With so many cautionary tales about vacationers getting ripped off on their travels, it's hard not to think about how to protect yourself in large metropolitan areas. I've been looking at a lot of bags for my trip to Paris, as it's notorious for having gangs of thieves who target tourists at major attractions. I don't want to be another statistic, but I also need a bag that will carry everything I need and be comfortable to carry all day. A cross-body bag seems the obvious choice, especially since last time I went I made the mistake of bringing a regular shoulder bag and it was a pain in more ways than one. So, this week I'm testing out the Metrosafe 200 shoulder bag from Pacsafe.
This bag is large, but not overly large. It's pretty much the perfect size for going sightseeing most of the day when you will need to carry a variety of things. From snacks to sunscreen, you will have room for it all and still find a place to stash souvenirs you might pick up along the way. Let's have a look at the features, shall we?
You're going to use this front zippered compartment a lot. I guarantee it. It has an RFID-blocking pocket for your passport or your wallet (if it isn't too large), another pocket for your phone, camera or money, a clip to keep your keys handy, a slot for a pen and a big pocket for your electronics, which even has a headphone port, allowing you to listen to your music, even when the compartment is zipped up and secured.
While the flap hides this zippered pocket, you have a second safety net. The zippers have holes that can slip through the attached clip, making it even harder for thieves to get at your stuff - at least not without you noticing them trying to rob you. It can be a bit tricky at first to do it yourself, but once you do it, you'll see how hard it would be for someone who was just seeing it for the first time.
Like to have a drink on-hand? That's good, because this bag has two, count 'em, two snap-open expandable pockets to keep a water bottle in. You can also keep a small umbrella in one.
The back pocket, which fits right against your body, can be used for things you want quick access to. When I travel, I like to keep something to do with me, whether that's a card game or a puzzle book. This is a great place to stash that. If you choose to put something more valuable in there, it can be locked as well.
To lock the back zippered pocket and the main compartment, use the turn-and-lock clip that attaches the adjustable shoulder strap to the bag. This jumble of zippers and clips is sure to confuse and confound a would-be robber. They aren't going to waste their time on you. If they think they can still steal your goods, know that the bag is lined in exomesh, a slash-proof mesh that makes it impossible for thieves to knife the bottom of your Metrosafe and make off with all the contents that fall out. The shoulder strap has the same technology. This turn-and-lock clip also allows you to attach your bag to a stationary object, like a chair, making it a miniature safe.
The main compartment of this bag is nice and roomy. The large open pocket is big enough to hold a full-size iPad or other tablet. I was also able to get my makeup bag and a cardigan into it.
This is a pretty good haul for a day bag. Overall, I think the Metrosafe is a fantastic option for someone looking to keep their items secure on a trip. It's unisex, so everyone could carry it, too. There are a few things that could be improved: RFID-blocking card slots, so you don't have to bring a whole wallet or keep all your cards in the one pocket. Wider expandable side pockets would also be good. You can basically only carry one regular size water bottle in them, which would make it necessary for us to carry two bottles, since my husband is big water drinker when we're out and about.
Where you can buy it: Pacsafe online
How much it costs: $80.00
Colors it comes in: Black | cool steel | jungle green | midnight blue (shown) | tweed grey
Other specs: High density nylon, 11" x 10" x 3.5"
Disclosure: I was provided with the Metrosafe 200 Anti-theft Shoulder Bag for the purposes of this review, but all opinions are 100% my own.