The Pacsafe Venturesafe X40 Plus has been around for a long time. It is an established product with solid reviews across the web, and it promises to be as safe from thieves as it can get. In addition, the design of this backpack makes it nearly impossible to access its contents without being detected, which means you will have your valuables at all times.

The Pacsafe Venturesafe X40 Plus is the subject of this review. Yes, it is a mouthful, and yes, there is a strong emphasis on safety, or more precisely, security, as the name indicates.

Pacsafe is a firm that specializes in anti-theft travel equipment. They’re all about providing you peace of mind when traveling, from bags to wallets to roller baggage, which we love to see. Any seasoned traveler knows that security is no laughing matter when you’re out on your own—or even when you’re not alone—and knowing that no one would grab your luggage while you drift asleep on the metro is a great relief.

The Venturesafe X40 Plus is Pacsafe’s carry-on certified travel bag, which, in addition to being a great all-around backpack, comes with a slew of helpful security features. We’ve been using it for approximately a month at the time of this review, and it’s gone on excursions all over the world, from Detroit to Spain. So let’s have a look.

Aesthetics and Materials

There are two colors available for this bag: black and Hawaiian blue. We chose black for two reasons: first, we like black bags, and second, we want the low profile it provides. The Hawaiian blue is a vivid color, and although we enjoy it, it makes you stand out a little more, which we believe makes you a more probable target for theft.

Pacsafe Venturesafe X40 Plus Instagram PollWe love the overall aesthetic of this pack, and it seems that our Instagram followers do, too. Our survey resulted in a 75/25 split, with 75 percent of respondents enjoying the bag’s appearance.

Pacsafe Venturesafe X40 Plus FabricOn the exterior, there’s 210D nylon, and on the inside, there’s a very weather-resistant polyester lining. Between those two layers is Pacsafe’s unique eXomesh®, a metal webbing that helps make the bag more slash-resistant. We believe the 210D nylon could be thicker to make it more durable, but that’s the price you pay for putting in the eXomesh®.

Overall, this bag is durable, particularly when it comes to anti-theft features. It’s also worth noting that the nylon isn’t just any ripstop but double ripstop nylon, which means that if a rip occurs in this pack, it won’t become any more significant. That is, at least, the hypothesis (which we believe will work).

Pacsafe Venturesafe X40 Plus BrandingThere are some modest logos around the pack’s exterior in terms of branding. There is a logo with the company name on the shoulder strap, and on the front, there is a similar triangle-shaped emblem. A huge eXomesh® branding towards the bottom is intended to deter any would-be burglars. Criminals are well-aware of this, and they avoid it like the plague. (We have no way of knowing whether or not this is true.) I ultimately made that up. However, you never know!)

The Venturesafe is made of various materials, including an aluminum frame, EVA foam cushioning, and Dyneema® on the backpack straps for further slash resistance. And, of course, there are locking YKK zippers throughout and some ITW hardware.

Components from Outside

Pacsafe Venturesafe X40 Plus In Barcelona, SpainThe black version of this pack has a modest profile on the surface, but a lot is going on within. Let’s begin with the harness system (as one does). The shoulder straps are composed of high-density EVA foam and, despite their appearance, are pretty comfortable. When we saw them, we were reminded of straps on the Minaal Carry-On 2.0 and the Mission Workshop Fitzroy VX. Two businesses know how to make great carry-on packs and have mastered the “thin-but-surprisingly-comfortable” concept.

Pacsafe Venturesafe X40 Plus Shoulder StrapsAdditional ventilation is provided through mesh and perforations on the shoulder straps. On the top, there are load-lifters to assist with your carrier and some elastic keepers to help manage any surplus straps from the load-lifters.

Pacsafe Venturesafe X40 Plus Turn Lock on Left Shoulder StrapAs an extra anti-theft function, the left shoulder strap has a turn and lock security loop, which we think is fantastic! It’s not foolproof—you can remove it—but it will prevent someone from taking your luggage and fleeing. If you’re ever on a bus or subway and can’t keep your eyes open, clip your bag to your seat, and you’ll be OK. Anyone attempting to seize your suitcase and flee will be a harsh shock. They may fall flat on their faces.

As we stated, it’s simple to put this on and take it off—spin the lock mechanism and draw it down like a regular hook—but most people don’t see that without a bit of digging.

Pacsafe Venturesafe X40 Plus Hip BeltThe hip belt contributes to the overall carry of the pack and gives excellent comfort. You cannot, however, stow it. So it’s unpleasant when you’re not using it—your arms get in the way, and if you’re walking down an aircraft aisle with this thing, you’re probably going to smack somebody in the face. And in our experience, going down an aircraft aisle while carrying this pack occurs relatively often. Something, something, something, something, something, something, something, something, something, something, something, something

For this reason, we’re not big fans of hip belts that can’t be removed or disguised. We regret to inform you that the Venturesafe X40 Plus will not be a member of the #danglefreeexperience club. (Sorry, the rules are pretty straightforward.) It’s right there in the name!) We do wish they had given this a little more consideration.

Pacsafe Venturesafe X40 Plus 3D Pocket on Hip BeltA tremendous 3D pocket on the right-hand side of the hip belt is ideal for more miniature goods, and two rows of MOLLE on the left-hand side are suitable for attaching extra MOLLE compatible attachments. Finally, there is a lovely hook on the top of the bag for putting it up, which allows you to place it flat against a wall, which we love to see!

The back panel features some cushioned mesh that gives a little comfort and ventilation, and there’s an adhesive rain cover linked to the pack below the harness system. When needed, you can quickly take it out and put it over your package for more weather protection. It’s fantastic.

Pacsafe Venturesafe X40 Plus With Soylent In Mesh PocketWe come across the mesh water bottle compartments as we continue to go over all the components we like. These aren’t just any stretchy pants—they’re SERIOUSLY flexible! These pockets will not only hold a S’well bottle or a large Nalgene bottle, but they will also fit a GIANT Soylent tub. This thing is enormous.

You’ll be OK carrying a couple of liters of water or enough protein powder for an Olympic weightlifting team.

Pacsafe Venturesafe X40 Plus Compression Straps Holding JacketThere are two compression straps on each side of the pack for four. When the group isn’t filled out, they help lower the primary loudness. You may also use them to hold items on the side of the pack, such as a jacket or a tripod.

Pacsafe Venturesafe X40 Plus Velcro AttachmentBut don’t worry, we’re not done yet! On the side of the backpack, there are a few little velcro hooks for attaching trekking poles or a monopod—they’re tiny and only appear to handle fragile things. We have yet to put them to good use. There are also some trekking loops on the bottom, which are generally used to connect a sleeping bag or sleeping pad to the bottom of the pack but may be used to attach any item to the bottom of the package, precisely like the compression straps.

Pacsafe Venturesafe X40 Plus Lockable ZipsThere are various ways to secure the zippers, which are all made by YKK and may be secured using TSA-approved locks. There are also two areas with incorporated clips where you may use them to keep the two zippers together, making it a little more challenging to access. One is towards the top, and the other is on the side. Finally, a little nylon tab on the front pocket that you may thread the zipper through, making it more challenging to open.

Inside the Bundle

Pacsafe Venturesafe X40 Plus Front PocketFront Pocket Pacsafe Venturesafe X40 Plus Let’s move on to the bag’s many sections! First, a vertical zippered pocket on the front side is ideal for flatter goods or smaller items you’d prefer to keep in the front of your bag.

The front of the pack has a horseshoe zipper that opens to the first compartment. It’s a little simpler to get to this if you remove the side compression straps. Although the zipper only extends approximately halfway down the pack, the pocket runs the whole length of the front.

Pacsafe Venturesafe X40 Plus Horseshoe Front PocketA spinnable key chain clip and a pocket with a D ring for connecting extra accessories start at the top. Pacsafe does encourage you to utilize their wallet for more security—whether you do so is up to you; we don’t believe it’s essential. One feature of this zipped pocket is that it is RFID protected—we believe this form of theft is unusual, but everything is getting a little more electrically scrambled these days… So we’re not going to complain about the extra security.

Pacsafe Venturesafe X40 Plus RFDI PocketA lay-flat organizer with two compartments for pens, pencils, styluses, and other small items is located underneath it. You may also put some smaller goods in here, such as field notes or your passport. A mesh zipped pocket on the inside of the flap enables you to view what’s inside easily (we love these pockets).

One thing to keep in mind about this massive horseshoe compartment is that if you use the RFID pocket, lay-flat organizer, and mesh pocket to their best potential, getting stuff into (and out of) the bottom section will be difficult. All of the items on the top will take up a lot of room, so you’ll be restricted.

Pacsafe Venturesafe X40 Plus Main CompartmentMoving on to the main container, there are two methods to get at it. First, there’s an angled zipper towards the rear of the bag that we think is pretty cool because you can flip the flap over and have a wonderful view of what’s going on inside the pack if you just zip it down a little bit. This compartment may also be reached from the rear panel, which cannot be accessed when the pack is on your back—yet another enhanced security feature.

Pacsafe Venturesafe X40 Plus DividerThere’s also an optional divider that divides the main compartment, which connects with a zipper and Velcro and is simple to remove if you don’t want to use it. Simply stow it in the rain cover compartment or another pocket inside the bag. While that divider is in place, the major capacity is divided in half, which means the front and rear of this main compartment can only be accessed from its related entrance point. As a result, the angled zipper will enable you to reach the compartment’s front, while the rear panel zipper will allow you to access the compartment’s back.

When that partition is in place, the compartment closest to the rear panel becomes the pack’s most secure pocket. We haven’t used the divider much since we like big bucket-style compartments—we adore those packing cubes—but given your use case, it might be a really useful tool to have.

Pacsafe Venturesafe X40 Plus Aluminum FrameYou’ll notice the metal frame is somewhat visible when glancing around the main compartment. This helps a lot with carrying, particularly because the bag’s frame sheet isn’t that sturdy. You may assume that a metal frame would be unpleasant or heavy, yet it has lots of cushioning and is made of lightweight aluminum.

Pacsafe Venturesafe X40 Plus SD PocketsThree Velcro pockets on the top of the main compartment provide further organizing. These are ideal for SD cards and thumb drives, but they might also be used for other smaller, flatter things.

Two ripstop polyester pockets with zippers and zipper garages are located below. The zipper garages enable you to slip the whole zipper and zipper pull inside the pocket, resulting in a sleek, low-profile appearance.

It’s also worth noting that this kit includes two extra inside components from Pacsafe. The first is their camera cube—you can place it at the bottom of the pack and access all of your camera gear by opening the rear panel if you open the camera cube and simply keeping the lid permanently open.

While we like the concept, we find this approach to be a bit cumbersome. That camera cube will simply float about in there, which is something we don’t want. It doesn’t connect to the system or attach to the bag like some other backpacks (most notably Peak Design’s new Travel Backpack). Regardless, you may keep your camera equipment close by with that configuration, and it should work well.

Pacsafe’s portable safe, which is essentially a secure cube that employs a metal wire to lock itself and/or attach the cube to a fixed item, is another accessory that may be incorporated here. In the case of this pack, the metal wire may be threaded outside the bag—through the water bladder port—and secured to anything you choose.

Pacsafe Venturesafe X40 Plus Laptop CompartmentThis reminds us: water bladders can be stuffed into a pocket on the rear of the main compartment flap, and the hose can be threaded through the shoulder straps. This pocket may also be used as a laptop, which is our concern.

This laptop compartment is located at the front of the backpack and seems to be a last-minute addition. Because your laptop is usually one of your heaviest belongings, and it will be better protected there, you should always carry it as close to your back as feasible. Because you’re carrying such a large object so far away from your back, it’ll seem like the bag is much heavier than if it’s dropping off your back. There isn’t a lot of cushioning here, either.

This was a significant oversight since we believe laptop compartments are critical for today’s travelers. Having a laptop at your disposal is essential, whether you’re a full-fledged digital nomad or want to keep up with your favorite YouTube channel (us). In contrast, on vacation—so the looks to have been put in as an afterthought is frustrating.

Testing & Durability

Pacsafe Venturesafe X40 Plus In BarcelonaFrom Detroit to Barcelona, Spain, our Pacsafe Venturesafe X40 Plus has been used for almost a month. Overall, it’s held up well thus far and delivered some excellent road safety measures. We also believe the bag’s organization is just right—not too much, nor too little. Apart from very little fabric tearing in a few spots, the materials are in excellent condition.

The hip belt and laptop compartment have been our primary gripes. So far, we think this is a good bag, but we believe it might be an exceptional one if those two concerns can be rectified.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Pacsafe bag is best?

A: However, I recommend the B3 or G5 Pacsafe bag due to their higher quality and lower cost than other brands.

Is pacsafe a good brand?

A: Pacsafe is a well-known brand that makes high-quality bags and other products.

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