So, I have a feeling that when many of you ladies travel, you don't want to look like a tourist. Sometimes you can achieve this easily enough and then totally ruin it with a bag. As you know, I have a variety of bags, all of which I love and use in different situations. Living in Portland, nobody really pays attention to what your bag looks like or what you wear, but most cities aren't like that. I have always been interested in the Pacsafe products and when faced with a choice of which bags I would like to review, the Citysafe GII immediately stood out to me. I like that it looks just like a handbag you would carry everyday, but with a few tweaks, none of which you would notice unless you took a closer look.
The Citysafe is a bag that enables you to blend in with the locals in destinations where carrying a backpack or messenger bag would target you as a tourist to thieves. It is also nice, because it comes in two sizes: The GII 100, which I'm reviewing here, or the GII 200, which is larger and enables you to carry more, including your iPad. I picked the smaller of the two, because not everyone wants to carry that much as they go out sightseeing or shopping. The crossbody bag (which you can also wear as a shoulder bag by adjusting the strap) is lightweight, even with your items in it, so it won't weigh you down or get in your way. It's also theft-proof, like all their bags, with a slash-proof strap and body, making impossible for someone to either cut the bag off your shoulder or cut open the bottom of the bag and let your items fall out into their waiting hands.
|Everything I carried in the Citysafe|
As you can see the bag is a manageable size and big enough to carry the essentials. There is a zipper pocket inside for small items, like makeup, an electronics pocket and an RFID-blocking pocket for your passport or credit cards. The main compartment held what I needed and still had room for more: my makeup bag with things like band-aids, aspirin and the like, antibacterial gel, camera, cell phone and snacks.
As you can see, the electronics and RFID pocket are quite large and roomy, so you could actually fit a larger electronic in there (or more than one) and your wallet instead or (or with) your passport. It would be nice to have added card slots, that are RFID-blocking, for those of use who like to minimize and keep organized, too.
The inside zippered pocket easily held my cosmetics and lip balm, and it has that fancy little clip in there where you can attach your keys, or even a small flashlight. This helps your keys from getting lost in the bottom of the bag - isn't that always what happens? - so you don't end up standing outside your car or wherever else digging in the bottom of your purse. Having them inside a pocket is also nice, because then they aren't jangling around any time the bag moves.
On each end of the bag, you'll find a pocket. Not large enough for a bottle of water, but still useful for smaller items like sunglasses and even sunscreen (don't leave home without it!). You'll probably find more uses for them as you carry the bag more.
Okay, enough about what you can put into the bag, let's talk about the safety features of the Citysafe, which is its biggest selling point. You already know about the eXomesh in the bag lining that gives you peace of mind against thieves and the inside pocket that keeps your credit cards and passport information safe from those that want to steal your identity or money, but there are two other fun features you might like: The main zipper can be made more secure by slipping it into a loop and then clipping the zipper to the somewhat-hidden clip on the adjustable shoulder strap. Once you've employed this feature, nobody's getting into your bag without some trouble. Obviously, you're going to feel someone tugging on the zipper to try to get in and steal your contents.
The second: The strap can be detached, wrapped around a stable object like a chair, and then reattached, to keep people from just snatching up your purse and running away with it. How does it work? The Citysafe features a turn and lock security hook that works like a lobster-claw clasp, but it can be locked to prevent opening. Pretty cool, right?
Where you can buy it: Pacsafe online
How much it costs: $60.00
Colors it comes in: Black | midnight blue | walnut | plum (shown) | crimson red
Other specs: Water-repellent nylon, 9.8 x 7.5 x 3.7 in
Disclosure: I was provided with the Citysafe GII 100 Anti-theft Handbag for the purposes of this review, but all opinions are 100% my own.