What Is the Best Anti Theft Backpack? 

 July 7, 2023

By  Diane Wuthrich

Anti theft backpacks are recommended for travel because they have features that deter theft and pickpockets. There are many different kinds of anti theft bags out there, so how do you determine the best one?

There are different security features in anti theft backpacks. Look for one with at least 1 or 2 anti-theft technology: slash-proof fabric, hidden zippers or pockets, locks, and RFID blocking. It should have enough capacity for your needs, durable, comfortable, and stylish for traveling. 

Read on below to learn more about what you should look for in the best anti theft backpack.

Choosing the Best Anti Theft Backpack

Did you know that hundreds of thousands of people lose their passports each year? Many more are also at risk of losing cash, credit cards, and other valuables each time you visit another country anywhere in the world.

That’s why anti theft bags are so important. Whether for travel or commuting, anti theft backpacks are a valuable accessory that is designed to safeguard its contents from thieves.

Thieves and pick pockets these days are getting smarter than ever, and backpacks are exceptionally easy targets for them because you can’t see what goes on behind you. Without the protection offered by an anti theft backpack, stealing belongings such as your wallet, laptop, ID, and camera from your bag is so easy – and you won’t even notice it till it’s gone.

Thieves often target unsuspecting women because ladies’ purses and bags are easy to steal from. However, both men and women can benefit from the peace of mind and security that only the best anti theft backpack can offer.

Here are the features you should look out for when shopping for one:

Anti-Theft Features

There are many different types of anti theft technology used to deter thieves from accessing the contents of your bag. They either protect the bag, your identity, or its belongings. Some backpacks use just one, while others have a number of them for maximum protection.

Understanding the range of anti theft technology available will help you make an informed decision when buying a backpack.

Slash-Proof Fabric

Backpacks without slash-proof fabrics can be opened discreetly while you’re wearing them: the thief simply has to use a sharp knife to open them and access all the contents. On the other hand, slash-proof material is almost impossible to cut through discreetly, no matter what kind of knife is used. These fabrics are literally unbreakable.

That’s why backpacks constructed out of these fabrics are so effective. As a bonus, slash-proof fabrics are also lightweight and low-maintenance.

Various materials can be manufactured into slash-proof fabrics. Polyester and nylon are common, though premium cut-proof bags may use tougher material such as Kevlar, steel mesh, or other high-performance materials.  

Bags with slash-proof fabric often have a higher price compared to anti-theft backpacks in the market, simply because of the technology that goes into producing them. However, if you are after security and peace of mind, it’s one of the best anti-theft features to have in a bag, especially for women who are traveling.

Secret Pockets or Zippers

Hidden pockets or zippers add another layer of security, since only you know where they are located. In the unfortunate event that a pick pocket is successfully able to access your bag, they won’t have a clue where this pocket is located.

Hidden pockets or zippers are a great place to keep your wallet, passport, and cash. In addition, make sure that the zippers are always of the best quality. YKK is the gold standard when it comes to zippers, because faulty zippers will leave your bag prone to theft.

Some theft-proof bags use lockable, theft-deterrent zippers that may or may not have pulls designed to ward off criminals. These work just as well too.

RFID Pocket 

Thieves have extremely advanced and high-tech strategies these days, particularly those in Europe where pickpocketing is rampant. They are skilled enough to steal your credit card and personal information from meters away, without even having to touch your bag or go near you. This can result in fraudulent credit card charges and identity theft.

That’s where RFID blocking technology comes in. RFID (Radio Frequency Identification Devices) blocking prevents transmission of electromagnetic signals from the microchip in your credit cards, passports, and other identification cards from remote scanning. Some backpacks have RFID compartments integrated into passport slots, designed to safeguard these documents – all of which can be scanned from a distance.

As a bonus, RFID technology is already built into products. There is no need to worry about activating them, or switching them on or off.


The best anti theft travel backpack will enable you to lock a pocket or the entire bag. Depending on the locking system, a combination lock or a key may be used. Each locking mechanism has its own pros and cons, but also keep in mind that some locks are more secure than others.

Combination locks are more difficult to break through, which is why they offer better security. The combination necessary to unlock them is known only to you – unless you have shared it with other people. Without the combination password, thieves either need to have a specialized skill for picking combination locks or use a Dremel tool to unlock them.

Key locks are secure only as long as you don’t lose the key and your backpack. Many commercial padlocks can be opened by the same key, and it’s easy for thieves to spot which padlocks can easily be picked. They are extremely opportunistic, so it’s wise to remember that not all locks are made the same.

However, you can make key locks more secure with the use of lockable steel cables. They increase the theft protection abilities of your bag by also enabling you to secure your pack to a table or chair so that criminals can’t run away with your bag.

Lockable zippers are also a great way to protect your belongings. These usually feature small latches that make it challenging for thieves to open your bag.

If your bag contains highly sensitive documents and plenty of money, it pays to invest time researching locks. The best anti theft backpack for travel should be difficult to break; at the very least, it should require a pull weight of 100 pounds at minimum to unlock. This means that it will by no means be simple to break without the key or combination.

Additionally, if you are traveling to or within the United States, consider locks that meet the requirements of the TSA (Transportation and Security Administration). These are specific locks with 3 numerical digit combinations. These enable the TSA to do their job, which is to ensure the safety of all airline passengers by checking all bags.


The best anti-theft backpack for you must have plenty of space for its intended use. For this reason, the purpose you are buying the bag for should influence how much capacity you’ll need.

Generally speaking, you can use the recommendations below though, of course, you can adjust based on your preferences:

  • Everyday use: 15 to 20 liters
  • Evening or purse backpack: 10 to 15 liters
  • School or work: 25 to 35 liters
  • Short trips (1-3 days): 30 to 45 liters
  • Multiday trips: 50 to 75 liters

Additionally, consider how you intend to use the bag.

For example, parents will need a larger bag to fit diapers, milk bottles, and sweaters for kids. On the other hand, college students will need a spacious main compartment that can accommodate textbooks, a laptop, plus notebooks and other school supplies. If you intend to the bag for everyday errands, a small and compact bag will do just fine to hold your wallet, water bottle, electronics, and keys for the day.


Theft proof backpacks come in many styles and designs. Everyone can certainly find the best anti-theft backpack that suits their personal preferences.

Women may lean towards smaller, sleeker, and more elegant products that are pleasing to the eye. Anti-theft backpack purses are always a fashionable option for exploring the streets of Europe in style, while knowing that pick pockets can’t get to your valuables. They often come in vibrant and feminine colors, though neutral options are available on the market too.

On the other hand, men may want to get travel backpacks that are more rugged or masculine in design. Men’s theft proof bags come in elegant colors such as black, navy, brown, or grey.

When it comes to style, there’s no right or wrong answer, as long as the bag is effective in deterring thieves.


Quality pockets are always important for your adventures. They save you a great deal of time from looking for things because you already know where everything is.

Imagine that you’re a traveler taking in the sights of a historical city in Europe. Suddenly, the lighting is perfect and you want to take photos – but your bag doesn’t have a compartment for your camera, so you spend a few minutes taking your things out just to look for it. The moment passes you by.

No one wants to spend unnecessary time digging for things inside a bag, especially when you are traveling. More importantly, ample pockets help you find what you need, when you need them. Whether it’s a first-aid kit during a hike, an iPad for your business presentation, or your essentials for a weekend trip, you should know where everything is.

The best anti theft backpack is designed with strategic pockets inside and outside of the pack, separate from secret pockets for your valuables.

A compartment zipper is helpful too in preventing things from falling out. You’ll want to keep your keys, passport, and wallet securely in a zippered pocket because losing any of them could be a problem.

Below are items you may want to have dedicated pockets for:


A padded laptop compartment will keep your computer protected from the rest of your gear. The padding also cushions it from sharp items that may scratch it. Some laptop compartments can also double as document storage (as long as you keep important documents in a folder or envelope to prevent wrinkles or damage).

Laptop compartments vary in size, so be sure to check that it can fit your laptop. If you use a tablet as opposed to a laptop, a padded tablet sleeve is just as important.

Water bottle 

It’s always important to stay hydrated, especially if you are traveling or outside of home for several hours at a time. Most anti-theft travel packs have at least one water bottle pocket on the side of the pack. A water bottle holder is versatile for storage, since you can use the side pocket to keep other belongings, such as an umbrella, flip flops, or sunglasses.

Devices and other tech

A dedicated USB port for a charger is always handy for ensuring your electronics can be charged anywhere. In addition, some backpacks offer two or three other pockets for devices and tech accessories, including your tablet, headphone jack, mobile phone, and cables, while keeping them away from the public’s eye.  

Due to the sensitive nature of electronics, you want to keep them separated from other things in order to protect them.


The best anti theft camera backpack will feature a camera compartment. Padding is ideal for protecting the sensitive materials used in cameras.  

In any sense, it pays to carefully review the compartments in a bag you are eyeing. The presence of these features will make a big difference during your travels.


All backpacks should be comfortable to wear. Many popular backpack brands already do this by creating designs with padded and adjustable shoulder straps. Some take it a step further by ensuring the backpack straps can’t be cut, since some thieves are experts at cutting the straps off your shoulders.

Experts also recommend avoiding carrying a backpack that weighs more than 20% of your total body weight to avoid injury and discomfort. If you intend to carry a backpack on the heavier side of this spectrum, padded and adjustable shoulder straps should not be taken for granted. These play an important role in distributing weight evenly, so your shoulders don’t feel all the burden.

Furthermore, consider anti theft backpacks with a hip belt or sternum strap for heavier loads. Again, these add to even better weight distribution and comfort. Backpack brands with a good reputation will always provide comfortable designs so that you can wear the pack time and again with no issue.

Optional Features To Consider

Depending on the kind of trip you’re going to, or the level of protection you’re after, below are some additional features you may want to factor in before buying an anti theft backpack:

Water-Resistant Material

Get extra protection from the elements by using a bag with water repellent or waterproof material. Many of the best anti-theft backpacks already have some degree of waterproofing, which is always a benefit for travel.

Rain Cover

Backpacks without water repellent material can still be protected with a detachable rain cover. These may be stowed away in a hidden compartment in the top or bottom of the pack when not in use, ready for you to pull it out when needed.

Wheeled Backpack

Travelers can enjoy the versatility of two carrying choices with anti-theft wheeled backpacks. You can use it like wheeled luggage, which comes in handy in airports. When you aren’t in transit or simply prefer to keep your hands free, you can wear it as a backpack.

The various ways a traveler can benefit from wheeled anti-theft backpacks is priceless. This is especially true when you are going on multi-day sightseeing trips, or for backpacking several weeks in duration.

Expandable Storage

Expandable and collapsible storage is an extremely practical feature for travel. These backpacks enable you to expand the main compartment’s capacity anywhere from 15%, depending on its size and make. The increase in storage lets you have room for just about anything – such as those unexpected purchases during your trip.

Security Hook or Security Clip

Some anti theft daypacks are designed with a security hook. This anti theft feature lets you to clip on a lockable strap that attaches your bag to a fixture such as a chair. This prevents thieves from snatching your bag and running away with it.

Reflective Strip

Cyclists, bikers, and commuters are encouraged to use a theft proof bag with a reflective strip. These can be life-saving since they increase visibility on the street by reflecting lights back, making it easier for vehicle drivers to spot you.

Carry Options

Traditionally, a backpack is meant to be worn on your back and anchored on your shoulders. Several bags these days enable you to carry them in multiple ways for both comfort and security. Having the option to use alternative carrying styles by converting it to a sling bag, tote bag, or holding it by a grab handle may be convenient for many.

Our Recommendations for the Best Anti Theft Backpacks

To make your shopping simpler, below is a buying guide with a list of various theft proof backpacks to accommodate a variety of needs. Click on the links for more information, such as customer reviews and product specifications (we earn a small commission from Amazon and other sites if you decide to buy any of these bags):

Best Everyday Anti Theft Backpacks

Individuals who commute to work shouldn’t have to worry about snatching when using an everyday anti theft backpack. These ensure that your valuables are safeguarded from anyone no matter where you are.

Travelon Anti Theft Classic Backpack: Travelon is an expert in luggage and backpack design. Each product is responsibly produced without cutting corners on quality and durability. If you're looking for a practical daily use bag, the Travelon Anti Theft Classic Backpack is a game-changer.

Travelon Anti-Theft Classic Backpack

It has the ideal compact design, with dimensions of just 12 x 16 x 16 inches. The neutral shades available – navy, black, and brown – will easily go with anyone’s wardrobe. Meanwhile, the unisex style enables both men and women to enjoy the features of this bag.

The Travelon Anti Theft Classic Backpack features locking compartments, plus durable construction with a slash-resistant body and shoulder straps. Keep your documents safe in the passport slots and RFID blocking card. Take this bag with you on errands, shopping, just about anywhere: it’s the perfect theft-proof daypack.

Loctote Flak Sack: Loctote specializes in anti theft bags that come in many designs. Whether you are looking for a cross body bag, lightweight sacks, or fully-equipped backpack, they have you covered. The Loctote Flak Sak is a great everyday bag because it’s so lightweight and comfortable.

Flak Sack Loctote

The fabric is made of some of the toughest yet luxurious slash-proof materials, plus reinforced straps that prevent snatchers from running away with your bag. An RFID pocket inside the bag will keep your credit cards protected at all times. It’s also built with steel-reinforced straps that let you secure the bag to a fixture worry-free because of the heavy-duty combination lock.

You'll appreciate the laid-back and casual design of this bag. However, they do not scrimp when it comes to the quality of their anti-theft features. This bag costs more than others, but given the attention to detail and amazing durability, the Loctote Flak Sak is certainly worth the investment.

Best Anti Theft Travel Backpack

The risk for theft is significantly greater when traveling to touristy places. These destinations already have an established population of skilled thieves who know how to prey on unsuspecting travelers who they know are carrying a lot of money, credit cards, and passports in their bags.

You’re already a step ahead when you use the best anti theft travel backpack.

PacSafe Venturesafe EXP45 Anti-Theft Carry-On Travel Backpack: PacSafe is an industry leader in manufacturing the best anti theft backpacks. They have built a solid reputation for best-in-line theft proof bags of all kinds.

Pacsafe Venturesafe EXP45

The PacSafe Venturesafe EXP45 is the ultimate adventure companion, and it’s easy to see why it’s a cult favorite. They have integrated comfort all throughout this bag; a honeycomb fabric on the back panel promotes breathability, while the hip and shoulder straps distribute the weight evenly. The handle is comfy too because of the high-density foam inside it.

It’s constructed with a range of anti-theft features, which include a puncture-resistant zipper, slash-proof yet lightweight fabric, and a stainless steel cable and padlock for locking the bag. Travelers will appreciate the fact that its versatile size enables you to use it as either a carry-on or check-in. External compression straps come in handy for making the bag more compact during a flight.

The PacSafe Venturesafe EXP45 also has lots of organizational features. Inside, its two roomy main compartments are both lockable. It also has a padded laptop sleeve, side pockets, and zippered interior pockets. This bag has all the bells and whistles when it comes to anti-theft, but that’s to be expected from a brand as famous for it as PacSafe.

Peak Design 45L Travel Backpack: Peak Design specializes in creating innovative, modern backpacks and camera bags. The Peak Design 45L Travel Backpack is a winner for its versatility, anti-theft features, and functionality.

Peak Design Travel Backpack 45L

Boasting a spacious 35L capacity, the roomy expandable side pockets enable you to pack more when you need it into 45L. However, it’s also compact enough because its dimensions have been approved for use as a carry-on on international flights. Traveling is made easy thanks to 360-degree grab handles, but the weatherproof 400D nylon canvas shell and tough 900D waterproof bottom liner always ensure your belongings are safe.

The Peak Design 45L Travel Backpack has panels to divide and store your camera, shoes, travel clothes, and other bulky gear with its numerous organization options. All your valuables are protected with its anti-theft features, such as a hidden pocket for your passport and wallet, and theft-proof zipper pulls to put your mind at ease.

Best Anti Theft Backpack for Women

Women don’t have to sacrifice aesthetics for security. There are many chic anti-theft backpacks made with fashionable females in mind. They are also lightweight and elegant, allowing you to go on trips and enjoy a night out in crowded watering holes without having to worry about your valuables.

XD Design Elle Fashion Anti-Theft Backpack: XD Design is known for their functional and elegant anti-theft backpacks. Though their iconic product is the Bobby Anti-Theft Backpack, the Elle Fashion is ideal for stylish women.

XD Design Elle Anti-Theft Backpack

Its sleek and lightweight body lets you take this bag anywhere. The XD Design Elle Fashion is available in gorgeous feminine colors as well as neutral options that will complement your wardrobe. The front exterior is constructed out of water-repellent fabric, while the interior features an organizational panel where you can fit a tablet up to 9.7 inches.

This is much more than a pretty daypack. The security features include a slash-proof fabric, hidden zippers, and hidden pockets. It has a solid construction that stays upright at all times, and you can use the adjustable shoulder straps to keep it close to your body for added security.

Ytonet Backpack for Women: Ytonet’s reputation for manufacturing quality, long-lasting and stylish bags at affordable prices means you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg for a beautiful anti-theft bag. This backpack has a gorgeous design and it’s the best anti theft backpack purse in its price range.

Ytonet Anti-Theft Backpack

The security features of the bag include RFID blocking technology, one hidden pocket, plus a discreet USB charging cable. This is a versatile women’s daypack that you can also travel with. It’s built with a luggage strap that enables you to hook the bag up to a suitcase.

The roomy main compartment of the Ytonet Backpack for Women lets you neatly organize your belongings. The pockets of this bag include an iPad sleeve, multiple smaller slots for pens, your mobile phone, wallet, and much more for a total of 15 pockets. This is definitely ideal for the modern woman who prioritizes convenience and organization.

Despite the affordable price, you’ll be surprised at how long this bag can last. The main compartment is reinforced by a steel frame that also helps to retain the bag’s shape. Waterproof nylon fibers keep the elements out, while the ergonomic design and padded shoulder straps ensure the wearer is comfortable.

Best Anti Theft Backpack for Students

Some high school and college campuses are notorious for thievery. Students carry high-expense items in their bags, such as textbooks, laptops, and tablets, in addition to wallets and cash. Keep your belongings safe while you are at school when using a theft proof backpack for students.

Oscaurt Anti-Theft Laptop Backpack: Oscaurt is dedicated to providing customers with a wide array of anti-theft backpacks for all occasions. Students, however, will find that the many useful features of this bag are perfect for keeping their valuables protected both in and out of campus.

Oscaurt Anti-Theft Backpack

The Oscaurt 15.6” Anti-Theft Laptop Backpack comes in sleek colorways for both men and women. It’s equipped with a convenient USB port for a power bank outside the bag, so you can plug in your device and charge anywhere you are. One can also tell that the organizational features are well-thought of: it has a separate velvet-lined and shock-proof compartment for a laptop plus pockets for your wallet, pens, notebook, mobile phone and more.

Additionally, it’s got hidden zippers and a secret pocket, which you can find at the back. The tough and durable scratch, water, and slash-proof fabric will last many years. It’s huge on comfort too: the generous padding found in the back panel and in each shoulder strap makes the weight of academia much more bearable.

Volher 15.6” Slim Laptop Backpack: Volher makes durable laptop backpacks at student-friendly prices. That’s why the Volher 15.6” Slim Laptop Backpack is a campus essential.

Volher 15.6” Slim Backpack

Students will be comfortable at all times wearing this bag: the back panel is built with ventilated airflow fabric for breathability, while the generously cushioned shoulder straps alleviate stress. Walk to and from school with comfort while listening to your favorite music because of the headphone jack feature.

The Volher Slim Laptop Backpack is affordable and durable. The long-lasting, durable polyester fabric and solid metal zippers can withstand use on and off campus while protecting your laptop and school supplies. However, it’s also multipurpose and can be used for weekend trips with your school friends.

Best Anti Theft Laptop Backpack

Having a quality theft proof laptop backpack lets you focus on business or work while it takes care of securing your electronics. Laptop backpacks with anti-theft features are essential for the modern day entrepreneur because they're built with exactly the features you need.

Tzowla Travel Laptop Backpack: Tzowla offers an incredible variety of functional bags at affordable prices. They are all made of tough materials, with a range of stylish bags for women and beautifully rugged bags for men.

Tzowla Laptop Backpack

The Tzowla Travel Laptop Backpack is a heavy-duty bag loaded with all the right backpack features you need. These include a password-protected lock, durable zippers, and a USB charging port. One large compartment is designed to store all your daily needs including notebooks, snacks, toiletries and more.

Then the other main compartment can store laptops up to 15.6 inches in size, documents, a tablet, and so much more. Various pockets of all sizes can be found in the front compartment as well as inside the bag. All your electronics and important documents are protected thanks to the superior polyester fabric and durable construction, plus wide padded shoulder straps.

Mark Ryden Anti Theft Backpack: The modern professional man needs a reliable bag to protect laptops, electronics, and other belongings. Mark Ryden has long specialized in this niche, creating amazing quality pieces in a range of styles.

Mark Ryden Cache Backpack

The Mark Ryden Anti Theft Backpack is built with a TSA friendly lock made of tough zinc alloy plus a solid body that does a fantastic job at protecting all its contents. Setting the password lock is extremely easy as well. Inside, it features a separate laptop compartment, while another main compartment is ideal for storing anything from light clothes to other personal effects.

It also has hidden zipper pockets on the bag’s back where you can stash smaller valuables. Meanwhile, the side pockets can be used to keep a water bottle or your umbrella. All your things are protected from the elements by the use of durable waterproof polyester combined with Oxford fabric.

Overall, the Mark Ryden Anti Theft Backpack is a versatile and comfortable laptop bag that you can take to and from work.


This guide can help you look for the best anti theft backpack for your specific needs, no matter what they are. Some bags can cost more because of security features, but when it comes to protecting your valuables, you can’t put a price on peace of mind.

And, if you haven't already found the perfect anti theft backpack you can use our comparision tool to find an anti theft backpack that's right for you.

About the author

Diane is our head writer and researcher for our backpack informational content. Her everyday carry is a Herschel.

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