If you’re looking to keep your belongings safe during your travels, it’s time to make one of the best investments (besides travel insurance!): an anti-theft bag. In this article, we will look at a few of the most popular options, their pros and cons and discuss what you should look for in an anti-theft bag.
According to our Solo Female Travel Survey, more than a third of women worry about something bad happening on a solo trip. This includes getting sick, having something stolen or being in a dangerous situation.
Theft is one of the most common safety concerns in countries with low crime rates. For example, 137,000 pickpocketing crimes were reported in Italy in 2019.
Holding your bag tightly throughout the day can help, but it might not be enough to stop the most professional of thieves from stealing it and, at some point, you will have to use your hands for something else like taking a photo. Here’s where anti-theft bags come in handy.
Anti-theft bags come in high quality slash-resistant materials, are equipped with RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) protection, and have lots of secret pockets and locks. A bag that makes a pickpocketer’s life as hard as possible.
In this article, we will provide all the information related to anti theft bags plus the best products based on our community’s recommendations and the expert tips in Empowerful, the only safety, wellness and sexual wellbeing course for female travelers.
Our online course tackles all the worries, challenges and tools you need to feel and be safe before a trip. There are 35+ lessons by 45+ experts from all over the world. Get access to Empowerful here.
What is an anti theft travel bag?
You may be wondering what an anti theft bag is exactly, and how it differs from a regular bag.
An anti theft bag is a purse or backpack with built-in safety features that prevents your belongings from getting stolen from inside the bag. It’s a useful item to bring on a trip, especially if you’re traveling solo for the first time, so you can have an extra layer of protection.
Some of the common features in an anti theft bag includes hidden compartments, locking clips, cut-resistant shoulder straps, slash-resistant material, etc. All of this plus being stylish and having wide space to even fit some travel books!
While anti-theft bags are a great way to keep your belongings inside the bag safe, and they can make it harder for anyone to actually steal the bag, the risk of someone taking the entire bag remains, even if as a reduced risk.
In major European cities where pickpockets operate, an anti-theft bag will make you a more difficult target than the regular tourist thus acting as a deterrent.
What you should consider when buying an anti theft bag
One of our main safety tips is to invest in an anti theft travel purse. But how can you pick the right one and how to decipher all the technical jargon?
Below is a lot of features you should look for when choosing an adequate anti theft bag for travel:
- Slash-proof mesh lining: Look for a bag that has this kind of metal mesh interior which will prevent the bag from being cut open. The straps need to have a metal interior also, so they are cut-resistant.
- RFID protection: There are many thieves that have RFID tools designed to steal information even from a distance. These devices collect private information like credit card numbers or digital passwords that are located inside your bag. RFID protection blocks these devices and makes it impossible for them to steal your information.
- Interlocking zippers: Look for bags with interlocking zippers. So you can secure every compartment and close your bag leaving it locked from the outside.
- External cable: There are many anti theft bags that come with an external cable you can attach to an object. So when you’re seating at a restaurant, besides having your bag nearby, you can attach it to the chair you’re sitting on, making it harder for a thief to take it away. You can also use this as a safety measure when staying at a hotel or hostel, attaching it to your bed or bunk bed while you’re sleeping.
- Water-proof material: Keep your valuables safe from the rain. Look for a water-proof or water-resistant anti theft purse that will keep all your devices and valuables safe and dry, even if it’s raining hard.
- Inside pockets and hidden compartments: These are very useful to organize your stuff and keep specific items such as your wallet, phone or passport more secure.
Best anti theft bags for travel
There are lots of anti theft travel bags out there but we’ve compiled the best recommendations in this article, with everything from stylish crossbody bags to large backpacks. Take a look!
|Name of the bag||Price range||Amazon rating||Link to bag|
|Pacsafe Citysafe Cx Anti Theft Convertible Crossbody||$80 to $100||4.6*||See more|
|Pacsafe Citysafe CX Anti-Theft Backpack||$140 to $170||4.5*||See more|
|Pacsafe Venturesafe G3 25 Liter Anti Theft Travel Backpack||$120 to $140||4.7*||See more|
|Travelon Anti Theft Classic Messenger Bag||$55 to $65||4.6*||See more|
|Travelon’s Anti Theft Classic Backpack||$55 to $85||4.7*||See more|
|Lewis N. Clark Women’s Secura Anti-Theft Commuter Shoulder Bag||$60 to $65||4.2*||See more|
|Waterfly Anti Theft Sling Bag||$25 to $30||4.5*||See more|
|Baggallini Securtex Anti Theft Memento Crossbody Bag||$60 to $70||4.4*||See more|
|Inateck Carry On Travel Backpack||$55 to $65||4.7*||See more|
|Travelon Women’s Anti-Theft Tailored Convertible Crossbody Clutch||$50 to $60||4.5*||See more|
Pacsafe Citysafe Cx Anti Theft Convertible Crossbody
We love Pacsafe, they’re experts in anti theft technology and have a variety of bags and backpacks available. Plus, they give a 5-year warranty for all their bags and were basically the brand who made anti theft bags cool and popular thus changing the landscape for city travel and anti theft technology.
There are several bags in their store that are great and we would recommend you make them your first stop in your search for the perfect anti theft bag. We have selected this stylish Citisafe crossbody bag because it’s cute and functional.
One of our members, Helen, shared: “I never had an issue with pickpockets anywhere I traveled, including London. That’s possibly because I use a Pacsafe crossbody handbag that is slash proof and pickpocket proof, and keep my hand on it in crowds”.
The Pacsafe Citysafe Crossbody bag has a complete anti theft design. It features cut-proof material with an interior steel mesh, main zip pullers attachable to hooks, and RFID blocking compartments. It’s made of soft, durable and water-resistant material. It’s very comfy because of its detachable padded shoulder strap.
Save some space while packing with this versatile bag, which can be used during day and night. The crossbody is perfect for a casual day, and it can be converted into a small purse to go out at night, whether you’re having a fancy dinner by yourself or doing some bar hopping.
This anti theft travel bag has the option of being secured to a chair or table with a padlock, but it’s not included. For organizing your belongings, the bag includes the following compartments: 1 main compartment with 1 RFID protected pocket, 1 front pocket, 2 internal pockets. It also has magnetic closure for the outer compartment.
Summary review of Pacsafe Citysafe Cx Anti Theft Convertible Crossbody
Amazon rating: 4.6*
Price range: $80 to $100
Dimensions: 11.0 x 10.2 x 3.2 inches, weight 0.65 lbs.
|It has the majority of the safety features: steel mesh, anti RFID blocking, zippers attached to hooks, water resistant||It doesn’t have hooks inside the bag|
|It’s stylish and convertible: can be used as a crossbody for the day and as a small purse at night and it comes in various color options||It doesn’t include a padlock to attach it to a chair/table|
|It has a great size to fit your travel essentials||The body strap is thin, so it may get uncomfortable against your neck/body after a few hours|
Pacsafe Citysafe CX Anti-Theft Backpack
This is a great option for those who want to carry more items safely: the Pacsafe Citysafe backpack. This backpack has a high-quality anti theft design with cut-proof material (lightweight steel mesh), interlocking zippers, and RFID blocking pockets. It also has a wire to securely lock the backpack to fixed objects like tables or chairs.
This anti theft backpack is lightweight but very roomy, and has lots of space to fit your travel items including laptop up to 16”, camera, passport, wallet, water bottle, jacket, notebook, smartphone, and more.
The organization is neat with many compartments to have your belongings easy to access, including an RFID blocking front pocket, interlocking zipper main compartment, padded sleeve for laptop, interior RFID blocking pocket, 4 card slots and 2 expandable side pockets for water bottle or umbrella.
This is a top-notch choice for a safe backpack, ideal for travel or using during the weekends.
Summary review of Pacsafe Citysafe CX Anti-Theft Backpack
Amazon rating: 4.5*
Price range: $140 to $170
Dimensions: 15.4 x 10.6 x 6.3 inches, weight 1.57 lbs.
|It has all the safety features: cut-proof material (steel mesh), interlocking zippers, RFID blocking pockets and a wire to securely lock the backpack to fixed objects||It’s water-resistant, not completely water-proof|
|It’s very roomy to fit all your travel items||Some users report the bag is not padded enough to keep your laptop from getting broken from a simple accident|
|It’s stylish, elegant and lightweight||The front pocket does not lock|
Pacsafe Venturesafe G3 25 Liter Anti Theft Travel Backpack
This backpack includes many anti theft safety features like interlocking zippers, cut-resistant fabric with lightweight steel mesh inside, detachable shoulder strap to secure to chair/pole, and RFID blocking pocket to prevent unauthorized credit card scans.
It has 2 lockable zipper compartments, 1 padded interior notebook sleeve that fits a 15” laptop, 1 mesh zip pocket and key clip, top opening for hydration pack and 2 side pockets for water bottles or umbrella.
This backpack is ultra comfortable, it has adjustable shoulder straps plus a hip strap in case you want to distribute the weight. The backpack’s material is soft, durable and water-resistant, making it ideal for international travel, hiking, going to work, etc.
It comes in different colors and sizes, from 15 liters to 32 liters.
Summary review of Pacsafe Venturesafe G3 25 Liter Anti Theft Travel Backpack
Amazon rating: 4.7*
Price range: $120 to $140
Dimensions: 19. 3 x 11 x 6 inches, weight 1 lb.
|Shoulder / hip straps are adjustable comfortable||Anti theft features obstruct quick access|
|It has all the safety features to be an effective theft deterrent||Zippers are a bit jangly|
|The size of the main compartment makes it easy to pack and fit in your belongings||Side pockets are loose for smaller bottles|
|It doesn’t have an additional rain cover option, just water-resistant material|
Travelon Anti Theft Classic Messenger Bag
This Travelon anti theft messenger bag was highly recommended by our community. It has a classic simple design and top notch security features.
Travelon has its own patented Anti theft security system, which is included in all of their bags. The bag includes a slash-resistant mesh inner lining, slash-resistant strap, locking compartments, RFID blocking pockets for credit cards and other sensitive items, and a tethered key clip with LED light.
The anti theft crossbody bag is made of durable, water and dirt resistant material. It is big enough to carry all your travel essentials, organized in many compartments and pockets, including 2 main compartments with zippered and slip pockets, plus zippered mesh water bottle pockets on each side.
Michelle puts it best: “I use a Travelon classic crossbody messenger bag. I love the locking zippers, RFID pocket and slash proof strap. Water bottle pockets are good for umbrellas and maps too. It’s totally changed the way I travel”.
Summary review of Travelon Anti Theft Classic Messenger Bag
Amazon rating: 4.6*
Price range: $55 to $65
Dimensions: 11 x 10 x 4.5 inches, weight 0.65 lbs.
|Has a complete patented anti theft system included (RFID blocking, slash resistant strap and mesh, locking compartments). It has a lock to secure the main compartment and a removable LED light||It’s very spacious, so the size might be a bit large for a crossbody bag. For a smaller alternative try the same brand’s Anti theft Classic Mini Shoulder bag|
|It has side pockets for water bottles||The bag’s opening is narrow, so quick access may be hindered|
|It’s spacious and able to carry many items. It can function as a carry on bag|
Travelon’s Anti Theft Classic Backpack
This anti theft classic backpack is another Travelon’s best seller, ideal if you like to travel with a backpack. The bag is widely used by our community members and it’s perfect for traveling securely but in style.
As in Travelon’s cross body messenger bag, this backpack also uses its patented Anti theft security system including a slash-resistant mesh inner lining, slash-resistant and padded straps, interior locking straps and hooks, RFID blocking pockets for credit cards and other sensitive items, and a tethered key clip with LED light.
This elegant slim backpack is great for carrying your travel essentials, with a padded sleeve for a laptop / tablet up to 13 inches, a cell phone sleeve, slip pocket and zippered pockets. It also has a front organizer with a slip pocket and pen loop, as well as side zippered pockets with extension mesh.
In the exterior, it has a large side slip pocket for items like water bottles, umbrellas, maps or sunglasses. Its material is very durable and water-resistant.
Summary review of Travelon’s Anti Theft Classic Backpack
Amazon rating: 4.7*
Price range: $55 to $85
Dimensions: 12 x 16 x 6 inches, weight 0.1 lbs.
|Complete patented anti theft system (RFID blocking, slash resistant strap and mesh, locking compartments) and a removable LED light||Can’t hold laptops larger than 13 inches|
|It has a side pocket for water bottle or other items||Zipper may be stiff at first|
|Attractive and elegant design||It’s slim design may limit the amount of items you can carry|
|Ultra lightweight with comfortable padded straps|
Lewis N. Clark Women’s Secura Anti-Theft Commuter Shoulder Bag
Lewis N. Clark Women’s Secura Anti-Theft Commuter Shoulder Bag is an excellent and affordable alternative to Travelon and Pacsafe.
The bag comes equipped with many anti-theft security features, like a RFID protected wallet pocket, locking main compartment, adjustable shoulder strap and bag panels with stainless steel cable, and locking zippers.
It also includes a locking hardware so you can attach your bag to a fixed object and prevent thieves from grabbing it and running with it.
This anti theft travel bag is very versatile; you can wear it as a crossbody, shoulder bag, messenger or even computer bag, as it fits a laptop up to 16 inches size.
The bag has plenty of storage space and many interior compartments to keep your belongings organized and easy to access. It’s very durable and lightweight, and made of water-resistant material.
Summary review of Lewis N. Clark Women’s Secura Anti-Theft Commuter Shoulder Bag
Amazon rating: 4.2*
Price range: $60 to $65
Dimensions: 8 x 2 x 6 inches, weight 0.7 lbs.
|Has all the safety anti theft features (RFID blocking pocket, anti theft mesh, locking zippers and compartment)||Might be too large for a crossbody bag|
|It includes locking hardware to attach it to a fixed object||It’s functional and less stylish than other designs|
|It fits a laptop up to 16 inches size and is spacious to fit other items|
|Its design is versatile and lightweight, and its wide shoulder strap makes it comfortable to carry all day|
Waterfly Anti Theft Sling Bag
The Waterfly Anti Theft Sling Bag is a small bag which keeps your travel must-haves safe. It has a great anti theft security system, including a lockable zipper main compartment and a hidden anti theft pocket on the back.
The front pockets have a magnetic slap feature and a very unique element of this bag is the earphone hole in the side of the anti theft compartment, so you can enjoy music anytime.
The bag’s material is lightweight and water-resistant, and the interior contains multiple compartments and pockets to get easy access to your valuables. You can sling it to the front so you can keep an eye on it or hang it at the back if you are in a safe area.
Summary review of Waterfly anti theft sling bag
Amazon rating: 4.5*
Price range: $25 to $30
Dimensions: 15.7 x 6.3 x 2.7 inches, weight 1.01 lbs.
|It has the main safety features like anti-slash mesh interior, lockable main compartment and anti theft hidden pockets with RFID blocking||It is small so it’s only useful to carry a few essential items such as a key, cellphone, power bank and wallet.|
|You can listen to music without having your cell phone out||Its design is not very stylish|
|Quick access to your belongings||It doesn’t have RFID protection|
|It is affordable|
|It’s made of has water-resistant material|
Baggallini Securtex Anti Theft Memento Crossbody Bag
The Baggallini Anti Theft Memento bag is lightweight and water-resistant, perfect for adding an extra layer of security to your solo trip. It’s built of slash-resistant material, which keeps your belongings safe and ensures no one will cut it open to steal from you.
It has many anti theft features including locking zippers, cut-resistant straps and built-in RFID-blocking technology, to keep your personal information safe while traveling. For organization, it has exterior and interior compartments and pockets.
This anti theft crossbody bag is the perfect combination of safe and fashionable, and it has a variety of colors to choose from. “I recommend the Baggallini crossbody. This brand has lots of compartments so it’s easy for me to stay organized. Also, it’s very lightweight”, agreed Debbie.
Summary review of Baggallini Securtex Anti Theft Memento Crossbody Bag
Amazon rating: 4.4*
Price range: $60 to $70
Dimensions: 9.75 x 7 x 1.5 inches, weight 0.55 lbs.
|It has the main anti theft features like slash-resistant material, locking zippers, cut-resistant straps, and built-in RFID blocking technology.||It’s not completely waterproof, only water-resistant|
|It’s lightweight, comfortable and stylish||The strap may not be wide enough to feel comfortable for many hours and it can be easily unhooked|
|It’s durable and easy to clean (machine washable)||It is quite small|
Inateck Carry On Travel Backpack
This Inateck backpack with anti theft design is perfect for airplane travel, day excursions where you need to carry change of clothes or even get some work done, an overnight trip or even as a weekender bag. It’s very spacious, it can easily fit your travel essentials and clothes for a solo road trip or weekend trip.
The backpack is made of very durable and water-resistant material, it also includes a rain cover in case of rainy days, and a lot of padding to make it comfortable to carry when full.
It has many safety features including a dual zipper design, the two lockheads can be locked in the middle to protect your valuables from theft, however the lock is not included.
Its neat structure contains 2 main pockets, 2 laptop compartments, 2 change pockets, 1 toiletry bag and other additional compartments.
The backpack’s shoulder straps are thick, it has a chest strap and the overall design feels comfortable to your back and body and it is quite sleek in design, so it looks high quality and elegant.
Summary review of Inateck Carry On Travel Backpack
Amazon rating: 4.7*
Price range: $55 to $65
Dimensions: 21.65×13.4×7.87 inches, 3.59 lbs.
|It has the main anti theft features including dual zipper design, two lockheads, and multiple compartments||Zipper lock is not included|
|Multiple organization compartments and spacious interior enough for an overnight trip. Space to hold a 17in laptop||The straps may be too thick and become uncomfortable for some people. It lacks a waist strap|
|Rain cover to go from water resistant to waterproof||It’s not ideal to carry all day in hot weather, as it might make your back sweat a lot|
|Great quality for money||It doesn’t have RFID protection|
Travelon Women’s Anti-Theft Tailored Convertible Crossbody Clutch
The Travelon Convertible Cross Body Clutch is the perfect option to keep your essentials safe while having dinner, partying or going on a date.
It’s small, lightweight and stylish, and you can wear it 2 ways: as a wristlet or as a crossbody bag. This clutch bag has full anti theft features including locking compartments, slash-resistant material, and slash-resistant carry strap which secures to fixed objects.
The bag might be small but has lots of organization compartments, like a locking main compartment with RFID protected passport and card slots, a zip wall pocket, and tethered key clip with LED light.
We love this stylish bag to keep our personal items secure while going out during a trip.
Summary review of Travelon Women’s Anti-Theft Tailored Convertible Crossbody Clutch
Amazon rating: 4.5*
Price range: $50 to $60
Dimensions: 2 x 9 x 6.25 inches, weight 0.56 lbs.
|It has the main anti theft features including locking compartments, RFID blocking pockets, slash-resistant material, and slash-resistant carry strap which secures to fixed objects.||It may be a bit pricey|
|Multiple organization compartments to secure personal items||It is small so it can only fit travel essentials like smartphone, cards and passport|
|It’s versatile, can be used in 2 ways|
|Ideal for going out on a date, to dinner or partying while traveling|