Travelling is a wonderful experience filled with new emotions, experiences and memories. Unfortunately travelling unprepared may mean these turn out to be negative emotions, horrible experiences and terrible memories. Typically a wonderful experience turns bad when a traveller has his/her most important items stollen (think passport credit cards, traveller checks, money, etc).
Unfortunately tourists are targets for theft in too many countries and they have to take special precautions. Over the years I have tried several dozen products to keep my valuables safe but the one I keep coming back to is my PacSafe (link) backpack.
Why should you buy a PacSafe product?
Every PacSafe product I have bought or tested has been engineered with security in mind. Regardless of which product you choose, most of them share some key protection features:
- ExoMesh SlashGuard - PacSafe recognizes that the most common technique to steal items in the field is for bad actors to slash your bag while you walk and allow the contents to fall-out. Regardless of how "aware" you are, you are unlikely to feel them cut your bag.PacSafe has designed a special metallic mesh that is sandwiched between the different layers of the bag to ensure valuables don't fall out if your bag is slashed. I have travelled with my PacSafe backpack to all four corners of the globe and have never had issues of theft or at an airport security checkpoint (think TSA in the US or CATSA in Canada).
- ThoughZip Zipper protection - We have all seen the news clips on national news or Youtube showing how easily someone can pop open a zipper using a sharp object like a pen. The PacSafe ThoughZip is designed specifically to withstand this type of forced entry. Why is this important? Not only can your content be stollen but bad actors can also add contraband to your bag without you mowing. You lock your bag with a travel lock and leave your hotel room or check in your luggage. Someone adds contraband to your bad for which you get accused. This is particularly worrisome on countries that have the death penalty for drug trafficking.
- RFIDSafe - Most modern passports and credit cards contain a chip called an RFID chip. This chip allows authorities or merchants to quickly read content stored on this chip for fast processing (passport number, name, address, credit card number, expiry date, etc).The problem is that hackers read this same information from up to 12 feet away. Sure some of these products contain minimal encryption but I would still prefer this info to stay private. PacSafe has built a pocket into many of its newer bags lined with a special material that blocks RFID signals from leaking out from that special pocket. This means anything placed in it, during your trip, is safe and protection from prying eyes.
- Zipper Security - Many of their backpacks have a special zipper locking mechanism that prevents pickpockets from opening your backpack pockets without you knowing. It is like a tight carabiner that is reasonably easy for you to open but almost impossible for a pickpocketing their in the field.
Secure and comfortable
In addition to being secure, PacSafe products are comfortable to use. The backpacks have well padded shoulder straps and sternum straps. The back is very padded to maximize comfort even with a heavy load.
The outer material on most bags is a thick resistant Nylon material with RipStop.
I have comfortably carried a full load for hours with minimal fatigue and no pain-points. Really well designed comfortable gear.
My out of production PacSafe backpack has seen over 500,000 miles travelling from China to Cuba and Thailand to Floria. Even with everything it has been through, it still looks clean and new. There are no loose strings, ripped stitches or ripped outer material.
Few travellers will log as many miles as me so if it's survived my travels, it will survive yours.
Regardless of what PacSafe product you choose, I know you will be satisfied. Some will question the price when compared to cheap $99 travel gear sold in your local Walmart or Costco but realize it is not the same thing. Consider the extra money an insurance policy that is worth every penny.