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Some products are just more difficult to review than others. For instance, bear spray. Lacking a wild and angry bear to test it on, we’re going to take the manufacturer’s word, as well as that of satisfied users, when it comes to verifying claims of effectiveness. When testing the Citysafe 200 handbag from Pacsafe, we ran into a similar situation. Our testing budget doesn’t allow for the hiring of professional thieves, and to be honest, we didn’t even want to work with amateurs. So the best we could do was go on vacation, and have Mrs. Outsider place her trust (along with her phone, camera, Kindle Fire, wallet, and insulin kit) in the security of a Pacsafe handbag. While the numerous features may not have been fully tested, the peace of mind gained from knowing they are there made for a more pleasant getaway.
The Citysafe 200 is packed with several security components, like most Pacsafe products. While some may feel that the double G of the Gucci logo, or the LV of Louis Vuitton speak to their good taste in designer handbags, they also absolutely scream “Steal me!” at the top of the lungs. Pacsafe, on the other hand, offers understated styling and simple color choices – black, midnight blue, or walnut, that allow you to blend in, rather than stick out. It’s a pleasing shape, with rounded edges, a full length zipper on top, and a pocket on either end. A Carrysafe® strap with thin but strong steel wires running through it has a turn & lock strap hook™, which allows you to securely fasten it to a chair, table, or similar object. Whether on your shoulder, or attached to something stationary, slash and grab artists will go home empty handed. Smart zipper security™combines the zipper pull with another hook that slips under a small loop of fabric, thwarting anyone intending to unzip your bag. Once inside this nylon Fort Knox, you’ll find a large, lightly padded sleeve for a laptop or tablet. The roomy main compartment easily accommodates magazines, novels, or travel guides, along with everyday essentials. Opposite the laptop sleeve are four open topped pockets of varying sizes, with the one suited for passports and credit cards offering RFIDsafe™technology. There’s even a narrow pocket for pens and similar-sized items. Behind that is another zippered compartment with a hook for keys.
So what’s it like to use one for a week? Mrs. Outsider offered these comments: On the plus side, it’s comfortable, and has plenty of room for all the things I need at hand, plus some. The interior makes organization easy. It feels very secure, without looking industrial or standing out. On the negative side, the 200 is probably a bit bigger than what I would normally carry, especially since I don’t usually bring an iPad or similar-sized tablet. The smaller Citysafe 100 would be ideal if you travel light, and still want to carry a Kindle or smaller tablet. The black really goes with just about anything, but I’m partial to purple, so more color options would be nice. Being in a strange city at night usually makes me a bit anxious, but the Pacsafe security features meant one less thing to worry about. Overall, it’s a nice bag for travel, and I would probably use a smaller one for everyday use if they offered more colors.
– Brian/Mrs. Outsider