The Anti Theft Purse Pursuit: Guide to the Best Anti Theft Purse

I decided that I must have an anti theft travel purse for our adventures abroad. After my initial research, it seemed like the majority of anti theft purses for travel had very similar security features. Wonderful! All I had to do is find a purse I liked! I wanted to find something stylish, but not so fancy that it screamed “full of money!” It needs to be the perfect travel purse, the best anti theft purse I can find. Am I looking for a unicorn?

Post updated: August 27, 2018

What is an Anti Theft Purse?

Anti theft travel bags or purses include features to help deter would be pickpockets or purse snatchers. Purses and bags with anti theft features are often advertised as slash-proof, RFID  blocking credit card slots, and include at least one “locking” compartment (read more about RFID skimming here).

Whether you are looking for the best purse for international travel, the best crossbody bag for travel, or simply the best travel purse ever, you have many options!  There are so many styles of anti theft travel bags available, making it easier than ever to find a style that will work for you. In essence, that beautiful narwhal of purses (unicorns of the sea and they are real!)

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Which Is the Best Anti Theft Travel Bag Ever?

If the pickpocket proof purse features are equal, then all you have to do is pick the style that is right for you! Here is my comparison guide for the best travel purse ever. Bear in mind that most companies call them anti theft travel bags, so I compared the ones that are small enough to be called purses yet large enough to be useful as a travel bag. Most anti theft bags are unisex and great products for both men and women!

BUT! If you don’t have time, my choice is the Travelon Travel Cassic Mini Shoulder Bag. I love this bag so much that I have purchased two (with my own money). There are two locking compartments and four zippered compartments in total. I consider this one of the best travel handbags and I love both of mine!

 

Comparison Chart of the Best Anti Theft Travel Bags 2018

The bags all have at least one locking compartment, slash proof lining and straps, and RFID blocker slots within.

NameImageTypePriceReview
Travelon Anti-Theft Classic
Mini Shoulder Bag
Small shoulder bag
(multiple colors available)
This purse is neither too big or too small. It has all the safety features I want and it's also durable. The top and front pockets has a locking mechanism. There are two additional pockets (a small one on the front and one on the back) that have zippers, but do not lock.
Pacsafe Citysafe CS75 Anti-
Theft Cross-Body and
Travel Bag
Cross-body bag
(additional colors available)
The chief complaint is that the strap is much too long to wear comfortably. Otherwise, the purse itself is roomy. The main compartment has a "locking" mechanism.
Lewis N. Clark Lewis N. Clark Secura Rfid-
blocking Anti-theft
Messenger Cross Body
Bag
Cross body messenger bagThis bag opens from the top and both the top and front compartment have "locking" zippers. This purse is on the larger size.
Travelon Women's Anti-
Theft Tailored Hobo Travel
Purse
Hobo purse
(additional colors available)
This hobo bag is big enough to fit a lot of things. It includes all the usual safety features of a travelon bag. Cons: many customers felt the zipper needs a lot of improvement.
Pacsafe Citysafe CS100 Anti-Theft Travel HandbagCross body purseThis bag is roomy, without being too big. It's slash proof and has locking zippered compartments. The one drawback that users reported is that the zipper locking mechanism was very difficult to use, which defeats the purpose of using this purse.
Travelon Anti-Theft Classic Sling BagSling bag>The bag is big enough to carry the passports, etc, and also things for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers.
Travelon Women's Anti-Theft Heritage Small Cross Body Bag Cross Body purseThis sturdy little number is big enough for your essentials and not much else for those who like to travel with less. It has very high reviews, but a few customers had issues with the zipper breaking easily.

Why Purchase a Pickpocket Proof Bag?

Once I had children, I feel like I’m always distracted. My children’s safety is always my first priority. Moms, I know you understand! When I visit busy areas, the type that pickpockets are easily able to take advantage of distractions, at least I have taken some advance precautions to avoid losing the important items I regularly carry. Buying a theft proof bag is a small, inexpensive thing I can do to calm my mind.

It’s also easy to use and adjust to locking and unlocking the zipper, one of the safety features of anti theft purses.

Reviews

Top Choice: Travelon Travel Classic Mini Shoulder Bag

I chose to buy a Travelon anti theft purse (called the Travelon travel classic mini shoulder bag). Before buying, I read several reviews on several bags and decided on this one. I purchased it in the color stone.  Immediately, I started using it daily. It is plain and the color can definitely be described as “nondescript.” Or “goes with anything,” for the diplomat. It’s a work horse and the size is almost perfect for me.

Even though it’s called a mini-shoulder bag, it is really the size of purse. It fits my (slim) wallet, 4 passports, large cellphone, and a few other things. It does get a little tight if I put my large glasses case in it. Both the main compartment and front compartment have the locking mechanism (it isn’t a lock, but it would slow down a would-be pickpocket). Additionally, the front compartment has a flap that snaps, which provides additional security. I love the flap! The back pocket and another small front pocket have zippers, though no other security measures.

How It Has Held Up to Daily Use

I’ve have been using this purse for over a year now. While the color makes it not prettiest purse I’ve owned, it is durable and made of water resistant material. Everything has held up great so far! I’ve traveled with it on every trip we’ve taken, international or domestic, and use it daily. Other than a little water staining, it still looks good. There are also a lot more colors available now and some are quite pretty.

During my last trip, the security zipper broke on the front pocket. It got caught somehow when I was lifting my older child out of a shopping cart. I thought that zipper was done for, but it just need to be popped back into place. It was an easy fix.

I’m happy with my purchase! I’m so happy, that a year later, I bought a second one in black.

 

Second Choice: Pacsafe Citysafe CS100 Anti-Theft Travel Handbag

This is another cute yet not flashy handbag option. This is a roomy purse that offers a range of theft prevention options, such as eXomesh slashguards (stainless steel wire mesh concealed in the straps), carrysafe straps, one RFIDsafe blocking pockets, and a locking mechanism for the zipper.

This bag is roomy, without being too big. Most purchasers liked the size. The one drawback that some users reported is that the zipper locking mechanism was very difficult to use, which defeats the purpose of using this purse. However, this was not an issue for everyone. It’s a solid option for those who like a little more space.

 

The Time It Happened to Me (Why I Use Theft Proof Purse)

I started taking a pottery class in my neighborhood, something I’d always wanted to do. At one point, I left my purse on the other side of the room during an open art class. A woman came in, sat down, and talked to all of us. She was friendly, asked us what we were doing, and even feigned interest in our amateur projects. Then, she casually wandered out the other door. I realized at the end of the class that she’d taken my wallet. It was a perfect opportunity.

I’m far more wary nowadays and even more vigilant – I don’t let my guard down even in “safe” situations. Now, I keep my purse on my body most of the time. I like a cross body strap and locking zippers. It’s also important to be prepared. This crime happened right in my neighborhood in Columbus, Ohio. Purse thefts and pickpockets are a little more common in touristy areas and I’d like to do what I can to try and prevent it.

Even though a theft proof purse wouldn’t have necessarily deterred the criminal in my case, I realize just how easy it is to be distracted by a diversion in any situation. I now know that some people will take advantage of an easy opportunity. Also, I know the inconvenience of replacing my wallet’s contents and that was in the USA. Can you imagine trying to replace documents while abroad?

is this the best travel purse for Europe? Pictured is a safety feature. The zipper pull attaches to a ring sewn into the purse.

Zipper locking safety feature.

Tips for Using Your Perfect Travel Purse to the Fullest

  • Avoid carrying all of your valuables and passports in your travel purse when you are visiting busy places (you can purchase a portable travel safe for this purpose).
  • Hold your purse under your arm, especially in busy areas.
  • Keep your bag in front of you, instead of on your back.
  • Always wear the strap across your body.
  • Research the types of scams and thefts that tend to occur in the areas you are planning to travel. In some countries, people on motorbikes will attempt to snatch a purse from their victim. Sometimes, the victim is dragged for awhile. Use your best judgement.
  • Don’t be afraid to travel – you’ve done your best for prevention and no one can think of every single thing. If a theft happens, the blame lies solely on the person who chose to steal and not on the victim.

Conclusion: Be Aware of Your Surroundings

When I go anywhere with kids, whether it be an exotic destination or a regular part of our every day life, I’m almost permanently distracted. My number one priority is my children’s safety. I know moms and dads can relate! I feel like the distraction written on my face makes me an easy mark for would-be pickpockets. For those times when I need to be aware of my surroundings, carrying around an anti theft handbag gives me some peace of mind.

Whether you travel with all of the things or prefer only the essentials, there is a travel purse out there for you. Find your narwhal. Go forth and travel!

What’s your favorite anti theft travel purse? Is your favorite on this list? If not, why is your top choice  the best?

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