I’ve got a pretty big bag—actually, a sack into which you put your bag—with a roll-top closure system. I had never heard of it, but you can see it in action here. That one is pretty small, but they go up to 80-90 liters of capacity, here an example.

These sacks are advertised as a good solution for air travels when you have to board backpacks. Some companies won’t allow backpacks because of their loose ends that might stick and block the luggage transportation system. So you just put your backpack in a cheap, lightweight sack and you are done.

Still, there seems to be no way to secure it. One can just open the clips, unroll the top and that’s it. Do you have any experience on how (and if) this kind of bag can be secured?

Here's a close up of the closure, I don't know its name but it's pretty obvious.

photograph of the bag's clip

  • These are designed to keep specific things dry. Put it inside another container. Jul 6 '16 at 22:57
  • @Michael mine is nowhere near wateproof, so they clearly have other usages. However, yours is a valuable suggestion :)
    – natario
    Jul 7 '16 at 10:19

One thing you can do is to lock the loops where the plastic clip-lock attaches with a wire-lock as shown in the picture below:

enter image description here

Alternatively you could break the plastic clip-lock that you are showing in the picture and replace it with a regular key- or combination-lock (and you can get those even in the TSA-approved variant). Note that a potential thief could still cut the rope bag itself or the laces that hold the lock.

Another thing is to lock the backpack inside the roll-top bag. Here is a pic of using a net for this. Or just lock the zippers like here.

All of this won't stop anyone determined to get your stuff but it does make it harder.

  • 1
    Thank you, this answer was most helpful to me. I think I am going to buy something like this, which, should be long enough to catch both ends of the clip without having to break it.
    – natario
    Jul 7 '16 at 10:22

I have a few of these bags, but only use them for beach/swimming stuff. If I were to try and lock one, I would search for a generic backpack security protector. It seems that there are several of these around, e.g. on Amazon:

These are sold under the Pacsafe name.

There may be other lockable mesh products available.

If you are checking in your bag, you might want to put the mesh around the inner bag and leave the roll-up bag unlocked.

  • Thank you, I didn’t know about these! They are way too expensive for me (I’d just buy a new bag for that price), but nice to know.
    – natario
    Jul 7 '16 at 10:24
  • @mvai Yeah, they are a bit pricey. Do look useful though say if you're sleeping in an airport or something. Maybe there are cheaper versions around
    – Berwyn
    Jul 7 '16 at 10:26

They are normally used for swimming/diving/kayaking/canyoning, as waterproof packaging (although they are a bit more sturdy then). I am not aware of any way to 'lock' them, but why would that be a concern? Backpacks are not lockable either.

Checked luggage is not accessible to the public, and if someone working there wants to open your luggage and steal something, they have all the time in the world to use tools, so no locking makes any sense.

if you want to secure against accidental opening (by being thrown around), a simple wire threaded trough both sides and twisted will help.

  • 1
    Thank you for your answer. “backpacks are not lockable either” yes, that’s the point actually. I’d just like to feel (not to be) a bit safer. We can say there are no thiefs in the luggage transport system, but if there’s one, I don’t want my bag to be the less secure of the whole plane (and currently, it is :-) ). Also, I’ll be carrying this bag on buses/taxis/whatever to reach and leave the airport.
    – natario
    Jul 6 '16 at 12:03
  • 8
    That's your decision; I would consider it wasted money. You are just telling the thief that this bag is more worthy to steal from. Also, be aware that the TSA will (legally) break/destroy any non-TSA-approved locks on luggage if they want to check the content. If you travel in the US, any other lock will not survive the first round-trip. I don't know about other countries, but it could well be similar.
    – Aganju
    Jul 6 '16 at 12:10
  • 1
    I would use a bit of string and tie the parts of the clip together. That is enough to stop it coming undone by accident. That is a variation on the twisted wire and has as much or little value to keep people out. It also stops people from stealing thing if they are in a hurry or want to go unnoticed. It is not a lock which does make it less 'screaming valuable'.
    – Willeke
    Jul 6 '16 at 17:03
  • So basically you are saying that securing your bags is worthless. Not sure I (and the whole securing industry) agree, but I guess that’s personal.
    – natario
    Jul 7 '16 at 10:18

To add to mts's answer (sorry, I can't comment as I'm new here), if you find a padlock with a small shackle there is no need to cut off the existing clips, just ensure the straps on each side of the clip are squeezed into the shackle.

That will stop the clip being casually opened, and won't damage the bag so you can use it inside your rucksac as a 'dry bag'. It's not a secure bag, and can't be made secure, but you can discourage easy access.

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