When it comes to exploring new cities while traveling or even going about your business in your own busy city, you need a comfortable travel bag that has space for all your essentials: wallet, phone, passport, tablet, book, water bottle and so forth. Most of us don’t want to wear travel backpacks or those weird under-clothing pouches that clearly mark you out as a tourist. But we also want something that is going to protect our valuables from pickpockets and other thieves. That’s actually quite a lot to ask for from a bag.
A crossbody travel bag is generally a good place to start. The fact that they hang across your body means that they have more security and better weight distribution, like a backpack, but they don’t scream tourist. They can also generally a little bit larger than your average handbag, so you can fit a few extra things, like that water bottle, guidebook, and rain poncho (I don’t care what people say, they are essential and not just for tourists)
But while a crossbody travel back is a good place to start, they are not all created equal! To help you find the best one for you, we have put together a guide of all the features to look for in a crossbody bag for traveling. We have also come up with a list of twelve amazing crossbody travel bags, all of which are available on Amazon. There should be something for every taste on the list.
Read on and happy travels.
Features of a Good Crossbody Travel Bag
There are a number of features that you should be looking for in a good crossbody bag for traveling, and just generally getting out and about around the city.
Fits snuggly and sits on the front of your body
A crossbody travel bag is not just any bag that you can sling over your chest. It is certainly different from sling backpacks, which go over one shoulder and sit on your back. A good crossbody bag for traveling should sit on your front or around your hip so that it is always within your peripheral vision. It should also sit pretty snuggly against your body so that there isn’t a lot of room for anyone to get between you and your possessions. For this reason, crossbody bags should always come with an adjustable strap so that you can make it the right size for you.
Comfortable and Lightweight
Travelling usually means spending a lot of your time on your feet, walking between sites, queuing, and just generally soaking up the atmosphere. This means that you should feel comfortable carrying your bag around for long hours, and it should never weigh you down. This means something with a comfortable strap, and which doesn’t have the hardware (read zips) in strange places that might dig into you. It also means something that is lightweight, so that the only things weighing you down is what you have chosen to bring with you, and not the bag itself.
Small but spacious
Ideally, we want our travel bag to be as small as possible, so as not to be an undue weight, or an undue bulk when it comes to squeezing into crowded train compartments or full lifts. However, a bag shouldn’t be so small that everything ‘just’ fits. You don’t want to be stuck in the position at having to take other items out of your bag in order to get at the one thing that you wanted because there just isn’t space to rummage around. Further, if you want to carry around something like an iPad, you want it to fit comfortably, and not stretch your bag to the absolute maximum, placing stress on the seams and leaving little from for anything else.
A good way to make sure that you do not need to empty your bag every time you want to retrieve your wallet is to have a bag with various compartments. Good travel bags will have a secure pocket on the front for your wallet and phone separate from the large compartment for more general items. It will also have separate side pockets for things like water bottles and umbrellas, so you don’t need to keep potentially wet items in with your valuables.
A travel bag should also be water-resistant, as you never know what you are going to encounter. You could get caught in a rainstorm or splashed by some kids playing in a fountain. Someone might spill their cocktail on you after a long day. You want a bag that won’t be ruined the moment that it comes into contact with water, and which offers a level of protection to your possessions.
It is a sad fact of life that petty theft is pretty common in areas with a lot of tourists, and you have to do what you can to protect yourself. As well as being vigilant, a well-chosen back can help.
Bags will often come with locking compartments that thieves won’t be able to open unnoticed to lift your valuables.
Some bags come with slash-proof technology to stop thieves slashing your bag open or slashing the strap to make a quick getaway. This usually means some metal in the lining that stops knives.
Bags will also sometimes come with lockdown hardware that allows you to secure your bag to yourself or to a chair, so it is not as easy for thieves to slip your bag off the back of your chair while you are sitting down for a meal.
Most good travel bags will also now come with RFID protected sections, which can protect your phone and cards from being scanned by con artists who want to create clones.
We all like to look our best, especially when we are out and about on holidays wearing our colorful best. It is no fun spending time picking out the perfect outfit, and then having to accessorize it with something that looks like it belongs to a police officer. Naturally, we all want a travel bag that will suit our personal style, and compliment our favorite outfits rather than detract from them. This, of course, comes down to personal taste, but it is great when well-designed bags come in a lot of different color options so that you can find something that is right for you.
Based on our criteria for a good crossbody travel bag, we have assessed all the options currently available for purchase on Amazon. We have come up with a list of the twelve best options, all of which should serve a traveler well while on the road.
12 Best Cross Body Travel Bags
Travelon has emerged as one of the most reliable brands on the market when it comes to secure travel bags. They make all of their bags with a slash-proof strap and from slash-proof material, so there is no chance of thieves making a ‘slash and grab’. This does require lining the bag with lightweight metal, which does mean that the bag is a little heavier than it could be, and it can also sometimes get flagged up while passing through security scanners. However, this is a small price to pay if your top priority is security.
Other security features of this bag include a lockdown strap so that you can attach the bag to your chair for security while you are sitting down for a meal. The main bag compartment also locks, and it has a number of RFID blocking card slots to protect your cards from more technologically savvy thieves.
The bag has a nice design, but limited compartments when it comes to organizing your stuff. It has a front pocket for keeping small items, as well as one side pockets for objects such as water bottles and umbrellas. While this is one of the largest bags on the list at 4 x 14 x 10 inches, it is a little too small if you want to carry a normal-sized iPad with you. The bag is available in 12 different colors, which seems like a lot, but is not that many when compared to some of the others on this list. Nevertheless, all but the pickiest of fashionistas should be able to find something that appeals.
Another great option from Tarvelon, this bag is almost as large as the one above, at 1.5 x 14.5 x 12 inches, but is quite a bit lighter at 8.8 ounces. Nevertheless, it still has the same slash-resistant strap and fabric. It also features the same lockdown strap, RFID blocking card pockets, and lockable main compartment.
Many people feel that this bag is a little bit more stylish than other Travelon options in terms of the way it sits against the body. However, the triangular shape means that, while it is almost as large as the previous Travelon option, it is a bit more awkward when it comes to fitting in larger objects. The bag does come with a few more style options, with 17 different colors available.
Another great option from Travelon, this model is their small, measuring only 10 x 9.75 x 2.5 inches and weighing just 12 ounces. It has all the same security features as the other Travelon bags on this list including slash-free strap and body, RFID blocking card, passport slots and locking main compartment.
This style features a main compartment, a small front compartment and another in the rear.
Again, you aren’t going to fit an iPad in here, so this is really for carrying around your small valuables. There are also only 9 colors to choose from.
The Baggallini Everywhere Bagg has definitely been designed with traveler use in mind. It not only has multiple pockets to help you keep your things organized, but it comes with a separate RFID protected wristlet for your phone and wallet. This is ideal for keeping those essentials to hand and protected at all times. The bag also comes with a strap that allows you to attach it to the handle of your rolling suitcase when you are traveling with all your luggage in tow. There is a side pocket compartment where you can fit things like a water bottle, which remains concealed rather than on the outside of the bag.
Despite these thoughtful features, the bag has fewer security features than the Travelon options. For example, it is not slash-proof and does not come with any lockdown features.
The bag is pretty large at 9 x 13.5 x 5 inches, but it is also relatively heavy. Not too heavy to carry around, but surprisingly heavy considering some of the missing security features. This bag is also quite a bit more expensive than many of the other options on this list.
One of the cheapest options on this list, this lightweight nylon bag weighs less than 10 ounces. It is pretty small at 11.4 x 9.8 x 4.7, so you might just get an iPad in, but with very little space to spare. This bag does not come with all the security features that we see with some of the other options, which is why it can have such an affordable price tag.
The style of this bag is a little more ‘outdoors’ and less ‘street fashion’ than most of the bags on this list. This will appeal to some and not to others. There are only 13 colors available, which is a good selection, but limited compared to other options on this list. The bag has quite a lot of pockets when it comes to organizing your stuff, but it does lack side pockets for water bottles that are a great feature on other options.
Another great affordable option, this is a very small bag, measuring just 9.4 x 10.6 x 2 inches. So again, you might just squeeze an iPad in, but with little space for anything else.
The bag is made from soft synthetic leather that is entirely vegan and has attractive bronze hardware. It is only available in nine different colors.
Again, this bag lacks some of the security features of the more expensive options, such as being slash-proof, and while it has a secure inside pocket for your cell phone and wallet, it is not RFID protected. It does have a secure zipper that thieves won’t be able to slide open without your knowledge.
It comes with a lot of different pockets for keeping your small bits organized, but again, there are no side pockets for water bottles and umbrellas. The phone pouch on the front is also a bit small for some of the more modern, large phones.
Another great affordable option, this bag comes in two different sizes, so you can choose what suits you best. The standard size is about average for these kinds of bags at 11.25 x 4.3 x 9 inches. The large is big enough if you want to carry around an iPad at 14 x 12 x 5.5 inches. Both options are pretty light at around 300 grams, and there are more than 20 colors to choose from. However, while there are a lot of options, it doesn’t feel as stylish as some of the other bags on this list and can look a bit more like a diaper bag.
Each bag has a lot of different pockets for keeping your gear organized, with a large main compartment, three pockets on the front, and two side pockets for water bottles and umbrellas. It also has interior pockets for storing away valuable goods securely.
The fabric of the bag is water resistance, so it won’t get ruined at the first sign of rain (or spilled cocktails). It is machine washable, so it is easy to clean in the event of a cocktail-related accident.
It does not have all the security features of some of the other bags on this list, but it does have RFID card slots to protect your cards from scammers.
The smallest bag on this list, it measures just 8 x 6 x 2 inches, so it is really for carrying the essentials only: phone, wallet, and keys. It has three compartments, which are all securely closed by zippers. It also features RFID protected credit card slots.
The bag comes with a strap so that you can wear it across your body. However, it can also be converted into a belt bag if you choose. There are only 12 different colors available, so there is not a huge range to choose from.
The bag is water-resistant, but again, it doesn’t have the same security features as some of the other bags on this list such as slash-free tech and lockdown strap. You will also be carrying your water bottle in your hand, there is no space for this here!
If you are looking for something small that is just for the essentials, this may be a very appealing option.
One of the larger bags on this list, measuring 14 x 9.5 x 5 inches, the shape of this bag means that it is still not ideal if you want to be carrying around a standard-sized iPad, though it will comfortably take a 10-inch tablet.
Made from faux vegan leather, it comes in only eight different colors. It also has quite a distinctive style that will either appeal or not. The bag has two main compartments for storing your stuff, plus three zip front pockets for the small things that you use regularly. It also has useful side pockets for popping in a water bottle or an umbrella.
While this bag is great for keeping your valuables close to you, it lacks some of the more sophisticated security features of some of the other options of this list. Nevertheless, it is great for the casual traveler.
The final option on this list is another affordable bag. It is a good choice if you prefer your bag to sit on your front, rather than your side or hip. The main compartment is large, at 12.5 x 7.5 x 1.5 inches, but flat. This means that so you are a little bit limited with what you can fit inside. But no more so that with other options on this list.
It has a large main compartment and a zipper pocket for items that you use a lot like your phone. The entire bag is water-resistant, and also anti-degaussing, so all of your valuables are protected from tech criminals that might be trying to scan your phone, cards of iPad (mini in this case). There is a separate pocket for your phone which has a handy clip to ensure that it doesn’t fall out and makes your phone just that little bit harder to lift.
If you are looking for something a little bit bigger, then the Neatpack is a great choice. The main compartment is 12 x 11.5 inches, which means that it can easily fit a standard iPad. The bag also comes with lots of pockets for organizing your gear, including that necessary water bottle side pocket.
The bag features lockable zips, so no one should be able to slide it open without your knowing. It also has an RFID protected pocket for keeping your cards and cell phone safe from hackers. However, it does lack some of the other sophisticated security features such as slush-proofing and lockdown strap.
Being slightly bigger, the bag will be a bit heavier, especially if you fill it up! With this in mind, the designers have included padding on the adjustable strap to ensure maximum comfort while you are carrying it around.
The bag is made from durable nylon that is water-resistant. The bag won’t get damaged at the first sign of rain and will offer a level of protection to your belonging. You can also pop it in the washing machine when it needs a clean. The manufacturer is so confident about the durability of this bag that it comes with a lifetime guarantee, which is impressive considering it is at around the medium price for these bags.
The main downside with this option is that there are only three colors to choose from, so pickier fashionistas may be disappointed.
If you are less keen on the nylon and other synthetic materials that most of the bags on this list are made from, then consider this genuine leather crossbody bag from Estalon. This bag is definitely on the smaller side and is ideal for carrying valuables. But it will fill up fast if you add a book or iPad mini. Measuring 8.5 x 2 x 9.5 inches, there is no what you will get a standard iPad in here! If you try to fit in more than your standard must-haves this bag will soon start feeling over full. Rummaging around for exactly what you want will also become problematic.
The bag does have quite a few compartments for keeping your things organized. It has one main large compartment and two front pockets. All have zipper closures, so no one will be just reaching into your bag. As is expected with a smaller bag, there are no additional pockets for water bottles or umbrellas.
While this bag is great for keeping your belongings close to you, it does lack some of the security features of other options on this list. It is not slash-free, there is no lockdown strap, and it does not even have any RFID protected compartments.
This bag is definitely designed with the fashionista, rather than the security-conscious traveler in mind. However, the toughest fashionistas might be disappointed as there are only seven colors to choose from. This is quite a lot, but not compared to some of the other bags on this list.
A crossbody bag is a great option when you are traveling. It allows you to keep your valuables close to your body and in your peripheral vision, so you can always have your eye on them. These days you can also get crossbody bags with additional security features. These include slash-free fabric, RFID protection, and lockdown straps that let you secure your bag to your chair when you are sitting down for a meal. While these features can seem unnecessary, they are mostly invisible and can also give you that little bit of extra peace of mind. That means that you can focus on enjoying your trip, rather than worrying about thieves.
There are lots of great options on the market and something for every taste. We have pulled together a list of twelve excellent choices, all available on Amazon to get you started. Which bag is right for you depends on personal preference, and just how much stuff you will be carrying around. It is always a good idea to think about what you like to take with you when traveling before buying. You don’t want to invest in a great bag only to find out that it is too small for your iPad. You also don’t want to end up carrying around something much bigger than you need.