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Very best anti-theft handbags

Fredericton, Canada
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871 posts
46 reviews
107 helpful votes
Very best anti-theft handbags
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I've been researching anti-theft handbags for an upcoming European trip (anti-slash straps, anti-slash webbing on body, etc.) I'm seeing a couple of brand names come up over and over (Travelon, Pacsafe). Is there one brand that is generally considered the top of the line in anti-theft security for bags? Or are the two generally neck and neck in terms of quality and security features? Thanks for any input.

Oregon
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4,852 posts
26 reviews
22 helpful votes
11. Re: Very best anti-theft handbags
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I bought a Travelon crossbody bag to take to Barcelona. The Travelon bags are quite a bit cheaper than the Pacsafe, and I really didn't see much difference in features. My smallish bag has two "locking" zippers. I wear it so that the bag is in front of me, and I usually have one hand on it.

Fredericton, Canada
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871 posts
46 reviews
107 helpful votes
12. Re: Very best anti-theft handbags
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Thanks very much everyone. I think I will go with Travelon for reasons terriks mentions.

New York City, New...
Destination Expert
for Yucatan Peninsula
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19,474 posts
72 reviews
141 helpful votes
13. Re: Very best anti-theft handbags
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I travel with the same handbag I would carry home in NYC but usually use one with a long strap that goes across the body for Europe. The trick is your attitude and vigilance - not some mesh.

Last trip I traveled all over France and Belgium, by train and mass transit with a cloth Guatemalan bag.

No one gets close enough to me or my bag. In a crowded Metro, the bag is in front of me, with 1 hand on it. It is never dangling behind me, or on the back of a chair. At a restaurant it is on my lap.

In my opinion the difference is the vigilance one has when traveling alone - compared to the lack of vigilance when traveling with a companion - talking, arguing over directions, whatever, all create opportunity to be distracted and get robbed.

SuitcaseReady.com

Da Nang, Vietnam
Level Contributor
4 posts
23 reviews
8 helpful votes
14. Re: Very best anti-theft handbags
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I would definitely consider a money belt like a few people have already suggested.

I have seen plenty of women have their bags ripped off their person, a non slash strap isn't going to save you if you carry it over your clothes.

Gold Bar, Washington
Level Contributor
599 posts
278 reviews
142 helpful votes
15. Re: Very best anti-theft handbags
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I have a travelon. I like it. I got it on sale, think it was around $40. But I also wear a vest with inside pockets.

I lived in Italy for a couple of years and there is alot of purse and wallet theft. Buses, train stations just be aware. It works much better if you don't wear expensive clothing or lots of jewelry. Common sense stuff. And when I wear a money belt I also pin it to my clothing. It is a litter harder to steal.

Then i go out and have a good time. I feel I have done enough to protect myself, I am on vacation.

Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
12,838 posts
150 reviews
166 helpful votes
16. Re: Very best anti-theft handbags
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Sandy12, I am curious how anyone would know you are wearing a money belt, let alone get under your clothing to steal it. I know that some currencies are many to a dollar so a wad of cash can get thick, but then one would hope there is a baggy shirt in a wardrobe. I find the value of them is that they are not visible.

I tend to carry a small cross body bag and if the weather means a sweater or coat, the bag goes on first, sweater or coat next. Button up the coat. Purse? I don't see a purse?

Gold Bar, Washington
Level Contributor
599 posts
278 reviews
142 helpful votes
17. Re: Very best anti-theft handbags
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well it used to be done in Italy. with a group of people involved and children. it was a process. person bumps into you. then very sorry and touches you several areas to make sure you are okay(finding out where your money is at). several others come over because they are so upset for you. small little fingers do get the belt off while you are very distracted child runs off and you are unable to follow the friendly people are in your way.. this happened to a friend of mine.

I use vest and cross body bag now. Like it better than a money belt.

Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
12,838 posts
150 reviews
166 helpful votes
18. Re: Very best anti-theft handbags
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Thanks for the explanation Sandy12. It is usually considered fairly foolproof, but I can see how the mob method is harder to extricate from.

Red Lodge, Montana
Level Contributor
270 posts
68 reviews
121 helpful votes
19. Re: Very best anti-theft handbags
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I agree with evening from New York. Be vigilant. I've tried the theft-proof purses and have found them to be both ugly and not very durable.

So now I basically use two ordinary bags- a little black cross-body crocheted purse I wear under my jacket or sweater (and it doubles as an evening bag) or a small cross body Cole Haan purse with zippers. Rarely, I use a Fendi with a long cross-body strap AND handle that I loop over my wrist. I wear them so that the openings for all of these purses face toward me. And, I have the additional advantage of being tall and the ability to give off no-nonsense vibes when I want to.

Every trip I've been on to Europe, someone in the party is robbed. But it's from inattention- setting the purse down (I've seen that happen twice) or getting something out of the trunk of a car when there were suitcases in it (I'm sure the thieves saw us do it, then they jimmied the lock after we left and took a suitcase. This also happened to me in Seattle about 30 years ago with Christmas presents in the trunk).

So now I pay attention. If I need to consult a map or smartphone, I put my back against a wall, out of the line of travel, which is common courtesy anyway. I tell my friends/family to watch out for each other. I'm careful if some random person on the street tries to strike up a conversation, and extra-careful in very crowded areas such as the metro or on a bus. Keep things out of sight in the car. All this basic advice is worth more than any bag, and a lot less expensive.

Edited: 5 years ago
Red Lodge, Montana
Level Contributor
270 posts
68 reviews
121 helpful votes
20. Re: Very best anti-theft handbags
Save

I agree with evening from New York. Be vigilant. I've tried the theft-proof purses and have found them to be both ugly and not very durable.

So now I basically use two ordinary bags- a little black cross-body crocheted purse I wear under my jacket or sweater (and it doubles as an evening bag) or a small cross body Cole Haan purse with zippers. Rarely, I use a Fendi with a long cross-body strap AND handle that I loop over my wrist. I wear them so that the openings for all of these purses face toward me. And, I have the additional advantage of being tall and the ability to give off no-nonsense vibes when I want to.

Every trip I've been on to Europe, someone in the party is robbed. But it's from inattention- setting the purse down (I've seen that happen twice) or getting something out of the trunk of a car when there were suitcases in it (I'm sure the thieves saw us do it, then they jimmied the lock after we left and took a suitcase. This also happened to me in Seattle about 30 years ago with Christmas presents in the trunk).

So now I pay attention. If I need to consult a map or smartphone, I put my back against a wall (I'm sure my fellow man would prefer I'm out of the way when I do this, also!). I tell my friends/family to watch out for each other. I'm careful if some random person on the street tries to strike up a conversation, and extra-careful in very crowded areas such as the metro or on a bus. Keep things out of sight in the car. All this basic advice is worth more than any bag, and a lot less expensive.

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