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  1. #1
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    Dream accessory: a hidden pocket against my back

    I have a leather pocketbook I bought in Spain many years ago that has a design I've never seen anywhere else. The bag has a sling strap that zippers open and can be worn like a lightweight backpack. The magic feature is a zipper in the back which, when worn as a backpack, lies against my back, and so feels safe from pickpockets.

    My dream accessory for my new Synapse 19 is some kind of small pocket that can be worn on the inside, against my back. Has anyone ever rigged up anything like that? I can't say that I can imagine how it would attach. I doubt velcro would be secure enough. But I still can't see how to confidently carry my ID/passport, money in the S19, or any backpack for that matter.

  2. #2
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    Greetings,
    While I appreciate your suggestion, this is not a feature that appeals to me in a bag. If this accessory pocket is attached to the backpack, what prevents it from walking off in the event of a snatch and grab theft? Items in a bag are more susceptible to loss for two reasons. First there are opportunistic thieves to consider. Second there is the possibility of forgetting a bag somewhere like in a taxi or in a restaurant.

    For these reasons, many people consider a pouch or pocket that is worn under your clothes to be safer. There are at least five different types so if one style is uncomfortable you can try another until you find one that works for you.

    Good luck! elisa

  3. #3
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    I have a Camelbak Dispatch Backpack that has a pocket there built in to the pack and it is well done enough that unless you are aware of it you might not even see it.
    Great idea and great spot for discrete pocket.

    There are also several "Tactical" looking bags both packs and briefcases that have hidden pockets that are interesting and less easy to access or see.

  4. #4
    Volunteer Moderator tpnl's Avatar
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    I do not know if this is what you are looking for but I have hooked a 3D Organizer Cube (3DOC) to the back Rail Loops normally used for the TB Cache Sleeve. It provided an extra interior pocket that was hidden behind my laptop (or other clothes). Here is a picture of what I mean on a Smart Alec (SA) but you can do the same thing in an S19/S25:



    Now, if you use the Cache with Rails system in the S19 for your laptop, you could do this setup on the front Rail Loops of the S19/S25 or just hook it in front of the 3DOC setup.


    Also ScottE22 made a great video of his S25 and he used a Side Effect (SE) in a similar way (I have forwarded the video below to the section showing this):

    ScottE22's S25 Video


    Though you need to open 2 zippers, it was like a hidden pocket.

    Note that in the SA, the top flap inner pockets (you can see them at the top of the picture) kind of do the same thing. Noone knows there are zippered pockets there and so you can hide things like a passport there

    Hope this helps
    Last edited by tpnl; 01-03-2017 at 06:39 AM.
    TB Ballistic Black/Iberian Dyneema backpacks and briefcases for every occasion together with my cherished Nordic and Solar Dyneema!

  5. #5
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    Interesting. Every purse I've ever bought had a secret zipper across the back (either inside or outside) that laid against my body. I rarely use it, because I forget it's there, and I'm afraid the really important things I would put in it need to be in a different location, like a hidden pouch under my clothing.
    Last edited by BWeaves; 01-03-2017 at 07:09 AM.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for starting this thread. As a frequent traveler, I always look for security features in a bag. I would also appreciate a hidden pocket AND lockable zippers. Of course any bag can be snatched on a busy street, but a lot of thefts occur in more subtle situations- from overhead bins and on crowded subways. There are ways to make these thefts more difficult. (See Eagle Creek's "All Ways Secure" line)

  7. #7
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    On occasion, I put my passport inside the main compartment of the S19 tucked way down in the front flap pocket area. It's in a passport pouch, so I could also hook it to an o-ring if I thought slashing was a concern. I like it tucked down in there b/c it stays put when I take other stuff in and out of the bag. IMO there is little chance of it being stolen out of there -- the whole bag being stolen is a bigger concern. To that end, I never put the bag down, and either have it on both shoulders on my back or on my lap with at least one part looped through my arm. On a plane I'll put it under my feet -- that might be the only time I'm in public and it's not really attached to me in some way.

    Is it ideal? Probably not. But as a short smallish curvy female, there is no place on my body to wear my passport without it being bulky, awkward, uncomfortable, and/or obvious, especially when traveling in warm climates.

  8. #8
    Forum Member Pokilani's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by investigator View Post
    On occasion, I put my passport inside the main compartment of the S19 tucked way down in the front flap pocket area. It's in a passport pouch, so I could also hook it to an o-ring if I thought slashing was a concern. I like it tucked down in there b/c it stays put when I take other stuff in and out of the bag. IMO there is little chance of it being stolen out of there -- the whole bag being stolen is a bigger concern. To that end, I never put the bag down, and either have it on both shoulders on my back or on my lap with at least one part looped through my arm. On a plane I'll put it under my feet -- that might be the only time I'm in public and it's not really attached to me in some way.

    Is it ideal? Probably not. But as a short smallish curvy female, there is no place on my body to wear my passport without it being bulky, awkward, uncomfortable, and/or obvious, especially when traveling in warm climates.
    If I'm traveling to a place where I am concerned about such things, I like this pouch by Pacsafe. Yes, people can see it, but it is slash proof and the flap/zipper combo works well. It fits my passport, iPhone, a tiny wallet (e.g. COW), a lip balm and a pack of gum. I've never had a problem continuing to wear it on my body on an airplane so I always have it close by. I particularly like it when I'm wearing a backpack because all of my essentials are easily accessible, but it's easy to stash deep in a backpack when I need to.

    To the OP: I can see the interest in a pocket in the back. I own a little REI backpack that has that feature, which I utilized on a trip to Sweden, prior to switching to the Pacsafe.
    Last edited by Pokilani; 01-03-2017 at 09:43 AM.

  9. #9
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    For these reasons, many people consider a pouch or pocket that is worn under your clothes to be safer. There are at least five different types so if one style is uncomfortable you can try another until you find one that works for you.

    Good luck! elisa[/QUOTE]

    Thanks, elisa. Sure, I have a silk waist pocket that I wear when traveling in questionable areas or carrying more cash than usual. But I'm thinking more of every day use, or anywhere mostly safe, for example my upcoming trip to Japan. I guess wearing that pouch feels like overkill to me in those conditions.

    (Darn, I'm new on the forum; thought I was replying with a quote AlaskaGirl. I'll work it out soon, hopefully.)
    Last edited by wordsalsa; 01-03-2017 at 07:18 PM.

  10. #10
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    Thanks for all the comments and suggestions.

    @tpni, sorry, I don't see how that pocket is hidden in your photo; it looks like it's right there at the top when someone has opened the main bag zipper. Granted, it's an extra step for a pickpocket, but certainly doable, no?

    @Investigator I'm another short curvy female, and don't find my passport comfortable against my body. I'll probably just put my valuables in some kind of pouch, possibly attached with an o-ring. But if there's an o-ring in the front flap pocket area of the S19, I can't find it.

  11. #11
    Volunteer Moderator tpnl's Avatar
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    @wordsalsa

    In the picture I posted, I have pulled back the lip of the bag to show the 3DOC setup better. Normally, it is pretty hidden behind my Brain Cell and under the lip of the bag.
    Also, most backpacks that do have a purpose built "hidden" compartment also have a bit of a tell - the zipper pulls.

    If really worried about theft, I agree with @Pokilani that the Pacsafe line of items are a good alternative - and perhaps a dedicated purpose specific item from them would be more secure (ie hidden on your body and not part of your bag).


    Hope this helps
    Cheers!
    Last edited by tpnl; 01-03-2017 at 10:34 PM.
    TB Ballistic Black/Iberian Dyneema backpacks and briefcases for every occasion together with my cherished Nordic and Solar Dyneema!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by wordsalsa View Post
    @Investigator I'm another short curvy female, and don't find my passport comfortable against my body. I'll probably just put my valuables in some kind of pouch, possibly attached with an o-ring. But if there's an o-ring in the front flap pocket area of the S19, I can't find it.
    You're right, the only o-ring inside is in an awkward spot for attaching something that will go in the front pouch. One of the webbing loops at the top front could potentially work though. There is going to be a new TB passport pouch coming soon, so maybe that will have some awesome feature that solves all of our problems!

  13. #13
    Forum Member ceepee's Avatar
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    Dream accessory: a hidden pocket against my back

    Quote Originally Posted by investigator View Post
    You're right, the only o-ring inside is in an awkward spot for attaching something that will go in the front pouch. One of the webbing loops at the top front could potentially work though. There is going to be a new TB passport pouch coming soon, so maybe that will have some awesome feature that solves all of our problems!
    There's going to be a new passport pouch? Did I miss an announcement? Any more info?


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  14. #14
    Forum Member bouncing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wordsalsa View Post
    Thanks, elisa. Sure, I have a silk waist pocket that I wear when traveling in questionable areas or carrying more cash than usual. But I'm thinking more of every day use, or anywhere mostly safe, for example my upcoming trip to Japan. I guess wearing that pouch feels like overkill to me in those conditions.

    (Darn, I'm new on the forum; thought I was replying with a quote AlaskaGirl. I'll work it out soon, hopefully.)
    Japan doesn't really have a pick pocket problem. I wouldn't bother.

    Places are Barcelona are where there is a concern. Really anywhere in Southern Europe.

    I for one just wear tighter jeans with a front wallet. It might technically still be pickpocketable, but in my years of travel, it's never happened.

    Do watch out for people trying to hand you babies or old women falling down the stairs at the subway, etc. Most theft involves diversion, and most diversion is designed to tug at your heart strings.

    A backpack is vulnerable on a subway because someone can steal things from it while you aren't looking. Simpler than locking it, however, would be to simply wear a shoulder bag.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by bouncing View Post
    ...A backpack is vulnerable on a subway because someone can steal things from it while you aren't looking. Simpler than locking it, however, would be to simply wear a shoulder bag.
    And even simpler is to just not use a bag at all. When I travel, once I'm at my destination I pretty much only carry the cell phone in a case capable of carrying two cards (ID and credit) in one front pocket, hotel key (and if I have one, car rental key) in the other. The rest gets locked up in the hotel safe. After 'wearing' out one passport, by always taking it with me everywhere, and being admonished by Passport Canada to never let it happen again or else I won't be issued a replacement, I've really babied my passports and avoid any further wear and tear than necessary.

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