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Guide to Security Belt and Pouches

A Guide to Security Belts and Pouches

You might end up carrying a lot of important documents, as well as money. This list gives some hints on how to carry them. Remember to carry these things in two or more locations. Unless everything gets stolen, this way you'll have some extra money and papers that will make it easier to replace what was stolen, not to mention that some extra money can make it possible for you to continue your travels while waiting for new travelers checks or documents. When making purchases, be modest. Don't flash large amounts of cash. The wallet of a westerner can tempt people in poor countries to commit murder! Please remember this!

Travelers who purchase hidden money pouches fall into one of several categories.

The Casual International Traveler

This is the person who is traveling for the one to two week trip. They usually travel to major metropolitan international city or a well know tourist location. These travelers tend to stay in hotels and take tours. The majority of the time they are only concerned about security their property from pickpockets that they might come in contact with while shopping or walking down the street. These travelers usually are not out late at night and tend not to go to locations that might be visited by questionable characters.

High school or college student

This is the person who is backpacking his or her way across a country, countries or continent. They tend to be younger, stay out late at night seeing the local nightlife, visiting clubs and bars, and sometimes gets lost thereby ending up walking down the wrong street at night, and possibly coming in contact with questionable charters. Most of the time a backpackers trip will be without incident, but staying in hostels, sleeping while on the road, in train stations and on trains can be risky business. I cannot tell you the amount of students and regular travelers who have gone “in country” who have shared with met their repeated tails of victimolgy of having their money stolen while on the road.

Adventurous type

This is the person who travels to the far corners of the world seeking the true experience of foreign travel. They travel the road less traveled and really get to see what a country is really like. The majority of the time this does not pose a problem. Unfortunately, these travelers end up in third world countries where they watch they are wearing on their wrist could be the equivalent of a local residents yearly earnings. This traveler has a higher chance of coming in contact with bandits or desperate and hungry locals who might take the chance to physically rob (force or fear) you of your property. Here are the majority of devices used by travelers

Money Belts - How to Hide Money, Credit Cards, and Passports

What are the various types of devices used by travelers carry money and documents while traveling?

There are several types of travel money pouches, money belts, undercover neck wallets, leg wallets, shoulder wallets, and other various concealed wallets and hidden wallets, each one has pros and cons. Remember the main reason for these money security pouches products is to keep their contents from falling victim to the best pickpockets and sneak thieves.

When traveling a money belt can be a very important item for a traveler, especially when visiting locations where pickpockets are known to frequent.  A money belt is used to carry money, wallet, passports, identification, and other valuables that you don't want to loose. Most travelers just walk into a travel store and buy the first money belt they see on the display, but this is not always the best idea.  A money belt can be a very personal item and is not a "one size fits all" item by any means.  You can find over 100 variations of money belts.

While many of those might be very similar, their are several styles that are specifically made for various situations.  An example would be a person who wants to wear shorts (without a belt) during a day trip. They want to protect their money and credit cards from pickpockets, however they are aware how easy it is to get into their pockets, but they don't want to wear a traditional money belt or carry a waist pack, or handbag.  What would do?  Do you have a choice?  Not if you went to your local department store.  By doing a little more searching, you would find the Conceal Wear Money Belt - a money pouch made specifically for this purpose and is described below.

That's why this article of selecting a money pouch was written - to provide the traveler a snapshot of the different types of money belts on the market today.

Why use a Money Belt?

Obviously the answer is the same for most travelers - to protect your money and other smaller valuables from thieves.  But as the example was given above - several travelers look for a money pouch to carry items that they simply don't want to carry in pockets or waist packs.  Many of these variants revolve around the security factor - how well concealed do you want the money belt to be?  That answer will also impact how easy it is to get to your money or items, as well as how often.

Important Considerations When Using a Money Belt

As the old adage goes - "never put all you eggs in one basket."  The same goes with a security money pouch.  Always divide up your valuables between several locations.   That way if something ever happened to your money belt and its contents, you have a back up plan.  The following are a few items to consider.

  • If you are a married couple, never carry credit cards that share the same nu
    mber.  If your credit card was stolen, and subsequently canceled by the bank, so would be your partner's.  They both of you would have to wait for replacements.
  • If you have a lot of money, keep some at another secure location - such as a hotel vault
  • If you carry important credit card access or account numbers, keep them in a separate place, so a thief does not have the whole kit and caboodle.
  • When traveling in remote locations - especially in poor countries -  a wallet or money belt of a westerner can be a heavy temptation for poor people.  Is some extreme situations- especially in 3rd world countries, people have been murdered for their money belts! Please remember this!

Money Belts

A real hold-up-your-pants belt with a zippered compartment on the inside. It has about twenty-four inches (60 centimeters) of zippered area, about one inch (2.54 centimeters) wide. It comfortably stores a dozen currency notes. This can be used to provide extra insurance.

On the reverse side of the belt is a slim zippered compartment which remains hidden from view when worn.

The hidden money belt was made to keep your cash or travelers checks hidden and safe from sly pickpockets “would be” muggers.

Designed to look like a regular belt, these types of money belts come in a more finished look. 

They can be worn with dress or casual pants, as well as shorts, and not look out of place.  To obtain more information on money belts, click here.

Airport Friendly TSA Money Belts Wont Set Off Metal Detectors

Designed to help save time and hassle from going through security check points and metal detectors at airport screening stations.

Now you have an option.  A belt manufacture has made a belt that will pass thru airport screening without any problems.  TSA beep free belts are made of nylon webbing. Nonmetallic material so they won't set off the metal detectors at airport screening stations. These are also known as beep free belts.

bison money belt,  airport friendly, TSA friendly, security belt, money security, travel belt, non metallicThe buckle (the part that sets off most metal detectors) is made out of a rigid, but security friendly composite material that will not set off the screening station alarm either.  Hidden in the back of the belt is a hidden compartment money belt.  It is completely made of nylon and high impact plastic, including the zipper tracks and pull.  With no metal in the belt, you won’t have to worry about having your belt buckle set off TSA airport metal detectors.  Because having to go through “secondary screening” is something you just want to avoid. Of course if TSA tells you to take it off - you have to.  To learn more about the TSA Screening Money belt, To obtain more information on TSA beep free money belts, click here.

Concealed Neck Pouch - Travel Neck Pouch - Neck Wallet - Neck Stash

Concealed neck pouches and neck wallets have been around for many years. Travelers seem to either love or hate security neck pouches, due to their various advantages and disadvantages discussed here. Obviously, the security neck pouch hangs around your neck and is hidden from outside view.

Neck wallets, of also referred to as a security neck pouch or neck safe, have been around for the last hundred years or so.  They tend to  be one of the most common type of money pouches purchased and are usually highly recommend by experienced travelers.

However neck wallets do get some complaints. The neck pouch is made hang under your clothes. The biggest complaint is that depending on the type of shirt or blouse be worn, it may take a while to get to when needed.

Men tend to use neck wallets more than women - mainly because they designed to be worn flat against your chest. If worn by a large chested woman, this type of pouch might stand out a little more to someone looking at you, depending on how tight or loose their top was.  To address this issues, the neck wallet should be adjusted to hang lower around the stomach area.  Whenever possible, you do not want people to tell that you are wearing a money pouch around your neck.

Advantages of Security Neck Pouches

While it seems that security neck have many disadvantages, the advantages outweigh the negative.

The biggest advantage of the hidden neck pouch is its ability to be hidden from thieves. What many travelers are unaware of is that neck wallets are available with or without a unique security feature - an anti-snatch security cable.

Woven into the neck strap of certain security neck wallets is a steel security wire, which is designed to prevent a snatch and run thief from grabbing the neck strap from behind and yanking it from around the travelers neck.

Additionally, some skilled street thieves in parts of Europe or 3rd world countries have been know to look for travelers wearing neck pouches.

Disadvantages of Security Neck Pouches

  1. Some travelers note that neck safes can be uncomfortable to wear when it's hot, and many times it can be obvious you are wearing one depending on the type and color of blouse or shirt you are wearing, again making it very obvious you are a tourist. With women, the problem is that these pouches are designed to hang on a flat chest. You can, however, wear them horizontally below your chest area and above your waist. Some travelers have found out that the ink used on airline ticket smears greatly after a couple of months in the pouch. Putting them in a small plastic bag inside the pouch keeps out the moisture.
  2. When considering the purchase of a neck pouch, think about one in a tan or beige color.  A black one can sometimes be easily seen if you are wearing light colored clothing.  Some travelers wear these items on their side, like a holster, slung around one shoulder. This way it's more discrete, no matter how large your chest is if you are a woman.
  3. One major problem is when you go to retrieve an item from the pouch.  If you are wearing it when you go to dinner at a nice restaurant, you will have to excuse yourself to the restroom in order to unbutton your shirt to retrieve your money or credit cards.  This may not be a problem if you are a student and back packing your way across Europe.
  4. If a thief recognizes the pouch or can see the strap around your neck ( they are not that hard to recognize) the strap can be easily cut from behind by a skilled pickpocket.  A way to help avoid this would be to sew a piece of money belt money pouch security pickpocket pacsafepiano wire into the strap make it more durable in case it was cut from a snatch and run thief.  It might be painful but in general the thief should take off running if he or she did not get it the first time.

PacSafe PouchSafe 100

This was the first security neck pouch of its kind, and is the most popular when it comes to the travel neck pouches with security cables. The PacSafe PouchSafe 100 is the smallest of the line, and will remain the most concealed because it is designed to fit flat against your body. Made of rip-stop nylon, the pouch has a moisture proof liner and is hand washable.

The attached photo depicts the organizational pockets of the PacSafe PouchSafe 100.  The material of the neck safe is soft and feels comfortable against the body.

PacSafe PouchSafe 150

A larger version of the PacSafe PouchSafe 100 is available for those who have a larger amount of items. The PouchSafe 150 holds more items, and also allows it to be worn exposed if needed. The above photo is a drawing of the security features of the PouchSafe neck wallet.

Travelon GateSafe Neck Wallet

For those that are looking for a standard neck wallet, without the additional security features, the Travelon Neck Wallet is the standard.

It offers all of the organizational compartments that a traveler would need to hold they airline tickets, passport, identification, and other items needed when out and about. For information on this type of security pouch, visit

Security Waist Wallets

Security waist wallets have been worn by travelers as long as anyone can remember and are one of the most popular ways for travelers to carry money and valuables when hidden.

Typically about ten inches long and four inches wide with a strap which goes around your waist. It has a zipper with one or two compartments, weighs about two to 10 ounces,and costs anywhere form $10 to $30.00, depending on the security features.  It can be worn either tightly against the stomach with your shirt or blouse covering it, or dropped loosely into the pants.

Typically security waist wallets are worn by those who want to make sure their money and valuables are safe from street thieves and/or may venture into areas that have a higher level of street crime.

Some travelers like the added security of a hidden waist wallet because if they were robbed by street thieves, they are typically known to check your pockets for cash or a wallet, but are generally not know to ask victims to drop their pants in order to check for a waist wallet.

If you always remember to carry "robbers money" (just a few dollars in your pocket) you will always have something to give an aggressive street robber if needed. Like other types of hidden money wallets, security waist wallets come in a variety of styles to protect your valuables.

The money belt can be worn either tightly against the stomach with your shirt or blouse covering it, or dropped loosely into the pants.

The CoverSafe Hidden Waist Wallet

The CoverSafe Hidden Waist Wallet looks like any other waist wallet, except with the addition of one major security feature - a steel cable is woven i nto the back strap of the hidden waist wallet.

The CoverSafe is a street smart security waist wallet and is designed for tucking it under your clothes for no one to see. An alternative to visible waist packs.

What makes this security waist wallet or money belt different from all other waist wallets is that it has a slash proof, adjustable, wire-reinforced back strap. This feature protects the hidden waist wallet from being cut or tugged off from behind.

It also features two locking zippers to keep your valuables safe and secure without compromising comfort.

Compare these features against other security waist wallets and we know you will agree that you won’t find one safer!  To view more information about this type of security waist wallet click here. 

Hidden Pocket Wallet - Belt Loop Wallet

About half the size of the waist type. It hangs inside your pants from your belt or belt loop. It is made out of nylon, cotton or leather, has one or two zippered compartments. It is very easy to whip out when needed and does not draw a lot of attention if you have to get to it to pay for a meal. Most of these times are small, just large enough to hold your passport, money, and a very small pack of airline tickets.

One of the things you should consider when considering a belt loop wallet is that you purchase one that has dual color belt loop. This allows you to wear the belt loop wallet with black belt or brown belt and the belt loop would not stick out for the world to see.

Not recommended if you wore a white belt, the black or brown belt loop would stand out like a sore thumb. Usually the wallet is available in black or tan. Security loop wallets are usually designed with a variety of security pockets, so make sure you find one that fits your needs.

The Lewis & Clark Belt Loop Wallet has three separate security pockets. The first is the main pocket which is zippered so that the wallet can be opened from the top or the side (depending on size of the items in the wallet). Two additional pockets are sewn inside the main compartment and are designed for credit cards or other smaller items.

If you are wearing white shorts and a white belt, the black belt loop of the money wallet would stand out - something to consider. Usually the wallet is available in black or tan. Learn more about the hidden pocket wallet (loop wallet).

Leg Pouch Money Belt

The leg safe or leg wallet, is another version of a hidden money pouch that straps around your calf, just above the ankle. These are used by some travelers in bandit areas (this doesn't apply to 99.99% of us) since it remains hidden if a bandit forces you to drop your pants to display your waist money belt.

The following are a few of the different versions of leg wallets - leg safes on the market today.

Leg Safe Hidden Travel Wallet

This device straps around your calf, just above the ankle. These are used by some travelers in bandit areas (this doesn't apply to 99.99% of us) since it remains hidden if a bandit forces you to drop your pants to display your waist money belt. In this version, the Austin House Leg Wallet is manufactured with a cool, lightweight and durable poly/cotton soft material, which is specially treated with AgION™.

The leg safe leg wallet is also made with the advanced Dupont material COOLMAX® , which is the lining sewn onto the back of the leg safe leg wallet.  This material is designed to move moisture away from the body, which helps keep in keeping the person cool and comfortable.

The leg safe leg wallet has three individual security pockets.  The top pocket is 6 1/2 inches deep by 5 1/2 inches wide.  The second pocket is 5 inches deep by 5 1/2 inches wide.

These two top pockets are designed to hold items such as cash, passports, travelers checks, or anything else that can be folded to fit into these large pockets.  Additionally, inside the middle pocket is a smaller, hidden pocket designed to hold credit cards.  The final pocket is at the bottom and is 2 1/2 inches deep by 5 1/2 inches wide.  Each of the three larger pockets are  secured by a metal, locking security zipper.

The adjustable straps are elasticized with fabric tabs, which adjust to fit all sizes.   Each of the leg safe's straps has been tested for maximum expansion of 10 inches.

Travelers Deluxe Leg Safe

Another version of the leg safe - leg wallet is one that does not have Velcro straps. Some travelers have complained that they did not like the feel of the straps, so one company created a solution. An elastic sock type leg wallet.

The Leg Safe fits comfortably and securely against your leg due to its quality Lycra/Polyester construction. This stretchy material allows the Leg Wallet to fit on like a sock, which makes it impossible to fall off accidentally.

The Deluxe Leg Safe is one of the safest types of leg wallets on the market and provides travelers the most inconspicuous way to carry your money, passport and other vital documents.

Leg Wallet Features Adjustable Calf Strap

The top of the Leg Wallet features a 1 inch wide adjustable Velcro strap that helps keep the leg wallet secure for those who have smaller calf muscles, and likewise, allows additional expansion for those with larger calves. Deluxe Leg Safe Holds Several Larger Size Items The Deluxe Leg Safe features two separate zippered security compartments, each sized 6 ½ inches tall by 4 ½ inches wide.

These large compartments allow a traveler to hold a variety of items such as credit cards, passports, tickets, money and more. Use the Deluxe Leg Safe pockets to hold your keys when jogging or walking the dog, or your ID and hotel key when strolling the beach. Hiding discreetly under clothes, the Deluxe Leg Safe is the perfect wallet for traveling running or sports.

After times, some of these have become loose and items may fall out.  Travelers should consider leg safes that feature actual zippers to secure possessions.  To obtain more information on leg safes, click here.

 Holster Style Shoulder Wallet

Shoulder Security Pouch

Some travelers like to use a shoulder security pouch to secure their valuables when out and about. This type of hidden money pouch also has varied advantages and disadvantages.

Many people like to wear these shoulder wallets when wearing a jacket, or under a blouse or shirt that they can lift up to get to the wallet. They are easy and comfortable to wear, however you do have to wear a jacket or button down shirt that you can open to get to the contents of the money shoulder pouch. Here is a version of a security shoulder pouch.

Conceal Wear Hidden Money Pouch

Most travelers have no idea that this product exists or that it solves a problem that many travelers, especially women have come across. How to wear a money pouch if you don't where shorts that have a belt or belt loops to hook a regular money belt onto.  Hence the invention of a beltless money belt!

Designed to be easily attach to any clothing (shirts, shorts, socks, undergarments, etc.... and you don’t have to worry about a belt.  The Conceal Wear Hidden Money Pouch has several advantages. They are beltless, which appeals to some travelers who find them more comfortable than a waist money belt. There are no loops around your belt or strap around your neck, so they’re invisible to a pickpocket. The Conceal-Wear Pouch attaches to your clothing, (shirts, shorts, socks, undergarments) etc.

Now you can wear a money pouch without wearing a belt or using a clip! This is a brand new invention that solves the issue of wearing a concealed money pouch when you don’t wear a belt, or have a clip exposed. The “Conceal Wear" money pouch is the answer and may prove to be one of the most versatile, secure, and comfortable travel/money pouch on the market today. The “Conceal Wear” money pouch is perfect for travelers, runners, walkers, or anybody who wants to protect their valuables.

Security Fanny-Packs

Many travelers use fanny packs, or sometimes called waist packs but unfortunately criminals know that waist packs are “where the money is” and they are not as nearly secure as a money belt. These packs have become very popular over the last few years but the criminals have found them very prosperous too. The packs are great from the travelers point of view.

They hold a nice camera, wallet, passport, room key everything in one place. The professional thief likes it that way. Many stories have been told of travelers who had these packs stolen while standing on train/subway platforms.

The thief has a friend standing on each side of you to block the view of others standing around. You have no idea these people are crooks. They look just like others waiting for the train. the main crook is standing behind you with a small pair of scissors concealed in his hand. When the train arrives and the doors open, everyone is pushing to get inside when the crook behind you cuts the strap of your fanny pak from behind. You are being pushed inside by the other two crooks and never feel it drop into the crooks hands. 

pacsafe venturesafe 100, security waist packTwo manufactures have developed products to address this issue by developing security waist packs - also know as security fanny packs. They have combined a variety of security features that help keep the contents of a security fanny packs safe from pickpockets. The following are a few of the features you should look for in a security fanny pack.

Slashproof Rear Security Strap Embedded with Steel Cables

The rear of a waist pack is very vulnerable. Young street thieves in parts of Europe, Asia, and South America have become very aware that when westerners carry waist packs, they have a good chance of carrying something of value.

These thieves have also learned that the rear strap of a waist pack is usually made out of simple material that is easy to cut with a pair is scissors or knife. It only a street thief only a second or two to cut the back strap of a cheap waist pack and have it fall into their nimble hands. To combat this type of theft, most security waist packs sew security cables into the rear straps.

security cable for  travel waist pack fanny pack Daymakers The security waist packs shown at the bottom of this page have dual, slice-resistant and flexible stainless steel braided cables sewn into the entire length of the rear straps (one on the top and one on the bottom of the strap).

The steel cables then travel from the rear straps then go into the rear panels of the security waist packs in an effort to help provide additional strength from the strap being yanked out of the waist pack body.

These steel cables are invisibly sewn inside the entire length of the straps. In order to increase the cable's strength, they are made of 1/16 inch diameter stainless steel cables.  This exclusive design feature keeps the strap from being sliced by a razor blade or knife from behind. Slicing the back strap of waist packs is common on a busy streets, in tourist areas and on crowded train platforms by thieves. The rear strap of the security waist packs are adjustable like a regular waist pack and typically expand from 29 inches to 42 inches.

Adjustable strap extensions, expand the length of the strap an additional 20 inches are available as an accessory. Here is a photograph of a rear strap of a security waist pack with the outer material cut away. Two flexible stainless steel cables can be seen and are woven into the sides of the strap with double stitching.

security zipper for travel waist pack fanny pack Daymakers

Zipper Security Lock Protects the Contents of the Main Compartment

The below security waist packs feature two various types of zipper locks. The Daymaker brand features a "zipper security catch" which locks the zipper pull in place. This"zipper security catch" secures the top zippered compartment, as well as the secondary "organizational pocket on an optional model.

When used, this feature requires two hands to open the pack. Easy for the wearer to do, but extremely difficult, if not impossible, for even the most experienced pickpocket to open without getting caught. 

Some security waist pack companies use a physical lock to secure the main compartment which allows the fanny pack's main compartment to be locked.  This locking feature also allows you to lock your fanny pack to a secure object if needed- a unique feature.
security buckle for travel waist pack fanny pack Daymakers
Rear Buckle Security Wrap
Both security fanny pack companies incorporate a special Velcro® wrapper that covers the strap buckle.

This feature prevents the buckle from being easily opened from behind (a big flaw in the cheaper non-security waist packs.

To learn more about security waist packs, vist this page for an extensive review of 6 unique security fanny packs, as well as a variety of videos of each of these fanny packs, click here.

 Waterproof Fanny Packs

When travelers visit the beach or a community pool area in a foreign country (or even locally here in the states), many have lost their wallet, car keys, passport, and other valuables. You would be amazed with the amount of theft that occur to travelers at beaches and even hotel pools around the world. Several devices are available that allow you to protect your valuables when in the water.  Click here for more information. To learn more about these type of money belts, click here.

 PortaPocket Portable Pocket System Strap-on Option for Women

If you don’t have any pockets, you can use a PortaPocket strap-on carrying case. These are great for credit cards, money, keys, and even your passport (you have to buy the larger version). The strap-on wallet can be wrapped around your thigh, above your calf, ankle, or even on your arm. These are a great supplement to a purse or messenger bag.

Since you won’t need a hand to carry your PortaPockets case, you’ll have freedom of movement. The detachable pockets offer you ease of use in having both hands to work with while inserting and removing items from it, yet stays firmly in place when in mounted position. The PortaPocket is great for traveling, using at the gym, or even under that little black dress.

 Design Go Women's Body Pouch

Women's Body Pouch

Similar to a neck pouch or shoulder holster wallet, the Body Pouch for women is designed to loop over the neck and lay against the body. This pouch was inspired by lingerie that came with small pockets.

The women's Body Pouch provides discrete protection when traveling and is ideal for carrying cash, passport, or credit cards – really any slim item. All have an adjustable strap so you can wear the pouch where it will be coomfortable.

Inside Sewn Security Pocket

For a few dollars, tailors in any part of the world will sew a small compartment inside your clothing.  Generally the idea is good but if you were to look at the size of the documents you would be carrying, the pouch would have to be awfully large.

In reality, the pouch is great for stashing your money.  Just make sure the compartment is sewn in a location that cannot be easily accessed by a good pickpocket.  To insure this, the compartment should be at least zippered or buttoned

Before you Go - Watch Real Pickpocket Videos and Read Up on Pickpocket Scams

Before you leave on your trip, spend some time understanding how pickpockets operate so you can "see them coming" before they get your wallet.. To help travelers research this topic, one of the best solutions is to watch real videos of "pickpocket in-action." A variety of these videos have been assembled on at which is a unique website features pickpocket avoidance information

Our site contains over 100 pages of travel safety tips and security tips that are useful for any traveler. You will find tips involving luggage theft, avoiding pickpockets, laptop theft, hotel burglary, and airplane, train, automobile, and boat travel crimes.