The best Apple AirTag accessories you can buy

The best Apple AirTag accessories you can buy

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Apple lovers who constantly lose their keys got a new way to keep track of them with the launch of AirTags. But despite how easy they are to set up, Apple’s tiny Bluetooth trackers have one critical flaw — no built-in keychain hole. That means anyone who buys AirTags will have to buy holders or cases to attach them to their stuff.

Despite how backwards this seems, it’s a very Apple way of milking as much money out of a new product as possible since many will simply buy Apple’s own AirTag holders. But those aren’t the only options available — plenty of accessory companies have already made AirTag cases. However, since the trackers are still quite new, third-party options are a bit slim. But those that are available right now are almost all cheaper than Apple’s own cases, so they’re worth considering regardless of if you intend to have one or many AirTags shadowing your valuables.

If you already bought an AirTag or two, you probably know where you want to put it. The most common place is attached to your keys, but AirTags are small enough to strap to backpacks and luggage, to slip inside a wallet or even attach to your pet’s collar. Where you want to put the thing will help determine the kind of case you should get for it.

Valentina Palladino / Engadget

Let’s start with key-friendly cases, specifically Apple’s own $35 Leather Key Ring. Like most Apple accessories it’s basic, yet attractive. The AirTag nestles into the perfectly-shaped leather circle and snaps shut, and since the leather extends slightly over both sides of the tracker, there’s very little chance it will pop out unexpectedly.

But unless you simply must have all Apple everything, you can get similar leather (or faux-leather) key holders for less. I liked Spigen’s AirTag Case Valentinus because it has an almost identical design and comes with an easy to use carabiner-style key ring. It’s made of pleather but doesn’t feel cheap and its snap closure is just as secure as Apple’s — plus, it’s $15 cheaper.

Two other all-purpose key rings that stood out were Elago’s AirTag case ($9 for a pack of two) and Caseology’s $14 Vault. The former is quite minimal — it’s a soft-touch silicone circle that’s larger than the AirTag itself, which gives you a better grip on the tracker. One side of the gadget is completely covered by the case, as is the whole circumference. But that leaves one side visible, which means you can show off any emoji engravings you emblazoned on your AirTag. Elago’s case is the best no-frills option that I found when it comes to design and price.

Buy leather key ring at Apple – $35 Buy Spigen Valentinus at Amazon – $18 Buy Elago case (2 pack) at Amazon – $9 Buy Caseology Vault at Amazon – $14

Apple AirTag with Caseology Vault

Valentina Palladino / Engadget

But if you want something a bit more elevated, Caseology’s Vault is a great option. It’s a textured oval made of flexible plastic into which you pop in the AirTag on one side. The other side has a smaller opening that attaches to the included carabiner, which is one of the best clips I came across in my testing. It’s pretty basic as far as carabiners go, but it’s better than a standard key ring — especially if you want to easily attach your AirTag to something other than your keys like straps on a backpack, or even a pet collar. Overall, the Caseology Vault is one of the most attractive holders I tested and it will be a solid buy for anyone that doesn’t need to have leather.

AirTags can also help you keep track of larger bags and luggage, and you could easily slip one into an interior pocket and call it a day. But if you’d rather hook the tracker to the outside, you’ll need something a bit larger and more flexible than a standard key ring. Apple has Loop holders in leather and polyurethane that attach similar to luggage tags, but they’re just as expensive as AirTags themselves starting at $29.

A more affordable option is Belkin’s Secure Holder with Strap, which comes in at only $13. The case opens up into two pieces, allowing you to sit the AirTag inside the circle and twist and snap the two halves together to lock it in. You can then attach the AirTag to your luggage handle, water bottle or other item with the strap, which lacks any give and feels quite strong. I appreciate the unique design of Belkin’s Secure Holder, although it was hard to twist open when the AirTag was inside of it. But that’s a good thing for daily use — your AirTag isn’t going anywhere when in the Secure Holder. I also liked its slightly raised edges, which provide extra protection against impacts and bumps.

Buy loop holder at Apple starting at $29 Buy Belkin Secure Holder w/ Strap at Amazon – $13

Apple AirTag with Belkin Secure Holder and Strap

Valentina Palladino / Engadget

You may also want to slip an AirTag in your wallet, and you could do so without a case on the tracker at all. But unlike Tile’s slim and flat locators, AirTags are slightly rounded in the middle, so they won’t lay flat in the folds of your wallet. If that’s going to bother you, Amazon has a bunch of listings for credit card-sized AirTag holders which keep the tracker secure in a circular cutout while also keeping your wallet at a relatively uniform thickness.

I wasn’t able to try any of these so I can’t vouch for their quality, but I will say they are a tailored solution to a very specific problem — these cases are designed for in-wallet use and that’s basically it. For more flexibility, you could opt for a thinner pocket for your AirTag like Moment’s $20 Stretch Fabric Mount or the $16 Cyrill Shine case, the latter of which also doubles as a key ring holder.

Unsurprisingly, companies followed the same track with AirTags accessories as they did for AirPods accessories — there are many cute and custom options available. Casetify has a limited selection of customizable AirTag holders that you can emblazon with hearts, butterflies, peace signs and even the initials or name of the owner. But they’ll cost you $35 a pop — even pricier than a single AirTag. Amazon and Walmart also have silicone cases shaped like paw prints, Hello Kitty, kawaii avocados and more, and you’ll be hard pressed to find one of those costing more than $10. Plus, they may make it easier to convince your young child to hook an AirTag onto their backpack.

Buy credit card holders at Amazon – $15 Buy Fabric Mount at Moment – $20 Buy Cyrill Shine at Amazon – $16

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Valentina Palladino

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