The Best Anti-Theft Backpacks for Travel and My Top 10 Bag Reviews 2020

Do you know what really ticks me off? Theft. When someone takes something that doesn’t belong to them.

It’s a guaranteed killjoy.

It’s especially annoying if it happens when you’re having the time of your life traveling the world.

And unfortunately, no matter where you roam, there’s always a risk it could happen to you. But it doesn’t have to.

So, what’s the answer?

Basically – don’t wait until the horse has bolted before you shut the stable door!

For as long as there have been scum-bag thieves, people have been coming up with ways to stop them. And lucky for us travelers, there’s a whole host of options on the market to prevent those light fingers from making off with your stuff.

Here then, is my guide to the best anti-theft backpacks for travel in 2020.

What to Look For

Before you just dive in, you need to know what to look for when choosing an anti-theft backpack.

And as luck would have it, I was in the market for a new one recently, so I’ve done the hard work for you.

But why get one in the first place? Surely a regular pack is good enough, right?


Anti-theft backpacks boast all kinds of tricks up their sleeves (and pockets) to keep your belongings out of unwanted hands.

So, what have they got that other backpacks don’t?

Here’s a selection of features to consider.

Secret Compartments

Especially useful if you’re packing something extremely valuable, such as high-end electronic equipment or a photo of your mom. Having a hidden pocket to keep them safe is priceless.

They’re also a godsend for hiding important documents or cash when traveling through higher risk areas such as busy markets or across borders.

Opportunist thieves will always make a bee-line for an easy target, so if your valuables are well concealed, they’re likely to look elsewhere.

Tough as Nails

You might think your old backpack can stand a beating, but these guys are on a different level.

Most anti-theft backpacks worth their salt will be made of slash-proof material because cutting a hole in your bag is a pickpocket’s classic M.O.

Many thieves will carry a pocket knife to gain easy access to your belongings. Hey – we never said it was subtle – but they can slash your bag and be off with your stuff before you have a chance to react.

Some packs even include lightweight metal weave through the fabric – just to cover all the bases.

Slash-proof straps add quality security and peace of mind – making sure your bag stays where it’s meant to.

Lock it Up

Goes without saying, right?

Quality anti-theft backpacks should all come with lockable zippers and pockets as standard.

And speaking of the zippers, anti-theft backpacks will boast solid, yet fluid mechanisms, so you can access your gear but undesirables can’t.

There’s nothing worse than a broken zipper. Gents, you know what I mean.

Some anti-theft backpacks also come with security cables so you can attach your luggage together, or temporarily lock your pack to an immovable object. Perfect if you happen to be sleeping rough in a train station in Barcelona.

RFID Prevention Technology

RFID technology (Radio Frequency Information Device) has been a hot topic of conversation for a while now.

The possibility that thieves can use a device to electronically steal your credit card information.

Whether or not it’s a genuine concern is debatable, the question is – why risk it?

Many anti-theft backpacks come with RFID protection, so you can keep your cards away from those smart-ass lawbreakers that may or may not be lurking out there.


These backpacks wouldn’t be very secure if they allowed a bit of rain into them, so they should all be waterproof to a certain degree. Likewise – shockproof.

However, they’re not going to withstand monsoon conditions or throwing the bag off a cliff, so take that into consideration and maybe purchase a heavy-duty cover if you’re venturing into the wetter areas of the world.


Always a personal preference, but how the backpack is put together can have a big impact when it comes to your travel comfort.

Obviously, this is subjective, but for the sake of this review, I’ve made an informed decision based on my research.

The layout of the pockets and sleeves themselves will also contribute to your own comfort, as some people might prefer larger compartments, or smaller sections to tuck valuables in.

It’s just another variable to bear in mind when making your choice for the best anti-theft bags for travel.

taking wallet from backpack


You might think that with all this security it’s like carrying a mini Fort Knox on your back, but nothing could be further from the truth.

As durable and tough as they are (or should be – you get what you pay for) they’re generally made of lightweight materials so you can have the freedom to do what you do best – traveling.

Having said that, one thing to consider is, for the most part, anti-theft backpacks are more for day-tripping or business use.

Sure, you can find rugged hiking packs and long-term travel carryalls that’ll stash everything but the kitchen sink, but these babies are invariably used as an accompaniment to your main luggage.

Bear that in mind when planning your gap-year hike to the deepest part of the Cambodian jungle.


Ahhhh – the $65 million-dollar question. Literally. And there are always two questions that you should ask yourself.

  1. How much can you afford?


  1. How much can you afford?

Seriously, you pay your money and you take your choice, but as mentioned above, you get exactly what you pay for.

Although there are always several great budget options, I highly recommend purchasing the best your wallet can handle. This is a lesson for life in general.

Other Features

There isn’t a manufacturer out there who doesn’t want to incorporate some extra bells and whistles to entice a potential customer, and anti-theft backpacks are no different.

USB charging ports, connectors, and cables seem to be all the rage, with some options providing headphone jacks for easy access to your tunes.

Of course, you’ll need to provide the device and/or the charging bank adding extra weight – but that’s the trade-off.

Last, but not least, a nice plus point is some packs offer reflective or high-vis flashes on prominent points because it’s nice to be seen in the dark.

Not only are they secure for your stuff, but they’re secure for you, too.

ebook cover 3d

Get 50 Solo Travel Safety Tips eBook for FREE

No more reading loads of posts about solo traveler safety. Get your 50 point safety list in one eBook. Be ready, stay safe!

The 10 Best Anti-Theft Backpack Reviews 2020

Now you’re armed with what to look out for, let’s take a look at my top picks for the best anti-theft backpacks in 2020.

Mancro Travel Anti-Theft Backpack

One of the most consistently top-rated packs out there.

Can easily hold laptops less than 17” in size. Plus, with a total of 14 pockets (including concealed sections), it’s a cracking choice for a day or weekend pack.

Constructed from a water-resistant fabric, the bottom of the pack is reinforced and it’s got quality, durable accessories throughout. Straps and buckles are solid too.


  • Probably one of the best all-around buys out there for the price.
  • Includes a combination lock.
  • Genuinely water-proof – it’s been tried and tested in a variety of weather conditions and comes out on top.


  • It’s not the most attractive pack in the bunch.


With a ridiculous amount of positive reviews, this pack was always going to be a shoe-in on my list.

KoPack Slim Business Laptop Backpack

It’s made from an attractive tear and water-resistant fabric that wipes clean. There’s added support and comfort from the backstraps that’ll make it very pleasant to wear.

The well-designed interior makes it easy to store and locate your gear.

It’s built to be a lightweight piece of kit for day to day use. It’s super compact and really stylish.


  • It does exactly what it says on the tin – a great all-around anti-theft pack.
  • The detachable USB is really useful.
  • Packs all kinds of attractive features that’ll make your life easier.
  • Comes in a variety of colors.


  • Not as padded on the bottom as it should be.
  • Waterproofing could be improved.


A smart, functional day pack with plenty of bells and whistles to keep a user happy.

Tzowla Business Laptop Backpack

A 20x 11.8 x 5.5 internal size ensures you’ve got plenty of room for everything you need for your business, travel or weekend trip.

Nicely designed with straps to help you carry the pack with other luggage. It’s simple considerations such as this that I particularly enjoy.

Quality material, sturdy zippers and fixings and the bonus of a built-in combination lock. It’s super multipurpose too – you can use this baby for anything.


  • Full of convenient and considerate touches that make life easier.
  • Combination lock included.
  • Great price for an all-rounder.


  • It’s a bit dull looking – kinda like a turtle shell on your back. Only duller.
  • Headphone port a bit fiddly to use.


Not the most striking pack on my list, but plenty of quality features and it’s multi-functional use ensures it makes the cut.

Worthtrust Water Resistant Laptop Backpack

A simple no-nonsense design that slips under the radar. Many of these anti-theft packs are still attractive to thieves because they look super upmarket.

This one (and I hope it takes this as a compliment) does not.

As a result, it’s also deceptively spacious inside. A bit like the Tardis.


  • Hands down the best choice here for the price – a great budget option.
  • Unassuming design won’t draw attention.


  • It’s about as basic as they come.


A simple, no-nonsense bit of kit. What it lacks in style it makes up for in value.

MR. YLLS Business Laptop Backpack

One of the trendier looking packs with a stylish fold-over lid, this kit boasts reinforced straps and buckles to handle more weight.

Metal always makes a welcome alternative to plastic. Zippers have been tested to rigorous standards too.

40 liters of space will provide plenty of room for all your carry-on gear.

I like the touch that it says “don’t stare at my bag” on logo design. Maybe it’s for fashion, I take it as a warning to thieves!


  • Definitely one of the more stylish bags in this selection.
  • Great for multipurpose use – it’s popular with students young and old.


  • Doesn’t actually incorporate a dedicated laptop sleeve.
  • Baby blue interior might not be to everyone’s tastes.


One of my favorites for its looks, if push comes to shove I’d highly recommend this option.

The lack of laptop sleeve is the only real downfall – but it’s a biggie.

Matien Slim Anti-Theft Travel Backpack

34 liters of room in spacious compartments ensures you can pack all your essential kit. Easy access dividers keep you organized.

Having a built-in combination lock is always a bonus.

Simple and stylish, this pack won’t be bulky in any way which means you’ll enjoy a pleasant carrying experience.


  • Pockets for everything – well thought out interior design.
  • Comfortable straps.
  • Great price for this level of quality.


  • Not the best padding for device protection.


Spacious and functional, this pack has you covered for any eventuality.

Travelon Anti-Theft Cross-Body Bucket Bag

Travelon is a solid name in the industry, and this is one of their best anti-theft cross body bags. It comes with a very useful locking main compartment that’ll really deter opportunists.

One for the ladies, this bag packs loads of anti-theft features, including anti-slash handles and body and RFID blocking pockets for peace of mind in protecting your cards.


  • Surprisingly roomy, and a great choice for a day carryall when you’re out and about.
  • Popular as an alternative camera bag.
  • Comes in a variety of colors to suit your style.


  • Not suitable for laptops.


It wouldn’t be my choice as it’s aimed at a female customer, but it’s still a great bag if you’re looking for anti-theft protection on the go.

Matien Travel Laptop Backpack

Another entry for Matien sees this product as one of the best anti-theft carry-on backpacks available.

It boasts well-organized pockets and compartments including elasticized sections for your water bottle and padded sections to protect your devices.

I really like the fact you can get it in a variety of colors – including camouflage! The black camo version is particularly cool.


  • Packs loads of features to tick all the anti-theft boxes.
  • Great all-rounder. Perfect for school, business, travel and general use.
  • Camouflage versions are a great option.
  • Loads of room for everything you need.


  • Could have more padding on the base.


A nice touch offering multiple colors, you can adapt this to suit your own style. It really is a solid option.

Oscaurt Anti-theft Travel Backpack

Of all the packs in this list, I think this one is the most stylish. If you’re looking for something straight out of the Blade Runner universe – then this has got to be your choice!

Comes with all the anti-theft features you need, as well as stylish reflective strips to keep you visible at night.

It’s made from waterproof, durable material that wipes clean. It’s anti-wrinkle too, so it’ll keep its shape when you’re tossing it around!


  • Super cool modern design.
  • Doesn’t change its shape even if loaded down.


  • Not the best capacity on our list.


Wins the style category hands down, but isn’t the most practical. If looks matter to you – this choice is a no-brainer.

Yorepek Travel Laptop Backpack

This pack looks the business. It’s got loads of pockets and compartments and is a different beast entirely to most of the options here.

A great feature is you can open it to 180 degrees – which makes going through airport security with your laptop even faster.

Massive 50-liter capacity means it’s all you need for a weekend away.


  • It just about covers all the bases for what you need in an anti-theft pack.
  • Well-padded straps and breathable lining for a comfortable carry.
  • Solidly built.


  • A little pricier than most.
  • Has the potential to look too bulky.


It looks as if it’s built like a tank and one definitely be one of my top considerations on this list. I think it’s in the top three for sure.


There you have it, folks, some of the very best anti-theft day packs for 2020 on the market today.

Why not leave us a comment on which one you would choose and why. One person’s dream is another’s nightmare after all!

Remember though, these packs can only do so much to keep your gear safe. Ultimately, the responsibility lies with you.

Always lock up your stuff any chance you get and don’t leave anything lying around. Use your common sense and you’ll have stress-free anti-theft travels for many years to come!

Good luck!

ebook cover 3d

Get 50 Solo Travel Safety Tips eBook for FREE

No more reading loads of posts about solo traveler safety. Get your 50 point safety list in one eBook. Be ready, stay safe!