Anti-theft bags – are they really a thing? With more manufacturers claiming that their bags are “anti-theft”, what are the actual characteristics of an anti-theft bag beyond offering a peace of mind? And if you’re looking to get one for your next adventure, which are the trusted brands that you should purchase from?

Read on below to find out the answers to these questions.

Anti-theft Bag
Anti-theft Bag | Photo by Erik Odiin on Unsplash

What You Need to Know About Anti-Theft Bags

What is an Anti-Theft Bag?

An anti-theft bag is designed with built-in features to protect its contents from thieves. Laptop bags, travel suitcases, wallets, purses, and regular backpacks can be considered anti-theft bags provided they have the necessary features.

Who needs an Anti-Theft Bag?

  • Frequent travelers may need one to ensure the safety of their personal belongings and necessities like passport, mobile phone, gaming consoles, money, credit and debit cards, and IDs.
  • People who commute to and from work in the city may find anti-theft bags helpful against pickpockets.
  • Professionals who go around their daily lives carrying equipment like camera and paraphernalia could do well with one, too.
  • Those who fear being victimized by illegal scanning of credit cards with RFID or radio-frequency identification chips may find peace of mind on anti-theft bags.
Anti-Theft Bag
Anti-theft Bag: Things to Consider | Photo by Sun Lingyan on Unsplash

4 Things to Consider When Buying an Anti-Theft Bag

It is easy to fall victim to fake or sub-quality anti-theft bags. After all, most designs and colors are pretty standard. Here are some tips to help you decide the which anti-theft bags to buy.

1. Locking Mechanism

Lobster claw clasps should be able to hinder quick opening of compartments, especially the main one. Carabiners or a lock for your zippers will also be useful to have. This particular feature may be of an inconvenience to the user but you will find it effective to reducing the chances of getting pickpocketed.

2. Slash-proof Material

There are bags made of 100% polyester, and while they are sturdy, they’re not exactly slash-proof. So if you’re looking for something that’s absolutely slash-proof, you will want to go for those with flexible metal panels lining or covering the body.

Alternatively, go for those made of ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene which is a top-favourite material of choice for anti-theft bags. If you want to go the extra mile and is willing to shell out a bit more cash, then opt for the designs with flexible wire mesh on the straps (or even the whole bag). The wire mesh will make it harder for pickpockets to slash through your bag.

3. Secret Compartments

It’s always good to have secret compartments in your bag. They are harder to get to, and you can store your important documents, phone, wallet or laptop in there with greater peace of mind.

Pro-tip: Hidden compartments also double up as bag organisers.

4. RFID Blocking Feature

Theft isn’t just physically done anymore. In the digital age, it can be done electronically as well.

If you own debit or credit cards with RFID chips—or if you’re carrying your passport with you—you might want to protect them from scanners. This way your personal information doesn’t get illegally copied.

The Best Anti-Theft Bags

Now that you know what to look for, here are some of our best recommendations!


Designed to make your Travel Easier and Safer®, Travelon bags are of the highest quality possible. Armed with slash-resistant body panels made from a flexible stainless steel mesh; locking compartments; slash-resistant straps; and RFID blocking straps and pockets, Travelon bags encompasses all essential components of an anti-theft bag. With designs made for both Men and Women, Travelon’s anti-theft bags are versatile as they are functional. Here are some of our favourite designs!


Established over 20 years ago, Pacsafe wants to help travellers embrace their life’s adventures without over-worrying about their valuables. With 4 key technologies – Lock Down; RFID SAFE™; Smart Resistant Security; and Cut-Resistant  each Pacsafe anti-theft bag is made with extra precision and care. What we like about Pacsafe is the wide variety of products that are useful for almost every occasion.

(Prices indicated are accurate at the time of writing.)

Anti-theft bags are not the cheapest bags around and they might also draw unwanted attention. Still, the struggle of opening an anti-theft bag can help to deter the pickpockets and reduce your chances of falling victims to such crimes.

Ultimately, you should be the one to weigh the pros and cons of whether you truly need an anti-theft bag. Depending on your destination, what you’re carrying and if your budget permits. But we strongly suggest you do so especially when travelling to European countries since pickpocket rates are slightly higher there.

Do you own an anti-theft bag? If not, do you think having one protects you from pickpockets? Let’s talk in the comments below!