The 11 Best Anti-Theft Backpacks of 2022

These travel-ready picks protect you (and your stuff) against would-be thieves

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The Rundown

Best Overall: PacSafe Venturesafe Exp45 Econyl Anti-Theft Carry-On Travel Pack at pacsafe.com

"PacSafe is an industry leader in anti-theft backpacks, and this pick is perfect for travel."

Best Features: XD Design Bobby Original Anti-Theft Backpack at Amazon

"This pick comes with a built-in USB port, so you can keep your phone or devices charged."

Best for Students: KOPACK Slim Laptop Backpack at Amazon

"This pick fits up to a 15.6-inch laptop with a dedicated home for it in the back of the bag."

Best Expandable: Peak Design Travel Backpack 45L at peakdesign.com

"This backpack expands from a modest 35-liter size to a 45-liter size."

Best Style: Arden Cove Carmel Convertible Backpack and Crossbody at ardencove.com

"This stylish backpack gets you everywhere you need to go with a few different configurations for carrying."

Best Design: AMBOR Business Travel Anti Theft Laptops Backpack at Amazon

"It has the essential anti-theft features, plus a ton of perks that make your travel day easier."

Best Crossbody: Sherpani Dispatch at sherpani.com

"This backpack can easily transform into a crossbody (or a tote) with a simple changing of the straps."

Best Rolltop: Lewis N. Clark Locking Day Pack With Secura Lock Technology at Amazon

"Its roll-top closure secures with a three-digit combination lock."

Best Splurge: Caraa Studio Bag at caraasport.com

"Its durability and longevity are worth the splurge."

Best for Travel: Peak Design Travel Duffelpack 65L at peakdesign.com

"The line was designed by a photographer who understands the importance of keeping gear safe while traveling."

Backpacks are super-handy for carrying around everything you need for a day around town or traveling, but our every day carries are becoming more and more expensive: After all, our smartphones are worth several hundred, and our tablets and laptops are worth far more than that. If you’re toting your tech around in a place where pickpockets are prevalent, you’re going to want to keep things secure, so you don’t have to deal with an unpleasant theft that interrupts your vacation. Luckily, brilliant designers have you covered: Anti-theft backpacks are more secure than ever with features like locking zippers, RFID-blocking technology, and even slash-proof material. And aesthetically, we’re happy to announce that these backpacks have graduated beyond basic black and gray to become more and more stylish.

Whether you’re a student, a casual traveler, or a jetsetter who has their mind set on a splurge, there’s an anti-theft backpack out there for you.

Read on for the best anti-theft backpacks on the market.

Best Overall: PacSafe Venturesafe Exp45 Econyl Anti-Theft Carry-On Travel Pack

VenturesafeEXPblue

Curtesy of Pacsafe

What We Like
  • Made from recycled nylon

  • Great quality

What We Don't Like
  • No ID pocket

  • Bag itself isn’t lightweight

PacSafe is an industry leader in anti-theft backpacks, and honestly, you can’t go wrong with any of their styles. For travel in particular, however, we love their Venturesafe 45L. Besides the fact it’s now made from recycled nylon, giving it some eco-points, it’s carry-on size: You won’t need to bring both a bag for your gear and a carry-on for your clothes, which makes a difference when it comes to reducing stress on a busy day of travel. The backpack meets most airlines’ carry-on requirements (as always, check ahead!) and has a large main compartment for clothes, plus a sleeve built for a 15-inch laptop, organization for your cables and USBs, and even places on the outside of the bag to secure bulky things like jackets or yoga mats. There are also attachment points on the inside for wallets and keys and a side pocket that lets you keep a water bottle or umbrella close at hand. As for the antitheft measures, Pacsafe has the bases covered with lockable zippers, an anchor cable that can lock around a fixed object (like the base of a table) so no one can nab the bag, and cut-resistant materials.

Dimensions: 21.7 x 13.8 x 8.7 inches | Weight: 3 pounds, 13 ounces | Capacity: 45 liters | Waterproof: Yes

Best Features: XD Design Bobby Original Anti-Theft Backpack

XD Design Bobby Anti-Theft Backpack

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Integrated USB charging port

  • Great anti-theft features

  • Cut-resistant

What We Don't Like
  • Interior wears quickly with heavy use

  • Might not have enough capacity for some

The Bobby Original Anti-Theft Backpack from Dutch brand XD Design isn’t just meant to deter thieves—it's also meant to keep you connected and comfortable when you’re hauling around valuables. It holds a 15.6-inch laptop, 9.7-inch tablet, your phone, and other travel essentials, though note that it’s a little too slim to pack in a day’s worth of textbooks or other bulky items. Most brilliantly, the backpack comes with a built-in USB port, so you can keep your phone or devices charged while you’re on the go, and it's designed so that you store said devices in hidden zippers and pockets that aren’t immediately apparent to the eye. Better yet, would-be thieves trying to cut through the backpack are sure to be deterred by a cut-proof protective board.

Dimensions: 4.2 x 11.42 x 16.54 inches | Weight: 1.98 pounds | Capacity: 13 liters | Waterproof: Yes

Best for Students: KOPACK Slim Laptop Backpack

KOPACK Slim Women Laptop Backpack

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Super lightweight

  • Great organization for class essentials

  • Keeps laptop safe

What We Don't Like
  • Won’t hold large gaming laptops

  • Not the right fit for men’s builds

To keep all your expensive devices safe, KOPACK’s budget-friendly laptop backpack will protect your gear—and keep thieves away, too. It fits up to a 15.6-inch laptop with a dedicated home for it in the back of the bag right against your body, which is especially handy for when you just want to carry your computer. The zipper can also be locked into a nearby ring to keep things super-secure. Even more, there’s a USB port built into the backpack with an inner cable so you can charge your devices, though you’ll need to use a power bank (not included). The dual-layer zipper that opens the main compartment is puncture-proof, and there are plenty of pockets to hold everything else you need for the day, from tablets to sunscreen. And did we mention it’s water-resistant?

Dimensions: 11.8 x 4.3 x 17.7 inches | Weight: 1.56 pounds | Capacity: Unknown | Waterproof: Yes

Best Expandable: Peak Design Travel Backpack 45L

Peak Design Travel Backpack 45L

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Fits a small trips’ worth of clothes

  • Great anti-theft features

What We Don't Like
  • Shoulder straps easily slip from adjustment loops

There’s nothing worse than fearing whether your gear and clothing are safe when traveling, and Peak Design’s Travel Backpack has some genius features meant to ward off thieves. In addition to the backpack's innovative details (there are straps and pockets for pretty much everything), this model expands from a modest 35-liter size for a day of exploring to a 45-liter size that still meets most international carry-on requirements. You won’t have to worry about rain either, thanks to its impressively weatherproof material. And about those anti-theft features: the zipper tabs are designed to deter any potential stealing, its laptop pocket sits closest to your back, and there’s a special hidden pocket that keeps your passport safe. It also doesn't hurt how sleek-looking this backpack is.

Dimensions: 22 x 13 x 9.5 inches (compressed), 22 x 13 x 11 inches (expanded) | Weight: 4.5 pounds | Capacity: up to 45 liters | Waterproof: Yes

Best Style: Arden Cove Carmel Convertible Backpack and Crossbody

Arden Caramel

Curtesy of Arden Cove

What We Like
  • Fully waterproof

  • Great anti-theft features

  • Looks great

What We Don't Like
  • Not big enough for a laptop

This convertible backpack gets you everywhere you need to go with a few different configurations for carrying—and keeps your gear and devices safe along the way. Get the version with locking hardware for a little extra security, though any model comes with full-body anti-slash lining, cut-resistant straps, and a fully waterproof vegan leather exterior. We also like the studs that keep the bottom of the bag lifted up off the ground and the three interior pockets on the inside (there’s also a built-in RFID-protected wallet with eight card slots and a spot for notes). While it’s not big enough to be a carry-on, there’s the option to expand it 1.5 inches in case you find a souvenir or two.

Dimensions: 7 to 8 x 10.5 x 3 to 4.5 inches | Weight: 1.7 pounds | Capacity: Unknown | Waterproof: Yes

Best Design: AMBOR Business Travel Anti Theft Laptops Backpack

Ambor Grey

Curtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Great organization

  • Laptop pocket holds pretty much any device

  • Affordable

What We Don't Like
  • Not waterproof

  • Doesn’t stand on its own while empty

While we love the low price tag on this bag, whatever genius behind its design has really thought of everything, too: It has the essential anti-theft features—think a fixed password lock and a hidden pocket on the back for super-valuable things like passports and wallets—plus a ton of perks that make your travel day easier. There’s a USB charging port and a headphone jack that lets you keep your phone safely tucked away instead of in your hand or pocket, a laptop compartment for computers up to 17.3 inches, and S-curve straps that help take the weight off your shoulders.

Dimensions: 19.5 x 12.5 x 5.3 inches | Weight: 1.65 pounds | Capacity: Unknown | Waterproof: No

Best Crossbody: Sherpani Dispatch

Dispatch - Red

Curtesy of Sherpani

What We Like
  • Made from recycled and vegan materials

  • Can wear three ways

What We Don't Like
  • Can be difficult to open zipper

  • Won’t hold larger laptops

This backpack can easily transform into a crossbody (or a tote) with a simple changing of the straps—and it’ll keep your stuff safe no matter how you carry it. Made from 100 percent vegan and recycled materials, it features RFID-protected lining, an external security zippered pocket, and two interior slip pockets to hold the essentials. While it might look on the small side, it’s also sized to fit 13-inch laptops, so you can bring your computer on the go. It might not be big enough to hold a couple of days’ worth of clothes, but it makes a great everyday carry.

Dimensions: 9 x 13 x 5.5 inches | Weight: 1.65 pounds | Capacity: 13 liters | Waterproof: Yes

Best Rolltop: Lewis N. Clark Locking Day Pack With Secura Lock Technology

Lewis N. Clark Locking Day Pack

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • External pockets keep essentials close to hand

  • Three-digit combination lock

What We Don't Like
  • Not waterproof

  • Sling might not be right for some

People swear by different types of backpacks, and for those who love roll-top bags, this Lewis N. Clark one takes the style to the next level with its closure that secures with a three-digit combination lock—meaning no one is going to be able to access your bag. Measuring 17.25 x 11.25 x 4 inches, the backpack can store what you need for a day out where you don’t plan to come back home, from a change of clothes to your laptop (note that there’s not a separate compartment for that). There’s also padded back support and a sternum strap for extra stability, which is handy if you're walking for a few hours or like to cycle around town. For things that you absolutely need to keep at a moment’s notice, there’s an external zip pocket that will fit keys or your phone, plus a water bottle pocket on the side, as well.

Dimensions: 9.75 x 4 x 18 inches | Weight: 11.2 ounces | Capacity: Unknown | Waterproof: No

Best Splurge: Caraa Studio Bag

Caraa Studio Bag

Curtesy of Caraa

What We Like
  • Comes in multiple sizes

  • Convertible carrying options

  • Great quality

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

Caraa’s Studio Bags have been all over Instagram, but it’s not just a hype piece. Its durability and longevity are worth the splurge, which you’re sure to keep for years. The bag can be carried as a crossbody, satchel, or backpack, so you can adjust the carry as necessary for maximum comfort. The main zipper, which reveals a compartment for a 15-inch laptop, has an elegantly designed turn lock to deter thieves and keep your most precious belongings secure. As a testament to the thoughtful design of the backpack, the straps are rubberized, so they don’t slip on the silkiest of blouses or bomber jackets, and it even comes with a waterproof wet clothes bag and shoe pouch.

Dimensions: 12 x 9 x 9 inches | Weight: 2.2 pounds | Capacity: 16 liters | Waterproof: Yes

Best for Travel: Peak Design Travel Duffelpack 65L

Duffle 65L

Curtesy of Peak Design

What We Like
  • Incredibly well made

  • A place for everything

  • Great for people who travel with gear

What We Don't Like
  • Straps can be uncomfortable with heavy loads

With a whopping 65-liter capacity, this Duffelpack is ready to hit the road with you. It expands from 45 liters to 65 in case you pick up a few things on your trip, and just like the rest of the line, it features incredible organization and durability. Made from weatherproof, 100 percent recycled nylon canvas, the Duffelpack keeps your gear and clothes dry—the zippers are weatherproof, as well, and have theft-deterrent pull locks. The line was designed by a photographer who understands the importance of keeping gear safe and being able to haul everything you need in the field, so there’s plenty of room for cameras, devices, hard drives, and more.

Dimensions: 26 x 15 x 12 inches to 26 x 17 x 13 inches | Weight: 3.9 pounds | Capacity: 45 to 65 liters | Waterproof: Yes

Best Daypack: PacSafe Venturesafe 25L G3 Anti-Theft Backpack

Venture25L

Curtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Clever laptop/hydration bladder system

  • Great anti-theft features

  • Removable hip belt

What We Don't Like
  • Bottles fall out if you bend over

Packed with anti-theft features like slash-proof straps and wire mesh throughout, this daypack can hit the trails with you but keep your gear safe, too. It has a security clip so you can attach it to a tree or pole when you’re out and about, plus RFID-blocking pockets and material. It’s designed for use in the city or the country, too. The padded 15-inch laptop sleeve can also carry a hydration bladder, and there are external attachment points for bicycle lights and water bottles. If you need a little less pressure on your shoulders, there’s a detachable hip belt for an easier carry, too.

Dimensions: 19.3 x 11 x 6.1 inches  | Weight: 1 pounds, 1 ounce | Capacity: 25 liters | Waterproof: No

Final Verdict

With good looks, well-thought-out organization, and plenty of anti-theft measures to keep your gear and devices secure, PacSafe's Venturesafe Exp45 Econyl Anti-Theft Carry-on Travel Pack (view at Pacsafe) has you covered for your next trip. We especially love the smart cable that lets you attach the bag to fixed points, like cafe tables, so you can dine and drink on vacation with peace of mind—and the recycled cut-resistant nylon is a huge environmental plus, as well.

What to Look for in an Anti-Theft Backpack

Size

While the size of the bag you carry should ultimately depend on your needs, a great guideline for travelers to stick to is that it should fit within the size restrictions of most major US or international airlines (depending on where you’re going). That being said, getting a bag that fits your purpose is key: If you’re just wanting to keep your laptop safe at the gym, that’s not going to necessitate the same capacity as a bag you’re going to take off with and travel with for a week. 

Material

We’re a fan of waterproof (or at least water-resistant) materials when it comes to backpacks—after all, you’re going to so much trouble to protect your gear with these antitheft measures, so why compromise when it comes to keeping them out of the rain? Lots of backpacks these days are made from durable nylon or vegan leather that keeps the rain away from your laptops and devices (not to mention the clothes you’re packing, too). Look for recycled materials for an extra eco-bonus—they’re just as durable these days as freshly produced ones.

Features

When it comes to anti-theft features, the devil’s (or, well, angel’s) in the details. Look for secure pockets that feature RFID-blocking technology that keep your information safe, zippers that have locking components, and cut-resistant straps or frames. We also like clever placement for pockets—say one for your passport or laptop that’s located on the back of the bag rather than the front. Some bags really go the extra mile and have cables to secure your bag to a fixed point, too—so you can hook it up and not think about someone grabbing your bag at a restaurant and running off.

Price

How much you travel and how much you use the bag will determine your spending on this—if you live in a city that’s known for petty crime, this might well be your everyday carry and therefore an investment in protecting yourself and your gear. If you just want a bag for travel but don’t travel often, there are some great budget options out there (even under $40) that make for a great one-off purchase that comes with peace of mind.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • How do you wash anti-theft backpacks?

    Follow the manufacturer’s directions when it comes to how to wash and spot-treat your anti-theft backpack—each model is made of different fabrics and might have different coatings on it, such as DWR coating. If you need to spot-treat the bag and there are no specific instructions, it’s generally OK to take a damp, soft cloth with a bit of mild detergent and spot-treat wherever there’s dirt or dust.

  • How do anti-theft backpacks work?

    Each anti-theft backpack has its own unique design, but in broad terms, they have special features and design elements meant to deter thieves from stealing your gear, wallet, or passport. Think of zippers that have turn locks to make opening the bag harder for a would-be nabber—and give you more time to see or feel them trying to get in. Other common security features on anti-theft backpacks include hidden passport pockets that blend seamlessly into the bag and laptop pockets that have a zipper that opens on the back of the backpack against your back rather than from the front.

Why Trust TripSavvy?

Krystin Arneson spent hours researching the best backpacks to keep your belongings safe from theft. She sifted through hundreds of reviews on products from a variety of brands, and she also considered options that she'd used on her own travels.

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