A good backpack will hold all your stuff. A great backpack will keep your stuff out of thieves’ hands. Anti-theft backpacks offer design choices that circumvent criminals’ efforts, and we’ve tracked down the best options out there.
What makes for a good anti-theft backpack? The majority of them rely on arranging the backpack in such a way that it’s difficult (if not impossible) for someone to access the backpack while you’re wearing it—there’s no easy access to the inside of the backpack so a casual thief can’t unzip a pocket and swipe your phone. Other measures include having slash proof handles and straps so a thief can’t slash it and run off with the pack.
The rise RFID tags in ID poses a potential security threat too, so many backpacks offer RFID blocking material in certain pockets. You also want the backpack to look reasonably stylish and be able to carry all your stuff. With all those security features under consideration, here’s our top picks for anti-theft backpacks.
Pacsafe Metrosafe LS450 Anti-Theft 25L Backpack ($108)
All of Pacsafe’s backpacks and carry on bags are great for providing extensive anti-theft protection. We’ve gone with the Anti-Theft 25L Backpack as an ideal all-rounder. The backpack is a sturdy size and weight so you can keep your gear secure at all times, without being inconvenienced by bulkiness.
The backpack offers lightweight, hidden exomesh wire mesh embedded into its fabric so not only are the straps slash proof but it would be difficult to even cut into the bag itself to gain access to the compartments. Additionally, there’s a security clip along with smart zippers, giving you multiple layers of protection within the bag. RFID blocking material is built into one pocket in the main compartment, which provides you with the safest place to store your cards and ID.
In terms of storage options, you have a zippered main pocket, two front pockets, a laptop/iPad compatible sleeve, and two side stretch pockets for maximum practicality. You’ll be hard pushed to run out of room, and it’s comfortable to place on your back too. Finally, on top of all the security features the backpack has a very low profile appearance and doesn’t scream “I’m a security backpack obviously filled with goodies”.
Bobby Anti-Theft Backpack ($95-$110)
Originally developed as part of a successful Kickstarter campaign, the Bobby Anti-Theft Backpack is a quite stylish and thief proof backpack. It features pretty much everything you could want, including an integrated USB charging port.
The backpack has a slash-proof design to stop any hit and run thefts, a hidden zipper, as well as secret pockets. There’s no access from the front so no one can quickly snatch something from you. The integrated USB charging port requires a separate power bank, but it’s a neat little extra to go on top of the anti-theft features. Refreshingly, the Bobby opens up more like a regular bag than a backpack with three different ways of opening ensuring your gear doesn’t get crumpled or damaged along the way. It’s water repellent too, and offers illuminating safety strips for night time use.
For an extra $15, you get a choice of fun colors too.
Kopack Anti Theft Travel Backpack ($42)
First, the bad news: the Kopack Anti Theft Travel Backpack isn’t slash or cut proof—but it is pretty great when it comes to everything else. It’s also available for a good price. The design of the backpack means that access to zippers or openings involves fully removing and opening the backpack, so there’s no chance of an opportunistic theft. Additional pockets are also available in the back and side compartment, which are ideal for storing your cellphone or wallet.
On top of that, it’s a spacious bag. You can easily store a large laptop, bunch of papers, notebook, water bottle, and numerous other things. There’s a special hole to fit your headphones cable in too. It’s waterproof as well, in case you get caught out in a rainstorm. And did we mention it’s comfortable? Don’t be worried about your shoulders or back aching after extended use. This is a great backpack for comfort, while still offering lightweight anti-theft facilities.
Korin Design ClickPack Pro ($159)
If money is no object, the Korin Design ClickPack Pro offers some impressive anti-theft features. It includes a retractable, metal wire TSA-approved lock, a YKK double player proof zipper, and slash resistant fabric made from a mixture of polymer polyethylene fabric, polyester silk, and glass fiber.
Inside the backpack are five major storage areas, including a dedicated space for a laptop, and a separate area for your iPad or tablet. A USB charging port section is also included. While one would expect this to be heavy once filled, the backpack utilizes a weight reduction system to take the load off and spread the weight more evenly across your back and shoulders. The more you use it, the more you’ll find extra compartments and pockets. It’s an impressive maze of secure options.
Loaged Anti-Theft Backpack ($26)
The cheapest option here, predictably, the Loaged Anti-Theft Backpack isn’t slash proof but in a way, it doesn’t need to be. It utilizes a front and side buckle system which means it’s far harder to tear off you than a regular backpack would be.
In addition to that, it’ll discourage pickpockets through its 7 inner hidden pockets, along with 3 main pockets. Ok, so it’s not quite as impressive as the $100 examples here, but for the price, it packs a punch. It’s comfortable to wear, and the straps are secure enough that you don’t have to worry about it slipping off you. There’s room for a USB charging hole too. For the budget traveler, it’s worth checking out.
Kensington SecureTrek Lockable Anti-Theft Laptop Backpack ($93)
The Kensington SecureTrek Lockable Anti-Theft Laptop Backpack is the ideal solution if you want a backpack that’s a little more like a holdall or carry-on case. It’s quite bulky but you can store a lot of stuff in there. Its SecureTrek Lock Base lets you click in its zipper pulls to make it all the harder to access. An anti-puncture zipper resists attack via a blade, although the backpack straps themselves aren’t slash proof.
Being a hefty size means there’s plenty of room to store up to a 17″ laptop in there, as well as a 10″ tablet and other items. A detailed organizer section makes it a breeze to store your pens, chargers, earbuds, and a day or two’s worth of clothes too.
The downside here is the size. You can carry it on your back with some lumbar support easing the pressure, but if you’re a little on the smaller side, this is going to work better as a carry-on than a backpack.
Image credit: kitzcorner/Shutterstock.