Secure but stylish travel bags

Annabel Lee

Member
Dec 27, 2013
950
2,569
I know this comes up a lot, but I'm looking for a recommendation on a good sightseeing bag. Here's what I need:

-Hard to get into. I was once saved from being pickpocketed because my bag had both a snap and a zipper and the thief couldn't get through both before I noticed. Any bag that requires more than one step is a definite contender.

-Buuuut maybe not too annoying to get into for me as the user. I have a Cambridge Satchel and generally leave one side undone because it's a pain.

-As weatherproof as possible. I have spent way too much time worrying about bags when caught in bad weather.

-Ideally it wouldn't be more than $600, but I'd definitely pay more for the perfect bag.

-Under the radar so I don't attract undue attention, especially when traveling as a woman alone, BUT:

-Attractive/quasi-high-end. I travel to a lot of big cities, and it's nice to dress up and look a little polished.

Anyone have any ideas on bags that might work for these super-specific unicorn requirements? Thanks for your help!
 

Amazona

Crazy bird lady
Mar 31, 2013
3,097
3,518
Finland
I probably sound like a broken record, but; Longchamp. Le Pliage, both nylon and Cuir, are my favorite travel bags. Snap&zip, two sets of straps (Néo does this in nylon), lightweight, foldable, roomy, don't attract unwanted attention. I never, ever travel without at least one LP in tow - most times I have 2 or 3 with me. Also, is you want to tiny bag, LP Cuir Mini crossbody has a zipper that's at the back of the bag so it's really difficult to break into.
 

doni

O.G.
Oct 10, 2007
3,200
14,266
You haven't said anything about size but if it is for sightseeing and you don't want anything big, I think the Gucci Soho Disco is a good option. Cross body is always safer and because the zip goes down, it is difficult to open the bag without grabbing it with one hand first, and thus not easy to pickpocket (it also has an internal zip pocket). This principle would apply to most camera bags, like the Saint Laurent Blogger, the So Lanvin, the Mulberry Camera bag... These are all within your price range, not too conspicuous, confortable but smart, and transition easily from day to night.
The Gucci soho leather is very good with rain. But for something waterproof you'd have to go with the Longchamp nylon (don't feel this transitions well to evening or a smart environment), LV canvas (would go above your price range and attracts attention) or perhaps something from Stella McCartney...
 
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Minty Tea

Member
Jun 14, 2015
671
384
I don't think there's ONE perfect traveling bag. Every body will have their own super-specific unicorn requirements. (I like the phrase!) I have a few that I choose from whenever I travel. Depending on my itinerary and locations, I may even bring 2-3 bags for variety. Even, then I still need to add a few "hacks".

A hands-free bag that is secured with a zipper is always a good idea when doing "touristy" activities. Most of my "travel" bags also have a zippered pocket inside for my wallet/pouch. This is usually attached to the key clip inside the bag. So even if the thief is able to reach inside for the wallet, s/he can't get very far.



If your bag doesn't have a key clip, then you can add one. Something similar to this, hook one end to the zipper pull or loop it around the base of the handle strap. LV, BV, H and many other designers has something similar. Or you can just use a small wristlet/pouch inside your bag. Loop the strap through one of the handles.


upload_2017-5-4_11-5-29.jpeg

Go through your bags, pick one nylon (waterproof) and leather (dressy). Make sure they all zippers and can be hands-free. Just remember to keep your bag close to your side or in front of you and zipped/buckled. Never leave it unattended. Most pickpocketers works in groups or pairs. One to distract and the other to take your items.

Another thing that I always have when travelling are carabiners. I bring a few in various sizes to secure my zippers or to secure my bag to a chair/table leg etc.




eta - add pics from google
 
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babysnowflake

babysnowflake
O.G.
Feb 10, 2007
220
6
The Jersey Shore
No matter what style bag I'm carrying, satchel, crossbody etc., I have a purse alarm I purchased online that you just keep one hand on it and if someone tries to grab your bag that alarm is supposed to be super loud which would deter purse thiefs in a lot of situations. I also, yes I am paranoid, carry mace/pepper spray if I'm in a parking lot at night alone for any reason. So hopefully, if anything were ever to happen I hope I would stand a chance of stopping someone from stealing my bag.
 

MamaSleepy

Member
May 3, 2017
1,146
1,265
Minnesota
No matter what style bag I'm carrying, satchel, crossbody etc., I have a purse alarm I purchased online that you just keep one hand on it and if someone tries to grab your bag that alarm is supposed to be super loud which would deter purse thiefs in a lot of situations. I also, yes I am paranoid, carry mace/pepper spray if I'm in a parking lot at night alone for any reason. So hopefully, if anything were ever to happen I hope I would stand a chance of stopping someone from stealing my bag.
Babysnowflake - wold you share the brand of your purse alarm please? Sounds interesting.
 
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Annabel Lee

Member
Dec 27, 2013
950
2,569
Thanks, everyone! I've looked at a few bags that have multiple steps to open or counter-intuitive openings. Ideally there would be a flap and then a zippered compartment. I looked at bags like these, but none really worked for me. I might need to consider a higher budget, as I'd love to find a bag that I would want to wear even when not traveling. If this style rings a bell for anyone, do let me know.

And yes, I'm definitely intrigued by the purse alarm! Please do share!


http://www.lastcall.com/KC-Jagger-S...-Saddle-Bag/prod41900044/p.prod?showprod=true


http://www.lastcall.com/Neiman-Marc...-Saddle-Bag/prod40750276/p.prod?showprod=true


http://www.lastcall.com/French-Conn...y-Bag-Black/prod39280028/p.prod?showprod=true


http://www.lastcall.com/Badgley-Mis...y-Bag-White/prod39350005/p.prod?showprod=true
 
Sep 26, 2009
232
12
Hi Annabel,

What about the leather Marc by Marc Jacobs Natasha cross body flap bag? Nordstrom Rack still carries it.
I have a version in nylon that I really like for sightseeing/airport travel because of the zippered flap cover.
You unzip the flap and just put the items you want in there and it ends up on the inside back wall of the bag.
So even if a pickpocket was to reach into the main interior of the bag they would not be able to access the contents in the back wall.
I usually keep my wallet and passport tucked in the back wall. In the main interior I usually keep a small make up pouch.
In really dubious situations, I'll even tether the make up pouch zipper to the purse strap hardware via a long lanyard keychain.

Also, check out eBags. They have a whole collection of anti-theft bags called Travelon with lockable zippers, slash proof straps, lots of zipped interior pockets, and RFID pockets. Plus, e---Bates is offering 15% back this week.

Hope you find what you're looking for! :flowers:
 
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Thistle

O.G.
Aug 23, 2007
390
67
The library
Coach has a saddle bag with a zip under the flap! I noticed it in a department store at the mall because the leather looked so nice!
 

Elisabeta

New Member
Mar 14, 2013
4
1
I second Thistle's recommendation! I have that Coach glovetanned saddle bag in black/oxblood and it is my perfect everyday and travel purse. It has one slip pocket on the back and another under the flap. The main compartment is protected by a zipper, and within that you have a wall zip pocket. It's very lightweight too. The slip pockets are big enough to hold an iPad mini or slim guidebooks/notebooks. Marc Jacobs makes a similar bag called the nomad saddle that you may want to check out as well.

I also have a small plain black nylon Lesportsac crossbody bag that I use when I go to places that are kind of dirty, like amusement parks. It weighs next to nothing and is easy pack in addition to my Coach saddle bag. I've found Lesportsac to be better quality than any of those other dedicated safety travel purse brands, such as Travelon or Pacsafe. Good luck on your hunt!

https://www.macys.com/shop/product/coach-saddle-bag-in-glovetanned-leather?ID=2846629
 

Annabel Lee

Member
Dec 27, 2013
950
2,569
Thanks everyone! I have still been on the hunt, and I came back to share an update that I got the MbMJ Natasha last week. I think it's going to be perfect for my needs.

I was very tempted by the Coach bag, but I ultimately couldn't decide on a color that would be versatile enough.