Today I have some new products to review, they are called Z Locks , presumably for Zip-tie lock because thats what they look like. They are lockable security ties that wrap around things to temporarily stop someone walking off with your gear. Marketed towards lots of activities, camping, skiing etc.
This is a manufacturer out of the UK called Hip lock, who make a range of security devices and originally famous for their waist wearable bike chains, the HipLock.
I got hold of a Combo lock and a regular “Z” lock. -pronounced Zed Lock, not Zee lock. UK style 🙂
Both locks are flexible, both have a steel core. They offer a temporary solution not unlike the Ottolock, but they don’t roll up quite as tight and the bands are dimensionally different (ottock band is 18 x 3.5mm) Literally think of these as large zip ties.
Z Lok Combo (Green)
Because the Z combo is a little bit longer and a little thicker strap. I could see this as a coffee stop kinda bike deterrent. Where you want something to secure but you are in general close proximity of your bike. I could also see using this on a car bike rack for that extra security.
The Combo lock is larger, heavier and thicker band than the Blue Z Lok (below) and when I say heavier, I mean really light. It has a 3 digit combination lock which can be set with a unique code. It has a band which is 3.6mm thick x 12mm wide band and 40cm long (16″) which wraps to a circle about 13cm (5″) Diameter.
The head / combo section feels like it is a die casting of some kind, and its attached with an anti tamper screw on the underside.
On both you can see the internal steel band. Maybe this is a deterrent?
The Combo in use
The Combo head feels sturdy and is well made. The dials on the lock are what you would expect for something thats $25, not amazing and not super cheap. It reached around a bike frame with a little fussing, but don’t get elaborate as its not long enough.
Price: $25 – web site : https://hiplok.com/product/zlokcombo1/
The Z lok is the simpler version (the blue one on the right), very much an elaborate Ziptie. Because of the size and length of the Z Lok – (its a smidge smaller than the Combo) I can use this to secure a front wheel, or a helmet to a locked up bike. I can also use this around pannier bags. Its an low cost item, so we have to keep that in mind.
The Z lock is ever so slightly smaller and lighter (think zip tie light). Using a thinner band being 8mm wide and 3mm thick. It has a usable length of of 38cm (15″)and forms a loop approx 11cm (4.5″) in diameter and uses a key to open it. It has a similar mechanical construction, a plastic coated steel band.
Z Lok inuse
The Z lock only needs the key to unlock. The unlocking action is forcing two prongs into the lock that opens the ratchet mechanism, it takes a fair amount of force to insert and both prongs have to enter at the same time. This gives me confidences that its not easily openable with a paperclip. Since there is only 1 key style, it does mean that someone-else could have the key also, but thats not a big concern of mine.
The key is small and has two strong metal prongs. The prongs are exposed, one would say not sharp but I don’t want them in my pocket all the time. Personal preference.
Coming soon, I will be taking some snips, a hacksaw and bolt cutters to these to see how good they really are. Stay tuned.