PREVIEW: The first part of this review was written before traveling with the PacSafe
I’m very excited about my new PacSafe VentureSafe 25L! When I started looking online for a daypack I was surprised how few brands take safety into consideration. I didn’t want a pack with obvious zipper pulls dangling in view and calling out, “open me!”. Then I found PacSafe brand, which uses lots of nifty safety features. The material on the bottom of the VentureSafe is slash proof (to deter thieves from cutting the bag open). It also has metal wire in the shoulder straps, also making those slash proof. My favorite feature is the zipper pulls, which tuck away and clip in place. It makes them less visible and also difficult to quickly open. The feature I’m not too sold on yet is the hook on one of the shoulder straps, allowing you to unhook the strap, loop it around an object like a chair leg, and re-hook it. This could be useful while sitting at a table, to prevent someone from snatching the bag. However, I think having a strap that unhooks counters the slash proof strap feature. Instead of cutting the strap someone could just unhook it. We’ll have to see how that works out.
I got the bag in black, in order to minimize attention. Of course I would love an eye catching bright blue bag, but that would just make it more of a target. It also meets the other requirements I wanted in a day bag: small, light weight, good shoulder straps, and a separate laptop pocket. (I got I little Acer laptop for the trip, so I can be better about updating the blog.) The pack also has two water bottle holders, which will be useful. My only complaint is that the bag is a little tall, so when I wear it on my stomach it comes up close to my chin. Other than that, it seems like it will be a great bag to have with me all the time.
Ideally, I would like to be able to carry my Venus backpack on my back and my PacSafe on front for a whole day, if need be. Most of the time, though, if we have a hotel room we will leave the Venus backpack there during the day when we are out and about and I will just carry my PacSafe. We bought a locking wire mesh cage for the Venus, so we can lock it to something if we leave it in the room or lock it to a pole on a train.
I will post a follow-up review once I put the VentureSafe 25L to use and see how it holds up.
FOLLOW UP REVIEW: After traveling with the PacSafe for 1.5 months in India and 1.5 months in Eastern Europe
I highly recommend the PacSafe VentureSafe 25L backpack! It really gave me peace of mind during our month and a half trip throughout India. I especially like that it has two water bottle holders, one on either side. I could carry water bottles both for myself and my husband, since his Kata 3N1 bag didn’t have a water bottle holder. When the main compartment zipper was clipped in place and a water bottle was in the side pocket covering the zipper-pull I felt assured that a thief couldn’t easily access the main compartment. The bag was also a great size. It fit the daily essentials- guide book, maps, snacks, sweater or hat, and any souvenirs purchased that day. It also has the smaller pocket where I kept a flashlight, calculator, chap stick, rain poncho, pen, and other small items that I wanted quick access to. I also found a use for the one shoulder strap that unhooks. On an overnight bus ride in India there was no hook to hang my bag from and no room on the seat beside me. The floor was really dirty, so I didn’t want to put it on the floor by my feet. I was able to unhook the strap and hang it from a handle on the back of the seat in front of me. Also, on the overnight trains I would loop the strap around a post and use the bag as a pillow.
There are two small drawbacks to the PacSafe VentureSafe 25L, but I don’t think they outweigh the benefits. First, it is a bit of a hassle to have to un-clip the zipper pulls to open the compartments. I didn’t mind so much, but some people might be annoyed by it. However, you don’t have to always clip the zipper pulls in place, you could just secure them in place when you’re in a high risk area, like on crowded public transportation. The aspect I found most bothersome was that the bag was too long. The design is very narrow and tall, which results in the bag hanging down over part of my butt. Having a backpack rubbing on your butt during a long hike is not very comfortable. Other than that, I really like the PacSafe VentureSafe 25L and it held up well on our adventures!
- Solid and Zero-Waste Travel Toiletries Checklist - July 29, 2019
- How to Get to Columbo Bandaranaike International Airport from Unawatuna - July 16, 2016
- A Leisurely Week in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam - January 2, 2015