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Anti-theft backpacks are all the rage in 2018. They are cool, chic, and they are packed with features that will keep your gear safe no matter what. If you want to travel safely and not worry about thieves and pickpockets then you are going to need one of these bad boys.
If you wanted to buy a suitcase, your first option would be a Samsonite, right? Well, if you want to buy a quality anti-theft backpack, you don't have to look further than Pacsafe or Travelon. Both brands pride themselves in manufacturing not just anti-theft backpacks, but also luggage, messenger bags and plenty of other gear.
In this review we are going to check out the best selling backpacks from both brands, and see just how they compare. I'll tell you a little bit about the anti-theft technologies they both use, so that you can have an idea of what you are looking for in a good pack. Just keep reading, and by the end you'll want to get them all! :>
Anti-theft backpacks are different from regular backpacks because they feature anti-theft technologies - but I'm guessing you already knew that. So, I am going to tell you something that you probably don't know - the types of anti-theft technologies that are used in the backpacks in this review.
Pacsafe packs can feature two different anti-bag-theft technologies - TurnNLock security hooks and PopNLock security clips. Out of all the packs in this review, only the Vibe has a security clip; the rest of the packs are equipped with security hooks. The TurnNLock technology allows you to secure your bag to something, so that no one can just snatch it from you and run away. The PopNLock, on the other hand, allows you to secure your bag to a static object with a buckle.
And that is not all - those are just technologies that will prevent someone from stealing your entire bag. Pacsafe packs are also equipped with anti-theft zippers and zipper pullers that will deter pickpockets. But, since each backpack features a different type of anti-theft zipper, I will tell you about those technologies when I am telling you about the features of the packs.
All five Pacsafe packs in this review do have two things in common - they feature eXomesh slashguard fabric, which pretty much means that any attempt to cut out the bottom of a pack will be unsuccessful. And the material they are made of is RFIDsafe, so you don't even need to worry about those hi-tech thieves with scanners.
What about Travelon backpacks? They also feature RFID blocking pockets and compartments, in addition to slash-resistant body panels and straps. They are just as safe as Pacsafe packs, but just in their own way. And Travelon bags are also equipped with locking zippers - you secure them to little hooks that protrude from the pack. That way, if anyone tries to tamper with your pack, you will definitely notice them.
Anyway, I will talk a bit about the security aspect of each backpack, so you will get even more information later on in the review. But I think this is a pretty good start. :>
In this section we are going to check out the best-selling anti-theft backpacks from Pacsafe. They are mostly unisex, so they are suitable for both men and women. You already know a little bit about how safe the packs are, and now it's time to find out how practical they are. Or in other words, what are the other features that these packs are equipped with.
The Vibe is a backpack for adventures and exploration, and it has a system for a hydration pack to prove it. But it is not meant only for the real jungle - it also has some features that make it really practical in the urban jungle, like the 13" laptop sleeve and side water bottle pockets.
The pack is pretty spacious, and it has a few different pockets inside for organization. Additionally, it is equipped with attachment points for your keys and wallet, so that you can always get to them in a matter of seconds.
But, what about its anti-theft features? What makes Vibe special is the PopNLock security clip that I mentioned earlier. It allows you to attach the pack to a static object, so that no one can just grab it and run. The zippers, on the other hand, feature Roobar sport locking system - a three level lock-down security point. You connect the pullers, click them in place and slide them on the lock.
And one other aspect is just as important as the anti-theft features - at lest for me. Comfort. What's the point of owning the safest bag in the world if it's going to feel like you are carrying rocks on your back?
Luckily, the Vibe has an EVA foam padded back panel that will ensure your carrying comfort. And the sternum strap and the waist belt are also there to help distribute the load of the pack evenly across your torso.
This backpack will ensure safety in all your ventures, as its name promises. How will it do that? Well, with the zip clip system of the zipper pullers. You attach the pullers to hooks, which makes it impossible for anyone to tamper with them without you noticing.
In terms of comfort, the Venturesafe features molded foam back panel and padded shoulder straps. It will feel soft on your back, and the sternum strap will keep those straps in place, and ensure that one of them doesn't fall off. Not just because of safety, but also because carrying the load of the entire pack on just one shoulder is a recipe for soreness and pain.
What I really like about this pack is the two separate compartments. The front one is smaller and has an organization panel for your smaller items, which includes an RFID safe pocket for your wallet. And there is also an attachment clip for your keys, which will keep them safely away from your smartphone.
The main compartment is larger than the front one, and it is equipped with a padded laptop sleeve. You can fit a 13" laptop comfortably inside it, but I'm afraid not anything larger. And there is also a compartment for a 3-liter hydration pack, which makes Venturesafe a pretty versatile pack. Whether you venture safely into the woods or the subway, it literally has your back.
Public transport is pretty much the go-to working place of pickpockets. And that's why the Metrosafe pack has not only one, but two different technologies to deter them from opening your pack! It features the zip-clip system, like we saw on the Venturesafe, and also a Lockabout security clip. The latter is a three level lock-down point, which allows you to safely lock the zippers and laugh if someone tries to rob you.
And obviously all of that is in addition to the slash-guard fabric, TurnNLock security hooks, and RFID safe pockets.
As for the other features, the pack has a padded laptop sleeve that can fit a 15" laptop in the main compartment. It also has two more organization compartments, which is why I think it is perfect for school or everyday activities. You will find a pocket or an attachment point for pretty much anything you own, and you will love it.
But is going to be comfortable? It should be, with the padded back panel and shoulder straps. It might feel a little heavy, though, since it doesn't have a sternum strap or a waist belt to help distribute its load evenly. But with a capacity of 25 liters, how heavy could it get?
Who said you can't protect your belongings with style? The Stylesafe backpack is here to prove that you can! It's also slightly more feminine than unisex, mostly because of its small size. But its anti-theft features are larger than life, and will keep your stuff safe from any sticky fingers.
So, about those anti-theft features - this Pacsafe backpack is equipped with two different systems that protect its zippers. One is the zip-clip that we already talked about in previous packs, and the other is a secure zip tab. And that is just what it sounds like - a small tab that goes over a zipper and allows you to drag the puller under it. If anyone tries to open your bag, they will be deterred by the tabs.
A cool thing about Stylesafe is that you can wear it two different ways. Like a regular backpack, with the two shoulder straps, but you can also zip up the straps and get one thick sling strap!
The pack has a pretty small capacity, and you can't fit a lot inside it. But you can fit a 10" tablet inside a padded tablet sleeve, so there's that. And there are two small front pockets that will help you organize your other stuff.
In general, the bag is great if you only need to carry the necessities with you. And, since it is so sleek, it could also work as an evening bag. So, if you are tired of clutches and tiny purses, get a tiny backpack! It will definitely make you stand out.
The Citysafe backpack was designed for the modern women. But I swear, the pack looks so sleek and minimalistic that you can't even tell that it's a women's backpack!
And since it is important for every woman to stay safe in the city, you won't be surprised that this bag is equipped with two systems for zipper protection. The Citysafe features the zip tab and the zip clip, just like the Stylesafe. They are pretty good anti-theft features on their own, but when combined, they give a whole new meaning to safety of your belongings.
This Pacsafe backpack is also very comfortable, with a padded back panel and shoulder straps. And it has a padded laptop sleeve inside the main compartment, which can fit your average 13" laptop.
There are also a few internal pockets that will help keep your gear organized, as well as a large external pocket with an organizer panel. Oh and I forgot to mention the keychain clip in the main compartment.
And the last, but not least feature of the Citysafe pack is the side pocket. It's designed for a water bottle, but you can use it for whatever you want.
Just keep in mind that this is the only external pocket without a zipper, and so it is not as completely safe as the other ones.
Those Pacsafe backpacks are pretty good, but now it's time to see how they compare to the Travelon anti-theft packs. Are they better or worse? Are they more affordable or more expensive? Let's find out together!
At first glance, this pack is incredibly similar to the Pacsafe Citysafe, right? Well, at least on the outside.
In terms of anti-theft features, the Travelon Classic backpack boasts slash-resistant body and straps, RFID blocking organizer for your credit cards and locking zippers. They are similar to the Pacsafe zip-clip ones - you lock the zipper to the hook that protrudes from your pack, and no one can tamper with it.
The main compartment is pretty roomy, and it features a sleeve for your tablet, as well as a zippered mesh pocket. But, the pack is really small, so you might have a hard time fitting your laptop inside it. Maybe you could squeeze an 11" or a 13" Mac in there, but I don't think a fatty 15.6" laptop will fit in it.
That RFID safe card organizer that I mentioned earlier isn't in the main compartment, but rather in the front one. This compartment also has a slip pocket for your phone, and a tiny little pen organizer. Additionally, the pack also has an easily accessible zippered pocket on one side, and a slip pocket for your water bottle on the other side.
In terms of comfort, the backpack is slightly padded throughout. That padding also works sort of like a frame, so that the bag doesn't just collapse when it's completely empty. But it also helps keep you comfortable while you are wearing it.
The Signature backpack is small, stylish and designed for women. It is made of nylon, which is an incredibly durable material on its own. And then you combine that with the slash-resistant quality of the backpack's body and the straps, and you get a really cute looking backpack that you couldn't cut in half with an axe. How's that for safety.
Did you think that was the only anti-theft feature of this Travelon pack? Come on! Of course it is not; the pack is also equipped with an RFID blocking organizer, lockdown strap and locking compartments. You lock to zipper pullers to the hooks, and you've successfully ensured the safety of your belongings!
The main compartment actually has two zipper pullers that lock, so breaking into it will be twice as hard. Which is a good thing, because it has those RFID safe pockets for your credit cards and passport. It also has a slip pocket for your phone and two zippered wall pockets.
The downside? This backpack is really small. With a height of 13 inches you might be able to fit an 11" laptop inside it. If your laptop is bigger than that, don't even try. You won't be able to zip up the main compartment, and there goes your whole anti-theft point. But you do have that external pocket for some extra space.
The Heritage is a men's backpack, but I think that is pretty obvious from its design. It looks very sleek and modern and I especially like the patterned lining inside the pack. Oh and it is water and dirt resistant, just like a proper backpack should be.
But what I love are the locking zipper pullers that the pack features on every zippered compartment. You have the main and the front compartments, and then you also have two smaller external zippered pockets, and a side slip pocket for a water bottle. That is plenty of room for your everyday necessities, but also for a shorter hiking or camping trip.
This Travelon backpack has a padded laptop sleeve inside the main compartment, which can comfortably fit any 15.6" laptop - just like a man needs. However, i think that the smaller front compartment is the star of the pack, since it features an RFID safe pocket for your credit cards, as well as an organizer panel for everything else. Oh and there is also a keychain clip inside it.
And I forgot to mention one more anti-theft feature - the slash-resistant panels. They are on the sides, bottom and front of the pack, as well as on the shoulder straps.
There's pretty much just one thing I can't tell you about this pack, and that's how comfortable it is. Unfortunately, Travelon gave no information on the padding of the Heritage's back panel and shoulder straps. However, I did go through a lot of reviews, and no one complained that the pack felt uncomfortable so that's a plus!
This is our first proper, front loading travel backpack of the review! And it's the bomb. The Travelon Travel backpack is an online exclusive - more precisely it's an ebags exclusive, but obviously it is available on Amazon (for a bargain). It is water, dirt and slash resistant, and it's pretty much the ultimate travel companion for this summer.
The main compartment opens up suitcase style, and it features a small slip pocket inside it, as well as a pair of compression straps. On the front panel you will find two zippered pockets, one of which is waterproof.
The pack is also equipped with a padded tablet sleeve, two more zippered pockets and a side stretch pocket. And every zipper on the pack is lockable - it is an anti-theft bag, after all!
The back panel and the shoulder straps are not only padded, but also ventilated. That means that the pack will feel comfy on your back, but that it will still be able to breathe. And that's in addition to the back panel being slash resistant, by the way!
There is also a sternum strap on this pack, which will ensure that the shoulder straps stay in place. And it also helps distribute the load of the pack evenly across your torso, so that your shoulders aren't carrying all the weight.
One more thing - the compression straps will help cinch in the backpack if you overpack it a little, and also keep everything inside in place throughout your travels. On and they also help with the anti-theft aspect, as they go over the zipper of the main compartment.
The Courier is really an exciting pack from Travelon. Not in terms of its design, obviously, since it is so minimalist. But I actually like that about it - you can wear it with anything, and the darker colors handle dirt very well. Especially since the pack is made of cotton, which tends to get dirty a lot more than nylon or polyester.
This pack is exciting because of its features, and not even the anti-theft ones. In that regard is just the same as other Travelon packs - it is equipped with RFID safe pockets, slash-resistant panels all over the pack and locking zippers. And I have to say that I actually appreciate the consistency of Travelon's safety technologies.
But the features that make this pack stand out from the rest are mostly in its main compartment. I'm talking about two deep pockets for your laptop AND your tablet (not or!) and two smaller pockets for your phone, wallet, charger and whatnot.
The Courier also has two external pockets. The larger one has a locking zipper and two slash pockets inside it, along with a pen holder. The smaller front pocket doesn't have a locking zipper, but I don't think that's a big deal since the rest of the pack is extremely safe.
As if all that wasn't enough, you also get a stretch side pocket. And of course, the back panel and the shoulder straps are padded, and the pack should feel pretty comfortable on your back. As long as you take advantage of the fact that the shoulder straps are adjustable, and really make them fit you like a glove.
In general, I would say no. I can't say that one brand is obviously better than the other - our main focus is the anti-theft aspect of their backpacks, and they are both equally good in that regard.
There is a slight difference between them, though - with Travelon, every backpack has the same anti-theft features. But with Pacsafe, that's not the case. Their packs feature different safety technologies on some of their zippers, but all of them are equally effective. The rest of the anti-theft features (RFID safe pockets, slash-resistant panels) are incorporated into every pack.
Obviously, there are a few packs that are just better than the rest. And that's what we are going to talk about now.
I really liked the Pacsafe Vibe backpack. It has a sleeve for your laptop (13") and tablet, and plenty of internal and external pockets. This pack is also very comfortable, since its back panel and shoulder straps are fully padded with EVA foam. And the anti-theft features incorporated into its design are top notch, but that pretty much stands for all Pacsafe backpacks.
The other Pacsafe backpack that really stood out was the Citysafe CS350. And not just because I have recommend something to my female readers - this backpack looks so sleek that you can't even tell it was designed for women! But because of its awesome anti-theft features, spacious main compartment and the fabulous front compartment with an organizer panel. Oh, and all the other, smaller pockets both on the pack and inside it.
Out of all the Travelon packs I showed you, I was the most impressed by the Travel backpack. It is the perfect bag for all of you looking for a super safe carry on, since it is equipped with all of those anti-theft features. And because it looks like a super small carry on suitcase! I am a really big fan of front loading travel packs, if you haven't noticed by now, so it's no surprise that this one really stood out to me. Especially because of its padded and ventilated back panel and shoulder straps, which will keep you comfortable and dry throughout all your adventures.
And for my lovely female readers, can you really ever go wrong with a classic? I think not, and I think you would love the simplicity and functionality of the Travelon Classic backpack. It has all of Travelon's signature anti-theft features, so you won't have to worry about the safety of your stuff ever again. And it has a pretty spacious main compartment and plenty of pockets, both internal and external ones. The small size of the pack make if great for daily commute, since it is never easy to ride a subway with a bulky 30+ liter pack on your shoulders.
And that's it for this detailed showdown of Pacsafe and Travelon! I loved all of these anti-theft backpacks, but then again I'm not looking to buy another one just yet. But since you are, I suggest you head over to Amazon. I've discovered that they all look much better when you can also see just how attractive their price tags are! :>
Roger is a little obsessed with travel. He has been to over 40 countries, broken 3 suitcases and owned over 10 backpacks in 12 months. What he doesn't know about travel, ain't worth knowing!