The ideal gift for backpackers, this pocket-sized device is a safe bet for travellers
Always take a padlock. That’s the advice for anyone backpacking around a strange country where the standard of accommodation is going to be basic, and staff can’t be 100% trusted. That goes triple for female solo travellers. But what if there’s no latch? Add the spectre of robbery from even upscale hotels and what every traveller needs is their own fail-safe door-lock. Cue the EasyLock.
It’s a superbly engineered idea. With a latch made from stainless steel and a pink (for girls?) or silver (for boys?) plastic-covered lock, it weighs just 98g and measures just 6x13cm, so it’s not difficult to pack. It even comes in a small 15g soft case that’s about the same size as a sunglasses case.
How does it work?
The only stipulations are that the door needs to be inward-opening and have at least 2mm opening between door and frame. The makers claim that it’s 99% of doors, but we’re not sure about this; we’ve stayed in plenty of dodgy hotels and hostels that have outward-opening doors, and even more that have no latch in the doorframe. Still, the EasyLock will prove useful at well over 50% of places, we’re sure.
EasyLock: the story
The EasyLock was created by 66 year old entrepreneur, Bob Fitzjohn. “My thoughts were with my grandchildren when I designed The EasyLock,” says Fitzjohn. “One day they’ll be off travelling the world, and I wanted to create a solution that would keep them 100% safe & sound, no matter where they stayed. My thinking in creating the lock developed into wanting to provide all others that may find themselves in a vulnerable position with complete security… whether a student in cheap lodgings, an isolated elderly person who fears living alone, or simply you or I when we stay in a B&B or hotel…”
Easy to lock, easy to lose?
If we had one criticism – or, rather, a suggestion – it’s that the EasyLock comes in two parts that, in time, are bound to migrate away from each other. That’s backpacking. Perhaps version 2 could have some kind of cable or elastic to permanently connect both components. Or perhaps a detachable padlock could be integrated into the EasyLock to extend make it a security ‘system’ rather than just a one-trick gadget.
Affordable and simple
Small, light, easy to carry and simple to use, the EasyLock is that kind of travel gadget that should have been invented years ago. Kudos to inventor Bob Fitzjohn for coming up with such a great, and thoroughly affordable idea that will end sleepless nights in dodgy hotels for a lot of backpackers – and especially female solo travellers. However, it won’t work with all doors you encounter around the world, so don’t leave that padlock at home just yet.