Best & Top Rated Anti Theft Backpacks [Best Features and Buying Guide]
Some of the best adventures start with grabbing a backpack, throwing a few essentials and hitting the road. Once you get on the train to the airport, that is when you start rummaging around for your passport and then realize that your zipper is open. It becomes clear that you have become a victim of a pickpocket in the flurry of the rush to get to the airport. You can save yourself from all these issues by investing in a quality anti-theft backpack.
Having one of these secure rucksacks give you the peace of mind that your valuables are safe. It also frees up your hands, because you do not have to keep holding on to the bag for dear life and you can confidently store it in carry-on compartments.
Let us get right into it, and have a closer look at some of the best secure, slash proof, waterproof, and lockable backpacks we managed to round up for you.
Secure Backpack Comparison
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What Makes A Great Locking Backpack?
More than likely, you have unfortunately been a victim of pickpocketing, run theft, or even lost a bag at a local coffee shop at one point. It happens more than you can imagine in international cities, and it is better to be safe than sorry. The solution for anyone who is always on-the-go is to invest in a quality anti-theft backpack.
Lockable zippers work better than locking tags as an anti-theft feature. Some use a combination lock model on the zipper tabs while some feature a locking loop on the side for added security. There are also models that feature locking hardware on their straps allowing you to secure them to a stationary object such as a chair.
It all depends on the end-user and their intended application when it comes to determining which locking system works best. However, it does not hurt to go for a bag with multiple locking mechanisms and other anti-theft features for maximum security.
Why Are Anti Theft Backpacks Different From Other Backpacks?
Anti-theft backpacks look much like a regular travel backpack except for the inclusion of some features that upgrade their level of security. These functions are clever ways to protect your goods and give you comfort in knowing that you are the only one who can access your belongings.
Some of the ways the anti-theft bags offer enhanced security include:
Secret Compartment / Pocket
The easiest way to prevent pickpockets from making away with your valuables is by making them inaccessible. Hidden pockets within a backpack keep some of your treasured items away from pinching hands that might try to find their way into your bag.
Theft proof travel bags often have loads of divisions on the main compartment so that each of your belongings has its own safe space of storage. This is also great for organization and really takes your protection to the next level.
The secret compartments often have zipper closures allowing you to stash your passport, engagement/wedding ring, and other valuables that you do not want pickpockets to reach. You can find a wide range of layouts to suit the items you normally carry in your travel backpack, so it is worth looking at the different styles and knowing what your top needs are.
A good example of this feature is an anti theft laptop sleeve or pocket, which hides your laptop and is usually padded for safety. The best anti theft backpacks will usually keep your laptop deep inside its own compartment with no exterior access, making them pretty much theft proof. Some bags prioritize space for your gadgets, with a few models having a big compartment for up to 17 inch laptop, so you can find a travel bag with the right size for your laptop or tablet to fit comfortably and safely inside.Others make more space for the smaller things, such as pouches for jewelry and designated places for your cards or money. And some feature a more open layout so that you can put your things in there any way you like.
Knowing how easy it is to be a victim of fraud, protecting your cards and keeping them safely stored is obviously a priority. However, just because a card is in your pocket, doesn’t mean that you can’t get robbed. An RFID card, or Radio-Frequency Identification card, is a card that uses new technologies to access your bank information; you no longer need to swipe or introduce your card for a reader to access your data, but simply a scanner to read it. If you manage to keep pickpockets at bay, there are still those RFID scanner wielding thieves larking somewhere. Most backpacks now feature RFID protected pockets for storing your cards securely. Knowing how easy it is to be a victim of fraud, protecting your cards and keeping them safely stored is obviously a priority. However, just because a card is in your pocket, doesn’t mean that you can’t get robbed. An RFID card, or Radio-Frequency This feature is very valuable if you generally go to big cities and crowded areas, and for international travel.
Lockable zips that prevent pickpockets from breaking into your bag may be a hassle if you need to find something in a hurry, but are a great addition to any piece of luggage.
Different backpacks use different locking mechanisms including combination locks on zipper tags, side loops for securing zipper tags, and strap-placed locking hardware.
Regular backpacks for travel usually have outside pockets for easy access, but anti theft bags usually have a smooth look to them because the zippers are concealed in very clever ways. So, even if it is a bit more work to have access to your things when you need them, think about how much peace it gives you knowing that it will be nearly impossible for others to access those precious possessions.
Most pickpockets no longer boldly open backpacks in crowded public areas, but instead, they choose to slash its fabric stealthily. The inconspicuous approach does not call attention to the culprit because they often use concealed box cutters or other tools to try and cut your bag open.
However, most backpacks now come with anti-slash features such as slashproof fabric construction, embedding stainless steel beneath the exterior shells and straps. Such is the case of eXomesh slashguard, a technology used by PacSafe MetroSafe in their anti theft bags to prevent cut and run theft.
This great feature gives you extra confidence in knowing that your bag won’t tear easily in conditions that would destroy other alternatives, like if it gets caught in a fence or you are stuck in a big crowd.
One of the most important aspects of a backpack for travel is the quality of the zippers. After all, it is through zippers that you will get things in and out of it, so you want to make sure that they are the most resistant, high quality material possible.
The best anti theft backpacks for travel start with the very basics: keeping zippers inaccessible also works as a way of deterring pickpockets. Anti-theft bags come with dual-layer, metal, and lockable zipper preventing them from being pried open.
Sometimes it is not a pickpocket that will rob you off your prized possessions but nature in the form of unexpected downpours, and the last thing you want to worry about in a storm is finding your umbrella on time to keep your stuff dry. Water resistance/repellent fabrics have become a standard for most backpacks now in the bid of offering your items some protection from the elements. Some of these even come with a rain cover for extra protection, which is a great plus if you live in a rainy city or walk a lot in your commute.
5 Tips For Choosing The Best Anti-Theft Backpack
We came up with a list of the best anti-theft backpacks currently on the market, but it helps first to understand what aspects landed them a spot on our list.
It is not enough for a backpack to come with enough pockets: their placement on its frame make a difference. The best bags conceal most pockets cleverly inside the bag or through a zippered side or back-placed compartments. Organization compartments are also a plus with several smaller pockets hidden inside; these help keep your smaller goods separate and protected. As mentioned earlier, keeping in mind your needs when looking at options allows you to choose a layout that really suits your lifestyle.
Safe gadget compartments and small pouches for jewelry and similar things are always useful. RFID blocking pockets are also a great addition to keep your cards safe from those high tech thieves.
The best way to keep anyone other than you from accessing your bag is by getting rid of the opening. Some backpacks take this approach figuratively speaking and make use of a hidden zipper model. Often, the zipper to the main compartment closes to the back of the bag or has the straps go over it to make the zipper more concealed. Even though it isn’t visible when you are wearing the bag, the opening is usually big enough to give a 180 degree access to the inside of the bag, making it so easy to organize the contents.
No one ever said that they do not mind buying backpacks every other month. When you spend a significant amount on an anti-theft bag, the last thing you want is to replace it right after the first use or after only a few months. It takes a combination of the fabric used and overall construction to guarantee durability.
Always check carefully when buying a backpack for travel: read the tag to find out what materials it is made of, make sure that the finishes on the inside are even, the seams look strong, the thread is thick, and every closure works properly. Also, learn how to care for it so that it will last you a long time; not every fabric will survive your washer’s regular cycle, and most importantly, the more structured pieces might not belong anywhere near your washer for cleaning.
Size and Weight
You need a bag that will accommodate your stuff, but it also needs to fit you comfortably so that you’ll be good carrying it over extended periods of time. The width and length of the straps, the width of the bag’s frame, and its general shape, should adjust to your body.
The size of a bag directly relates to its weight, and the pack becomes heavier when loaded with your belongings. If the backpack cannot efficiently handle the weight, it becomes highly uncomfortable to carry over long distances.
Weight distribution also affects the bag’s lifespan, but elements such as a padded back and straps help to take the load off the stress points.
Some standard features come with most backpacks, such as water resistance, multiple storage compartments, and backs/straps mesh padding. However, a few separate one bag from the next and could make a difference in your choice. For instance, reflective strips on the straps and convenient USB port slots are not standard features but prove highly useful for some backpack buyers.
The main thing to keep in mind is a realistic use for your pack: what characteristic matters most to you? Which one are you sure you won’t need? Find those priorities by thinking of your pain points with previous pieces: what do you wish you’d found sooner? What special compartment do you find yourself longing for? These simple questions will lead the way to finding the right pack.
Anti Theft Backpack Reviews
Hikpro 20L – Water Resistant Packable Backpack
A Few Notable Features:
- The Travel Gear features a durable tear and water resistant nylon construction.
- It measures 18 (H) by 12 (W) by 5.5 (D)inches.
- The 20L Hikpro bag offers enough space to fit all your items.
- It folds up into pocket size for convenient storage when not in use.
- Wide, adjustable mesh shoulder straps make it comfortable to carry.
- Multiple compartments keep your items well-organized.
The Top Rated and Cheapest Option
While the Travel pack does not precisely come packed with some innovative anti-theft features like most others, it made it on this list because of its excellent reviews, multi-hidden pockets, and quality performance. The standout feature is its 20L capacity which is not quite visible at first glance. It is also very lightweight at only 6.5 oz
It features sturdy construction using a water repellent tear and water-resistant nylon material. The two-way metal zippers are SBS-made, making them abrasion resistant. The adjustable straps also feature mesh padding to enhance airflow around the shoulders. The bottom of the pack features a double fabric for extra strength. 14 stress points also feature Bartack process reinforcement.
The bag also comes with three zippered compartments, with one main pocket that can accommodate anything you need to carry. Smaller outer pockets allow you to keep quick-access items. An inner zippered compartment doubles up like a pouch for storing valuables such as credit cards, cash, and passports. Two mesh pockets on either side can hold water bottles or an umbrella.
Who should buy the Travel Gear backpack?
The impressive 20L capacity and the reasonably affordable price of this bag makes it ideally suited for travelers who want some organization and a bit of extra safety on the road. Given that it does not come with more anti-theft features such a slash proof construction and inbuilt locking mechanisms, anyone who needs a more secure backpack would be better off with the other options. However, this super light and easily stored piece was well worth the mention. Plus, it sure looks cool.
Kopack Shockproof Hiking Daypack
Our Top pick With A Hidden Zipper
Some Standout Features:
- It features a theft-proof hidden pocket.
- The backpack features a ScanSmart feature.
- It comes with more than ten storage compartments.
- A laptop sleeve with shock absorption can accommodate 14″ to 17″ laptops.
- It features a padded back and shoulder straps.
- The backpack is anti-scratch and water resistant.
- It comes in three colors and medium/large size options.
- Its measurements are 18.9 by 5.5 by 14.2 inches, and it weighs 1.9 pounds when empty.
- Looks straight out of a spy movie with such clean lines and minimalist exterior.
Best ScanSmart Design
The first striking aspect about the sleek and stylish Kopack backpack is that it does not have a zipper. The stealth zipper design gives it a theft-proof model, and it also uses a ScanSmart model opening entirely at 90 to 180 degrees. It comes with adjustable laptop slots that can accommodate 14″ to 15.6″ laptops and most 17″ laptops as well. The sleeve features a soft foam layer offering shock absorption protection.
It features a padded back and shoulder strap for added comfort. The backpack is also anti-scratch, and water resistant with luminous lining glows for enhanced visibility at night. The nylon fabric used for its construction is also anti-slash offering extra security.
Some of the other features it comes with includes a band for sunglasses, side and back bottom conveniently placed pockets, and a conveniently hidden earphone hole.
Who should buy one?
With such an elegant look, top quality materials, and easy organization, the backpack is what you need for business trips or day to day use as a daypack. Lightweight day backpackers will also appreciate this handy bag.
Travelon Classic Anti Theft Backpack
Our Highlighted Features:
- The water-resistant Travelon anti theft backpack is nylon-made with a polyester lining.
- Its adjustable straps and body panels are slashproof.
- The backpack comes with locking compartments.
- It also features RFID passport and card slots.
- A tablet sleeve is tucked away inside the bag.
- Its measurements are 12 (W) by 16 (H) by 6 (D) inches.
- It comes with locking zippers, compartments, and straps.
- The backpack is available in an impressive selection of 12 color choices.
Our Favorite Water Resistant Daypack
While it looks like any other travel backpack, the Travelon anti theft travel backpack comes loaded with some of the most advanced anti-theft features. It features a daypack design with well-thought-out pocket arrangements. The unisex bag is spacious enough to fit all your desired items despite appearing small at first glance. It features nylon construction with a polyester lining, and it is water resistant.
Its adjustable shoulder straps feature padding for comfort and, along with the body panels, they are slashproof. The backpack features a main compartment with a tablet sleeve and an organizer pocket at the front of the bag. There are also two side pockets, one with a side zipper closure to store items that you need within easy reach while the other is a water bottle holder.
A top lid with a zip closure covers the main compartment, and it also features an inner pocket with a zip closure for storing items like passports and cards. The compartments feature RFID protection offering protection against electronic theft. The carabiner hook-style zippers wrap over a D-ring once closed, making it difficult to unzip them in a hurry.
Who should grab one of these bags?
The Travelon anti theft backpacks hold up well on cross-country trips, but their design makes them an equally fit daypack. Their central compartment zipper opening is small, and it cannot accommodate a laptop, which does not make it the best of options for day-to-day use, but they are still worth to consider as travel bags if laptops are not a concern.
Pacsafe Venturesafe Daypack
A Few Noteworthy Features:
- The lightweight, water-resistant bag features a hidden eXomesh.
- It features a stainless steel wire mesh and Carrysafe Slashguard straps.
- The front pocket features RFID safe blocking material.
- A padded sleeve inside the bag can accommodate a 13″ laptop.
- Its measurements are 6.3 (D) by 17.7 (H) by 10.2 (W) inches.
- It is available in two color options.
The Best 15L Pacsafe Venturesafe Backpack
The size of the Pacsafe Venturesafe backpack could be its selling point along with the innovative anti-theft technologies. It is lightweight, weighing only 1.38 pounds when empty. A padded sleeve inside can accommodate a standard 13″ laptop or hold a 3L hydration pack.
Its front compartment functions as an organizer with enough pockets to hold your wallet, phone, and other items. Two side pockets for water bottles can also contain other things that you want within close reach. Its padded shoulder straps and back support the weight of carried items making it comfortable to carry around. A sternum strap also comes with the bag.
The front compartment of the water-resistant bag features an RFID blocking pocket offering protection for your cards from electronic theft. The backpack’s body features a stainless steel wire mesh embedding while the straps come with the Carrysafe Slashguard. These two features offer protection against run theft and make the bag slash proof overall. The main compartment also features a hidden zipper, and its tabs are side-lockable on loops for added security.
Who should buy the Pacsafe Venturesafe bag?
With such resistant materials and a sleek look, the daypack functions well as an option to take along for long hikes, daily commutes, and adventures abroad.
Uoobag KT-01 Slim Business Laptop
Some Noteworthy Features:
- It comes with more than ten pockets, including a laptop compartment.
- The bag features a padded back and mesh-straps.
- It features a 210D water-repellent nylon construction.
- Dual-layer zippers offer enhanced protection for your items.
- Its dimensions are 20 (H) by 15.5 (W) by 2.8 (D) inches.
- The Uoobag comes in a selection of five color choices.
Slim Business Laptop Backpack
The Uoobag comes in a sleek package with a 210D water-repellent nylon construction with a protective polyester lining. It features three main compartments with the back most being the laptop sleeve. The padded pocket can hold a 15.6 laptop, but some of the other options can fit a 17″ laptop. Its main compartment includes a tablet zip and several open pockets at the top. The third is its front-placed compartment which functions as an organizer.
Its S-shaped padded adjustable shoulder strap distributes weight evenly and makes carrying the bag more comfortable. The back area that goes over the spine also features padding with mesh over the straps and underside, keeping the bag breathable. A flat vertical front zipper allows you to place and retrieve documents quickly. It comes with two zippered bottle pockets, and the back of the pack also features more hidden pockets.
The shoulder strap features a placement above the zipper which means that once closed and on your back, no one can open it with ease. Worth noting is that the six color options the bag comes in differ not only by color, but also by size or the size of their laptop compartment.
Who should get this bag?
The Uoobag is suitable for business, travel, and daily use. Its main shortcoming is the fact that it does not come with any slash proof features, but some of its strongest points are the variety in laptop carrying capacity, as well as the crazy amount of pockets and compartments for all of your storage dreams.
Cotopaxi Cusco 26L Daypack Backpack Durable
A Few Key Features:
- The rugged Cotopaxi bag comes features a nylon/cotton canvas and suede leather bottom construction.
- It features multiple storage pockets including a 15-inch laptop sleeve.
- The breathable cushioned shoulder straps and back panels enhance comfort.
- It comes with a 61-year guarantee.
- The 26L bag’s dimensions are 19.5 by 11.5 by 8.5 inches.
- It comes in a selection of four color options.
The Most Durable Backpack
With a 61-year warranty backing it, anyone looking for a quality backpack should get the Cotopaxi Cusco Daypack. It comes in a mid-sized design with padded shoulder straps and back panel for enhanced comfort. The water-resistant shell features a 630D nylon/cotton canvas construction, while the bottom is made using suede leather.
It may look minimalist, but it features multi compartments including two water bottle pockets, a 15-inch laptop sleeve, expandable front pockets, a top zippered pocket with a key clip and inner mesh pockets. They all provide an organized way to store items conveniently.
Its 26L capacity offers enough room to carry all the items you would like to have on the go. It also maintains a lightweight frame when empty, weighing only 1.85 pounds.
Who should buy the Cotopaxi Cusco bag?
The highly functional backpack works for a variety of situations, including traveling or for day-to-day use. Its durability and mid-range price make it an excellent investment as your go-to pack for just about any occasion. Plus, it has more of a traditional feel compared to some of the ones with more modern materials so, if you’re into the more rugged look, this one is for you.
Lewis N. Clark Secure Convertipack
Our Highlighted Features:
- The Convertipack is a 3-in-1 use shoulder bag.
- It is nylon-made with a fabric lining.
- Its anti-slash shoulder strap features locking hardware.
- The Magnalof fabric panels are also slash-resistant.
- An internal zip pocket, key pocket, and passport keep your items secure.
- Additional exterior RFID-protected slots and locking pocket for phones/pens come with the bag.
- Its dimensions are 8.5 by 3.5 by 10.5 inches.
- The Convertible pack comes in two color options.
The Most Convertible Backpack
The Convertipack anti theft travel backpack solves the problem of needing different bags for various occasions when you’re on a trip, or even at home. This versatile piece comes in a 3-in-1 design that converts to a backpack, shoulder bag, and cross-body bag when needed. It makes use of slash-resistant fabric panels and an internal stainless steel cable to protect the pack from possible tampering.
The easy-to-use locking mechanism protects the bag from cases of grab-and-go by allowing you to secure the pack to stationary objects such as chairs or desks, which is great if you’re out dining on your trip and don’t want to constantly worry in a foreign city. Its nylon shell resists water and dust while the interior storage compartments keep your tablets, passports, and other valuables safe.
RFID-protected slots allow you to store your cards securely without worrying about concealed scanners accessing the confidential information.
Who should buy one?
The Convertipack is for the traveler who needs a flexible bag that can conveniently work in their changing circumstances when on-the-go. However, its lack of padded strap does not make its backpack option the most comfortable for long durations.
Can These Backpacks Be Used for Travel?
Travel bags are one of the top priorities for people who are on the road a lot. While not everyone needs the top features on their travel bag, things like secret pockets, an anti theft laptop sleeve, and a USB charging port are a big plus for most people.
Keeping your belongings safe and secure is important to every backpacker and traveler out there. Having your water bottle stolen right before you are about to head for a three-day trek in desert country, or losing your high-performance jacket a day before heading out with the Sherpa into the Himalayan backcountry will certainly put you in a bind. But how much comfort are you willing to sacrifice for added safety? In other words, is it possible to find a quality backpack for travel that also incorporates important safety, security, and anti-theft features?
Almost no serious backpacker, hiker, or traveler will be willing to pay a ton for the best anti theft backpack that ends up being uncomfortable because it weighs a ton, is badly designed, and will likely cause blisters on your back due to shoddy design. The best anti-theft backpacks should include hidden zipper designs and cut proof fabric, and practical features like anti theft laptop sleeves and RFID protected slots. Some even come with a USB charging port for convenience. At the same time, anti theft bags also need to incorporate essential comfort features such as extra padding on the hips and shoulder straps. If you are traveling to a region where “backpack theft” is a possibility, you may not need the absolute best anti theft travel backpack, but finding a balance between comfort and safety is essential.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. Why choose an anti theft backpack over a regular travel bag?
If your commute involves taking the subway or bus, or even walking through crowded areas, having a secure bag that will keep your belongings protected is always a plus for your peace of mind. It is also worth noting that most of these bags have tons of storage options, are waterproof, and super padded, which means they don’t only protect against theft: you can count on it to keep your notebooks dry and your laptop safely stored while you walk. No more worrying about rain ruining your papers or rummaging through all of your stuff because you misplaced anything inside the compartments.
While most of them are designed for everyday wear to bring to school or the office, some of these are great as carry-ons and you can even use the bigger models for a weekend trip if you’re not carrying much. The adjustable open angles on most models also mean that you can organize the inside pretty much any way you like, and works like your own mini desk while you’re away.
2. What feature should be my main priority when shopping?
The main features should be a strong material, preferably waterproof, and very strong zippers. Other than that, it really depends on your intended use for this piece: are you looking to take it to work every day with your laptop, sketchbook, and lunch? Or are you looking for something to keep with you so you know your cards, phone, and tablet are safe when you go to school? For the former, you might need a bigger laptop pocket, with some models having the capacity to carry up to 17” laptops, and a bigger main compartment for your lunch and others, as opposed to smaller models with several small compartments which could work for your tablet and small valuables. Now, for a carry-on, you could go for a middle point where the main compartment is big enough for your in-flight must-haves, but still has that big padded space for your laptop, and maybe more accessible pockets for your passport or other documents.
3. How much will I have to invest?
You can find an anti theft travel bag in pretty much every price range. While the price is an important factor when buying, keep in mind your lifestyle so that you don’t end up spending way more in the long run. Do you want a bag that lasts you many years? Are you going to wear it every single day? Or are you planning on wearing it only when you take the subway instead of driving to work? Are going to take it on one trip to a new city and someone mentioned that there is a lot of pickpocketing there? Do you carry lots of things every day? These are all important aspects that could make you choose a more expensive bag with the promise that it will last you your entire college career.
4. Is a rain cover necessary?
Most of these bags are at least water resistant. However, you might consider a rain cover if it rains a lot in your area for the extra ease of mind. Some models even come with a rain cover tucked away in a small compartment.
5. What is the carrying capacity for an anti theft backpack?
Usually the same one as a regular backpack. Most of these will give you exact numbers in Lts so you can compare them. Otherwise, it might be smart to go to a store so you can try it on and see for yourself how the layout works. It’s not just a matter of size: the way pockets and compartments are distributed also influences the capacity. It may be a huge bag with a super divided main compartment that makes it uncomfortable to store bigger items, or it might be a small bag with only a handful of pockets with just enough division to keep everything tidy.
6. Can I use one of these as a carry-on?
Most of these are TSA approved, and they are usually small enough to carry with no issue whatsoever. Once you select a model, you might want to double check this just to be sure.
The Final Word
Everyone could use anti theft backpacks for the peace of mind needed when out and about. You do not want to keep worrying about having your valuables stolen rather than enjoying scenic surroundings when traveling abroad. The same goes for your day-to-day commute, and having a secure travel bag keeps you from worrying too much about pickpockets.
Our list covers seven diversely different anti-theft backpacks to meet different needs. We are sure that you can find the right travel bag from our list or now have a better understanding of what anti theft features you might want when shopping for your next backpack.