Best daypack ?

Jun 29th, 2017, 06:23 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 236
Best daypack ?

Hi !
we will be in Spain and Portugal in 2 weeks and we are trying to get the best daypack we can. We have a small backpack (Osprey Talon 22l) that serves us very for many years, but we are looking for something else that time. The main reason is pickpockets that seem to be very active in Barcelona and Lisbon.

At first we were looking at pacsafe bags burt know we are asking ourselves if they, in fact, brings more attention to them than protection !

We want to have a bag to carry: guidebook (Michelin green guide), water bottle, sunscreen lotion, sunglasses, maybe 2-3 t-shirts, cellphone, passports....

So questions:

1) backpack or messenger or sling ?
2) Any model recommandation ? We live in canada, so maybe all models are not avaible here.
3) Keep our old Talon 22 ?

Thanks a lot !
tostaky is offline  
Jun 29th, 2017, 07:16 AM
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 212
Don't put your passports in a backpack. find some undercover option you can wear comfortably. If one of you wears a belt, there is a security pocket that fits onto a belt and then flips inside your trousers.
Otherwise, use what you will be comfortable with. Do keep in mind that in some museums all backpacks need to be checked, and purses have a size limit....check the Prado Museum's website for size and restrictions.
I use a messenger bag with a zip closing and then the flap. Little and lithe fingers can still get in through the side of a messenger bag if not zipped. Size depends on where I am and if I have designed and sewn a specific one or not. I like to sew my own or adapt a purchased one so that key items are suspended in the lining. Sew a caribiner or clip for keys, add another zip pocket so that anything important is suspended in the lining rather than can fall into the bottom of the bag - where slashing allows them to fall out. I have even been known to add another suspended lining to do the same thing.
The more items you can zip or clip internally, the harder for pick pockets to undo them and remove them.
quiltingmamma is offline  
Jun 29th, 2017, 07:22 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 17,802
Good advice!

I like a cross-body bag that I can wear on the side or behind me in a safe place, or pull around to the front and even clasp with my hands in a crowded, unsafe-feeeling place. But really valuable things like passports need to be stashed more carefully. And I try not to carry more cash than I can afford to lose. I also don't put all my credit cards in the same spot.
NewbE is offline  
Jun 29th, 2017, 07:38 AM
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 212
One other suggestion, though I know there isn't a lot of time....whatever you buy, turn that into your day bag while still at home so that you get used to where everything is before travel. Like breaking in a new purse....
quiltingmamma is offline  
Jun 29th, 2017, 07:46 AM
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Me, last time, I promise. I used to get an inexpensive MEC bag that they have discontinued. I see they have 'borrowed' from the Timbuk2 classic messenger bag and designed their own Division Messenger Bag. They sell both, but I think the Division is a bit big. Even though neither have the top zip, the sides are designed to foil pick pockets and there are several zipped, 'invisible' pockets and attached lanyards for keys and important stuff. Timbuk2 comes in several sizes and in my mind would be a good investment.
quiltingmamma is offline  
Jun 29th, 2017, 07:47 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I don't carry daypacks usually (I do if I"m on a longer day trip out of the city or something), and I'm not worried about pickpockets and have never been pickpocketd. Because I don't do the things many people do who are pickpocketed.

SEriously, are you worried about water bottles, etc. I don't have anything of value in my daypack, there's nothing to pick (water, lightweight sweater, etc.). YOu can put more valuable things in other places, do NOT put them in your backpack (especially passport and money!!!). I don't carry a cellphone around with me all day, but if you must for some reason, at least don't put it in some outer pocket which will be the first thing they get.

I don't know what a "sling" is, but I bet you will be very sorry by having to lug around a messenger bag on you all day. Those have always looked so uncomfortable, definitely not for lots of stuff for all day.
Christina is offline  
Jun 29th, 2017, 08:28 AM
Join Date: Jun 2016
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I noticed some art galleries are making people carry backpacks on one shoulder if they allow them even inside. Quiltingmama, I like your hidden inside pocket. I just take a small crossover. My neck kills me with one sided weight hanging.
Macross is online now  
Jun 29th, 2017, 08:32 AM
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I just use my normal pocketbook from home. Or a canvas tote bag like you'd use for grocery shopping.

But there's nothing wrong with using the backpack your normally do. Just keep your wits about you. And do NOT carry your passport in there!! That's not smart or safe.

I don't believe in the Pacsafe because those only works if the thief is using the cut the strap method and running off with your entire bag. I think pick pocketing in crowded public places is much more often sneaking a hand into pocket or backpack to remove a wallet (or passport)!!
suze is offline  
Jun 29th, 2017, 09:08 AM
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Well, I do carry a cross-body bag at home, so I am used to them and they suit me. YMMV.
NewbE is offline  
Jun 29th, 2017, 10:19 AM
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Be extremely careful and never let your guard down. Money belts are essential IMO. My husband and I traveled to Barcelona several years ago. Prior to leaving, I bought a new small Day bag, advertised to be theft proof. The bag has mesh wire lining along with zippers that are hard for me to lock and that get hidden from view. Despite all of our safety precautions, we took a train out to the beach and had an iPad and kindle stolen without even knowing it was happening. We were lucky that the thief did not find my iPhone and that we carry our money on us. Needless to say, we did not have a relaxing day at the beach. These pickpocketers are professionals. We encountered several people during our short stay in Barcelona that were also victims.
dgunbug is offline  
Jun 29th, 2017, 10:30 AM
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Another good strategy to not being a target is not having valuables like that with you. iPhone, iPad, Kindles, etc. are so easy to lift and have such a high street value. It doesn't take a particularly savvy crook to 'liquidate' that type of thing. Maybe leave valuables at the hotel, locked away there?
suze is offline  
Jun 29th, 2017, 10:55 AM
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Sure, but a smartphone is an essential. And easy enough to stash.

And a Kindle or other eReader would be nice for a day at the beach... I can't blame people for carrying such basic electronics with them on a day trip.
NewbE is offline  
Jun 29th, 2017, 10:59 AM
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A smartphone is not "an essential".

And a Kindle and iPad certainly are not. No "blame" just saying if they didn't have that stuff with them, it would not have been stolen.
suze is offline  
Jun 29th, 2017, 11:13 AM
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Oh, please, a smartphone most certainly is an essential in 2017. 95% of Americans have cellphones, 77% have smartphones. If you had one, you would know that one uses them for everything in life. And yes, we ALL know you don't have one--but you are in the minority, by a whopping lot, so your advice on the subject of electronic devices is not apt. Don't make everything about you!

It is also true that if one didn't carry money, it couldn't be stolen. And?

NewbE is offline  
Jun 29th, 2017, 11:48 AM
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Essential means "absolutely necessary" and a smartphone is not since a person can travel without one.
suze is offline  
Jun 29th, 2017, 11:51 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 236
Wow ! Thanks for all those answers (and the others ones that will come !)

All those tips make me more nervous about our trip to Barcelona ! We will be 2 adults and will have our 2 kids (5 and 9) with us. That mean that maybe we wont be 100% focused on our bags.

We have a money belt and a smal bag that have a zipper and a flap.

Leaving everything at our lodging may not be the beat. We wont have an hotel room, we will have an appartment. There's no safe in it it. Should we still leave our Ipad and passport there ?
tostaky is offline  
Jun 29th, 2017, 11:56 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
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I actually don't like how cross-body bags dangle, although I know lots of people do. I tend to carry a purse with a strap that's short enough so I can squash the purse against my body. On a crowded subway I move it somewhat to the front so I'm holding it against my body and it's completely within sight. My travel bags always have one open compartment for maps and water, but they also must have a zippered compartment for valuables. They usually also have zippered areas within the zippered compartment, and that's where I stash my wallet, passport, etc.
PegS is offline  
Jun 29th, 2017, 12:14 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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You can use your suitcase with a lock on it as a make-shift safe in the apartment. It's not ideal or foolproof, but yes I think it's safer than having your passports being carried around the city in a backpack.

Probably wearing a money belt under your clothing with all 4 passports in it is safe too, but not something I'd want to do every day myself.
suze is offline  
Jul 5th, 2017, 07:23 AM
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The whole Barcelona-the-pickpocket-capital is a complete load of dogdoo.
There is absolutely nothing to be any more nervous about in Barcelona than in any other city in the world, ime and imo.

Oh, and moneybelts are not "essential", not by any stretch of the imagination.
LucieV is offline  
Jul 5th, 2017, 09:30 AM
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 150
tostaky, I would say: "all perspectives are valid and all perspectives are partial." My friends who live in Barcelona are visiting us right now and their advice is always to just be alert. however, I am a mother of two children (10 and 1.5) and I suffer from a chronic sleep deprivation. So, I am going to have a money belt for some cash and passports and a PacSafe backpack for other stuff. It takes a bit of time to get used to a PacSafe bag. I used to have a great messenger bag, PacSafe Metro,

I have since upgraded to a backpack:

I am not suggesting it is what you should do, but it meets my needs, because I want the added security of having a slash proof backpack for underground rides, but I am also not going to have all of my absolute valuables in the backpack.

Please keep in mind that many posters here are traveling alone or without children.
2016adventurer is offline  

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