This post was last updated on July 26th, 2016
I’d be lying if I said getting mugged late lat year didn’t have a lasting effect on us. Though we still like to think we’re pretty trusting, we can’t help but get a little rigid whenever someone is walking quickly behind us, or looking at us for what feels like a touch too long. When I’m out alone, just passing someone on an empty sidewalk is enough to make my nerves spike. It’s kind of ridiculous, but so was the fact that we were robbed at noon on a Sunday just 100 meters from a police officer.
So when the Clever Travel Companion reached out to us and asked us to write a review about their pickpocket-proof clothing, we immediately said yes. Pickpocketing has never been a huge problem for us. It happened to me once nearly a decade ago in Prague, but thankfully we haven’t had any other incidents that I can recall. Still, the Clever Travel Companion’s website estimates that 400,000 travelers get pick-pocketed around the world each day. That’s an awful large number for a petty crime that seems like it should be much more manageable.
The common solution to avoid pickpockets while traveling with money and a passport is to wear a money belt or fanny pack. While we don’t utilize these accessories often, it is nice to know that your most valuable possessions are attached to your body—especially if you’re taking a night train or stuck at the airport for a long layover. But it’s a total pain (and not all that comfortable) to reach under your shirt to take out money when you need it. And though some people say that fanny packs are making a ‘come-back’, I just can’t bring myself to wear one.
That’s where the Clever Travel Companion’s clothing line comes in. The stylish and comfortable shirts, tees and boxers are designed with hidden pockets — the perfect size to hold your passport, credit cards and cash. No more worrying about leaving your purse at the bar or someone slipping their hand into your back pocket on the metro. Your belongings are cleverly hidden on your body, but also easily accessible at any time.
I love my black tank top. The zipper is well-hidden under the arms, and I feel like I can actually keep cash and cards on me without anyone realizing it. The tank is great on its own for normal wear, and the material is comfortable and high-quality. Not to mention, it is way more stylish than a money belt or fanny pack! I know I’ll be wearing this top whenever I’m out for a walk, spending an afternoon at the beach, or just generally don’t want to have a purse on me.
Dan’s gray t-shirt is a great standard shirt. It’s loose and comfortable. The pocket is large enough to keep the essentials without causing any “bulge” or awkward lines. Dan loves that it’s a v-neck, and says he would definitely wear it for hiking and other outdoor activities.
The one thing that bothers me about the tank top is that the pockets sort of bunch up when you aren’t keeping anything in them. Because they are large enough to hold a passport, when empty, the extra material from the pocket forms a little clump. It’s not a big deal, but I do find myself consistently putting my hands in the pockets to flatten out the material.
The main thing Dan does’t love about his shirt is that the pocket is in the middle, sort of like a pouch. No pickpocket is going to be able to get in and unzip it, but if you were being mugged, it’s likely that someone would notice the pocket on your stomach and ask what’s inside. Then again, if you aren’t carrying any bags or purses, you’re not likely to be targeted anyway.
Overall we will definitely get a lot of use out of the Clever Travel Companion, especially for those long travel journeys or days when we can’t be bothered with keeping track of our bags. If you’re a traveler who finds yourself consistently sleeping at bus stations or sharing hostel rooms, the pick-pocket proof clothing from Clever Travel Companion makes a great alternative to money belts and fanny packs. Given that the shirts are affordable and versatile, they’re definitely a good weapon in the frequent traveler’s arsenal.
Do you travel with a money belt or fanny pack? Have you been pick-pocketed? Share your stories below!
All photos used are from The Clever Travel Companion website. We were not compensated for this post, nor were we asked to write a positive review. Clever Travel Companion did send us complimentary products to review.