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 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 on the bottom right picture, I still had quite some space left.
On the picture to the left you see me wearing the Pacsafe travel handbag. 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.
The top right picture shows the smart zipper security: 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 (neither did I, with my K-Way rain jacket).
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.
>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.