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Recommendations for Anti-theft sling pack (chest pack)

Leaving for Italy in a couple weeks, so excited! I am looking for an anti-theft sling pack...the kind that fits across you chest. A brand I'm familiar with is "Kavu" but I couldn't find any from them that were anti-theft. We have purchased (last year for same trip that we had to cancel) actual backpacks that are anti-theft already. Supposedly they have metal or wiring in all the straps that make them "uncuttable" and all zippers lock etc. We don't really want to lug around a large backpack for day trips while sight-seeing the Colosseum, Vatican, etc. Would prefer something much smaller with same features that would fit phone, travel doc's, face masks, water bottle, etc.

Any suggestions or perhaps prior experience with something similar?

Thanks in advance.

Posted by
60 posts

Hi. Try the Pacsafe brand - just google them. They should have styles that fit your needs. I ordered a shoulder bag for a cancelled 2020 trip, but I haven't used it yet. It is great quality and comfortable to wear. I can't wait to "field test" it on a couple of upcoming trips to Mexico. Buon viaggio! Have a wonderful trip to bella Italia.

Linda

Posted by
3350 posts

Travelon is another brand that is highly touted, so you could check them - they do have at least one sling bag. I've never tried them, or any other "anti theft" bag, since after 45 or so years of international travel I've never found them necessary if normal precautions are taken.

Posted by
943 posts

I use a pacsafe Vibe 325, It is perfect to carry on trips with just the right size and the security devices work well.

Posted by
8174 posts

Just wear a messenger bag, cross body. No one wants your water bottle and guidebook and they aren't going to cut your straps.
Put your big money and bank cards in a silk money belt, worn under your clothing.

Posted by
891 posts

Totally agree with Ms Jo. You don't need an anti-theft bag. Pacsafe is poorly made. I bought one of their shoulder bags and it fell apart within 3 weeks. Also, not all sides of the bag was anti-theft.

Posted by
7262 posts

I have to agree with MS Jo. All you need is just a money belt or kneck wallet (I have used the same one without fail for 20 years of trips to Europe) worn under clothes to secure passports extra credit cards and cash.

Posted by
28119 posts

I completely agree with Ms. Jo from Frankfurt, and so does my wife.

Posted by
1337 posts

I did a quick search on Amazon and found an WATERFLY Crossbody sling backpack for $17.99. Has side mesh pockets for water bottle and looks perfect for a "sling" pack.
I just use a regular leather cross body purse, usually Fossil Brand with a top zipper. Husband uses a Lowepro Camera Bag

Posted by
3936 posts

Just to counter - I got a PacSafe bag for our 2nd trip in 2010 and have used it on all our trips with no issues - mine still looks brand new. Sorry the other poster must have gotten a bad one. We used a MetroSafe 250 - what I really liked about it was the layout - the little pockets and hidey holes - made organizing easy.

Posted by
882 posts

I've used the Travelon ones and been happy with them. It might be overkill, but then again, it might not. A friend of mine is from Poland, and she was telling me about how her mom arrived home from grocery shopping one time to discover that she was still hanging onto her purse strap, but the purse had been cut off from it. It might be rare, but it does happen.

For me it's a matter of how much it would inconvenience me to have my purse stolen or pickpocketed. It would be an inconvenience anytime, but while travelling in another country on another continent, it would be extra inconvenient, not to mention the time wasted dealing with everything that could be better spent sightseeing.

So, shrug, I like the extra bit of insurance an anti-theft bag gives me.

Posted by
891 posts

Even the medium-size Pacsafe bags seemed too bulky and heavy and the shoulder strap not comfortable (I've tried two), so I use a Pacsafe Mini Cross-Body Bag (about 9"x6") to hold my phone, money, copy of my passport, and sunglasses. I am super careful with it. For convenience, I made a pocket on the back for chapstick, small hand lotion, tissue, and hand sanitizer. I don't normally carry more than that when at home. But, full disclosure, my husband carries a large, sloppily fastened, easy-to-pickpocket messenger bag, as he does at home, and he is willing to put extra stuff of mine in it, like a travel umbrella or sweater.

Posted by
847 posts

Even if you get an 'anti-theft' bag make sure your really important stuff (passport, debit cards and credit cards- except for one) are in an under the clothes 'money belt'. Even if your bag is 'anti-theft' there are going to be times you'll be distracted or whatever and leave a zipper unlocked, even open, or just sling it over your shoulder rather than cross body. Most of the thefts while traveling are these types. I really think the knife slashing variety is very rare. It just makes an impression when you read about the possibility in guide books. But you are much more likely to absentmindedly just sling it onto your should "just for a few minutes" and that's when someone could grab it. I have been to Europe on over 33 trips and never bothered with a special "anti-theft" bag. I have also never spent even one day without my passport and extra cards/money in an under the clothes money belt. That way if your bag does get stolen (or left behind) all you'll lose is your water bottle and stuff.

Posted by
882 posts

Here are the Travelon ones I've used:

https://www.travelonbags.com/shop-the-look/crossbody-bags/best-sellers/anti-theft-classic-crossbody/42373.html?dwvar_42373_color=purple&quantity=1&catid=Classic-Collection

https://www.travelonbags.com/shop/anti-theft-bags/parkview-collection/anti-theft-parkview-hobo-crossbody/43408.html?dwvar_43408_color=black&quantity=1

I've never forgotten to close them or to carry them crossbody. I also like that they're water resistant, and they can be clipped onto a chair if I don't want to sit in a restaurant wearing my purse.

Posted by
5706 posts

You need to use the same sling pack that you use at home when out and about. Your chances of getting robbed are probably about the same if you take sensible precautions and don’t flash your wallet or mobile phone around.

I have never been pick pocketed or had a bag broken into. I would take additional precautions if travelling in South America or Africa, but not Europe.

Posted by
49 posts

Thanks for all the responses. Seems there is a mixed bag of thoughts on an anti-theft/cut resistant bag. I’m not sure if it’s needed or not in Italy, but I’d sure hate to be the one to find out the hard way. I’ve never not zipped my bag or left it open, in fact I think I’m hyper vigilant about my bag anywhere I go , just ask my husband! Lol

I appreciate the info,, I’ll open the links and see what I can find.

Be well everyone! 😊

Posted by
93 posts

I have a Travelon crossbody bag I picked up at a local thrift store (yay for bargains!) It's the model shown here: https://www.travelonbags.com/shop-the-look/crossbody-bags/all-bags/anti-theft-classic-travel-bag/42224-360.html

I use it frequently for local day trips, because I can fit my point & shoot camera, phone, and all the other "stuff" in it, plus it has a water bottle holder. I keep the camera in the largest section and leave it unzipped if I'm taking a lot of pictures. Since it has multiple locking zipper compartments, I keep my phone/ID/credit cards in a zipped pouch that I lock (mainly so I'm not getting in and out of it, forgetting to zip it, and lose my important stuff), and I put chapstick, mask, or anything else I need more frequently into another pocket that I don't bother to lock.

It's held up really well so far (trips to zoo, national parks, even hiking). The wide strap is pretty comfortable, even when I'm carrying a camera AND a water bottle.

Posted by
891 posts

I think the best combo is:

A sturdy bag with lockable zippers (such as double zippers with a small lock) + your 100% vigilance