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Watercraft/Vehicle Accessory Review

Lock it Down with Durasafe’s Codeable BOLT System (continued)

While exciting these stress tests really are no substitute for long term usage and over the last 24 months I have been running these locks on two vehicles to secure everything from spare tires to racks and towing my bass rig. I haven’t had a single lock fail on me and after each and every trip the locks not only continue to perform well but still look as good as new (minus the dust and debris from the road of course).

After a natural thaw the lock continues to perform perfectly. Normally the shutter will do a good job keeping out the rain and moisture from the road but in our test we did a complete submersion, so it did take some time for the ice inside the lock to melt

Less time fiddling with keys and locks just means more time on the water and the ability to use one key to lock and unlock all my gear not only saved me time but helps keep my keychain from being even more of a mess than it already is with all the other keys I need to carry. If I could use the BOLT locks for more than I already do I certainly would not hesitate to switch out those legacy locks.    

These locks are not just for anglers and can be used for so many applications including offroading or adding gear like bike racks

Price & Applications: I think we have pretty much established that the BOLT locks are extremely easy to deploy, function as advertised and are the best thing since sliced bread for not just watercraft owners but outdoor enthusiasts. So what’s the bad news? Currently Durasafe offers the locks for owners of Ford, Chrysler/Dodge, and GM-A/B vehicles only. That’s right, if you’re an owner of a Toyota Tundra, Nissan Titan, Honda Ridgeline or Acura MDX (just to name a few imports) you’re currently out of luck. I say currently because the company has already announced that they are preparing to release locks for Toyota and Nissan vehicles early this season, but for owners of other makes the wait continues.

The padlock is great for cable locks or use on the company's own Coupler Connect device

Why did Durasafe focus on addressing the domestic autos first? The Toyota Tundra is a popular tow vehicle after all. The answer most likely rests in the TAM (total addressable market). For example if you look at the  2012 sales data Toyota sold approximately 102,000 Tundra pickups the entire past year while Ford and Chevy combined sold over 120,000 in December alone. Still, that is a lot of unaddressed trucks out there that are potentially towing and this is one of those products that are so good that it would be ideal if everyone if the market could take advantage of them. Durasafe states that they currently address 88% of the light trucks on the road and over 70% of all Ford, GM and Chrysler vehicles on the road. In the meantime what you could do if you want to consolidate all your locks with one additional key is to procure a standard Ford/Chrysler/GM key and use that as a master for all your locks.

Using both the BOLT padlock and receiver lock to tow the bass boat

The BOLT padlock retails for $27.99 while the receiver lock retails for $36.99 and while these US Made locks certainly retail for more than your traditional locks they really are not your run of the mill locking solutions. Are they worth the extra investment? Absolutely. The ability to use your own truck/SUV key for your receiver, swing away tongue, padlock on your trailer coupler connect or boat locker bar just makes things faster and easier. I’ve even gone so far as to use the locks on gates, tool shed and to secure sporting equipment. The only downside are the locks do cost a little bit more and as I learned when I traded in my last Jeep, your pretty much going to give away all those locks with your vehicle.

Locked and loaded and ready to tow

If you want to double check if your vehicles key is supported by Durasafe the company has a visual match and compatibility configurator online where you can enter your make, model and year. Some brands that you might not expect to be supported are, for example brands that at one time or another belonged to the domestic automaker portfolio, makes like Mazda or Hummer.

Ratings: (We've re-calibrated our ratings standard for 2008 and have included a key at the bottom of the following matrix as a guide)

DuraSafe BOLT Receiver Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Excellent construction and the rubber jacket that surrounds each lock not only looks attractive but provides added protection and prevents the locks from metal to metal contact and reduces the noise from banging around during towing 9
Performance This product does everything it claims and proved to be very durable over the long haul (pun intended). We threw everything we could at these locks and they continue to perform beautifully 10
Price The locks cost more than double what traditional locks cost but this comparison is like apples to oranges. The BOLT locks offer innovative design and features and though more expensive are absolutely worth the money for boat owners and outdoor enthusiasts 7.5
Features Reliable ruggedized locks that can be coded to your own key...nuff said 9
Design (Ergonomics) Easy to use right out of the package and coding is as easy as turning your key. After that the ergonomic benefits pay off each and every time you tow or lock an accessory onto the back of your vehicle. Key management has never been easier. 9
Application While the locks are great for a wide range of applications we still can only give them a "good" rating in this category because the vehicle support is focused on the domestic makes, which is the right choice to address the TAM but with so many Tundra and Titan owners out there towing there is still a void that needs to be filled. The good news is the company is addressing this in what we hope is the very near future 7.5

Total Score

Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here

Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

+ Innovative design - More expensive than traditional locks
+ Extremely easy to code and use - Does not support all major import vehicles (yet)
+ Simplifies lock management with a key you already own and carry everyday  
+ Durable and reliable  
+ Great solution for watercraft owners and can be used for so many more outdoor enthusiast applications  


Conclusion: DuraSafe has a bona-fide hit on their hands with the BOLT series, and while anglers certainly benefit from this simple yet ingenious innovation there are many outdoor enthusiasts that are can take advantage of these products too, including cyclists with bike racks, off-roaders looking to secure their trailers and gear and we haven’t even touched on productivity applications like use on contractor vehicles. BOLT is expanding the line with replaceable tool box handles and even spare tire locks, which only further extends the possible applications for this clever product. The bottom line is that DuraSafe does a good job finding real world challenges and providing products that offer seemingly simple yet very effective solutions.


One key to rule them all. BOLT makes it easier than ever to manage your locks and just go out and enjoy the outdoors


I’ve loaded up on BOLT locks and continue to be impressed with just how user-friendly and reliable these locks are. Whether you are an angler looking to secure your rig, an off-road enthusiast that wants to tow ATVs or a cyclist that wants a quick solution to lock down your bike rack, BOLT locks get it done. There really are countless applications BOLT locks can address, and when it comes to securing your gear on or around your vehicle DuraSafe gets our  vote as an “Editor’s Choice” for making it easier than ever to LOCK IT DOWN… all with a single key that you are already carrying in your pocket.


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