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3 Types of Luggage Straps (and how to choose luggage based on strap preferences)

A man carrying a bag with leather strap.

Bungee cord, X-shaped, and regular type that come in various materials, colors, sizes, and styles. The type you choose depends on the amount and type of luggage that you’re taking with you. 

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If you’re like me, and always overpack, we need to stop our toiletries from falling out of our suitcase on the plane (or before we get on). A luggage strap will keep our bags safe and help us keep track of them. Using one with a sturdy woven strap to keep our bags closed and the contents in order is the ideal move. 

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Some brands like Northern Traveler are sturdy and have secure buckles that make them ideal for frequent travelers. With just a single click, we can give our clothing and personal items the further protection they need for bumpy flights. Let’s look at the types of luggage straps, their benefits, and how to choose them. 

Luggage Strap Types

Let’s break down the three most common kinds of suitcase straps into their sections.

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1. Standard Straps for Luggage

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A common luggage strap consists of a single, thick strap made from a variety of materials, and a clasp made from plastic that serves to “lock” the strap across your bag. In general, standard baggage straps can be adjusted to accommodate a variety of uses, depending on the type of bag being used and the desired level of luggage security.

2. X-Shaped Straps for Luggage

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These double-package straps can be crossed over each other to keep your bags safe. If a clasp or zipper fails, the X-shaped straps will retain everything in place.

3. Straps Made From a Bungee Cord 

Luggage straps that read “Add a Bag” are simple to use and offer several benefits. In addition to keeping your belongings safe, these straps also make it possible to attach a handbag or a smaller check-in bag to the lid of your luggage. 

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This not only keeps both of them secure but also allows you to check two bags at the same time (thinking their blended weight is under the limit). This is a classic case of killing two birds with one stone!

All you need to learn about using luggage straps, including whether or not they are permitted, whether or not you should, and how to do so, is covered in this article.

When Traveling, Why Do You Need Luggage Straps, And What Are They?

The clue is, after all, in the title. Before checking your bag at the airport, secure it shut with a set of sturdy straps called luggage straps.

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I know what you’re thinking: “Why would I ever need a luggage strap?” After all, the best luggage should be made so that extra accessories aren’t necessary. Unfortunately, most luggage isn’t the most space-efficient, and not everyone can afford the ones that are. Luggage latches, baggage covers, straps, and smart trackers are all common sense additions for the more careful traveler.

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In addition, a foresighted individual will focus on the strap’s primary function. What I learned from experience is that you need to always be ready for the unexpected, including the breakdown of your bags. If your suitcase’s zipper breaks, the straps might act as a makeshift closure. 

Especially on hard-shell bags, the zipper might break or open if it is overpacked or has worn out from use. Using luggage straps will prevent your bags from opening on the luggage carousel, saving you the hassle of searching for misplaced items and the potential embarrassment of having them on show.

But there is an additional practical use for baggage straps:

A man with tattoo carrying his luggage.

Bags with brightly colored straps are easy to spot in a crowded airport. My own bright green baggage straps stand out in a crowd. For purely aesthetic reasons (the bright color isn’t everyone’s favorite accessory color), some people may opt not to go with this option.

But I don’t think it’s so horrible when paired with my black checked suitcase. Even if it is, using a brightly colored luggage strap will make it much simpler to locate your bag among the sea of black bags on the luggage carousel.

There will be no more passing your suitcase or squinting at a screen for what seems like an eternity. Think of these straps as an investment in your time and money. While straps are cheap and easy to find, a bright luggage cover would stand out in a crowd and prevent your suitcase from exploding.

Some straps are designed to fasten together many bags.

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Tired of lugging your three-piece luggage set around? There’s a simple way to fix this problem. If you want to avoid having to drag multiple bags at once, all you need to do is strap them together with standard luggage straps.

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Is it OK to Use Luggage Straps?

Transportation Security Administration for luggage checking.

So far, TSA has not announced any restrictions that limit the use of luggage straps. Nowhere that we looked, anyway. Checked and carry-on bags are allowed to have straps so long as they can be easily removed by TSA personnel. 

Several belts, for instance, feature ingenious combination locks. These locks should be TSA-approved, which implies that TSA employees will have their keys to access them.

I discovered that many people are uncertain as to whether or not baggage straps are permitted on checked bags when I looked into this topic. Some passengers have reported that Air France requires them to undo their bag straps before checking them. 

Although it is unusual, some airlines do not allow the use of luggage straps. If this is the case, you can ditch the restraints and carry on as usual.

Parts of the strap are sometimes left hanging, which increases the risk of being trapped in the moving belts. The strap will be severed and discarded because of this by the luggage handlers. This is why you need to tie up any loose ends.

Guidelines for Fastening Suitcase Straps

A leather suitcase above an old car.

Luggage straps are, essentially, a piece of cake to employ. To prevent it from coming off by accident, thread the strap through the handle and pull it through.

However, there are a variety of luggage straps, each of which is best suited for a particular purpose. Consider them one by one.

Standard Straps for Luggage and How to Use Them

  • Initially, stand your suitcase on its wheels so that it is vertical;
  • Pass the strap over through side handle once you’ve wrapped it around the breadth of your bag.
  • Pull the strap through both top handles and around the height of the bag if it doesn’t have a side handle;
  • Strap length should be adjusted so that it sits firmly before latching;
  • You should draw the strap through a handle and then lock it, making sure it’s a snug fit but not so tight that it could damage your case. a
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Use of X-Straps for Luggage

  • The first step is to wrap the strap around the top of the luggage and thread it through all the handles.
  • To make a 90° angle, thread the strap through the metal triangle.
  • Carry on encircling the breadth of the case, threading the strap through the side handle as you go;
  • Make sure the straps are the right length for a snug fit before you clip them together;
  • Lock the push-lock mechanism and make sure the strap is snug.

Instructions for Using Bungee Cords With an “Add a Bag” Clip

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  • Fasten the strap around the top of your suitcase’s handle; Pull the handle back in;
  • Set your purse atop your travel bag. If your bag has a strap that goes over your back, loop it around the bag’s retractable handle.
  • Secure your handbag by pulling the bag around the retractable handle and adjusting the bungee cord to the desired tension.

Luggage Strap for Safety

When it comes to safety, some straps already have the TSA-approved combination locks incorporated right in.

While the majority of suitcases’ closures are plastic push buttons, the TSA-approved combination locks found on the more expensive models provide an extra layer of protection. The straps are not easily removed if they are fastened securely and passed through the handles. In any case, I don’t think they provide a great deal of safety given how simple it is to sever the straps. In the end, it only makes being a thief a little bit more difficult.

Should You Invest in Luggage Straps?

Baggage straps are, in my opinion, even more essential than a luggage lock. The obvious reason is that they serve a practical purpose in case your bag’s zipper breaks and the contents are damaged. Luggage locks are only marginally effective because they make it more difficult for thieves to steal your belongings. Your belongings are the only thing a suitcase lock protects from harm.

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Luggage straps may not be necessary if you are carrying a high-quality suitcase like a Rimowa. Rimowa luggage is so well crafted that the likelihood of the zipper breaking is negligible. Luggage straps are a must-have for any bag that costs less that’s not high-end. In any case, if you value safety above all else, investing in a cheap strap is a good idea.

Plus, there are perks like an extra layer of security with a TSA lock and a more noticeable suitcase on the luggage carousel. Keep in mind that if your bag is lost, airport personnel will want to know specifics about your bag. Now you know why we always recommend using baggage straps! 

Even if the likelihood of this happening is low, it is nonetheless possible, and the use of specially designed straps ought to facilitate a quicker rescue. One further perk is that, with the help of a few straps, you can keep multiple bags neatly bundled together and easily transport them on wheels.

Since my checked bag opened, I’ve been religious about using luggage straps. A simple baggage strap might have prevented this unpleasant incident. While it’s true that experience is the best teacher, it’s also true that planning can help you avoid making the same mistakes twice.

Buying luggage straps locally is usually more expensive than doing it online, but this is true of practically any product. You can also buy specialized straps like the Travelon Bungee strap or ones with custom embroidery or locks that are permitted by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) online.

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Choosing the Ideal Luggage Straps

Bags with straps for sale on a mall.

Luggage straps come in several styles. They’re all built for slightly different reasons. The burnt orange x-shaped straps that I own are comfortable and look cool. I spent very little money on them, and am pleased with my purchase. Some alternatives, however, are superior in quality and construction. 

1. TSA-approved Luggage

The TSA-approved straps, for instance, provide a higher level of safety, and the x-shaped straps are less prone to becoming dislodged. Here, I’ve summarized the primary advantages of each type and explained why they’re worth considering.

It’s also a good idea to choose a luggage strap in a highly visible color. That the strap may be adjusted to accommodate a range of suitcase widths is crucial.

Baggage Strap Approved by TSA Airlines prohibits locking bags, therefore a removable strap that doesn’t require a key is essential. To avoid the strap breaking when being handled, it’s best to choose one that has a clasp that isn’t too easy to open and close.

2. Luggage Strap that Will Last

It’s important to find a baggage strap that can withstand the hard treatment your bag will get on the plane when you get it off. The finest options are nylon textiles, like those used on soft suitcases, which can be easily wrapped around a bag without snapping in two when stretched.

You can choose the color of your luggage strap, and for an additional cost, you can have it embroidered with your initials. This is another way to make your bag easier to spot and less likely to be stolen. Still, in case your bag gets lost, it’s smart to label it with your name and contact information.

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3. Fabric for Luggage Straps

Your luggage’s zippers may break if they’re subjected to rigorous abuse while you’re traveling. That’s why it’s important to get suitcase straps that can withstand a lot of wear and tear, like those made of polyester or nylon. 

They can withstand a lot of abuse and still look good for a long time. These straps are so strong that they will prevent your luggage from opening if the zipper fails, keeping your belongings safe.

4. Luggage Strap Closures

One more thing to think about when picking out a baggage strap is the type of closure it has. The majority of belts feature an easy-to-use buckle that can be released quickly. 

They also make it so the belts can adjust to a snug fit around your bag or backpack. Additionally, select a strap that has a buckle made of poly plastic or any other robust material. No matter how much the belt bends in or out during rough baggage carrying, it will not break.

5. Adjustable Luggage Straps

Blue adjustable luggage straps in a white background.

Luggage straps can be shortened or lengthened to fit most bags. If you want to acquire the proper length strap for your suitcase, you should verify the range of their adjustability. Luggage straps vary in their range of adjustability, with some going between 20 and 45 inches and others between 46 and 78 inches. 

Some belts are available in lengths ranging from 20 inches to 72 inches. When you need to carry several various-sized bags, though, they come in handy. Before you buy, measure your bag’s capacity to be sure it will fit within your luggage carrier.

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6. Compatibility With Various Bags

When choosing a luggage strap, it’s important to think about the kind of bag you’ll be transporting on your trip. Some belts are designed specifically to secure hard-sided bags and may not stay put if tied around a backpack made of fabric. 

On the other hand, there are products available that may be used with a wide variety of luggage styles. If you frequently travel, then you should think about purchasing the second type of baggage strap.

7. Luggage Strap Color

Additionally, you’ll want to select a luggage strap color. While darker tones may blend and go with the rest of the luggage, bright neon hues can help you spot your bag among the sea of other carry-ons at the airport.

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The baggage strap’s color is an additional factor to think about. To readily spot your bags on the airport conveyor belt, choose a brightly colored belt. This is why most people who wear these belts go for neon hues like green, blue, orange, pink, and purple. 

If you don’t want the straps on your suitcase or backpack to stand out too much, you can always opt for a dark color like black or brown. Additionally, choose a wide belt as it will be easy to spot from a distance, helping you quickly locate your bag. Quality luggage straps typically measure between one and two inches in width.

Baggage Straps That Can Be Used Together

Choose a connected luggage strap if you need to tote around more than one bag on your trip. You can transfer many bags with the pull of one handle because it attaches to more than two pieces of luggage. 

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In addition, they are also helpful for securing your bags when traveling with children. If you’re going on a lengthy vacation, it’s a good idea to find a luggage strap like that to secure your bags.

What are the Advantages of Using a Luggage Strap When You Travel?

If the zipper on your suitcase breaks while you’re on the go, a luggage strap can keep the bag from opening by accident.

The best way to secure your bag for a long flight is to use two straps, one vertically and one horizontally. Luggage belts that can hold multiple bags at once and be pulled with a single handle are convenient. Straps in prominent colors draw attention and help you identify your bag during airport security. Therefore, it will help you avoid wasting time.

Luggage straps aren’t just for the road; they may also be used to secure your household goods in a trunk during a relocation. They are also useful for storing and arranging bulky items like trunks and moving boxes.