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As a young woman who stands at a ferocious five feet tall, I am no stranger to the struggles of personal safety. Looking back on my life so far I definitely wish I took karate as a kid, so I can unexpectedly fight any potential attackers but since I didn’t I now rely on a variety of personal safety devices to protect myself.

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Of course, you can carry around pepper spray or pocket knives, but items like that are typically banned or restricted in many areas. Plus you can't take those items on planes with you, so they're relatively useless when it comes to protecting yourself abroad. Every personal safety product listed can be brought on planes, bars, classrooms and more making them the best personal safety devices to stay safe instead of just hoping for the best without a sure way of protection.

Best personal safety devices: Our top picks

She’s Birdie
She's Birdy/Pocket-lint
Birdie Personal Safety Alarm
1. Best personal safety device overall

Solo travel safely with the Birdie

Not able to be used as a weapon against you, the Birdie personal safety alarm is an ear-piercing, attention grabbing, and non-violent approach to safety. Plus, I can travel with it by easily slipping the carabiner on my purse or backpack. And the best part is you don't have to sacrifice fashion for safety as this alarm is sleek, colorful, and subtle - looking more like an intentional charm than an alarm.

  • Can be brought on planes
  • Attach to your keychain
  • Can be easily triggered
  • Not to be used for actual defense

Whether I'm exploring new cities or walking home from work I'm always looking over my shoulder as I walk the streets alone or even when I'm with my friends. The Birdie Self Defense Alarm gives me some peace of mind while traveling alone. All you do is pull the top of the device off and a loud alarm will blare, and a light will start flashing, hopefully attracting attention to you and frightening off anyone trying to cause you harm. Plus, the alarm comes in a multitude of fun colors, is only a few inches long, is super sleek, and looks more like a purse charm with a fashionable gold carabiner than an obvious, bulky alarm. Just a heads-up, the alarm is loud at 130 decibels, so make sure not to accidentally pull it like yours truly did and cause an extremely embarrassing scene when no danger is actually present.

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Reepos Personal Safety Alarm
2. Best personal safety device with a flashing light

Protect yourself for less

$13 $20 Save $7

Coming in five different colors, equipped with a flashing light to grab even more attention, and toting a sub-$30 price tag, the Reepos personal safety alarm is budget-friendly yet effective.

  • Easy to use
  • Budget option
  • Sound easily triggered
  • Mid-level quality

Similar to our top choice - the Birdie alarm- this personal safety alarm triggers a blaring 130 decibel alarm when the top of the keychain gets pulled off. Once the alarm is triggered an LED light begins to flash, helping to draw even more attention to you in times of trouble. The design of the product is pretty similar to the Birdie and is available in five different colors

The biggest drawback of this device is that it's a little more flimsy than the Birdie and the alarm can get triggered a bit easier. However, the product still has over 200 glowing reviews on Amazon, so it is definitely a solid option for those wanting to save a bit of money and stay safe.

Apple AirTag
Apple/ Pocket-lint 
Apple AirTag
3. Best personal safety device for live tracking

Track your items and yourself

While your phone may have tracking technology - what happens if you're faced with a stolen phone or dead battery? Slipping an AirTag in your going-out purse, jacket, jeans, or even car is a great way for your loved ones to keep tabs on you and vice versa.

  • Small and convenient
  • Can easily track from your Apple device
  • Harder to use with Androids
  • Need to buy a holder for them

At first glance an Apple AirTag may not seem like a personal safety device. Typically marketed as a great GPS device for travel, attaching an AirTag to your keys or purse will help others track your whereabouts should anything happen. It's simple: attach the AirTag to anything you typically keep on your person, and you're good to go.

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AirTags easily connect to the 'Find My' tracker on your Apple devices. The biggest drawback is that AirTags aren't as compatible with Android devices, although there is an app Android users can optimize to track AirTags, and other Bluetooth trackers that integrate well with the Android iOS.

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HNHMT Portable Door Stop and Door Alarm
4. Best device for hotel room safety

Sleep safe and sound

$11 $14 Save $3

Staying safe on the go is more than just having a device when you're out and about. Spending the night in a new place, whether a hotel or AirBnb, it's important to keep a guard up, even if you're not. That's where this portable door stop and alarm can come in handy.

  • Easy to install
  • Suitable for a variety of doors
  • Small size
  • Not as useful for everyone
  • Only protects your room

You can never be too safe while traveling and a door stopper and alarm is one of the best ways to protect your room. Give yourself some peace of mind while traveling that your room is protected and should anyone dare to intrude an alarm will blare.

The alarm is super easy to install and small enough to fit into most bags. The only downside of the door stopper is that it is a bit cheap and the alarm can be easily triggered.

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Malterzer Brass Keychain
5. Best Keychain Defense

Protect yourself on the go

Subtle yet effective, the Malterzer brass keychain is the perfect key charm to keep you protected as you walk to and from your car.

  • Easily disguisable
  • Attaches to all keychains
  • Mid-level quality
  • Not as sharp as advertised

From the age of 14 I've unfortunately known to always carry my keys in between my knuckles as a method of defense while walking down the street. While the thought process makes sense and, yes, keys can do some damage, my dull keys won't actually provide any sort of useful defense against attackers - and if you have a battery powered key - it really won't do the trick. That's why I have a seemingly innocent looking cherry keychain hanging from my keys. With its pointy edges, the keychain also doubles as a self-defense device. It's simple: Easily snap the keychain on or off and defend yourself against whoever comes your way.

My only complaint is that after a time or two of detaching the keychain there's a chance the keychain will break due to the middling quality. Other than that, it's a solid option for those looking for a new defense weapon.

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Vigorad 3 Pack Personal Safety Alarm
6. Best value personal safety alarm

Get more for your money

$18 $22 Save $4

With a 130 decibel siren and flashing light, these lightweight keychains are subtle in everything but their alert system.

  • Loud alarm
  • Cute design
  • LED flashlight
  • Not as loud as other devices
  • Easily triggered

These lightweight personal safety alarms resemble similar features of other alarms listed but come in a smaller, cuter design than the others. These alarms are perfect for younger children, teens and young adults. When pulled the keychain alarm will blare a 130 decibel alarm and will start flashing. Plus, you can even use the device just as an LED flashlight.

Make sure to test the alarm before you use it, not just to make sure it works but also to make sure you know just how loud the alarm is. Just keep in mind the alarm is a bit sensitive, so there is a chance it will blare out of nowhere.

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Stinger Alarm Keychain
7. Best 3-in-1 personal safety device

Multi-functional and ready

Tripling as a belt cutter, alarm, and window breaker, this keychain might be bulky, but it offers maximum protection for various scenarios.

  • Sharp point allows for good protection
  • Comes with a variety of sticker designs
  • Attaches to keys
  • Some places may consider it a weapon
  • Alarm easily triggered

If you're looking for a device that does it all then look no further than the stinger alarm keychain. The keychain triples as a belt cutter, alarm and window breaker. The shape of the device itself isn't discrete and may be flagged as a weapon when going on planes or into clubs, but it's a great option for those looking for something to just carry around while walking down the street.

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Invisawear Smart Jewelry
8. Best premium personal safety device

More than just a necklace

Subtly and style marry with safety with this Invisawearsmart jewelry necklace, which dials 9-1-1 when enabled and sends your location to the police.

  • Aesthetically appealing
  • Easy to use
  • Discreet
  • Expensive
  • Smartphone required
  • Not waterproof

The Invisawear smart jewelry is a safety device worth the $100 price tag.The elegant device can be used as a necklace, bracelet or keychain. Linking to an app on your smartphone, the necklace tracks your location via GPS and alerts up to five emergency contacts. Feeling in danger? Simply double click to send an SOS message, your location will then be shared to your loved ones and, if you enabled the 9-1-1 option, then your location will be sent to the police.

The bottom line: What is the best personal safety device?

Safety should always be your number one priority which is why you want to make sure you have the best items to help protect yourself. Overall I still stand by the Birdie as the best personal safety device. While there are a handful of other personal safety alarms that made the list, the Birdie stands as the original highest quality personal safety alarm. Of course an alarm itself won't actually be able to defend you against an attacker, it works to draw attention to yourself hopefully warding off predators.

She’s Birdie
She's Birdy/Pocket-lint
Birdie Personal Safety Alarm
Editor's Choice

How did I choose the best personal safety devices?

I chose the top safety devices primarily through experience and partially based on reviews from friends. All the devices have been evaluated based on their effectiveness, unique features and durability. All the devices listed above have features that are portable and specifically designed to help keep you safe.

Are personal safety alarms considered weapons?

No. Personal safety alarms won't harm anyone (well, maybe just their ear drums) but are meant to scare off predators by sounding a blaring alarm attracting the attention from others. There's no way to actually defend yourself from predators but in theory the siren and flashing lights will be enough to get them to leave you alone.

Is it better to use a safety alarm or pepper spray?

Pepper spray will actually defend you from predators whereas safety alarms are more of a scare tactic. While pepper sprays will physically defend you, its illegal in many cities and countries to have it on your person, and you can't bring it on a plane. I would recommend using a safety alarm when traveling abroad or going out to places you may need it. Plus, pepper spray could even be turned against you as a weapon, whereas alarms or trackers are deterrents focused to help you and keep others alert.

Why should I have a personal safety device?

Personal safety devices like an alarm, door stopper, or tracker can help deter a potential attacker, provide peace of mind, and keep your loved ones or authorities aware of your whereabouts. And unlike active weapons like pepper spray, devices like a safety alarm can be taken on the plane and not be turned around and used against you. Plus, you can never be too safe, especially when traveling, and a device for defense or awareness is always a great investment.