Here at Macworld we’re extremely fond of Apple’s
AirTag, which we consider by far the best Bluetooth tracker for an iPhone or Mac user. However, one complaint raised in our
AirTag review was that it doesn’t have a hole, which means you’re forced in most situations to buy an accessory to put it in.
Want to attach it to your keys? You need to buy a special key ring. Want to attach it to your luggage? Special luggage label. An ecosystem has quickly sprung up offering straps, loops, pet tags, cases and holders for AirTag owners.
But which ones are worth buying? We’ve been testing out all the AirTags accessories we can get our hands on, so we can help you find the best AirTag holder for your needs.
AirTag Key Rings
Apple AirTag Leather Key Ring
There are cheaper alternatives, but this is the best AirTag key ring we’ve seen. It’s light, attractive and reassuringly well-made. It’s easy to put the AirTag inside, but the metal popper won’t let it escape. And we love the large, chunky (but quite flat) ring, although we’d recommend testing it out in a shop if you’re planning on attaching car keys with a small aperture. This reviewer’s Nissan and Skoda keys were both a tight fit.
The leather covering protects the AirTag’s edge from drop damage but leaves most of its chassis, both front and back, open to the elements and liable to scuff a little. We think this is worth it for the pleasing look, and scuffing is both inevitable and minor, but if you want total protection you’ll need to look elsewhere.–David Price
Orbitkey Leather Holder for AirTag – Bulk-free keyring
Orbitkey‘s leather offering is well worth your consideration. It costs roughly the same as Apple’s Leather Key Ring but it has a nice-looking design and a couple of advantages up its sleeve.
One is the slenderness of the ring itself. Whereas Apple’s broad, flat ring can be awkward for attaching car keys with a narrow aperture, this will fit into holes of the smallest dimensions. The second advantage lies in the innovative way keys are attached: an initially baffling locking system that, once mastered, is far quicker and easier (and far less painful) than prising apart the traditional two-layer ring with your fingernails.
The only real quibble is that the leather fob is quite a lot bigger than the AirTag itself. It has more space than it needs and wobbles around slightly inside the pocket. The key ring thus takes up more room in your pocket than it needs to. This does also give the AirTag far more protection than Apple’s version. It’s less likely to get scuffed than with the other key rings we tried out.
If the price tag puts you off, Orbitkey also makes a much cheaper Slim Case with a similar locking system.–David Price
Belkin Secure Holder with Key Ring for AirTag – Basic option
If the leather key rings above are too expensive for your budget, consider Belkin’s cheerful, affordable alternative. The Secure Holder is made of plastic, which gives it more of a budget feel, but it’s reassuringly robust.
As with Apple’s key ring, both faces of the AirTag are left exposed, but the plastic surround sticks out more and thus provides more drop protection. The AirTag is secured inside the holder via a clever twist-and-lock mechanism. It’s available in white, black, pink and blue.–David Price
Olixar’s simple offering costs less than the Belkin key ring, and less than a third of the Apple option, for a pair. Very handy if you want to equip a couple of young teenagers with AirTags and keep an eye on their movements.
Wrestling the AirTag into the silicone cover is mildly tricky–there’s no clasp of any kind, you just stretch the edges and jam it in there–but it’s secure once inside and admirably protective. In fact you could say it provides twice the protection of Apple’s key ring since it covers the back completely: only the front face is exposed.
The karabiner-style opening on the ring makes it easier to use and more fun than a conventional ring (although slightly less secure, since it doesn’t have the lock feature of a full mountaineering karabiner). But this is essentially a basic option; if you’re prepared to spend a little more, consider Olixar’s ‘leather style’ version instead, or even its top-of-the-line genuine leather case.–David Price
Elevation Lab TagVault: Keychain – Ultimate protection
$12.95 (single); $39.95 (4 pack)
Elevation Lab’s TagVault: Keychain offers a keyring nub, resistance to scratching or mars, or waterproof or water-resistant options. This rugged case has a gasket that prevents water intrusion while passing through ultrawideband and Bluetooth signals and allowing about two-thirds of the AirTag’s sound volume. It has an integral loop for a keychain ring and comes with a simple but robust one.–Glenn Fleishman
Read our full
TagVault: Keychain review
Caseology Vault – Rugged option
How about a properly rugged key ring accessory for your AirTag? The Caseology Vault is made from military-grade thermoplastic polyurethane, with a nicely grippy sandstone finish that makes it less prone to drops.
Like the Olixar Silicone it features a karabiner attachment. This is removable, which makes the Vault a versatile accessory. It’s just as happy tracking rucksacks as keys.–David Price
Apple AirTag Hermès Key Ring – Premium option
Before we finish looking at your key ring options, let’s briefly indulge ourselves in this glorious blast of pure luxury: Apple’s saddle-stitched Hermès offering in orange, brown or black leather. (Or, to be exact, Orange, Fauve or Bleu Indigo.) Most of the accessories in this roundup do not include an AirTag, but this one does, and the tracker you get will be custom-etched with the fashion company’s logo. Glorious.–David Price
Apple AirTag Loop – Basic luggage tag
Apple’s AirTag Loop is made of polyurethane and feels and looks smart, with two of the color options (Electric Orange and Sunflower) particularly bright and cheerful. This will also help you to spot your suitcase on the conveyor belt.
The AirTag clips in using a metal clasp that’s easy to use and secure; you then put the strap around your luggage’s handle and loop the head part back through the slit in the tail. It looks slightly delicate at first glance–the strap gets quite thin at a certain point–but proved resistant to moderate tugging and should be fine under non-military usage conditions. Like Apple’s key ring, it protects the edges of the AirTag but not the center of its two faces, so expect some scuffing.–David Price
Apple AirTag Leather Loop
Apple’s Leather Loop is available in Saddle Brown, Baltic Blue, Forest Green, California Poppy, or (Product) Red. It’s only a bit more expensive than the AirTag Loop–from a high starting point, admittedly–and looks and feels significantly nicer than the polyurethane version. (We also suspect it will prove more resistant to damage in the long term, although both have been fine so far.)–David Price
Olixar’s silicone AirTag strap has a very similar design to Apple’s Loop, but as you’d expect (given how much cheaper it is) the materials and quality of manufacture are slightly less luxurious. It’s a bit floppier, for one thing, and doesn’t feel quite as nice. It’s a perfectly decent, functional and much more affordable substitute, however, and there’s always the option of the leather version if you’re prepared to splash out a bit more for a taste of the finer things in life.–David Price
Belkin Secure Holder with Strap for AirTag – No fuss bag tag
Belkin’s Secure Holder is also available with a robust string for attaching it to the handle of a suitcase or bag. Like the strap-style loops provided by other manufacturers this threads back through itself to easily attach to your luggage. It’s available in white, black, blue, and pink with a matching string. Since the front and back sections, string and key ring are all detachable, you could create a multicolor accessory by mixing and matching more than one holder.–David Price
Casetify Customisable AirTag Holder – Customizable bag tag
The principal appeal of Casetify’s AirTag holder is the sheer range of designs and colors you can choose from. The ones pictured are, from left, Colorful Floral in Turquoise and Pink (with Peach background); Flowers for you by Matthew Langille (with Licorice); and Egg Tart with Mice (with Avocado). That last one is our favorite, but there are hundreds of options.–David Price
Apple AirTag Hermès Luggage Tag – Premium bag tag
For luggage labels, too, Apple’s Hermès partnership provides the luxury option. It’s made of saddle-stitched Barénia leather, and available in any color as long as it’s Fauve. Like the deluxe key ring, the Hermès Luggage Tag comes with a custom-etched AirTag.–David Price
Apple AirTag Hermès Bag Charm – Elegance
This handsome and luxurious bag charm is the most affordable of the four AirTag accessories made by Apple with Hermes–although affordability is a relative concept. It’s available in Orange, Fauve, and Bleu Indigo and comes with a custom-etched AirTag.–David Price
Apple AirTag Hermès Travel Tag – Dual function
And here’s the fourth, final, and most expensive Apple/Hermès collaboration in this roundup. It’s a dual-function travel tag that attaches to your luggage and holds both an AirTag (included in the price) for geolocation and a card with written information. It isn’t listed on Apple’s store, so you’ll need to buy direct from Hermes. It’s available in Fauve only.–David Price
AirTag pet collars
Elevation Lab TagVault: Pet
The TagVault: Pet uses screws with the small Torx T6 star-shaped drive for the portion that contains the AirTag and maintains the waterproof seal. These screws are piercing, self-tapping screws with a T10 slot. They’re used to hold a hard plastic anchor to provide further stability when attached to a pet collar that you provide–though the case may be too big for smaller collars. The kit includes a steel Torx T6 L-shaped wrench with screw tips on both ends.–Glenn Fleishman
Read our full
Elevation Lab TagVault: Pet review
Other types of AirTag cases and holders
The AirTag is a little prone to picking up scuff marks, and many of the holders in this roundup leave at least one of its surfaces uncovered and vulnerable to damage. If this is something you’re concerned about, consider buying a “screen” protector for your tracker–it hasn’t actually got a screen, of course, but the same principle applies. Olixar includes two TPU film covers in the pack, along with ethanol wipes and a cleaning cloth for preparing the AirTag, and an application card for smoothing out air bubbles.–David Price
If the thing you want to track hasn’t got a handle you can loop the AirTags to, or a pocket you can slip one inside, then the next option is stickiness. These neat silicone pockets (which come in a pack of four) both protect the tracker from external damage, and give it a strong and reliable adhesive surface to cling to a jewel box, schoolbag or games console.
Despite the unobtrusive look of the pocket the AirTag is still fairly obvious and easily slipped out, so this solution isn’t ideal for tracking down stolen property (unless there’s a more discreet internal surface you can stick it to). But for locating TV remotes–and for sheer versatility of application–they’re indispensable.–David Price
Elevation Lab TagVault: Bike
The TagVault: Bike is a lozenged-shaped plastic shell that houses the AirTag AirTag nestles inside its waterproof seal. It attaches to a bike via the bike’s water bottle mount, using longer screws to attach the bottle cage, or shorter screws if you don’t attach the cage. The case is a matte black, rendering it unobtrusive. Screwed in between a cage and the frame, a thief would first have to recognize it and then work hard to remove it quickly.–Glenn Fleishman
Read our full
Elevation Lab TagVault: Bike review
Nomad Glasses Strap for AirTag
Nomad has tried to pair the utility of Apple’s AirTag tracker with a glasses strap. To accommodate many kinds of glass stems, the strap has three kinds of interchangeable tips that snap snugly into the ends of the strap’s cord. You can adjust the strap to provide a tight or loose fit, and friction keeps that tension in place until you change it again. Nomad has done everything it can to make the case invisible, compact, rugged, and comfortable, but some people may find the packaging too obtrusive or it might bother them in routine usage.–Glenn Fleishman
Read our full
Nomad Glasses Strap for AirTag review
What you can expect in an AirTag case
Because the AirTag comes in a single variety, you don’t need to choose which kind to acquire. Apple sells them singly ($29) and in a four-pack ($99). Engraving is free.
An AirTag regularly broadcasts 2.4GHz Bluetooth signals with an encrypted device ID for other Apple devices to pick up and relay along with those devices’ locations. The 2.4GHz band penetrates solid objects well, but case designers need to be mindful of materials that have the potential to block the signal. In our survey of AirTag cases, we didn’t find a case so far that had that design problem.
AirTags also use ultrawideband (USB) technology for Precision Finding, exclusive to Apple’s own Find My items. Precision Finding lets an iPhone with UWB identify the direction and distance within inches when it’s within about 15 to 30 feet (4.5 to 9 m).
Consider to what use you may put an AirTag to determine the features you want:
- Purpose: Cases exist in enough variety that you can find one designed as a luggage tag, another as a stylish keyring, and another to resist enormous amounts of damage. Figure out where you want to put the AirTag and match the case to it.
- Water resistance: Many cases feature some degree of water resistance, some using the IP rating that defines precisely how much. If you’re using an AirTag outside or on a pet’s collar, you may want one with a high degree of resistance. When attaching to a bag or keyring, it may seem less important or not important at all.
- Ring, clip, loop, or carabiner: Case makers offer many variants on attachments. Some include a simple hole to attach a keychain, while others incorporate a keychain as part of the product and may include a keyring. You can purchase multiple cases built into a carabiner, including one with a three-digit combination lock. You can also get a string or similar loop design, in which the case passes through a loop and pulls tight on a handle without a knot.
- Removable or adhesive: You might want an AirTag case that’s easy to move about or attach and reattach. Other cases include adhesive for semi-permanent fixed attachment.
- Hideable: One use of an AirTag is to hide it in or on an object, and some cases have that notion more clearly in mind.
- Shows the front: Conversely, some cases show off an AirTag, revealing its front where you might have had added custom engraving from Apple with an emoji or text. You might want to see that engraving to differentiate among AirTags you own.
- Cost: Cases generally cost from about $20 to $35—around the price of a single AirTag. However, there are outliers below $10 and above $40. It’s all about the function, ruggedness, and complexity of purpose. Some charge extra for style.
How we test AirTag case features
For each kind of case, we rated them based on specific features around which they were designed. These include:
- Easy to insert the AirTag for secure retention: Every case has a slightly different approach to getting an AirTag inside. Some cases have an elaborate locking procedure or require removing and restoring four tiny screws to preserve a waterproof seal. Others are simple as sliding the tag into a holding or popping it into a rubber ring.
- Attaches securely for attachable cases: We tested cases that market themselves as attachable at how well they succeed at that task. Cases may come with or be part of a keyring, carabiner, wrist strip, or pet collar, or may have an adhesive to stick on to objects, like the inside of luggage.
- Access for battery replacement: Apple expects an AirTag battery to last for about a year in everyday usage, which it defines as one case of Precision Finding and four tones played per day. A case should allow access that isn’t maddening for replacing the battery every several months to a year.
- Robust against bumps and bangs: Only a few kinds of cases can avoid the wear and tear of bumping against other objects. Most need to be constructed with that in mind. For cases exposed to other surfaces, we look at whether the materials and build quality give confidence in them provide lasting value.
- Blocks access to remove: A handful of cases provide a security element intended to prevent access to an AirTag without excessive force—the AirTag would have to be destroyed to remove it. We rate these cases on whether they seem able to prevent or deter everything but destruction.