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As a travel photographer and blogger, I carry a lot of expensive equipment when I travel and one of the biggest travel stressors is the risk of theft.

That’s why I am always on the lookout for the best anti-theft travel bags which are both functional and stylish.

Sadly, theft is a common problem for backpackers and holidaymakers. Whether it’s their pasty I’ve-not-seen-sun-in-a-year complexion, their lobster sunburn or their camera slung around their neck, tourists stand out a mile away.

Thieves loiter around crowded tourist attractions, sometimes working in pairs to distract and steal from you.

Being travel-savvy and keeping an eye on your belongings, isn’t always enough. Especially as thieves are constantly developing more sophisticated techniques for stealing from you including electronic theft.

Having an anti theft travel bag is becoming more important than ever.

Today we’re going to look at some of the best theft proof travel bags on the market in 2020.

From pretty theft proof travel purses with secret pockets to anti-theft camera bags with all the bells and whistles…

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What is an anti-theft travel bag?

An anti-theft travel bag is a bag designed with travellers in mind which has additional safety features to reduce the risk of you being a victim of theft.

The perfect theft proof bag for travel would spacious, easy to access with lots of pockets whilst also being sturdy, waterproof and very difficult to steal from. It may have secret pockets, padlocks, strong zips or reinforced material which is slash proof.

girl wearing theft proof bag for travel

What features to look for in an anti theft travel bag

The following features are ones to look for when choosing an anti-theft bag for travel;

  • Anti-slash fabric – Reinforced with durable, fine metal mesh which makes it very difficult to slash it open with a knife. Slashing bags open is more common in very crowded environments where it is more likely to go unnoticed.
  • Secret zips Backpacks sometimes have a secret zip on the back so that you can’t see how to access it.
  • RFID blocking – Thieves can now scan bank card details by being in close vicinity. RFID pockets protect your cards from electronic theft.
  • Lockable pockets and zippers.
  • High quality YKK zips which can’t be prized apart.
  • Steel enhanced shoulder straps – to prevent slashing.
  • Locking hardware – for securing your theft proof travel bag to an immovable object.
  • Waterproofing – no point keeping your belongings safe from theft only to have them ruined when you get caught in a shower!

Types of Theft proof Travel Bags

Hidden opening – the opening is hidden behind your back and very hard to reach without you becoming aware. However, these bags are not always safe from being slashed and don’t have padlocks.

Across body bags – these bags are great as you can keep a close eye on your belongings. You can also get a wide variety of bags in this style with additional security features.

Backpacks with safety features – backpacks need to have additional features since your belonging are out of view. Padlocks, hidden zips, slash proof material are all important features.

Lockable – many bags come with inbuilt padlocks and some have wires which you can wrap around your bag to securely attach it to an immovable object. You can also buy these separately.

Bum bags – no security features as such but bumbags can be good on a . night out to keep your belongings close to you. Also known as fanny packs in America.

Read next: Your long haul flight essentials checklist

The best anti-theft travel bags in 2020

Best Anti Theft Handbags and Theft Proof Purses for women

These days, you don’t have to choose between functionality and style, you can have both. Travelon is a great brand which makes anti-theft purses that are actually pretty. Many of them come in a range of colours and safety features.

Choose from a pretty backpack with a hidden zip or a fully theft proof travel purse depending on the level of security you feel comfortable with.

Here are a few of the best anti theft purses and handbags for travel…

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

For more travel bag inspiration for women, check out these travel tote bags.

The best Anti Theft Camera bags

As a travel photographer, I carry a lot of expensive travel gear. Therefore safety features like anti-slash, padded, waterproof material and secret openings with padlocks are all super important features to consider before buying a camera bag.

Make sure you get a spacious camera bag as you will no doubt add to tour collection over time. Heres my top picks for the best anti-theft camera bags fr your next trip.

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Read next: The best cameras for backpacking

Anti-theft day bags for travel

For me, the perfect anti-theft day bag would be spacious with lots of pockets. It’s also really important that it is waterproof for days when I get stuck in the rain.

I personally like bags which open from the back as I don’t have to faff around with padlocks but it’s virtually impossible for a thief to access the contents without you knowing. I had this bag when I travelled around the busy souks in Morocco and I always felt safe.

That said, there is a huge range of safety features you can look for when choosing an anti theft day bag for travel.

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Anti theft backpacks

If it’s a larger backpack you are looking for, then here are still some great anti-theft backpacks on offer with companies such as Pacsafe. Again look for slash-proof material, padlocks, hidden pockets and the ability to lock it to an immovable object.

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Anti theft Beach Bags

As a solo traveller, I usually face a dilemma every time I go to the beach. Do I take my camera to get some photos or do I go without valuables so I can take a dip in the ocean?

Luckily there is now a solution. Lockable, anti slash beach safes which can be locked to an immovable object.

I also like the idea of this fake sunscreen bottle where you can hide your phone, money and keys.

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Did you find a theft proof travel bag that you loved?

Other Anti-Theft accessories

Alongside these theft-proof bags, you can also look into getting anti-theft accessories to help keep your money and belongings safe. From scarves and belts with hidden pockets to RFID protected purses, padlocks with mesh and portable safes.

Here are some of the best anti theft travel accessories I found…

Best Brands for buying Anti Theft Bags for Travel

The two most popular anti-theft travel bag brands are Travelon and Pacsafe. Both are available to buy on Amazon.

Pacsafe’s bags are often no-frills but packed with safety features and they have various options for larger backpacks as well as day bags.

Travelon has a huge variety of styles including smaller travel purses and handbags all with plenty of theft-proof features.

I personally prefer the look of Travelon bags which look slightly less obviously theft-proof.

Safety Tips for avoiding theft whilst travelling.

Whilst having a theft-proof travel bag helps, it’s important to take certain precautions when you travel. Here are my top suggestions which have kept me safe this far;

  • Always stay alert when you are in crowded places.
  • Wear backpacks over both shoulders and avoid wearing bags over one shoulder.
  • When you are in a crowd, consider wearing your backpack on your front.
  • You are especially vulnerable on public transport which is a theft hotspot. Make sure you keep one hand on your luggage at all times.
  • I always spread my money and cards across more than one bag.
  • Make use of hotel safes or if there is none, I leave my valuable with reception and get a receipt. It’s not ideal but better than keeping it in my room.
  • Put expensive cameras away when you are walking though somewhere crowded at night.
  • Avoid walking too close to the curb. Someone I travelled with was subjected to motorbike crime – it’s just not worth the risk!

I hope you’ve now found the perfect anti theft travel bag. If you have any questions, drop them in the comments below!

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