Ok, so like just like you, I am also a traveler. I like to travel with a camera, laptop, drone, etc. Expensive things I don’t want to lose. So I realized that I needed a new, safe and sturdy backpack.

After researching and trying out backpacks for days, I found the Bobby Urban anti-theft backpack. Now there probably isn’t a perfect backpack out there, and the Bobby Urban definitely has it’s drawbacks. But it will keep your belongings safe.

After 8 months on the road, I can still highly recommend it.

The Bobby Urban Backpack Review

If you have done any research on the company that makes these, you probably know there is a lot of hype around them for making anti-theft backpacks. At this point in 2019, XD Design has a slew of different options, hell they even made a backpack with a solar panel.. But as I have a windmill caps to charge my batteries, I decided to go with one of their more useful designs, the Bobby Urban backpack.

While clearly not their most popular design, this one appealed to me for two reasons: built in padlock and thick cut-proof material around the entire backpack. The best part: The only zipper that allows you to access the inside of the bag is completely hidden behind the steel padlock.

XD Designs Bobby Urban Anti-Theft backpack padlocked around a sink so nobody can steal it
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No safe? No problem.

This allows us to secure this bag to a pole, large furniture or if nothing else is available, a bathroom. To experienced travelers I probably don’t need to tell you how big of an extra layer of security this is.

While not as secure as a safe, as if somebody REALLY wishes to cut through the fabric, they can. The Bobby Urbans design still creates a huge barrier against opportunistic thieves like cleaning ladies, or other unwelcome personal (hell even other guests if you’re in a shared hostel room).

In my previous travels leaving my electronics, passport, cards and cash in hostels and guest houses have always been a worry in the back of my mind.

I have actually never been stolen from in hotels, as I am obviously a quite suspicious person as I bought a bag with a thievery-proof fabric and a huge lock on it. But I have been stolen from, lost stuff, and broken stuff that fell off of my person in public places multiple times.

I believe this is where this bag will truly shine. As it can not slide open or be opened without you clearly noticing while you are wearing the bag. There is a little pouch behind you lower back designed to place your regularly used valuables, as well as an electronic thievery safe pocket for your ID-card and credit-cards.


The negative of this bag is obviously that it is a hassle to open up the main compartment of the bag. If you want to secure it, you will need to roll it up and lock it with the padlock. There is an option to just roll it up and hook it shut, but then it loses the main safety feature.

The other negative is that due to the zipper being so protected by the rolled up fabric the bag is really deep and kinda hard to access stuff from. I highly recommend using some packing cubes if you are going to use this as your primary or only bag.

bobby urban anti-theft backpack rolled up and opened
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Bobby Urban Backpack open, a deep backpack

Features of the Bobby Urban anti-theft cut-proof backpack

The Bobby Urban anti-theft backpack also comes with water-repellant fabric, which is always nice. There is also an option to hook on a net in the front for some added space for a ball, or a helmet.

While the whole bag is not skimming proof, there is a pocket on one of the straps where you can place all your cards. There is also a little pouch where the bag will sit on your lower back if you want to keep something handy. Keep it flat though, or it will be uncomfortable and throw off the bags balance.

Bobby Urban Anti-theft backpack from behind showing off the black straps and compartments
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If you end up picking up more stuff along your trip, it is possible to unroll the Bobby Urban and fill it with more stuff. Just note that it can be harder to lock it together then.

How much can you fit in it?

If you keep it rolled down you should be able to fit about 20 liters of stuff in the backpack. For this Bobby Urban Review, I tried to fill it up with: laptop, computer bag, two compression packing cubes, small and medium, and a toiletries bag. This was no problem. And like I said, you should be able to get another 40% or so more space out of it if you unroll the XD Design Bobby Urban all the way.

photo of Bobby Urban anti-theft backpack unlocked but rolled up
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Bobby Urban Anti-theft backpack vs Bobby Urban Lite

Another thing to note about this backpack design, there are two versions of it. There is the one from this review: Bobby Urban ANTI-THEFT backpack. And then there is the Bobby Urban LITE backpack. While they look similar, the Lite variation does not come with the anti-theft mesh that the anti-theft backpack does.

I will add an affiliate link to Amazon here so you can pick the right one: Bobby Urban ANTI-THEFT backpack

Update: I have now been traveling with this backpack for 4 months, and I still highly recommend it if you want to keep your belonging safe at all times.

Here is an article of my packing list for the Bobby Urban when used for travel.

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