Tiny but mighty, the Hiplok DX Wearable U-Lock provides gold-standard security while almost fitting in your pocket. A perk that not all bike locks can offer. It is attached to a plastic clip so you can connect it to your belt or back pocket, which lets you skip adding mounting hardware to your bike, and you can leave your backpack at home. Although we cannot say this is the most comfortable way we have ever carried a U-lock, the advantages are clear. Also, this U-lock is on the small side and limits your unmovable structure options to standard bike racks and thin structures. Still, if you want similar security to a large U-lock without having to lug around the weight, the Hiplok DX is a solid option for your biking needs.Editor's Note: We updated this gear review on January 25, 2022, with different sections with information about whether or not we would buy this product and others worth considering.
Hiplok DX Wearable U-Lock Review
Cons: Small, not very versatile, struggles to lock to large structures
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|Pros||Relatively lightweight, portable||Secure, includes 5 keys, price is nice||Inexpensive, more secure than many in its price range, high quality||Lightweight, easy-to-carry, easy-to-use||Lightweight, flexible, easy to use|
|Cons||Small, not very versatile, struggles to lock to large structures||Clunky mounting hardware, heavy||Locking mechanism stuck a few times, lackluster frame mount||Minimal security, can be compromised with the right tools quickly||Too small, minimal security|
|Bottom Line||If portability and convenience are your priority, this model fits the bill while offering good security||This lock provides great security and versatility at an affordable price, and while not our absolute favorite, it's pretty close||This inexpensive U-lock offers versatility and security that is likely to fit the needs and budgets of many cyclists and commuters||If you're in the market for a highly portable and lightweight lock but without much security, this one has your name on it||Great for preventing the "snatch and grab" while you make a pit stop but does little to prevent a real bike thief from swiping your ride|
|Rating Categories||Hiplok DX Wearable...||OnGuard Brute STD||Kryptonite Kryptolo...||ABUS Chain Lock 120...||Hiplok Z Lok|
|Ease of Transport (25%)|
|Ease of Use (20%)|
|Specs||Hiplok DX Wearable...||OnGuard Brute STD||Kryptonite Kryptolo...||ABUS Chain Lock 120...||Hiplok Z Lok|
|Measured weight (lbs)||2.6 lbs||3.6 lbs||3.2 lbs||0.5 lbs||0.1 lbs|
|Type of lock||U-Lock||U-Lock||U-Lock + cable||Chain||Reusable zip tie|
|Primary materials/thickness||14mm hardened steel||16.8mm hardened steel||12.7mm hardened steel; braided steel cable||4mm hardened steel||Steel core security tie|
|Locking dimension||5" x 8.5"||7.5" x 10.5"||U-lock: 4" x 9"; Cable: 4'||43" circumference||16.5" circumference|
|# of keys included||2 Keys||5 keys||2 keys||N/A||1 key|
|Tin snips||No||No||No||Yes, requires two cuts to defeat||Yes|
|Hacksaw||Yes, eventually||No||No||No||Yes, quick|
|Bolt cutters, 36"||No||No||No||Yes, but not very easily. Requires two cuts||Yes|
|Number of cuts to free lock||2 cuts||2 cuts||2 cuts||2 cuts||1 cut|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Hiplok DX Wearable U-Lock is a small "wearable" U-lock that's comparatively lightweight, objectively compact, and effective. With this model, you get the security of a beefy U-lock without lugging around 5 pounds of hardware. The downside? The Hiplok DX is so small that you're limited to what you can attach your bicycle and biking-related gear to, and securing both wheels requires some finagling, even after detaching the front wheel.
Awarded the Gold status by Sold Secure, we were only able to break it with an angle grinder, which required two cuts to free the bike. The 14 mm diameter U section is just wide enough that we couldn't get our standard bolt cutters open wide enough to bite, and we seriously doubt they'd do much against the hardened steel. Sure, it doesn't score as high as heavier, thicker locks, but for situations when you're locking up your bike in broad daylight to go to class or the coffee shop, we think this model offers an appropriate amount of security.
Ease of Transport
This lock has a plastic clip mounted to one side that allows the user to hook the lock to their back pocket or belt. This will enable you to transport the lock without a backpack or installation of mounting hardware. In practice, our testers found that while this is a relatively lightweight 2.6-pound lock, it still feels heavy when worn on the back pocket.
We were cinching our belts pretty tightly to keep our pants from falling down, and the whole setup wasn't very comfortable. We would not want to wear the lock on our pants for very long. Still, it's an attractive feature because you can grab the lock and hop on any bike and have a way to carry the lock without it flopping around on your crossbar. Should you choose to strap it onto a onto a messenger bag or tuck it inside, you'll notice that it adds about two pounds less weight than the average U-lock, which is nice.
Ease of Use
The DX Wearable U-Lock comes with three replaceable keys that turn smoothly in the lock. A sweet little rubber tab covers the keyhole and ensures that the lock will stay free of dirt and moisture. Turn the key in the lock and both sides of the U release, and you're ready to secure your bike. Easy peasy. We also appreciate the rubber-like coating on this model that helps protect our bike frame from scratches while locking up. Models that outscored the Hiplok DX included helpful features like LED lights on the keys and an automatic keyhole cover.
The small size of the Hiplok DX significantly limits its versatility. It's easy enough to attach your bike's frame to a bike rack, but trying to secure even one tire along with it can be very tricky or impossible. Hiplok sells a version of this lock that includes a cable long enough to secure both wheels or multiple bikes, but that greatly reduces its portability appeal. We think it's ideal for securing your cruiser around town and is a good solution for an evening of bar hopping or any situation where you don't want to bother with a backpack.
Should You Buy the Hiplok DX Wearable U-Lock?
The Hiplok DX Wearable U-Lock offers an appropriate amount of security while being conveniently portable. However, most of our testers would prefer to shoulder the weight of a larger and more versatile bike lock for the price.
What Other Bike Locks Should You Consider?
There are other bike locks in our lineup that are smaller, lighter, and more versatile than this one, but they are mostly thin cable-style or folding locks that are easily dismantled with bolt cutters or other hand tools. We suggest considering the Hiplok Original: Superbright, an award-winning lock that is also portable.
— Matt Bento
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