This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

There are so many backpacks available that it can sometimes be difficult to weed out the ones that work best for travel and the ones that don’t. PacSafe, known for its anti-theft backpacks, released its Vibe series this spring and it’s meant to help travelers stay organized and protected. I had the opportunity to review the Vibe 40L Anti-Theft Carry-on during my epic cross-country journey to every Centurion Lounge in the US — and this bag did not disappoint.

In This Post


TheVibe 40L anti-theft carry-on is versatile, with a design that makes it look a little less uncool than most other bulky travel backpacks. It’s designed to provide additional layers of security to discourage petty theft and it succeeds — it’s so secure, I could barely get into it. If there was ever a product you should read the instructions for, it’s this one — I neglected to do so and it took me about 10 minutes to figure out how to unlock the zippers.

Available on for $125.95 — which is competitive with most types of backpacks of its size — it comes with the following features:

  • A large internal pocket for organization that’s big enough to fit a 15-inch laptop
  • Its size meets most airline carry-on standards
  • Padded adjustable shoulder straps that you can stow away
  • Back support with internal- and side-compression straps
  • A top quick-access pocket and a side stretch pocket


During my trip, this was the only bag I traveled with and it withstood tons of tossing, falls to the floor and the occasional luggage collision within the overhead bin. The bag is made with 210D Nylon and has PU100mm waterproof fabric — I was pleasantly surprised to find that it had been protected from liquids after a child accidentally spilled an entire cup of soda on it. The backpack also comes with some proprietary features, like eXomesh slashguard and a slashguard strap — essentially, you won’t find anyone using a knife or scissors to cut into this backpack.


The 40L version of this backpack is huge, especially if you’re a smaller person like myself. The bag weighs in at about three pounds when it’s empty and the dimensions in inches (height x width x depth) are 19.7 x 13.8 x 7.1, so you’ll definitely be able to carry it along on most domestic flights. The backpack’s strap length measures a minimum of 25.2 inches and a maximum of 36.3 inches.


I was able to fit a week’s worth of clothing, an extra pair of shoes and all my gadgets and toiletries inside this bag — though it looks really, really big when filled up. If you’re on the small side, I highly suggest sacrificing a little bit of space and getting the 25L version of this bag. One thing I found incredibly annoying was how my stuff would constantly get jumbled up inside; this bag would be greatly improved by adding internal compartments similar to other backpacks, like the Tortuga Outbreaker. To avoid this scenario altogether, consider investing in some packing cubes to help keep things neat and organized.

Compelling Features

Most of the backpacks I’ve used in the past did very well when it came to holding my belongings, but the Pacsafe Vibe goes a step further with its anti-theft security features. As I mentioned, it did take me a little longer than usual to figure out how to unzip the zippers — basically, they interlock within each other and then are placed into a security clip on the side of the backpack. There’s also a roo bar-style locking system that allows you to unlock one of the straps and place it around an object. When I was visiting the various Centurion Lounges, I’d frequently lock the strap onto a table leg and leave my bag by itself for a minute while I got up to grab a snack. I also made good use of the hidden pouch at the top of the backpack, which is covered by an extra layer of material. Unless you over-fill it and the bag becomes top heavy, no one besides you would even know that this pocket exists. According to Pacsafe, the bag is also made of RFID blocking materials.

Overall Impression

The Vibe 40L Anti-Theft Carry-On is one of the most versatile — and comfortable — backpacks I’ve ever used and its streamlined design makes it a more inconspicuous travel bag. TPG readers in particular will be happy to know that it meets most domestic airline carry-on standards; I wouldn’t have taken it on my trip if it didn’t. The interior is about 40L and can hold about a week’s worth of clothes and other smaller belongings if you pack them carefully.

Still, there are some downsides to this product. When the bag is fully filled, it looks massive and the interior is weakly compartmentalized, save for a small side pocket and an internal pocket that’s big enough to fit a 15-inch laptop — I’d recommend getting some packing cubes to use with this bag. Other than that, it easily fulfills its primary duty of being an anti-theft carry-on backpack, with interlocking zippers, hidden compartments and a roo bar locking strap that’ll make it difficult for any thief to get a hold of your stuff.

Have you used an anti-theft backpack before? Tell us about your experience, below.

All photos by the author.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), up to a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.