The 12 Best Anti-Theft Backpacks for Travel for Men & Women [2021]

Man with headphones and backpack

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Whether you are on your daily commute or visiting faraway places, an anti-theft backpack can offer you that extra peace of mind and security.

Featuring slash-proof straps, RFID-blocking compartments, and lockable zippers, these clever little backpacks can help to ensure that your cash, cards, passport, ID, and other important possessions stay safe from pickpockets and bag thieves.

Things To Consider With Anti-Theft Backpacks

Just a useful as a regular backpack, anti-theft models come with additional features to keep the bad guys at bay. To ensure that your new anti-theft backpack is both practical and protective, consider the following before you buy:

Security Features

Designed to provide you with practical storage space for your possessions, these backpacks come with additional features that are designed to prevent thieves from being able to steal or scan your cash, cards, and other personal data. At the very least, look for backpacks that come with an RFID lining or compartment to keep you safe from identity fraud while you are away from home.

Some bags are made with extra-tough, slash-proof straps and bodies that will easily defeat slash-and-go thieves who operate in busy areas, and most come with lockable zippers that will deter pickpockets from dipping their hands in where they are not welcome.

Size and Capacity

The size of your backpack will depend very much on what you intend to use it for and how much stuff you wish to carry. Most day packs will offer between 20 to 40 liters of storage space, spread across multiple pockets and compartments, making them incredibly practical while also remaining lightweight and easy to carry.

While most travel backpacks are large enough to comfortably house a full-size laptop or folder, you don’t want to go for anything too big as an overstuffed, oversized backpack may seem like an invitation to thieves.

Bottom Line: If you are out sightseeing, shopping, or spending time in crowded spaces, a smaller backpack will be more practical and easier to carry, too.

Weight

Backpacks designed to be used for day trips should be as lightweight as possible to ensure that they stay comfortable all day. Made from tough and durable materials such as nylon, polyester, or PU leather, these backpacks weigh in at just a few pounds when they are empty.

While they will need to be strong enough to reliably hold your belongings, they shouldn’t feel bulky or overloaded on your shoulders.

Keeping your anti-theft backpack filled with just the bare essentials will not only make for a more comfortable carry-on in the air, out in crowds, or even on your way to work — it will also be less of a magnet to those who would like to relieve you of its contents.

Carry Options

Backpacks are designed to be carried over your shoulders to help evenly distribute the weight of the load. While most backpacks come with padded and adjustable shoulder straps, some may come with additional sternum straps or offer alternative carrying options such as a grab handle, single tote strap, or sling.

However you choose to carry your backpack, you should ensure that it is as close to your body as possible at all times. After all, no anti-slash strap or RFID-blocking lining will be able to protect your gear if it can just be grabbed and stolen while it swings around your body.

Hot Tip: You may even wish to wear the backpack across your chest for maximum protection when you don’t feel safe in very crowded areas.

Material and Durability

You will want your new anti-theft backpack to not only protect your belongings from potential man-made perils, but also from the elements. To this end, always look for a backpack that offers some form of resistance to water to ensure that your belongings don’t get wet when it rains.

When it comes to the ongoing durability of the backpack, look for reinforced seams and pressure points that offer the extra strength needed to keep heavier items like laptops firmly ensconced at all times, as well as strong straps and handles. Tear-proof fabrics are also a bonus.

Comfort

Wearing your belongings on your back can start to feel uncomfortable after a time. This is why you should always look for backpacks that come with padded straps to relieve the pressure on your shoulders. To ensure that your backpack is sitting properly for maximum comfort, it should hang around 2 inches below the shoulders and rest neatly against the base of your spine.

Wearing a backpack can also be a sweaty business if the weather is warm, so look for models that come with padded and ventilated back panels that allow the air to circulate between the bag and your clothing.

Bottom Line: Lightweight, neatly-packed, and well-padded backpacks should be comfortable enough to wear all day long without ever feeling bulky or cumbersome on the move.

The Best Anti-Theft Backpacks for Men

A Backpack That Doubles up as a Carry-on Suitcase

Pacsafe Venturesafe Anti-Theft Travel Backpack

This awesome anti-theft backpack is an excellent choice for travelers who want to ensure that their belongings stay nice and safe wherever they are headed. Featuring patented anti-theft technology, it also offers 2 spacious main compartments, a padded laptop pocket that can comfortably house a 15-inch notebook, and further side pockets for water bottles or an umbrella.

It is compact enough to be used as a carry-on, features a suitcase-style opening (making it easy to pack and unpack your belongings), and the 45-liter capacity offers enough space for a few days away.

In addition, the secure and puncture-resistant zippers can be locked with a padlock to prevent unwanted access, and the high-strength fabric features a lightweight steel mesh, making it resistant to slashes or cuts while you are out walking around.

With a stainless steel cable also included, you can easily attach the backpack to stationary objects to keep it safe when you set it down, and the easy-to-use design allows you to select a padlock of your own choice for extra security. With padded and adjustable shoulder pads, it is always comfortable to carry, and the padded hip belt adds stability and efficient weight distribution when the backpack is full.

What We Like

  • The innovative suitcase opening design

What We Don’t Like

  • It feels a little expensive for a backpack

Backpack for Business Travelers

Matein Travel Laptop Backpack

Perfect for anyone who needs to work while they are away, this brilliant business backpack has all the anti-theft features you need to keep your tech protected. With futuristic good looks and a well-thought-out interior, this is a brilliant backpack for commuting to and from work, school, or even vacation.

Featuring a dedicated laptop compartment, this backpack can comfortably hold a 15-inch laptop with ease. With a built-in USB charger on the outside and a charging cable on the inside, you can stay connected by simply adding your own choice of power pack.

The front pocket comes with lots of smaller compartments designed to keep your pens, pencils, and keys nice and safe, and the hidden anti-theft pocket on the back of the backpack allows you to keep your most valuable documents, cash, and cards stashed safely away from prying eyes.

This backpack is made from water-resistant polyester fabric and comes with lockable metal zippers for extra security. The ventilated shoulder straps and back panel provide you with incredible comfort and padding while still being able to offer exceptional airflow to keep you feeling cool as you go.

What We Like

  • The cleverly designed compartments

What We Don’t Like

  • The laptop compartment would benefit from some additional padding

Brilliant Backpack for Well-Organized Travelers

XQXA USB Travel Backpack

This aircraft-friendly backpack features an external USB charging port and a built-in charging cable, making it super easy to stay in touch with the use of your own choice of power bank. With a useful headphone slot also included, you can enjoy your music, too.

Made from lightweight and highly durable oxford nylon material, this backpack has reinforced stress points to ensure that it can effortlessly support the weight of your laptop and other belongings.

Designed to offer excellent protection against theft, this bag features a lock on the zipper of the main compartment, tear-resistant fabric, and an RFID-blocking pocket on the front that will prevent your personal details from being illegally accessed by mobile scanners.

The well-padded laptop compartment is large enough to hold devices measuring up to 17.3 inches, and the front compartment comes with dividers for your work files and other important documents.

With plenty of additional pockets and storage space to hold your clothes, keys, wallet, and other essentials, this brilliant backpack comes with padded and adjustable shoulder straps to ensure that it remains comfortable to carry with you.

What We Like

  • The large laptop pocket capacity

What We Don’t Like

  • Can feel a little bulky when full

Versatile With a Flip-Down, Lie-Flat Opening

Matein Anti-Theft Hard Shell Laptop Backpack

Offering incredible protection for your electronics, this excellent hardshell backpack is designed with a 180-degree flip-down front-opening compartment that makes it super easy to stay organized. Made from hardwearing and water-resistant EVA and nylon, this backpack has all the features you need to keep your laptop and electronics safe in transit.

With a dedicated laptop compartment that can comfortably house devices measuring up to 15.6 inches, as well as a USB charging port, this backpack makes it easy to stay well-connected. The expandable design lets you enjoy extra storage space for clothing and other belongings, and with an anti-theft back pocket and a built-in TSA-approved 3-digit lock, this innovative backpack is well-suited to air travel.

Mesh-lined shoulder straps help to ensure impressive air permeability and heat dissipation to stop your shoulders from feeling sweaty, and the front shield liner has been designed to protect the contents of your backpack from bumps and bangs.

With an additional luggage strap, this backpack can be slipped over the handle of your spinner suitcase for longer trips away, and the slimline silhouette makes this a stylish and practical option for frequent flyers.

What We Like

  • The minimalist good looks

What We Don’t Like

  • Some of the pockets are a little small

For Travelers on a Budget

Volher Business Backpack

With a padded laptop compartment that can hold a 15.6-inch laptop, this is an excellent choice for those who like to take their electronics away with them. Additional compartments offer plenty of space for your iPad, mouse, charger, and power bank, and the anti-theft design will ensure that your most treasured possessions stay nice and safe.

With an external USB charger on the outside and a charging cable on the inside, you can keep your devices powered up, and the headphone jack lets you listen to your music easily.

Made from water-resistant and highly durable polyester fabric, this backpack comes with a hidden anti-theft pocket on the back that is large enough to keep your passport, wallet, and other personal items safely out of sight in transit. With a luggage sleeve on the back, you can quickly and easily slip the backpack over the handle of your spinner suitcase to create a safe and secure travel system.

The ventilated back panel offers breathable support to ensure that this backpack stays comfortable, even when full, and the adjustable shoulder straps have been designed to help relieve pressure on your shoulders, even on longer journeys.

What We Like

  • The intelligent design and durable construction

What We Don’t Like

  • The charging cable is a little on the slow side

For the Style-Conscious Commuter

Kenneth Cole Reaction ProTec Business Backpack

This brilliant everyday backpack offers designer good looks and a versatile interior. Made from durable 1680D polyester, it comes with a fully-lined interior and RFID-blocking technology in the organizer pockets to protect your passport, ID, and credit cards from mobile scanners.

The padded laptop compartment can fit devices measuring up to 17 inches, and the separate tablet pocket will keep your electronic media nice and safe. With a main compartment for your clothing and other essentials, as well as multiple open accessory pockets, a gusseted file pocket, and dual-sided exterior water bottle pockets, this is a well-designed backpack that offers versatile and practical storage spaces.

With adjustable shoulders straps that have an air mesh backing for extra ventilation and a sternum strap for increased support, this excellent backpack makes light work of carrying even when full. Perfect for business trips and use on vacation, this backpack also comes with a rear exterior trolley handle that can be slipped over the handle of your spinner suitcase for increased convenience.

What We Like

  • Long straps are good for tall people

What We Don’t Like

  • Zips could be more durable

For Outdoor Adventurers

Lewis N. Clark Locking Day Pack

This innovative day back is made from 100% nylon material that is not only nice and strong, it also offers excellent resistance to wind and rain. Designed to keep your belongings safe from prying eyes and thieves, it comes with an impressive 3-digit combination lock built-in, and the versatile design makes it suitable for outdoor adventures on vacation.

With a large main compartment, this backpack offers plenty of room for your laptop, books, journals, a change of clothing, and so much more, and the external zipper pocket allows for quick and easy access to your phone, keys, and boarding pass.

With an additional exterior mesh pocket, you can keep your water bottle or coffee flask close at hand, and the minimalist design ensures that it always feels practical without being fussy.

Designed to offer maximum comfort, even when full, this innovative backpack pack comes with a padded back panel and an adjustable shoulder sling strap that can be slung across your body for maximum hands-free convenience. This is a brilliant lightweight backpack for day trips and excursions with a roll-top closure and superstrong buckle.

What We Like

  • The easy-to-wear sling strap design

What We Don’t Like

  • The cup holder pocket feels a little flimsy

Hot Tip: If you’ll be traveling with little ones, check out our guide to the best travel backpacks for kids.

The Best Anti-Theft Backpacks for Women

Slimline and Fuss-Free Organization

KOPACK Slim Women Laptop Backpack

This stunning USB backpack has a slimline silhouette and plenty of intelligent storage space for women who like to stay connected. Made from water-repellent, anti-tear nylon fabric, it has been designed to offer incredible strength and durability, and available in a choice of stunning colors, it looks beautiful and performs brilliantly.

With a large packing compartment, a separate laptop compartment, and a tablet pocket, you can easily keep your belongings beautifully organized, and with enough space to hold a 15.6-inch laptop, it is an excellent choice for your everyday commute and trips away.

The easy-to-access front pocket lets you grab your wallet, cell phone, or boarding pass in an instant, and with an external USB interface with a built-in charging cable, you will always be connected and entertained.

The padded and adjustable shoulder straps keep the backpack securely supported without digging into your shoulders. The dual-access zipper with its unique anti-theft design ensures that no one can gain access to your belongings without your knowledge.

What We Like

  • The sleek good looks, and good-size interior

What We Don’t Like

  • This backpack is quite long in length

A Perfect Blend of Form and Function

Pinckney Lightweight Nylon Anti-Theft Backpack

Available in a choice of beautiful colors, this fashionable backpack has hidden talents that regular travelers will love to enjoy. Trendy on the outside and highly practical on the inside, this backpack could be useful for your daily commute, shopping trips, and even away on vacation. Made from soft and durable PU leather and nylon fabric, it looks incredibly stylish while also being effortlessly practical.

The innovative anti-theft back zipper design lets you keep your personal items out of reach of would-be pickpockets, and with the main compartment being large enough to comfortably carry a 9.7-inch iPad Pro, tablet, or laptop under 10 inches, this backpack is perfect for those who like to stay entertained in transit.

The U-shaped zipper closure on the back allows you to easily access your belongings when you need to while simultaneously keeping them out of reach of thieves. With additional side pockets, this backpack is full of useful storage options.

Weighing in at just 1.3 pounds, this backpack feels lightweight, even when full, and the long, adjustable shoulder straps can be detached to leave you with 1 shorter single shoulder strap that allows you to use it as a carry bag.

What We Like

  • The trendy styling

What We Don’t Like

  • A little smaller than other options

Designer Backpack With Anti-Theft Properties

Kenneth Cole Vegan Leather Laptop Backpack

This stylish-looking laptop backpack is made from soft and supple vegan leather and offers RFID-blocking technology to ensure that your belongings stay safe. With a large main compartment and lots of extra storage compartments, you can keep all of your most essential items neatly organized and within easy reach on the road.

With a dedicated laptop compartment that is padded to offer extra protection, you can carry devices measuring up to 15.6 inches around with you. With a further mesh zippered pocket and a dual opening slip pocket in the main compartment, you can keep your charger, notepads, books and other essentials close at hand. The front zipper pocket is spacious and easy to access, and with an expandable side pocket, this backpack is incredibly versatile.

The padded air-mesh back panel lets you enjoy increased ventilation against the skin, and the trolley tunnel sleeve can be used to slip the backpack over the handle of your spinner suitcase for increased convenience on longer journeys.

What We Like

  • The grainy PU leather is stylish and soft

What We Don’t Like

  • The placement of the zipper can make it awkward to load and unload your laptop

Highly Protective Anti-Theft Backpack

Travelon: Anti-Theft Signature Nylon Slim Backpack

This top-of-the-range travel backpack offers lots of smart organizational pockets and is large enough to carry an iPad. Made from durable material, the spacious main compartment comes complete with 2 zippered wall pockets and a drop pocket that’s perfect for glasses or other items you need to reach for on the go.

Featuring the patented 5-point anti-theft security system, this backpack comes with a range of revolutionary features that will keep your belongings safe in transit. Lock-down straps help to prevent grab-and-go thieves from running off with your bag, and the locking compartments keep your items safe from would-be pickpockets.

In addition, the slash-resistant body and shoulder straps protect you from thieves that are ready to cut your backpack to access the contents, and the RFID-blocking card slots and passport pockets help to prevent electronic identity theft.

Spacious enough to hold a 10-inch tablet, this backpack is resistant to dirt and water, and with adjustable shoulder straps, an easy-to-reach grab handle, and a magnetic clasp, this is a stylish and incredibly protective backpack that is durable enough for everyday use.

What We Like

  • The anti-theft features and the slimline design

What We Don’t Like

  • The straps are quite thin and can sometimes fall off the shoulder

For Ladies Who Like To Travel in Style

Sherpani Bryce Anti-Theft Backpack

This awesome-looking backpack is made from an innovative fabric that is silky soft to the touch and easy to clean. Ultra-lightweight and incredibly stylish, this backpack is functional and fashionable at the same time. Available in a choice of seasonal colors, this is an excellent choice for style-conscious travelers.

Equipped with useful anti-theft features, it comes with a zipper loop lock at the main opening that allows you to lock the bag firmly shut at any time. It also comes with RFID-blocking material in the lining to help keep your personal electronic data protected, as well as an anti-slash diamond-weave mesh in the bottom of the bag.

With a useful exterior front zipper pocket for easy access to your most used items, as well as 2 further side pockets, this backpack offers well-thought-out storage spaces, and the adjustable and padded shoulder straps ensure that it remains comfortable to carry, even when full.

What We Like

  • The super-soft fabric and multiple anti-theft features

What We Don’t Like

  • Just about big enough to hold a 13-inch laptop

Final Thoughts

With a variety of different safety features built-in, an anti-theft backpack will reduce the risk of your belongings being targeted by thieves and pickpockets. Designed to be as practical as a regular backpack and look pretty much the same, these awesome backpacks will help to ensure that you and your backpack are less of an easy target.

Safe, secure, and super well-organized, paying that little bit extra for an anti-theft backpack could completely change how safe you feel while you travel.


Frequently asked questions

Do anti-theft backpacks work?

Yes, anti-theft backpacks work well against card skimmers because of their RFID-blocking material. Built-in locks and hidden pockets are also great for foiling pickpockets.

What is an anti-theft backpack?

Anti-theft backpacks can have different features depending on the brand, but they usually have slash-proof fabrics, compartments that lock, hidden pockets, and RFID-blocking material.

What do pickpockets look for in a bag?

Pickpockets will look for bags that have been left open or have thin straps or material that can be cut easily.

Are backpacks safe from pickpockets?

Backpacks can be a target for pickpockets as you wear them on your back and can’t see what’s going on behind you. Slash-proof material and locking your backpack will act as a deterrent, but also consider wearing it on your front in crowded spaces.

Amar Hussain

About Amar Hussain

Amar was born and raised in England, UK, embarked on an 11 country round the world gap year after graduation and then became well and truly hooked. The first gap year inspired a second which ended up being a 23 country down-the-world trip from Canada to Antarctica. Since then Amar has endeavored to turn his gap year into a ‘gap life’ and has spent the last 10 years traveling the 7 continents.

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