Have Backpack. Will Travel.

thoughts, travel

A few months ago, I went on my first official solo trip.  By solo travel, I mean traveling alone and staying in a stranger’s home. (I’ve been to Kuala Lumpur for a short trip three years ago but I don’t count that as traveling solo because I stayed in a friend’s flat.)

Before flying to Sydney, I did a lot of research – places to go, things to do, people to meet, and where to stay. Because I will be doing most of these on my own, my paranoia rose several notches. I know Sydney is a safe city but it always pays to be prepared. The first thing I thought of was: what kind of bag do I use while I tour Sydney? Naturally, Pacsafe came to mind. (Disclaimer: This is NOT a sponsored post.)

My sister introduced me to this brand when she gifted me with one of their crossbody bags. I knew their products had great quality with amazing and reliable anti-theft features. So I browsed through their backpack selections and finally decided on this one: the Citysafe CS300. Not only is she pretty but, more importantly, it is a travel-safe bag. Now I don’t usually write brand-focused posts. In fact, this is my first one. But I love this bag so much that I can’t help it, really.


Just like their other products, this backpack has their trademark Carrysafe® slashguard straps, the eXomesh® protection lining, an RFIDsafe™ blocking pocket, smart zippers, and the turn and lock security hooks (a lot more details here).


The metal plate survived my Sydney hikes and escapades. 🙂


I can detach the strap, wrap it around a pole or chair leg, and lock it with the turnlock feature.


The adjustable shoulder straps (both with the Slashguard technology) were comfortable to use on my shoulders even during long walks. The padded back also made the bag less strenuous to carry when I packed it to the brim!


Both straps were adjustable and the stitching had really great quality.


The top zipper closes at the back of the bag. Also, it can be completely covered with the zip flap.


You can lock both top zippers with a concealable clamp. So clever!


The front pocket zipper handle can be inserted into a small strap that locks it in place. Useful in keeping itchy hands from opening the pocket.


Inside the front pocket. Lots of compartments!


The lid of the main compartment has a zippered pocket, too.


Inside the main compartment, there is a pocket that is RFID safe. This is where I kept my wallet, passport and travel documents.


There’s a spacious padded back pocket for your tablet or laptop (up to 11″).


The inner lining has the concealed eXomesh material that makes the bag slash-proof.

As you can see, I geeked out and analyzed the different parts of the bag. I was so fascinated! I would say my favorite feature is the concealed top zipper of the main compartment. I have a couple of horror stories (when I was much, much younger) of my cellphone getting stolen from my backpack because the thief had really quick hands and direct access to bag pockets. When I started using this bag, I knew it would be difficult for anyone to reach for the top zips, let alone unclip it from the concealed clasp. I am aware that it will take additional effort to lock the said zippers, both on the top lid as well as the front pocket. But the paranoid side of me will happily oblige anytime!

I wasn’t really aware of what RFID meant until I read about Pacsafe bags. Short for Radio-Frequency IDentification, it basically refers to any device that has a small chip and an antenna used to store a person’s identification. Apparently, there are tech-savvy people who have the tools to compromise and retrieve a person’s account information. What are the odds of coming across said thieves? I don’t know. But in any case, I would rather be safe than sorry. So I gratefully kept my wallet (with my cards) and passport in the RFID-safe pocket.

Even before my Sydney trip, I was already able to take my backpack to my St. John’s and Lazarus islands outing.  I know it’s not listed as being waterproof or water resistant but I’m glad to report that, amidst the rain, my bag kept my stuff dry. I also used it during my holiday with my sister, Gelli.

Fun fact: my sister brought a Pacsafe bag too! Hers was one of the shoulder/crossbody bags. We didn’t even talk about this prior to meeting up. Well, as they say, birds of the same feather… 🙂


All pac-ed and ready to go!


Traipsing about in Universal Studios Singapore


Sesame street sandwich!

It was winter when I went to Sydney. Exciting for me because it was my first winter experience anywhere, though I was not looking forward to packing extra clothing and other stuff. Most of my activities during that trip were outdoors and because I had dinner engagements afterwards, I had to bring extra clothing in case I ruin what I was wearing during the day. I was really impressed with how the backpack kept all my stuff.


The day I had the most stuff packed into my backpack

(1) top lid compartment: extra memory cards and camera battery, first aid

(2) front pocket: basic beauty essentials (yes, I am a super low-maintenance gal), notebook and pens, wet wipes, my Cetaphil sunscreen (that I use for my face), cellphone, and my house keys

(3) side pockets: water bottle and my Opal card

(4) main compartment: my Canon 400D, charger with cord, wallet, passport, travel documents (not in photo), sanitary pad pack and extra underwear (for lady emergencies), hand warmers (I bought 2 sets to prepare for my Blue Mountains trip the next day), gloves, scarf, beanie, Uniqlo Ultra Light Down (that rolled up really nicely), Uniqlo Heattech leggings, and Uniqlo maxi skirt

I may have had a small pack of mints too, but I can’t remember…I’m amazed at how all of those fit into that bag, but there you go.

I had all those items during my Coogee to Bondi coastal hike. One thing I did not mention in my previous post was that I had slipped on a bunch of moss-covered rocks that I climbed to get to the top of one of the cliffs. And it was within the first 30 minutes of my 2-hour hike! What a hassle. Fortunately, there was a bathroom along the way. I managed to scrub myself and wash the bottom part of my sweater. I was thankful that I brought extra leggings! After my hike, I changed into my maxi skirt (with the leggings underneath) so I looked decent when I met my friend, Trish, then my cousin, Rob and his wife, Kat. It was certainly an action-packed day! 😉

After this trip, I still use my bag for outdoor activities or hikes here in Singapore. With its distinct and reliable features, it will definitely be a travel staple in the years to come.


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