Hi..does anyone think it is necessary to purchase an anti theft/security backpack? We will be in Germany Norway Spain. I do plan on having a money pouch around my neck or waist but wanted to know if a special backpack is really needed?
Some people like to use them, but generally if you're smart with your bag (Keep it in front of your body, not behind you. Keep your hand on the opening wear the zipper is, especially when walking through crowds) I don't think it's necessary. I travel without one and have never wished I had it. But if it will make you feel more comfortable, consider it. Just don't let it make you feel overly confident to the point where you are not as cautious.
I carry/use a Ospray 45 porter pack/bag and its been fine. Ive put it on luggage racks on trains and its always been there. I guess ive been luck, so far. If the trains arent full, i wont take it off either but i make sure there isnt anyone behind me too.
But if you feel more comfortable using one, go for it. why would you want to be worrying about your luggage all the time when youre on vacation. Mind you that it isnt an license to leave your brains at home and to do stupid things.
I travel so that i dont have to worry much about things like that. All of my "valuables" i can carry on me and i usually do. If i choose to, i can leave one of my cameras in my room. The cameras were expensive, but not so that i cant replace them if i had to. The memory card is worth more to me than the camera itself.
A few years ago I bought a pacsafe bag, I hated it and threw it away once I got back home. I use a messenger bag now.
I don't feel it is necessary. I use a regular backpack and just bring it in front of me in crowds. I do usually put a lock on it to keep anyone from being able to easily open it. I also wear a money belt, so usually if someone did get in the backpack they would only get maps, water bottles, umbrella, a jacket, etc. But so far, I haven't had any problems.
I also do not recommend. I use a 40L REI pack or a slightly smaller North Face and bought tiny carabiner clips that I can use to clip zippers together on the odd occasion where I want a bit more of an obstacle to slipping open the bag itself.
For the security belt/pouch, I just bought a FlipBelt for my wife to try in lieu of money pouch necklace/belt... can't vouch for it yet but looked like it might be an improvement over other options.
Thank you all so much for your suggestions!
I wouldn't go as far as to get a special backpack for the trip.
I was once pick pocketed at the foot of a subway escalator in Paris when people tripped in front of us. All they want is cash.
My wife and I are now very security conscious, especially in subways and around train stations where pickpockets are accepted members of society. No billfolds are used, and nothing is kept in outside pockets. My wife carries nothing, and she walks very closely behind me in tight areas.
And if anyone gets within "our space", we are no longer polite Americans but complete assholes. And at 6'3" and 230 lbs., nobody messes with me. We're now proactive in our security at all times.
I agree - a security backpack isn't necessary. I use a cross-body messenger bag for daily city stuff. If I do wear a backpack, I put nothing of value in it. That way, if anyone wants to go through it, they're welcome to. All they'll find is a guidebook, a granola bar, Kleenex, a water bottle, maybe a jacket, and any souvenirs I bought.
If you wear a moneybelt and only keep daily money in your day bag, you should be fine. Pay attention in crowds and when you're on public transit.
I use a PacSafe cross body purse that I bought at AAA when I'm overseas, and it's worked well for me. If I'm on public transit, I either hug it close to me (when seated) or move it to the front when standing.
I've used an anti-theft day bag (purse, convertible to backpack) on 4 out of 5 Europe trips. I would say a special bag isn't necessary unless you are packing around a camera, tablet, laptop, or other valuable item that won't fit into your waist money pouch. The anti-theft bag kept my tablet from being lifted on a couple of occasions. If you don't have an anti-theft bag, a regular bag or purse with dual zippers that can be locked together would be useful. BTW, a waist money pouch (concealed under your clothing) is much safer than a neck wallet: if the cord of the neck wallet is visible, it can be cut and your neck wallet stolen fairly easily.
I use a flat 9x11 leather "day bag" purse I purchased in Venice. I wear the bag diagonally across my body. I don't include anything in the beg that can't be replaced easily so go ahead and steal it fools! :-) Money, passport, debit card, extra credit card are in my neckpouch under my clothing. Day's cash and a credit card are kept in a small flat dark leather coin purse kept in a front pants or jacket pocket, usually the pocket beneath my day bag.