Travelers everywhere are extra-prone to being the targets of petty crime. Pick-pocketing is one of the simplest and most common of these crimes against travelers; every day, thousands of tourists around the world fall victim to being pick-pocketed. Between the extra items that a traveler may carry (compared to a local), the potentially vast differences in clothing and gear design, and the common clueless look that most tourists wear, it is often easy to spot a tourist, especially to a pro pick-pocketer.
To help combat this age-old crime, Johanna Denize, a Swedish native now residing in Washington, D.C., created a new line of clothing dedicated to travelers.
Called the Clever Travel Companion, the company offers several clothing options that all have a common, zippered pocket as its main feature. As each of the articles of clothing are meant to be worn under other layers, the zippered pocket essentially becomes hidden; Passports, money, documents, and other items stored in the zippered pocket are then thought to be out of the way of the main targets of pick-pocketers, such as the front and rear pants pockets.
Currently, there are three basic clothing options in the Clever Travel Companion line:
The underwear are the only ones that aren’t unisex. For women, they come in the “boy shorts” style, with one pocket on either front side. For men, the underwear are a tight-fitting boxer-brief kind, also with two pockets in the front, one on either side. Though I like the idea of this, I find a few things that turn me off about it, albeit slightly.
The first is that it is essentially located in the same spot that travelers aiming to thwart pickpocket thieves are trying to avoid – the front two pockets – though it is one layer under the front two pockets. Another thing is that it seems to be positioned right where there needs to be fluid movement. A person wearing this with a rigid passport inside may find it uncomfortable as they sit down or ride a bike, perhaps.
Then there are the long johns, a thermal cotton layer meant to wear under an outer layer, such as jeans. Like the underwear, the long johns feature two front pockets, one on either side. Also like the underwear, I find this option seems as if it would inhibit full movement.
Finally, there are the shirts. Actually, there are two styles, one a standard, crew-cut, cotton tee, and the other a sleeveless tank top. These are my favorite in the Clever Travel Companion line, as they seem to make the most sense without sacrificing comfort. However, unlike the other clothing options, the tank and the tee only have one center pocket, located mid-chest, as opposed to the two pockets that the others have.
Though I like the tee/tank the most (I have the t-shirt myself), I think that this option doesn’t do as well in hiding the valuables as the others. For example, a rigid passport or identification card may show through the outer layer and not conform well to the curvature of the chest area, especially for women with larger breasts.
All in all, I am in favor of this unique clothing line. It is a step in the right direction, and even if these items are not worn with an outer layer over them, the zippered pockets are an extra defense against pick-pocketing thieves. For the full effect of the security that these items are intended to deliver, wear them as an inside layer under other clothing, to hide the fact that there is even something there to steal.
To try them out for yourself, head over to the Clever Travel Companion’s Website.