Whenever I'm packing for a trip I'm faced with the same question: what bag to take? I'm not talking about my main luggage here, but about the bag I'll be lugging around during the day.
I always used to take a rather big shoulder bag or handbag which I could stuff with everything I might possibly need during the day. A sore shoulder at the end of each day made me revise my strategy: I needed to take less with me and thus, I could also use a smaller bag.
But what kind of bag? I have plenty at home, but none of them seemed to be just what I was looking for: my comfi handbags that were easy to lock couldn't be worn across the body (theft risk!), my shoulder bags were either way too small (they do still have to be able to fit a camera, notebook, phone and bottle of water), or too flashy (fluo pink just isn't that easy to combine) and I neither find a rucksack safe nor practical (you always have to take that thing off if you need something.
Pacsafe review: the Pacsafe Citysafe GII anti-theft travel purse
So I started looking around and I repeatedly stumbled upon the Pacsafe brand. The Pacsafe Citysafe 400 GII Hobo Bag was even featured on a top 5 travel purses list on Her Packing List. It seemed like the bag I was looking for, but as I was trying to downsize at the same time, the Pacsafe Citysafe 100 GII, a smaller version of the Hobo Bag, seemed even more appropriate.
After contacting Pacsafe they kindly agreed to offer me this anti-theft travel purse to review. The Pacsafe Citysafe 100 GII comes in Black, Midnight Blue, Walnut, Plum and Crimson Red. I chose the black version as it goes with everything and black is a color I wear a lot.
I received the Pacsafe travel purse through the mail and the first trip I took it on was just a little “test drive” during Leuven's car-free day (see what I did there?). On this day you'll find shopping stands, street artists, and sports demonstrations in the center of Leuven and so Boyfriend and I went to have a look.
I decided to be easy on the Pacsafe anti-theft travel purse the first time I used it and I only took some necessities with me: paper tissues, lip balm, my wallet, smartphone, sunglasses, and a small bottle of water. As you can see in the picture, I still had quite some space left.
Although you can feel by the fabric that it isn't a regular handbag, I don't think it looks that way. I also think I made a good choice choosing the black version as that doesn't draw too much attention to the fabric.
This anti-theft purse also has a smart zipper. You can attach the zipper to a hook that's fixed on the shoulder strap and then block that hook with a sliding mechanism so that it's impossible to open it unless you know of the system – and even then you really have to be able to look at it closely to get it open.
The Pacsafe anti-theft travel purse in Barcelona
I'd been comfortable carrying the Pacsafe purse around in Leuven, but of course, Leuven isn't known as Pickpockets Paradise. Barcelona, on the other hand, is one of the pickpocketing capitals of the world and is notorious for tourist scams.
I had a trip planned to Barcelona with Boyfriend in October and I just knew that would be the place to really put the travel purse to the test.
For starters, we'd only be traveling with just a small carry-on suitcase, a rucksack (for food :p) and the Pacsafe for the two of us. That meant I needed to put a lot more in the handbag than I'd done for my trip to Leuven. Let's have a look at what I put in there on the day we left, shall we:
In the zippered main compartment you see: my wallet, tablet, camera, sunglasses, notebook and a city guide (yes, I still use paper guides alongside my online research).
My passport and some hair clips are tucked away in the inner zipper compartment. This compartment also has a hook you can attach your keys to. I used this to make sure I didn't lose our hostel keys once we were checked in.
The two open side compartments are holding my smartphone (well, not on this picture as I'm using it to take the picture with), paper tissues, lip balm, and a pen.
By the way: one of those pockets is RFIDsafe. That means that it blocks transmissions and RFID readers, used by thieves to collect information from your credit card or any other card that holds a RFID chip.
There are also two small outer compartments on each side of the bag, below where the shoulder strap runs. They're not really big, but they are handy to put in paper tissues, lip balm or a city map (which I used them for).
They're open, yes, but as the opening is smaller than the rest of the compartment, they're still not that easy to get into. Also, they're clearly made to put in things that you easily want to access, not to hold valuables.
For those of you who are wondering: that shoulder strap is completely adjustable with a sliding mechanism over its entire length. It's also equipped with a turn & lock security hook that makes it possible to ‘open' your shoulder strap to attach it to something like a table or chair so thieves can't just grab your bag when walking by.
The Pacsafe Citysafe 100 GII anti-theft travel purse is also slashproof. Both the shoulder strap as the body panels of the handbag our reinforced with stainless steel wire which prevents the bag from being easily cut open or contents from falling out when it is cut open.
Oh and a great plus: the Pacsafe travel purse is water repellent. And really water repellent as I walked around with it in the rain for an entire day and none of the stuff inside got wet.
So, do I recommend the Pacsafe Citysafe 100 GII small anti-theft travel purse? I definitely do. In fact, I think this is going to be my companion during many, if not all, of my future trips. If you'd like to get your own anti-theft travel purse, you can find this one on Amazon.
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>I received one PacSafe Citysafe 100 GII anti-theft travel purse to review, but you know I wouldn't have walked through Barcelona with it for four days if I didn't genuinely like it.
Just found your blog. I’ve been looking at this bag, but have seen very few photos of it in use (i.e. contents). Thanks for sharing. Now, I need to decide which color to get…
I aaaalways test a bag with content in it before I buy it. It sometimes awkward in the store, but I just put everything I have with me in the bag that I’d like to get to test how much I can fit in and if it’s practical to get things in and out.
I’d choose a color that goes with a lot of your clothes and with clothes that you usually travel with. That way you’ll still look fashionable:)
Wendy Kochis - Flippo says
i bought a Pac Safe purse barely used it and the wire is sticking out the side of it and now I can figure out how to send it back to get it replaced. Yes I do like it, but not the fact the wire is poking out of the bag strap!!
Oh no, that sounds unpleasant to use indeed :(
Love the bag! Thanks for the detailed review. I was wondering if you’d be able to fit a dslr in there.
I don’t own a dslr, but as you can see I managed to fit in quite a lot while it’s not a bulky bag at all.
By the way: since I posted this review it is still my favorite travel handbag!
Thinking of buying the pac safe city safe 10 you have reviewed. I am just wondering how heavy the bag felt with all of those things you mentioned in it in addition to the mesh in the bag that makes it slash proof – how did you go sightseeing all day with the bag on your shoulder all day?
The mesh actually doesn’t weigh a thing. The bag is super light in itself, so the weight you carry around is really just from the stuff you take along during the day. I had no problem carrying it all day and it’s still my go-to travel day bag. If that’s an existing word:D
Have you tested its water resistant capacity? I would really try to know if it does what it says..if the things inside will also get wet if it is splashed with water or when soaked..Your reply will be greatly appreciated..thanks! :)
I’ve walked in the rain with it for a day and everything inside stayed dry. I haven’t put it under the shower, but I think it’s fairly water resistant:)
Been eyeing this bag for some time….only thing holding me back is the strap – can it be shortened enough to wear around the waist?
Let me try for a second. *Goes to get the bag*
Well uhm, I guess it depends on your size. It’s much too big for me to wear around the waist.
Then again, why would you buy a shoulder bag to put around your waist?:)
I’ve been looking at this purse for awhile now, as I’m planning a trip to Ireland. I’m looking for a smaller bag to hold essentials, but something secure for visits to pubs. Some pictures I’ve seen online look like there are two open pockets on the back, or are they enclosed? Would you be able to show a picture of the back of the bag? Thanks!
Hey Jennifer, I think the pockets are different depending on what model you buy, but mine doesn’t have a pocket at the back of the back. It has the main compartment, a zippered compartment within the main compartment, two smaller open compartments within the main compartment and the two small open compartment on the sides of the bag.
Can the strap be made longer than how you’re wearing it?
Yes! I’m actually wearing it the shortest way so it can go about double as long.
I’ve read a lot of reviews, but they rarely show a full length view of the bag actually being worn. Thank you for that. But if you’re wearing it at it’s shortest length, how would it fit on someone who is 5’1″?
Also would it hold a ball/skein of yarn and knitting needles? (Helps with waiting in lines and unexpected delays!)
It’ll hang a bit lower, obviously, so you’d have to know if you’d be comfortable with that.
It can definitely hold a ball of yarn but to be honest, I have no idea how long knitting needles are. I guess if they’re too long, you could always have them stick out but then the bag wouldn’t be entirely closed. You could also stick them upright in one of the side pockets.
Hope that helps a bit :-)
Sorry, I should have been more clear. I use circular needles, so they are quite compact. If the yarn will fit, they will. Besides with circular needles, no worries about dropping or loosing a needle.
I may need to try and find one with a shorter strap. Even on you that’s a little low for me.
You could always check their website. I know they have a newer version of this one now and also a bunch of other cross-body bags so maybe there’s one with a shorter strap. Worth the shot :)
Julieta Tolentino says
Hi Sofia I like to get the K WA y rain jacket but can’t enter the link where it’s say click the link. I’ll be leaving for Europe in4wk.would like to purchase the K Way rain jacket been looking for one God’s blessing I come to see your blog.PLEASE HELP ME WHERE I CAN PURCHASE THE JACKET K WAY FOR ME AND MY HUSBAND THANK YOU.
Sorry about that. It must have gone out of stock.
I found the men’s jacket here and for the women’s version it might be best to check the official K-Way website.
Have a nice trip!