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Even PacSafes Don‘t Last Forever

This morning I was reading a post about a pickpocket incident at the Acropolis (which has since disappeared?). A reply on the thread mentioned a PacSafe backpack with locking zippers and I thought I’d start a cautionary tale post of my own.

In Germany last month, getting out of a taxi, one of the turnlock security clips on the strap of my much-loved, well-traveled PacSafe small crossbody purse opened spontaneously. The clip opened and worked its way out of the loop attaching the strap to the purse. With the strap detached, the purse slipped off my body onto the seat of the cab. Fortunately, I noticed the missing purse immediately, grabbed it and exited the cab.

This happened on day 3 of a 21 day trip. For the duration of the trip, I secured the clips closed by wrapping some stretchy medical tape I had in my first aid kit around both clips. It wasn’t pretty, but it held the clips shut. Note to self: add black duct tape or gaffers tape to packing list.

I have no idea exactly what happened - I’m guessing that with years of use the clip mechanism simply wore out. Nothing lasts forever.

When I got home I emailed PacSafe customer service. I knew the 10 year-old bag had been discontinued and was far out of the warranty period, but I was hoping to be able to simply purchase a new strap and continue using the bag. They generously offered me a 20% discount on a new bag and let me know that unfortunately, a replacement strap is not available.

So, considering a replacement, PaceSafe does make a compact crossbody, the Daysafe, which is similar in size to my old bag (7.9” x 4.7”). However, it opens like a book which is not my preferred design. Instead, I’ve purchased the small Baggallini Securtex Activity crossbody (7” x 5.25”). It features a locking zipper on the main pocket, a cut resistant strap and 2 extra, open exterior pockets that will be useful for stashing non-valuables.

I’m not sure I could have caught the failing clip, but as I pack in the future, I’ll be taking a closer look at my travel equipment for wear and tear.

Posted by
945 posts

Phew! So glad you noticed your purse. I agree about taking travel equipment out for a test drive (as it were) before a trip. Several years ago one of our suitcase wheels decided to break on a hill as we were walking to our hotel. It would have been so helpful to have had duct tape. Fast forward, we now always travel with folding duct tape https://www.amazon.com/RediTape-Pocket-2-Pack-inches-Silver/dp/B015HNAD1U/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?crid=3LK1E84YLZKPD&keywords=travel%2Bduct%2Btape&qid=1697029363&sprefix=travel%2Bduct%2Btape%2Caps%2C85&sr=8-1-spons&sp_csd=d2lkZ2V0TmFtZT1zcF9hdGY&th=1.

I have a Travelon crossbody purse which I love and hope to have for years, but will check for any glitches such as the one you had.

Posted by
332 posts

Thanks, Lindy! A twin pack of that convenient flat duct tape just went in my Amazon cart. (Oooh, it comes in colors.)

Posted by
14280 posts

Wow, Jen. That is shocking. I'm glad you caught it in time.

And yes to duct tape. Mine is old and needs replacing. There was a shortage of the cute smaller rolls, lol. I get the skinny rolls from Michaels or other craft type shops. My personal fav is aqua jaguar. It has come in handy to lend to others on tours, lol. Sent one guy back to Boston with his bag with a broken zipper wrapped up in aqua duct tape, lol.

I recommend a few small carabiners as well. I usually use the Nite-Ize small dual S-biner. Easy to find in any hardware or outdoors store. I had a failure with my binocular strap last year in Italy. Oddly one of the guys on tour worked for the binocular company and was shocked when I showed him what had broken.

Posted by
332 posts

Yes, Pam, it was shocking and also had my security-awareness heightened and off-kilter for a few days. Not a pleasant feeling.

Thanks for the additional tape ideas. Yesterday, I was eyeing some random carabiners in a junk drawer that I will toss in my travel first aid kit.

Posted by
14280 posts

Yes, I think I have a couple of carabiners stashed on the zippers of my non-liquid toiletry kit, lol.

I don't use a purse like a PacSafe but I do use carabiners on the purse zippers and attach them to a split ring (key chain ring) I attach to my purse strap.

Posted by
332 posts

Pam, great idea to combine carabiners AND split rings.