Best Anti Theft Travel Bag for Women
While traveling, one of the most important precautions you need to take is to keep your belongings safe. Your credit cards, travel documents, gadgets, etc can be easy targets for pickpockets and identity thieves if you’re not careful. Therefore, I always use an anti theft crossbody bag for travel, whether it’s for during the journey or while exploring my destination, I can have some peace of mind that I’m not making life easier for those thieves!
While there are anti theft handbags of all kinds, I prefer a crossbody bag. That way, unlike with a backpack, my eye is on it at all times, both my hands are free at all times, and it is very comfortable to carry for long periods of time, which is not always the case with a short strap shoulder bag. If one shoulder does start feeling the strain, you can easily switch it to the other one.
Best Anti Theft Crossbody Bag for Travel
Our top pick
Pacsafe Metrosafe LS250 Shoulder Bag
Travelon Anti-Theft Cross-Body Bucket Bag
Best Anti Theft Sling Bag
Pacsafe Vibe 325 10 Liter Anti Theft Sling Bag Crossbody
Keep in mind that even though you have your hands free with this type of bag and it is easily accessible whenever you need, it can get uncomfortable to wear all day if you load it with too much stuff. In that case, you should consider getting an anti-theft sling bag instead.
If you’re OK with stepping out with just a few essentials, a theft-proof waist pack is even more comfortable. And if you’re wary of sticking out like a sore thumb, some fanny packs can be converted to a small crossbody pack too.
Things to Look for in an Anti Theft Travel Bag
Length of strap: The first thing you should look for in an anti theft sling bag or crossbody bag is the length of carrying strap. If it’s too short to wear the bag across your body you’ll only be wearing it over one shoulder and that makes it an automatic target for purse snatchers. It’s best if the shoulder strap is adjustable so that you can find your ideal ergonomic length for carrying comfort. You also want to wear the bag slightly in front of you and not behind you where you can’t see it.
Construction: The bag and its straps should preferably be slash-proof. This means there is steel mesh reinforcement inside the strap and lining of the bag so that no one can cut through.
Lockable: At least one main compartment should have zippers that are lockable. In addition to these, some of the best anti-theft handbags give you the ability to lock it to a secure fixture, so you can enjoy a meal with your bag locked to your chair.
RFID blocking: Since identity theft is a rising problem, many anti theft purses for travel have a RFID blocking ability, so thieves can’t use an RFID device to read things like your credit card number or passport. However, if you already have a bag that you love using for travel but doesn’t have this in-built feature, you can buy a separate RFID wallet to carry in your bag.
Secure compartments: It’s important that there’s no unsecured opening into any compartments like a zipper that doesn’t extend right to the corners of the opening. This bad design allows for smaller items to fall out and makes it easier for someone to see inside and maybe pinch something. All pockets should have some sort of closure as well.
There are various styles of crossbody bags, like the messenger style, a hobo style or a purse style, and you’re sure to find a size that’s just right for your needs. If you like Tumi products, they have 3 very nice ones in the female targeted Voyageur line. Here are 5 bags that we think are good options otherwise.
Best Travelon Anti Theft Cross Body Travel Bags
Travelon Women’s Anti-Theft Classic Mini Shoulder Bag
If you’re the kind that likes to carry only the bare minimum when sightseeing, you don’t need anything more than a small purse like the Travelon Women’s Anti-Theft Classic Mini Shoulder Bag. Available in several colors, this neat and compact crossbody bag measures 8.5” x 8.5” x 2” and weighs 11 oz. Don’t let the size fool you – you can carry quite a few things in this bag if you need to and it has all the anti-theft features present in the larger Travelon bags. The shell is made of nylon, and a slash-proof stainless steel mesh layer lies beyween that and the lining.
The adjustable shoulder strap is also cut proof and features a carabiner lock that you can detach from one end of the bag to loop around an immovable object and reattach back to the bag for security.
There are two lockable zippered pockets on this bag – the large main compartment that opens via a top zipper, and a smaller compartment on the front. Both zippers feature lobster claw locks to attach to metal rings once they’re closed. The front compartment zip is protected even further by a snap close flap going over it.
There’s a quick access zippered pocket below the flap and another one on the rear of the bag. Inside the main compartment is an organizer wall with RFID-blocking credit card and passport slots and pen loops. The opposite wall has two slip pockets for even more organization. This main compartment can easily fit an iPad Mini and the secure front compartment can hold a phone or wallet.
Pros: Shoulder strap can be adjusted to fit short and tall women.
Lots of pockets for organization.
Looks sleek and slim.
Cons: No space for a water bottle.
Won’t withstand a heavy load for very long.
Travelon Anti-Theft Classic Crossbody Bag
The top selling anti theft bag is this chic looking cross body bag from Travelon and it is easy to see why.
What this bag does best is provide you with lots of different compartments and pockets for all your valuables. There is a locking main compartment that includes pockets and RFID blocking card slots. There’s a zippered lockable smart phone pocket on the front and two front flap pockets. There’s also a zippered pocket on the back that is protected because it faces you. It contains a removable LED light. The main compartment zipper locks by hooking onto a metal loop on the end.
The entire bag is made of easy to clean nylon, including the lining which hides slash proof wire mesh. The shoulder strap is cable reinforced to be cut proof and can be attached to an immovable object.
This anti theft purse measures 14.5″ x 12″ x 1.5″ and weighs 12oz. Although this is not a small purse, it is only big enough to hold a mini iPad or tablet.
The shoulder strap is adjustable and measures 55.5″, and you can attain a shoulder drop between 15″ to 28″. It is available in a variety of colors.
Pros: Lots of organizational pockets.
Two of the compartments have zipper locking.
Easy to wipe clean.
Cons: No water bottle pocket.
The opening to the main compartment is tight and a bit awkward to get any large object in and out.
Travelon Anti-Theft Classic Messenger Bag
A little more popular than the first one, this Travelon anti-theft classic messenger bag has a few more pluses going for it. It is larger in thickness than the first one but less wide. It has many of the same anti-theft and organizational features. It weighs 1 lb and measures 11″ x 10″ x 4.5″.
The nylon bag features chain link cut-proof construction, and secure locking zippers. The strap is adjustable and it can be clipped to a fixed object via an attached carabiner. It is very easy to clean.
The main compartment is very wide and roomy so you can carry quite a few things in there, like a DSLR camera or iPAD. It also features several organizational pockets and a removable LED light. There’s a magnetic front flap that hides a zippered pocket where you’ll find RFID card slots and passport holder and there’s a back zippered pocket on the outside. Both the front and back zippers lock via clips. Two side pockets are handy for a slim 12 oz water bottle and compact umbrella or roll of newspaper. They snap inwards and zip shut when empty, so they don’t stick out.
This bag is available in several different colors.
Pros: Good organizational storage.
Can hold a medium iPad.
Compact and light.
Easy to wipe clean.
Cons: Strap can get uncomfortable if the bag is heavy.
Side water bottle pockets too narrow for regular 16 oz bottles.
Main compartment opening is tight for putting large items in and out.
Travelon Anti-Theft Signature 3 Compartment Crossbody Straight Pocket Shoulder Bag
If you find most anti-theft bags rather staid looking or clunky, consider the very chic Travelon Signature 3 Compartment Shoulder Bag. It includes all necessary anti-theft features and still manages to look like a stylish handbag, which is not the norm with anti-theft bags. In fact, we pick this as the best anti theft travel purse for Europe.
This 100% nylon bag has a fully adjustable shoulder strap with a maximum drop of 29″ and is 14.2″ high and 12.7″ wide and 2.7″ thick. The entire body and strap is slash-proof. There are 3 lockable zippered pockets – two in front and one as the main compartment accessible from the top. There is also a normal back zippered pocket that includes a tethered LED light and key ring. Inside the main compartment are RFID blocking slots for your cards and passport. The shoulder strap has a locking buckle to let you tether the bag to a post or a chair leg for when you want to set it down. This ensures no one can walk away with it.
You can get this bag in a variety of stylish colors and prints.
Pros: The bag is quite large without looking bulky, making it perfect for travel. It can accommodate a tablet, camera, a wallet, lotion, hand sanitizer, travel documents and various other odds and ends.
Will hold a 16 oz water bottle.
Cons: A few owners say that the zippers are a bit weak so you have to be careful using them. However, others like the zippers and have no problems with them.
Travelon Anti-Theft Cross-Body Bucket Bag
For a more slouchy style handbag, try the Travelon Anti-Theft Cross-Body Bucket Bag. It is slightly boat shaped to the bottom of the bag is a bit narrower than the top. It measures 14 x 10 x 4 inches, weighs just 13 oz, and you can choose from several different colors. We pick this as the best anti theft messenger bag by Travelon. While being nice and roomy, it has all the slash-proof features of the other Travelon bags and its adjustable and lockable strap can be used to tether the bag to a post or bar.
You’ve got two lockable zippered compartments here – the main one that opens from the top via a single zipper, and the one in front that opens in a u-shape via dual zippers. The zippers have a carabiner style head to lock to their own d-rings located on the side.
The main compartment houses a zippered pocket, an RFID blocking passport and card slots, a key fob and a removable LED light. Although there is enough space here for a tablet but there is no sleeve for it so you will need to pack it in its own protective case. The front compartment has two slip pockets in the wall.
There is also a regular zipped pocket on the back of the bag and two zipped mesh expansion pockets on the sides for a water bottle and umbrella.
Pros: Lots of space to carry all travel essentials.
The boat shape makes it easy to access large items and look for smaller items inside.
Cons: Side pockets are small so only a very small bottle and umbrella will fit.
The inner lining is loose and can get stuck in the inner pocket’s zip.
Note: If all you want is a bag or box to hold your valuables that can be secured via steel cable to an immovable object in your hotel room without the need for an in-room safe, consider getting a portable safe that’s designed to be taken with you on trips.
Best Pacsafe Travel Purse
Pacsafe Metrosafe LS250 Anti-Theft Shoulder Bag
This unisex Pacsafe Metrosafe LS250 Shoulder Bag is a great option if you want a structured larger bag that will carry a tablet or 11″ notebook along with many other items. Even though it is larger in thickness than the Travelon cross body bag shown above, it weighs just over 1lb and the adjustable shoulder strap has a removable sliding pad, so it is comfortable to carry without the metal cord inside the strap hurting you.
The bag is made of ripstop nylon, exomesh slash guards, and has an anti theft bag strap. It measures 13.8″ x 10.2″ x 4.3″ and weighs 1.2 lbs. It is available in a few different colors.
The main compartment has a top zippered closure that features a turn and lock hook for keeping the contents secure. A carabiner clip also lets you secure the bag to a fixed object. The compartment contains a padded sleeve for your 11″ notebook or iPad, a padded electronic device pocket, an RFID pocket, and a zippered mesh pocket.
There’s a key clip, a smart phone pocket and pen holders within a larger front lockable zipper pocket. The back also has a concealable zippered pocket.
Each side has an expandable pocket that will hold a water bottle and a compact umbrella.
Pros: Very roomy and has space for lots of travel essentials.
Shoulder pad gives you more comfort than other bags.
Best safety features around.
Cons: The RFID pocket is a bit small.
Rather utilitarian looking.
Pacsafe Stylesafe Anti-Theft Crossbody
If you’re looking for a more stylish Pacsafe purse that is just the right size for a tablet or 11″ notebook, then this Pacsafe Stylesafe Anti-Theft Crossbody is a good choice. It is available in 5 colors.
The dimensions are 12″ x 9″ x 3″, weighs 11 oz, and can fit a tablet with a few other items easily in the main compartment.
The bag and strap is made of water repellent 150D polyester with a polyester lining and features high-tensile stainless steel wire construction, making it cut-proof. The shoulder strap wire is wrapped around with Dyneema®, a strong, lightweight fiber fabric that is also resistant to cutting through easily.
The strap is adjustable and has a turn and lock system attached to allow you to lock it around a fixed object. The main compartment opens via a lockable zipper through a large pull that is secured to a zipper clip. A smaller front zippered compartment is partially covered by a bag’s flap that’s secured by a magnetic closure in front. It’s a good place to store non-valuable things that you want easy access to. There’s a large slip pocket with magnetic snap closure on the back that sits flush to the wall of the bag. This is where you can store a regular sized water bottle.
The inside of the main compartment features a 11″ padded laptop sleeve, a hidden RFID-blocking zippered pocket and 3 slip pockets along with a secure keyring.
Pros: Can hold lots of things.
Just enough theft-proof features.
Cons: Only the main compartment is lockable.
Pacsafe Vibe 325 10 Liter Anti Theft Sling Bag Crossbody
While some interchange the name crossbody bags with sling bags, there is a major difference in that sling bags are worn across the body with the shoulder strap tightened so that the bag hugs your back. Crossbody bags hang loosely down to your side. Regular sling bags are great for travel because they can also be worn on your front when in places known for pickpockets. If you want additional security, then the Pacsafe Vibe 325 10 Liter Anti Theft Sling Bag Crossbody can provide that.
Don’t be fooled by the pictures. Although it’s compact and slim, this bag can hold a 13″ MacBook or laptop in the padded sleeve inside the main compartment. It measures 15.8″ x 9.1″ x 3.2″ and weighs 1.23 lbs.
The body of the bag is made of durable polyester and has a lightweight steel mesh inlay within a polyester lining that makes it cut resistant. There’s wire reinforcement in the adjustable shoulder strap as well. This strap’s length is adjustable and is padded for comfort on the shoulder. The lower end is also detachable and can be secured around the leg of a chair using the PopNLock security clip.
Although you can wear this bag over both shoulders, it is better designed for wearing it over your left shoulder. A sling bag can be swung over to your front for easy access to its pockets, however, the zipper openings of this bag will face downwards if you swing it forward while wearing it over your right shoulder.
There are two zippered compartments on this bag. The front compartment opens via a vertical zipper and there’s a large mesh zippered pocket inside. The main compartment is bigger and features 1 zipper pocket with a key fob inside, 1 RFID safe pocket for a passport, 2 slip pockets and 1 pen loop on one wall. The other wall has a padded sleeve for a 13″ laptop. The rest of this space can hold a camera, guide book, water bottle, travel umbrella and snacks.
Both the compartments’ zippers are lockable to a single Roobar Locking System point and there’s a small hole here that’s big enough for a travel padlock if you want even more security.
Pros: Very lightweight and compact for its size.
Large enough to hold lots of things.
Cons: A bit narrow inside for bulky items.
The zipper locking mechanism takes a bit of time to get right in the beginning.
Rest of the Best Anti Theft Cross Body Bags for Travel
Lewis N. Clark Anti-theft Crossbody Purse
If you want more simplicity in design, then pick the Lewis N. Clark Anti-theft Crossbody Purse. This bag’s dimensions are 11 x 3 x 9.5 inches and it weighs just 13.12 ounces. The body is made of nylon with PU coating for water resistance.
There’s is just one compartment in this bag and it opens via a u-shaped zipper panel on the front. There are side gussets to prevent anything from falling out when you open it. The zipper can be locked to the metal lobster claw situated just below. Inside this compartment are several pockets for organization. There are 4 card slots – three on one wall and one on the opposite wall, two slip pockets and one large zippered pocket.
The body contains panels of steel mesh, which in addition to magnaloft fabric provides anti-theft security. The adjustable shoulder strap also contains a stainless steel cable to prevent slash and run robbery. When you want to sit down for a meal, you can detach one end of the shoulder strap and secure it to your chair.
While an iPad Mini fits easily, you can also fit a regular iPad inside if you insert it gently but there won’t be room for much more.
Pros: Easy to access the contents since there’s just one zipper and compartment.
The single compartment gives you more room if you need to carry something a little bulky.
Cons: Lack of external pockets.
A bit expensive for such a simple design.
Waterfly Small Crossbody Sling Anti Theft Backpack
While the Pacsafe Vibe Sling above is more for grownup city look, the Waterfly Small Crossbody Sling Anti Theft Backpack is a good one for a more casual look. It is made of water resistant nylon, measures 6.7 x 2.75 x 13 inches and weighs 1 lb.
It’s adjustable length shoulder strap is made of slash-proof nylon webbing and features a lockable clasp that lets you switch from one bottom loop to the other so that you can interchange from one shoulder to the other. This clasp can also be locked to an immovable object to prevent the bag from being snatched.
The main compartment opens via a u-shaped zippered front flap where the zipper pull features a locking screw clasp that hooks to a metal ring below the end of the opening. This compartment can hold an iPad Mini or phone and a few small items like passport, wallet and snacks. Smaller items can be organized in the small slip pockets inside. There’s also a headphone port to one side if you want to listen to something while on the go.
There’s a pocket in front of the main compartment that’s just enough for a compact umbrella or small water bottle. It secures via magnetic closure to just above the compartment’s opening. There’s also a vertical zippered pocket at the back of the bag, which will be against you when you’re wearing the sling bag.
Pros: Very comfortable to wear.
Lightweight and perfect size to carry the basics while sightseeing.
Cons: No place for a regular size water bottle.
No cut-proof material in the body of the bag.
Think all these theftproof features are a bit too much for you? Try one of these crossbody bags that have a fold over flap to hide the main compartment’s zipper.
Pacsafe Vs Travelon Crossbody Bags
You’ve probably noticed that this list of best anti theft travel bags is dominated by two brands – Travelon and Pacsafe. That’s because they were both early innovators in the travel safe bags space and their initial offerings were instant hits with travelers to places known for bag snatchers and pickpockets. Now both brands have numerous good theft proof travel bags to choose from so how do you pick?
First let’s highlight everything they have in common. Both brands use slash-proof mesh and cable within the body and shoulder strap to prevent anyone with a knife from either cutting the bag open or from running away with the bag after cutting through the strap. Both feature RFID-blocking pockets inside one or more compartments so that you can safely store your passport and credit cards in them without worrying about identity theft. Both come with at least one compartment that can be locked using their zippers so as to at least deter thieves from attempting to pinch something quickly. Finally, both have bags whose shoulder straps can be used to anchor them to a fixed object for when you want to put your bag down to eat a meal.
If you’re wondering if there are ANY differences between Pacsafe and Travelon features here they are:
Cost and quality: Pacsafe bags cost a bit more than Travelon bags when comparing two very similar bags from each collection. The reason is that Pacsafe bags are slightly more durable and there are fewer reports of lining being ripped or zippers and locks breaking. That said, there are hundreds and thousands of happy customers of both brands.
Anti theft Zippers: While both brands using zipper locking to secure certain compartments or pockets, Travelon uses carabiner type locks on all their zipper pulls to secure to a metal hook. Pacsafe uses 2 or 3 different types of locking mechanisms on their zippers depending on the type of compartment or bag it’s used on. There’s no clear reason why one type of lock is used over another in each type of bag.
Range: Travelon has a larger collection of anti-theft bags and even under crossbody options, there are more sizes and styles to choose from. While it can be confusing to pick from two or three very similar bags, the choice may just come down to one specific feature, like a separate water bottle pocket or one extra external pocket, that’s a clincher. Pacsafe has fewer collections to choose from, making it a little easier to pick something that’s right for you. Pacsafe also makes it easier to choose the right size of bag for your needs, as every bag in a specific collection has either a number or name to identify it.
Styles and colors: Travelon has more styles and colors to choose from. Particularly for women, it’s not hard to find something more feminine and stylish if you want and each bag will come in several different colors and prints. Pacsafe tends to come in a few standard neutral colors like black, beige, grey and dark blue, although the brand is slowly starting to try out colors like olive green and burgundy, especially among their more women-specific bags. In general, Pacsafe bags look more functional than stylish and are made to be unisex.
With the above comparisons between Travelon and Pacsafe bags, hopefully, you’ll have an easier time choosing the right crossbody or sling antitheft bag for travel. If neither brand fits your needs, then check out the Waterfly or Lewis N. Clark options!
While many brands make bags with one or two built-in security features, not all qualify as anti-theft. Hidden zippers are great and so are RFID pockets, but in order to be called anti-theft the bag should have the following:
Cut-proof body panels and shoulder strap: Thieves can cut through the bottom of a bag if they can’t get their hand in from the bag’s opening. Or they can just cut through the shoulder strap and make off with the entire bag if you just piggyback it onto a wheeled suitcase and take your eye off it. That’s why anti-theft bags have wire mesh or cable running through the body panels and the shoulder strap so that even if someone attempts to cut through, they won’t be successful.
Zippers should lock: You should always zip up all compartments after taking out whatever you need but that’s not enough if there’s a skilled pickpocket in the vicinity. When you’re engrossed in the sights or watching out for your next stop on a bus, someone can stealthily unzip your bag and remove your wallet or phone quite easily. That’s why zippers that lock to a fixed point via a lobster claw, Roobar lock or carabiner will deter anyone from trying.
Shoulder strap can be anchored to an object: When you’re sitting at a restaurant there’s rarely ever a place where you can place your bag without it getting snatched if you don’t have your eyes on it at all times. If you want a stress-free meal, an anti-theft bag will have a shoulder strap with one end that’s detachable from the bag via a lobster claw or turn-and-screw lock, and you can anchor it to the leg of the table or your chair and lock it back on to the bag.
RFID-blocking: Identity theft via RFID scanners occurs when someone gets close enough to read the chip in your passport or money cards. If your bag has pockets with inbuilt RFID-blocking layer then a scanner can’t read them.
While the most determined thief may try to find a way to steal from you, he or she will look for the easier target instead. A bag whose compartments are not closed fully or the zippers are easy to open, a bag that is carelessly hung on the back of a restaurant chair, etc. is much easier to target. Even if someone tries to cut through your anti theft bag, if there’s slash-proof mesh built into the body, he or she will be unsuccessful.
You shouldn’t try to machine wash your anti-theft bag, as the theft-proof features like the inbuilt mesh can bend and break and eventually poke through the bag’s fabric. RFID-blocking layers in the pockets can lose their effectiveness as well.
Most of the time, you can just wipe down the outside of the bag with a damp cloth if th efabric is polyester or nylon. Plain soap and water using a soft scrubber/washcloth or toothbrush is great for spot cleaning of stubborn dirt stains.
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