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Best Travel Bags for Safe International Travel

Woman traveling with travel packWhat kind of day bag should you bring on your next big vacation? You don’t want to haul around something obtrusively large or heavy, but you also need to have room for the essentials. The last thing you want to worry about on vacation is being the victim of theft or pickpocketing, so selecting a bag that will protect your belongings is a must. We’ve rounded up a list of the best and safest travel day bags to help make that decision process less of a puzzle.

Here are the best bags for safe international travel

WinnerBest Safe Travel BackpackBest Messenger Bag for TravelBest Crossbody Bag for TravelBest Purses for TravelBest Waist Packs for Travel
Product namePacsafe Venturesafe 25L GIITravelon Anti-Theft Classic Messenger BagTravelon Anti-Theft Classic Crossbody BagFossil Morgan Traveler BagEagle Creek Tailfeather RFID Medium
Product imagePacsafe Venture PackTravelon Anti-theft Messenger BagTravelon Crossbody Bag
View productView on AmazonView on AmazonView on AmazonView on AmazonView on Amazon
Winner
Product name
Product image
View product
Best Safe Travel BackpackBest Messenger Bag for TravelBest Crossbody Bag for TravelBest Purses for TravelBest Waist Packs for Travel
Pacsafe Venturesafe 25L GIITravelon Anti-Theft Classic Messenger BagTravelon Anti-Theft Classic Crossbody BagFossil Morgan Traveler BagEagle Creek Tailfeather RFID Medium
Pacsafe Venture PackTravelon Anti-theft Messenger BagTravelon Crossbody Bag
View on AmazonView on AmazonView on AmazonView on AmazonView on Amazon

Types of travel bags

There are hundreds of different day bag options in varying styles, sizes, colors, and types, but for our purposes, they generally fall into one of three categories:

Backpacks

This familiar type of bag has (as you may expect) a strap for each shoulder and rests on your back. Backpacks are generally a little bigger and can hold more or larger items than some of the other bags.

Crossbody bags

This category includes anything with a single strap that can go over one shoulder and across the body. We broke down this broad category into three groups: messenger bags, which are generally a little larger; standard crossbody travel bags; and purses with crossbody straps.

Waist packs

Waist packs, also known as belt bags or fanny packs, have a strap that goes around your waist with a small bag that can be worn in front, in back, or on the side of your body.

Deciding what type of bag to get will depend on where you are going and what types of excursions you will be using the bag for. You’ll also want to consider what you’ll be carrying around with you to make sure you get a bag that will accommodate everything and still be comfortable.

Already know what type of bag you’re looking for? Jump ahead to see our recommendations!

What makes a travel bag secure?

Keeping your personal belongings secure is a top priority, especially when you’re traveling. No matter what type or brand of bag you end up using, there are a couple of things to look for to make sure your belongings will be safe.

Zippers. It’s a simple thing, but having zippers on all your bag openings will help deter pickpockets. Avoid bags with snaps or that only partially close; it’s too easy for thieves to slip things out of them. Zippers that lock or clip together are your best option, and if a bag doesn’t come with locks, you can use hooks, S-biners, or even twist ties if needed to make it that much harder for a pickpocket to get your bag open.

Inside pockets. Look for bags with interior pockets and compartments, especially ones that zip, to keep your most important documents, cards, and valuables doubly safe.

Crossbody strap. A bag that hangs off of one shoulder can be pulled off easily, whereas a bag that hangs across the body is much harder to snatch. Ideally, look for an adjustable crossbody strap that is wider than one inch and made of a strong, thick material. Some companies even insert wire into the straps to prevent them from being cut.

Manageable size. Make sure your bag is not so big that it’s hard to protect with your hand or arm. Besides, a bag that big will probably be uncomfortable to carry around all day.

Inconspicuous. Carrying a bag that’s particularly large or bright will mark you as a tourist and attract more attention, so look for bags that are subdued in design and color.

Sturdy material. Some thieves will slash open a bag and steal the contents as they fall out, so choose a bag made of thick, sturdy fabric. Nylon is a popular choice for travel bags, as it is durable and water-resistant. Leather, mock leather, or even canvas bags are good choices as well, and some companies even make bags with a slash-proof mesh lining.

RFID protection. Some passports, credit cards, and even ID cards have RFID chips that contain your personal information, and it is possible that identity thieves could access this information from a distance with an RFID reader. Chances of this happening are slim, but many companies have RFID-blocking pockets for your cards as an extra security measure.

We’ve researched and compared the security and functionality features of the many travel bag options on the market to bring you the best of each category in terms of safety and convenience. There’s a wide range of prices, features, and styles represented here, so take a look and consider what will work best for you and your travels.

Best secure travel backpacks

Our Ranking1st2nd3rd
Product NamePacsafe Venturesafe 25L GII Anti-Theft Travel PackOsprey Daylite BackpackNew Outlander Packable Lightweight Travel Backpack
Product ImagePacsafe Venture PackOsprey Daylight PackOutlander Pack
View ProductView on AmazonView on AmazonView on Amazon
MaterialNylonNylonNylon
Size11.5 x 20 in.11 x 22 in.10.6 x 17 in.;
13 x 19 in.
Weight1 lb. 8.7 oz.1 lb.0.5 lb.
Volume25 L.13 L.20 or 33 L.
RFID protection
Slash-proof features
Zipper security
Adjustable strapsShoulders, chest, waistShoulders, chest, waistShoulders
Side pockets
Internal sleeveYes; 15-inch laptop or 3-liter hydration pouchYes; tablet or 2.5-liter hydration pouchNo
Folds up into pouch
Our Ranking
Product Name
Product Image
View Product
Material
Size
Weight
Volume
RFID protection
Slash-proof features
Zipper security
Adjustable straps
Side pockets
Internal sleeve
Folds up into pouch
1st2nd3rd
Pacsafe Venturesafe 25L GII Anti-Theft Travel PackOsprey Daylite BackpackNew Outlander Packable Lightweight Travel Backpack
Pacsafe Venture PackOsprey Daylight PackOutlander Pack
View on AmazonView on AmazonView on Amazon
NylonNylonNylon
11.5 x 20 in.11 x 22 in.10.6 x 17 in.;
13 x 19 in.
1 lb. 8.7 oz.1 lb.0.5 lb.
25 L.13 L.20 or 33 L.
Shoulders, chest, waistShoulders, chest, waistShoulders
Yes; 15-inch laptop or 3-liter hydration pouchYes; tablet or 2.5-liter hydration pouchNo

1. PacSafe Venturesafe 25L GII

Pacsafe Venture Pack
As a general rule of thumb, any type of bag from Pacsafe is going to be high quality and extra secure, and the Venturesafe 25L GII Anti-Theft Travel Pack is no exception. Pacsafe packs their products with all the specialized anti-theft features you could hope for, including Slashguard material, zipper security hooks, and RFID-blocking material to protect your data. It is roomy, with a large internal sleeve that can hold either a 15-inch laptop or a 3-liter hydration pouch; however, the big drawback to all of these great features is the high price. If it fits in your budget, though, this is a fantastic backpack for any destination.

Pros

  • 25-liter volume
  • Adjustable shoulder, chest, and waist straps
  • Zipper hooks
  • Slash-proof material
  • RFID protection
  • Side pockets
  • Internal sleeve for laptop or water pouch

Cons

  • High price
  • Does not fold or collapse

2. Osprey Daylite Backpack

Osprey Daylight Pack
The Osprey Daylite Backpack is a lightweight backpack that is about half the price of the Pacsafe Venturesafe pack, though is also about half the size. The Daylite is meant to attach to a larger hiking backpack but is perfect for day trips or hikes with its adjustable shoulder, chest, and waist straps. It does not include the specific anti-theft features of the Pacsafe products, such as RFID blocking pockets and slash-proof material, but all of the zippers can be locked easily. The Daylite is a high quality pack with lots of very positive reviews and would be a solid choice for a travel backpack.

Pros

  • Adjustable shoulder, chest, and waist straps
  • Internal sleeve for a tablet or water pouch
  • Side pockets
  • Competitive price
  • Attaches to larger rucksack

Cons

  • Smaller than other backpacks—only 13-liter capacity
  • No built-in anti-theft features
  • Does not fold or collapse easily

3. New Outlander Packable Lightweight Travel Backpack

Outlander Pack
The New Outlander Packable Lightweight Travel Backpack is pretty basic, but its low cost and compact folded size give it an advantage over many other travel backpacks. The whole backpack can fold up and fit into a zippered inner pocket so you can take it with you on your trip and pull it out only on an as-needed basis instead of as a dedicated carry-on bag. It has two large-capacity sizes, though keep in mind that you won’t want to have a full, heavy backpack on your back for an extended period of time.

Although the New Outlander Packable Lightweight backpack is missing most of the anti-theft features of other travel backpacks like the zipper locks, slash-proof meshing, and RFID protection, this is one of the top-rated travel backpacks on Amazon—over 90% of the 3,500 reviews are positive. And in case you need one more reason to consider it, it also comes with a lifetime warranty.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Folds up into zippered pocket
  • Huge number of positive reviews
  • Durable fabric and materials
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Comes in two large-capacity sizes: 20 liters or 33 liters
  • Side pockets

Cons

  • No anti-theft features
  • No chest or waist straps
  • No internal sleeve for water pouch

Best safe messenger bags for travel

Our Ranking1st2nd3rd
Product NameTravelon Anti-Theft Classic Messenger BagCoolBELL Messenger BagTimbuk2 Classic Messenger Bag (size S)
Product ImageTravelon Anti-theft Messenger BagCoolbell Messenger BagTimbuk2 Messenger Bag
View ProductView on AmazonView on AmazonView on Amazon
MaterialPolyesterOxford cloth; polyester liningNylon; waterproof liner
Size10 x 11 x 4.5 in.17.3 x 13.4 x 3.5 in.13.8 x 10.6 x 5 in. (16 in. across the top)
Weight1 lb.2.65 lbs.1 lb. 7 oz.
CapacityNot listedNot listed14.25 L.
RFID protection
Slash-proof features
Zipper security
Adjustable strapYes; 25 to 48 in.YesYes; up to 46.5 in.; padded
External pocketsYes; two side pockets, one zippered pocketYes; six front zippers
Internal compartments
ConvertibleYes; backpack straps included
Reflective material
Multiple sizes
Our Ranking
Product Name
Product Image
View Product
Material
Size
Weight
Capacity
RFID protection
Slash-proof features
Zipper security
Adjustable strap
External pockets
Internal compartments
Convertible
Reflective material
Multiple sizes
1st2nd3rd
Travelon Anti-Theft Classic Messenger BagCoolBELL Messenger BagTimbuk2 Classic Messenger Bag (size S)
Travelon Anti-theft Messenger BagCoolbell Messenger BagTimbuk2 Messenger Bag
View on AmazonView on AmazonView on Amazon
PolyesterOxford cloth; polyester liningNylon; waterproof liner
10 x 11 x 4.5 in.17.3 x 13.4 x 3.5 in.13.8 x 10.6 x 5 in. (16 in. across the top)
1 lb.2.65 lbs.1 lb. 7 oz.
Not listedNot listed14.25 L.
Yes; 25 to 48 in.YesYes; up to 46.5 in.; padded
Yes; two side pockets, one zippered pocketYes; six front zippers
Yes; backpack straps included

1. Travelon Anti-Theft Classic Messenger Bag

Travelon Anti-Theft Messenger Bag
Travelon is another highly reputable travel bag company, and you can be sure that any bags or packs from Travelon are going to be high quality. Their Anti-Theft Classic Messenger Bag is a popular choice (as evidenced by the number of positive Amazon reviews). The bag has an adjustable strap, plenty of inside and outside pockets and compartments, plus all the anti-theft features that you could want, including RFID protection, slash-proof material and straps, and locking zippers. It is on the smaller side, so you won’t be fitting any laptops in it, but it will definitely keep your personal belongings safe while you travel.

Pros

  • Locking zippers
  • Slash-proof materials and strap
  • RFID protection
  • Adjustable crossbody strap length
  • Lightweight
  • Internal and external pockets and compartments
  • Positive reviews

Cons

  • Too small for a laptop

2. CoolBELL Messenger Bag

This convertible bag can be carried as a messenger bag, as a backpack (straps included), or by the sturdy handle at its top. It’s a good bag for travel, since all its pockets are zippered, allowing for safe closure. All its interchangeable straps are adjustable, and there is a padded internal sleeve that can hold a 17-inch laptop. It is a great price compared to similar products since it feels like three bags in one, plus it comes in almost eleven different color options.

Pros

  • Convertible from messenger bag to backpack to briefcase
  • Internal pockets and compartments, included padded sleeve
  • Tons of zipper compartments
  • Adjustable crossbody and backpack straps
  • Attractive design in multiple colors

Cons

  • No RFID protection
  • No slash-proof materials

3. Timbuk2 Classic Messenger Bag

Timbuk2 Messenger Bag
This Classic Messenger Bag from Timbuk2 is sturdy and durable and has been produced by Timbuk2 for over 18 years. It is more of a classic messenger bag design without travel-specific features, so there are no anti-theft aspects and it is a bit pricey; however, it is a high-quality bag made with heavy-duty yet stylish materials that will last you a long time. It is available in four different sizes (from x-small to large), so you can choose the bag that will accommodate your travel needs best.

Pros

  • Waterproof liner and durable nylon fabric
  • Adjustable padded crossbody strap
  • Internal pockets and compartments, including a laptop sleeve
  • Reflective accent materials
  • Multiple sizes available
  • Sturdy and durable
  • Large enough to hold a laptop

Cons

  • No anti-theft features
  • High price

Best secure crossbody bags for travel

Our Ranking1st2nd3rd
Product NameTravelon Anti-Theft Classic Crossbody BagPacsafe Citysafe LS200 Anti-Theft HandbagTom Bihn Medium Cafe Bag
Product ImageTravelon Crossbody BagPacsafe Crossbody BagTom Bihn Cafe Bag
View ProductView on AmazonView on AmazonView on Website
MaterialPolyesterPolyester, polyester twillCordura, nylon
Size11.25 x 14 x 1 in.14.6 x 10 x 4 in.10.6 x 12.2 x 3 in.
Weight1 lb.1 lb. 6 oz.1 lb.
CapacityNot listed12 L.8 L.
RFID protection
Slash-proof features
Zipper security
Adjustable strapYes; 26 to 49 in.YesYes; up to 54 in.
External pocketsYes; two flap pockets, two zippered pocketsYes; two zippered pocketsNo
Internal compartments
Multiple sizes
Our Ranking
Product Name
Product Image
View Product
Material
Size
Weight
Capacity
RFID protection
Slash-proof features
Zipper security
Adjustable strap
External pockets
Internal compartments
Multiple sizes
1st2nd3rd
Travelon Anti-Theft Classic Crossbody BagPacsafe Citysafe LS200 Anti-Theft HandbagTom Bihn Medium Cafe Bag
Travelon Crossbody BagPacsafe Crossbody BagTom Bihn Cafe Bag
View on AmazonView on AmazonView on Website
PolyesterPolyester, polyester twillCordura, nylon
11.25 x 14 x 1 in.14.6 x 10 x 4 in.10.6 x 12.2 x 3 in.
1 lb.1 lb. 6 oz.1 lb.
Not listed12 L.8 L.
Yes; 26 to 49 in.YesYes; up to 54 in.
Yes; two flap pockets, two zippered pocketsYes; two zippered pocketsNo

1. Travelon Anti-Theft Classic Crossbody Bag

Travelon Crossbody Bag
With all the quality and anti-theft features you expect from a Travelon bag, the Classic Crossbody Bag is an excellent choice for traveling abroad or as a day-to-day bag. (If you’re looking for something more compact, the Travelon Anti-Theft Signature Slim Pouch has all the great safety features of the other Travelon bags, but it is smaller, very lightweight, and less expensive on Amazon.) The RFID-blocking pockets, the slash-proof material, and the locking zippers are all there, plus a removable LED light inside the bag so you won’t ever need to hunt through your bag in the dark. The slash-proof strap can also be detached and looped around something secure if you need to leave your bag for a moment. The Anti-Theft Classic Crossbody Bag can fit an iPad or tablet, and over 85% of the 1,200 reviews on Amazon were positive, making it the top-rated Travelon bag on Amazon

Pros

  • Four external pockets
  • RFID protection
  • Slash-proof material and strap
  • Locking zippers
  • Adjustable strap that can detach
  • Internal pockets and compartments
  • Removable LED light

Cons

  • Limited amount of interior space

2. Pacsafe Citysafe LS200 Anti-Theft Handbag

Pacsafe Crossbody Bag
You can’t get much safer than a bag from Pacsafe. With a slash-proof strap and bag material, RFID protection, and zipper locking mechanisms, the Citysafe LS200 Anti-Theft Travel Handbag has everything you’d need in a completely secure bag. Pacsafe makes a wide range of anti-theft crossbody bags, including a smaller version of this bag, the Citysafe LS100. We chose to highlight the LS200 because its larger size makes it ideal for carrying all the items you may need while you travel, plus every point of access has a locking zipper so you know that your valuables are safe.

Pros

  • Locking zippers
  • RFID protection
  • Slash-proof material and strap
  • Internal compartments include a padded 11-inch laptop sleeve and secret jewelry pocket
  • Two external zippered pockets
  • Smaller size is available
  • Adjustable crossbody strap
  • Key clip and wallet ring inside the main compartment

Cons

  • High price

3. Tom Bihn Medium Cafe Bag

tom bihn bag on white
Although the Tom Bihn Cafe Bags are not specifically designed for travel, they are durable, high-quality crossbody bags that would be great for traveling. These bags come in three different sizes and lots of colors so you can find just what you want. There are additional features that can be purchased separately (if they fit into your budget), like a protective laptop sleeve, an additional organizer for small items, a waist strap, and a padded shoulder strap. They also come with a limited lifetime warranty.

Pros

  • Multiple sizes and colors available
  • Durable, wear-resistant fabric
  • Adjustable crossbody strap up to 54 inches
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Additional add-on features can be purchased separately
  • Internal organization pockets

Cons

  • No anti-theft features
  • Higher price than many other crossbody bags

Best purses for safe travel

Our Ranking1st2nd
Product NameFossil Morgan Traveler BagBaggallini Everywhere Shoulder Bag
Product Image
View ProductView on AmazonView on Amazon
Dimensions10 x 10.5 x 2.5 in.13.5 x 9 x 5 in.
Weight1.5 lb.1 lb.
MaterialLeatherNylon
Adjustable strap
Detachable strap
External pocketsYes; 1 zippered, 1 slide, 2 flap pocketsYes; 4 zippered, 1 flap pocket
Internal compartmentsYes; includes 1 zippered pocketYes; includes 1 zippered pocket and multiple slide pockets
Multiple sizes
Our Ranking
Product Name
Product Image
View Product
Dimensions
Weight
Material
Adjustable strap
Detachable strap
External pockets
Internal compartments
Multiple sizes
1st2nd
Fossil Morgan Traveler BagBaggallini Everywhere Shoulder Bag
View on AmazonView on Amazon
10 x 10.5 x 2.5 in.13.5 x 9 x 5 in.
1.5 lb.1 lb.
LeatherNylon
Yes; 1 zippered, 1 slide, 2 flap pocketsYes; 4 zippered, 1 flap pocket
Yes; includes 1 zippered pocketYes; includes 1 zippered pocket and multiple slide pockets

1. Fossil Morgan Traveler Bag

If you are looking for an everyday purse that can double as a travel bag, or if you want something stylish as well as functional, the Fossil Morgan Traveler Bag is for you. While not specifically slash-proof, the 100% leather exterior and strap will be difficult for thieves to cut through. The strap is adjustable as well as detachable, and there are several pockets on both the outside and inside of the bag. Fossil is known for their high-quality products, which accounts for the extra high price, but it’s an excellent bag that many travelers recommend. And without being designed as a tourist bag, it will help you blend in wherever you go, whether you’re shopping around your hometown or exploring new places.

Pros

  • 100% leather
  • Slash resistant
  • Adjustable and detachable strap
  • Several interior and exterior zippered pockets
  • Not just for travel so it does not stand out as a tourist bag

Cons

  • High cost
  • No specific anti-theft features

2. Baggallini Everywhere Shoulder Bag

The Baggallini Everywhere Shoulder Bag is another day-to-day purse that would make a great travel bag and has tons of positive reviews. As with the other crossbody bags, the shoulder strap is adjustable up to 52 inches so it can be worn over the shoulder or across the body. There are several pockets and compartments, including a side zippered compartment for quick access to a water bottle or sunglasses. It also has a detachable coin purse and comes in several sizes so you can pick the size you’ll need. The biggest drawback is the lack of specific anti-theft features like the slash-proof meshing or RFID protection, but even without those, this is a great day-to-day travel bag.

Pros

  • Adjustable strap up to 52 inches
  • Interior and exterior pockets and compartments
  • Zippered side pocket
  • Lightweight
  • Multiple sizes available
  • Positive reviews

Cons

  • No specific anti-theft features

Best secure travel waist packs

1. Eagle Creek Tailfeather RFID Medium

The Eagle Creek Tailfeather RFID Medium belt bag is one of Eagle Creek’s All Ways Secure products and a great option if you are looking for a waist pack. The RFID blocker pocket protects your personal information (passport, credit cards), and the lockable zippers keep everything secure, so you can carry your most important items close to you all the time. The strap is adjustable for a comfortable fit, and there are several pouches and zippered pockets (including a lined electronics pocket) to give you multiple storage options.

Pros

  • 4-liter capacity
  • Lightweight
  • Hands-free belt bag
  • Adjustable waist strap
  • RFID protection pocket
  • Zippers can be locked
  • Reflective accents
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Padded mesh back for extra comfort

Cons

  • No slash-proof material

2. Pacsafe Venturesafe 100 GII Anti-Theft Hip Pack

This Pacsafe Venturesafe 100 GII Anti-Theft Hip Pack offers you several zippered pockets for storing your travel essentials right at your fingertips. All of the zippers can be locked, and the bag is made from Pacsafe’s Slashguard material. The strap is slash proof, adjustable up to 45 inches, and has a dual release button on the buckle for an extra layer of security. The RFID blocking pockets protect your personal information from being stolen so you can securely carry your personal documents and cards with you as you travel from place to place.

Pros

  • Adjustable waist strap
  • Dual release button on the buckle
  • Slash-proof material and strap
  • RFID protection
  • Locked zippers
  • Several pockets and compartments

Cons

  • Smaller size

Travel Safely

When selecting a day bag to take with you on your international adventures, take where you’re going and what you’ll be using it for into consideration, as well as your personal style preferences. Decide if you’ll be most comfortable with a backpack, a crossbody bag, or something that just goes around your waist. Then look for a bag that has at least basic security features, like a crossbody strap and zippered pockets, to protect your personal belongings as you travel. If you can pay a little more, look for a bag that has specific anti-theft features to give you an additional advantage over anyone who might try to steal from you.

That being said, keep in mind that it isn’t necessary to find a bag with specific safety or anti-theft features in order to carry your personal items securely while you travel. There are many ways to stay safe while traveling, and the biggest thing that will protect your belongings is using common sense when wearing, accessing, or setting down your bag. Pickpockets and thieves look for those moments when bags and purses are unattended or your money is easily accessible, so don’t give them the opportunity. Once you’ve picked a bag and know how to stay safe in general, you can enjoy your trip even more, knowing you’ve got the best bag for your travel situation.

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