The 4 Best Luggage Tags of 2023 | Reviews by Wirecutter

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The 4 Best Luggage Tags of 2023 | Reviews by Wirecutter

No matter what kind of bag you carry on your travels, a luggage tag will help you identify it quickly and get it back should it go astray.

A good luggage tag will be strong enough to survive airline baggage tossers and distinctive enough to stand out in a sea of black suitcases. We chose several that combine toughness and visual flair and that suit a wide range of budgets and styles.

All the luggage tags we selected should stay put through multiple adventures and be recognizable at a glance. But we also have options for a range of personal styles and travel needs.

We have picks that will either shield your contact information from view or display it openly, that are brightly colored or muted, that are made of metal or leather, and that hold a business card or let you write in your information. We also looked at what electronic smart luggage tags can and can't do—and why most people are better off skipping them.

Rugged silicone and a metal cable mean this tag (which comes two to a pack) may well outlive your luggage. The brightly colored case displays its owner’s name but keeps other personal information out of sight.

Get this if: You travel a lot and want a hard-wearing tag with easy-to-spot vivid colors that also keeps contact information—except for your name—under wraps.

Why it's great: The Ovener Silicone Luggage Tag has everything we’re looking for in a basic luggage tag. It is simple and inexpensive, and thanks to its tough materials and strong construction it will likely last as long (or maybe even longer) than your luggage. The silicone body seems nearly indestructible and is available in four bright colors (you get two tags per pack). While other tags also feature metal cables, this tag has a metal grommet to keep the cable from eventually wearing through the silicone case.

A narrow window in the silicone lets only your name be visible—your address and contact information isn’t flashed to your fellow passengers.

Flaws but not dealbreakers: To fully access the info card, you have to unscrew and remove the metal strap. This lets the card slide out of the case. Most luggage tags we tested secure their info card in this way. It’s not a difficult or time-consuming process, but it is an extra step compared with tags that display all of your information openly. Still, for someone who wants to keep their contact information out of view, the extra step is worth it. On one of our samples, the metal grommet was loose, but on our second set they were fine.

Colors: orange, black, blue, green, red, yellow, purple, gray

The plastic “leather” body of these tags is almost as strong as silicone and keeps your personal information out of view. If you prefer distinctive patterns over neon-bright colors, these are a good choice.

Get this if: You want tags that are tough like the Ovener Silicone Luggage Tag and also keep your contact information shielded from casual passers-by, but you find the Ovener’s colors just too bright.

Why it's great: The Famavala 2x Luggage Tags are almost as tough as the Ovener, but their synthetic-leather bodies come in a range of decorative patterns instead of solid colors. The four sets of designs incorporate elements of old maps, space scenes, and psychedelic florals. As with the Ovener, each tag has a metal cable that is unlikely to break or wear out. But while the Ovener’s cable passes through a metal grommet, this tag’s cable passes through its body directly and could wear through it over time.

All your info is behind a small magnetically secured flap, hidden from casual view. Unlike the Ovener, the Famavala hides your name as well as your other personal information. You can view that information without taking apart the tag, however. If you’re looking for something that will last, but isn’t so Day-Glo as the Ovener, this is a great option.

Flaws but not dealbreakers: Though more ornate than the Ovener, these tags are not quite as noticeable from a distance. The metal cable could conceivably, if yanked hard enough, rip right through the narrowest part of the plastic body.

Styles: Bluesky, Bluesky and Galapink, Cp Pink+green, Loveflower, Lovetree, Floatgreen, and Skystar

These metal luggage tags are as tough as tags made of silicone and hide everything but your name. They are more likely to scratch either paint or people, though.

Get this if: You’re metal, or you want your luggage tag to be. Like the Ovener, these tags hide your personal information (except for your name) from view and are tough enough to stand up to years of wear and tear.

Why it's great: Generally speaking, we’re not big fans of metal luggage tags. Their hard edges can catch on fabric and could scratch paint or people. (These aren’t necessarily likely scenarios, just more likely than with our picks made of silicone, leather, or plastic.) If you do opt for metal tags, we suggest going with CPACC Aluminum Luggage Tags. Each has an aluminum alloy body and a stainless steel cable that feels very secure. They offer a nearly identical feel and design as metal tags that cost several times more.

This tag comes in sets of either two or five tags. It’s offered in a variety of colors, including bright options for visibility on the luggage carousel as well as ones that would blend into their surroundings.

Flaws but not dealbreakers: Like the Ovener tag, this tag forces you to unscrew the strap’s clasp and take apart the tag to read the card inside. This isn’t some huge, laborious task, but it does take a few steps.

Colors: red, black, blue, gold, green, pink, silver, multicolor

This simple, stretchy tag comes in eight designs by several artists and can add some beauty and playfulness to your luggage ID.

Get this if: You find other tags boring and want something artsy to decorate your luggage. Also, if you prefer a tag that shows your information at a glance, instead of hiding it behind a cover.

Why it's great: The Art of Travel Designer Luggage Tags are probably the most lively looking luggage tags we tested. Ten designs are available from seven artists in a variety of styles. You wrap the single-piece neoprene tag around the suitcase handle (or elsewhere) and tuck the label end through the loop end, pulling it taut. The neoprene is unlikely to tear, and the edges are well-stitched. It might not hold up for as long as our silicone or metal picks, but it should still last for several years of travel.

The information portion is fairly simple--it’s just a small, clear-plastic card in a clear-plastic pocket that’s always visible. Because the card, too, is clear, you can still see the design through the card. Also, the card seems to stick slightly to its holder, which makes it stay more securely.

Flaws but not dealbreakers: Unlike our other picks, this one doesn’t hide your personal information. But as the supplied info card is clear plastic, the words can be hard to distinguish from the background pattern at a distance, even though your info isn’t hidden. There’s also no closure to the card pocket, although we didn’t have issues with the card falling out. The loop-through design feels fairly secure, though not as secure as a screw-on metal cable or a buckled strap.

Styles: Flock of Birds; The Ocean, the Sea, the Wave; Pass This On; Emerald & Copper; World Map; Birches; Elephant; Exploring; Really Mermaid

We think a luggage tag containing a card with information printed on it is the best option for most travelers. There are, however, also a variety of smart luggage tags—that is, electronic devices meant to help you locate your luggage when it’s lost. After surveying the different types of smart tags out there, though, we didn’t find any that work well enough for us to recommend them for regular use on your luggage.

A common type of smart tag uses Bluetooth tracking to locate your luggage. In our research, we found the best Bluetooth trackers are the Apple AirTag (for iOS users) and the Tile system (for Android users). We also liked the Tile Slim and the Tile Sticker. These small, battery-powered devices pair with your phone. When the tracker gets far enough from your phone to break the connection, the Find My or Tile app notes where you were when it lost contact—the idea being that this is the “last seen” location. If you go back to where the phone last “saw” the tracker, hopefully you’ll be able to actually retrieve the tracker (and whatever it’s attached to).

The advantage of the AirTag over the Tile—as well as over any smart luggage tag—comes in what happens next. You can track it via Apple’s Find My app, which uses the Bluetooth in every iPhone, iPad, and Mac that’s on the network to passively and anonymously find lost iPhones, Macs, and, yes, AirTags. In practical terms, this means if you leave your AirTag-equipped suitcase on an airport shuttle, for example, as long as someone else on the shuttle has an Apple device, the suitcase’s location will be reported to you (and the person with the iPhone or other Apple device who identified it will never know). Although Tile’s trackers work the same way, they do so on a far smaller scale—given that Apple has nearly a billion devices out in the world, it’s much more likely that the shuttle rider one seat back has an iPhone than a Tile. And the odds against a smart luggage tag’s tracker having a user network anywhere near as large as Apple’s are, well, astronomical.

In addition to Bluetooth trackers, there are a few other types of smart tags out there, none of which we recommend.

There are smart tags with QR codes or unique website addresses that claim to be smartphone-friendly. We felt these were the exact opposite, requiring the person who finds your luggage to be smartphone or Web literate, which is not a given. Also, it adds an extra, and in our opinion unnecessary, step between the person who finds your luggage and your info. If you don’t want to put your home address where everyone can see it, don’t: A phone number or email address should suffice. If you’re savvy enough to go through all the setup for one of these QR code or website tags, why not just create a bespoke email address that redirects to your main email address? Most email providers let you do that for free.

There are also a handful of RFID luggage tags on the market, but like the QR code and other smart luggage tags it requires the finder of the lost luggage to have technical knowledge and, in the case of RFID, a special reader. Some airlines use RFID to track luggage, but unless you only fly with that airline and you’re positive the tag you’re getting works with their equipment, it seems an unnecessary cost for something that will rarely help.

And now for the creepy bit. There are tracking devices that you can use to find your luggage anywhere. These devices typically cost over a hundred dollars and require a monthly fee, often $25 to $50. This is because instead of connecting to your phone via Bluetooth, they connect with cell towers directly, which costs money. They’re essentially a smartphone, without the phone. Or the smarts.

In addition to being expensive, they also have the potential to be extraordinarily creepy. Each company selling these devices mentions that it can be used to track other things. Like your car, or your purse … or someone else’s car, or someone else’s purse. The ease to which these could be misused to track someone’s movement gives us significant unease about recommending any product of this type.

Given that there are countless luggage tags on the market, we stuck with the best-reviewed and most popular options from Amazon and well-known travel companies. There are plenty of choices to fit specific styles, but we were looking for a few baseline features important in any luggage tag. For instance, we felt that a sturdy tag was a must, given that it would have to survive being grabbed by not just you but also baggage handlers, cabbies, and hotel employees. The fail point for nearly every tag is the strap or cable that connects it with the luggage, so we looked for a strap that both was firmly attached and could withstand regular use without breaking.

We picked options for tags to stand out or blend in—whether you like one or the other will depend on your personal style preferences. We were split on how important it is to hide your extended contact information, such as anything other than your name. Most of our picks ended up hiding this information from casual view, but we also have an option for people who want their info freely visible.

We sorted through more than 40 tags to figure out the best mix of visually interesting, sturdy, and otherwise worthy-seeming tags. Once the 14 most promising candidates were in hand, I tugged and smashed all our finalists, looking for potential fail points. Generally speaking, as mentioned above, where the strap meets the body is the most likely fail point. In some cases, it’s the strap itself. All our picks have straps that are as solid and secure as their particular material and type will allow. Which is to say, all leather straps will wear, and all plastic straps will likely become more brittle with age. Metal cables are the strongest, but they too might snap or even wear through the body of the tag. It’s something to keep an eye on if you have these tags for several years. If you want something indestructible, the tags with metal straps should wear the best. (Or you can get your own to add to any tag here.)

I also set up and tested the old Tile Pro and Slim, the latter in the Away x Tile luggage-tag combo, to see if they’d work with luggage tags. Since Bluetooth range will vary significantly with how much material or walls are between you and the Tile, your specific mobile device, and so on, we didn’t try to verify Tile’s claims on range, other than that in the real world it will be much less than the ranges Tile claims.

Arlo Skye offered a leather tag with a comparable price to our former leather pick from Tumi, but it was available in a more sedate black, gray, and beige. As of July 2023, all but the black color are sold out; we’ll keep an eye on it.

The Talonport Bag Tag seemed as durable as the CPACC Aluminum tag and came with both a leather strap and a metal one. It also has a lifetime replacement guarantee. However, it was a lot more expensive than the CPACC.

The Tufftaag has sharper metal edges than the other metal options we considered, which didn’t seem ideal. This was a former pick of ours, and in our long-term testing we found that it is as rugged as it seems. It also has space for multiple address cards, which one tester found convenient. For most people, though, the soft silicone of the Ovener is the better option, and if you still want metal, the CPACC is just as good but less expensive.

This article was edited by Ria Misra and Christine Ryan.

Geoffrey Morrison is Wirecutter’s former AV editor, current editor-at-large, and a travel writer and photographer. He covers action cameras, gimbals, travel backpacks, and other gear. He has been to all 50 states and 60 countries, and he is the author of Budget Travel for Dummies and the sci-fi novel Undersea.

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The 4 Best Luggage Tags of 2023 | Reviews by Wirecutter

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