Safety series: Passport Security Socks

In the past couple of months, we’ve taken a close look at the issue of personal security for travellers.

We’ve examined a new generation of anti-theft backpacks, shoulder bags, security clothing and convenient personal alarms.

And we tested and reviewed some of the leading products before making recommendations on their suitability and advisability for travel.

In the course of the series, one of the most creative personal security ideas that we came across were Passport Security Socks from Zip It Gear.

These are ingenious – high quality, comfortable socks for both women and men, with a hidden zippered compartment to store valuables.

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Photo courtesy Zip It Gear

A great idea born over a beer

It’s often said that the best ideas are born of necessity and Zip It Gear admits that this was certainly the case with the Passport Security Socks.

The concept came after inventor and owner, Evan Papel, was pickpocketed while travelling in Europe.

Over a beer and what cash he had left, came the idea of the security socks.

From a personal security point of view, it was a moment of brilliance. Unless thieves are crawling along the ground, this is truly a great way to keep things safe.

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Our review: The security aspect

We tested the size of the hidden pocket and found that it quite easily held:

  • a Passport
  • coins and notes
  • a credit card
  • ID (driver’s licence)

No rubbing against the leg

Initially, we were wary that valuables put in the pocket might irritate the wearer or hamper movement.

However, after extensive road testing, our concerns were eased: the pocket is designed to sit above the ankle and didn’t rub against our legs at all.

We even added a key to the pocket, but still didn’t feel it.

And, despite a lot of walking and cycling, we found that items in the pocket didn’t slip down or interfere with our movement in any way. The socks have a non-slip top which keeps them in place.

No excessive bulge

We also found that items in the pocket didn’t bulge noticeably and the zipper blends in with the material and is not obvious.

The pocket in Zip It Gear’s Passport Security Socks, to all intents and purposes, really is hidden.

It’s also clever that the zipper itself is made of nylon to avoid problems with airport metal detectors.

This is part of a series of reviews we are undertaking on personal safety products for travellers – especially fellow senior travellers.  wallet-cash-credit-card-pocketWe are particularly focusing on the new-generation of innovative features and products that are rapidly boosting security for travellers.

The functional aspect

Okay, so the socks got top marks for personal security – but we asked ourselves whether they were also practical?

What would be the point if they didn’t also function well as plain old socks?

Well, on this point, we got a huge shock.

Comfortable and light to wear

As well as security, the Passport Security Socks were clearly designed to be particularly comfortable.

Soft and light, the socks have a form-fitting arch and extra padding on the sole and around the toes to help prevent blisters.

Zip It Gear says ‘Holofiber’ in the sock may also reduce feet swelling.

No sweat

In our test, we worked up quite a sweat walking and cycling, but found that the socks seemed to breath particularly well; stayed dry and cool; and didn’t smell.

The maintenance aspect

But how do you wash them while travelling?

We did both a machine wash and a hand wash – without any problems.

The Passport Security socks emerged unscathed from both the washing machine and a low tumble dry.

And for hand washing, we turned the socks inside out soaked them in soapy water, rinsed thoroughly and hung them to dry inside.

As claimed, they dried overnight, which is also great for travelling.

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Photo courtesy Zip It Gear

Summary

There’s a lot to like about the Zip It Gear’s Passport Security Socks.

  • They’re great for securing your Passport and other essentials while on the road.
  • The zip pocket is a good size, doesn’t look bulky and does not slip down to hinder movement.
  • And, as well as their nifty security role, these are also first rate socks: comfortable to wear and well padded to absorb impact; light and dry even during hard exercise; and odour absorbing.

We put them through torrid testing and could not fault the functionality.

Overall, Zip It Gear’s Passport Security Socks are another relatively simple and affordable way of helping travellers outwit pickpockets and thieves.

Add these to your travel planning, or even when exercising at home or at the gym. We thoroughly recommend them.

They perfectly complement other personal security products that we’ve reviewed, such as:

the Presli Anti-theft backpack
the Travelon Anti-theft bag
Travelon’s clever anti-theft scarf.
The Wrist Personal Alarm

Additional information about Passport Security Socks

Zip It Gear is a prominent travel accessories brand that distributes across the US and to a number of countries world wide. As well as security socks in several colour schemes and sizes, the company also sells a range of other innovative products.

See if you are able to order online

Disclaimer: Zip it Gear supplied Passport Security Socks for this review but, as always, the views expressed are ours and ours alone.

Main Photo courtesy Zip It Gear

 

Beat the pickpockets

Safety series: The clever travel scarf

Since we launched our review series on travel safety products, we’ve tested some innovative and practical ideas.

But, it’s fair to say that few of these products have been as fashionable and stylish as the Travel Scarf produced by Travelon.

While travelling, you see people of all ages wearing scarves.

It’s logical: they look nice with just about anything – and a large, pashmina-style scarf is perfect for using as a wrap or blanket while in airports, planes, trains or other public places.

What a great idea!

The genius in Travelon’s Travel Scarf, however, is that – as well as being an elegant accessory – it has a smart additional purpose, designed specifically to help beat pickpockets and thieves.

Its secret is a hidden pocket in the scarf that can carry things like your coin purse, ID, credit cards, boarding pass, passport and perhaps even a mobile phone.

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The hidden pocket features RFID-blocking to ensure that your identity is protected by preventing scanning of credit cards, driver’s licence etc.

Unbelievably handy – yet it doesn’t detract at all from using the scarf as a multipurpose item of clothing.

Put whatever you need in the scarf’s security pocket; zipper up; throw the scarf around your shoulders or neck – and you have a combination of safety, fashion and versatility in one stylish item.

Outsmarting the pickpockets

Travelon’s Travel Scarf is part of a world-wide trend that is turning the tables against pickpockets.

As well as old favourites like personal alarms and under-clothing money belts, travellers can now arm themselves with special slash-resistant safety backpacks and lock-zipper travel bags.

And, there’s now a whole range of ‘clever clothing’ such as the Travelon Travel Scarf – with concealed pockets, zippers and a host of other tricks.

See the Travel Scarf’s features on this video courtesy of Travelon

And, in line with advancing technology, some of this personal safety clothing – again like the Travel Scarf – has included RFID blocking as an additional security feature.

As well as a remarkable leap forward in personal safety, these new-generation clever clothing items and bags have also evolved quickly to look stylish and elegant.

Travel safety meets style

That’s definitely the case with Travelon’s Travel Scarf.

It’s a step-up on the money belt, but is still a particularly usable, attractive item of clothing that can be teamed with just about anything.

The scarf’s size, of 65″ x 57″ (165.1cm x 144.8cm) also allows it to be used as a handy travel blanket or a shoulder wrap on those coolish evenings or in air conditioning.

Travelon’s attractive grey and raspberry-coloured travel scarves are 100% Polyester, which gives an especially light and soft feel. It can be hand washed and hung to dry.

RFID blocking for added security

And, of course, it has the added advantage of being RFID-proof.

In today’s world of cyber technology, stories abound about the risk of personal information from your credit cards etc being scanned and downloaded as you innocently walk by.

To help ease your mind, Travelon has made the hidden pocket in its Travel Scarf RDIF-proof to block transmission of personal information.

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Yes, the scarf’s hidden pocket is just that – hidden. It is extremely difficult to see and even the zipper is the same colour as the material, blending in perfectly.

Great gift idea for travellers

In summary, the Travelon Travel Scarf is a functional and fashionable way of helping keep your valuables safe.

It can serve several purposes, which is ideal when you are travelling; neatly complements other safety clothing; comes at an affordable price; – and is a great gift idea.

Like all safety precautions, Travelon’s Travel Scarf obviously can’t guarantee that you won’t have things stolen, but it will certainly improve your chances of keeping your valuables safe.

How to get one

The Travel Scarf can be purchased online.

Disclaimer:  Travelon supplied a Travel Scarf for this review. However, as always, the opinions are ours and ours alone.


This is part of an ongoing series of reviews we are undertaking on personal safety products for travellers – especially fellow senior travellers.  wallet-cash-credit-card-pocketWe are particularly focusing on the new-generation of innovative features and products that are rapidly boosting security for travellers.

 


 

Beat the pickpockets

Latest ways of beating pickpockets

If you are planning to travel, it’s wise to give some thought to protecting your valuables.

Thankfully, there are a host of different tips and tricks – not to mention some quirky clothing ideas – that give you the edge over pickpockets.

With secret pockets, hidden pouches and anti-slash straps, these items aim to keep travellers safe from bag snatchers and thieves the world over.

New-generation backpacks

Because backpacks are often a target, we like the look of the new-generation of ‘smart packs’ such as the Presli Voyager (main photo)

These packs smartly position anti theft, reverse design zippers to sit snugly against your back, and are made entirely from slash-proof and water resistant material.

Added smart features include an easy to find key clip and two internal zipper pockets for safe storage of passports and a wallet.

Business travellers will love the padded pocket for their MacBook Pro (up to 15”), multiple pen slots, business card pockets, and a pouch for A4 documents to store unfolded.

An external water bottle pocket, and two zipped pockets forward on the shoulder straps are for easily accessible, and secure stowage of credit cards, transport passes or an office access swipe card.

Pickpocket-proof pants

There’s also quite a range of travel pants designed to make life difficult for pickpockets.

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With a host of zips, velcro strips and flaps to ‘double lock’ your pockets, these trousers provide many options for keeping valuables safe.

Clever underwear

If you want to get really clever, there are many types of security underwear available for travellers.

There’s also T-shirts and vests with hidden pockets and the Braza Secret Stash, which allows a woman to put valuables in a pouch that sits on the central part of a bra.

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Clever and cunning socks

Some travellers swear by the use of special socks with a built-in compartment for storing valuables.

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Multi-pocket vests

Vests and jackets with as many as 42 hidden pockets are now common among travellers, as are slash-proof carry bags, handbags and similar accessories.

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And, there are also anti theft bags such as those made by Travelon with shoulder straps  reinforced by cable and anti-slash material.

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That brings us to a topical subject: protection against illegal scanning of credit cards that have radio frequency identification technology, or RFID.

RFID protection

There is debate about whether not not these cards can realistically be scanned through your purse or wallet.

Even though scanning apps are apparently easily downloaded on the web, it would apparently take substantial computing power to lift information from an RFID card.

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However, there are still plenty of handbags, wallets, carry bags and even individual sleeves that are designed to protect your cards against identity theft and tracking.

Broad, general steps

And, of course, there are general precautions that you can take to further turn the odds against the thieves in public places.

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These include:

  • Keep your wallet in a front pocket instead of the back. Consider taking a dummy wallet as well.
  • Loop an elastic band around your real wallet, which will help prevent it from sliding out smoothly.
  • Spread your valuables instead of keeping them all in one place. Thieves are not stupid and are well aware of money belts.
  • Remain alert and don’t allow anyone to divert your attention or distract you.
  • If you are using public transport, keep your bag with you at all times – in contact with your body
  • Be naturally suspicious. Don’t accept food or drink from strangers.
  • Carry a back-up ATM or credit card.
  • Consider a slash free carry bag with lockable zippers – and keep it with you at all times.
  • Consider a dummy camera.
  • Before travelling, research any particular scams that operate where you are going
  • When in public, don’t stop to get out money or other valuables. Assume that pickpockets are watching you.
Beat the pickpockets