How can I prevent my keys from falling out of my pocket?
April 5, 2006 7:52 PM   Subscribe

Key Ring filter: How can I prevent my keys from falling out of my pocket (assuming my pocket is the only place that I can keep them) and how can I prevent individual keys from working their way out of the ring?

Depending on what type of pants Im wearing and what else is in the pocket, my keys more often than not will fall out of my pocket when Im reclining on a couch. I assume Im eventually going to get screwed by this.
I dont want to look like a janitor or have a wallet chain hanging at my side. I hope the solution wont have to be sewing a loop into the pocket of all of my pants to attach my keys to.
As for my bike key that likes to come off the ring, Im thinking a key ring with a latch that locks instead of just a coil. I dont know if these exist though.
posted by dino terror to Grab Bag (16 answers total)
Personally, I prefer my keys to be on split-rings, which are themselves hung on a caribiner. Then I clip that into a belt loop at all times. It makes it easy to grab them when I need them, put them away when I don't, and verify that I have them on me when I'm leaving a location. If my hands are full, instead of patting a pocket, I just shake my hips and listen for the telltale jingle :-)
posted by autojack at 8:17 PM on April 5, 2006

First, make the keyring less heavy, do you really need more than the key to your house and to your car? Do you really need a bauble on your ring? My key ring has a key to the apartment building, a key to my apartment and the key to my bike. That's it. No pen knife, no flashlight, no rabbit's foot, etc.

Next, what type of a cheap ass ring are you using that a key falls off? Use one of these and it's physically impossible for the key to fall off without the concerted effort of manual intervention. If you only have two or three keys on your ring, you won't mind that the bike key doesn't detach from it.

If your keys still fall out of your pants after that, I suggest finding other pairs of pants with deeper pockets, inner pockets or a lip that doesn't hang as low down the seam of the pants. I've only got one pair of pants where my keys fall out, and even then only when I'm lying down.
posted by furtive at 8:35 PM on April 5, 2006

As for my bike key that likes to come off the ring, Im thinking a key ring with a latch that locks instead of just a coil. I dont know if these exist though.

You must be using a cheap key-ring. The one I have is thick and strong enough that I have to really jam my thumb-nail in-between the coil to fit a new key on; I can barely get a millimeter or two of clearance and it hurts to do it. I think I got it from a souvenir keychain (I got rid of the stupid charm and kept the ring).

As for your keys falling out of your pocket, maybe you have too much stuff on your key chain? It seemed like this ceased to be an issue for me when I slimmed down my key ring.
posted by mullacc at 8:40 PM on April 5, 2006

As for your keys falling out of your pocket, maybe you have too much stuff on your key chain? It seemed like this ceased to be an issue for me when I slimmed down my key ring.

A few years back I realized that I was carrying around lots of superfluous keys. I make it a habit to go through my keys every few months and toss out the ones I never need. I have lots of bike locks and stuff that I use infrequently - I made a secure place for those keys - the ones I need to keep but only use infrequently. The keys that go with me are for my apartment, rear entry to my building and one bike lock that I use almost every day. I no longer have to worry about car keys... life is great.
posted by wfrgms at 9:06 PM on April 5, 2006

put them in your back pocket. They usually settle down so it's not uncomfortable, and you'll notice if they fall out.
posted by blue_beetle at 10:07 PM on April 5, 2006

Response by poster: My key ring is slim. In my one front pocket I have my wallet and a pen, and the other pocket I have my notepad and my keys. Part of it is that my keys slide easily on the plastic surface of my notepad. But they could still fall out without the notepad as a slip n' slide. Hmm, Ill have to try the back pocket thing, never was a back pocket person...
posted by dino terror at 11:10 PM on April 5, 2006

You could get a wallet with a key ring inside. Alternatively get a wallet that is big enough to put your keys in the change pocket. The downfall is if you loose your wallet who ever finds will know where you live and have the key to your house.
posted by kechi at 12:27 AM on April 6, 2006

I don't have a particularly useful suggestion about keeping your keys in your pocket, but spending $1.50 at a hardware store will get you a split ring of sufficient rigidity that renders it astronomically unlikely that a key will "work its way off the ring".

I have never, ever, ever had a key of any size or shape come off an ordinary hardware store split ring. The amount of force required to open the ring even a tiny bit is finger-pinchingly tremendous.
posted by majick at 1:02 AM on April 6, 2006

Find a retractable key lanyard. Put your keys on it, and clip it inside your pocket.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:46 AM on April 6, 2006

I also use the basic (but sturdy) split-coil keyring. I've never had a key work itself off one of those. I've had those store membership tags attempt to wedge themselves in the split ring, but they'll only get a few millimeters in before they're wedged firmly and require a significant tug to dislodge them back on to the ring.

Any fancy-pants keyring that screws, clasps, springs or otherwise fastens shut eventually comes apart and dumps its keys. The only exception seems to be well-sprung and stiff split coils.

For my work-keys keyring that has about two dozen monster-sized, industrial strength "high security" keys on it, I use a large and beefy split ring attached to one of those dorky flat-woven neck lanyards one would often see at colleges and universities or tradeshows. The woven fabric part is a bit under an inch wide - it's the higher quality thick luggage or cargo type strapping, not the disposable shoelace variety they give away at tradeshows for badge holders.

This lanyard only rarely goes around my neck. It also has a quick-release buckle for when I don't want the tail. The ball of keys goes in my right front pocket along with pocket change, my personal keys, and a pair of Leatherman Micra sized tools.

The tail of the lanyard hangs out of my pocket - all dork, all the time.

Why? If I leave the keys in a door or cabinet, I have a big huge flag telling me they're there. I never have to search for my work keys in the morning, 'cause they're about a foot and a half long. If I'm exiting a door and have removed my keys, I have immediate tactile and visual feedback that the keys are indeed in my pocket. When I want to use my keys, I just grab the tail and pull and the keys come out while everything else stays in the pocket.

No, I'm not a janitor. IT support. Err, ok, high tech janitor. *sigh* But now at least people will know why dorks like me are perfectly content to walk around with their keys attached to a tail hanging out of their pocket.
posted by loquacious at 4:07 AM on April 6, 2006

Best answer: How about a key wallet?

I second the idea of reevaluating the keys you absolutely need to have in your pocket. And while you're at it, reevaluate all the cards and pieces of paper you carry in your wallet. Travel light!
posted by SuperSquirrel at 7:02 AM on April 6, 2006

Like loquacious I've got a 2" split ring with enough keys to antique furniture with. A good, new (they wear out) split ring attached to a short lanyard which has a cheap aluminum wannabe carbiner at the other end is the solution. Clip the carbiner to your belt belt loop under your pocket. Even if they fall out they are still attached to you.
posted by Mitheral at 8:19 AM on April 6, 2006

Personal keys on the split ring (actually a couple of split rings joined together - house key, bike key and car key on separate loops, so I can easily drop the car off for repairs without having to disasseble the entire keychain). I have one green rubber tag on the keychain to make it easily distinguishable from my wife's very similar set of keys. (One small knife as well, but it's an antique Craftsman penknife, shaped like a key, and so doesn't take up much space.)

Work keys live on a much larger split ring, attached to a carabiner, which hooks to a beltloop. The combination of carabiner + ring means the keys generally sit just inside my pocket - enough that they are not bouncing around loose at my waist, but there's enough tactile sensation that I can see if they are there by just dropping my hand to my side.

Either way, the trick is to remove the excess gunk. I think many people who lose their keys often try to add things to the keychain to make it large enough to be easily noticed - but that also makes it hard to fit in the pocket securely.
posted by caution live frogs at 8:37 AM on April 6, 2006

I use a keychain which has a coil (looks like a thin coiled telephone cable) attached to a clip. One end has your keys and the other end I attach to the edge of my pocket.

I prefer the medium thickness ones. The thick ones are too bulky, the thin ones are too flimsy. You can usually buy nice ones in Walmart for a dollar or 2.

The one I use looks exactly like this but it's black. The price here is ridiculous though.
posted by naveed at 9:12 PM on April 6, 2006

I do not have a car and determined that when I am not on my bike, I only need one key, the one to my apartment. I also
decided that, even though I live in NYC, there is no real need to lock my door, because I live high up and trust my neighbors.
Thus, I carry one key in my wallet and never lock my door.
posted by Slagman at 11:20 PM on April 8, 2006

I should add that when I lived in a small town I never locked my house either.

A friend of mine turned me on to the concept -- he never
locked his car. "There's nothing valuable in it and I'd
rather they not break a window. And if they steal the
car -- good, I have insurance, I'd like a new one."
posted by Slagman at 11:22 PM on April 8, 2006

« Older Knoxville Visit Suggestions   |   Identify the argument or fallacy Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.