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An AirTag case can meet many different purposes: stealth, robustness, deterrence, and ease of attachment (and ease of battery replacement). The ElevationLab TagVault: Surface packages up a few of those characteristics by providing an easy way to permanently attach a somewhat indestructible AirTag case to anything that has a small amount of available flat surface.
The Surface uses a powerful adhesive, 3M VHB, which starts strong and, 3M says, becomes increasingly permanent over time. ElevationLab doesn’t ship additional adhesive stickers with Surface, and that may be why: choose wisely how you place it. (Some competing products also use 3M VHB and do provide additional precut adhesive stickers, so there’s some wiggle room.)
To install a Surface, simply unscrew the top of the case and place the AirTag inside. The case’s glass-filled composite material can withstand substantial compression and sheer, according to the company’s testing. The matte case is unobtrusive, too, making its intent more about recovery and tracking than deterrence. The material allows Bluetooth and ultrawideband (UWB) signals to pass through, and should only reduce the range slightly.
When screwed tightly shut, a silicon gasket provides a seal that allows for an IP68 dust/water rating–that’s slightly better than the AirTag’s IP67. At that level, the case is tested to be waterproof against immersion of up to 5 feet (1.5 meters) for up to 30 minutes. This makes it feasible to use for equipment or outdoor placement where the case won’t be in standing water, even if it’s regularly exposed to rain.
You can unscrew the case top when you get an alert that the AirTag battery is running low, or if you want to use the AirTag elsewhere. But the seal can be quite tight. Of a set of four Tag: Surface cases sent for review and opened fresh from a sealed package, I could remove the lid of two with hand pressure. The other two I had to put carefully into a vise to unscrew their tops. You may need a rubber jar-lid opener to unscrew once in place.