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A Guide to the Best Anti-Theft Crossbody Bags for 2019

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Where ever you travel, there are bound to be thieves and pickpockets that target unsuspecting tourists like you. You can protect your valuables from these people and we can help. Read this page to find out more about how you can protect yourself and your belongings.

This article is was conceived of while we were writing our guide to the best REAL anti-theft backpacks article in which we explained what real anti-theft features a backpack needs to prevent pickpockets and thieves from stealing from you. We realized that bags and purses were as likely, if not more likely to be targets for pickpockets and thieves. So, we have written this guide listing what security features to keep in mind when you are shopping for a crossbody bag or purse to take on your next travel adventure.

crossbody bags are very popular for their ease of use as well as the perceived added security from being securely looped over your head. It should be more difficult to get into and rob, right? Wrong. Unfortunately, these bags give the wearer a false sense of security unless they have a few special built-in protective features.

Over the years, thieves and pickpockets have developed some very clever ways to distract and gain access to unsuspecting tourist's bags. They know that your bag is full of money, credit cards, cell phones, cameras and other valuables. They want it and they'll do a lot of risky things to get it. There are three main methods that they use:

• They slash the strap and run away with your bag;
• They slash a hole in the side of the bag and help themselves to your belongings;
• They reach into the bag through the open zipper (yes, this happens);
• In cases where the zipper is fully closed, a skilled pickpocket can surreptitiously slide the zipper open and help himself.

Remember, no matter how well protected your purse is, all the protection in the world is useless if your don't use it. Always keep your purse zipped closed!

With all this in mind, let's take a look at what actually makes a crossbody bag an anti-theft crossbody bag...

What is a Crossbody Bag?

A crossbody bag is a purse or bag that is designed to be worn with the single strap looped over the shoulder on the opposite side of the body from where the bag is worn. Some of this style of bags are unisex while the purses are decidedly more feminine. You can have crossbody bags that range in size from very small clutch style purses all the way up to messenger bags or day packs.

What Makes a Crossbody Bag an Anti-Theft Crossbody bag?

When you are travelling, you often have to keep your passport, money, laptop and camera in your bag. This is when you are at your more vulnerable. It only takes a little time and money to protect you and your belongings from the most common form of crime against tourists - purse snatching or pickpocketing.

Like we said earlier, you should be aware of the three methods that a thief may use to steal from you: Strap slashing, bag slashing and zipper opening.

This page mainly features the Pacsafe line of crossbody Bags (the original anti-theft brand) because this is the only brand of bags that offer protection against the three threats you need to protect against. They worth every penny and provide piece of mind in return. Pacsafe products routinely have consistent rave reviews on Amazon.

Now that you are acquainted with the potential threats, let's look at security features that could prevent a thief from stealing from your purse or bag:

Zippers:

Most crossbody Bags use a single coil zipper design. These are fine but not very secure. The older the zipper, the easier it is to open due to wear and tear. The problem is that they can be opened using a ballpoint pen! And you can simply draw the zip over the opening to reclose the bag, leaving no trace that you were ever there. You can see a video demonstration of this on our main page.

New dual coil or YKK zippers will frustrate even the most seasoned professional pickpocket, causing him to move on to the next victim. These zippers are common in luggage and backpacks but not widely used for purses. We highly recommend that, if you can find one, buy a crossbody bag that is employs dual coil zippers. Not convinced? Take a look at our puncture resistant zipper page where we go into much more detail about these innovative zippers. Dual coil zippers are not a common feature on most crossbody bags but there are a few bags that do incorporate these zippers in their designs for added protection.

Pacsafe has developed a some unique ways to secure zippers and keep preying fingers away.

Pacsafe zipper locking systems

Slash-proof Materials: This is probably the most important feature that you should be looking for in a bag. It is very common that thieves will use a razor or sharp blade to slice open a bag without the owner even feeling it. The light-weight material used to make most bags is very thin and easy to slash through. Slicing through the shoulder straps and running away with the bag is another well-used trick.

The razor blade technique is so quick and effective that many thieves can cut open and steal from a bag while the owner is still wearing it!

So how do you protect against bag-slashing?

The best solution to prevent your bag from being slashed is to use slash-resistant material or embed metal mesh into the walls of the pack. Straps can be protected by embedding metal wires into the material of the shoulder straps. Pacsafe has developed their patented eXomesh Slashguard stainless steel "cage" that prevents anyone from getting at anything larger than a fist - even if they cut through the material of the bag. They also have something called Carrysafe. This protects the shoulder straps from slashing attacks using two stainless steel cables and in some cases this protection is increased using Dyneema material in the strap.

Pacsafe eXomesh slashguard and Carrysafe strap with Dyneema

RFID Anti-Skimming Protection:

RFID (radio frequency identification) is how your tap-and-go cards communicate with the merchants payment terminal. With the increase availability of these tap-enabled cards credit and debit cards, the bad guys have figured out how to take advantage of this new technology. With a little bit of technology, they are able to "swipe" or "skim" your tap-enabled cards and steal money right from your account.

The easiest way to avoid this crime is to request that the issuing financial institution deactivate the tap feature. Unfortunately, not all cards can be disabled so the next best thing is to keep the card in a virtual radio frequency "safe". These are made from RFID blocking material and are typically sewn into bags as pockets, incorporated into RFID wallets or are separate little folders. Either way, this is becoming more and more necessary.

There are many unique products on the market today that offer RFID blocking. These include bags, crossbody Bags, wallets, jackets and hoodies. When you are shopping for RFID blocking products, be sure that they offer a frequency blocking range of at least 10MHz to 3GHz. This will cover the radio frequencies used by e-passports, credit/debit cards, and hotel key cards.

Pacsafe RFID pockets and wallets

Where Can I Buy an Anti-Theft Crossbody bag?

Pacsafe sells directly through their website but they charge shipping. We like Amazon because you can save on shipping charges. They also sell their products through Amazon at no extra cost. In fact, many items ship for free and you will probably save on shipping by buying through Amazon.

Other Things to Look For in an Anti-Theft crossbody bag

Okay, we have covered the various security features that you should be looking for. Once you have all that in mind, there are still many other non-theft related features that you should be considering. Here is a list of some other things to factor in to your buying decision:

Capacity - How large is the bag? Have you carefully considered what you will need it to hold? Is it big enough? These are all things that you should consider before you buy.

Attractiveness - Style is still an important factor - even in an anti-theft bag. There are many styles and fabrics available so you can look cool while being protected. There is no need to compromise on looks just to get a safe bag. You can have both stylishness and security in the same bag.

Water Resistance - Not all crossbody Bags are water-proof. Zippers, by design, leaks so look for water-proofed zippers. These are usually normal zippers under a rubber gasket material. Some crossbody Bags may only be water resistant or worse, they leak like a sieve. Water-resistance is especially important if you are going to place your electronics inside the bag.

Interior Compartments - What do you need? Most crossbody Bags are divided into at least two or three divided compartments. Are the other interior areas padded? Do you need them to be padded? Interior compartments can provide an extra layer of security against pickpockets if they should somehow get into the main area of the bag.

Water Bottle/Sun Glass Holder - Bag designers are getting more and more clever about ways to hold your water bottles and special pockets to stash your expensive sun glasses. No more need to carry a separate glass case!

Locks - Can you lock the bag or even a single compartment? If so, how good are the locks? Can the bag strap be used as a locking cable to prevent "snatch and grabs"?

Other things to look for in a crossbody bag

Our Selection Criteria

For this article, we are focussing on the three top anti-pickpocket issues: protection against slashing attacks, are the zippers protected and do they provide RFID protection. Since buying a crossbody bag is such a personal choice, we have not tried to rate these packs in any order. We have not rated them on any criteria other than: Are they made from slash-resistant material, is the zipper protected and do they provide RFID protection? All crossbody Bags on this page answer "yes" to at least two of these three questions.

Anti-Theft crossbody Bag Comparison Charts

Image
Name
Volume
Weight
Anti-Theft Features
Unisex
Price
Pacsafe Womens Daysafe Anti-Theft Tech Crossbody Bag
0.2L
.3lbs
• eXomesh anti-slashing material
• RFIDsafe™ blocking pocket
• Adjustable Carrysafe® straps
Women's
Pacsafe Unisex Stylesafe Anti-Theft crossbody bag
.75L
0.49 lbs
• eXomesh anti-slashing material
• TurnNLock/Zip Clip zippers
• RFIDsafe™ blocking material
• Adjustable Carrysafe® strap
Woman's
Pacsafe Citysafe CS50 Anti-Theft crossbody Purse
1.6L
0.71lbs
• eXomesh anti-slashing material
• TurnNLock/Zip Clip zippers
• RFIDsafe™ blocking pocket
• Adjustable Carrysafe® straps
Women's
Pacsafe Slingsafe LX50 Anti-Theft Mini crossbody Bag
2L
.38lbs
• eXomesh anti-slashing material
• RFIDsafe™ blocking pocket
• Adjustable Carrysafe® straps
• Secured zip tab
Women's
Pacsafe Intasafe Anti-Theft Mini Crossbody Bag
2.5L
13oz
• eXomesh anti-slashing material
• Roobar Deluxe Locking zippers & secure zip tab
• RFIDsafe™ blocking pocket
• Adjustable Carrysafe® straps
Unisex
Pacsafe Women's Citysafe CX Anti-Theft Square Crossbody Bag
3.2L
.55lbs
• eXomesh anti-slashing material
• RFIDsafe™ blocking pocket
• Adjustable Carrysafe® straps
Women's
Pacsafe Unisex Stylesafe Anti-Theft Double Zip Crossbody
4L
10oz
• eXomesh anti-slashing material
• RFIDsafe™ blocking pocket
• Adjustable Carrysafe® straps
Unisex
Pacsafe Womens Daysafe Anti-Theft Slim Crossbody Bag
4.5L
.42lbs
• eXomesh anti-slashing material
• RFIDsafe™ blocking pocket
• Adjustable Carrysafe® straps
• Zipclips, TurnNLock hooks & Zip clips
Women's
Pacsafe Metrosafe LS200 Anti Theft Crossbody Bag
5L, 7L &12L
1.23lbs
• eXomesh anti-slashing material
• RFIDsafe™ blocking pocket
• Adjustable Carrysafe® straps
• Zipclips, TurnNLock hooks & Lockabout security clip
Unisex
Pacsafe Citysafe CS100 Anti-theft Handbag
5L & 10.5L
.9lbs
• eXomesh anti-slashing material
• RFIDsafe™ blocking pocket
• Adjustable Carrysafe® straps
• Zipclips, TurnNLock hooks & Lockabout security clip
Women's
Pacsafe Slingsafe LX450 15L Anti Theft Sling crossbody bag
6L
7.2oz
• eXomesh anti-slashing material
• TurnNLock/Zip Clip zippers
• RFIDsafe™ blocking pocket
• Adjustable Carrysafe® straps
Women's
PacSafe Vibe 200 Anti Theft Compact Shoulder Bag
7.5L
1lbs
• eXomesh anti-slashing material
• Roobar Sport Locking zippers
• RFIDsafe™ blocking pocket
• Adjustable Carrysafe® straps
Unisex
Pacsafe Stylesafe Anti-theft Convertible Crossbody Bag
10L
0.82lbs
• eXomesh anti-slashing material
• TurnNLock/Zip Clip zippers
• RFIDsafe™ blocking pocket
• Adjustable Carrysafe® straps
Women's
Pacsafe Womens Stylesafe Anti-Theft Tote
14.5L
1.16lbs
• eXomesh anti-slashing material
• RFIDsafe™ blocking pocket
• Adjustable Carrysafe® straps
• Zipclips, TurnNLock hooks & Zip clips
Women's

Some of Our Favorites:

We won't go into detail about each and every one of the bags listed above. Instead, we have picked just a few of our favorites.

PacSafe Vibe 200 Anti-Theft Compact Shoulder Bag

PacSafe Vibe 200 Anti Theft Compact Shoulder Bag

In all honesty, this is the crossbody bag that I own. It is great as a carry-on and a day bag for touring around the town. The interior features pockets, a key ring securely sewn into the bag and an RFID pocket large enough for your entire wallet.

At a Glance:
• Available in 6 colors
• 7.5 Liter volume
• Weighs 0.98 lbs / 0.45 kg
• eXomesh anti-slashing material
• 210D Nylon Full Dull Mild Oxford, PU1000mm; Lining: 200D Polyester Oxford, PU1000mm
• 11.81 x 9.06 x 3.94 in / 30 x 23 x 10 cm (HxWxD)
• Strap Length: (min) 15.75 in / 40 cm; (max): 29.53 in / 75 cm
• Double coil YKK zippers
• PopNLock security clip, Roobar Sport locking system
• RFIDsafe™ blocking pocket
• Adjustable single Carrysafe® straps
• Exterior water bottle pocket
• Can accommodate a 10 inch tablet

Pacsafe Stylesafe Anti-theft Sling crossbody bag


PacSafe Citysafe CX Anti-Theft Crossbody Messenger Bag

PacSafe Citysafe CX Anti-Theft Crossbody Messenger Bag

This is the most feminine looking bag in the Pacsafe Citysafe family of crossbody bags. It has the look of a traditional small handbag but don't be fooled, it is packed with theft deterring features. The strap has a hidden steel cable to prevent slashing attacks. It can be secured around a solid object to prevent thieves from walking off with your bag. The body is protected with Pacsafe's patented eXomesh cut-resistant material. The interior is a simple yet design incorporating a main area that is big enough for even the largest cell phone with a zippered pocket and an RFID blocking pocket. The Citysafe CX is light and attractive.

 

At a Glance:
• Available in 3 different colors
• Available in 3 liter size
• Weighs 7.2 oz
• eXomesh anti-slashing material
• Main material: 100% NYLON
• 12 x 2.25 x 6.5 inches (HxWxD)
• Strap Length: (min): 31in (max): 61in
• Turn & Lock security hooks
• Double coil YKK zippers
• RFIDsafe™ blocking pocket
• Adjustable single Carrysafe® strap

PacSafe Citysafe CX Anti-Theft Crossbody Messenger Bag


PacSafe Stylesafe Anti-Theft Convertible Crossbody Bag

PacSafe Stylesafe Anti-Theft Convertible Crossbody Bag

This versatile bag can be worn as a crossbody bag or a shoulder bag. It is light yet roomy and has plenty of pockets to keep your belongings organized.

From the pen loop to the RFID pocket, this bag combines the practical needs of a purse with the proven security of a Pacsafe protected bag. When pickpockets see this bag coming, they will not waste their time and move on to the next target.

At a Glance:
• Available in four colors
• Available in 10 Liter size
• Weighs 0.82 lbs / 0.37 kg
• 11 inch Macbook sleeve
• TurnNLock security hooks, Zip clips & SecureZip Tabs
• eXomesh anti-slashing material
• Main material: 150D Polyester, PU1000mm; Lining: 50D Polyester Embossed Taffeta
• 10.24 x 14.96 x 5.91 in / 26 x 38 x 15 cm (HxWxD)
• Strap length: (min) 16.54 in / 42 cm; (max): 29.53 in / 75 cm
• Internal attachment points for keys and wallet
• Adjustable single Carrysafe® anti-slashing strap
• RFIDsafe™ blocking pocket
• Hidden pocket
• Water bottle pocket

PacSafe Stylesafe Anti-Theft Convertible Crossbody Bag


Pacsafe Metrosafe LS200 Anti-Theft Crossbody Bag

Pacsafe Metrosafe LS200 Anti-Theft Crossbody Bag

This is the perfect all-around carry-on, day tripper bag. It is super flexible while being super safe! There are plenty of convenient features like a pocket for a water bottle, key ring, a zippered RFID pocket large enough for a normal sized wallet and your passport - all protected in a light weight eXomesh exterior. On top of this it is also very stylish too.

The Pacsafe Metrosafe ticks all of our security boxes too! We really like this bag!

At a Glance:
• Available in five colors
• 7 liter
• Weighs 1.23 lbs / 0.56 kg
• Padded sleeve for 10" Tablet
• eXomesh anti-slashing material
• Main material: 210D Nylon Full Dull Hitra, PU2000mm; Lining: 75D Polyester Herringbone Dobby, PU1000mm
• 11.42 x 9.25 x 2.76 in / 29 x 23.5 x 7 cm (HxWxD)
• Main opening zippers latch into secure clip system to deter access
• Adjustable shoulder Slashgaurd strap: (min) 13.39 in / 34 cm; (max): 29.53 in / 75 cm
•TurnNLock security hooks, Zip clips & SecureZip Tabs
• Zippered RFIDsafe™ blocking pocket
• Pocket internal organization: large pocket, pen pockets &key clip

Pacsafe Metrosafe LS200 Anti-Theft Crossbody Bag


Pacsafe Slingsafe LX50 Anti-Theft Mini Crossbody Bag

Pacsafe Slingsafe LX50 Anti-Theft Mini Crossbody Bag

This is a great simple bag for him or her to carry keys, cell phone, wallet and passport with piece of mind.

This bag features the basic Pacsafe security features of protected zippers, slash guard material as well as RFID protection.

Great for commuters and travellers, see the world without the worry of thieves and pickpockets..

At a Glance:
• Available in three colors
• Available in 2 Liter size
• Weighs 0.38 lbs / 0.17 kg
• Room for 7" tablet
• eXomesh anti-slashing material
• Carrysafe slashguard strap with Dyneema
• Securezip zipper tab
• Main material: 600D High Density Polyester Oxford, PU1000mm/ Tweed: 350D Polyester Tweed, PU1000mm/ Denim: 300D Polyester Rainbow Twill, PU1000mm
• 6.3 x 9.4 x 2 in / 16 x 24 x 5 cm (HxWxD)
• Internal key clip
• RFID pocket and material
• Internal pockets to keep your gear organized

Pacsafe Slingsafe LX50 Anti-Theft Mini Crossbody Bag


Conclusion

So that's it... our list of anti-theft crossbody bags. We are confident that if you choose one of these crossbody bags, you will not be disappointed by the quality of the crossbody bag as well as the superior protection provided to deter thieves. Please let us know what you think by reaching out to us on Twitter or Facebook. We would love it if you shared this page with your friends. (You can use the button below)

Happy travels!

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