Backpacking · Europe · Gap Year · Long term travel · Travel Hacking · Uncategorized

Getting Started: Pacsafe Venturesafe 45L GII Travel Pack

Front of the pack

After returning my Osprey Farpoint 55L, (which you can read my review, here), I discovered the PacSafe Venturesafe 45L GII Travel Pack (pictured above). I really liked quite a few things about this bag, and i’ll go into them further below. However, I ended up returning it and keeping my Osprey Farpoint 40L for my trip. I bought this bag from Corporate Travel Safety, their return policy is pretty normal (unused, 30 days etc.), they allow you to ship items back for return without requiring any extra numbers or phone calls. However, you have to pay for shipping, which is likely to run you around 20$ due to the size of the box. So be aware of that!
I chose to try the Venturesafe 45L for a few reasons, the main being that the security system is really efficient, the other two reasons were that it’s a side loading bag and that it comes in a really nice storm grey color.

The straps are tucked inside of the back, you pull them out through the slits on the bottom and top.
Voila!

I REALLY enjoyed that these straps simply ‘tucked’ inside of the back of the backpack, and required less effort than zipping your straps inside (like the Osprey Farpoint series). However, I was somewhat disheartened when I saw how flimsy the waist straps were. I was trying REALLY hard to avoid bags that don’t have proper support/padding. If you have a really good waist strap it puts more of the support of the overall backpack weight, onto your hips instead of placing all of it on your back/shoulders. Which is IDEAL in general, but especially if you’re: traveling and therefore wearing the bag for extended periods of time, and if you’re a female-bodied person because our center of gravity is lower.

Interior
Interior
Waist strap padding close up
Waist strap padding close up

I would suggest, just as I did with my previous backpack reviews, that you use some type of compression sac or packing cube to maximize the space in this pack. However, it has a number of small RFID protected pockets and comes with its own external locking system for the zippers of the two main compartments.

IMG_4593
The two main compartments are locked together with a lock that is a feature of the bag itself.
There is a coiled security strap provided within the small zippered pouch of the accessory pocket.
RFID protection within the accessory zippered pocket.

RFID is an acronym for ‘Radio-Frequency Identification‘, this is a wireless tracking system that allows someone with an appropriate reader to ‘read’ and therefore ‘access’ wireless technological information (i.e. credit cards, passport information etc.). These readers allow for a more stealthy form of identity theft, in which these readers provide nearly ALL information of any items scanned (including things like expiration dates, and card numbers from far away). However, a lot of department stores use RFID tracking for products within the stores, which is why these readers are somewhat easy to access. The idea behind RFID protection is that its mesh lining is impenetrable to these waves, and therefore your data cannot be stolen from inside of your pockets.
The main features I enjoyed, were the ones I mentioned above as being reasons why I purchased this bag to test.
The reasons I didn’t keep this bag were:
-The waist strap not having enough padding.
-This bag isn’t made for people who have a backpack size smaller than 17″. I’m a 16.5 and the bag kept lifting off of my back and otherwise ‘rising’, indicating that it didn’t fit someone of my stature.
The latter part was the biggest deal breaker, which was a bummer because I really enjoyed this pack.

Have you used this backpack? How did it stand up to long term ‘wear-and-tear’ of a vagabond lifestyle?
Talk to me about it!

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4 thoughts on “Getting Started: Pacsafe Venturesafe 45L GII Travel Pack

  1. Just out of curiosity – how tall are you? I don’t know what backpack size I am but I’m 5’10” so hopefully the VentureSafe will fit me. Have you ever experienced a travel security issue that the PacSafe would have eliminated? I keep wondering if it’s worth the additional effort to get a secured bag for as often as someone will break open my zippers or slash the bag while I’m walking. Also, I’m glad to see there is some RFID protection in the bag – I couldn’t find any mention of it on their web site. We are going to Africa this year – and I’ve heard legends about pickpocket and bag grabbing there.

    1. I’m 5’2″, you shouldn’t have any issue with the VentureSafe if you’re 5’10”.
      It kept sliding up on my back when I moved with it, but that was due to it being too big for me.
      At the moment I haven’t experienced a travel issue that would’ve required the VenturSafe, I tend to go out of my way to get lockers at hostels and my “everyday” bag has a few extra inner zippered compartments that I usually store my important documents in.
      I’d also look at the Tortuga backpacks (http://www.tortugabackpacks.com/), I really wanted to get one but they were still working on their “smaller bag” before I left on my trip.
      But the larger one has a lot of really great features, but it doesn’t list whether it has any added protection. If you’re looking for help dealing with pickpockets I suggest investing in a clothing item with zippered pockets on the front. I have a motorcycle vest that works great for this because the zippered pockets are oriented directly on my chest. I currently live in Prague, which is known for having issues with Pickpockets and I find that just being aware, don’t bring important things that you aren’t directly using, knowing where your bag is etc. I usually orient my bag to the front of my body on public transportation, this way everything important to me is stashed on the front of my body (in those zippered pockets) and with the bag.
      Let me know if this is helpful!

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