Apple AirTags durability test: We dropped, washed and froze them

Apple AirTags durability test: We dropped, washed and froze them

Apple Airtag Designed to keep track of lost items like their keys, they will probably be subject to some rough treatment in everyday use. To find out how well the airtag held the elements, I put these $ 29 trackers through the ringer (so to speak) in the laundry, freeze, and drop test.

AirTag does not claim to be waterproof, but it is water and dust resistant according to Apple. It also has a user-replaceable battery which has made me even more eager to test its water resistance. Turns out, these trackers are incredibly durable.


Lexy Savvides / CNET

Test 1: airtag through wash

I always leave stuff in my pocket when thrown on a load of laundry, so I decided to see what would happen if the airtag went through the wash.

Apple’s IP67 rating means that you can submerge the airtag in three feet (one meter) of water for 30 minutes. A regular washing cycle on my machine takes 54 minutes, so the airtag will be exposed to more water for longer than the official rating.

I started a regular cold wash cycle with detergent and threw some airtag clothes in my pants pocket. During the test I opened the Find My app to see if the airtag was still connected. I could hear a loud sound from the tracker, even above the loud washing machine. While the signal was weak, I could still use the exact search to detect the airtag, but I had to stand too close to the machine to register it.

Airtag wash

Spot airtag.

Lexy Savvides / CNET

After the cycle was over, I took off my clothes and found that the airtag had dislodged from the pocket and sat on the edge of the drum of the washing machine. Thanks to the spin cycle, it was dry to the touch, but the white plastic back was slightly scorched.

I checked that it was still sounding when I pinged it in the Find My app and it was doing an exact search job. Before washing the airtag the speaker sounded as loud as I did and the exact search worked as expected.

Test 2: Will airtags survive cold temperatures?

Once the AirTag had gone through the washing machine, I used a refreshed AirTag to simulate what would happen if you subjected the tracker to really cold temperatures.

Given that I live in San Francisco, which is not known for its sub-zero temperatures, the best way for me to simulate a cold climate is chili in some freezers set to -2.2 degrees F, or -19 degrees. To do. Celsius I put the airtag in an ice tray and left it in the freezer overnight (18 hours) to freeze in a block.

During the freezing process, I checked the airtag twice in the Find My app. In the first few hours I could ping the tracker and hear the sound, but once the snow started to freeze, I could never hear the sound before.


AirTag in the snow.

Lexy Savvides / CNET

Once the ice cube with the airtag was solid, I took it out of the tray and used hot water to speed up the defrost process. Drying the airtag tested the sound and the search nearby worked as expected. I then opened the airtag to see if any water had made its way into the battery compartment and saw that a small drop formed just from the water seal. So if your airtag comes in contact with any water (or you leave your key in the snow), you may want to open the cover and wipe it down.

Test 3: airtag drop test

In its test, CNET’s Patrick Holland noted the stainless steel cover of the airtag After a few days, a few scratches on his keys developed in the Apple leather holder.

Attaching a new airtag to my keys, placed in a sponge leather fob, I dropped the keys 10 times from several heights on the rough pavers.


AirTag arrives at the last drop to blow away the keys.

Lexy Savvides / CNET

After the drops, the Apple logo appeared a few scratches on the stainless steel side. But apart from cosmetic damage, the tracker worked as expected. So if you are really concerned about keeping the airtag in pristine condition, you can consider an even more protective case.

How tough is Apple AirTags?

In these unscientific real-world tests, AirTags are incredibly difficult and able to pass through washes, freezers, or multiple drops and still work as expected.

Apple’s official document states that resistance to spatter, dust, and water is not a permanent condition and that normal wear may result in decreased resistance.

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