I do love a good product review, especially if it’s something that can really help out travel anxiety sufferers. There’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that an anti theft backpack is one of those products!
Eagle-eyed readers who’ve perused my guide to travel gifts (check if out, if you haven’t already! Did you know that you get a free unicorn just for looking at it? I might’ve lied somewhere in that last statement) will have noticed that an anti theft backpack was one of the items I recommended. I regularly travel with a heap of very valuable electronics, which are basically the items which keep this blog going – I’d be lost without them. So an anti theft laptop backpack has always been pretty high on my wishlist, especially as I regularly travel through the London Underground with the whole lot.
That’s why I’ve gotten my paws on the exact anti theft travel backpack I recommended in the gift guide – the Nayosmart Defensor. This company do some fantastic backpacks – especially if you like your gadgets! – and the chance to put their anti theft backpack through its paces was just too tempting. I’ve tested it, poked it, yanked it, attacked it, and done everything short of setting fire to it.
Guys, this is a quality backpack. If, like me, you have a constant fear of someone slipping a hand into your bag and having a rummage, then it’s the perfect travel companion. Grab a coffee and a cookie, because I’m going to tell you exactly why!
By the way! Nayosmart very kindly provided me with a backpack to generally test, mangle, and review – I haven’t received any payment, and even if I had, all opinions would be my own!
Do anti theft backpacks work?
Having anti theft features on backpacks is becoming increasingly popular with travelers. It makes sense; I think we all know someone who’s been pickpocketed abroad… or worse. Bags can be snatched by professional gangs on scooters, or slashed with a knife so that the valuable contents spill out. I’ve been a near-victim of the latter myself – I was doing my regular journey through London once, and was completely unaware that my beloved shoulder bag had been knifed. Luckily the slash stopped just short of breaking through the material, but there really wasn’t much in it. Plus I had to throw that bag away, which was somewhat heartbreaking. Still not over it, sniffle.
Fed up of this, people have embraced anti-theft backpacks – bags with slash-proof material, a built-in combination lock, and hidden pockets. Theft-proof backpacks from companies such as Pacsafe and Bobby have flown off the shelves, and they really do work. All of the features listed above keep your valuables where they should be – in your possession, and not that of some criminal rando. Why make life easy for them?
However, there’s a drawback to buying a Pacsafe or Bobby backpack. They’re undoubtedly awesome, but it’s lead to them becoming the “brand name” of the anti theft backpack world. Consequently, you have to shell out more for them – and if you’ve never used anti theft backpacks, it can be pretty off-putting.
Well, I’ve been heartily impressed by what Nayosmart’s Defensor has to offer, and for a more reasonable price than the big names. Shall we have a look at all the details?
What’s the dimensions of the Nayosmart Defensor?
The Nayosmart Defensor has a pretty rectangular design, which may seem a little unusual at first – but to be honest, I really like it. Firstly, it makes storing a laptop inside nice and simple; your beloved piece of expensive equipment is held rigid by the shape of the bag itself, rather than having rounded corners pressing on it. Secondly, the thin, rectangular shape makes it a dream for popping into an overhead locker on a plane (how do those things get so messy?), or under the seat in front of you.
Thirdly, it just looks stylish! The shape is nicely futuristic, as well as practical – the zippers are hidden at the back of the pack, making it really hard for any thieves to spot!
But if you’re wondering if you can get it on your favorite airline as hand luggage, the exact dimensions are 45 L x 14 W x 30 H, with all measurements being in cm. I think that’ll probably fit as hand luggage on pretty much every airline I know, excluding the notoriously-stingy Ryanair. For backpack fans who are wondering, it holds 20 liters – and as I’ll show you, it really will hold more than you may think!
What security features does it have?
Okay, we’ve checked out that gorgeous outer design – let’s have a look at what makes this, in my opinion, one of the best-value anti theft backpacks out there.
OMG, I LOVE THIS.
One of the biggest advantages of getting an anti theft backpack, and the Defensor in particular, is having a combination lock to hold the zippers locked tight. Yup, you read that right – no more worrying about someone quietly unzipping your zipper and quietly slipping their hand in, because they physically won’t be able to. This is a major fear of mine, to the extent that whenever I travel with my regular backpack, I thread a strap through all the zippers to hold them closed. It works, kind of, but it’s a major pain because it takes so long to get anything in or out.
The Defensor comes with a built-in combination lock (and simple instructions on how to set your own combination – trust me, if I can do it, you definitely can), and it’s fully TSA-approved. This means that you can drop your valuable items into your pack, lock them up – and forget about it. When you do need to take them out, it’ll take you mere seconds to turn the combination lock wheels, and gain access… something that’ll be entirely impossible for thieves, because the lock will be nestled just by your neck.
Worry-free travel; I love it!
As I mentioned further up, it’s really important for backpacks to be cut-proof. Slashing bags is a popular tactic for scummy types; it means that your stuff falls to the floor, or gets dipped into, before you even realize that the weight on your back has changed.
Say “nope!” to all that by having your bag be cut proof – and the Defensor is exactly that. When you run your hand over the material, you’ll feel how tough it is; even if you try digging your nails into it, you’ll get absolutely nowhere. Both the shinier front panel, and the fabric around it, are tough as nails. Admittedly I’m no professional, but I gave it a good few pokes and stabs with a pair of scissors, and it didn’t even leave a scratch.
The straps are also made from the same material (with a softer fabric underneath, your shoulders will be relieved to hear), so I don’t think that any troublemakers will gain access there either.
It may be one of the more basic features of an anti theft backpack, but would you really want any backpack that doesn’t have hidden pockets?
Pockets are pretty much the first thing I check on any bag I buy. I have never once owned a tote bag, because I absolutely hate the thought of leaving items where they’re visible – it’s just asking for trouble. Any good bag should have hidden pockets, and anti theft backpacks excel at the art.
The Defensor has an excellent zippable pocket inside – it’s more than big enough to hold all your valuables. I tested it by putting my passport, money, mobile phone, and travel insurance inside, and it honestly could’ve held two or three times more. I love that; there’s always times when you need to have your bag open when you travel – such as getting your passport out at the airport, or if you stop in a cafe – and you don’t want to allow people to swoop in and grab something valuable before you can react. This does away with that worry!
In addition, there’s some other nifty little hidden pockets, including one on the side which is big enough to stash some cash in. But my absolute favorites are the two zipped pockets hidden in the straps, right by where your hands will be. You can put public transport tickets in, or even stash a credit card where no-one will ever see it!
What other cool stuff does it have?
Anti theft features are awesome. But we all like the little touches; the gadgets and gimmicks that capture our travel-loving hearts. Let’s take a look at ’em!
USB charging port
Okay, this is a big deal for me.
As an unashamed map nerd and obsessive planner, not to mention a travel blogger, I check my phone a lot when I travel. Consequently, the battery tends to run down pretty quickly. I’ve long been a proponent of the view that power banks are a backpacking essential, but I’m happy to admit that they can be unwieldy. Unless you’re stopping at a cafe for an hour, how are you supposed to charge your phone? Do you pop your phone in your pack, going without maps and photos until it’s done? Or do you have a cable sticking out of an open zip, giving thieves an access point?
Well, if your backpack has its own USB port, that’s not a problem!
The Defensor has a built-in USB charging port on the side, and a cable on the inside which attaches to it. So you can hook the power bank up inside the bag, lock up the pack, and then plug a cable into the USB port so that you can still use your phone whilst it charges, without leaving your backpack open.
I love it!
You know how most backpacks have a rubbish top handle? That flimsy little bit of material that loops up, and is usually the thickness of a particularly-delicate wafer? That annoying thing which cuts into your hand, and usually falls apart at one end?
Nuh-uh, the Defensor isn’t going to disappoint you like that. Instead, it comes with a super chunky and solid steel handle. It’s so much more comfortable to hold than a fabric one! I genuinely have the weakest, buttery palms ever (I struggle with shopping bags, for goodness sake), but this was a pleasure to use. It fits nicely into your hand, and avoids all of those sore palm / broken strap nightmares!
Tons of compartments
The Defensor excels at a lot of things, but keeping a laptop secure is definitely one of them. The main laptop compartment is equipped with two stretchy bands which keep your computer in place (seriously, why don’t all bags have this?), and stop it from getting knocked about, whilst the laptop sleeve itself is thick enough to give it some cushioned protection. Directly below that is a duplicate compartment for tablets – admittedly, I don’t have a tablet, but I tested it with a book of a similar size, and it fitted perfectly.
On the other side of the pack, there’s two expandable pockets, and even some pen holders!
Water resistant fabric
Having water-resistant fabric might not sound like the sexiest of features, but think about it – if you’re going to be putting your laptop, tablet, phone, and camera into a backpack, you really don’t want that stuff getting wet, right?
The Defensor has you covered, as that lovely cut-proof material on the outside is fully water resistant. I haven’t tested it in heavy rain conditions, despite living in the UK, but I think it’ll hold up pretty well indeed – if in doubt, pop your electronics into a plastic bag before locking them up, and I think they should be fine.
Business bag capability
The Defensor really shines for people traveling for business!
Not only can you lock up your laptop and other valuables (yes, that includes your work phone, despite your attempts to “accidentally” leave it somewhere. I know how this works, guys), but there’s a really nifty feature that’ll work for you. That’s the ability to stow the backpack straps, quickly and without fuss – all your have to do is open a popper on the back panel, and tuck the straps in. Add the Defensor’s sleek looks, and you suddenly have a smart, lockable, business bag which won’t look out of place when you head into your meeting.
How does it perform as a regular travel backpack?
Okay, we’ve been through the Defensor’s fab security features – but if you’re going away for a few days, how does it hold up as a travel backpack? Is there space in there for some clothes, as well as your gadgets?
Yup! As I mentioned above, this bad boy will hold 20 liters, despite looking so slim – that’s actually quite a lot. I’ve got backpacks which are much more cumbersome, but which don’t hold much more than that.
So I gave it a test. I pretended that I was going off to Munich for a long weekend, and that I wanted to only take one bag. So, all the essentials had to fit in – laptop, power brick for the laptop, mouse, passport and cash, toothbrush and toothpaste, travel guide, and change of clothes. As you can see, they all fit in with space to spare! (except my underwear, which is not there because the internet does not need to see that.) The only items I think you may struggle with would be a thick sweater, or maybe a pair of jeans, but I packed my test items fairly loosely. With a bit of pro packing – maybe some packing cubes – I reckon you could get it all in quite nicely.
Also, I want to mention the weight. I am very picky with backpacks, because I tend to find that if I get the wrong one, they cause me a fair bit of lower back pain. I need something that distributes the weight well, so it’s not all going on my spine. I’m happy to say that I wore this for a fair while, with my very heavy gaming laptop inside, and I had no bother whatsoever!
Is it worth buying?
Simple answer: yes.
I’ve been assessing the Nayosmart Defensor on three aspects – its use as an anti theft backpack, a regular travel backpack, and an assistance for anxious travelers. I genuinely think it’s an excellent product on all fronts.
It excels as an anti-theft backpack, with all the main features you’d want, and the combination lock in particular makes it a great purchase for keeping your items safe. Yes, maybe it could have some additional RFID blocking capabilities, but I don’t think that’s an essential – especially when it’s easy enough to get a wallet or travel organizer that can do the job. Other brands charge you for making the entire bag RFID-blocking, but is it really necessary?
It works perfectly as a regular backpack, or laptop bag. It fits comfortably and is hella sturdy. and it’s definitely able to carry a lot more than you might think on first glance. The shape helps it fit neatly on to a plane or into a small hotel room – and there’s even a reflective stripe to keep you safe if you’re walking along a dark road abroad.
But if you’re a fellow travel anxiety sufferer who worries endlessly about being pickpocketed abroad – it might even deter you from traveling at all – I urge you to at least look into getting one of these. It’ll keep all your stuff safe, and it’s one less thing for you to worry about, leaving you free to enjoy the moment. No-one has a great time if they’re traveling and constantly watching their back (literally), so this really can be an enormous boon to you.
If you’re looking for an excellent backpack with charger, that’ll keep your valuables secure and your peace of mind intact, get the Nayosmart Defensor!
Did you enjoy reading this review? If so, yay! I’m glad, because I enjoyed putting the bag through its paces!
How about giving it a share on your favorite social media platform, using those buttons on the side? It might help out a friend or follower who’s looking for a nifty new backpack, and most importantly, it’ll give me a warm glow inside.
Speaking of favorite social media platforms, mine’s Pinterest! So if you want to make me really happy, and have me skipping through fields of clover, pin the image below to a travel tips board! You’ve got a good, saved link to this article that way, especially if you’re comparing packs!
By the way! This article contains some affiliate links. These incur zero extra cost to you, should you decide to purchase the product linked to, but earn this blog a small commission which goes towards the running costs of the site. Any extra money earned gets spent on big custard pies, to splat into the faces of foiled thieves!