If we're trying to avoid pick-pockets when travelling, are there types of fasteners for clothing or bags that are more difficult to pick-pocket?

I'm thinking in particular of velcro since it takes a tug and makes noise when opened -- as compared to zippers, buttons, or magnetic clasps, which all seem very low security.

(I'm specifically talking about fasteners and not any other feature of the clothing or bag)

  • By bags, are you referring to purses and backpacks? There are, such as those by Travelon, made with slash proof fabrics and straps, as well as other features such as locking zippers.
    – Giorgio
    Feb 17, 2017 at 2:02
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    Zippers also take a "tug" to open, since pick pockets don't have time to slowly slide the zipper open.
    – user13044
    Feb 17, 2017 at 2:16
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    I use a woven utility strap made of mil spec paracord with a bolt snap on one end. It's impregnable and pickpocket proof. The entire ensemble can also be weaponized. One of the other members here @Willeke is an expert at decorative weaving.
    – Gayot Fow
    Feb 17, 2017 at 3:44
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    I'm specifically talking about fasteners and not any other feature of the clothing or bag.
    – RoboKaren
    Feb 17, 2017 at 8:46

2 Answers 2


I use cargo pocket type pants / shorts for travel that keep my valuables in front or low side pockets so they are within my peripheral vision. The shorts actually have a second zippered pocket behind the cargo pocket, so deceive would be PP's as to the wallet's location. The cargo pockets are either zip or velcro.

For backpacks and such, simply keep your valuables in the middle of the main compartment. Slash and run types will target the outside pockets or stuff on the edges of the compartment, they don't have time to dig deep inside.

  • +1, I use cargo pants; for a day bag, I use a Lightspeed Gann with a small bag inside held in place with a paracord lanyard that has a bolt snap on one end and a carabiner on the other.
    – Gayot Fow
    Feb 17, 2017 at 4:05

Remove pants. Turn pocket inside out. Place small stone in corner. Tie string around it. Put back on pants. Reach in pocket & pull out string. Put small hole in billfold. Tie string through it. Next roll billfold into string putting it in your front pocket.

Now when they pickpocket they need reach in your pocket and unroll your billfold removing it. Plus pull your pocket out.
A good strong string is best, so they must yank it free.
A rounder midsize coin type purse is best for this as it makes it easy to roll tight to the bottom of your front pants pocket and remove. Keep your cash there.
I normally wear cargo pants with zipper or button down pockets and have no problems.

Or use a money belt, if you have extra cash on you.

Do not let children get too close or surround you. Having some American pennies in your pocket works well: Throw them on the street; the kids will dive for them; you make a fast exit.

  • 2
    What part of SE Asia do you live in? Life here in Thailand is no where near that hazardous.
    – user13044
    Feb 17, 2017 at 3:34

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