Travel is just better when you’ve got the right companion at your side. Although my husband is the perfect travel companion for me on all kinds of adventures… sorry, Dean, this time I’m not talking about you.
When we are heading out to see the world, I often reach for my roomy anti-theft Travelon bag. It’s been with me to the top of Mt. Pilatus in Switzerland, on a bus tour from Glasgow to Edinburgh in Scotland, on a Rhine River cruise from the Netherlands to Switzerland, and on a northern Mediterranean cruise to Italy, Monaco, France, and Spain. Each time, I’ve been glad I’m using such a roomy, multi-featured bag that keeps everything in place, easy to find, and at my fingertips.
I’ve been using this bag since 2015, and it still looks great and undoubtedly has more trips in its future. The bag I use is no longer available, but it’s closest to this one:
Travelon Anti-Theft Essentials Patch Pocket CrossbodyBuy Now $40.99
Here are the specs:
- Size: 12.75″x9.75″x4.25″
- Material: Nylon
- Weight (in pounds): 1.05
- Strap Length: 61″
- Strap Drop Length: 15″–28″
- 5-point anti-theft protection
I purchased my Travelon bag in 2015. Yes, I’ve had it for years, but it’s still the perfect travel companion. And here’s why:
1. It’s Roomy
When I travel, I don’t want to fight with my bag to get things in and out of it. This bag is bigger than the purse I usually carry here at home, but it wins, especially when I travel internationally because it has room for the extra things I bring on a trip… my travel essentials.
Everyone has their own list of what those might be, but here are a few examples of mine. I wear prescription eyeglasses, so when it’s sunny, I switch to my prescription sunglasses, and this purse has room for my sunglasses case. There’s room in this bag for a regular-sized water bottle, and I can even fit in a small travel umbrella if the forecast shows rain.
2. It’s Anti-Theft
One of the great things about traveling is enjoying all the sights and sounds that come with a different destination. I don’t even want to think about pickpockets, thieves, and the like. I know it only takes a few seconds for things to go south, so the anti-theft protection on this bag gives me peace of mind.
From the Travelon website: “Our built-in 5-Point Anti-Theft security system will protect your valuables from pickpockets and thieves. Includes slash-resistant mesh barrier in all four sides and bottom body panels; slash-resistant and lock-down strap; locking compartments; and RFID blocking organizer.”
According to the Department of Homeland Security, “Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology uses radio waves to identify people or objects. There is a device that reads information contained in a wireless device or ‘tag’ from a distance without making any physical contact or requiring a line of sight.” RFID protection blocks those radio waves.
I’ve read mixed messages on how important it is for a bag or wallet to have RFID protection, but I figure extra protection against credit card theft never hurts.
3. It Has Convenient Outside Compartments
What I love about this bag are the twin compartments in addition to a larger one in front, and the large, zippered compartment in the back — all on the outside of the bag.
Gotta get at something often or quickly? You might want to keep it in an exterior, zippered pouch. Or, depending on what it is, you still might want it inside the purse, where the anti-theft protection is hard at work.
4. It Has Convenient Inside Compartments
My Travelon bag has practical, well-placed pockets on the outside, but it provides even more functionality with pockets on the inside. The Travelon design team really thought this through!
The bag description calls these interior pockets the organization panel, zippered pocket, and slip pocket. I use the organizational panel for credit cards (and sometimes, business cards) and the zippered pocket for keys and lip balm/lipstick. The slip pocket is a great place for my cell phone.
Another thing to love about this bag is that there’s a short strap (tether) inside the bag with a small LED light on it. Since my bag and the inside of it are black, if I’m in darker surroundings I can reach for the strap, turn on the light, and pull out whatever I need.
5. It’s Lightweight
Weighing in at a little over 1 pound, it’s not going to weigh me down when I am on the go. Of course, I can’t say it’s always light after I pack my travel essentials or purchase something along the way and carry it inside my bag, but as far as bags go, it’s lightweight for its size.
6. It’s A Versatile Crossbody
I like a crossbody, and this bag is designed to be worn that way. The hands-free approach comes in handy if I need to… oh, for example… examine something in a boutique that I may or may not be buying or make fine culinary selections at a bountiful buffet.
I can control how I wear the crossbody feature. In a more crowded area, I’ll have the bag positioned in front of me where I can always see it. But if I’m hiking in Switzerland, and there’s no one else around, I might position it in the back so it’s out of the way.
Also, when I travel, I’m sort of famous for having a camera (yes, an actual camera!) in one hand, and that’s another reason I like a hands-free bag operation.
7. It Features Adjustable Straps
Yes, the crossbody feature is great, but if I want to wear it on one side like a traditional purse, the straps are adjustable to make that transition quick and easy. The length of the straps gives me a lot of flexibility on exactly how long I want them to be.
8. It’s High Quality
The quality of a Travelon bag speaks for itself. The hardware, the zippers, the materials — everything is quality and can stand up to the “cruel and unusual punishment” it might receive on a vacation.
9. The Nylon Is Easy To Clean
Let’s face it, spills happen, and much more so when I am on the road or on the go. If something gets spilled on the bag, the care tag says to wipe it clean with a damp cloth. If that doesn’t do the job, most substances are easy to wash out by adding a drop of ordinary hand soap to that damp cloth.
10. It’s Black, So It Goes With Everything
Gone are the days of matchy-matchy, but the options on this bag are solid colors — classic, confident choices. Mine is in black, which makes it easy to carry and wear no matter what the occasion.
Option: A Smaller Choice
If the Travelon Anti-Theft Essentials Patch Pocket Crossbody is just too big for your needs, downsize a bit with a similarly, smartly designed bag: the Anti-Theft Essentials East/West Small Hobo. It still has the Travelon 5-Point Anti-Theft Protection, is made of nylon, and has a very similar strap drop length. Here’s where the specs vary:
- Size: 10.25 “x 9.5″ x 3” (A couple inches smaller overall)
- Weight (in pounds): 0.70 (About three-tenths of a pound lighter)
- Strap Length: 58″ (3” shorter)
A Great Bag For A Great Cause
There’s really an 11th reason I like my Travelon bag, and that’s because they support the bigger picture.
In their words: “Travel makes us better global citizens. For over 10 years Travelon has and continues to provide ongoing support to Kid Equipment Network and Adaptive Adventures, a nonprofit organization that provides over 100,000 disabled persons with adaptive adventures and sports programs. Thus, improving the quality of life for children, adults, and veterans with physical disabilities. To the disabled, this support means ‘freedom through mobility.’”
I respect a company that makes a quality product and keeps the bigger picture in mind. As travelers, we appreciate our freedom and mobility, and I love to see something that supports those with disabilities and honors the adventurous spirit in all of us.