Best anti-theft travel handbag

My favorite Pacsafe travel handbag

Keeping your money and valuables safe when you travel can be a worry.   This anti-theft travel handbag by Pacsafe can help.

The Pacsafe Slingsafe 250 GII Anti-Theft Handbag is made to ward off theft and help keep your money and valuables safe.

I’m a huge fan of this handbag,  and it’s lasted ages. A fellow traveller on a previous overland trip had a Pacsafe handbag too.  She too only had good things to say about it.  She had a larger size than mine and felt it was a little too large for her needs as she kept carrying things unnecessarily, just because there was room.

This bag has a well-deserved place on my list of Top Travel Items. There are a few things I would change, but they’re not deal-killers.

The main thing I’d change if I could is its availability! I’m unsure if Pacsafe is phasing it out, but stock seems to come and go. No joke, I had my sister buy it in New Zealand for me as I tried twice unsuccessfully to buy it in Europe.

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Me, in Lhasa with my trusty Pacsafe handag, I didn't know this pic was being taken, I'm not usually so grumpy looking

My travel handbag criteria

I  wanted a day-to-day bag to take travelling that wasn’t a day backpack.  I really can’t stand, and don’t need, to schlep around places with a backpack. Plus, the less I look like a tourist (some hope!), the better.

I needed it to be lightweight, yet sturdy and secure. When not in use it would need to fit in my main backpack.  So had to be reasonably ‘squashable’. That’s quite a list of requirements, isn’t it?! But I found one!

I’m partial to a cross body bag, always have been. I’m also partial to goods that have secret compartments or added features.   I do love feature-rich, yet purposeful items. Be they bags, coats, purses or furniture. It was no surprise when the mouth-filling named Pacsafe Slingsafe™ 250 GII anti-theft handbag caught my beady eye.

Pacsafe Slingsafe 250GII Review

Details of it’s numerous security features are on the Pacsafe site.  In short, in the bag lining there is a slash proof mesh, the straps have slash-proof metal in their lining and you can remove one side of the strap to secure the bag to say…a chair back in a restaurant.

The main zipper pull can be attached to a clasp and the pull on the front pocket slips under the fabric to make it more secure, so my lip balm is safe, phew! There is a key ring on a ribbon to attach keys, (which I think is a bit problematic, see below), an internal zippered pocket and padded phone slot.

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The Tardis-like Pacsafe Slingsafe with 12 things in the main compartment
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Fully loaded with 12 items yet there’s still a bit of space available

There is also an RFID blocking pocket for your passport.  Is this really a thing, stealing details electronically?  I’ve no idea, but the pocket is perfect size for my hard drive, and it’s padded. You could also store credit/debit cards that have the chip in here as well.

The size of the bag is just about right, although I wish it was about 1 or 2 inches longer, but it’s not too much of an issue. Below I detail what I can comfortably fit into it, and I doubt I’d want more. It would also be too heavy.

The size meant I could fit enough for a day out, but not be tempted to bring more just because I had space. Plus, when sitting in a cafe or restaurant I could just slide the strap down, keeping it around me still and have the bag stay sitting on my lap enabling me to stuff my face confident my bag was safe.   What more could you want?

I took photos with it fully loaded and I had no problem closing the main zipper.

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Main compartment zipper can be secured, it is fiddly to open though.
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Front pocket zip pull can be tucked under fabric . My lip balm is secure!

In the main compartment:

  1. Pacsafe_RFID_Passport_Pocket

    Handy Passport-sized RFID pocket which can fit a slim external hard drive

    Ipad Mini with case

  2. Kindle, no case (Shhh…I know…naughty!)
  3. Purse
  4. Sunglasses in a soft case
  5. Bottle of water
  6. Umbrella
  7. Dry bag
  8. Passport
  9. Hard drive, as mentioned this fits perfectly in the RFID pocket with the passport.  This goes everywhere my laptop doesn’t.
  10. Compact Mirror (Not vain, I get problems with my contact lenses. What? it’s true!)
  11. iPhone 5 with a robust case
  12. Sony Camera – missing from the pic as I had to take the photo with it.

This still left the internal and external zip pockets with room for smaller items. These contained:  lip balm, hand sanitiser, plasters, spare contact lenses, pen, 30 ml refillable bottle of sunscreen, tissues/wet wipes, hair pins, fluff…..

I reckon I could have added my cotton sun hat or a headband as well as there were gaps in the main compartment, but it would have been stuffed.

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What I can fit in the bag, plus my compact Sony camera.
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Sorry for the dirt! You can see the wire mesh outlined.

You are advised against washing it, and I wish I had sprayed it with some protection before I started using it. I will give it a light sponge bath one day to get some of the marks off, but on the whole, it’s not really showing the dirt too much.   Of course, the colour helps, but I’ve used it almost every day for over 12 months and I think it’s still presentable.  There are no rips or tears to the seams and the lining is surprisingly clean-looking and the fabric seems in good nick still.

It’s quite an innocuous design so doesn’t draw attention and thankfully, to my knowledge, no one has tried to take it or enter it. Perhaps they have and were thwarted, I don’t know.

What I’d change/improve:

  • The paint on the metal clasps chipped fairly quickly, it would be better if these were brushed chrome or something similar
  • Twice the ribbon that you can secure keys to has got stuck in the main zip, rendering it impossible to open the main zip.  The first time was at Duty Free whilst buying a bottle of gin.  I almost had to walk away from the purchase!  NOT. GOOD. You don’t get between me and my gin.  Thankfully with a bit of tugging it worked itself free in time for the purchase to be made.  I think I’ll cut this or pin it out of the way.
  • The phone pocket could do with being a little bit bigger, it’s snug but I have quite a robust cover on my iPhone5 so possibly not an issue for others
  • I’d probably make it about 1 or 2 inches deeper.

These things are minor points really and  I’m very happy with this bag. If I ever lost it I would definitely replace it, so long as I can find one to buy!

 

Please note: This is my bag, purchased with my own funds.  It is not a sponsored post. All views, opinions and photos are my own.

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Much of the information and advice expressed on this website is the personal opinion of the writer. If you choose to follow any advice you do so at your own risk with no recourse to the writer or Adventures in Overland.

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