Group visits to ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

Travel’s much safer with this anti-theft bag

The zips are hidden around the back of the bag, so there is nothing exposed for would-be thieves to exploit.

The zips are hidden around the back of the bag, so there is nothing exposed for would-be thieves to exploit.

Jonathan Ingram offers a solution to a worrying trend in bag thefts.

Last October I knew something had to change. I was in one of the most artistically rich cities in the world, Paris. I was inside The Louvre looking at some of the most important pieces of artwork that has ever been created by human hands, but instead of my own hands being wrapped around a camera taking it all in, it was wrapped around my bag!

Without realising it I was subconsciously protecting my bag from potential theft, and ultimately more worried about my possessions than enjoying what was in front of me.

We’ve all read the stories, some of us may have heard it from a friend, or even experienced it ourselves first hand, but sadly theft, especially in popular tourist destinations, is something we have to be aware of whilst travelling.

The Office for National Statistics declared in 2012 that just under 1,600 pickpocketing incidents occurred every day in the UK. There are lots of guidelines out there on how to protect yourself but for paranoid people like myself it shouldn’t have to be like this.

Thankfully one company have come up with a solution.

Step forward the Bobby, no it’s not your very own policeman but instead it’s the Bobby Anti Theft Backpack, designed by the clever Dutch folks at XD Design.

Its genius lies in the placement of the zippers, which are hidden around the back of the bag, so when it’s flush up against your back there is nothing exposed for would-be thieves to exploit.

The Bobby anti-theft bag comes in various colour schemes to suit your style.

The Bobby anti-theft bag comes in various colour schemes to suit your style.

Recently there has been a surge in the number of thefts being reported in cities like Barcelona whereby thieves will literally cut into your bag and grab what they can. Thankfully the people at XD Design have thought about this too by utilising 600D polyester to make your bag effectively cut proof, with the added benefit of being water repellent too.

This sounds wonderful you may be asking yourselves but is it any good as an actual bag per se? Having used it myself nearly every day for 6-weeks, I can categorically say yes.

The bag has been designed to carry a lot of weight but at the same time put less stress on your shoulders. By leaning the bag closely to your back not only are your valuables safe but the weight distribution has shifted, so it feels lighter on your body. They state that it should feel lighter by 25%, which is obviously difficult for me to confirm mathematically but it definitely feels less heavy than my previous bags. The contact area between your back and the bag is also padded to avoid any of your valuables unnecessarily prodding you, which is a welcome comfort for myself after the difficulties of my previous bags.

The Bobby is also padded with anti-shock foam, so if someone bumps into you or you accidentally drop your bag onto a hard surface, then your valuables should be save from damage.

If you’re a smart device user with a portable powerbank, then you’ll be pleased to know that it has a handy USB port conveniently located to make charging your device a breeze. Other quality of life features include reflective strips so vehicles can see you at night, an elastic strap on the back so it can be attached to your suitcase’s extended handle, an ingenious home for your train tickets, as well as various colour schemes to suit your style if you’re that way inclined.

All in all, not only have XD Design produced a bag that alleviates our pickpocketing concerns but at the same time they’ve thought about, and addressed, many of the concerns that we usually have with our luggage.

At the time of going to press the Bobby bag is retailing at £79, with a smaller edition available at a slightly cheaper price. As someone as frugal as myself it seemed a lot of money to pay for a bag, but the peace of mind it’s given me – coupled with the welcome additional features – makes it money well spent.

So next time I’m out and about in a popular destination I’ll be able to enjoy my time in the way I originally intended, with my hands wrapped around my favourite camera, and thankfully nowhere near my bag.

The ‘Bobby Anti Theft Backpack’ was reviewed after a member of staff decided to purchase the product for themselves (and therefore was not donated by XD Design). You can find additional information about our ethics policy on product reviews.