You’re waiting at the luggage carousel, you’re super jetlagged, and you just want to get home already. Maybe the label came off your Samsonite and now the bag is en route to Alaska. Or maybe some just-as-tired lout has grabbed your bag and you’d like it back, thank you very much. Waterproof, compact, Bluetooth, GPS or GMS—which tracker is best for you? Refined Travellers reviewed four luggage trackers to see how they compare, and which ones we would trust with our bags from now on.
1. Tile Mate
The little Bluetooth Tile Mate tracker comes with an app and will help you know the whereabouts—or walkabouts—of your luggage. The caveat? You need to replace the tile every year, which might be a hassle if you’re a bit forgetful. The compact tag is battery powered, hence the need for the annual replacement. Tile Mate works with both Android and iPhones. You can check where it was last located and make the Tile Mate ring so you can find it. This trackers is good because it’s waterproof and strong, and you can save a lot when buying these in bulk. One downside of Tile Mate is that it can’t give you the global access that Trakdot and LugLoc can.
Buy now on the Tile store: one-pack for US $20; four-pack for $50.
Now, despite being described as a “smart” tag, the Dynotag doesn’t actually come GPS functions. Instead, the strong and sturdy tag comes with a special QR code that is assigned to your luggage, so you can update or check details any time. The QR code can be scanned and submitted when its lost in transit, allowing you to details of the location. You will have an online Dynotag account to update personal details at any time, and to see an activity log of your tag scans. Dynotag also sells dog tags and emergency IDs with many cute designs.
Buy now on the Dynotag website: Deluxe Steel Luggage Tag, US $17.95
The Trakdot—with an integrated GSM chip—may not be as compact as the Tile Mate or Dynotag, but it’s durable and small enough to pop into the last remaining space of your stuffed bag. The one drawback of this luggage tracker is that it doesn’t provide advanced Bluetooth compatibility and requires two AA batteries—not very environmentally friendly and potentially costly over the long run. The Trakdot uses a service similar to GPS, using radio waves that give the product global coverage. Trakdot will connect to any mobile phone, and offers full service in the areas that your cell phone can access. This luggage tracker will automatically text or email multiple phones with the location of your luggage when you land.
Buy now on Amazon: US $39.
4. LugLoc Luggage Locator
This leading LugLoc luggage tracker has been around for years. You can forget scrabbling around for spare AAs: unlike the Tile Mate, which needs to be replaced every year, and the Trakdot, which requires AA batteries, LugLoc comes with a long-lifespan rechargeable battery. It’s guaranteed to go 15 days on a single charge, too, which may be longer than you can go without those clean underpants you lost.
LugLoc uses a GSM chip rather than GPS, like the Trakdot. This means a strong signal and reliable access to your luggage (if it’s in the airport). But unlike Trakdot, LugLoc also features advanced Bluetooth technology to increase the range, save on energy and allow for secure smartphone or tablet tracking. A handy alert app will even let you know when the battery needs to be charged.
Buy now on the LugLoc Luggage Locator website: one device for US $69.99.
The verdict: We’d leave our bags with LugLoc
The compact and durable Tile Mate is good for many uses—not just as a luggage tracker—but it doesn’t provide global access, and we found it best for shorter distances. Dynotag relies on someone on the other end to scan your QR code, which might or might not happen. The Trakdot is superior compared to other models out there, but the lack of advanced Bluetooth compatibility and no rechargeable battery would make us think twice about buying this tracker.
Winner: Taking into consideration durability, easy features and the built-in rechargeable battery, we found LugLoc to be the best smart luggage tracker available.
Good luck, happy travels, and may you never lose your luggage again!
Written By: Adriane Rysz