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When you pack your bag for a day of work, you are probably taking some important gear with you. Lots of people carry their phone and laptop with them, and on top of that you might have business papers, earbuds, a wallet, or just your lunch.
With all these valuables, your backpack is a perfect target for thieves looking to make a quick buck. An anti-theft backpack can stop these criminals in their tracks. Whether you want a secure bag to protect equipment for work or to keep your passport safe for travel overseas, you deserve the protection an anti-theft backpack provides.
Our Top Picks
You may think those self-defense classes you took a few years back will be enough to protect you from thieves, but what you really need is one of these backpacks.
1. Loctote Cinch Pack Anti-Theft Backpack
For: Men & Women | Capacity: 22L | Laptop compatibility: Yes | Water resistance: Yes
Read our hands-on review: Loctote Cinch Pack Review
Loctote is a brand that proves you do not have to trade style for security. All their bags look gorgeous, and this backpack is no exception. The heather grey exterior is complimented with leather detailing and brass accessories for a design that would suit a business casual outfit perfectly.
That lovely-looking fabric is actually slash-proof, and that is just the first of this bag’s many safety features. Both of the shoulder straps are made with 49 strands of steel wire woven in to be slash-proof, and one of them connects to the bag with a padlock. You can then unhook it to wrap around a table leg, effectively locking up your backpack and prevents thieves from running away with your valuables.
For storage, there is a hidden pocket located at the small of your back, just the place for a mobile phone or a passport. Inside the Loctote Cinch Pack is a fleece-lined RFID blocking pocket.
2. PacSafe Venturesafe GII Anti-Theft Backpack
For: Men & Women | Capacity: 15L & 25L | Laptop compatibility: Yes | Water resistance: Yes
If you are heading out on vacation, or maybe on a hike, or even just a long commute on foot, this backpack is right for you. It has a total of seven pockets to provide tons of storage, and all of them are perfectly secure. The fabric is lined with steel mesh to stop thieves from cutting into the bag, and one of the pockets has RFID blocking to stop hackers.
The design of the PacSafe Venturesafe GII means it can be comfortably worn for hours on end, even while hiking around. It has padded back support and strong, sturdy shoulder straps to provide plenty of support. Pair that with the waist strap and back strain will be a thing of the past. If you are planning on taking this bag into the great outdoors, you will appreciate that it is made of waterproof nylon and polyester, which also cleans easily.
For extra safety features, the shoulder straps each have two strands of steel wire inside them, making them as slash-proof as the rest of the bag. There is also a locking strap built into the backpack so you can secure it while setting the bag down.
3. Loctote Flak Sack II Drawstring Anti-Theft Backpack
For: Men & Women | Capacity: 13L | Laptop compatibility: No | Water resistance: Yes
Read our hands-on review: Loctote Flak Sack II Review
Here is a light, portable bag as an ever-secure alternative to a large backpack. If you are a fan of traditional drawstring bags for transporting your stuff, this is perfect for you. Loctote takes the classic drawstring bag and adds slash-proof fabric. And because of the drawstring mechanism, it is simple to use the included padlock to seal off the bag’s opening and stop criminals from reaching inside.
The same strap that secures the bag’s opening can also be used to lock it to a fixed object. Additionally, the ropes that loop around your shoulders are cut proof, and they have a sternum strap attached so that you can prevent the bag from swinging around too much as you walk.
The Flak Sack II bag comes in a few muted shades, and with the leather accents, it is beautiful to look at. Between the aesthetics and the size, this bag would be perfect for a student to take to college classes, or to keep your valuables in during a commute to the gym.
4. Travelon Active Anti-Theft Backpack
For: Men & Women | Capacity: 16L | Laptop compatibility: Yes | Water resistance: Yes
Look no further for a secure backpack that has all the practical features you might need for daily use. For utmost comfort, the back panel and the shoulder straps are padded so that wearing the backpack never leaves you sore. There is also a waist strap to provide extra back support.
The Travelon Active Backpack has loads of storage space, able to hold a 15.6” inch laptop safely inside in its padded laptop pocket. Also included is an RFID blocking pocket to thwart hackers, and a tethered key clip with an LED light for emergencies. The fabric and shoulder straps are both slash-proof, and a lockable tether is included to secure your bag to a fixed point.
All of the zipper pulls are mini spring-loaded carabiners and clip onto metal rings. This prevents the pulls from flapping in the breeze, offering a juicy target for would-be thieves. It also slows down thieves if they do go for your bag. The backpack is available in a selection of fashionable colors, from low-key shades to brighter colors to show off your style.
5. Loctote AntiTheft Sack 3L
For: Men & Women | Capacity: 3L | Laptop compatibility: No | Water resistance: Yes
Read our hands-on review: Loctote AntiTheft Sack 3L Review
This simple and minimalist bag might look cute, but it is actually a mobile safe to keep your valuables secure. The strap that cinches the bag shut can be secured with the included combination lock, and is actually made with steel fiber to be slash-proof. That same strap can also be used to lock the bag to a fixed point for extra security.
The main compartment of the Loctote AntiTheft Sack 3L is available in a few pastel colors, any of which would go well with a cute, modern aesthetic. But this material hides a secret: the fabric is slash-proof and RFID blocking, so anything you put inside the bag is completely safe. The whole body of the bag is one big piece of fabric, so there are no weak points along seams.
Here is another great feature: the bag can scrunch up super tight and fit inside a palm-sized carry pouch. This makes it handy for other uses, like grocery shopping. Even before considering the safety features, this is a well-made reusable bag you will love to use.
6. PacSafe Venturesafe X30-30L
For: Men & Women | Capacity: 30L | Laptop compatibility: Yes | Water resistance: Yes
This is a great outdooring backpack that also has a suite of security features which makes it great for everyday use or for overseas travel. The PacSafe Venturesafe’s ergonomics are engineered to evenly distribute the backpack’s weight across your back and shoulder to prevent strain. It is also built around a metal frame to increase support and to balance out the weight of the contents.
Inside the backpack’s fabric hides a steel mesh, creating a completely slash-proof bag. There is also a medium-sized pocket with RFID blocking, the perfect size for credit cards, ID cards, or a passport. If you are carrying a laptop, you can fit one up to 15” in size in the padded laptop pocket.
For small items, there are three secured pockets, as well as three more zippered pockets inside the backpack’s main pocket. The entire bag is waterproof, but the bottom panel is super water repellent so that you can set the backpack down safe in the knowledge that water will not seep inside and damage your valuables.
7. XD Design Bobby Compact Anti-Theft Laptop USB Backpack
For: Men & Women | Capacity: 11L | Laptop compatibility: Yes | Water resistance: Yes
The modern design of this backpack accomplishes two things: first it looks sleek, and second it hides all the zippers on the backpack. This means a potential thief will find themselves searching for how to enter into your bag, and hopefully give up. If they decide to pull out a knife, cut-proof panels in the lining will stop them in their tracks.
To actually open the Bobby Compact, you must first take it off. The panel facing your back then rotates out on an axel, revealing the contents. You can fit a lot inside this bag, including both a 14” laptop and an 8” tablet. If you want to use your electronics while walking, there is a built-in power bank to charge your phone which is connected to the base of one shoulder strap.
The backpack is available in a wide variety of colors, some of which you might have last seen in a pop-art exhibition. The entire design is wonderful to look at, and fits in perfectly with the latest fashion trends. Try this bag if you want to make a statement while also protecting your valuables from thieves.
What To Know Before Buying an Anti-Theft Backpack or Sling Bag
An anti-theft backpack looks and functions just like a normal bag. However, beneath the surface, they hide a number of tricks that slow down thieves and make thefts more difficult.
Hidden & Lockable Zippers/Pullers
At first glance, these backpacks have no zippers and therefore no easy way to open the bag. These backpacks have their zippers and pullers tucked away on the part of the backpack that rests against your back, so it is impossible to open while you are wearing it.
Additionally, these bags often allow you to lock the pullers together. Sometimes this is with a lock built into the backpack, but more often you can use your own padlock to secure the pullers. It might be a little uncomfortable, but it makes enough work for a potential thief that they might not bother you.
These zippers and pullers prevent a thief from reaching into your bag, but other safety features like slash-proof fabric are necessary to prevent all attempts to breach the bag.
Usually available on more expensive anti-theft backpacks, slash-proof fabric cannot be cut open. These are the same kind of fabrics that are used in combat vests. A thief can try using any type of tool to slash through the bag, but it simply will not cut.
This is an important feature because many thefts occur when a thief cuts the bottom of your backpack open, spilling the contents and allowing them to grab your valuables. Slash-proof material means they instead have to work to unzip the backpack by hand, which leaves them open to getting caught.
Since you cannot go halfway on slash-proof, only high-quality fabrics will do. This means slash-proof backpacks occupy the higher price point among anti-theft bags
With credits cards and ID cards using RFID more frequently, it should be no surprise criminals have found a way to exploit this. If you are carrying such cards in your backpack, someone can steal your information without even having to get into your bag.
RFID blocking is available on many anti-theft backpacks. These bags include a thin metal lining which disrupts the radio signals required to communicate with the RFID chips in your cards, stopping criminals from accessing your information.
Some bags offer full RFID protection, while others have a special RFID protected pocket. This is where you want to store your passport, ID cards, and wallet to prevent a criminal from scanning them.
While not as high-tech as other features, a good hidden pocket is a reliable way to confuse thieves. These are often located on the small of your back, blocking access to the pocket while you are wearing the backpack. Such a pocket is perfect for a mobile phone or passport.
There are also pockets located deep inside the bag’s interior, in out-of-the-way spots that are difficult to reach. These are usually zippered pockets, meaning a thief reaching into your bags will have to strain their arm and fiddle with a zipper to reach the valuables you store inside these pockets.
To prevent a thief grabbing your bag while you sit at a café table, you can use a locking cable to secure the bag. This loops around a table leg, a lamp post, or something similar and locks in place.
A few high-end anti-theft bags have a cable built in, but you can also buy a cable separately from your bag. There are also certain backpacks where the strap can be used as a locking cable. This is a good solution for situations where you want to set your bag down, opening yourself up to a hit-and-run theft.
Like any backpack, this is important to keep your valuables safe. With aging and wear, your backpack could start to rip, potentially dumping the contents onto the ground. Check out some customer reviews while shopping to see how durable a backpack is. Also look for reinforced straps so that you can load your bag to its full capacity without any straps breaking.
Related: 8 Best Heavy-Duty & Durable Backpacks For Every Situation
There is not much point in keeping your valuables secure if they are going to get wrecked by water damage. Waterproofing is a big factor if you are traveling in rainy climates. Additionally, unless you are using your anti-theft backpack exclusively for travel, you will likely be wearing it every day. Spills and other accidents will eventually happen, and waterproofing can keep your bag safe.