Those notorious for losing their wallets, phones and other personal belongings most likely will receive an Apple AirTag for the holidays. AirTag accessories, like the best AirTag holder, key chain or collar, are must-haves for anyone who wants to make use of Apple’s nifty tracking devices. The leading Tile competitor, Apple’s AirTag helps you to track down important objects like bags, keys, wallets or whatever you attach your AirTag to. Just open up Apple’s Find My app. It’s a boon if you misplace things often. A single AirTag costs $29 (£29, AU$45), though you can get a four-pack for $99 (£99, AU$149).
The main downside is, AirTag discs don’t come with any kind of holder. This means, depending on how you plan to use it, you’re going to need some sort of accessory for what’s also, basically, an accessory. (Apple has a tendency to spur its own cottage industries for add-ons, even though they’re accessories to begin with — AirPods are a perfect example of this.) However, you can find tons of AirTag accessories in multiple styles for any budget.
In some cases you’ll be able to embed an AirTag into an object sans holder — just pop it in a purse or backpack, for instance — but some people like to keep an AirTag with their keys or attach it to a backpack or laptop bag. You may also want to stick your AirTag onto an object and plenty of AirTag mounts are available.
Note that CNET editors have tried most but not all of these accessories. If we haven’t tried a product, we’ve tested other accessories from those companies so we feel comfortable recommending them. We’ll be adding more AirTags accessories to the list as we test new products.
Read more: Apple AirTags Hands-On Evaluation
Key chains and straps
Belkin’s Secure Holder for AirTags comes in key-ring or strap versions in four color options. There’s nothing terribly fancy about them, but at $11, they both cost less than Apple-branded options shown below. You can also get a two-pack for $20.
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While it launched a little later than some AirTags accessories, Otterbox’s key chain holder, which Otterbox calls a “Rugged Case,” is made of solid plastic and does indeed encase your AirTag (you unscrew the top piece, place your AirTag in the case, then screw the top piece back on to lock the AirTag in the holder). It’s available in black or white for $20 but is currently on sale for $15.
While this faux leather key chain from Cyrill, a sub-brand of Korea-based Spigen, is nothing fancy, it’s currently available in stone and black color options.
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The Apple-branded leather key ring costs $35 and comes in three colors: black, saddle brown and red.
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If you’re looking for a value option, your best bet may be to roll the dice on a no-name brand on Amazon. This Eusty key chain cover is available in a four-pack for just less than $15. Often, generic models like this are labeled as “leather” when in fact they are faux leather (sometimes referred to as PU leather or vegan leather). These look a lot like other basic faux leather AirTag key chains and come in a few color options.
There are dozens if not hundreds of generic AirTag holders available. Most should be fine, but don’t expect them to wear as well over time as the true leather models.
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Caseology’s AirTag Vault is another straightforward key chain option that’s affordable at $15 but could shave a few dollars off its price over time. (Caseology is also a sub-brand of Spigen.) It’s one of the few AirTag accessories that was available at launch and has been pretty popular as a result. It comes with a carabiner but you could attach a standard key chain if you wanted. It should be back in stock fairly soon.
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Spigen is also selling an attractively simple key-chain AirTag holder, the Valentinus, for around $18. It’s made of faux leather. Alas, it’s temporarily out of stock but should be back in the next few weeks.
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If you’re looking for a holder that sticks onto an object (like the underside of a bike seat or scooter), Pelican’s Stick-on AirTag Mount is designed to do just that. A single mount costs $16 while a pack of four sells for $30. It’s available in four different colors.
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Apple’s Loop, made for attaching your AirTag to a bag, costs as much as an AirTag. But it’s Apple’s official loop option and this polyurethane option is cheaper than the leather $39 Leather Loop. (That doesn’t make it a good deal, but I’m just pointing it out.) It’s available in four different colors.
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I like the design of Nomad’s leather AirTag key chain better than Apple’s, which leaves the AirTag partially exposed. This AirTag key chain hides it and looks more like a standard key chain. It’s designed to “weather” over time, getting darker (particularly the brown version). It’s available in brown or black for $30, which is pricey but it is nice.
Nomad also makes a Leather Loop that’s also a key chain and lists for $20. I prefer the more expensive model pictured here.
Spigen, known for its value iPhone cases, has its AirTag Case Rugged Armor ($16). It’s not quite as cheap as we hoped it would be, but maybe it will come down in price in time. It does have a rugged design with a nice carabiner and carbon-fiber elements.
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Casetify has a wide variety of AirTag holders. They’re made of hard plastic and are fairly basic but have some eye-catching art on the backside. You can also customize them with your name or choose from several emojis and other graphics. They’re expensive at $38 but sometimes go on sale.
If you’re looking to AirTag your pet, Nomad’s upcoming Rugged Pet ID Tag fits the bill (Nomad’s AirTag key chain is essentially identical). According to Nomad, it’s constructed with a TPU-overmolded polycarbonate shell and comes with two enclosure options: an IP67 waterproof back and a speaker-hole back. For an extra $20, you can buy a customizable stainless steel insert cover that you can get engraved with your pet’s name and a way to contact you. No pet collar is included.
It’s worth bearing in mind that Apple says AirTags are not designed to track pets. Your pet would need to be within range of the Find My network for the AirTag to work, so if it runs off into the woods it won’t be much help.
Other AirTag options
Moment, which makes and sells photo and video accessories for Apple products, including lens attachments, will have an enclosure accessory that allows you to mount your AirTag. “Made from a rugged aramid fiber shell and backed with a super strong adhesive, you can stick an AirTag to any flat surface,” Moment says.
Moment also has to other mounts: The Curved Surface Mount for AirTags ($25) that’s made out of flexible silicone (rubber) and can adhere to surfaces that aren’t totally flat; and the Stretch Fabric Mount for AirTags ($25) that’s designed to stick to fabrics, such as the inside of a bag, and other flat surfaces.
If you don’t want to spend $15-$20 for a mount, these Gorilla Mounting Tape Squares are a cheaper option at $6 and can be cut to size for AirTags. AirTags have an IPX67 water-resistance rating, which means it can be fully submerged in up to 1 meter of water for 30 minutes and is dust-proof. So it can withstand some punishment without a cover. After all, it doesn’t have a screen.
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The AirTag uses a CR2032 coin battery, which should last about a year. You can find a 10-pack of those batteries on Amazon for less than $10. That’s the way to go, especially if you have multiple AirTags, and other devices that use CR2032 coin batteries.
Always remember to keep coin batteries away from small children so they don’t accidentally swallow one. They can cause major injury if ingested.
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