Anti Theft Backpacks for Travel
Do anti-theft backpacks work?
Anti-theft bags and packs are not designed to be so secure they can be locked and left in an area where they are at serious risk. Yes, a determined thief will attempt to steal something of value if the opportunity arises. However, quality theft-proof designed bags will reduce the incidence of theft.
This post may include affiliate links to products we love and use, please read our disclaimer.
How many of us have ever had an incident where we had gear stolen? Hopefully, not many of us overall. Is it worth investing in a little peace of mind? Probably.
Situations where theft deterrent can be ideal:
- Staying in hostel accommodation where there is not a locker to use.
- By a pool or swimming etc. It would be handy to secure essential items.
- On an overnight bus or train trip.
- Securing gear to a motorbike or bicycle.
- When camping or even to keep gear secure in a vehicle.
Are Anti-Theft Backpacks worth the money?
It depends on where and how you travel, what gear you take along etc. Anti-theft backpacks, bags or other items that reduce the possibility of ‘opportunistic’ thefts are definitely a wise choice. Good quality gear will last for many years. We believe they are worth the investment.
Quite a few well-designed packs are on the market that don’t cost a lot, they often have hidden zippers and can be worth buying, especially for commuters and school children.
For years, I used a Pacsafe 85 Secure Bag Protector to cover and lock gear on my motorbike. It provided a level of protection from being easily stolen when the bike was parked. This is the same one that is now used when we go camping as it is simple to keep items secured.
One mistake that I made was to leave it behind when road tripping through Central America. After leaving the car with a backpack and camping gear in the back overnight in a large town – the window was smashed and everything was stolen. 1. The car should have been parked in a secure place – my mistake. 2. If the gear had been in the protective covering and locked to something in the car – maybe it would have been too difficult to pinch, unless the thieves had good wire cutters.
I have used the bag protector for about 20 years in various ways- in the back of the car, camper trailer, even in our canoe to keep gear safe. Often the wire cable has been long enough to secure the gear and wrap around a post to secure the canoe too.
This one item alone has been well worth every dollar I spent on it and it will last for many years to come.
RFID Protection – What it means and is it necessary?
RFID – Radio Frequency Identification. Electronic devices and even passports contain a small chip where personal data is stored.
Wireless identity theft, also known as contactless identity theft or RFID identity theft, is a form of identity theft described as “the act of compromising an individual’s personal identifying information using wireless (radio frequency) mechanics. Numerous articles have been written about wireless identity theft and broadcast television has produced several investigations of this phenomenon. According to Marc Rotenberg of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, wireless identity theft is “a pretty serious issue” and “the contactless (wireless) card design is inherently flawed”. Read the complete Wikipedia article.
Is RFID fraud a major concern? Opinions vary, read this article to make an informed decision or do a general internet search for more information. There are mixed opinions about personal data theft, however – it pays to be safe as technology is always changing and thieves are always seeking ways to steal.
Slash-proof technology has advanced hugely and the best anti-theft backpacks incorporate this feature. Slashing straps and backpacks is prevalent in many regions – these thieves can slash a pack and be gone with money or valuables in an instant.
Buying the best gear possible can at least reduce the risks of theft and provide some peace of mind. We have used Pacsafe products and can certainly recommend them.
If a thief is equipped with wire cutters or a sharp knife and is determined to steal if there is an opportunity, it can still happen.
What is the best anti-theft travel backpack?
Many different brands are on the market and each one offers numerous designs with various features. We can personally recommend Pacsafe products.
Is there a best anti-theft backpack for travel? Each person has different requirements and each region poses a different level of potential theft. Ideally, look for a combination of anti-theft features that are proven to be as theft proof as possible.
Anti-theft backpacks for school students
School children carry expensive technology these days and it pays to keep them as safe as possible. The Kopack range offers excellent options at reasonable prices.
Zips are hidden and designed to be as close to the wearers back as possible, reducing the risk of a thief quickly opening a pack up. Many of the designs also have integrated USB ports and even headphone jacks built on the outside. A portable charger can be inserted into a small internal compartment that is designed exclusively for this purpose. Read more in the comparison chart below.
Hold mobiles horizontally for best viewing.
Best Anti Theft Backpack & Portable Travel Safe Comparison Chart
Anti Theft Backpack Reviews
Venturesafe EXP45 AntiTheft 45L Carry-on Backpack by Pacsafe
The Venture Safe is our top pick for features and options as it is a good all-round carry-on approved pack with enough features to make it a really useful pack.
The Venturesafe range comes in a few sizes, each one has a built-in steel cable for locking it to something secure. The puncture resistant zip plus eXomesh slashguard fabric will deter opportunistic thefts.
Internal frame | Straps can be folded away when not needed.
Internal pockets and compression strap to keep gear safe and organised.
Dimensions: 21.65 x 13.78 x 8.66 in / 55 x 35 x 22 cm (H x W x D)
Weight: 3.81 lbs / 1.73 kg
Pacsafe ‘Ultimate’ 20L Locking Backpack
The ‘Ultimate’ is an ideal day pack with some of the best-designed safety features integrated. It turns into a portable safe with a steel locking cable to secure to furniture, posts etc. The ultimate in security for your valuables, this 20 l backpack offers everything that Pacsafe is famous for.
Watch the Pacsafe video below:
Camsafe X Sling Camera Travel Bag
The Camsafe has been designed with the safety of expensive cameras in mind. It is one of the best packs for protecting gear and can also serve as a laptop pack (up to 11″) with the extra padding and security features.
The reliable built-in steel cable by Pacsafe means it can be safely secured to a post, furnitures, inside a car etc. Along with RFID blocking pockets to store credit cards safely, it is an excellent choice for travel.
Pacsafe Metro Sling Back Anti-theft Pack
The style of the Metro Safe range of packs makes them super popular with commuters and they are also an excellent travel pack. The Metro range stops opportunistic thieves in their tracks with anti-slash straps, RFID blocking, eXomesh Slashguard covering and the Lockabout Security clip to safely secure the pack to something solid.
Travelon Anti-Theft Classic Crossbody Bucket Bag
Travelon is another fabulous company with a big reputation for anti-theft bags of all shapes and sizes. Their cross-body bag is perfect for carrying the daily necessities as well as external mesh pockets for water etc.
The design is sleek and practical. Anti-slash shoulder straps, RFID blocking pocket and a shoulder strap that can be used to attach the bag to a post or furniture for added safety when relaxing.
Pacsafe Toursafe EXP34 Anti-Theft Wheeled Gear Bag
The Toursafe is one of the best bags for people who do not want to carry backpacks. The Anti-theft anchor lock is one of Pacsafes best innovations and means the bag can be secured to a sold object. The puncture resistant zip deters theft as it is not easy to quickly slash the zip, along with the eXomesh outer, this makes it a formidable opponent to thieves.
Portable Travel Safes
We have been using and recommend the Pac Safe 5L Portable Travel Safe for years. They come in black or blue and are really useful, especially when camping. iPads and other devices can be locked away and secured to something solid.
The main reason for buying one of these portable safes was to be able to charge phone/ ipads etc. at campsites where they are often left out of view. We put the devices in and the charging cables can be plugged in but the bag kept secures to something solid.
- Available in 5 Litre or 12 Litre designs.
- Made with patented eXomesh and steel locking cable.
- 5L – 1.1 lbs / 0.5 kg | 12L – 1.57 lbs / 0.71 kg
Pacsafe 85 Secure Backpack and Bag Protector
The Pacsafe Backpack and bag protector is perfect for securing gear to motorbikes when touring or covering a backpack securely at shared hostels, camping or when your back is turned at bus stations etc.
I used one of these to secure gear on my motorbike when touring and we now use it to safeguard items in our camper trailer and other items, even in our canoe.
Cons – Whilst this protector is ideal for securing backpacks etc. the mesh holes are large enough that someone can get a hand in and open pockets of packs etc. The Pacsafe bag protector is ideal for many applications though and will deter opportunistic thefts.
An ideal travel gift – Anti theft backpacks, luggage or even a portable safe will win points every time. Maybe an Amazon Gift Voucher would be perfect so loved ones can choose their preferred style?
Find more gift ideas that have been suggested by travel bloggers from around the world.