Traveling is better when you have the right companion by your side. Although my husband is the perfect traveling companion for me on all kinds of adventures…sorry Dean, I’m not talking about you this time.
When we’re going out to see the world, I often grab my roomy Travelon anti-theft bag. It has been with me at the top of Mount Pilatus in Switzerland, on a coach tour from Glasgow to Edinburgh in Scotland, on a Rhine River cruise from Holland to Switzerland and on a Northern Mediterranean cruise to Italy, Monaco, France and Spain. Each time, I’m glad to use such a spacious, feature-packed bag that keeps everything in place, easy to find, and within reach.
I’ve been using this bag since 2015, and it still looks great and no doubt has more trips in the future. The bag I use is no longer available, but it’s the closest to this one:
I bought my Travelon suitcase in 2015. Yes, I’ve had it for years, but it’s still the perfect travel companion. And here’s why:
1. It’s spacious
When I travel, I don’t want to struggle with my bag to get things in and out. This bag is bigger than the bag I usually carry around at home, but it wins, especially when I travel internationally because it has space for the extra things I bring on a trip… my travel essentials.
Everyone has their own list of what they can be, but here are some examples of mine. I wear prescription glasses, so when it’s sunny, I switch to my prescription glasses, and this bag has space for my sunglasses case. There’s room in this bag for a full-size water bottle, and I can even fit it into a small travel umbrella if the forecast shows rain.
2. It is anti-theft
One of the best things about traveling is enjoying all the sights and sounds that come with a different destination. I don’t even want to think about pickpockets and thieves and the like. I know it only takes a few seconds for things to go south, so the anti-theft protection on this bag gives me peace of mind.
From the Travelon website: “Our integrated 5-point anti-theft security system will protect your valuables from pickpockets and thieves. Includes cut-resistant mesh barrier on all four sides and lower body panels; cut-resistant and locked handle; locking compartments; and RFID blocking organizer.”
According to the Department of Homeland Security, “Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology uses radio waves to identify people or objects. There is a device that reads information contained in a wireless device or ‘tag’ from a distance without making any physical contact or requiring a line of sight.” RFID protection blocks these radio waves.
I’ve read mixed messages about the importance of a purse or wallet having RFID protection, but I think extra protection against credit card theft never hurts.
3. Has Convenient External Compartments
What I love about this bag are the dual compartments, plus a larger one in the front, and the large zippered compartment in the back – all on the outside of the bag.
Do you have to come up with something often or quickly? You may want to keep it in an outer zipped pouch. Or, depending on what it is, you might still want it inside the bag, where the anti-theft protection is at work.
4. Has Convenient Inside compartments
The My Travelon bag has practical, well-placed pockets on the outside, but offers even more functionality with pockets on the inside. Travelon’s design team really thought of this!
The bag description calls these inner pockets an organization panel, zipper pocket, and slip pocket. I use the organizational panel for credit cards (and sometimes business cards) and the zippered pocket for keys and lip balm/lipstick. The slip pocket is a great place for my cell phone.
Another thing to love about this bag is that there is a short handle (string) inside the bag with a small LED light on it. Since my bag and the inside of it are black, if I’m in a darker environment, I can grab the handle, turn on the light, and pull out whatever I need.
5. It’s light
Weighing just over 1 pound, it won’t weigh me down when I’m on the go. Of course, I can’t say it’s always light after packing a suitcase or buying something along the way and carrying it inside my bag, but as far as suitcases go, it’s light for its size.
6. It’s a versatile cross
I like a crossbody, and this bag was designed to be worn that way. The hands-free approach is useful if I need to… oh, for example… look at something in a boutique I may or may not be shopping for, or make culinary selections at a lavish buffet.
I can control how I use the crossbody feature. In a busier area, I will have the bag positioned in front of me where I can always see it. But if I’m hiking in Switzerland and there’s no one else around, I can position it in the back so it’s out of the way.
Also, when I travel, I’m kind of famous for having a camera (yes, a real camera!) in one hand, and that’s another reason I like a hands-free suitcase operation.
7. Has Adjustable Straps
Yes, the crossbody feature is great, but if I want to wear it on one side like a traditional bag, the straps are adjustable to make that transition quick and easy. The length of the handles gives me a lot of flexibility on exactly how long I want them to be.
8. It is of high quality
The quality of a Travelon bag speaks for itself. The hardware, the zippers, the materials – everything is quality and can withstand the “cruel and unusual punishment” you may receive on vacation.
9. Nylon is easy to clean
Let’s face it, spills happen and more when I’m on the road or on the go. If something is spilled in the bag, the care label says to wipe it clean with a damp cloth. If that doesn’t work, most substances are easy to wash off by adding a drop of regular soap to that damp cloth.
10. It’s black, so it goes with everything
Gone are the days of matchy-matchy, but the options on this bag are solid colors – classic, confident choices. Mine is black, which makes it easy to carry and use on any occasion.
Option: a minor choice
If the Travelon Anti-Theft Essentials Patch Pocket crossbody bag is too big for your needs, downsize a little with a smartly similarly designed bag: the Anti-Theft Essentials East/West Small Hobo. It also features Travelon 5-Points Anti-Theft Protection, is made of nylon, and has a very similar handle drop length. Here’s where the specs vary:
- Size: 10.25″ x 9.5″ x 3″ (A few inches smaller overall)
- Weight (in pounds): 0.70 (about three-tenths of a pound lighter)
- Strap Length: 58″ (3″ shorter)
A great grant for a great cause
There’s actually an 11th reason I like my Travelon bag, and that’s because they support the bigger frame.
In his words: “Travel makes us better global citizens. For more than 10 years, Travelon has and continues to provide ongoing support to Kid Equipment Network and Adaptive Adventures, a non-profit organization that provides adaptive sports and adventure programs to more than 100,000 people with disabilities. Thus, improving the quality of life of children, adults and veterans with physical disabilities. For the disabled, this support means ‘freedom through mobility’”.
I respect a company that makes a quality product and keeps the big picture in mind. As travelers, we appreciate our freedom and mobility, and I love to see something that supports people with disabilities and honors the adventurous spirit in all of us.