Some travelers worry a lot about things being stolen out of their bag. Unlike the fears of being a terrorism kidnapping victim in the Middle East or getting beheaded by narcos south of the border, this one actually has a good chance of happening if you’re not careful. Even in places people feel are safe, it’s dangerous to let down your guard: more tourists get robbed in Italy than anywhere else. If you’re on a subway or in a crowded market anywhere, odds are someone is working the angles, trying to find a score.
As the value of what travelers are lugging along with them goes up with the number of gadgets they’re packing, you can easily have the equivalent of $1,000 on you—and thieves know it.
I’ve been recommending Pacsafe products for a long time. I reviewed a few of their items on the old version of this gear blog that are still available, like the Metrosafe 200, a portable locking safe, and a Daysafe slash-proof laptop backpack. Here we checked out a theftproof laptop bag in a more conventional briefcase style.
I like this cool little Venturesafe 200 bag because it’s a nice size for a day of sightseeing. Everything seems to be sized just right. The back pocket can hold a Kindle nicely and the phone pocket is the right size for my Android smart phone. With those two things in there (and lots of little things), I can still fit in a super-zoom camera. There are additional pockets for other items and gadgets, a clip for keys, and a secret zippered pocket facing the top.
All that’s well and good for travelers, but the real advantages to this small daypack are all the security measures. First of all, the strap over your shoulder is slash-proof and snatch-proof. A thief can’t quickly cut through it with a knife because there’s wire mesh inside. The same wire mesh goes through the whole bag as well, so the old trick of slashing the bottom of a pack and taking what’s inside won’t work with this. The extra-strong zippers tuck into little pockets so they’re hard to reach. A robber can’t unbuckle the strap without turning a knob to the side at the same time.
None of these thing will keep a really determined bad guy from just taking your whole bag—especially if you’re swinging it around while stumbling drunk down the street alone—but they put up levels of deterrent. Those will usually be enough to thwart a thief who is in a hurry and doesn’t want to get caught. They’ll move on to another mark.
Like all Pacsafe bags, this Venturesafe 200 one feels very strong and well-made, like it’ll outlast all your travels. It comes with a two-year guarantee. There are four color choices and the list price is $54—not bad for something that’s like a daypack with an insurance policy attached. It also comes in a larger 300 size that’s less purse-like or if you want to carry around an iPad or netbook.
See all the details at the Pacsafe website and check prices online, where it’s often discounted.
Tim Leffel is founder of the Practical Travel Gear blog, as well as the Cheapest Destinations blog and the narrative webzine Perceptive Travel. He is the author of The World's Cheapest Destinations (now in its 4th edition), Make Your Travel Dollars Worth a Fortune, and A Better Life for Half the Price.
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