Serious Anti-theft Suitcase: Toursafe EXP21 from Pacsafe | Practical Travel Gear 1

toursafe-exp21-topHave you ever had something disappear out of a suitcase? Have you been the victim of baggage theft, like from the months-long campaign that ended in multiple arrests at LAX Airport earlier this year? Or New Orleans?

No system can completely protect you, especially if the ones doing the stealing work for the TSA, but this Toursafe EXP21 sure throws up a lot of obstacles for anyone with sticky fingers. Most likely a potential robber will take a look at this baggage fortress and go try an easier target.

Most bags have some kind of weak point that’s easy to bypass. First of all, if someone’s in a hurry they can just slash it with a knife. Not this one though: the Pacsafe eXomesh wire skeleton under the fabric prevents that. With almost any suitcase, someone can pop open the zipper with just a ballpoint pen (look it up on YouTube), but not with these fortified Pacsafe zippers. Then the zippers can lock and they latch, creating another deterrent. pacsafe zippers

Beyond that, the cool latching Roobar on the top enables the bag to be locked to a pole or hotel room chair and with the included locking cable, you can loop everything together and make sure every section of the suitcase is impenetrable. Forget the hotel safe: this gives you much more protection that no staffer can access.

Invest a few minutes with the instruction manual though so you can figure all this out. My wife didn’t have that when she went to pack this up the first time and ended up calling customer service to figure out how to get one compartment open. (They were very patient and helpful.) After you get it down though, it becomes like second nature to you, but a head-scratcher to even the most experienced thieves.

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All this is well and good, but how does it perform as a suitcase? With a list price of $300, you probably expect this to do more than protect your valuables. Be assured though, the construction is as solid as the security, with quality large wheels, a telescoping handle that’s not going to let you down, and lots of good compartments and compression straps. There are also padded handles on the top and side for when you need to pick it up and put it somewhere. Like most Pacsafe products, the Toursafe 21EXP comes with a five-year warranty. I’ve got some other products of theirs that are hitting the one decade mark.

The only real drawback of this carry-on suitcase is that it’s heavier than usual due to all the extra security parts and the steel locking cable. It weighs in at 8 pounds, 2.5 ounces (3.7 kilos). But hey, that still gives you plenty to work with before you hit the luggage limit for most airlines in this hemisphere.

This rollaboard is the linear 45 inches allowed by most of those airlines, but naturally you’ll probably have to gate check it with those dreaded regional flights on small planes that only have three seats across. See more on the Toursafe EXP21 at the Pacsafe website and get it there, at Amazon, at eBags, or Zappos. There is also a larger 29-inch version for checked luggage.