An occasional look at products the travel industry insists we need.
WHAT: Pacsafe's Stashsafe, a fanny pack that locks up tight.
AIMED AT: Travelers visiting regions where bag-slashing is sport; absent-minded tourists who tend to leave their packs behind.
HOW MUCH: $29.95 for the roomy black fanny pack, brass padlock and three keys.
BUT DOES IT WORK? We've heard about bag snatching and pocketbook slashings, but fanny pack filching? Believe it. Since it's hard to see what's going on back there, a hooligan could easily cut the waistband, quick-release the buckle or pickpocket the posterior pouches. However, Stashcafe does everything in its power to foil a filcher: The wire-reinforced belt is clip-resistant, the padlock secures the bag to your waist, the zippers lock to a metal D-ring and the whole caboodle stays hidden under a black flap. Though at first glance the pouch seems unwieldy, once on, it's a cinch to unlock, retrieve, repeat. (You can also lock it to an immovable object, like, say, a piling, if you want to take a swim.) Take care, though: Lose the keys and you'll be saddled with this bag for a long time.
-- Andrea Sachs
Pacsafe's Stashsafe is available through the company (800-873-9415, www.pac-safe.com) and at local retailers, such as REI, Rand McNally and Hudson Trail Outfitters.