What could be worse than going skiing or snowboarding with your family or friends, only to discover that your equipment has been stolen?
Sadly, it’s a harsh reality that must be faced; like anything else that’s expensive, your belongings can be targeted by thieves if they are not properly locked and secured. Without your gear, your entire trip will most likely be ruined.
Fortunately, you can protect your equipment from being stolen this year with a high-quality ski and snowboard lock that even the cleverest thieves can’t crack.
What follows is a list of the top five ski and snowboard locks on the market to help guide you before you hit the slopes this year. With the proper lock, you can focus on having a blast instead of worrying about anything of yours disappearing.
QUICK ANSWERS: Best Ski & Snowboard Locks
Ski & Snowboard Locks Reviews
1. Master Lock Cable Lock
The Master Lock Cable Lock is a basic, effective combination option that is suitable for indoor/outdoor use on a wide variety of items, including skis, snowboards, strollers, golf bags, backpacks and more. It includes several helpful features, including a retractable coil.
The Master Lock is released by entering the three-digit combination of your choice. Once released, the cable can be automatically retracted with the push of a button, making it easy to use.
The cable is made of tough, braided steel. It is difficult to cut through, even with wire cutters or pliers. The cable is deceptively strong, considering its lightweight feel, making it convenient for travel.
Cost and Value
The Master Lock is a low cost, high-value item. It is inexpensive, effective can be used to secure a wide variety of items. It’s simple to use thanks to the retractable cord, allowing you to quickly release your items once you’ve entered the three-digit combination. Overall, it’s a nice product with a low price tag.
Ease of Use: 98
Advanced Feature: 92
Average = 96.0
2. Lewis N. Clark Cable Lock
The Lewis N. Clark cable lock is a basic padlock. It’s not TSA approved, but it’s versatile. It’s perfect for grouping items together and securing them.
Wide Variety of Uses
The lock is suitable for all of your outdoor equipment, as well as on a backpack, through a zipper, on a medicine cabinet, through a loop, on a bicycle, on a closet door, etc. It is available in bright blue or red and is easy to spot.
Perfect for Grouping
The 30” retractable cord makes it easy to group everything together. In other words, you can fasten your skis before locking them to a rack, or you can secure multiple snowboards together with just one lock.
Cost and Value
The Lewis N. Clark is another high-value product available at a low cost. It’s simple, easy to use, convenient to transport, and is an effective theft deterrent. It is a small lock that accomplishes a big job. Whether you’re ready to hit the fresh powder on the slopes or want to attach your helmet to your motorcycle, you will get a lot of use out of it.
Ease of Use: 96
Advanced Feature: 94
Average = 95.6
3. Bosvision Ultra-Secure 4-Digit Combination Lock
The Bosvision offers exceptional security. It is operated with your preferred four-digit combination, which means you have over 10,000 possible combinations to choose from. The nylon-coated cable, is designed to be cut-resistant. Between the four-digit combination lock and the coated, reinforced cable, your gear will be very well-protected.
The cord, which measures 3’ in length, is difficult to cut. To be blunt, it would take a lot of time and effort to try to break the lock, considering the locking mechanism itself, the 10,000 possible combinations and the cable.
The instructions for using the Bosvision are clear. Scrambling the lock and entering your own combination is done in seconds. Resetting the combination is also a breeze, preventing anyone else from cracking the code.
Cost and Value
The Bosvision is average in price. For a very reasonable price, you get a product that works well, especially for securing your skis or snowboard. It’s reliable, sturdy, rust-resistant and difficult to break. It’s a great value.
Ease of Use: 97
Advanced Feature: 92
Average = 95.2
4. Ski Key Ski and Snowboard – Fat Ski Lock
The Ski Key is a simple item that gets the jobs done. It instantly secures your property and is virtually impossible to disengage without the key. Thieves beware; the engineers at Ski Key know what they’re doing.
Cannot be Cut Off
Unlike the competition, the Ski Key cannot be cut off, even with industrial-strength bolt cutters. Therefore, it is a popular recommendation among experts and operators of ski resorts. It offers excellent peace of mind, allowing you to go about your day without wondering if someone is going to take off with your things. Each lock comes with two keys. In the event you lose both keys, a resort staff member should be able to assist you with removing the pin using specialized tools.
Small but Mighty
The Ski Key is a perfect example of a good thing coming in a small package. It weighs just over two ounces and yet it is incredibly powerful. All you need is a rack to which your gear can be affixed. If you’re unsure, contact the resort beforehand to inquire about rack availability.
Cost and Value
It is considerably more expensive than the other products reviewed here. However, the cost is absolutely justified and worth it. It’s extremely effective and safe to use, as well as easy and convenient. It includes a lifetime warranty, making it a smart purchase. Overall, the Ski Key is an excellent value.
Ease of Use: 95
Advanced Feature: 93
Average = 94.4
5. Safeman Multifunction Quick Lock
The Safeman is advanced. With two loops for extra security, a key-operated lock, and a rust-proof cable, it offers an incredible amount of tensile strength and theft-deterring technology. It’s also easy to maneuver in the cold weather, even if your hands are numb.
The Safeman offers an astounding 2460 lbs. of tensile strength. That is an incredible amount of pressure needed to break it. The cable is instantly retractable using a quick-release button and is fully adjustable.
The lock is completely rust-proof and corrosion-resistant, including the cable. Even if left in icy or wet conditions, it will remain pristine. Even the most extreme weather will not damage the lock or its component parts.
Cost and Value
Like the Ski Key, the Safeman is more expensive than the cable locks reviewed earlier in this list. That being said, it’s also an awesome value. 100% rust proof and practically impossible to steal, it’s a lock that you will not need to replace. Yes, it may cost a bit more upfront, but the return on investment makes it a superb value and a smart buy.
Ease of Use: 92
Advanced Feature: 93
Average = 93.0
Criteria Used for Evaluation
A lock has to be strong enough to withstand theft attempts. This means it cannot be easily broken, unpinned or cut through. It is also important that it be rust and corrosion-resistant. Corrosion can cause the failure of a metal locking mechanism, thus increasing the risk of theft. Simply put, durability is paramount.
Some poorly constructed locks need to be replaced after one season of use due to poor durability. At best, with a flimsy lock, you will have to replace it within a year of purchasing it. At worst, you will have to replace your equipment that someone absconded with because it was not properly protected…as well as purchasing another lock.
Obviously, locks are bought with protection in mind. The questions you have to consider are how much are you willing to spend, what kind of advanced features you want, how many barriers against theft are you interested in and so on.
Protecting your equipment is mandatory. Unfortunately, you cannot leave your gear unattended and expect it to be safe, even if it’s under the supervision of resort staff. Skis, snowboards, helmets, and so forth are worth a lot of money. New skis and bindings cost around $800. A new snowboard goes for roughly $400, with higher-end options running around approximately $1000. Investing in a powerful lock is non-negotiable.
Make sure the lock you are purchasing is made by a reputable manufacturer. Do your research and remember the cost of the equipment you are protecting. Read customer reviews to get a sense of what other people’s experiences have been like. Make a note of positive or negative customer service experiences.
Also, avoid no-name brands. You don’t want to run the risk of winding up with a shoddy lock. Remember that reviews can be skewed and in some cases, brand recognition is important. Looking for a good deal is a commendable practice, but be wary of buying from a no-name brand simply because you are looking for the best deal.
Ease of Use
Whether you’re locking/unlocking your equipment, programming the combination or otherwise, it should not be difficult. Some cable locks are difficult to use if your hands are cold from being outside.
This can be a pain if you are trying to carefully adjust the cable around your equipment because once a lock is in place, you cannot retract or pull the cable any further without releasing it.
The rule of thumb is the more advanced features there are, the better. That is not to suggest that you need an overly complicated lock to get the job done. A basic lock is still a theft deterrent.
Some locks have three or four barriers a thief would have to get through before being able to actually successfully break and release the pin. This includes requiring code and key, cut-resistant cables, crack-proof bodies, reinforced components, rust, and corrosion-proof materials and coatings, etc.
Inquire about Racks
Most locks require a ski/snowboard rack in order to safely affix and protect your gear in place. Some resorts have limited rack availability. Contact the resort beforehand and inquire about rack space ahead of time so that you know what to expect and can ensure that you have the right kind of lock before you arrive.
Versatility vs. Specificity
While it may be tempting to buy a lock that works outside of the slopes and can also be used to secure luggage, a bicycle, cabinets and so forth, it is advantageous to look for a lock that is specifically intended to be used to protect skis and snowboards, like the Safeman and the Ski Key. Why? Because they are designed to protect outdoor gear from theft. Otherwise, you may wind up with a nondescript lock that is easily unpinned.
Other Factors to Consider
Cables can be difficult to adjust in cold temperatures. Be aware that locks cannot be further adjusted once they are fastened. This is another reason why it can be advantageous to purchase something specifically made for skiing and snowboarding; it’s designed to accommodate outdoor gear.
Otherwise, you can wind up with cables that fit improperly, thus increasing the risk of potential theft.
A lock needs to work well or it is utterly useless and will fail to protect your property. Test it out beforehand, if possible. Try attaching your equipment to a rack and testing the lock.
If you are able to unpin it yourself or break/damage it with little effort, then you know that you have an ineffective product.
Look for corrosion and rust-proof materials. This often means metal coated with something else, such as plastic or nylon. Cables are usually composed of braided steel/metal. Check out the overall tensile strength, or the resistance to pressure, that the materials offer.
Be aware that spring-loaded retractable cables can cause injury if used improperly. Familiarize yourself with how to use and release the locking mechanism before you hit the slopes, especially if you are using a cable lock.
While there are advantages to purchasing a skiing/snowboarding-specific lock, there are also reasons to select a lock that is versatile. First and foremost, before looking at a lock’s other applications, make sure that it will work as a ski or snowboard lock. Once you are confident that the lock will protect your equipment, you can see what other purposes it may serve.
This can mean attaching a helmet to a motorcycle, attaching a bicycle or stroller to a rack, securing luggage (if it’s TSA-approved), childproofing a medicine cabinet and so forth.
While bargain hunting is always tempting, it is important to keep in mind the cost of replacing your gear. It may be worth it to purchase a more expensive product that works well and provides superior protection, as well as a manufacturer’s warranty.
Look beyond the price of at face value. Consider the reviews, reputation of the brand and the seller, the return policy, warranties (if any), expert recommendations and independent research.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can a cable be adjusted once it’s locked?
A: Typically, once a lock has been snapped into place, it cannot be further adjusted without being released.
Q: Are the locks TSA-approved for luggage?
A: It varies; the majority of the items listed above are not TSA-approved.
Q: How much should I spend on a lock?
A: You can expect to spend anywhere from $12 to $50 if you make your purchase within the next few years. Prices have not fluctuated much over the last five years.
Q: How do I set a lock’s combination?
A: The instructions vary. If written instructions are not provided with your purchase, look online. There are steps to follow to scramble the numbers prior to selecting your code.
- USA Today, How to Lock Up a Snowboard
- The Active Times, 7 Ways to Protect Skis and Snowboards from Theft
- The Denver Post, More Skis and Snowboard Thefts Reported at Breckenridge in 2016
- San Francisco Gate, Thieves Hunting Skis and Snowboards
- Square One, How to Prevent Ski and Snowboard Equipment Theft on the Slopes
- Snowboarding Gloves Reviews
- Best Snow Sleds
- Snowmobile gloves Review
- Snowshoe Boots
- Snowboarding Pants Comparison
Best Ski & Snowboard Locks Reviewed in 2019
What could be worse than going skiing or snowboarding with your family or friends, only to discover that your equipment has been stolen? Sadly, it’s a hars