Numinous Backpacks Review: Are They Really Theft Proof?

written by local expert Anna Faustino

Anna is a co-founder of Adventure in You and has been traveling the world for the last 9 years. She has spent time living in Thailand, Mexico, Indonesia, and Spain and is our local expert in these areas. Her expertise on travel, gear, and building businesses have been featured on Foundr, Business Insider, Yahoo Travel, and more.

Update: After a few months of using these bags, we realized that they aren’t very well made. The material rips quite easily and they are pretty heavy. While we love the built in lock system, in the end, we decided that we can no longer recommend this bag.

When we first started planning our trip to South America, naturally, safety is one thing that pops into mind. We’ve heard way too many horror stories of bags being slashed from buses, or even entire backpacks being nicked in the split second that you glance away.

Being the digital nomads (aka. Homeless) people that we are, everything we own is in our backpacks. Given this, we started our search for the perfect backpack that would give us some peace of mind. In comes Numinous anti-theft backpacks. Created by travelers, for travelers, they have created quality backpacks which have features that every backpacker will love.

Numinous Backpacks: The Anti-Theft Proof Features

First up, the locks. Every Numinous Backpack is equipped with built in TSA approved locks that can help you secure your belongings. Gone are the days of having to carry multiple padlocks (and keys) to help secure your things. You can safely check-in your bags while allowing TSA to access your bags without having to damage any locks.

Now comes my favourite feature. A wire lock! When your bag is on top of a bus or stashed at the bottom of somewhere, you can now make sure it is even safer. One of my biggest fears is someone nicking my bag. I know there isn’t much inside apart from a few smelly T-shirts and trousers…but they are still MY smelly T-shirts and trousers. To remedy this, I used to carry around a small bike chain lock so I could attach my backpack to dorm beds and buses. Numinous Backpacks has changed all of that by integrating a built in retractable lock system so that you can attach your bag somewhere. You can literally attach your bag to a bunk bed, a beach umbrella, heck, even a palm tree! I LOVE this feature as I now don’t have to worry so much about someone just walking away with my stuff. (READ: Why Traveling Isn’t for Everyone)

Numinous Backpacks lockThe Numinous Backpack Anti-Theft Technology

  • Anti-Puncture Zippers

All of the main zippers of the Numinous backpacks are resistant to punctures meaning pens or other sharp tools can’t pry these bad boys open. Clever right?

  • Anti-Slash Technology

Yep, you heard that right. The folks over at Numinous has made packs out of Kevlar mesh which is essentially an ultra-light steel case for your bag.

Tom and Anna wearing Numinous Backpacks
Photo by: Gavin Sutton

Numinous Backpacks: Which ones did we get?

To suit our needs, we each got a 25L daypack for our electronics (the life of a travel blogger) and tried out two different backpacks. I am using the 55L while Tom is using the 65L one. The Numinous Backpacks are slightly heavier than our old ones (because of all the security features). This initially worried us, but as soon as you put the pack on, the weight gets distributed quite evenly. The backpacks are easy to use and have all the right pockets and compartments in all the right places. My only comment in this area would be the difficulty to access the front pockets, as the zippers don’t go down as far. If your bag is stuffed the way ours is, accessing the things in the front pocket can be a bit of a pain. (READ: 5 Things I learned from being a Traveler)

numinous daybag

One of the deciding factors for me when we ordered these bags was the full length opening. A backpack that opens like a suitcase! One of the struggles that I have is digging through the bottomless pit called my backpack trying to find one item that I want to use. Even though we now use packing cubes, I still had to empty my pack every time I got to a place just so I didn’t spend 20 minutes digging. Problem solved as Numinous Backpacks opens up all the way.

Numinous anti theft bags packing

The height of each one is fully adjustable to make sure it suites your frame. They come with a padded lumbar system which is designed to let air flow through your pack. My old reliable REI pack had this and I couldn’t tell you how much I loved it. It really makes a huge difference when you’re lugging around your backpack looking for a place to stay. (READ: How to Travel the World and get FREE Accommodation)

Numinous Backpacks anna and tom
Photo by: Gavin Sutton

There are mesh pockets on the side for water bottles and convenient smaller pockets (with locks as well) so you can store things that you often need to reach in for. So now comes the big questions, are the Numinous Backpacks really anti-theft proof?

Numinous Backpacks review

The Anti-Theft Test

Locks – Combinations and Resistance

First off, the lock combination. To prove a point, we had someone try to guess our three digit lock combination. Initially, they thought it would be an easy feat, not thinking that there are 1000’s of possible combinations. An hour and a half later, all they had was sore thumbs for trying. So if I was a thief and I had a choice of bags to take- I would go for the one without a lock like this. When locked we tried to pull the zip out but not matter the force it didn’t budge.

Numinous Backpacks locks

Puncture Proof ?

To be fair, we got a little rough with our packs, trying to puncture the zipper with a pen, small screwdriver, and a swiss knife. To no avail, we couldn’t pry it open.

Knife Proof ?

Next up, the anti-slash technology. In all spirit of honesty, we stabbed our bags a couple of times but didn’t full on try to cut it open. The fact that we had a difficult time just stabbing through it was good enough for us. We also tried our luck in cutting through the retractable wire lock. Without proper industrial tools, it would be difficult to cut through the wire with just an ordinary knife. Now all you have to do is hope that the person trying to take your bag doesn’t have an industrial wire cutter on him. If he doesn’t- you’re good to go!

Numinous Backpacks
Photo by: Gavin Sutton

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Numinous Backpacks: Our Verdict

We LOVE our Numinous Backpacks! The only comment is that we wish it came in a variety of colors. As we are traveling as a pair, it gets confusing which pack belongs to whom. While they are a little bit on the pricey side, in our opinion, the security features are worth it. Since we carry a few electronics while we travel, the day bag is a Godsend to us! Aesthetics looks aside, we love all the features of our new backpacks and are beyond excited to use them throughout South America.

Update: We are currently in Ecuador where we take our day bag to the beach on a daily basis. We lock up our valuables, tie it to a tree or a bamboo post and off we go surfing! We finally some peace of mind when we leave our bags in the beach!

anna and Tom Numinous Backpacks
Photo by: Gavin Sutton

Disclaimer: Although these packs were sponsored by Numinous Packs, our opinions ALWAYS remained unbiased and are completely ours.

Numinous Backpacks Product Information

To view on Amazon click >> Numinous Packs

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21 thoughts on “Numinous Backpacks Review: Are They Really Theft Proof?”

  1. i got this bag last year and i have slashed this bag with a stanley knife so BEWARE, it cut straight through the first layer, so had i been a thief with a few more minutes i could have slashed the bag to shreds a thief isnt going to STAB your bag they are going to try and slash the bottom to get your belongings.

  2. Great review. These bags sound great. I’ve never had anything important stolen from me abroad, but it’s something I always worry about. Thanks for sharing.

  3. This really sounds like a must have. I heard about this from my friends here. Perhaps it’s about time for me to get one too.

  4. Wow, this is pretty neat! I am also always a little worried about getting my bag stolen. Like you say, it may just be smelly t-shirts and some knick-knacks from a local market, but they are my things! How much are these backpacks and would you say this is a good price?

    • The 25L day bags which holds most of our valuable stuff is priced at £79.99. We think it’s quite reasonable! Although its a little pricey compared to regular backpacks, to us its well worth it! We love the feature of being able to lock it to a post or a tree. We’re currently in Ecuador and use this feature all the time while we go swimming. @phenomenalglobe:disqus

  5. I also have never heard of Numinous backpacks. It is good to know that they come as advertised, as long as a person uses the anti-theft features. We had been using Pac-Safe products and they work pretty well again as long as you use the features. A wire cable lock doesn’t work if it isn’t being used. You are certainly braver than I would be by testing the packs zippers and poking them with a knife, I don’t think I would be able to do it just in case they were not as advertised!

  6. I could have done with one of these back packs that secure by wire when my got stolen on a train in Naples. Backpacks have come along way since i first used one in the 90’s when heading to Europe. I love those TSA locks we have then on all our traveling luggage

  7. D post. Yeah my bag being stolen is always my fear too. Love the number locks and the retractable wire lock. Brilliant. How much did the bags you bought go for?


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