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Small crossbody to tuck Into Personal Item then use for everyday carry

I have purchased a small travelon crossbody to use as my purse once we are off the plane:

Now that I try to fit it into my Sherpani Camden bag to use as a personal item, I feel like it eats up way too much space. The material is thick and heavier and doesn't squish like I was hoping. Does anyone have a recommendation for a small lightweight crossbody that they've used and liked. I liked the Travelon safety features, but I don't love how much space it takes up. I'd love to hear what you use and enjoy!

Posted by
2803 posts

I carry a tiny crossbody Travelon purse for everyday, similar to this As tiny as it is, it holds my daily essentials, phone, money, aspirin, Dramamine, etc. It’s been to Europe twice. I clip on a tiny packable shopping bag bought in London to use if I add things during the day. For day trips, I carry a packable backpack for water, jacket, etc, plus the tiny crossbody purse.

I have a non-Travelon purse about the size you’re taking. But it hurts my neck after a couple days. I’m toying with the idea of using it as a packing cube in my tote when in transit. There are days, I want to carry a bigger purse but not a backpack. I’m still thinking about this.

Just want to add that I always wear a money belt under my clothes. Stashbandz is the best and most comfortable.

Posted by
4574 posts

I am trying to transition to a purse similar to the Lululemon one above, but in hot weather the lack of space for a waterbottle is annoying.
I have a Baggallini similar to this one (older style)
It is extremely lightweight and easy to flatten down as it isn't padded.
I don't buy bags specifically for its antitheft features, but you can make a few tweaks to this if you are concerned. First, note the seat belt web strap...hard to cut. There are inside zip pockets and a tether to clip to your phone or wallet so it doesn't fall out in the remote chance the bottom is cut. If you are wearing it slung to the front of your body and short to your waist, the ability to slash and grab are greatly reduced. You can add lockable S hooks (I prefer the small size of the key chain version) and the bonus is these can be used on other items as well For that matter, safety pins will also deter a pickpocket.
As I travel shoulder season, I often peal off a sweater or coat so time in the day, so that drapes over the top of the bag....or a scarf.
The other thing I like about this bag, is because it is so pliable, it fits in my lap during a meal while still slung across my body. Another safety practice.
I should say I try to make this the only personal item with my rolling bag, so I like the trolley sleeve for airports, but you can look at options smaller and without the sleeve. I actually find this bag a bit big, but that means it holds a lot on those transit days when you want more stuff at your seat....but is very light.

Posted by
339 posts

I find Travelon purses to be too heavy, and the straps are not wide enough to be comfortable. I use this Peak bag - it folds up, is lightweight and has a wide adjustable strap. No specific water bottle holder but a bottle (smaller) will fit in the purse. I'd love for it to be just a tad bigger, to fit a jacket or sweater, but it's easy enough to slide one through the strap on the outside.

Posted by
7349 posts

I use the Sherpani Camden as my tote personal bag, and the purse I place inside it during transit is the Baggallini that looks like the Pocket Crossbody With RFID - not sure if mine has the RFID, but it does have the “paperclip closure” on the zippers where it’s harder for someone to come up and open the zipper.
Last year I had a small pair of sandals in a shoe bag on the bottom of the tote. The purse on top and sometimes my iPad in the slot, and a small bag of snacks. Masks and antibacterial wipes in the outer pockets and a few papers.

Posted by
11269 posts

I am going to go to Lululemon today to take a good look at that bag.

Posted by
2749 posts

Step away from the lure of the safe... of course it's eating up too much space. They had to make it heavy to justify charging you for the unrequired security. (Honestly your chances of being "slashed" are basically non-existent)

Posted by
15321 posts

FYI....rumor has it that RS will be introducing a new crossbody bag next month.

I believe it's called the "Copenhagen Crossbody" and it will be made of recyclable material.

I have no other information.

Posted by
1059 posts

Get the Uniqlo crossbody that everyone else has. There’s a reason they’re so popular. Hold loads for such a small bag and very lightweight.

Posted by
443 posts

Silverlingspotter, the Travelon bag that you purchased (the Anti-Theft Classic Messenger bag) is the first Travelon bag that I purchased in 2015. I have used it on a couple of trips to Europe and while it is a great bag, it is too heavy for me, especially if I have a water bottle in one of the side pockets . Over the years, I have bought several different Travelon and Pacsafe bags, always trying to find the right combination of size, weight and utility.

About a year ago, I purchased this Travelon Anti-Theft Urban Tour Crossbody Bag:

I use it to hold my travel CPAP, extra pair of prescription glasses and extension cord for the flights and then use the bag for my touring bag when I'm out and about for the day. The straps just seem more comfortable than the Anti-Theft Classic Messsenger bag and even with a small water bottle in the side pouch, the purse doesn't seem too heavy.

Posted by
384 posts

Carol, the chances of being slashed may be slim, but are not non-existent. I had my old RS bag slashed in London (maybe at the airport) a couple of decades ago. The bag is similar to the Foldable bags. I discovered the slash (about 7 or 8 inches?) when my hand found a razorblade inside. I'm guessing I turned or one of the family walked up and the thief took off. I don't know if anything was taken. I've repaired it twice, used it for a few decades of packing teaching stuff to campus, and I now have it back in my travel gear stash.

Posted by
412 posts

I’ve been on the hunt for a smaller travel purse ever since I read Jean’s trip report a few weeks ago and she mentioned a very small bag she’d carry that she could wear under her coat. It just clicked what a good idea that was for me. I don’t travel in the summer so never feel the need to carry a water bottle and almost always have an all weather coat or jacket on. My present purse is about 10” x 10” and 12 oz. It’s really ok but on my last trip I found myself wishing it wasn’t so deep.

So on Amazon are 2 very similar small crossbody bags, the Essential Mini and the Bryant Take Two. They are both roughly 5”x7.25” and only 5 oz!! So phone, credit card, little money stash, gum, tissues and chapstick and I’m good to go!

Posted by
339 posts

I have that Uniqlo bag and love it. Water bottle would not fit really, if that is a criteria. But plenty of space for wallet, phone, kleenex and more, you can cinch it up to wear in front, etc. Very comfortable, lightweight, would pack very easily into your larger personal item. Plus - lots of colors, inexpensive, get as many as you want!

Posted by
1771 posts

This is the one I have:

It's a great size and very lightweight. When I pack it in my luggage, I stuff it full so it doesn't take up much more room than the things I pack inside it. My only negative on this bag is that the mesh water bottle holder is too small. You could probably carry a small water bottle, but it's really not useful if you carry a large-ish one.

Posted by
106 posts

If you can make the travelog bag you bought fit in somehow, it is a great one. I have this purse and it fits everything you could possibly need. Bonus is that the outside zipper compartments work for an umbrella, water bottle, and if you are on an excursion, the quiet box that attatches to earbuds. It works fantastic and is excellent as a wallet. It is heavier than some others I have...and I have MANY Baggalini and Travelon bags, but this one is the best. Lots of areas for sunglasses, pamphlets, tissue, etc, but not too big to be uncomfortable.

Posted by
384 posts

This looks like the one I've used on my last few trips---and have ended up using for everyday. I didn't remember getting it from Amazon, but I may have (maybe saw it on the Today show).

It does not have a spot for a water bottle; however, I'm guessing the larger size would allow a skinny 8-12 oz bottle. (I usually refill a small juice/milk bottle for my backpack personal bag for transit)

Edit: I see there are actually 2 sizes larger than the one I have.

My 34-year-old daughter has also travelled with the one I got her. I discovered my 82-year-old friend has several colors as well as the larger size.

Because I've used my purse so much, I needed to have the strap tab resewn, so I would check to see if the tabs need to be reinforced before a trip. I like all the pockets and the ability to fit papers, sanitizer, glasses, phone, fabric shopping bag, etc.
I've been looking at everything else recommended, and I think I'll stick with this one unless I go smaller. Both my wind/rain jacket and my fleece jacket have several pockets, so I'm good to go, along with fabric bag that gets very small if I want to carry more.

Posted by
2134 posts

I love this little Lululemon city adventurer — it’s a waterproof fabric that packs very small and is well designed with an outer zipper pocket. Room for sunglasses, phone, and small wallet.

Posted by
26 posts

I second the LuLulemon belt bag recommendation. Some friends gave one to me before a trip and highly recommended it. I wasn’t sure that I would like it. I loved it! It holds more than it seems and the fabric is smooth so it wears comfortably and slips in and out of my backpack with ease. I loved it so much, I bought them as Christmas presents for my daughters and they really like them as well.

I believe someone (Mardee?) posted they found something very similar at Costco.

I just checked, it will hold one of the flimsy 500ml bottles of water with a small amount of room to spare.

Posted by
330 posts

So we finally have a reported slashing, but it’s a couple of decades ago. Well, let’s protect against something that happens once every 20 years?

as I have pointed out, these may actually put you in danger. I saw someone do a grab off of motorcycle in Naples Italy once. Had the person been wearing one of these bags she would have been pulled into the traffic. But when she got taken to the emergency room after the bus hit her, she would’ve had her bag. Yeah, I think I’ll let them have my bag over my life.

Posted by
1125 posts

I have a small Sherpani crossbody purse that I've had since 2019. I use it everyday, not just travel. It's held up very well and I really like how it's more deep than wide. It's similar to this one.

I also bring a belt bag that I picked up from Costco that I use when I'm close to my hotel and not needing to bring a water bottle.

Posted by
15 posts

I got this one for Ireland. I’ve been using it now to make sure I like it, and I do. The flat back pocket will be perfect to hold a mask. There are card slots in the larger back space so it obviates the need for a wallet. I can fit my camera in it and my phone fits in the front pocket. You can customize the strap to be a cross body, sling, or waist/fanny pack.

Posted by
73 posts

Something to think about:

Ensure your bag is RFID protected. I don't need to carry a wallet as the purse itself, credit/personal cards and passport slots are RFID protected. It has locked zippers. I always carry mine more in the front of my hip and not along the side or back. Helps prevent snatch and grabs!

Posted by
1395 posts

I was given an earlier version of the Uniqlo cross-body bag linked to above. Mine has an outer zipper pocket on the side of the bag closest to your body where you could keep your phone or cash/credit cards and a two way zip on top/outside. It does hold a 500ml water bottle. It was intended to be a travel bag for my personal item but I have been using it every day at home as an every day carry, because I can slip it into my workout bag or into my carry all. I might need to get another one.

Posted by
248 posts


Is the Vardag Pocket soft enough to use as an under clothing wallet for the passport, extra cc and cash?

Or is it stiff like their backpacks?


Posted by
330 posts

Oh my goodness now we’re doing RFID. Please before you spend any money on RFID do some research it is not a risk. They have actually been no reported incidents of RFID scanning causing theft. And why would they? They have to spend several hundred dollars on equipment and then hope they get lucky when you walk by which is actually much harder than it sounds (They’re basically going to be standing on your foot to get maybe one card and probably not get all the information they need.) They can take the same couple of hundred bucks and they can go on the dark web and they can get a lot of credit cards that have your address, your birthday, all kinds of really good information that are guaranteed to be good. And if you don’t believe your data is on the dark web wake up. I work in cyber security everyone’s data is there.

Posted by
2429 posts

The Vardag Pocket is the only thing I have from this company, but it's probably the same fabric as their other stuff. Probably too stiff for under clothing.
I use it as my "dinner" bag on tours, and wear it on planes to keep important stuff with me.

Posted by
2 posts

I have used a Tumi Voyageur crossbody on Italy and Spain trips and loved it. I now use an Away sling crossbody as my everyday purse and may use that on an upcoming Portugal trip.