on June 12, 2014
I got this purse to use in Italy. I'd initially bought a larger one, which, when filled, was way too heavy. The larger bag itself was heavy and I overpacked it. Before going I tried out each bag for a week. The first one was uncomfortable just going to the grocery. (I put in it a pair of mini binoculars, a small camera, my wallet, my sunglasses, my checkbook, a small makeup bag with powder and lipstick and a coin purse and my smartphone). When I switched to this one, I could not fit the checkbook and sunglasses -- but realized I would not be bringing the checkbook overseas and so the newer size was fine -- without the checkbook, the sunglasses fit.
I put the binoculars and the camera in the zipper part under the flap. I kept tissues in the visible zipper part (bathrooms don't always have them -- seemed more of a problem in Rome than in Venice...). I also put 3x5 cards with notes and folded pages of the Rick Steves travel guides in that front zippered area (and in Venice, the tickets we used for the boats). The back of the bag also has a zippered pocket that rests against the body -- good for the powder and lipgloss or sunscreen. The top zipper has a loop that holds a mini flashlight -- nice when returning to our room with the hall lights on a timer. The top zipper has a clasp that locks on to the side. I put my sunglasses, phone, wallet and our passports in this main compartment along with the change purse. There are slots for credit cards in the purse but I did not use them. I liked having the added protection of the wallet being at the bottom of the purse.
A few caveats: My wallet is a mini one... it holds 3 cards and ID. The change purse I used was a bit larger and had 3 compartments (a kiss lock bag). I used one for coins, one for dollars and one for euros. The bulk of our money I kept in a hidden waist belt bag (which I never showed in public -- if I needed more, I would excuse myself to the restroom and would transfer money). I kept the credit cards in RFD sleeves and our 4 passports were kept together in an RFD bag. Before leaving I made sure to latch the bag. I always wore it as a cross body bag, not a shoulder bag (though it could be worn that way). It felt more secure, especially in places like the Trevi fountain where it is wall-to-wall people. When we would eat, I generally left the bag on me. FYI -- if you use a smart phone do not set it out on the table like we do in the US. LOTS of tourists shared that people in their tour groups were getting phones taken that way. My phone was either in the locked part of the bag or in my hand when I was using it for directions or Tripadvisor.
Wearing it all day, it did feel heavy. That said, it also felt secure. The chocolate color, while not the prettiest, is nondescript which is really what you want when traveling. You don't want it to catch the eye of a pickpocket. It is also a gender neutral color and so my husband and sons did not mind carrying it if I was taking pictures. It more resembled a camera bag or messenger bag than a purse (and they certainly preferred carrying it to the bright pink tote I also had with me (tote was used ONLY for a scarf, an umbrella, any postcards or trinkets we would buy -- things that if taken could be replaced).
on May 15, 2016
Although I had already acquired three other small-sized shoulder/carry bags this past year, I went ahead and ordered this mini shoulder bag several weeks ago, based upon product description, and consumer reviews. Why did I order yet another small bag when I already had three? Because there was ‘something missing’ with the other bags … I found it in the Travelon Anti-Theft Classic Mini Shoulder Bag! All the best features of a larger (and more expensive) shoulder bag - without the bulk, weight, expense, and hassle of carting around a larger, more cumbersome bag.
HERE’S WHAT MAKES THIS LITTLE BAG SUCH A BIG DEAL:
* At 9.5” D X 8.5” W X 2.5” D (when empty) the bag is compact yet serviceable.
* The strap can be adjusted to provide a maximum shoulder-strap drop of about 30” (admittedly, beneficial only to persons with baboon-length arms), and a minimum of 16” - or anywhere in between. NOTE: ‘shoulder strap drop’ represents the measurement of the strap from the top of the purse/bag to the peak (center) of the extended strap. (Straps measuring less than 7” are usually carried in the hand, straps measuring between 7” and 21” are usually carried on the shoulder, and straps that measure over 20” are usually worn across the body - messenger bag style.)
* The strap features a large carabineer clip with a safety lock (see images #7 and #12). This allows the strap to be wrapped around a chair, bench, or post, etc. - and then locked for added safety. (i.e. - when sitting in a food court to enjoy a meal, sitting in an airport terminal while waiting to board a plane, et. Or, in a pinch, use the strap's carabineer to clip onto Fido’s dog collar, for a temporary leash … smile.)
* The strap and lower part of the bag body are reinforced with panels made from flexible stainless steel chain-link mesh. Although bendable, supple, and visually undetectable, this high-tech mesh/cable is tough and offers slash-proof protection from would-be ‘slash-and-run’ purse snatchers. NOTE: bag slashing is the #1 method of thieves who rob travelers; the #1 bag theft venue is shoe stores.
* The bag weighs only about 10 ounces, but helps to keep hands free. Even filled, it is vey lightweight compared to other purses, which can put stress on shoulders and become uncomfortable and burdensome as the day wears on.
* The inside of the bag is a lighter or brighter color. I ordered my bag in the stone color; the inside lining is a bright red. (See images #4 and #11.) This is not only pretty, but it makes it easier to identify objects inside the main and outside compartments - especially in low light situations.
* An LED light on a tethered key clip that hangs from a sturdy 2.5” cord is located on the side wall, inside the main compartment. (See images #8 and #9.) The light is detachable; it is powered via a small cell battery, which is included. This is a handy feature for low-light to no-light situations, whether to locate objects inside the main compartment of the bag, or to use in the dark to see close range (i.e. - when putting a key inside a house or car door lock). The clip that holds the LED light is large and sturdy enough to accommodate another small object on a ring - such as keys, purse-sized mace or pepper spray, personal alarm, or emergency ultra sonic dog repellant, etc.
* The main compartment can be ‘locked’ via a small but sturdy clip, attached to the main compartment zipper. (See image #6.)
* There are 2 zippered pockets on the outside of the bag. One pocket measures approx. 6” D X 7” W (See image #11); the other one is approx. 3.5” D X 6” W (See image #3).
* In addition to the 2 outside zippered pockets mentioned above is a roomy flap pocket that is secured with a magnetic snap (See images #2, #3, and #4). This pocket (which also has a zipper) measures approx. 7.5” D X 8.5” W. AND - inside the flap pocket is yet another pocket that measures approx. 4” D X 5” wide (see image #4) - the perfect size to hold sunglasses, eyeglasses, cell phone, or a small notebook, etc.
* The main compartment features Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) blocking technology for credit cards and passports. There are 4 sleeves for credit cards; each is roomy enough to hold several cards (See image #8). Located behind the credit card sleeves is a roomy 3.5” D X 4.5” W pocket, also fortified with RFID-blocking technology, large enough for passports, additional cards, etc. (See image #10.)
*Opposite the RFID-blocking credit card and passport sleeves are 2 ADDITIONAL pockets, side-by-side (see image #9) - each approx. 4” D X 4” W. Perfect for cellphone, keys, tissue, compact, lip balm, MP3 player and earbuds, etc.
IMPORTANT NOTE: RFID-blocking shields only HELP to insulate you from electronic pickpocketing - also known as ‘RFID card skimming.’ While the blocking shields DO make it more difficult for someone with an electronic reader to steal your information, they DO NOT block transmission of card data 100%. However, if you have credit cards with the tiny computer chip that uses radio frequency identification - also known as ‘Near Field Communication’ (NFC) - a simple homemade feature can help fortify the already-in-place defense of the RFID-blocking attribute of the bag. Either make a sleeve for your credit cards using duct tape lined with aluminum foil, or line the pocket that holds your credit cards and/or passport with aluminum foil. According to ConsumerReports.org, this added safety measure will entirely block attempts at RFID card skimming - 100%.
WHAT I PERSONALLY LOVE ABOUT MY NEW TRAVELON ANTI-THEFT SHOULDER BAG:
* I ordered my bag in the color ‘stone.’ The bag has slightly more of a taupe hue than what is pictured online, but I like it better. The bag is made from 900 D polyester, with an obviously water repellent finish. See images #1, #2, and #3. (‘D’ represents the weight of the fabric; 900 D being a high-quality and sturdy fabric.)
* Instead of being my ‘when-traveling-or-on-a-day-trip-bag-of-choice’ that I expected it to be, it has become my favorite shoulder bag for everyday use.
* I purchased my classic mini shoulder bag online at Amazon.com for $30.10. This price is lower than what I would have paid for it at Travelon.com, Overstock.com, and eBaggs.com. Also, because it was listed as a Prime product, I paid nothing for shipping, and received the bag in only two days - which makes it an even sweeter deal.
* Love, love, love the tethered LED light … it proves to be a handy little feature.
* Although small and lightweight, this well-designed bag holds a lot! IN ADDTION TO all my credit cards AND my fat wallet with checkbook (albeit, not fat with money), I have the following stored my mini shoulder bag: eyeglass case, cell phone, pens, small notebook, lip gloss, travel size tissue pack, store receipts, coin purse, 8-inch Samsung tablet in its case, MP3 player and earbuds. My sunglasses can hang inside a cloth case from one of the external clips or rings … leaving room to spare inside the bag, not to mention one external pocket still totally empty.
* I love and appreciate all the great safety features in this bag design, so that I can spend more time focused on enjoying the moment.
* The mouth of the main compartment opens a full 6.5” wide! (See image #9.)
* Because it is so lightweight, it is a great choice for people like me, with back and/or shoulder problems. It doesn’t pull on sore muscles and is more comfortable to carry on my shoulder than any other bag I own - AND the strap STAYS PUT on my shoulder, better and for longer periods of time (instead of repeatedly slipping off, the way most of the straps on other shoulder bags do).
Note: I paid full price for my mini shoulder bag; I DID NOT get it free or at a reduced price in exchange for an evaluation. So, why did I take the time to write such a detailed review? First, because I am a writer. Secondly, because I am like you. I depend upon the comments and experiences of other consumers when making an Amazon purchasing decision.
on October 22, 2015
I have this purse both in Black (purchased Nov 2014) and Cranberry (purchased Aug 2015). I alternate between the colors, depending on occasion, and hands down it has become my daily go-to purse.
As my pictures show, it is approximately 9” tall and 10” wide. If you are a person who likes to pack all of your worldly possessions, into your purse, and do not mind the weight of 10lbs+ of stuff digging into your shoulder, then I do not recommend this specific bag. It simply is not large enough to accommodate everything and then some. If you like the security features of the Travelon bags, you will need to look at their larger sized purses.
However, for a small purse it has a surprisingly large amount of roominess in the main interior, which opens to about 3” wide, the zipper pocket (back side of purse), the smaller zipper pocket and zipper pocket with flap (both on the front side of purse) are all useful and roomy too.
I use a skinny wallet (believe me it is packed) Vs a rectangular brick sized traditional wallet. Where the main compartment zipper opening is about 8” wide, there could be difficulties navigating a large wallet in/out of the purse. I carry my cellphone, pens, flashlight, tape measure (yes - you never know when you’re out shopping, if you’re going to need to measure something), lip balm, comb, food snacks, sunglasses, maps &/or tickets depending on the event.
My purses (black or burgundy) have gone with me on vacation to Las Vegas, Acadia National Park, to work, out to dinner, etc. Wearing it as a cross body bag, I feel the purse is secure, is the right size for my daily needs and the additional slash-proof features, main compartment latch, adjustable shoulder strap length are all an added plus.
I’ve had my black purse for almost a year and have had no issues with quality or wear. I liked it so much, I ordered it in burgundy.