The Hiplok Z Lok


Securing one’s possessions while on a trip is an annoying but critical concern. Inside the vehicle we lock down our large, important items—Pelican cases, etc.—with bicycle-style cables and padlocks stout enough to resist all but a really determined criminal with bolt-cutters and time. 

But there are many other smaller items, and other circumstances, where one needs minimal protection from a snatch-and-run thief, involving minimal hassle and weight. Some time ago I read about the Z Lok from Hiplok, and my bicycling friend Geoff in Sydney just gave me one.

The Z Lok is essentially a glorified ziptie, but much stouter, cored with a strip of steel—and, saliently, reusable. A simple forked key disengages the double steel teeth that secure the tie inside a steel-reinforced head. It’s strong enough to resist a really strong yank, and would be nearly impossible to cut with a knife (although not with a good pair of side cutters).

While any thief could buy one and carry the forked key around looking for an opportunity, that’s an unlikely scenario. The Z Lok would be excellent for many situations—locking my camera case to the table while I’m having lunch at an outdoor café; securing my bicycle helmet to the bike—even quickly locking the bike itself if I just wanted to duck inside a coffee shop for a takeaway.

At around 12 bucks on Amazon, or $20 for a pair, I can think of a zillion uses for these things.