If security is at the top of your must-have lists for any and all of your travel gear, then you’ve probably heard of Pacsafe. Pacsafe designs all of their bags with your peace of mind as a top priority, so everything is loaded with anti-theft technology. Regardless of the continent you’re traveling, you’re very likely to find yourself visiting cities with high pickpocket and theft rates. Tourists make ideal targets, so if you’re looking for a safer way to travel keep reading and see if the Pacsafe Venturesafe 25L is the bag for you!
Pacsafe Venturesafe 25L GII Specs
|Exterior Pockets||1 zipper, 2 pouch/water bottle|
|Laptop Compartment||Yes (max 15+ inches)|
|Dimensions||19.7 x 13 x 12.6 inches|
The Pacsafe Venturesafe 25L GII certainly isn’t going to blow anyone away when it comes to style, but that’s for a good reason. If your main concern is security, you want a backpack that will largely blend-in and not look like something expensive or new. To most people this probably looks like a relatively inexpensive backpack which is a good thing.
That being said, it’s still going to receive low marks from me in terms of style – it’s just not exciting, but maybe that’s what you’re after. The bag is made of nylon with some hidden anti-theft technology hidden underneath which we will get to in the features section.
There’s nothing inherently ugly about it, it just looks like a plain old backpack. Pacsafe offers this bag in black, navy, and hot pink which might add a little more style if that’s what you’re after, but I still think the plain black looks the best and suits the purpose of this bag the best. The other colors look a bit childish to me, something I’d expect to see on a middle schoolers back.
Carry and Comfort
A lot of effort went in to making the this bag comfortable enough to be your everyday carry, though it may not initially look like it. The straps are padded with a relatively firm foam, and the entire back of the bag is made of molded foam with valleys for airflow.
This makes the bag pretty comfortable to carry, though I would prefer if the foam back was more firm. You also have an adjustable chest strap and hip strap to help with heavy loads and long treks.
Layout and Design
For the most part, the layout of this bag is pretty straightforward and common. Let’s start on the outside – on both sides of the bag, you have side compression straps which are great for keeping everything in your bag tight and firmly in place.
Also on each side you’ll notice these two elastic pouches that work great for holding a water bottle or any other non-valuable item you might need to grab and stow in a hurry.
Here’s another look at the side pouches –
On the front of the pack, we have the sole outer compartment that has two zippers that can easily lock together for security purposes. You may also notice the zippers on this bag have metal wire as the loops to help thwart any tools that may snap through a traditional metal zipper. That being said, the wire isn’t particularly thick, so I think a common hand tool wire cutter may still do the job.
A few other things to mention about the zipper for this compartment, and that’s what’s you’re seeing below is the compartment fully unzipped – the left size goes down no further leaving you with this 3/4 kind of flap rather than a clamshell design.
Also, at the bottom of the zipper track on the right side hidden in a small pocket is a clip on an elastic line (I’ll show a photo of this a bit later). This clip can be stretched out a bit and you can hook both zippers on to the clip, securing them down at the bottom of the track.
While this doesn’t lock them into place, it does prevent anyone from quickly unzipping the bag and accessing your stuff. An additional cable lock to secure the zippers together would be recommended for longer travels.
Inside this compartment is a velcro-pocket, a great spot to store your passport and credit cards (it’s a bit too short to store most modern cell phones and velcro shut securely). There’s another pouch next to that where you could store your phone. An elastic loop to store a pen in also found in here along with a mesh zipper pocket.
Inside the mesh pocket is a blue clip you can latch anything on to, along with a metal key ring if you need some place to safely store some keys you won’t use often on your travels.
Moving on to the main compartment of the Venturesafe 25L GII, let’s first talk about the zippers you use to access it.
Once again the zippers have metal wire loops, and just like the front compartment, there’s also a hook you can secure these main compartment zippers to in order to prevent someone from quickly opening your pack. One difference between the two sets of zippers is the set to the main compartment also have metal eyelets attached to them which you could use a cable lock to secure.
Here’s a better look at that hook – it’s tough to get a shot of because the elastic band keeps the hook down in the pouch which is pretty clever design. This would prevent thieves from even knowing about the hook, so their first reaction would be to try to open the zipper and be confused as to why it’s stuck.
Once you get into the main compartment, things are pretty basic. The pouch inside can hold up to a 15″ laptop and is padded on both sides so your electronics should remain secure.
At the top of the pack you’ll notice a water drop, and that’s because you can run a hydration pack line out from here, or even headphones if you had electronics you wanted to keep locked in your bag.
I will say that running a water line from the top-center of the bag like this would likely rub your neck and is not ideal. Check out how my REI Rucksack 28L review to see how that bag does it right by letting you run your line from the top-sides of the bag instead. The Venturesafe isn’t really a hiking bag though, so I won’t harp on it too much.
Another notable piece of the bag is a velcro loop up at the top-center. This could be used to help secure a hydration pack into place or any other slew of uses you could find for it.
More Security Features
Now let’s jump into some of the really innovative security features on this bag. First, the outer pocket where I suggested you store your cellphone, passport, and credit cards? It’s lined with RFID-blocking material to prevent anyone from skimming personal data while in proximity.
One of the backpack straps has a turn-and-lock security hook that allows you to release and then re-secure the strap. You could use this to secure your bag to a fixed object that you normally couldn’t – a bench, table, chair, railing, etc. Here’s a look at the locking hook that makes this possible –
The locking mechanism is really just a matter of knowing how to flipping a switch on the hook that allows the hook to unlatch or not. So if a thief knew that this mechanism existed, they could unlock it and be off with your bag pretty quickly, but odds are they wouldn’t have this kind of time unless you left your bag completely unattended.
Finally, this bag has eXomesh Slashguard. This is a series of stainless steel webbing hidden under the fabric of the bag that would prevent anyone from slashing your bag open from the outside.
This bag has a very niche market and it fulfills the needs of this niche better than any other bag in existence. If security is of the utmost importance to your travels, then you won’t find a bag better designed. If you’re looking for something fashionable or geared more towards backpacking, onebagging, or frequent travel to safe areas, then you might want to look elsewhere.