As highly desirable tourist destinations become more crowded each season, travellers are increasingly aware of protecting themselves against pickpockets and scammers.
Unfortunately, ladies’ handbags are prime targets for such crimes. Which makes using a good anti-theft handbag so important when you travel, even if you also use a good travel money belt.
Thankfully, these days, ladies don’t have to sacrifice style for safety when they travel – as is apparent in the stylish anti-theft backpacks for women starting to appear in a previously male-targeted market.
Stylish Anti Theft Bags for Travel
We wanted to take some guesswork out of choosing a stylish purse for travel with the best anti-theft features. After all, an anti-theft bag is the best handbag to travel with for peace of mind. They also make a great gift for the travel lover in your life.
Based on our personal travel experience, we’ve looked at the best anti-theft travel bags on the market and picked the top-selling anti-theft travel purses we believe have great form and function.
Find More of the Best Anti Theft Travel Gear and Tips on Travel Safety in Our Safe Travel Guide
You’ll also find useful tips on what to look for in anti-theft technology and how to keep your bag safe while you travel.
By the end of this guide, you’ll know exactly how to choose the best travel safe purse for you.
The Best Anti-Theft Travel Handbags
First, let’s do a quick review of what makes the best pickpocket-proof purses on the market. We have chosen these travel safe bags based on the following criteria:
- Design and functionality required for travel, including the versatility of design.
- The best anti-theft features
- Reputable manufacturers of anti-theft travel gear.
Oh, and we also factored in the look and style of each of the handbags. There are many “fashion” handbags on the market claiming to be anti-theft but none stack up against these for having all of the features to make them safe against all types of theft.
Looking for More Than Just an Anti Theft Handbag?
We Have a Complete Guide to Anti Theft Travel Gear Loaded With More Travel Safe Gear & Safe Travel Tips
Anti Theft Purses For Travel Buying Guide
What is an Anti Theft Handbag, and Why Should I Get One?
Before we review the best anti-theft travel handbags, let’s look at what an anti-theft bag is and what features you should look for when buying one.
An anti-theft bag may also be called theft-proof bags, safety bags, anti pickpocket bags, or anti-slash bags. These bags have inbuilt safety features designed to prevent pickpockets and thieves from accessing and taking your personal belongings.
What Features Should Good Anti-Theft Bags Have?
Whether you are looking for a dedicated secure travel anti theft purse for travel or a bag for everyday use, look for the following features to ensure a secure travel bag-
- Easily adjustable straps to allow the bag to be worn cross-body, not over one shoulder, for greater security.
- Ensure the strap has a steel reinforcement to prevent thieves from cutting the strap and running with your bag.
- Lightweight anti-slash fabric/panels to stop thieves from accessing contents by slashing the bag.
- Lockable compartments and straps to prevent pickpockets and grab-and-go thieves.
- Locking mechanisms for securing the bag to immovable objects.
- Smart RFID blocking card and passport slots and compartments to block scanners and prevent identity theft or electronic pickpockets.
- Look for a sturdy yet lightweight construction. You don’t want the bag to be too heavy before putting anything in it.
- Avoid bags with wide or gaping openings. All pockets should sit flush, and all openings should have secure closures.
Best Anti-Theft Handbags Reviews
Let’s look at the best anti-theft travel purses currently on the market.
Sherpani Vale AT Crossbody Tote
Convertible crossbody, tote, shoulder bag & purse
Shoulder/Tote: 13.5” x 14”
Crossbody: 13.5” x 10.5′
Versatile 3-way design.
6 Point Anti-theft System.
Modern, sleek stylish design.
Sherpani is a design company that operates on the foundations of responsible manufacturing. Using eco-sustainable materials is just one step of the process. Every step of the manufacturing and supply chain meets a strict code of conduct covering labour, social and environmental impact and compliance.
While their design and manufacturing ethos is undoubtedly a breath of fresh air, so are their sleek urban designs. Sherpani is now breaking into the anti-theft market with gorgeous modern women’s bags with all the best anti-theft features.
Our favourite is one of the most popular anti-theft bags in the range, the Sherpani Vale Anti Theft Shoulder bag, and Crossbody Purse. It’s modern, classy, practical and safe. The versatile design offers three style options in one bag; a crossbody bag, a tote-style shoulder bag, or a fold-over silhouette purse, which gives a stylish reversible contrast look —an incredibly practical handbag for travel.
Buyers love the fold-over top for a lighter feel and sleeker profile, but being able to make the bag large enough to stuff a jacket in when needed. With lots of organisational pockets and versatile styling, The Vale can take all those extras when you need them but fold them down when you want a smaller bag, making it versatile for any occasion.
The Vale AT has two exterior zipper pockets, a deep main zipper compartment, an interior zipper pocket, two interior slip pockets, and a key fob.
While style and design may seem at the core of this bag, it has a 6 point anti-theft system including anti slash bottom, chair loop wire lock, RFID protection, adjustable anti slash strap and locking zippers.
Comes in 4 colours.
Sherpani Prima Anti Theft Crossbody Bag
Crossbody & Shoulder Bag
7.5” x 9.5”
Versatile 2-way design.
6 Point Anti-theft System.
Modern Urban design.
The Prima AT is ideal for those who like a smaller, lightweight crossbody bag for everyday use. The Prima has the same modern urban design as the Vale, which looks stylish no matter the situation. It also has the versatility of an adjustable strap you can wear two ways, either crossbody or as a shoulder bag.
Seamlessly integrated into the design is the 6 point anti-theft system with enough space to carry your daily essentials. It features three exterior pockets: a front hidden zipper pocket, an exterior zipper pocket and a back slip pocket with a spacious main compartment.
Anti-theft features include anti slash fabric in the bottom of the bag with slash-proof straps, RFID protection, exterior zipper-lock tunnels, a locking zip on the main compartment, and a chair loop lock system.
Travelon Anti-Theft Cross-Body Bucket Bag
External Water Bottle Holder
The cross-body bucket bag is a favourite as the size is not overly big or cumbersome but has a tremendous capacity. It is also lightweight and comfortable to wear. It can comfortably hold a DSLR camera with additional lenses and still not look bulky.
There are two external mesh pockets for a small umbrella and a medium-sized water bottle of around 600 ml. Anything larger would be too heavy and become uncomfortable to carry. Adjustable straps ensure you can change it from a shoulder bag to wearing it crossbody for added security.
This bag offers all the standard anti-theft features provided in Travelon products-
This bag is very versatile if you want a larger handbag for travel and everyday use.
Available in 25 different colours and designs, including stripe and leopard print.
Travelon Anti-Theft Classic Crossbody Bag
Good pocket configuration.
Travelon’s best-selling anti-theft crossbody handbag for travel. The big winner with this bag is its excellent pocket configuration and capacity for its size, so you can keep everything nice and organised.
Another great feature of this bag is the sleek design that sits comfortably close to the body, even when it’s full. Without being too overloaded, in addition to your handbag essentials; phone, wallet, glasses, keys etc. It will hold a small-size water bottle and a travel umbrella and still fit a Kindle in the back pocket.
This bag won’t stand out in a crowd and won’t weigh you down. Two things you want most when travelling. It also comes in various pattern designs as well as plain colours.
Travelon Anti Theft Messenger Bag
Zippered mesh water bottle pockets on each side.
Two multi-organizational compartments.
Front zip pocket locks.
A similar design to Travelon’s classic crossbody bags above but more spacious. This bag has two expandable pockets on the sides like the Cross-Body Bucket Bag to hold a water bottle and travel umbrella. You will easily fit all your usual handbag items and still have room for a Kindle, iPad mini, cell phone and possibly a compact camera.
Unlike the cross-body model, the Travelon Anti-Theft Classic Messenger Bag has front zip pocket locks. All of Travelon’s bags are made with easy to clean durable fabric so you can quickly wipe clean any spills or scuffs.
Note – These bags are designed to be worn cross-body for additional security so the strap may easily slip if worn on the shoulder.
Pacsafe Citysafe CS100
Crossbody Bucket Bag
7.87″ x 11.81″
Classic design with sleek lines.
Perfect size for travel and everyday use.
Good organisational pockets.
A classic silhouette design with sleek lines, this bag won’t stand out which is perfect for travel where a flashy handbag will only attract attention. A classic Pacsafe design.
For those who find the Travelon Crossbody Bucket Bag too large, the smaller size makes this a go-to bag for all occasions.
Consistently touted as being the perfect size for travel and everyday use without the risk of overloading. You won’t be lugging a big DSLR in this bag, but you will still fit all your essentials plus some. Perfect for when you want to travel a little lighter.
A practical bag with lots of good size pockets for organisation, in addition to your essentials, it will fit an iPad, phone, wallet, and chargers without feeling weighed down or looking too bulky. The bright interior lining makes things easy to find. It doesn’t have the external side pockets for a water bottle or umbrella but has room enough inside.
Travelon Anti-theft Essential Messenger Bag
14.5″ x 7.2″
Perfect size for essentials.
Small size, big capacity.
Good lockable pocket configuration.
This handbag is the perfect size for ladies who want to carry more than just a phone and wallet but don’t want to lug around a big bag. It has a smaller profile than some of the other anti-theft purses but still delivers on capacity.
There are loads of compartments inside to keep your things organised so you can find things quickly. Although, this bag does have a slightly smaller opening than some of the other bags. While this can be a plus for travel in keeping contents more contained when the handbag is open, it could be an inconvenience for some.
The large cell phone pocket will fit an iPhone 6 in its case, and the main compartment will fit a water bottle and Kindle along with other bits and pieces. The bag has three outer zippers, two of which are lockable for added security.
Travelon Small Heritage Anti-Theft Cross body Bag
Smart urban design.
Smaller travel purse size that sits snug against the body.
Quick access anti-theft external pockets.
For an unobtrusive around town handbag, this cute little travel purse is a favourite. It holds all your small essentials with room to move. Ladies love the cute design, especially the leather accents and quality lining. The stylish and functional canvas exterior gives it a little boho chic some of the other bags lack.
The slash-resistant adjustable strap allows the bag to fit snug against your body. The front zip pocket and rear slash pocket with snap closure allow you to quickly access frequently used items. The RFID blocking pocket is large enough to fit your passport and credit cards.
This handbag is just that; a purse so its small design may not be big enough for people who like to carry bulkier items. It is, however, perfect for those who like to travel light.
Travelon Anti-Theft Classic Mini Shoulder Bag
Shoulder Sling Bag
11.6″ x 7″
Large capacity bag without the bulk.
Slim purse design.
Two internal organisational pockets.
For ladies who want all the features of a larger shoulder bag without the bulk or weight of a more cumbersome handbag. This handbag wins hands down for its lightweight and compact design.
For a small purse, it has a surprisingly large amount of room in the main compartment. It has three external zip pockets, all of which are quite large. Be aware that only one of these pockets locks under a magnetic latch flap.
The interior has plenty of organising pockets including RFID blocking credit card slots. No matter the colour, the interiors have bright coloured linings, which may not be that attractive but do make it easy to find things, especially in low light. This bag will fit an iPad mini or Kindle comfortably. Available in 23 colours and designs.
Pacsafe Stylesafe Crossbody Bag
Traditional handbag design.
Versatile for day or night.
Small profile but with lots of organisational Space.
This design lends itself toward a more traditional ladies handbag. Not too big or small, it packs flat into a suitcase so makes a great second handbag for travel.
Or, if you need a versatile travel handbag that will work equally well for sightseeing and for heading out for an evening, where you don’t want to lug a large handbag but still need to keep items safe.
Despite its small profile it still boasts good internal organisation, a hidden pocket and room for an iPad mini.
Travelon Parkview Anti Theft Satchel Crossbody Bag
Crossbody and Shoulder Satchel Bag
Elegant luxury design.
Versatile wearing options – shoulder or crossbody.
Spacious tote style without being too big.
Part of the new Travelon Parkview collection, this Parkview anti-theft satchel bag makes a luxury fashion statement without missing any of the anti-theft features.
Behind the luxuriously soft external finish and fashionable gunmetal hardware and accents is Travelon’s discreet but effective 5-Point Anti-Theft Security System: Lockdown straps and locking compartments. All four sides and the base have slash-proof panels, and all the straps are slash resistant. RFID pockets prevent identity theft.
People love the size of this bag and its organisational features. While styled on a tote bag, it’s not overly large yet still roomy enough for all your day to day travel essentials.
The main locking zipper pocket is very roomy. It is large enough to hold most tablets with room to spare. Organisational pockets include two deep zippered wall pockets; one is RFID protected, two drop pockets, a front zipping compartment, and a rear locking zipper compartment. It also has thoughtful features such as the tethered interior key clip with LED light.
A key fashion feature of this bag is the dual straps; you can wear this bag two ways – crossbody or as a shoulder bag. The long adjustable strap is also removable if you just want a shoulder bag.
Quick Guide: Compare the Best Anti Theft Handbags
|Top||Sherpani Vale, Anti Theft Crossbody Purse, Tote Bag||We love the modern, urban style of this bag. The versatile 3-way crossbody, tote, shoulder bag design makes it a perfect travel bag. It also has a 5 point anti-theft system for complete safety.||Check Price|
|Sherpani Prima, Anti Theft Crossbody & Shoulder Bag||The Prima AT is perfect for those who like a smaller crossbody bag for everyday use. A modern urban design, you can wear two ways – crossbody or as a shoulder bag. Seamlessly integrated into the design is the 6 point anti-theft system.||Check Price|
|Top Top Top Top||Travelon Anti-Theft Cross-Body Bucket Bag||The stylish messenger bag design of this bag expands when you need the room and retains a nice slim profile when you don’t. External water bottle pocket is a big win. A very practical handbag for travel and everyday use.||Check Price|
|Top Top Top Top||Travelon Anti-Theft Classic Crossbody Bag||Travelon’s best selling anti-theft crossbody body handbag for travel. It has great pocket configuration and capacity but most of all, a sleek design that sits comfortably close to the body, even when full.||Check Price|
|Top Top Top Top||Travelon Anti-Theft Messenger Bag||A similar design but more spacious than the Crossbody bag above. A big feature of this bag is two expandable pockets on the sides to hold a water bottle and travel umbrella.||Check Price|
|Top Top Top Top||Pacsafe Citysafe Cs100||Slightly smaller than the Travelon Crossbody Bucket Bag, this is a go-to bag for all occasions. Consistently touted as being the perfect size for travel and everyday use without the risk of overloading.||Check Price|
|Top Top Top Top||Travelon Anti-Theft Classic Essential Messenger Bag||For ladies who want a smaller handbag but don’t want to sacrifice on too much space. It has a smaller profile than some of the other anti-theft purses but still delivers on capacity.||Check Price|
|Top Top Top Top||Travelon Women's Anti-Theft Heritage Small Crossbody Bag||For an unobtrusive around town handbag, this cute little travel purse is a favourite. It holds all the essentials with room to move. Ladies love the cute design, especially the leather accents and quality lining.||Check Price|
|Top Top Top Top||Travelon Anti-Theft Classic Mini Shoulder Bag||All the features of a larger shoulder bag without the bulk or weight of a more cumbersome handbag. This handbag wins hands down for its lightweight and compact design.||Check Price|
|Top Top Top Top||Pacsafe Stylesafe Anti-Theft Crossbody Bag||This design lends itself toward a more traditional ladies handbag. Not too big or small, it packs flat into a suitcase so makes a great second handbag for travel.||Check Price|
|Top Top||Travelon Satchel Crossbody Bag||A tote style satchel handbag, this bag has loads of room with a luxurious finish and gunmetal accents for a high end anti-theft bag. It has both crossbody and shoulder straps.||Check Price|
What to Consider When Choosing the Right Travel Handbag
When comparing anti-theft travel handbags currently on the market, you need to consider the best travel purse for you and the type of trip you are taking. The same applies even if you are looking for an everyday anti-theft handbag.
- Where will you be travelling to?
- A large messenger bag or backpack style bag is not always practical for crowded cities. Also consider, these days, many museums and tourist attractions do not allow you to enter with large bags.
- What style of travelling will you be doing?
- Will you need to look a little dressy, or will you be casual and perhaps partaking in lots of outdoor activities?
- What do you need to carry? – You don’t want to have an overloaded bag that will become a burden on a long day of sightseeing. By the same token, you don’t want to underestimate.
- Does it need to hold a larger camera when not in use?
- Will you need to store gloves, a hat or a spare jumper for cool weather?
- Are you travelling with children?
- Do you just need a bag suitable for small essentials such as a phone, glasses, or money?
- Do you have space in your luggage for two handbags or do you need one secure bag to suit all occasions?
- Do you have any conditions that may determine the style of bag you can comfortably carry for long periods such as back or neck problems?
Buying an Anti Theft Handbag
It is no accident the list of what we deem to be the best anti-theft handbags for travel are mostly from two brands- Pacsafe and Travelon.
These are the two main companies specialising in anti-theft travel gear so excel in what they do. While other luggage and accessory companies dabble in anti-theft travel gear, few would come close to meeting the standard and design of these two companies.
What is the Difference between Travelon and Pacsafe?
While the two companies offer very similar anti-theft technology and quality, they tend to differ mostly in the range and style of bags they offer.
Travelon Anti-Theft Handbags
Travelon has a much wider range of handbags for the ladies with a focus on style. This has made the brand a best seller, especially for travel handbags. Offering a wide range of colours, fabrics and patterns, their anti-theft handbags also feature details such as leather and gold accents. Their range of bags tends to look like normal everyday handbags as highlighted with their Signature and Heritage ranges.
Pacsafe Anti-Theft Handbags
Pacsafe tends to lean towards practicality in a travel handbag with a more simple or classic design. This makes their bags great for everyday use, not just travel. However, to add to their normal classic almost unisex designs, Pacsafe are now starting to incorporate more feminine looks in their handbag ranges with gold details, lighter colours and patterned fabrics.
Tips For Keeping Bags Safe While Travelling
- Always carry your handbag across your body, never dangling from one shoulder. It makes it harder for thieves to grab your bag if they can’t easily remove it from your body.
- At the risk of sounding obvious, keep all zippers closed at all times. We see so many tourists walking around with bags hanging wide open or situations where people open their bag to get something out and turn away while it is still gaping open. Close zips as soon as you have what you need.
- Always carry your bag on the side away from the road to avoid scooter snatchers.
- Keep bag straps as short as comfortable and keep snug against your body and preferably to the front especially in crowded situations.
- In crowded situations, not only have your bag to the front and firmly against your body but keep a hand on your bag as well.
- Even if external pockets are lockable, keep valuables such as cash, phones, cameras etc in internal pockets or lockable external pockets to the back of the bag against your body.
- Never keep all your valuables in one bag. Leave additional cards in an RFID bag with spare cash back at the hotel preferably in the room safe or a personal portable safe
- Always keep your bag insight and close by. Never leave it sitting on a table in a restaurant while you go to place an order for example. If you have an anti-theft handbag, use the locking capabilities to lock it to a chair while you have lunch for added peace of mind – Just don’t leave it behind! (yes, we have seen it happen).
Additional Advice on Safe Travel
Remember, while an anti-theft travel handbag is an excellent precaution, it is not a complete guarantee against theft while you travel. It will, however, certainly improve your chances.
It is more common for people to have individual items stolen from inside a bag or from their person than having an entire bag taken.
An anti-theft handbag will make it harder for thieves to succeed.
Ultimately, it is the traveller who needs to be responsible for their safety so, always be cautious with your personal belongings and be vigilant while you travel, especially in crowded areas to avoid becoming a target of crime.