- Adventure Travel
- Travel Misadventures
- All Posts
- Media & PR
Last year on Her Packing List, I wrote about how my Travelon bag saved me from being pickpocketed in Porto. I’ve used that bag on virtually every trip I’ve taken since then, and it’s saved me a lot of stress in cities like Barcelona and Paris (where I actually saw pickpockets at work) since I knew I had a few extra lines of defense than I would with a normal bag. So, when the folks at Travelon emailed and offered me one of their new “Signature” line to review, I jumped at the chance.
On my previous Travelon post, a number of people commented that the bag was too obviously a traveler’s bag with its canvas and lack of emphasis on styling. While the new Signature cross-body bag is made of the same material, it has plenty of little touches that make it much more stylish than the Anti-Theft Messenger that I had before. Plus, I’m a big fan of the “Truffle” colour over plain black.
When I first got the bag, I was a bit concerned that there were less lockable pockets (using the “lobster-claw” lock system) than on my previous bag, since that was far and away my favourite feature. After having used the bag for the last month though, I’ve realised that it doesn’t matter.
The main compartment is lockable, and is so roomy that you can easily stow an iPad in the padded back pocket (a feature that nearly resulted in my mother stealing the bag before I’d even used it). The pocket accessible by a zipper on the back is a good size for stowing my point-and-shoot camera, and since it rests completely against my body, it would be difficult to get into anyway. The other two pockets can be used to stow less valuable things that often weren’t locked away in my other bag anyway. If thieves want my Tylenol and EpiPen, they can have them!
The layout and general size of the Signature cross-body is much more compatible with my travel needs too. While I’d love to be a light packer that travels carry-on only, my electronics and photography gear usually make that impossible. This bag has enough space for everything I need for a flight without it feeling too cramped, so I never have to touch my heavier carry-on while in-flight. With a few more small pockets to stash things in, I also found it a lot easier to access my boarding pass and passport.
The construction of the bag is great. It’s not surprising that it’s durable given it’s made of anti-slash material. It’s good to know that I’m not going to have the bottom of my bag or the strap slashed open, but the idea of someone wielding a knife trying to get at my bag terrifies me. That’s why I’m still up in the air about whether I want steel reinforcement in the strap. I’d much rather they just slash the strap than slash me!
The only thing that truly annoyed me about my previous Travelon was the fact that the strap always insisted on stretching to its longest length. That has definitely been fixed on this bag. I either use it at purse-length (short straps over one shoulder) or across my body at waist-height, and both of these adjustments have held firm under large loads.
So what are the downsides of this bag? It does look reasonably large, but considering the fact that it holds an iPad, that’s not surprising (however, it’s still much narrower than a messenger bag). While I like that there’s a small pocket on top of the purse flap — where I stowed my boarding pass, etc, while flying — it can’t hold many non-flexible items like phones (which it’s perfectly sized for) if you still want the flap to bend enough to button the purse closed. This results in it sticking away from the purse at a 90º angle, which obviously looks a bit odd.
On the topic of closing the flap, I’d like if there was a magnet instead of a button, which I found popped open nearly every time I moved the bag. It didn’t matter since all the pockets hold things secure anyway — it was just a bit of an annoyance.
Along with the bag, I also received a “Daisy Zip Around Jewelry Stash.” To give you an idea of how much I needed this when I travel, I used to carry all of the jewellery I needed while traveling (which admittedly is not very much) in a Ziploc bag. I’ve managed to not lose any earrings to holes in the bag (yet) but it’s still much nicer to have an organised jewellery case!
Inside, there is a pillow to wrap things like bracelets and watches around, as well as flaps to clip necklaces to and a pouch for rings and earrings. I’ve certainly spent a lot less time untangling knots in necklaces since I’ve been using it.
Overall, I would recommend the jewelry stash to anyone in need of a bit of organisation when they travel and I would highly recommend the Signature cross-body to any female traveler. It has the extra security features to help give you some peace of mind when traveling but has enough to offer that I’m planning on using it as my normal day-to-day bag at home as well.
The Signature cross-body bag and the Daisy zip around jewelry stash were provided to me by Travelon, but all opinions stated here are my own. The Signature cross-body retails at $75 and the jewelry stash at $25.
As a further note, this bag had nothing to do with my wallet being stolen recently. I had no issues at all when I was carrying the bag — it was only when I left it unattended in a cabin that I had an issue!