If you’re in a hurry and are here to find out what the best anti-theft backpack is then we recommend the Osprey Pixel Daypack as the best one.
Traveling, commuting for work, or just heading out may on the town all require additional protection for the items you keep in your backpack. In this article, we run through how packs are now offering anti-theft features and explain which is the best anti-theft backpack to keep the villains out of your stuff!
Here are the anti-theft backpacks we will be reviewing:
- Osprey Pixel Daypack
- Mancro Travel Laptop Backpack
- VGB VBIGER Travel Laptop Backpack
- Uoobag Tigernu Business Laptop Backpack
- Yorepek Travel Laptop Backpack
What Does Anti-Theft Backpack Mean?
The anti-theft features in backpacks vary from where the pockets are placed, to built-in zipper locking systems. Here’s a quick look at the different ways a backpack can protect your items:
- a laptop pocket positioned underneath the shoulders straps, straps act as deterrents
- zippers with loops built-in to attach a travel lock and secure them closed
- zippers with a built-in locking system where a combination is needed to access
- shackle system where a built-in hook can hold your zipper in a closed position
- zippers with added built-in protection; like dual-layers and puncture proofing
- pockets that are hidden and/or RFID protective compartments
What Anti-theft Backpack Features Will Work for You?
The backpacks on the list below feature one or more of these anti-theft devices. Think about what you will use this backpack for and which type of protection will work best for you. Also, consider the threat level of pickpockets or shady characters in your area or travel destination. A zipper shackle system, or under-strap pocket, are great for deterring someone from slipping your wallet or purse out when you are wearing the backpack, but cannot safeguard your items if your whole backpack is stolen, like a pad-locked zipper. Below, we look closely at the protection each backpack can provide you with and give you a quick look at the other features too.
Additional Anti-Theft Steps to Protect Your Belongings
Keeping your essentials on your person in some way is the best way to protect your items. We have never heard of someone’s front pant-pocket being stolen! An even better way to keep your items closer to you is to use a hidden pocket or money belt. The smaller and flatter the belt the better so that it is the least noticeable underneath your clothes. We are not big fans of hold-alls like this one, as if the whole thing is misplaced or stolen, that’s very bad news.
Separate your important items. For example, when heading out to explore the streets of a foreign city:
- keep your passport and some cash in a hidden pocket underneath your clothing,
- your phone, other cash, and wallet in your front pant or jacket pockets
(leave unneeded wallet items safely at your accommodation if possible),
- keep everything else in your anti-theft backpack
Tourists are targeted by would-be thieves more than locals are, so try not to be easily labeled a tourist. For example, do not flash your “VISITORS GUIDE MAP” around. Maps are the best way to get around, just be sure to read them in a subtle way and keep them folded and out of sight in your back pocket when you’re not using them. Back pockets are the most susceptible to pickpockets, so a cheap or free city map can be kept there.
And to protect yourself as well as your belongings reconsider your travel plans to any “Level 4” places on this list.
What Else to Look for in Your Backpack
Wide and comfortable straps can mean an enjoyable time whenever you are wearing the pack and a ventilated back panel can help to keep you cool. While a waist strap helps to evenly distribute the weight of the pack between your shoulders and your hips and core. The more weight on your hips the better with a heavier pack, this can help to protect your back.
It’s nice to have a backpack that stands up by itself but not one so rigid that it is hard to store away when not in use. A general rule is that the floppier the bag, the less support it may give you when carrying your items.
Ease of Use
Some backpacks have so many pockets, sections, compartments, hooks, clips, and endless other features that you may not have a use for them all. Make sure that they all work for you and that your items can fit and that your quick access items can be…quickly accessed!
Let’s not forget that backpacks are something you wear and should be thought of as part of an outfit. There is no right or wrong backpack for any one person but, unlike other luggage, it’s good to think about your overall style. Bright or wacky colors are great for locating your checked luggage at baggage claim, but if you’re looking to take this bag to work in a professional environment, don’t go for the bright pink or cartoon designed options. Likewise, if your style is full of color, there are lots of great colors and designs with many great backpacks.
Top 5 Best Anti-Theft Backpacks
Osprey are one of our favorite luggage brands, they make quality backpacks and seem to think of everything – but also offer their “All Mighty Guarantee”. If you have a problem, they will fix it, simple as that. The Pixel daypack is perfect for a casual use bag, it’s anti-theft backpack features are in its design. A large flap comes down over the main compartment allowing you to hide your zipper handles and deny access to the majority of the pockets to the wrong person. There is also an added protective layer along the zipper track to keep water, and other unwanted things out. There is one zipper pocket on the outside of the main flap (perhaps that’s where your free map can go!) but generally, any would-be thieves would not see this pack as a target due to its inaccessibility and low profile. The pack has two water bottle holders, a sternum strap, a waist strap, and very comfortable shoulder straps all for your ease of use. The back portion is ventilated for additional comfort. The pack expands, giving you more packing space and also includes a removable power-cord organizer. Tons of space, a place for documents, a place for your laptop, and lots of ways to keep everything else organized.
- Unbeatable “no questions” warranty, you break it – they fix it
- Comfortable, wide, and breathable shoulder straps and back section
- Waist and sternum straps allow for better weight distribution – good for your back
- Two water bottle holders to keep your hydrated
- Expansion zipper system which allows an extra 4L of capacity, totaling 30L
- Attachment for a light on the back, keeping you visible at all times
- Scratch-free zipper pocket to keep your sunglasses, watch, and anything else pristine
- Padded laptop compartment to keep your laptop more protected from scratches and bumps
- Sophisticated, nice, and compact, allowing you to wear it comfortably in tighter spaces
- Full U-shaped zippers mean you can easily access your laptop
- External “powerhouse” included – a great quality organizer for all of your cords and cables
- No built-in zipper lock or ability to add a separate travel lock to zippers
The Mancro Travel Laptop Backpack is a slick and professional-looking pack that could work great for business, school, and pleasure. The main anti-theft backpack feature of this pack is the zipper shackle. This feature means you can secure your zipper handles onto a hoop with a latch. Your zippers are held closed, together, and on the side of the pack, the last area any would-be crook could get to. Additionally, the pack offers an RFID blocking pocket in the main front compartment. The RFID blocker means any high-tech pickpockets cannot access data from your contactless credit cards, licenses, or passports. The Mancro’s other best features are its sturdy structure, it’s padded handles and shoulder straps, its organization and its size. It is labeled as a 15.6” laptop carrier but can fit a 17” in there easily. The pack can keep a lot of your items organized, whether for work with a laptop, documents, extra clothes, and stationary carrier. Or for around campus or highschool with a laptop, tablet, notebooks, stationery, gym shoes, and whatever else you kids need these days! There’s also a handy USB charging port but you’ll have to supply your own battery for it.
- Large enough space in the zipper handles to attach your own travel lock
- Very smart and straight-edged looking, good for work or play
- Very affordable option, get the looks of a high-level Italian pack for less
- Space to keep two water bottles so that you stay hydrated
- Water-resistant to keep your pack in good shape and your belongings dry
- A USB (battery needed) charge hub for on-the-go charging right from your pack
- Soft and wide shoulder straps with breathable material in the back panel
- Billed to fit a 15” laptop but comfortably fits a 17” and everything in between
- 21L capacity to keep your essentials nearby at all times sized best for school
- Smallest capacity on this list at 21L but with lots of organization
- Hard to find information about the warranty
- No waist strap to help better distribute the weight and relieve your shoulders
This backpack is a great looking pack and can work well for whatever you may need it for. The main anti-theft backpack feature is the zipper combination locking system (note: this is not a TSA-approved lock). There are three main compartments with this pack and the lock is on the laptop pocket. Consider this when thinking of what else you’ll have in the pack, as the second-largest pocket is designed for your smartphone, wallet, and other “valuables” – items that, in the wrong hands, can be very damaging. These items are also smaller and easier for a would-be thief to snatch, whereas a laptop is much more difficult to remove without the wearer noticing. That said, if the pack is lost, stolen, or left lying around, your laptop would be safer. All of the main zippers on the pack offer enough room to attach a small travel lock of your own to and there’s a small hidden pocket on the lower back for a cell phone or wallet. This pack offers a ton of space in its three compartments, with space for a 17.3” laptop and many other items. Lastly, the pack offers great comfort for shoulders and for your back, a USB charging station (battery needed), and can be secured to the telescoping handle of a suitcase.
- Hidden pocket at the lower section of the back panel to keep valuables safe
- Room on the zipper handles to apply your own travel lock for added security
- Tear-resistant fabric on the outside, more defense against unwanted entry
- Minimalistic and super sleek design in a versatile grey that goes with anything
- Professional looking enough for work and cool enough for anything else
- Exterior USB charging port with connection cable included (battery needed)
- Splash-resistant external fabric keeps your packed items dry
- Comfortable, wide, breathable shoulder straps, and breathable back section
- Can hold anything up to a 17” laptop securely in a lockable compartment
- Can be secured to the top of a carry-on or suitcase with a strap on the back
- Room for one slim water bottle, though is also a good fit a coffee flask
- Built-in lock is not TSA-approved and may need to be unlocked at airport security
- No waist strap to help better distribute the weight and relieve your shoulders
- Warranty only covers defective and non-used items
This Tigernu pack grabs attention as it looks great, almost leathery. The pack offers a few different anti-theft backpack features. The first is the zippers, which are dual-layered and puncture-resistant, making forced entry very difficult. Also, a hidden pocket in the lower back area can hold a cell phone and its laptop pocket is placed under the shoulder straps so that when the pack is being worn, the straps keep the pocket out of sight and nearly impossible to remove a laptop from. Lastly, all of the main zippers are designed to allow a travel lock to fit through them and keep them secured. The strap and back comfort is noticeably cushy and breathable. There are three main compartments, one smaller front pocket, and two zipped-off side pockets. The laptop pocket comfortably fits a 15.6” laptop but not much bigger or thicker (for you gamers out there). All of the pockets offer excellent organizational options for a lot of items. Great for all occasions, work, travel, school, or casual, this is a great compact looking bag that can hold a lot at 22L capacity. There is a removable USB charging port (battery-needed), that can be removed to prevent damaging it when cleaning this handsome pack.
- The two main compartment zippers are securable with a travel lock
- Hidden pocket in lower back panel, good for small, slim items only
- Holds up to 15.6” laptop, even a slimmer gaming laptop can fit
- Comfortable, elasticated straps and handles and highly breathable back panel
- Shoulder straps are connected over the top, which adds further comfort
- Very roomy pockets, total capacity is 22L
- Cool looking backpack, with almost a leathery look and feel
- Two side pockets for slim water bottle, or a coffee/tea flask
- Very simple sunglasses hook on front strap, more helpful than first thought
- Removable USB charging port, great for when washing the pack
- No waist strap to help better distribute the weight and relieve your shoulders
- No solid, flat base, so the pack does not stand up well, but it can be leaned
- Laptop pocket under the shoulder straps can be tedious, but good protection
- Not “waterproof” as stated but definitely water-resistant
The Yorepek Travel Laptop Backpack offers a whopping 45L of capacity, there are genuine “backpacking” backpacks that hold less than that! Its official anti-theft backpack feature is its zippers with built-in loops that can be held closed with a travel lock. The zipper loop is only on one pocket (see the Vbiger option above for our thoughts on that.) The unofficial anti-theft method is the number of zippers, bells, and whistles – a would-be thief wouldn’t even know where to start! For further security, you can add travel locks to the zippers on the four main pockets. As mentioned this backpack can hold a lot, there are four main pockets that vary in size and room for a 17” laptop. The other compartments offer organizational options, and the pack can open to a full 180 degrees which is convenient for clearing airport security. There are places for your umbrella, two water bottles in the side pockets, as well as a small zipper pocket in the front. With all that capacity, it’s a good thing that this pack has nice, comfortable, and wide shoulder straps, made with breathable material. And lastly, the pack has a compression system and can be secured to a telescoping handle of any suitcase.
- Huge capacity for its class, three compartments totaling 45L!
- Tons of pockets of various sizes throughout, you’ll find a secure home for everything
- Side pockets that allow you to carry two water bottles and stay fresh and hydrated
- Padded pocket that can fit a 17.3” laptop, with this much room you can bring 3!
- Adjustable compression strap to compact the pack for easier carrying
- Though large, weight is well distributed on your back also for easier carrying
- Comfortable padded straps and a breathable back panel allow more comfort
- External USB charging port (battery needed), stay charged in-transit or on the go
- Water-resistant and easy wipe-clean material, not for heavy rain or the swimming pool
- Works really well as a carry-on due to capacity and secures to the top of a suitcase
- Good customer service, very quick to respond, helpful, and solution focussed
- 12-month “quality” related warranty, unclear what that includes
- USB charger is awkward for right-handed (90% of us) as it is on the left side when worn
- No waist strap to better distribute the weight to your hips and relieve your shoulders
- Sometimes can be quite, jingly, when walking as the zippers all bounce around
Of all of the anti-theft backpacks on this list, we recommend that you check out Osprey’s Pixel Daypack. Its anti-theft backpack feature may be simple, but the slick style of the pack can help you to keep a low profile overall which in itself is a great anti-theft device. And the main flap does cover all of the main zippers and pockets, deterring prying eyes even further.
And when it comes to backpacks, Osprey’s quality and “no questions” guarantee, offered with this bag can’t be beaten. There may be a slightly higher price tag but it’s worth it if it’s a one-time, lifelong payment – as opposed to buying a different pack two or three times.