I thought I’d also try my hand at reviewing some of the products I take with me on my trips. I did not receive any compensation for this review, and I did have to pay for this product like a regular person (I did manage to get it on sale though).
I read about this backpack on a number of blogs about travel in Europe and the issue of pickpockets. This backpack is advertised as “anti-theft,” but I just thought it was a nice additional feature. It’s very light, and there is padding along the back and behind the straps. It features something called “eXomesh slashguards,” which I guess is fancy for stainless steel wire that apparently wraps underneath the fabric like a flexible chain-linked fence. The purpose of this is the keep stuff from falling out of your bag if someone tries to slash and run. The straps also contain wire to make it more difficult for a thief to simply cut and steal. There are two cupholders on the sides (I use one side for trash and the other side for an actual water bottle).
There are two zippered sections of this backpack, both of which have numerous pockets (which I love). It’s great for staying organized, and I think they’re both pretty deep. The larger section contains a pocket along the backside that is large enough to hold a 13″ laptop (my MacBook Air fits just fine). I feel that you can also squeeze a tablet in that pocket as well, but I don’t like the idea of the two banging against each other, so I usually keep them separate. The zippered pocket towards the bottom of the picture is also RFID safe.
The smaller zippered section contains another zippered pocket (not labeled as RFID safe), as well as sectioned pockets for pens and various items. There’s also a small plastic hook to clip your keys to.
One of the backpack straps also has a clip that can be locked. I’ve never used this feature, but my understanding is that you can use this to secure your bag to a chair or something so that people don’t walk off with your stuff (imagine sitting at a curbside cafe, not tying your bag to a pole like a pet).
I always hesitate to say something is completely “anti-theft” or “theft-proof” because if I can open this for my own purposes, so can someone else. However, the various features of this bag does not only require more time to open it and get my stuff (seconds), but also makes it a little more difficult for a stranger to come along and sneak their way into it as well. While this bag also has many pockets, I feel that it doesn’t fit as much as my regular school backpack (not the child variety). However, I have been able to cram in my laptop, tablet, phone, wallet, keys, toiletries, a light sweater, chargers, and a very light change of clothes, as well as my travel documents, with no problem. As a plus, because you can’t fit too much into it, the bag never feels heavy to me. The price can be a deterrent (I paid about $70 with shipping, but that was on sale), but if you’re looking for something to possibly deter a thief, this may be an option for you. As I have never taken this bag to Europe with me, I am unaware of its actual use in preventing pickpockets, but being savvy as a traveler also plays a huge part in it (which is a different conversation altogether).