This blog post will review the Pacsafe Travelsafe 12L portable travel safe we travel with and recommend to any other traveller looking for peace of mind and security in knowing your valuables are safe and secure.
If you are anything like us, when you travel you have certain valuables such as smartphones, a laptop, cameras, tablets, passports, and other items on you that would be devastating if you lost them or had them stolen. There are many times where you do not want to carry all of these items on your person, especially if you are out for the day sightseeing, having a swim at the beach, or heading out for dinner and some drinks.
How to keep your valuables safe and secure while travelling has always been a challenge….
We spent many hours researching this exact problem prior to starting our fulltime travels, and we found the solution – a portable travel safe.
We decided on a Pacsafe Travelsafe 12L as it was large enough to hold our 15″ laptop plus additional valuables. Pacsafe is known for making quality anti-theft bags and accessories, and we can attest to this as we have several other smaller bags which we love. The Pacsafe Travelsafe 12L is perfect for travel as it weighs just 600 grams and when empty, it packs flat.
It is a drawstring type of bag with a stainless steel cable running through grommets at the top. You draw the cable to pull the top shut, secure with clasps and then run the cable around a fixed object such as the leg of a bed or closet rod and lock the clasps using the included TSA-approved combination lock or your own secure lock.
FAQs – Portable Travel Safe
What is a Portable Travel Safe?
A portable travel safe is designed to be easily packed into your luggage and incorporates security elements like hidden steel mesh cages, or hard, durable quality plastic. There are lots of different styles available, each designed for a specific use. They are all designed to offer the ability to lock valuables inside with the aim of deterring opportunistic thieves by securing the safe to a stationary object using the provided security cable and lock.
Why Should You Travel with a Portable Travel Safe?
The main reason we travel with a portable safe is to provide us with peace of mind and security in knowing our valuables are safe and secure.
We have found that some hotels do not provide room safes, and normally those that do are not big enough for us to put in our laptop, camera, and other valuables. Some hotels and hostels offer to look after your valuables at reception, but we have seen on many occasions these ‘secure’ facilities are left unattended for considerable periods of time and left vulnerable to theft.
We have also walked past hotel rooms where the door to the room has been left open by cleaners and the room is unattended. Anyone could just walk in and take passports, cameras and iPads that have been left lying around. By securing your valuables in a portable travel safe and tethering the cable to a fixed object in the room, you reduce the risk and temptation of an opportunistic thief.
Not only are portable travel safes great for accommodation, but what if you are lying by the pool or at the beach and need to secure your valuables while you leave your sunbed for a swim? What will you do with your room and motorbike key, money, dry clothes and shoes when you go out snorkelling for a couple of hours?
Where to Use a Portable Travel Safe?
A portable travel safe can be used anywhere including:
- your home
- your car
- hotel room or dorm room in a hostel
- on trains, buses, or airplanes when in transit
- swimming pool or beach
- boat tour
When to Use a Portable Travel Safe?
The list of when to use a portable travel safe is endless (see above for some suggestions). The simple answer is to use a portable travel safe anytime you want to secure valuables that you will not be personally carrying on you.
Factors to Consider When Purchasing the Best Portable Travel Safe for Your Needs
Depending on how you travel, types of accommodation you stay in, what items you want to keep secure, and your intended activities will determine what you should be looking for in a portable travel safe. When we were doing our research into portable travel safes on the market, these are some of the factors we took into consideration when weighing up the pros and cons of each:
Where Are You Planning on Using it?
Are you planning on using your portable travel safe when you are at the beach, out on a snorkelling trip, in a hostel, while sleeping during transit? Portable safes come in all different sizes, shapes, weights and levels of water-resistance.
If you plan on using the travel safe at the beach, then go for something with a high level of water-resistance, but if you intend to primarily use yours to keep your valuables safe in your hotel room, then you might want to pick a sturdy one with internal wire mesh infrastructure and a tough fabric covering.
We use ours for the latter, and this is why we chose the Pacsafe Travelsafe 12L Anti-Theft Portable Travel Safe.
Items You Want to Keep Safe
Depending on the items you want to keep safe, you will need to choose a small or a large travel safe. It’s important to keep in mind that you have to stick to protecting just the essentials. Buy the size that allows you to fill your travel safe only with the items you really fear getting stolen.
We have met many fellow travellers on the road that travel with two different size portable travel safes.
A portable travel safe needs to have transportability as one of the main features. It needs to be not only lightweight, but easy to transport and fit into your suitcase or backpack i.e. fold, pack flat etc.
For us, this was one of the most important factors we considered when choosing a portable travel safe. Your travel safe needs to be strong enough to provide full protection of your valuables from any kind of theft. There are many new technologies out there now to support anti-theft technology including:
- Cut Resistant Technology – offers added protection against scuffs, scrapes and even ‘cut and run’ attempts
- 360 eXomesh Locking System – Lockable lightweight mesh stainless steel cage helps protect against pickpockets and thieves
- eXomesh Slashguards – Stainless steel mesh barrier deters cut and run theft
Portable travel safes come with two lock types: a key lock or a combination lock. This will boil down to personal preference so choose what fits you best. We recommend combination locks as they are much safer and harder to crack, and you don’t have to worry about losing the key.
Where do you intend to use your portable travel safe? If you are planning on taking yours to the beach to keep your valuable safe, choose a water-proof or water-resistant travel safe to give extra protection to your belongings.
Pacsafe Travelsafe 12L Anti-Theft Portable Travel Safe Specifications
Model / Product Code
900D Polyester twisted (main material)
Brushed polyester laminated with EVA (lining)
52 x 35 x 3 cm (20.5”H x 13.8”W x 1.2”D)
600 Grams (1 Lb 5 Oz)
Capacity / Volume
5-Year Pacsafe Warranty
Features of the Pacsafe Travelsafe 12L Anti-Theft Portable Travel Safe
- 360° stainless steel wire eXomesh® technology is highly cut-resistant
- Stainless steel locking cable to anchor your things to any immovable object
- Can be locked securely with TSA (Travel Sentry Approved) accepted 3-dial combination lock
- Fits a 15″ laptop, MacBooks, phone, iPad, camera, mobile phone , ID, money, credit cards, jewellery, passport, DSLR and other valuables
- The mesh material, as well as the fabric the portable safe is made from, are hard, resistant, but still extremely lightweight
- A soft-lined inner sleeve for extra protection
- Water-resistant exterior to protect your personal items
- Made of durable and easy to clean Nylon to ensure long-lasting usage
Suppliers of the Pacsafe Travelsafe 12L Anti-Theft Portable Travel Safe
Pros / Benefits of the Pacsafe Travelsafe 12L Anti-Theft Portable Travel Safe
- Folds flat for easy packing, making it a perfect portable travel safe
- Extremely light weight (only 600g) so can be taken everywhere with you without having to worry about adding extra weight to your baggage
- The stainless steel locking cable allows you to anchor your things to any immovable object (i.e. bed frame, piece of furniture, sunbed, fence, pole, bench, tree, spare tyre in the trunk of a car, plumbing in bathroom, etc.), keeping your laptop, passport and more protected, while you’re out embracing life’s adventures
- The locking cable is long enough to attach it to almost anything
- Peace of mind that your valuables are safe, no matter where they are
- Spacious so can fit a 15” laptop, as well as additional valuables
- TSA approved lock
Cons of the Pacsafe Travelsafe 12L Anti-Theft Portable Travel Safe
- When we are on the road travelling fulltime, we love the fact it is quite spacious, but for a weekend or week long holiday, we have found it a little too big as we then don’t travel with our laptop. A solution to this problem would be to buy the Pacsafe Travelsafe 5L version. It has all the same fantastic features as the 12L version and its dimensions are ideal for a tablet, mobile phones, passports, and a small camera.
- If you think the 12L is going to be too small for your requirements, you could then upgrade to the Pacsafe Travelsafe X15. This portable travel safe is a bit larger than the 12L version coming in at 7 x 13 x 15 inches, so it is big enough to fit a 15” laptop, as well as a tablet.
- Pacsafe Travelsafe 12L is water-resistant, not waterproof, so we do not recommend you put this to the test as we have read reviews where people have reported that they have found some tiny holes through which water could flow in.
- If a would-be thief really wants to steal your valuables, I believe they will. However, we travel with the Pacsafe Travelsafe 12L with the expectation it will act as a deterrent to any thief who has limited time and tools
In Summary: Do We Recommend Pacsafe Travelsafe 12L Anti-Theft Portable Travel Safe?
Which portable travel safe you buy and use depends on what you want to use it for. If you wanting to buy the best all round portable travel safe, then we highly recommend the Pacsafe Travelsafe 12L which are available for purchase through Amazon.
Overall, we have been extremely happy with this purchase. It has been used on almost a daily basis for more than 2 years and it shows little to any signs of wear and tear. This portable travel safe has many more years left in it yet.
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