Anti-theft bags are very useful when you travel through certain cities and countries, as they allow you to enjoy yourself without worrying about your belongings. However, some people find the extra security features to be a bit too complicated to deal with and prefer something simpler but still safer to use than a normal handbag. That’s where the best flap over crossbody bag for travel can come in useful.
The crossbody style allows you to go hands-free, as the strap won’t keep sliding down your shoulder. This makes taking pictures, using a map or guidebook, or holding on in a moving bus or train much easier.
The flap over or fold over crossbody bag is a messenger style handbag with a long strap that you can hang across one shoulder to keep your hands free while making it difficult for anyone to grab and run away with it. The zippered opening to the main compartment is kept hidden under a flap that folds over the top and secures in the front via a magnetic or other type of closure. This deters pickpockets from trying to swipe something when you’re not looking. Of course, there are some other really good anti-theft crossbody bags available with security features built in if not for a fold over flap.
We’re going to review a few really good fold over messenger bag options here but first let’s go over what features a good bag should have to make your trips a lot easier.
How to Choose a Flap Over Crossbody Bag
The following picks run the gamut, from regular sized bags to hold typical items that travelers through the day, to mini bags for those who like to go light. We also give you a choice between nylon, faux leather and real leather options.
Nylon Flap Over Crossbody Bags for Travel
Travelon Anti-Theft Flap Front Shoulder Bag
If you want to go whole hog with protecting your bag from theft, this crossbody bag with flap from Travelon is a good and popular bet. The main compartment features a lockable zipper with a flap over it that secures in the front via a twist clasp. Right below this is an organizer pocket that is also lockable. This pocket features RFID blocking card and passport slots to prevent those items from being scanned. The main compartment is large enough to hold a tablet along with the other usual items, including a small water bottle. A zippered mesh pocket inside is good for your lip balm, keys and some cash. There is also an LED light in here that you can remove if you don’t need it but it is useful if you can’t see into the depths of the bag. A zippered rear pocket is great for small non-valuable items like a guidebook or maps.
The body of the bag features anti-slash lining so a knife can’t cut a hole into it and the adjustable shoulder strap is cut proof. This strap features a carabineer lock at one end to allow you to lock it around a pole or chair when you’re sitting down.
The polyester twill fabric makes the bag look very nice and it is available in 5 nice colors. It measures 2 x 11.2 x 10.2 inches and its weight is 14.4 ounces.
Osprey Women’s FlapJill Mini Day Pack
If you’re looking for a good large bag that can double up as your personal item while in transit, look no further than the Osprey Women’s FlapJill Mini Day Pack. It measures 11 x 14 x 7 inches and weighs 1 lb 3 ozs and has lots of organization features throughout. The comfortable padded strap is adjustable and the bag is made entirely of nylon and is available in a few different colors. The style is casual and sporty and it is water resistant.
The main compartment is hidden under a large flap secured by a squeeze clip clasp at the end of an adjustable strap. If you’re concerned that the lack of zip to close this compartment can cause things to fall out, don’t be. The walls of the opening slant inwards and the strap can be tightened until there is no gap between flap and walls. An additional feature to help is the presence of two side Velcro patches on either side of the squeeze clasp. The flap secures tightly along the sides and won’t open unless you pull on it.
Inside the main compartment there is enough space to store a 13” Macbook Pro but there’s no padding for it here. However, there is a dedicated padded tablet sleeve on one inner wall with a Velcro tab to secure it. You can use the main space in this compartment for your camera, power cords, etc. A generously-sized zippered pocket on the inside of the opposite wall is good for a passport, cash and cards.
In front of the main compartment are two zippered pockets – one u-shaped organizer and one large straight pocket. You can use these for a phone, pens, cards, data sticks, maps, keys and cosmetics. There’s a pleated pull out side pocket that’s large enough to carry a 18 oz Hydroflask or a 32 oz Nalgene wide-mouthed water bottle. When not in use, the pocket folds back inwards to lie flat and out of the way. Right on top of the bag and underneath the grab handle is a quick stash zippered pocket for any items that you might need easy access to.
There is a fabric handle on the inner spine of the flap, which comes in handy if you want to quickly pick the bag up off the floor when the flap is open. The outside top of the flap features a more robust grab handle that you can use to tote the bag when it is closed. The main method to carry it, though, is by the padded and adjustable shoulder strap that you can make long enough to wear across your body.
eBags Kalya Town Square 2.0 with RFID Security
Although marketed as an about town, work and gym bag, this Kalya Town Square 2.0 with RFID Security from eBags works brilliantly as a travel bag. The adjustable shoulder strap also has a non-slip pad for comfortable carrying. The flap on this bag only covers the front portion of the bag where you can store the valuable items like your wallet, cards and travel documents, while the rest of the pockets are easy to quickly access if you need to.
The flap itself has a zipped pocket on the outside which holds one zipped mesh pocket, one elastic top drop pocket, two pen pockets and a key fob, and underneath the flap is one zipped pocket and one slip pocket. The main compartment opens via a top zip opening and inside you’ll find a large zipped wet pocket for toiletries or other damp items, two elastic top drop pockets and a velcro secured pocket for a 14″ laptop or tablet.
The rear exterior features a large zipped pocket cum piggyback sleeve which zips closed at the bottom and snaps closed at the top. This can also serve as a sling for a yoga mat or light jacket. The zipped pocket on this sleeve comes with RFID blocking for your passport and credit cards. One zippered and gusseted mesh side exterior pocket is good for your water bottle while the other end features a zipped padded pocket with a headphone port – perfect for your cell phone.
This is the largest bag of the bunch at 14.5″ x 9.5″ x 4.5″ but only weighs 1 lb 12 ozs and the nylon shell comes in 4 colors.
Leather Fold Over Crossbody Bag
Visconti Womens Flap-over Shoulder, Crossbody Bag and Messenger Bag
Here’s another boardroom to airport flap over bag, only this time it’s in soft leather. The Visconti Women’s Flap-over Shoulder bag with adjustable strap and magnetic snap fold over flap features plenty of pockets for the organized woman. The main compartment features a zippered pocket divider and you can use one section to hold a tablet while the other section holds things like a guide book, sunglasses, hand lotion and sanitizer, etc. A small zipped pocket on one wall can be used for change.
The front of the bag has another large zippered pocket, two flap over pouches – one for your smartphone and one for other small items, two pen holders and card slots. There’s a rear zipped pocket as well.
This bag measures 10 x 12.6 x 3.2 inches and comes in several rich colors. It could be a perfect bag for business travel.
Faux Leather Women’s Travel Purse
Alyssa Double Compartment Large Flapover Crossbody Bag
If you’re not keen on real leather, a nice vegan leather option is the Alyssa Double Compartment Large Flapover Crossbody Bag. It measures 10″ wide x 10.5″ high x 2″ deep and the adjustable shoulder strap has a 25″ drop. There is a range of colors to choose from and depending on the color, the hardware is either gold or silver toned.
There are actually two main compartments stuck together and they share one main top zip closure. One has a zippered pocket on the inside, while the other has a slip pocket. In between these two main compartments is a center stash pocket. The flap comes over both compartments and secures via a magnetic snap button on the front of the bag. There is a large zippered pocket on the rear exterior. Each compartment is big enough for a small tablet or a travel guide.
Don’t expect to stuff this bag with a lot of things, as it is a bit stiff, at least in the beginning. However, it is a great lightweight travel purse for those who prefer to roam around a destination with just a few necessities.
Mini Fold Over Messenger Bag
ECOSUSI Women Shoulder Crossbody Bag Flap-over Vintage Handbag Purse
If you’re the kind of woman that likes to move about light with just a few essentials and a map, this is the best flap over crossbody bag for you. The ECOSUSI Shoulder Crossbody Bag Flap-over Purse is made of ramie-cotton and PU leather with gold tone hardware, and is 3.3″ wide, 6.9″ high and 9″ wide with an adjustable strap giving you up to a 51″ drop. The foldover flap secures with a magnetic buckle closure while the main compartment under the flap has a zipper closure.
There are three pockets in total on this small crossbody bag – one exterior front zippered for small items like cosmetics and one main zippered pocket on the inside that’s big enough for an iPad Mini, and one exterior magnetic button pocket on the rear for a phone or sunglasses. The main pocket contains one zippered pocket that’s big enough for a passport and three slip pockets of various sizes for various things you need on a day out. The rest of the space can hold an iPad Mini OR a travel wallet, map, a small snack and sunscreen.