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Apple's New AirTags Are Perfect for Helping Keep Track of Your Outdoor Gear

The tech giant's latest innovation has implications for owners of expensive gear.

air tag

Apple's recent announcement of AirTags — tiny, item-tracking devices you can attach to anything you don't want to lose — featured a video of a man literally spelunking into the depths of his couch to locate his keys. That's likely the sort of mission upon which most people will deploy AirTags...but the video brought to mind another role for the trackers that a friend of mine posted to Instagram a few days earlier.

In it, security camera footage showed two unidentifiable men breaking into the locked storage compartment of her apartment building, where she kept her bike, skis and a pile of outdoor gear, and rolling it all away. There's little to no hope she'll get that thousands of dollars worth of equipment back, sadly. But I can't help but wonder: if a few of those bins or items had Apple's new homing beacons stuck to them, would those odds improve?

There are, of course, a mountain of potential applications for AirTags — indeed, a list that surpasses similar item-tracking gadgets like Tile simply because Apple inspires so many accessory makers to get creative. Apple's site already lists AirTag holders that include keyrings and lanyards (along with a $449 leather one by Hermès); it's easy to imagine connecting one of the $29 trackers to the key fob present on so many hiking, climbing and ski packs these days, not to mention the everyday ones we carry around town.

But third-party makers are already thinking more creatively about AirTag. Moment, a photography gear company, is offering pre-orders on strong adhesive mounts that promise to secure AirTags to multiple surfaces. With an all-black, low-profile construction, they're far sleeker than the ones Apple's currently selling too.

With these, you could stick trackers to the bottom of a bike seat, the top of a snowboard or the inside lid of a Yeti cooler. A stretchy mount that attaches onto fabric even opens up tracking for your rain jacket or a rugged duffel.

We can only expect AirTag mounts to proliferate over the coming weeks and months. But even if Moment's discreet ones are still too tech-y for your outdoor ethos, you can always opt for a decidedly low-tech option: tape. No would-be bike thief will question a slightly bulgy electrical tape wrap on a top tube, and duct tape is a badge of honor when affixed to outerwear (at least in some circles).

At the very least, do Mother Earth a favor and slap one on your water bottle — they aren't reusable if you keep losing them.

Price: $29 (one), $100 (four)


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