Pacsafe Review: Citysafe CX 17 liter backpack

The right bag can change how you live your life, or at the very least, change how you travel. About 6 years ago Sean and I bought a Pacsafe bag each because we were going to Europe for the first time on our own and wanted to feel secure. Now, Pacsafe has reached out and asked if we wanted a complimentary upgrade. This can happen as a blogger, but I usually turn these offers down since I don’t need a bunch of bags. But, this offer had me answering “yes!” immediately.

Vilnius with Pacsafe Citysafe CX backpack

Shortly after buying our first Pacsafe bags, I knew I loved the idea they had in designing and ultra-safe bag but wanted something a bit…prettier. When they upgraded me, I chose the Citysafe CX backpack (the newer version of the bag I had) because I’d been eyeing it for years.

After taking it to Vilnius and our 2 week trip to Italy, I knew I had to do a review on the Citysafe CX backpack because I am more in love with this bag than I thought I would be. There were even aspects of it that I thought I wouldn’t like, but it’s definitely the most perfect bag I’ve used as a travel backpack.

Citysafe CX in Venice


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A review of the Citysafe CX backpack – Perfect size

A bag needs to be right for you, so in this review, I will lay out why it’s perfect for me, and in which scenarios I see it working best.

This is an excellent personal item because it fits in with some of the strictest airlines personal item policy. It’s so roomy that you might not see it as a “small” personal item, but, hey, if it fits, it sits…or lays in this case. It’s a 17 liter backpack with a size of 14.6 x 10.6 x 6.3 in / 37 x 27 x 16 cm.

pacsafe backpack gif of filling the bag

One of my favorite past-times is noticing good use of space. From tiny homes, well-designed bathrooms, to bags, I find it utterly fascinating how, in the same size of something, you can get different results just because of design.

I can fit my camera bag in the bottom, my cables bag, my 15” laptop, the charger, pens, passport, water bottle, umbrella, a sweater, and other personal items in here. Surprisingly, the weight is well-distributed. The website says it fits a 13” laptop, but my 15” HP Ultrabook fits smoothly, I don’t have to force it at all.

Buy your Pacsafe Citysafe CX bag (or other bags) here

Vilnius street with Pacsafe backpack


Safety features of the Citysafe CX backpack

There are many features on this bag that I had on the last bag, and they happen to be why you buy a Pacsafe bag. The eXomesh slashguard is a mesh within the fabric (you don’t really notice it) that prevents people from slashing through your bag with a knife. And the Carrysafe slashguard strap prevents people from cutting through your strap.

If I’m honest (and I always try to be!), I don’t worry too much about the slash and grabs, but I do worry about the zippers. This technology has changed a bit since my original Citysafe bag that I bought 6 years ago, but it’s still the same idea. The front zipper tucks under a loop and the main opening has zippers that latch together and for more security, they clip onto the decorative circle on the front.

pacsafe backpack gif of zippers being secured

Perhaps my favorite safety features is in the strap that you can unhook and hook around a chair, bench, pole, etc. I use this all the time when I’m eating or mingling. It gives me such piece of mind.

Inside there’s an RFID blocking pocket that is perfect for anything with a chip in it. This might be your passport, credit cards, or security badges. I put my passport in this pocket, but I bought the RFID blocking passport holder 6 years ago as well, so I don’t really need it. Still, it’s an extra layer of protection.



Trento colorful houses pacsafe

The Citysafe CX backpack is easy to use

It can take a few minutes and up to a couple of uses to get used to the features. But once you do, it’s like you know a secret that nobody else does. Because it’s a secure bag, there are minor annoyances if you want someone else to zip up your bag while you are wearing it. I remember reading a review of a similar bag and they didn’t like it because it was too hard to use one-handed. I mean…yeah…it shouldn’t be easy for someone to just walk by and open it without you noticing, so it does take a bit more effort.

This backpack has been used as my personal carry-on item on the plane and a city day bag (if you need your laptop and/or camera). It’s been to Lithuania, Italy, and of course, Amsterdam so far, and it’s now my go-to travel bag.

My favorite things about this bag are that it holds more than you think, it’s lighter than you think, and the security of the zippers. I am so glad I upgraded because I know I’ll have this bag for years to come, just like I had the last bag for years!

We are happy to give you a look into how we travel and what we use, so if you have any questions about any of our gear, please let us know.

Browse the Pacsafe brand of bags to have peace of mind when traveling

Wishing you joy and travels!

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4 Comments

  1. The color is gorgeous! I have my eye on a wine luggage set that this would match with perfectly. I’m on the fence about this version and the mini. I want an everyday/purse like backpack but I’m currently in grad school so I do lug my laptop around on a daily basis. I might end up getting the larger and seeing how well I like it to justify getting the smaller for daily use. One question I do have, do you notice that the straps become loose the heavier the bag is packed? I’ve read some reviews where people complain about it sliding down and causing back strain.

    Reply
    • Hi ya! I can’t say I’ve had the strap issue you mentioned and I’ve packed a ton inside. I just got the mini and while I think it’s a great replacement for a purse, I would get the regular size if you are using it for grad school. I’m finding the smaller one a bit limited but great for running out of the house.

      Reply

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