I am looking for a lightweight crossbody purse (not too large). I love Dooney and Bourke bags because they all have key tethers inside---which I use to tether my mini wallet/card holder. But D& B bags (even the nylon ones) are heavy. I'm not interested in the "anti-theft" bags like Travelon and Pacsafe. Their features add weight. Baggallini bags are very lightweight and would work but no tether. Any suggestions? Does anyone know of a purse brand that usually has a key clip tether inside?
You can make your own key tether in about 10 minutes.
- A key clip big enough for your key ring. The swivel kind are nice.
- thin elastic cord around 2mm diameter (I go to Joanne’s and buy it by the foot)
- a split ring around 1 inch in diameter
- needle and thread
- Whip stitch the split ring into a pocket of your bag. The pocket should be easily accessible.
- Cut a length of elastic cord to approximately 10” to 1 foot.
- Loop the cord through the sewn in split ring
- Slide the claw clip trough the cord. 5 Tie the cord off in a barrel knot.
You’ll end up with something like this. I now add bunjee key clips to all my bags. Some bags have loops on them so I don’t even need a split ring.
If you've found a purse you like, like a Baggallini or other, consider installing your own key tether. A few years ago a forum friend outfitted her purse with some security features. I got pickpocketed in Paris (didn't get anything but my OTC pouch but it contained my "good" hand cream, lol) right after that so I've installed features on my travel purse as well.
I used a split ring (the kind on key chains - you can get them at Michaels) sewed to the bottom inside of my LeSportSac Everyday purse and a Dry Doc coil tether to attach my OTC pouch to the bottom. You could easily use that to tether your keys. I also use split rings and caribiners to close my exterior and interior purse zippers.
I bought a souvenir embroidered key chain with a clip at one end and split ring (such as Pam describes) at the other end. The shoulder straps of my Baggallini purse are connected to the bag with D rings, to which I connect the split ring. The key chain slips behind the zippered opening to connect the clip to any item in my bag.
It's a souvenir and added security in one!
I have Baggalli and Kipling crossbody purses that have key tethers. I have a small wallet with an attached key ring that I attach to the tether. I don’t have to detach it to access the wallet.
Pam, I love your idea of using the Dry Doc coil to attach to something like my camera or phone, where I want some flexibility in the length.
Great suggestion to stich a ring to the interior of the purse! I've done that with some travel pants - sewed a D ring inside the waistband, to which I can connect a hidden wallet. But I hadn't thought of doing it with a purse!
CW, credit goes to Lynn from Boise for that find! Those coils work really well plus they come in aqua, ALWAYS a plus, hahaha!!
I think I do the same as Pam, probably because I got the tip from Lynn in Boise. :)
I have two different Kipling bags. Each comes with one tether, but I've also added the coil tethers on a ring inside each zippered section. Rings with double-s carabiners on the outside zippers really secures the entire bag. I keep the zipper side to my body and feel pretty secure. The tethers and carabiners from REI.
I've also added rings and carabiners to the outside zippers on whatever I use on the plane as my personal item, with my purse inside. Not for the plane, but for those first minutes after deplaning, getting luggage, comfort break, food, transportation, etc. I don't worry while I'm otherwise distracted getting through the airport and making my way to my hotel. I'm more vulnerable during that first hour than at any time during my travels. :)
Barbara, can you give me a link to the carabiner type you use?
Andrea, yes---that's exactly what I use the tether for. Since my original post I have found a couple of Baggallinis and several Kiplings with the tether. Not very attractive for going out at night, but I'll be with a big group so it's not like we won't look like tourists anyway! lol
I bought mine at REI, here's the link:
Kipling. I think most of the bags have a key tether
I really like the Alvar style which comes in various solids and prints. It has a tether inside the main compartment. I use this bag as my everyday bag, as well as a travel bag and love how the tether makes it so easy to find my keys without digging through my purse.
Tom Bihn but they aren't as cute as D&B. More functional. I have seen people sew them in.
I have had several Baggallini crossbody bags over the years that have tether’s. I particularly like Baggallini because they are lightweight, machine washable, and sturdy. That said, I like the great ideas up thread for future reference!
Thanks for all the help everyone! I still have some time so I can keep my options open till I find exactly what I want. Keep the suggestions coming, please!
If you've got an Eddie Bauer Outlet store they carry those Nite-Ize carabiners. Get extras because they disappear, lol.
Pam and Barbara, I'm glad that you and some others found my tip useful.
For others considering the option: I really like how the coil expands so I can use the item without disconnecting and it returns back to the compact coil length when in the purse. I've used them for years and they have remained like new.
As for attaching to inside of purse or bag, some bags have a tag attached along an inside seam (Baggallini for one). If the tag is folded double, you can just put a split key ring through that with no sewing. Or if two tags are sewn in the same seam, just sew the two ends together for adding the split key ring.
Hint: If sewing a key ring into a bag/purse with a lining, don't sew it just to the lining, the lining will pull up out of the purse along with the coil. Sew securely into a side or bottom seam.
(Hi Mary of Sunnyside)
If the tag is folded double, you can just put a split key ring through that with no sewing.
I use the label as the base as well. It does provide a strong base. While I sew extensively, I don't sew on something such as this, if I don't have to do so...so a little laziness on my part, I guess. So if you don't sew... I use a diaper pin or a quilting pin and run it down the center of the label. I then attach the clip to the pin and the other clip to the object. The pin system allows more than one item to be attached. I've also used a lanyard, running the end through the label and back through the lanyard. Then I use the clip to attach whatever item I want.
Another vote for Baggallini when you are looking for a new purse replacement. I’ve used them for years for everyday since purchasing one for a trip several years ago, They are lightweight, and I’ve washed mine several times in the washing machine on delicate and line-dry. Even the colors hold up well to machine washing.
I use their small accompanying coin purses for my half-daily Euro coin & bills; the rest are in my money belt.
I have several Baggallini bags and all have key tethers.
Drat, I just checked and my 2 Baggallini bags do not have a folded tag (though there are multiple tags that could be sewn together); nor do they have a key tether. They do have elastic loops, which are meant for holding a pen horizontally. But the pens slip out.
They are useful, however, for attaching a split ring, and anything else from there!
Pam, I am ordering a set of those coils. Thank you!
CWsocial, I have a Baggallini without a tether, but with an elastic pen loop. I put a carabiner through the loop and attach my wallet to that.
I use my Baggallini and Kipling purses all the time, not just while traveling.
Tom Bihn. Buy once forever. Many ways to add multiple key tethers and other clever accessories. Lots of interesting colors. Great company.
Tom Bihn makes great stuff. The trouble with TB for me, is that then I'd feel obligated to use that bag for a long, long time due to the cost. I am a bag addict, so that wouldn't work for me.
BTW, I just purchased a Sherpani Sojourn on sale and used the label for the diaper pin and attached my clip cord. If you are a frequent British Airways person, it is 12 x 16 x (4 or 5 I'm guessing) so a perfect size for the BA personal item. Also, it can be a tote, crossbody or backpack. AND, folders and computer fits wonderfully for my other endeavors. Just an FYI.
This might be too big for you, but thought I'd throw it out there as it is on sale.
I'm more vulnerable during that first hour than at any time during my travels. :)
Barbara — this is so true !! And your plan for dealing with it and making it NOT a problem is so smart!
All of you have given wonderful suggestions! There are bits and pieces of all of your bag suggestions that I love! Maybe I could combine those suggestions and design a million dollar bag! LOL
Any other suggestions would be welcome. I'm looking for something a little elegant looking...not too tiny...key leash...outside and inside pockets (credit card slots not important to me---I hook a little card/change holder to the key leash).
I really admire the DIY suggestions. I'm not good with that sort of thing at all. You guys are great to be able to do that sort of thing!
Any other suggestions?
I love that link (Coil) and suggestion, Pam. I’ve already added it to my Amazon cart. I also like the suggestion of just clipping one end to the tag in my purse instead of seeing a key ring. I checked and I do have a tag. Thanks for the tip. I really wanted to take a more fashionable purse and I found it. However, I knew I needed to make it anti-theft.
I’m getting a lobster claw today (from Amazon, 1.5 inches) to secure my top zipper. Then with the inside secure I’ll feel better. My hand is always resting on the top zipper when I walk around with the purse in front of my body.
If you've got a Michael's you may find a lobster claw in the jewelry section, where I also found the split rings. I did have to order the coils from Amazon. Carabiners may be easier to open than a lobster claw although would still be too hard for a pickpocket to fool with.
Ebags Piazza Day Bag has been my purse for everyday and travel for years. Friends have bought it on my recommendation and they like it, too. It has a key leash, which is the only place I allow myself to put my car keys. They've added the RFID block since I got my last one. https://www.ebags.com/product/ebags/piazza-day-crossbody-bag--20-wrfid/340526
Derek Alexander is my go-to crossbody with key tether. I have been buying the same model for years because it holds my stuff perfectly. Yes, I'm a creature of habit, but I know where everything is.
Lindanny, I also had an original piazza bag from eBags and somehow managed to misplace it. I actually bought a "used" one from the Mercari app and it's in pristine shape. It was $16.
I also bought a Rick Steves bag on Mercari for a super inexpensive price. A nice way to "try out" a bag.
Kipling bags come in a variety of sizes, styles and colours. I have two and both have key tethers.
They are very lightweight and durable.
I like ebags piazza bag. The newest version has some updates I don't like, I snag old ones off Ebay for $15
Hi Doric8, I had the old piazza bag and lost it. I purchased a newer one. What are the differences?
It seems a bit smaller and won't sit up so you can load it with out holding with other hand
The key tether is moved and now there is s dedicated phone slot on back, which some might see as a plus. The main zipper is flipped cuz actually between the house and car I just clip my keys to the strap adjustment ring and let them hang down into the bag.... can't do that w new bag. Supposedly this bag is machine washable, which is another plus in the current climate