This beefy leather AirTag keychain will sucker you in [Review]

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WaterField Designs Leather AirTag Keychain review: This keychain can handle a clutch of keys.
This AirTag keychain from WaterField Designs can handle a clutch of keys.
Photo: Lewis Wallace/Cult of Mac

WaterField Designs’ AirTag Leather Keychain looks a little like a squid’s head. The oval-ish leather keychain comes with a heavy-duty matte black key ring at one end. (Your keys would be the squid’s tentacles in this tortured simile.) And a metal grommet at the other end lets you attach an included steel carabiner or cable loop to expand your options.

The San Francisco company constructed this crucial AirTag accessory out of beefy full-grain leather and high-end components. It definitely looks and feels premium. And it seems built to last a lifetime.

The only real downside is size-related: This is one giant squid!

WaterField Designs AirTag Leather Keychain review

WaterField loves to make accessories worthy of your Apple devices. If you’ve ever encountered a WaterField product — like a gorgeous leather MacBook bag, a slim backpack or a truly protective AirPods Max case — you know the company refuses to skimp on quality. Every WaterField design we’ve ever seen exudes a high-end feel. (And we’ve reviewed plenty of WaterField products over the years.)

The company typically pairs the highest-quality materials with clever designs that deliver ultimate utility. And WaterField’s Leather AirTag Keychain proves the same.

The keychain’s vegetable-tanned leather pouch contains the AirTag. A very sturdy matte black metal screw stud holds the compartment closed. And a grid of perforations allows the AirTag’s tiny speaker to be heard outside its snug leather enclosure. You’ll be glad when it comes time to track down your missing keys. Just use the Find My app to identify your keys’ general vicinity. Then trigger an audio alert, prick up your ears, and recover your keys. It’s just that simple.

Colorful and sturdy

WaterField Designs leather AirTags keychain: That beefy leather cover hides your AirTag.
That beefy leather cover hides your AirTag from prying eyes.
Photo: Lewis Wallace/Cult of Mac

WaterField’s AirTag keychain comes in four colors. The acorn color WaterField sent me to review looks beautiful. (Other colors include black, red and blue. I think light brown acorn color looks by far the best.)

The durable stitching around the edge isn’t 100% symmetrical — it looks like it was done by hand rather than cranked out by a machine. If you’re anal about that kind of thing, it might make you a little nuts, but I’m fine with it.

After months using it, the only downside to WaterField’s AirTag Keychain is its size. Admittedly, I carry a lot of keys around. And a bottle opener. And a remote for my truck. (Frankly, the whole thing’s a little out of hand.) But the size of WaterField’s keychain itself doesn’t do me any favors in the bulk department. When I put the whole kit and kaboodle in my coat or jeans pocket, it makes a sizable lump.

Hide your AirTag in plain sight

Unlike some minimalist AirTag keychains, which show off the Apple tracking tag, WaterField’s design scrupulously hides it. That way, a potential thief won’t know there’s a tracker inside. However, it also means that a good Samaritan who finds your keys might not know how to contact you. (Here’s what to do if you ever find a lost AirTag, BTW.)

That stealthiness is one reason WaterField’s keychain seems so large. AirTags themselves are kind of chunky. To effectively hide them, the keychain’s design needs to scale up. That’s why most AirTag keychains show off the tracker itself.

WaterField’s AirTag Keychain retails for $25. That’s a great price for such a high-end product. By way of comparison, Apple’s AirTag Leather Key Ring lists for $35 (although you can find other AirTag key rings for less). Most of the leather ones cost at least as much as WaterField’s. And if you want to go nuts, you can spend $349 on Apple’s Hermès Key Ring for AirTag.

WaterField’s AirTag key fob is more substantial than most competitors. It’s also brawnier — more like a baseball mitt than a barely there leather glove.

If minimalism is your game, this isn’t for you. However, if you like leather, and you don’t mind a bit of bulk on the end of your keys, this AirTag keychain should sucker you in.

Buy from: WaterField Designs

WaterField Designs provided Cult of Mac with a review unit for this article. See our reviews policy, and check out other in-depth reviews of Apple-related items.