A backpack full of anti-theft features

Sturdy shoulder straps make the Pacsafe Intasafe Backpack 20L comfortable to carry.
Sturdy shoulder straps make the Pacsafe Intasafe Backpack 20L comfortable to carry. PHOTO: PACSAFE

The new Pacsafe Intasafe Backpack 20L is an anti-theft backpack for frequent fliers looking for peace of mind during their travels.

At first glance, it looks like any other backpack. It has a grey canvas exterior, with a clean but rugged design.

It has a zippered main compartment that houses a laptop sleeve for a 15-inch laptop, and a tablet sleeve for a 9.7-inch iPad. Inside the main compartment, there are numerous small pockets, card and pen holders.

The zip pullers for the main compartment slide on each other and interlock to make it hard for pickpockets to unzip the bag.

In addition, the bag features Pacsafe's Roobar Anti-Theft Anchor Lock that you thread the zip pullers into and lock it in place. The Anchor Lock uses a simple twist action to lock, but it also allows a padlock to be installed for additional security. I think pickpockets will have a hard time trying to unlock the zip pullers without drawing attention to themselves.

The backpack's front panel also has hidden flexible stainless steel wire mesh to prevent pickpockets from cutting through it.

  • TECH SPECS

  • PRICE: $233

    WEIGHT: 1.1kg

  • RATING

    DESIGN: 4/5

    PERFORMANCE: 4/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 3/5

    OVERALL: 4/5

Similarly, stainless steel wires are integrated into each of the two shoulder straps to prevent bag slashers from slicing the straps and running off with your bag. The straps feel really tough and sturdy.

At the bottom of the right shoulder strap, there is another twist-and-lock mechanism that lets you easily remove the strap and wrap it round your luggage handle or any pole to secure the backpack.

There is even an anti-theft measure within the main compartment. One mesh pocket has RFID- blocking properties to prevent your passport and credit cards (or other cards containing an RFID micro-chip) from being read and duplicated by skimming devices.

There are two expandable side pockets for a water bottle or umbrella, and a zippered front pocket.

This front pocket is probably the only "unsafe" part. I would put only cheap items such as cables and earphones here since they can easily be accessed.

The backpack is really comfortable to carry, thanks to the sturdy shoulder straps.

I managed to squeeze a 15-inch Apple MacBook Pro, a 9.7-inch iPad Pro, a Xiaomi 20,000mAh power bank, memory cards, a compact prosumer camera and other accessories into the bag. Yet, it felt surprisingly light.

On the downside, the laptop sleeve is pretty tight and can fit only very thin 15-inch laptops like the Razer Blade or Apple MacBook Pro. The iPad Pro needs to have its keyboard case removed in order to fit the tablet compartment.

Also, the bag is not very big. I had to forgo some items, such as an extra power bank and a hard disk drive, that I would usually put into my bigger backpack.

Its petite size also means that the Intasafe's price tag of $233 would seem a tad steep, though a chunk of its price is for the robust security features.

• Verdict: The Pacsafe Intasafe 20L is a great anti-theft backpack that is lightweight and comfortable. Just don't stuff too many things in it.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 08, 2017, with the headline 'A backpack full of anti-theft features'. Print Edition | Subscribe