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.
Apple AirTag Leather Key Ring – Best keyring option overall
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.
Note that 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.
Orbitkey Leather Holder for AirTag – Most bulk-free keyring
While we’re talking leather key ring accessories,
Orbitkey‘s offering is well worth your consideration. It costs roughly the same as Apple’s 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. (It’s possible Apple chose a chunky ring because it feels this will be more durable, but Orbitkey’s ring strikes us as perfectly robust.)
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.
Our only real quibble is that the leather fob is quite a lot bigger than the AirTag itself, and we’re not sure why; 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.
Mind you, 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, bear in mind that Orbitkey also makes a much cheaper
Slim Case with a similar locking system.
Belkin Secure Holder with Key Ring for AirTag – Best 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.
And here’s an even more affordable key ring option: 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.
We love the karabiner-style opening on the ring, which is both 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.
Caseology Vault – Most 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.
Apple AirTag Hermès Key Ring – Most 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.
Apple AirTag Loop – Simplest bag tag from Apple
On to the luggage tags now, and we’ll begin with Apple’s basic Loop, which as ever is among the more expensive options.
It’s made of polyurethane and feels and looks smart, with two of the colour 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 certain points – 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 centre of its two faces, so expect some scuffing. Overall, however, this is classic Apple: doing a simple thing very well… at a price.
Apple AirTag Leather Loop – Best leather bag tag from Apple
If you can spare a little more cash, consider upgrading to Apple’s Leather Loop, which is available in brown or (Product) Red. It’s only a bit more expensive – 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.)
Your decision may be swayed, however, by the colours, which aren’t as bright as those available for the standard Loop. There is that red option, but it’s a deep red rather than a flamboyant scarlet. As usual, Apple assumes that better-heeled customers will have more sombre taste.
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.
Belkin Secure Holder with Strap for AirTag – Best no-fuss bag tag
Belkin’s Secure Holder, which we looked at earlier, 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 matching string. Since the front and back sections, string and key ring are all detachable, you could create a multicolour accessory by mixing and matching more than one holder.
Casetify Customisable AirTag Holder – Most customisable bag tag
The principal appeal of Casetify’s AirTag holder is the sheer range of designs and colours 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 favourite, but there are
hundreds of options.
AirTag Hermès Luggage Tag – Most 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 colour as long as it’s Fauve.
Like the deluxe key ring, the Hermès Luggage Tag comes with a custom-etched AirTag.
Apple AirTag Hermès Bag Charm – Most elegant bag charm
This handsome and luxurious
bag charm is the most affordable of the four AirTag accessories made by Apple with Hermes, although of course affordability is a relative concept. It’s available in Orange, Fauve and Bleu Indigo and comes with a custom-etched AirTag.
Apple AirTag Hermès Travel Tag – Best dual-function tag
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.
At time of writing, for some reason, it isn’t listed on
Apple’s store, so you’ll need to buy
direct from Hermes. It’s available in Fauve only.
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 – we’ve found it indispensable.
Keep tabs on your four-legged friend with this AirTag-compatible pet collar. Or, if your budget stretches a bit further, consider the leather version.
ICARER Silicone Case for AirTag – Most versatile
While most of the AirTag holders we’ve tested are based on a key ring, loop or karabiner, ICARER’s case is designed to clip on to a strap. It’s 1.4in wide, which makes it compatible with a variety of straps, allowing you to easily and discretely add AirTag tracking to a rucksack – or a pet collar.
We mentioned near the start of this article that the AirTag is a little prone to picking up scuff marks, and that 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.