Editor’s Note: This test was done in partnership with KGuard.
Electronic keys are the most inconvenient invention if you’re a surfer. You can’t bring them in the water for obvious reasons. Nowadays, most cars won’t lock manually with the key fob inside, so making a copy or just taking the valet key with you is out of the question. My own car actually dives into a fit of rage if I try this and later unlock the car manually, making it look like I’m breaking into it post-surf while the alarm rings across the beach. I’ve tried key locks and miniature safes but a few too many anecdotes about car thieves and the ease of breaking lockboxes took that peace of mind away. Just let me surf without so much stress about my car. Please.
KGuard’s waterproof bag for smart keys is an intuitive little invention that brought back the most obvious thing to do with your car keys; throw them on a piece of string and wear it into the water. It’s simply a waterproof silicone pouch just big enough to fit a standard electronic key that closes with a good tug. It sounds very simple because it is very simple, albeit so simple it can be a challenge to trust at first. Admittedly, it took me a few sessions to start trusting that the basic closure wasn’t taking in water or that I hadn’t somehow torn the pouch. So far so good though.
The entire KGuard system consists of three basic pieces. Figuring out how they all work together is pretty intuitive:
The Bag. The greenish silicone bag is thicker and more durable than a basic plastic sandwich bag. It has an IPX8 rating on the Ingress Protection Code, which means it’s certified to offer waterproof protection for electronic devices at depths of at least a meter deep. In KGuard’s case, pouches are certified up to 40 meters deep. These pouches were made for surfing, windsurfing, bodyboarding, kite surfing, SUP, and other basic watersports, so the odds of hitting those 40-meter boundaries are pretty low. If you’re into scuba diving, you can likely still use this bag for your dives.
The Ring. Technically, two rings. It’s an integral piece to the whole puzzle either way. Both your rope and the bag’s opening will fit through here, eventually securing the bag so no water gets through the opening.
The Rope. Take your pick. There’s a long piece of rope if you want to wear the bag over your neck or a smaller piece of rope if you choose to secure it in your internal wetsuit pockets.
The first time I tried to get my key into the bag was an adventure. Stretching the neck of the silicone bag is a tough, two-handed task which was frustrating at first but I’ve come to realize it’s just a testament to its durability. The same goes for looping the rope and closure ring to secure it all, which needs enough force to pull it all closed that I was inclined to think I was going to break the whole thing. Once I’d gone through the process more than once I realized the rope, bag, or ring weren’t going to fall apart with a little bit of force, and that’s actually given me peace of mind that it’s also holding up when I’m actually bringing it in the water. As for carrying it around in the lineup, the pouch isn’t noticeable. I find myself checking near my chest zip to make sure it’s still there.
In all, if you prefer having your car key with you in the water rather than hiding it or storing it in a lockbox, KGuard is becoming a reliable and safe option. I find myself worrying that I might lose the entire bag somehow but have yet to worry about the key getting wet. I imagine that’s an endorsement they’ve worked for in designing this waterproof key bag.
-It’s trustworthy. A tool that’s easy to grow confidence in.
-It’s lightweight and small.
-Durable. The silicone bag seems to take a good beating without any signs of wear and tear.
-It has an intuitive design. You can look at the three pieces and instinctively know how to piece them together.
-(Probably) Better than a Masterlock. I’m throwing them under the bus here and this one is a matter of preference for anybody, of course. No one way to hide your key or store it is going to be perfect, but I stopped using my lockbox as soon as I learned how easy it is to break even name-brand safes.
-Don’t lose it! This is the only thing that stresses me out about having the key pouch with me and it’s not a con against KGuard’s product, per se, but it can be an inescapable worry that sticks in the back of your mind while using it.