The Best Anti-Theft Money Belts & Fanny Packs

Best Money Belts & Fanny Packs for Travel 2018

Thinking about getting a travel waist pouch to keep your money secure when traveling? From money belts to fanny packs, we’ve got a roundup of the best secure waist packs for travel in 2018!

Click on any of the images below to see details and shop, or scroll down to see detailed reviews.

The Best Travel Money Belts

Peak’s money belt offers almost all the features you could ask for, plus some cool extras!

Their secure money belt includes built in RFID blocking, nice organization, a soft waistband, water resistant nylon, and moisture wicking backing.

Peak also includes $250 of theft protection, and two ReturnMe Global Recovery tags to assist in recovering your items if they’re lost. We fortunately haven’t had to test either of these perks, but they’re nice extras in a money belt that is already reasonably priced.

We like the slim design that doesn’t feel uncomfortable when sitting, but is large enough to hold a passport, cash, and then some. All of these features make it one of the best anti-theft money belts for travel.

Pacsafe’s Cashsafe wallet is a cool option for guys (or even gals) who just want to carry cash, or need to hide a stash of emergency cash. While thieves might know to look for traditional money belts, very few will think to look in your belt.

This money belt is also metal-free, so you won’t need to remove it for airport security. It is admittedly not the most stylish accessory, but will blend into many men’s outfits, and the belt fits waist sizes from 28 to 46 inches.

We love that you can carry fairly large amounts of cash undetectably, without any noticeable bulge in the belt. And if you’re looking for the most secure money belt, this type of design is one of the best out there.

For a dressier version, try this Atitlan Leather Belt, and ladies should check out this clever underwear with secret pockets, or Pacsafe’s bra pouch.

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Zero Grid’s RFID blocking money belt is another great option. It’s roomier than Peak’s belt above, but still designed to maintain a slim profile against your body.

The belt features lightweight, water resistant nylon, a soft elastic waistband, and moisture wicking back.

The one complaint we have about this belt is the length. It’s likely to be fine for most people, but doesn’t seem to stretch as long as Zero Grid claims. While they say it fits waists up to 52″, ours didn’t stretch beyond 40″. We recommend this one for smaller waist sizes.

We like Refoss’ money belt for its waterproof design, which can be difficult to find! While most money belts are merely water-resistant, this sport focused money belt amps up the protection. (However, we wouldn’t recommend submerging it because of the headphone jack).

The money belt also features a reflective strip, water bottle strap, headphone jack, and enough space to fit most smart phones.

We love the compact design and wide range of color choices! If waterproof is what you’re looking for, this larger waist pouch is also a good bet.

Pacsafe’s thin, lightweight money belt is easily concealed under clothing, and comfortable against your skin.

The waist pouch is machine washable, and also comes in black, if any guys out there want to give it a try.

We love how comfortable this belt is compared to many of the larger belts made of stiffer nylon. Pacsafe is one of our favorite travel brands, and we’ve had no problems with this belt so far. However, the downside of the thin, unobtrusive elastic waist band may be long term durability. Honestly, for the price, we’d wouldn’t mind replacing this comfy belt after a year or two.

Because it’s less structured, you can’t pack this money belt full and expect it to lay as flat as others, but if comfort is your biggest concern, this might be the best money belt for you.

Lewis N Clark’s secure money belt is another great option, with built-in RFID blocking, multiple compartments for organization, and breathable, moisture-wicking fabric.

We like the comfortable stretchy elastic waistband, and breathable, non-crinkly fabric. It’s a good size to carry a passport, money, and some extras, without bulging or being uncomfortable when sitting.

Our one caveat: because the fabric is designed to be breathable, it’s less water resistant than others, so rain or even heavy sweat may result in moisture inside your pack.

The Best Travel Fanny Packs

We’re smitten with this gorgeous handmade leather fanny pack from Etsy shop Monzoon!

Attractive fanny packs are hard to come by, but this beauty ticks all our boxes, from the roomy design, to the secure zipper closure hidden under the flap. The long adjustable strap means that it’s also easily worn as crossbody bag.

The leather material and metal clip closure also mean that it’s incredibly secure. No one will be unclipping, or cutting the bag strap without quite a bit of effort. It’s easily the best fanny pack for travel if you don’t want to sacrifice on style.

EGOGO’s sporty fanny pack is water resistant, durable, and roomy enough to replace a purse. We’re also loving the variety of colors available.

The fanny pack features 3 compartments for organization, including a slim pouch at the back of the bag to securely store documents out of reach of thieves. It also has a nice strap extension length, up to 48″. There’s loops to tuck in any additional strap length, so they won’t hang down.

The pack doesn’t have RFID blocking tech, but if you like the look of it–or any other bag without RFID blocking–consider RIFD blocking sleeves for your passport and credit cards (this set is perfect if you’re looking for something prettier).

It is a large fanny pack, so the size may be unwieldy for some, but this is a pack to consider if you need to carry a lot.

Be Safe Bag’s feature-filled fanny pack actually comes in three different sizes and a variety of colors.

It features a built in wallet for easy organization, locking zippers, and a comfy waist belt lined with wire to make it difficult for thieves to cut. Fanny packs can be difficult to secure, so we’re also big fans of the locking zippers that keep pickpockets out your bag.

We think it’s the perfect size for a fanny pack– sleek and not too bulky. It’s also attractive enough that we wouldn’t feel embarrassed wearing it on all but our dressiest expeditions. This is our pick for the best secure AND stylish fanny pack for travel.

Eagle Creek is another one of our go-to travel brands for quality, and the Tailfeather Waist Pack is no exception! The roomy bag features durable ripstop fabric, lockable zippers on main compartment, padded electronics pouch, and padded webbing to increase strap comfort.

We like that it’s roomy enough to replace a purse, incredibly comfortable, and durable. One little complaint: the waist straps can be a bit difficult to adjust, and have a tendency to loosen over time, so that our tester needed to re-tighten the strap partway through the day.

Travelon’s secure waist pack offers some of the best security features, as well as a sleek design that’s great for those not so keen on the “sporty” look of other fanny packs.

The pack features locking zippers, RFID blocking, anti-theft metal lined waist band, and great organization, while maintaining a slim profile.

We particularly like the built in wallet in the front, which allows for easy access to card and cash. Some other packs offer this, but not with a lockable zipper–which by the way, intentionally requires a bit of effort to unlock, ensuring that no one will unzip the bag without you noticing. Next to the Pacsafe bag below, it’s one of the best secure waist packs for travel.

You might have noticed that we’re big fans of Pacsafe; this isn’t the first of their products to appear in this list. They make fantastic travel security products (one of our favorites is the Travelsafe Bag, which is an excellent solution for keeping things like laptops safe when staying in hostels or sketchy hotels).

So it’s no surprise that Pacsafe’s large fanny pack made it on this list. In fact, the last item on our list might actually be the best fanny pack for travel. It features dual release security buckles, wire mesh embedded in the fabric and strap to make them slash-proof, RFID blocking in the main compartment, and a roomy but comfortable size.

We love that it’s a comfortable and well thought-out pack that maintains a relatively compact profile rather than bulging like some waist packs tend to. All the security features let us focus on exploring, which is the way it should be.

FAQs

Are money belts really secure? Don’t thieves know to look for them? 

It’s true that money belts are no secret by now. But we still like to use money belts in certain travel situations, because they’re more secure than a wallet or purse.

While criminals might know to look for money belts, they’re still very difficult for pickpockets to access without you noticing, particularly if you wear your money belt under your shirt.

If you’re concerned about outright mugging, a traditional money belt might not be your best bet. We recommend the Pacsafe hidden money belt featured in the list above, as well as other concealed options, like scarves with hidden pockets, or Clever Travel’s hidden pocket clothing.

Do I need an RFID blocking money belt / fanny pack? 

That depends on what you’re carrying. Not all credit cards have RFID chips, and those that do usually have a contactless payment logo. At this point, only a small percentage of US credit cards have RFID chips, so chances are you don’t have anything to worry about.

When it comes to your passport however, it’s not a bad idea to use an RIFD blocking bag, wallet, or sleeve when you’re out and about with it. All US passports since 2006 include an RFID chip that transmits most of the personal information shown on the first page of your passport.

When possible, you should really leave your passport in the hotel safe. Taking your passport with you while you explore just opens you up to theft, accidental loss, or scams. If there isn’t a safe available, or your hotel is sketchy, it can be more secure to keep your passport with you, provided that it’s well hidden and RFID protected.

Are fanny packs back in style? Will I look like a dorky tourist wearing one? 

You’re in luck, because fanny packs are cool again! There’s plenty of stylish options available, and we’ve tried to highlight some of the best fanny packs that provide a good balance of style and security. It depends on where you’re traveling, but pickpockets are a scourge of so many cities, so the security of any bag you carry should be on your mind. We say that if it comes down to it, you’re better off looking like a tourist and keeping your valuables secure, than losing your wallet or passport from a fashionable bag.

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Photographer, writer, and digital nomad.