Anti-theft bags are becoming more and more popular due to the frequency of pickpocketing in crowded tourist zones. People are coming up with better, almost ingenious ways of stealing your items, and it is hard to keep up. Fortunately, anti-theft bags have been quite successful in making sure you don’t lose your possessions. Pickpockets are discouraged from the get-go when they see someone carrying an anti-theft bag. Although it doesn’t make you entirely safe from theft, it does provide a lot of safety.
So, if you have been wondering, “are anti-theft bags worth it?” the answer is yes. Read on to find out why anti-theft bags are a good investment, especially for travelers.
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Do Anti-Theft Bags Work?
It is important to remember that anti-theft bags don’t guarantee complete safety of your possessions. They just make a pickpocket’s life extremely difficult. With enough patience, skills, and determination, pickpockets and thieves may still be successful in stealing your possessions.
Pickpockets have various approaches for different people. The simplest one is a grab-and-run technique which is rather clumsy and doesn’t always prove successful if the victim is quick on their feet. Others may use stealthier approaches, like standing behind you and unzipping your bag silently. Some may try to slash your bags and take what they can get.
Pickpockets and thieves have a tiny window of opportunity; hence they need to act quickly. Before making their move, they need to identify their targets, figure out their movement, analyze the risks, and finally wait for the perfect opportunity. If the target already has some safety measures, the pickpockets will likely drop them as their potential victim and go for someone else.
Anti-theft bags that are slash-proof are an excellent choice to protect your items as the pickpocket may use a knife to cut through the material. In severe cases, they may use it against you directly if there is an altercation. In such situations, slash-proof bag measures prove invaluable. Some anti-theft bags have a wire mesh embedded in the lining of the bag, which offers extra protection.
Many anti-theft bags are also equipped with hidden zippers or zippers that can be locked. This can be a good way to ward of pickpockets that try to sneak a hand inside a pocket or compartment. They will realize it will take much time to deal with the anti-theft bags, and hence they will move on to an easier target.
Other features of anti-theft bags include locking cables or straps and RFID blockers. Locking cables or shoulder straps can be passed around a pole or a chair to secure the bag in place. RFID blockers prevent electronic theft like your credit card information.
What Makes a Bag Anti-Theft?
Anti-theft bags are quite different from the normal ones. They have different safety features that protect your valuables in various ways. Below are some of the features explained in detail.
● Locking Zippers
Locking zippers are arguably one of the most important aspects of making a bag anti-theft. They work by pulling a zipper with a lockable head and clipping it to a loop on the bag after you have zipped it shut. The pickpocket will be unable to unzip your bag and steal its contents. Anti-theft bags having this safety feature come with locking latches attached to the zipper of at least one compartment. Once all your valuables like phones, wallets, or anything else have been put in this compartment, you can rest assured they are going to stay safe.
● Slash proof and crossbody strap
A crossbody bag is one where the strap hangs from one shoulder and goes all the way across your torso to hang by
the opposite hip. This strap contains a flexible wire inside it which protects it from being cut by thieves. When it comes to anti-theft bags, the crossbody and the slash-proof strap is perhaps the safest style.
● Lockable strap
A lockable strap is highly useful in preventing thieves from their grab-and-run tactics. You can unclip one end of a strap from the bag and reclip it back after passing it around a chair back or leg, for example. For more security, pass the strap around or through an immovable object.
● Slash proof sides and bottoms
The sides and bottoms of a bag are the most vulnerable to slash and grab tactics of thieves. Bags having reinforced sides and bottoms make it much more difficult for thieves to use their bag cutters and grab your valuables from the bag. Slash-proof sides and bottoms are an effective protection method.
● RFID blocking material
The advancements in technology have led to the development of e-pickpocketing. E-pickpockets steal your credit card information and ID through electronic means. It is best to use a bag with RFID blocking pockets. These are lined with RFID-blocking material which prevents your digital information from being stolen.
Benefits of Anti-Theft Bags for Travel
The most obvious benefit of using anti-theft bags is the added security for your valuables. These bags have different safety mechanisms mentioned above that will foil most attempts of pickpockets and bag snatchers. However, there are several other benefits of using anti-theft bags.
● Peace of mind
When you’re traveling, it’s important to have peace of mind knowing that your belongings are safe and secure. Anti-theft bags can provide this peace of mind by giving you added security and protection for your valuables.
Most anti-theft bags are designed with many pockets and sections so that your valuables are not scattered and you can find what you need quickly. When you need rapid access to your passport, boarding pass, or other travel documents, this might be a great feature to have.
Anti-theft backpacks are often constructed from long-lasting materials that can take a beating on the road. This means your bag will serve you better over time and keep your stuff safer for longer. If the bag includes a wire mesh lining, then all the better.
You may select an anti-theft bag in any shape or size to meet your individual traveling demands. There is an anti-theft choice for whatever bag style you would need, whether it a backpack, sling bag, fanny pack, or crossbody bag.
Drawbacks of Anti-Theft Bags
For all the benefits of traveling with a theft-proof bag, there are a few disadvantages you should be aware of:
Due to the extra security elements, anti-theft bags might be more costly than conventional bags. For tourists on a limited budget, this may be a drawback.
The extra layers of fabric and hardware required to make anti-theft bags slash-proof and lockable might make them more cumbersome to carry. If you’re attempting to travel light, this may be a problem.
● Limited space
Because of the extra features on anti-theft bags, they may be less spacious than conventional bags. If you need to bring a lot of stuff with you on your trip, this may be a problem.
Since anti-theft bags are designed with security in mind rather than aesthetics, they may not be as fashionable as other bags. This might be a problem for those who wish to maintain their sense of style while on the road.
● False sense of security
Although anti-theft bags are helpful, they cannot ensure the entire safety of your possessions. A determined burglar may still be able to steal from a bag designed to prevent theft. This might make tourists more susceptible to theft since they will feel more at ease and may not keep a close eye on their bags.
Do I Need an Anti-Theft Bag in Europe?
You should consider using an anti-theft bag wherever you travel, especially in cities in Europe. Pickpockets are found almost everywhere on the globe but especially in tourist favorite Europe. Anti-theft bags can go a long way to prevent any mishap. However, even if you carry one, you still need to be on alert about your surroundings. If you don’t want to use an anti-theft bag in Europe, you will need to think of other ways to hide your possessions.
An anti-theft bag isn’t always necessary, but buying one will make your life considerably easier. Whether you are traveling abroad or within the country, you always need to have your eyes everywhere. Anti-theft bags will not only keep your items safe, but they also last longer than normal bags.
Fanny packs are a good option if you want complete freedom to use your hands. Ideally, you should wear fanny packs in front. Keeping them in the back will defeat their purpose as it makes it easy for pickpockets to do their business. However, while fanny bags are good, it is often recommended to use a money belt. Money belts are similar to fanny packs, but they are even smaller. They are also designed specifically to be hidden under your waistband or shirt and out of sight from pickpockets and thieves.
Yes, people can, and do, steal from backpacks. In fact, backpacks are possibly the favorite target for pickpockets. Since backpacks are carried on your back, an efficient pickpocket will quickly steal your valuables, with you being none the wiser. It is always recommended to use anti-theft backpacks.
Drawstring bags are a favorite of pickpockets as they are one of the easiest ones to steal from. Drawstring bags open by loosening the strings and close by pulling them together. A pickpocket can easily steal your valuables by gently grabbing onto one of the strings and pulling it. It makes no sound and no noticeable movement.