All of my Instagram friends bought one after I posted it.

By Emily Shornick
Updated: Apr 19, 2019 @ 5:38 pm
travelpockets/Instagram

I am not the kind of person you would describe as “chill.” I wash all the dishes before I load them into the dishwasher, I lock the door just to take out the trash, and I take pride in thorough research. When I got married last year, I had a three-tab spreadsheet for a shortlist of 37 photographers, complete with color-coding and a complex rating system. Our upcoming honeymoon through Italy and Albania is finally planned, and now I am laser-focused on how to pack for three different climates, evade pickpockets, and still look cute. You know, so I can “relax.” Hundreds of search results later, I have hunted down the perfect anti-theft travel bag, and it’s actually stylish enough that I wear it around Brooklyn every weekend.

Most crucially, the Pacsafe Citysafe Convertible Backpack can be worn as a backpack or as a crossbody bag.

pacsafeofficial/Instagram

Shop It: $99.95; amazon.com.

I can bring it hiking through the Albanian Alps, but won’t be embarrassed to carry it on our night out to the opera in Rome. It comes in five colorways, and I fell for the classic black. The lining is a charming, playful pink that reminds me I’m on vacation, and the substantial gold hardware looks sophisticated.

The fashion-friendly Citysafe line was introduced in 2017, but Pacsafe has been making anti-theft travel bags for over 20 years. This model has so many clever safety features that tickle my inner girl scout as much as my inner aesthete. The fabric is a soft, water-resistant nylon that is secretly lined with slash-proof stainless steel wire mesh, so thieves can’t cut a hole in your bag to steal your wallet (happened to my friend Christina in Vatican City!). The hooks have a barely-there twisting lock mechanism. I love that the adjustable strap can be unclipped to loop around a table or chair leg for extra security, too. The pocket zipper pulls have discreet fabric loops to prevent thieves from tugging them open, and the pulls on the main compartment slide together to lock like a magical golden puzzle out of Indiana Jones. All of the zipper-pull openings are wide enough to clip into the various metal rings on the bag for extra tug prevention. The front pocket even blocks RFID scanners from skimming your credit card information.

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I feel like a secret agent every time I carry this bag, which somehow packs in so much style and security for under $100. If that’s not enough to feel 100 percent guilt-free about this purchase, Pacsafe also funds conservation projects for endangered sea turtles.

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