I know this has been addressed in the past, but haven't seen anything recently. I'm looking for a cross body bag big enough to fit my ipad mini, maps, glasses case, etc. What are the pros and cons of the travelon versus the pacsafe? Is there a size or style you would most recommend? Are there specific features you particularly like? Looking for advice for pre-holiday shopping. Thanks!
One feature that you might like about Rick's Veloce Guide Bag for iPad is that it starts slim but has an expansion zipper. The bag that I've carried for years is about the same size (11" x 8") but "permanently expanded" and there are times when I don't need all the space it provides. I've also tried Rick's Veloce Shoulder Bag (15" x 11") and found that size larger than I needed or wanted to carry around all day.
You can find a large variety of cross body bags at Marshalls, TJ Maxx or Ross for under $30.00. I purchased my last travel cross body day bag at Marshalls for I think it was $19.99 or $24.99???, a Kipling with a large main compartment zippered (I can fit my tablet in there) and an outside pocket for my quick grab such as maps, and my glasses case. Kiplings are really light weight and take a beating. It folded up small in my main suitcase also. I would go try some on and see what feel you like. An adjustable strap is also really important, just make sure you can zip the top (not a fold over flap).
I have had good luck with Le Sportsac Everyday bags. I like that it has 2 different zipper compartments that are full sized (easily fits my iPad Mini in a case with room for other stuff) along with several others. It is light, sort of water resistant (altho I wouldn't count on it in a downpour) and a nice adjustable strap. To me the Pacsafe and Travelon bags have more security than I feel I need and all the metal cording and metal mesh makes it heavy.
I did sort of get pickpocketed using this purse in April in Paris. I added some carabiners and sewed some loops inside to make it more pickpocket proof and had no issues with pickpockets when I was in Paris in September.
The issues with the pickpocket would not stop me from carrying this purse. I like it because it is horizontal rather than vertical and I feel it is easier for me to locate things in. I hate how stuff drops to the bottom of a vertical hanging purse. I got my first LeSportsac for an 8-week trip in 2014, then got a different fabric (plain black) which I have carried I think since 2015. I love it for a day to day purse but am afraid I will wear it out, lol so I keep it separate and just for travel.
I also travel with a money belt I use for deep storage of my passport, credit and debit cards and all my cash except for what I might need for the day.
I have occasionally seen Le Sportsac purses in TJMaxx and also see them online at Zappos but haven't looked lately. I love Zappos because of their extremely generous return policies.
Style preference in purses/bags vary greatly. I think it's usually best to stick with something similar to the basic style you use at home, though you may need something a bit larger because of the additional things you will be carrying. I travel during hot weather and need a place to put a water bottle, for example.
I like my bags as lightweight as possible (no Pac-Safe for me), so I look at fabric rather than leather. I need an open section that can be overstuffed with local maps, brochures, sections from a guide book, etc. I also must have at least one interior zippered pocket (prefer more) that is itself inside a zipper, for burying my ATM card.
Edited to add: I agree with Pam about the Le SportSac everyday bag. I used one for several years and might still be doing so if I hadn't spilled some medicinal lotion inside it. (It ate the lining.)
I recommend that you look for a purse that holds what you would bring in the minimum case. I guess that would include your mini iPad. For me I have a small purse that holds iPod, phone, backup battery, passport and cards/money. I always take this when I leave the room (I use it at home in the same way.) My favorite right now is this I like to know how little I must have with me. Then if I bring more; i.e., camera, I often use a recycleable grocery bag or my PI backpack if big excursion. My small cross body can always be on me or in a larger bag. I do this as home as well. I don't carry water at home or away. I stop and get a drink...type depending on country. ;)
Wray makes a good point and reminded me that I also travel with an EddieBauer crossbody wallet.
It’s about 7x4 so my passport and iPhone 6 just fit. I travel solo and don’t like to leave my valuables unattended on the plane when I get up to go to the bathroom or walk so I wear this. It’s unobtrusive and easily fits under my travel cardigan. I also use it at my destinations if it is raining and I don’t want to get my purse wet. My rain jacket zips up over this. It does not fit my iPad but I just leave it in the hotel zipped into a packing cube...assuming I feel comfortable in the hotel.
I bought this bag for our trip to Italy in 2018. http://www.travelonbags.com/anti-theft-cross-body-bag#reviews
I like the fit and the locking features (which my everyday Bagellini doesn't have).
The only Pacsafe item I have is a backpack which opens at the top. I really like that bag for our alpine tour and US road trips, but I wanted something cross-body for Italy. My husband usually has a backpack, so I can put my excess items in there, or use my Civita backpack, if needed.
I have the Travelon classic bucket bag which I like so much that it has become my daily purse.
It holds my ipad mini, Iphone 6s, wallet, glasses, smallish book, water bottle, umbrella, and more.
I like the security features, especially the little clips on the zippers which make 2 of the compartments a bit harder to get into. I also like the tethered little flashlight in the main compartment which I altered to hold a small sack that I can put a little extra cash and/or ATM card when I need to stop by the bank.
It comes in lots of great colors but I chose low-profile black. Next time it's on sale on E-bags I might get a second one in purple!
I think it's worth a look!
I see that eBags has substantial discounts on some bags at the moment. They may just last the day. Take a look soon if you're in the market.
Edited to add: I've learned to reject bags whose top zippers don't open wide enough. I like a zipper that is longer than the bag's length. The fuller the bag gets (and when you're traveling, the bag is likely to be quite full), the harder it is to find things if the zipper isn't long enough.
I love my Travelon Anti-theft messenger bag. It is a crossbody bag that has anti-theft lobster claw clasps on the zippers, as well as a slash-proof strap. There are two zippered mesh pouches on the sides that can hold a water bottle or umbrella or zipped up when not needed. It is large enough for my Kindle as well as eye glass case, make up, camera, etc. I've taken it to Spain, Italy and Israel and use it often here at home.
My favorite cross body bag is my Tom Bihn Café bag. I found the medium the perfect size for me, but they are available in small and large sizes. There are a variety of colors, carry everything I need for a day of travel without being too large/heavy, and feels secure. I frequently carry a Klean Kanteen bottle in my Café bag for a day of sightseeing and still have room for everything I need. I really like the options of attaching different pouches via the O-ring which enhances security. The Café bag is available for online ordering or if you are in Seattle, you can stop by their factory. The customer service was excellent. When I'm in Seattle, I try to visit to see new items and make a few purchases.
The large Tom Bihn Cafe bag has been discontinued.
Look at Lite Gear's City Tote (& maybe there's newer styles). I bought the cross-body for travel 2 yrs ago, now use it all the time at home, too. Zippers & fabric as new. Love it.
I like the Keen Brooklyn II bag. It is lightweight and a great size for even a full size ipad and then some. I can fit an ipad, wallet, passport, sunglasses, phone, and some extras. There extra internal pockets with zippers which I like for an extra layer of protection. The bag is always for sale but the colors that are available vary. I have a black and a chambray.
I am very fond of bags from Baggalini. Many of the crossbody bags accommodate an iPad and more so I won't recomment just one style. They are sturdy, washable, colorful, not expensive.
I also like Baggallinis, though the last time I looked the particular style I've been using seemed no longer available. Glad I bought two. I appreciate that they are lightweight, and they hold up well even if you overstuff them. I've occasionally seen the brand at TJ Maxx or Marshalls, though not so much recently.
I used a Baggalini for my trip in Sept., and it worked out very well. I was able to fit everything I needed in it( including a super zoom camera). I recently shopped at Marshalls, and they had quite a selection, so I bought another one.
Ebay and Amazon are good for these sort of things.
We bought these and used these. We loved them. The Pewter looks unisex so my hubby didn’t mind carrying his 1st man bag.
I like my very light weight, washable and roomy Baggalini. Picked up at TJ Maxx for about $30. Gray outside, yellow inside....nothing gets lost in a black abyss.
Thank you, Pam, for the comment about your EddieBauer crossbody wallet. I have a very small LeSportsac crossbody that would be perfect for keeping my critical items with me during the flight.
Check out PacSafe - https://www.pacsafe.com/ I have a backpack, a purse and a travel wallet. The purse and wallet have the RFID to protect credit cards. PackSafe has steel woven into straps so can't be cut and have handy zipper clips and strap clips that can be wrapped around a chair leg when seated in restaurant etc. There are many options and styles to choose from . REI and other retailers also carry their products.