Selecting the Best Anti-Theft Purse or Bag for Travel
There’s a reason why I’m always researching the best anti-theft purse for travel. My dad was a New York City police officer for 20 years so I grew up with him always asking me where my purse was and requesting that I always use a crossbody bag. He used to tell me horror stories about purse-snatchings in Manhattan…women being robbed because they had left their purse under a table or on the back of a chair at a restaurant, or women getting their wallets stolen because someone reached into their shoulder bag when they stopped at a crosswalk. I knew he was right but I didn’t know how right until I was at Penn Station in New York with him one afternoon and heard a woman yelling at a man who had just stolen her wallet out of her purse (a shoulder bag) as she made her way down the stairs and into the station. She teetered unsteadily on the station steps but was trapped by the commuters behind her and couldn’t run after the guy.
More recently, on an 8 hour train ride from Shanghai to Yichang to the start of my Yangtze River Cruise, I stopped a pickpocket from going through someone’s bag, purely because I was paying attention and knew something was not right. If the woman across the aisle had had an anti-theft purse and had locked her purse closed and to her seat or the overhead rack using the bag’s in-built features, it would have been better for all of us. (I was kinda petrified when I yelled at the guy.)
Why You Should Always Choose a Crossbody Anti-Theft Purse for Travel
Given these valuable lessons, I have always heeded my father’s advice. I use crossbody bags ALL THE TIME. My friends laugh at me because of it. I never ever carry a should bag. Especially when I travel, any bag I buy must be a crossbody purse and needs to have a really secure strap. I sling it over my head and chest before I head out the door.
As I’ve been traveling more and more, my predilection for crossbody bags has only increased. When you’re in an airport or on public transport or just in an unfamiliar place all together, you need to keep your hands free. A crossbody bag serves that purpose by resting securely at your side. This is especially true when I am traveling alone. I just want to do everything in my power to feel secure and not be scared. This is why I’m now very much attuned to all the new cool new anti-theft purse technology on the market and am always on the lookout for the most stylish, latest and best anti-theft travel purses.
Biggest and Best Anti-Theft Purse Brands
The two biggest brands in anti-theft purses for travel are Travelon and Pacsafe. They have a wide variety of anti-theft purses and bags in all different colors and sizes including many crossbody bags. You’ll also find anti-theft travel purses and bags offered by eBags, who appear to possibly license Pacsafe’s technology, and then also Baggallini and Lewis & Clark.
My 9 Best Anti-Theft Purses for Travel…Stylish Ones Too!
OK, after that background, I think you will understand why these are my absolute favorite and best anti-theft purses for travel. They all have strong straps, pockets, are relatively big, have anti-theft features, and most importantly, they are stylish.
I love this anti-theft purse because it comes in so many different colors and it also has a specific place for your water bottle which is super handy when you are traveling. Also, the bag has a pen loop, a removable LED light (!), an RFID blocking card, and passport slots. There’s an adjustable cable-reinforced cut-proof shoulder strap and the compartments lock with lobster claw clasps. Locking straps allow you to lock your bag to a stationary object like a chair. This protects against grab-n-go thieves. Most importantly, there’s hidden, slash-proof, chain link construction which will prevent someone from cutting into your bag. This is a very well-designed bag and one of the best travel purses on the market today. Buy this anti-theft purse.
If a backpack is more your speed than a purse or other crossbody bag, then this stylish anti-theft backpack is a great option. It has full anti-theft features including surround slash-resistant body panels and shoulder straps, locking compartments, a lock down strap, an RFID blocking card, and passport slots and pockets. The main compartment is really organized and is big enough to carry an iPad. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of backpacks because you never know who is behind you, but if you use this anti-theft bag properly, it’s a great option. Buy this anti-theft travel purse.
I just love the look of this anti-theft travel purse. Also note…it comes with a wristlet with RFID blocking technology!! The bag is 10 inches high and 14 inches wide, making it roomy enough for my bottled water. Innovative slash-proof secure panels protect your bag from slash and grab pickpockets. You can’t see this in the photo but there’s a little hole for your earphones which is just genius design. There’s even a sleeve for a luggage handle so you can slide this over your wheelie-bag if you want. The strap is cut-proof too. Honestly, this anti-theft purse is gorgeously and thoughtfully designed. It’s not cheap but it’s beautiful and comes in a few different colors. Buy this stylish anti-theft travel purse.
If you just want an anti-theft purse that’s big enough for your phone and credit cards, this is a great, affordable option. It still has all the full anti-theft features like locking compartments, slash-resistant construction, and a slash-resistant, adjustable strap, but it’s just scaled down to size. There’s a roomy main compartment with RFID blocking card and passport slots, an open top pocket, a zippered wall pocket and tethered key clip with LED light. This is a great little bag if you want something small! Its probably a little too small for me, however. Buy this anti-theft purse.
Pacsafe is a great brand that you should check out if only because of their amazing travel safes. (I have one and I love it.) Personally, I love this anti-theft crossbody purse because it comes in a couple of great colors like the teal in the photo. (A bright bag is easier to spot in a crowd if someone steals it.) Also, the sleek lines, practical organization and robust anti-theft features combine for a stylish solution to secure travel. RFID blocking material built into a pocket in the main compartment helps protect ids and credit cards from hacker scanning. Adjustable wire-reinforced slash guard strap helps prevent cut-and-run theft; the turn & lock security hook attaches strap to a secure fixture. This also fits a 10-inch tablet and has internal attachment point for wallets and keys. Buy this anti-theft purse.
If you’ve been following my product recommendations long enough, you know that I love eBag packing cubes!! So I was excited to see that eBags had anti-theft travel purses as well. This anti-theft crossbody purse does not disappoint. There’s an RFID protected pocket with card slots and passport pocket, and there are 2 side pockets perfect for standard bottles or sunglasses. The bag’s silver lining makes seeing inside the bag really easy too — such a clever idea. There’s also a leash for your keys. There’s a cell phone pocket on the outside which I personally wouldn’t use because I like to have my phone tucked away inside the bag, but it’s still super handy. This anti-theft purse comes in eight different colors. Buy this anti-theft purse.
Metrosafe LS200 Anti-Theft Crossbody Bag (And Backpack!)
This is a great anti-theft bag for a woman or a man. (Does that make it a murse? A manbag?) it comes in multiple colors and its streamlined design make it a bit unisex. The bag boasts smart zipper security, eXomesh slashguard technology, turn & lock security hooks, and an RFID Blocking pocket. It can also be worn as a backpack by looping the strap through the handle on the top. It’s another Pacsafe product, making it one of the best anti-theft travel bags out there. Buy this anti-theft crossbody travel bag.
Lewis & Clark has a small range of anti-theft purses that I like. This bag offers a stainless steel, cut-proof cable in the shoulder strap; locking zippers on the main compartment and outer pocket for greater security; and a shoulder strap with locking hardware that can be wrapped around a chair or post to prevent grab and go thieves. The Magnaloft fabric also provides a strong deterrent to cutting and slashing. This is a very versatile anti theft travel bag. Buy this anti-theft travel purse.
I’ve added this anti-theft travel bag because I realize that not everyone wants a traditional purse, and I know that backpacks are very easy to shove lots of stuff into and tote around. This anti-theft travel bag is slash proof, lockable, has a locking strap, and also includes RFID blocking technology. It’s made of the same fiber used in police vests and military gear for bullet resistance. It’s very durable and makes for a great anti-theft travel bag. If you’re traveling with kids, this might be a great option for their stuff as you’re walking around. Buy this anti-theft bag.
Features You Want in a Anti-Theft Purse or Bag
All of these anti-theft bags have a few things in common. These are the features you want in an anti-theft purse for travel…
A really secure, thick strap. I have a really beautiful Mulberry crossbody bag, but the leather strap is very thin. One day, I was walking down Upper Street in London when I noticed this guy walking like immediately behind me. It made me super uncomfortable so I slipped into Boots, the pharmacy, and started looking at the perfumes. He was totally going to try to steal my purse because he was so out of place amongst the perfumes. A shop assistant actually asked him if he needed any help and he said he was just lost and immediately turned around and walked out. To this day, I think the thin strap on my leather bag made me an easy target. He could have cut the strap, grabbed my bag and ran. So do yourself a favor and make sure that your anti-theft travel purse has a really strong, thick strap.
Locking zippers: Locking zippers on an anti theft purse can prevent wandering hands when you’re on an escalator or in a crowded elevator.
Locking straps: Locking straps can help you lock your anti theft purse to a chair or table so no one can snatch and grab it while you’re not paying attention. Remember my train story at the beginning of this post? If the woman had locked her bag to her seat or the overhead rack, the pickpocket I thwarted never would have been able to grab her bag in the first place. (I caught him when he pulled her purse down from the overhead rack and rummaged through it.)
A small outside pocket for bus and train tickets. Nothing is worse than digging around your crossbody purse, trying to find your train ticket. So now I look for crossbody purses that have a small outside pocket where I can easily slip in my train tickets or change anything else small that needs to be easily accessible.
A large zippered pocket within the purse for passports and larger items. When I’m traveling, I don’t like to have my passport rumbling around in the bottom of my bag. I like to know that it’s secure and zipped away. So I always look for a crossbody purse with a good-sized inside zippered pocket.
Something big enough to fit a water bottle and your wallet. I’ve seriously done some analysis on this and when I’m traveling, the two main things I carry with me are a bottle of water and a wallet. So my crossbody travel purse really needs to be able to fit these items. A collapsible hat is also something I commonly have on me, so I generally look for a nice and roomy bag. I want it to be at least 16 inches long and 10 inches high.
RFID Blocking Technology: Some credit cards, passports, and driver’s licenses now come with embedded radio frequency identification chips. This runs the risk that you can be electronically pick-pocketed, where someone uses a small device to read all the RFID information on your card and passport chips. RFID blocking technology prevents your chips from being read, so buying a anti-theft purse or wallet with RFID technology provides some peace of mind. (Although there’s a question mark around exactly how much RFID skimming is going on.)
ANTI-THEFT: This is probably the most important thing I look for these days but it is easy to overlook because we all think it won’t happen to us and that we will never be robbed or mugged. I am now super-focused on anti-theft purses for travel. I want them to be slashproof and cutproof.
Style! I don’t want the bag to look too frumpy or shout TOURIST. So I do tend to spend time looking for crossbody anti-theft purses for travel that are more than a little bit stylish.
Other Cool Features to Look for in an Anti-Theft Purse
A few things that are extra bonus features in anti-theft purses:
- Silver linings instead of black linings make it easier to see the bottom of your purse.
- Key leashes are awesome. You attach your key ring to a long elastic strap attached to the bag. This makes your keys really easy to find.
- Some purses come with LED lights to help you find things inside your bag!
- Side water bottle/sunglass pockets are super handy.
Best Anti-Theft Travel Purse Summary
I hope my anti-theft purse post hasn’t scared you to much, but we should always plan to be safe when traveling. I did a ton of research to determine my nine favorite anti-theft purses for travel with the all the features you need to stay organized and safe. If you have any tips for suggestions for the best anti-theft purses, please let me know!
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