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Day Bag Replacement

I have carried a PacSafe CitySafe that is a messenger bag size (not a current model that is made). This has made 3 trips to Europe now but I'm finding that it is getting too heavy for me to carry all day. I usually leave my room in the morning and don't return until after dinner - so everything I need stays with me all day. I like the security features of the PacSafe bags - and my next trip is to Paris so I know they will come in handy.

I'm looking for something lighter but with security. I use this bag domestically (especially at theme parks)

I love the fact that I can change the clip from side to side to change shoulders, I can wear in in the front or back and the water bottle pocket is very handy. However, no RFID, locking zippers or slash protection.


Posted by
2479 posts

I don't worry about RFID, or slashing, mostly because I don't carry everything in my day bag. I wear a moneybelt under my clothing, and place my arm across the zipper of my cross body bag.
None of this feels the least bit unnatural, and I go about my day with confidence.

Posted by
23419 posts

Since you find the PacSafe heavy (because of all of the security features) you may have to give up something to save weight.

RFID is simply a marketing play and slash protection is not high on the list of needs either. Locking zippers are nice and it looks like two of the zippers could be linked together. Or simply attach (sow) a small ring to the bag near the end of the zipper so the zipper pull could be secured to the ring. We have carried a small day bag with none of those features for 20+ years and never had any problems. The people who are prone to having a bag slash is someone who is wearing a backpack, generally large, on their backs in very crowded situations. A small bag like that will not be slashed if handled properly in crowded situations.

Posted by
2853 posts

Since you like your KAKA bag, just sew on a snap to secure the zipper. Chances you need RFID and slash proof are nil.

Posted by
6788 posts

Tastes/opinions vary, and no offense, but to me everything that that this brand offers are just needless gimmicks that serve only to make their bags super heavy. I've always felt that this brand preyed on paranoia at the expense of practicality, but I can be cynical about marketing spin.

  • RFID skimming is simply not a real thing. Fake, fake, fake.
  • "Slash-proofing" seems completely unnecessary unless you were planning on carrying bricks of cash or gold on the back of a moped on long drives through back streets of Kabul.
  • I laughed out loud at the built-in USB charger. There are few things on the planet heavier than batteries. Get a good powerbank, if you want one, and have it with you when you actually need it, don't have it built-in so you are forced to lug it everywhere you go 24/7.
  • Personally, I don't "get" or like "messenger" style bags, but that's just a personal style choice; I know some folks like them, I don't. A small, well-designed daypack/backpack works best for me.

Worth noting: It's smart to be careful about securing your valuables when abroad (or at home, for that matter). But the most effective anti-theft device in the whole world is in your head. Use common sense, stay aware of your surroundings, and you've beaten 99% of all problems right there. If you don't keep your head in the game, and you think you can just outsource common sense to some bag manufacturer, I believe you are inviting trouble. There's no substitute for situational awareness.

Posted by
65 posts

I'm glad you all have been lucky - and I do keep the passport and backup money in a belt. I've had a bag cut while on the train (in Paris - oddly never had an issue in any other city in Europe). They tried to cut the strap behind me but due to the steel cords it was a no go - just made an ugly spot on the strap. I always have my hand on my bag so they most likely wouldn't have got it anyway.

I like the idea of making my own zipper locks for this bag - so thanks! I also found a Travelon that is close to the same style at REI so I'll go look at it

Posted by
3240 posts

Yoda, I use travelon bags, or their like, at home and abroad. I like them for the features and their organization. It's just an extra precaution. I don't find them heavy either. My original one was a pac safe and I agree, it is heavy. This is my personal item. I use a medium size crossbody when I need to carry a lot and my small crossbody fits into it, but it is no longer on their site. And my everyday purse is this one by ebags, which has some of the same features, but is small and all I usually need all day.

I find this type of bag protects me from myself as well as potential thieves. I don't forget or lose things, and others don't take my financial items. Why rig a regular purse in a way that is awkward, when a professional can design safety features that are more user friendly? IMO YMMV

Posted by
1259 posts

Just me.

I have carried a man purse for five decades. All kinds of materials and sizes. That’s for my everyday carry stuff, about a pound and a half. If I need clothing, outerwear, snacks, electronics, books, or tools I switch to a backpack.

I had not visited PacSafe’s site in many months till today and I was impressed with their new selection of backpacks in the 20-30 liter range and their sling bags.

While RFID is a phony threat, If you feel more comfortable and secure with the features that companies like PacSafe include in their products, you go ahead and buy another one. A little peace of mind is a good thing. There are other makers of anti-theft bags besides Travelon and PacSafe. Just takes a few searches.

Posted by
302 posts

Or- I have a different option, but everyone has their own style and preferences. (I have learned it's most important to stick with a routine, when I have forgotten or temporarily misplaced stuff it's when I try something new!)
Anyway, these bags ALL look too big, regardless of features for security. More and more athleisure clothing has useful storage. I use a "wallet" that is actually just those one of those small credit card sleeves, there's 4 slots . I zip that into a very small black pouch that can hold some cash/ coins. It easily fits in a cell phone size pocket without being obvious, especially if covered by a t shirt or sweater.
On travel days I would be wearing my money belt, but can easily access this wallet.
I have a very small case on a strap worn cross body just big enough for my phone if I don't have 2 clothes pockets ( usually I do).
Then, for 12 hour days, I use a museum store polyester fabric bag that is about 14" by 14"- the kind that zip into themselves to make a little square. That holds a sweater, sunscreen, water bottle, snacks- if it were taken it wouldn't ruin the trip. I still take all the above precautions with it as in tne previous posts.
I just feel a lot more secure that the important items are safely hidden inside my clothes.

Posted by
898 posts

I have a Travelon AT Classic Sling Bag very similar to the Kaka one you linked. It has all the security features you want and is fairly light weight. It's comfortable to wear, the strap can be hooked on either side and it's easy to slide around and wear in front.

Posted by
1080 posts

I use the PacSafe Vibe 325, low profile and easy carry.

Posted by
350 posts

Well let's start with RFID. USELESS!

As long as you never use your cards it protects you, but it's NOT because of the fancy RFID blocking it's because the cards are NOT actively transmitting LOL! Unless someone is standing on your foot with a scanner they can't scan an RFID card. Don't believe me, try going to the gas station and paying for gas with your card in your bag around you. That little scanner on the gas pump won't find it and won't give you gas!

Slashproof? Really? Exactly how often does this really happen. It's one of those "once in a decade" type of occurrences. I read a lot of travel boards and hear all kinds of horror stories about pickpockets. Honestly can't recall in years reading a slashing story.

Locking Zippers. Well using common sense I travel to Europe at least once a year and have never had a locking zipper. No pickpockets yet!

You do realize that pickpockets go to theme parks too? SO perhaps the bag you have that you use there is just as good for Europe since you haven't been robbed at theme park.

Posted by
898 posts

If the OP wants a bag with anti-theft features, that's their choice. I agree that RFID protection is overly hyped and misunderstood. It's also easily solved, if you are concerned, with an inexpensive sleeve (or even tin foil as some have claimed).

But the other features of anti-theft bags have some value. They certainly can slow a thief down - and frankly a bag that looks like it will slow a thief down is worth it for that alone. Why bother with you when there are easier targets? I sew many of my own bags and totes, and considered making a bag with some of the features, then realized I want the thief to look at my bag and know it's an anti-theft bag. The scenario being, a thief comes running/riding by, tries to snag the bag, can't but instead knocks me to the ground. A trip to an ER to get patched up doesn't sound like a fun vacation. I have several different bags from the smallish backpack I recommended to the OP which met their requirements down to a smaller Travelon that can be worn crossbody or as a waist pack. The later I like because it can go under a coat or overshirt. Drawback is it can't hold other day items like a rain coat, shopping bag, umbrella, guide book, etc.

And certainly situational awareness is key, but even more so if the bag has no features to slow down a thief. I've taken to wearing my travel bags at home more and more after a friend got mugged in a grocery store parking lot. She was loading her groceries not paying attention to her surroundings, a young girl jumped out of a moving car, slid her bag off her arm, hopped back in the car and took off.