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Hiplok DX Wearable U-Lock Review

If portability and convenience are your priority, this model fits the bill while offering good security
Hiplok DX Wearable U-Lock
Photo: Hiplok
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Price:  $90 List | $89.99 at Amazon
Pros:  Relatively lightweight, portable
Cons:  Small, not very versatile, struggles to lock to large structures
Manufacturer:   Hiplok
By Matt Bento ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 9, 2021
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64
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#7 of 18
  • Security - 40% 6
  • Ease of Transport - 25% 9
  • Ease of Use - 20% 7
  • Versatility - 15% 2

Our Verdict

Tiny but mighty, the Hiplok DX Wearable U-Lock provides gold-standard security while almost fitting in your pocket. It is attached to a plastic clip so you can attach it to your belt or pack pocket. This lets you skip adding mounting hardware to your bike and leave your backpack at home. We cannot say this is the most comfortable way we have ever carried a U-lock, the advantages are clear. Because this U-lock is on the small side, it limits your immovable structure options to standard bike racks and thin structures, but if you want similar security to a large U-lock without having to lug around the weight, the Hiplok DX is a solid option.

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Pros Relatively lightweight, portableWearable design, solid security, easy to useSecure, includes 5 keys, price is niceInexpensive, more secure than many in its price range, high qualityLightweight, easy-to-carry, easy-to-use
Cons Small, not very versatile, struggles to lock to large structuresNot lightweight, uncomfortable with some backpacks, priceyClunky mounting hardware, heavyLocking mechanism stuck a few times, lackluster frame mountMinimal security, can be compromised with the right tools quickly
Bottom Line If portability and convenience are your priority, this model fits the bill while offering good securityThe innovative design of this wearable chain lock increases this heavy lock's portability, which is great news for regular bike commutersThis lock provides great security and versatility at an affordable price, and while not our absolute favorite, it's pretty closeThis inexpensive U-lock offers versatility and security that is likely to fit the needs and budgets of many cyclists and commutersIf you're in the market for a highly portable and lightweight lock but without much security, this one has your name on it
Rating Categories Hiplok DX Wearable... Hiplok Original: Su... OnGuard Brute STD Kryptonite Kryptolo... ABUS Chain Lock 120...
Security (40%)
6.0
6.0
9.0
6.0
3.0
Ease Of Transport (25%)
9.0
8.0
3.0
5.0
9.0
Ease Of Use (20%)
7.0
7.0
6.0
7.0
7.0
Versatility (15%)
2.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
4.0
Specs Hiplok DX Wearable... Hiplok Original: Su... OnGuard Brute STD Kryptonite Kryptolo... ABUS Chain Lock 120...
Measured weight (lbs) 2.6 lbs 4.3 lbs 3.6 lbs 3.2 lbs 0.5 lbs
Type of lock U-Lock Wearable chain U-Lock U-Lock + cable Chain
Primary materials/thickness 14mm hardened steel 8mm hardened steel chain, 600D polyester sleeve 16.8mm hardened steel 12.7mm hardened steel; braided steel cable 4mm hardened steel
Locking dimension 5" x 8.5" 33.5" circumference, 2" width 7.5" x 10.5" U-lock: 4" x 9"; Cable: 4' 43" circumference
# of keys included 2 Keys 3 keys 5 keys 2 keys N/A
Tin snips No No No No Yes, requires two cuts to defeat
Hammer No No No No No
Hacksaw Yes, eventually No No No No
Bolt cutters, 36" No No No No Yes, but not very easily. Requires two cuts
Angle grinder Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Number of cuts to free lock 2 cuts 1 cut 2 cuts 2 cuts 2 cuts

Our Analysis and Test Results

The 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 five pounds of hardware. The downside? The Hiplok DX is so small that you're limited to what you can attach your bike to, and securing both wheels requires some finagling, even after detaching the front wheel.

Performance Comparison


The DX Wearable U-lock offers maximum portability for a U-lock.
The DX Wearable U-lock offers maximum portability for a U-lock.
Photo: Matt Bento

Security


Awarded the Gold status by Sold Secure, we were only able to break it with an angle grinder, and that required 2 cuts to free the bike. The 14mm 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.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

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 allows you to transport the lock without a backpack and without installing any 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.

Weighing 2 pounds 10 ounces, the DX Wearable is the lightest U-lock...
Weighing 2 pounds 10 ounces, the DX Wearable is the lightest U-lock we have tested.
Photo: Ross Robinson

We were cinching our belts pretty tightly to keep our pants from falling down, and the whole setup isn'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 backpack, 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


TheDX Wearable U-Lock comes with 3 replaceable keys that turn smoothly in the lock. There is also a sweet little rubber tab that 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.

Versatility


The small size of the Hiplok DX greatly 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.

This lock's diminutive size is its main limiting factor.
This lock's diminutive size is its main limiting factor.
Photo: Matt Bento

Value


This lock is high quality and secure, but it's fairly expensive. For the price, most of our testers would prefer to shoulder the weight of a larger and more versatile lock. If the portability factor appeals to you, this one will do the trick.

Conclusion


There are bike locks out there 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. The Hiplok DX Wearable U-Lock offers legitimate security while being conveniently portable. If portability is your priority, this is a worthy choice.

Matt Bento

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