Thiefproof bags?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by ZzBoG, Jun 19, 2007.

  1. ZzBoG macrumors member

    May 7, 2006

    Recently my friend became the victim of the failed (luckily) theft attempt right in the metro during the peak hours!
    Some b@stard just opened my firends backpack and started pulling her notebook away. My friend was so shocked, that she just stared at that mfcker and did.... nothing. The thief understood, that he was noticed, let the half-pulled out laptop slip back down in the backpack and quit the car at the next station. Hope someone will cut that thief's hand off oneday.

    But to the point - I don't want the same to happen with my ultrapricey MBpro. Does anybody know any thiefproof bags? With sofisticated opening system (I don't mean coded locks, but something like Crumpler's backpacks' way of closing/opening)? Something which would be hard to open without me noticing?
  2. roland.g macrumors 603


    Apr 11, 2005
    One mile up and soaring
    Really, you can use an inexpensive carabiner (sp?) type lock or a carabiner itself to slow them down. Short of a solid steel attache case hand cuffed to your wrist, which are available BTW.
  3. dcv macrumors G3

    May 24, 2005
    Sorry to hear of your friend's experience.

    In my opinion it's not so much just about the actual bag as the way you carry it, particularly in places such as trains etc where you could be caught off-guard.

    A messenger-style bag worn across the body, which can be shifted round to the front, or a handbag/shoulderbag-style style (for the ladies obviously) could maybe be a 'safer' option than something worn on your back where other people have easy access and you can't keep an eye on things.
  4. coastertux macrumors regular

    Jul 17, 2006
    Also if you get a bag that isn't made by a company that only makes technology bags (IE Targus) or cover up the logo/name of the bag company with tape you will be safer.
  5. richard4339 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 6, 2006
    I always try to use a case for my laptop that doesn't look like it would have a laptop in it. I have an InCase sleeve for the MBP itself, and I either keep that in an old backup, an old messenger-style briefcase that I have that looks like it needs to be thrown out, or a canvas messenger bag that has a zipper top. Thus far, its worked very well.

    But if you're mainly concerned about someone pulling it out of your bag when you're holding it, I'd simply suggest locking it. Even a luggage lock holding two ends of the zippers together would be enough to hold a pickpocket at bay trying to remove a laptop for a few seconds. Then, you'd just be succeptible to someone simply grabbing the bag and running.

    Edit: I actually would do this in high-school. Freshman year it became a big joke to take things out of people's backpacks when their backs were turned. You'd usually get it back, but it was tiresome. So, most of us simple got a luggage lock and locked the zippers together... it worked.
  6. Igantius macrumors 65816

    Apr 29, 2007
    I think in this case, dcv offers the best advice; certainly, if you've got your rucksack on your back while you're stationary, like your friend was, the bag is in a vulnerable position... especially if you're being distracted.

    Good idea - I sometimes use a beat-up old bag myself. Like richard4339, I use an incase sleeve.

    I wouldn't bother with using an obvious lock (or even worse a handcuff!), doesn't really pay to advertise that you've got something in your bag that you really don't want to lose.

    I appreciate that it might slow someone down who's trying to be sneaky, but it's going to be an incentive to people who have no problem threatening to use and/or using violence to get the bag.
  7. rdowns macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
    How about a sign on your backpack that reads, Crappy Dell Laptop Inside or My Other Computer is a Mac.

    Safest thing with a backpack is to not wear it on your back in a subway or other confined area.
  8. richard4339 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 6, 2006
    Both of these are valid points. I do use a lock occasionally, but I don't live in an extremely crowded city, and I'm not often walking through large crowds. I do walk down the street, but there are usually no more than 10 people on that street at any given time. Trying to keep a lower profile on the bag, and keeping it in a position where you can tell if someone is taking something from it is probably the safest thing to do.

    This may be thinking about the problem way too much, but the MacBook Pros do have the security slot on them, if my memory serves me correctly. You could always simply get a security cable for the notebook and lock it to the strap on your bag, or to something inside. That way, if they can get it out, it won't go far without your bag too.
  9. macpluslaptop macrumors 6502

    Jun 5, 2007
    On the subway, I always shift my backpack to one shoulder. It solves the theft issue and (possibly more practically) it gives other people more room. There's nothing as obnoxious as having someone's backpack swinging around while they're oblivious. :eek:
  10. showtime macrumors 6502

    May 10, 2007
    Use a sleeve and put it in a normal backpack. That way it doesn't look like you have anything in there except for some regular books and always keep your backpack in sight like macpluslaptop suggested.
  11. chriscorbin macrumors 6502


    Feb 17, 2007
    Vallejo, CA
    I live in vallejo and for those who know what that means. i have a swiss laptop bag and keep it one one shoulder and keep a bottle of mace in my pocket whenever i walk somewhere, that works for me:D

    mace is wonderful i used it to stop a thief at the mall and game stop gave me a t-shirt:D
  12. nc7r macrumors member


    Feb 1, 2007
    Wooo! I've got such a good answer for you :cool:

    Sorry I didn't read every reply, so I don't know the size of your mates/your notebook.

    I've got a Crumpler - The Puppet bag, which fits a laptop in, and loads of camera gear. No doubt they will do laptop specific back packs. You can take the inside areas for laptop and/or camera equip out.

    They're REALLY well made, which you'd expect for the £100+ price, but they open from the inside, back area. Meaning you've got to take the bag off your back, turn it round, then unzip it - making it impossible for someone to open your bag without you having it off your back.

    This makes it really safe, but also it looks fashionable like any other bag so no-one knows you've got £2k+ of stuff in it! Really cool if you ask me.

    The red one looks a bit gash, so I went for Black, Light grey and Orange and it looks sweet. Had it about 2 years now and it's in brand new condition, after using it every day for college, plus trips to Paris and London with all my Camera and Laptop gear.

    Hope I helped.
  13. devilot Moderator emeritus


    May 1, 2005
    Vallejo has high crime rate? I just think of six flags/ Marine World. :p

    And I'm pretty sure mace is illegal in CA, at least without proper training/ permits or whatnot. I'm thinking you have pepper spray.

    Yup. That was going to be my suggestion as well. :)
  14. netdog macrumors 603


    Feb 6, 2006
    Unlikely that any thief will ever look in this...


    Good price too!
  15. i4k20c macrumors 6502a


    Sep 10, 2005
    for someone that rides the subway frequently, my suggestion would simply be to get a "sleeve" and put it inside a regular school bag. Most people steal bags that are either big (assume there is some valubles in there) or because of the logo... that being sad also, get a backpack that has front pockets, and anytime you open up your bag, ONLY open the front pocket for books, pens, or w.e. you need to read/ride on the subway so no one can really tell what's inside it!

    that being said, unfortunatly, we live in a crappy world sometimes, and if someone has their eyes set on stealing your beg...probally will. :eek:

    also whoever said to lock it like you would a "luggage bag," i don't think that's a smart idea because the person than knows that for sure something valuable is inside, and most theives wouldn't hesitate to use force to take something if they wanted to, at least on the subway's i ride. :eek:
  16. nbs2 macrumors 68030


    Mar 31, 2004
    A geographical oddity
    Just to expand on the backpack/sleeve combo - I would look for a dark colored sleeve.

    I use a Marware sleeve, and the black neoprene is "invisible" against the blank lining inside my bag. Even when I open the bag for something on the Metro, people really can't tell it's there. Also helpful is a bit of gumminess. My sleeve has nonskid edges and one side has a bit of the same rubbery material. I know it's there, so when I pull out my machine I can get it out quick enough, but others struggle as the non-skid doesn't like to slide out of the bag.
  17. amd4me macrumors 6502

    Nov 19, 2006
    I carry my laptop in a sleeve inside of my regular backpack.
    No one suspects me.
  18. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Jul 1, 2004
    An interesting idea. I may have to consider that one. (Though I never used the security lock I bought with my first laptop. The lock corroded and now it's useless. :)

    We do now. ;)

    Seriously, laptop in a sleeve in a messenger bag slung around to the front and you'll be ok, unless the would-be thief is prepared to use violence. Then there's really no such thing as "thief-proof".
  19. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    I hope I never run into you or your friends in real life! :eek: I guess, unless you live in some country where this is not considered anti-social.... :(

    I've never had trouble with backpacks either. The current one I have, though, from be-ez, is designed so that the zippers can essentially be made inaccessible while it's being worn, if you really desire that. (There are magnetically latched flaps that come from the outer/front surface of the bag back towards the back and then give way to the bottom of the shoulder straps -- if you zip it so that the zipper heads are at the bottom of the curve, it's essentially not possible to open it while it's on your back. I honestly, though, rarely bother to close it this way.
  20. rankadmiral macrumors newbie

    Oct 30, 2006
  21. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    In addition to all this, carry a decoy. Fill a Targus laptop bag with bricks, lock the zippers up with a honkin' metal padlock, and carry it with you everywhere. :D
  22. drake macrumors 6502a


    Jul 5, 2005
  23. ZzBoG thread starter macrumors member

    May 7, 2006
    Well it's absolutely social, I assure you. A social awareness at its best. At least that's the way we, SWVS (Cleaver-Wielding Vigilante Squad) members, put that.


    Indeed! That's superb bags, thanks a lot!

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