install and is about 48 cm (18.9 inch) long by 3.5 cm (1.38 inch) wide.
One of the best things about this model, is its discreetness. If someone was searching through your luggage, they probably wouldn’t even know that this fabric strap was a door lock. It looks more like headband than a security device.
- Pros: Discreet: Most people wont even know this is a door lock. It looks more like a headband or hair tie; Affordable: These door straps sell for only a few dollars each; Compatibility: Works with any door with a deadbolt knob, including doors that swing in or out; Portability: Deadbolt straps are lightweight, foldable, and small enough to always keep one in your purse or suitcase.
- Cons: Compatibility: May not be compatible with every door. Requires a deadbolt knob to work.
- Who Should Buy This? Anyone who is looking for a small and discreet portable door lock that is small enough to keep in their toiletries bag.
Permanent Reinforcement Door Locks
If you like the extra sense of security of having a portable door lock for travel, then you may want to invest in a more permanent add-on lock for your home. Add-on reinforcement locks are an inexpensive way to provide additional security to any home. They offer peace of mind, and can help to keep families safe from intruders.
Defender Security Door Lock
Most hotels have an extra door lock located above the deadbolt that you can flip into place while inside your room. They are great at preventing the cleaning staff from entering your room while you are still inside.
If you like that extra sense of security, then you might want to get the Defender Security door lock ($20 via Amazon). Similar to hotel locks, the Defender Security door lock is a reinforcement lock that easily flips into place when you need it. The lock is easy to install and just gets screwed into your door frame. Even if someone has a key to your door, the Defender Security door lock will help prevent someone from entering.
Add An Extra Layer Of Security With These Portable Door Locks For Travel
Feeling safe when others have access to your door can be difficult. But for less than $50, you can buy multiple items from this list. If you are looking for a suggestion, we recommend the Urgeeo Portable Door Lock ($15 via Amazon), DoorJammer ($25 via Amazon), and Deadbolt Strap ($7 for two via Amazon). This assortment of door locks will keep you secure in a variety of different situations.
Using a portable door lock can quickly add an extra layer of security to any door and help to deter forced entry. It’s a small price to pay for the extra peace-of-mind that a portable door lock provides.
Frank Wilson is a retired teacher with over 30 years of combined experience in the education, small business technology, and real estate business. He now blogs as a hobby and spends most days tinkering with old computers. Wilson is passionate about tech, enjoys fishing, and loves drinking beer.