Review: PacSafe 5l Portable Travel Safe

Don’t laugh *immediately* but I have a highly organised list of things I need to purchase. I’m attempting to be some kind of minimalist, so I very regularly perform a little ritual I like to call ‘the clearing of the crap.’ Therefore, I have a very tight list of things I genuinely do need. Some for my day-to-day life, others for travel.

This portable travel safe from the PacSafe was high on this list. Which is why I was super happy when Gap Year Travel Store got in touch to ask if there was a product I wanted to review for them. I instantly chose the PacSafe portable travel safe. It was very high on ‘the list.’

Gap Year Travel Store sell all the necessary gear you need for, well, a gap year! But of course the same kit can be used for a variety of travel styles such as backpacking, hiking or camping. I bought a sleeping bag and a self-inflating pillow amongst some other bits from them when I did Camp America back in 2012 and it was so handy getting everything from the same place.

I took the PacSafe portable travel safe to London recently when I stayed in the YHA St. Paul’s hostel to see how it would fare in real life conditions – and I have to say it did very well!

Review: PacSafe 5l Portable Travel Safe | almostginger.com

The most highly rated Portable Travel Safe

Why should I buy a travel safe?

Personally, I am still in the backpacking, hostel-staying and low-budget phase of my life. And I wanted a travel safe for the times where there are no lockers in my hostel. Or, if I wanted to keep a couple of bits close to hand at night and I wanted a safe place to put them. Or if I’m sleeping on public transport, leaving valuables in a hire car… essentially any situation where I need to keep my valuables safe on the move!

Because oh my goodness, isn’t losing stuff such a pain in the arse?

Thieves operate everywhere and no matter how hard you think you’ve tried to blend in, you’re a tourist. Well, someone had to tell you. You look and talk like you don’t belong in the area and are therefore more vulnerable. Essentially, when you’re on a trip, you need to be questioning what you’re wearing and what you’re carrying constantly. You need to be saying to yourself, “if someone has chosen me as a target, how would a thief get into this bag? What could they easily reach?”

Yeah, it might sound like a total pain and maybe even an overreaction to someone like me who has never had anything stolen before. But I am of the mindset that there are two types of opportunist thieves in this world. The first is extremely opportunistic and reaches into the back pockets and open bags of irresponsible tourists and does not bother with those whose stuff looks too difficult to steal. The second notices something they want from you in particular. And they carry pliers, scissors, anything to get what they’ve been eyeing up. You can’t stop anything from happening to your stuff, but you can certainly do your best. That means having the right gear and that includes a portable travel safe.

Review: PacSafe 5l Portable Travel Safe | almostginger.com

Review: PacSafe 5l Portable Travel Safe | almostginger.com

Review: PacSafe 5l Portable Travel Safe | almostginger.com

What makes this one so fantastic?

Aside from Adventurous Kate (you know, the Queen Bee of solo female travel bloggers) singing its praises in this review, and it being the most highly rated portable travel safe on Amazon, there’s a lot to shout about.

  • Large enough to fit your camera, phone, tablet, passport and money at the same time
  • But not so big it’s no longer ‘portable’ – it definitely fits in a carry-on size bag or suitcase
  • Stainless steel mesh cage all around the safe embedded into hard canvas fabric
  • Easy grab handles
  • Water resistant
  • TSA approved 3 dial combination lock
  • Steel chain to seal your safe as well as being long enough to be tied to a steady surface

Review: PacSafe 5l Portable Travel Safe | almostginger.com

PacSafe really have thought of everything. Aside from the opportunistic thieves having no chance of breaking into the safe, the long steel cable allows you to tie it around an immovable object. At the YHA St Paul’s Hostel, there were a number of pipes next to radiators or my bunk bed which I could tie it to.

To be honest, there’s not much more to explain because I tied it to my bunk bed, left the hostel for 8 hours, and it was exactly where it was when I came back. I didn’t worry about my stuff at all. Simples.

Review: PacSafe 5l Portable Travel Safe | almostginger.com

Any negatives?

Because it’s so rigged and indestructible, it’s extremely structured and lies incredibly flat. This means it’s not really something that can be ‘shoved’ into a backpack. It’s probably slightly bigger than you think it is too. When I packed it in my carry on suitcase, it had to lie lengthways across the top. Which was fine for me, but not if you’re a super-minimal packer.

Also, despite the steel cable tying your safe being extremely snug, I can still just about fit one finger through the gap at the top of the safe. While I’m sure your average thief won’t spend their time trying to hook onto an object and attempt to pull it out of the top, they might. My thoughts are that if they can physically touch your belongings, they have a chance of getting them. While I’m sure I’m being over-cautious, it does make me a little nervous. I would prefer to have a really lightweight, inner lining that could zip up your stuff before you close it. That way, if you have really small valuable objects like rings, you know that a thief could only reach the outside of the inner lining.

Review: PacSafe 5l Portable Travel Safe | almostginger.com

Verdict

If you’re looking for a portable travel safe, you couldn’t get any better out there.

Also, if you fancy watching the video version of this review, have a gander here:

 Have you ever bought the Pacsafe Travel Safe? Or do you have a different safe you like? Let me know in the comments below! 😀

I was gifted the Pacsafe Travel Safe by Gap Year Travel Store in exchange for this written and video review, but all thoughts, opinions and badass newfound smugness at how thief repellent I am now are entirely my own.

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Rebecca

I'm the human and hair behind Almost Ginger. I'm a cinephile travel obsessive vegetarian currently residing in Manchester.