Sure, everybody’s a photographer these days with the quality of cameras in mobile phones. But if you really want just the right, high-res shot and the choice of longer lenses, you still really need that digital SLR. But who wants to lose it on the Paris metro where quick slash-and-dashes are common? Or in a crowd at a concert with one bump and the camera is poof?

Testing the Pacsafe Camsafe in New Caledonia's Blue River Provincial Park.

Testing the Pacsafe Camsafe in New Caledonia’s Blue River Provincial Park.

We found the Pacsafe Camsafe Camera Toploader Bag (USD $90) a real treat that rested our minds at ease. First, you have to realize what the brand Pacsafe is: It was established in Hong Kong by two Australians in 1998 with a focus on smart, anti-theft, safe travel accessories and gear. The features are truly amazing and one of a kind. From slash-proof straps, to RFID-safe wallets, to locking compartments and dual-release buckles that take two hands to, … well, you have to read more on the website ( to get the full breadth of what the brand offers travelers. Much of that technology is in this bag of course too.

The Camsafe is a compact 400 nylon oxford bag for D-SLR cameras with a short to medium-length lens. No room for extra lenses or gear (other than a few wipes, an extra memory card, pen, small notebook, and such small items). Although we like taking great photos, we aren’t fans of huge kits. This dual-zippered, top-loading bag will slip inside another carryon to eliminate multiple bags, then it pulls out to go along on an adventure. There is just enough space in a small front pocket for a slim wallet. We sometimes did want to take along a bit more. But attaching a small nylon ditty back to the strap worked divinely for those circumstances. What would be nice is a side stretch mesh pocket so if you DO want to carry a small water bottle of some other trinket, you have a place to put it.

The shoulder strap of the Pacsafe Camsafe is set at an angle so you basically are most comfortable wearing it slung across your shoulder. That can be limiting if you want to hang it over one shoulder instead, where it ends up being a big askew.

There is a super practical grab handle on the lid and a built-in rain cover – something that non-U.S. brands more commonly realize the importance of in   keeping out wet weather.

All in all: The Pacsafe Camsafe Camera Toploader Bag is one superior, secure, no-nonsense, compact friend when all you need is the camera to guarantee you get the best shot – without the worry of your camera taking a walk in a stranger’s hands. Which is why we are pleased to award it with our HITT Seal of Approval.

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