Ever Hear About Pickpocket-Proof Pants?

By Max Maxfield |

If you are travelling to distant climes -- or you currently live in a dodgy location -- then pickpocket-proof pants and/or shorts may be of interest. 

Before we leap into the fray with gusto and abandon, I should perhaps note that the word "pants" in the USA (where I currently hang my hat) refers to trousers, as opposed to the UK where it means underpants. I thought I'd better get this out of the way before my UK-based chums started to email me asking what led me to believe I was in need of pickpocket-proof undergarments. 

Generally speaking, I don’t have much trouble with pickpockets. For most of the time, I'm either secluded in my office or I'm basking at home. Every now and then, however, I need to travel, and these days you have to be careful. When I pop over to visit my dear old mother in Sheffield, England, for example, she is always warning me to be on the alert ("be a lert -- the world needs more lerts," as they say).

If the truth be told, my mom is a bit of a worry-wart. If all else fails, she worries that she has nothing to worry about. When I visit, on the Friday evening before I return home, it's become a tradition that I meet up with my friends -- whom I've known since I was 18 -- to quaff a few pints together. (Quaffing is like regular drinking, except that -- at least in my experience -- you tend to spill more down your chest.)

Before I set off for the evening, my mom will ask, "Who are you going out with?" I will respond by saying, "Oh, the usual crowd," and she will say, "But who, exactly?" So, I'll reel off the list: "Little Steve, Blond-Haired Keith, Zero Keith, John Alflat..."

Next, she will ask, "Where are you all going?" and "What time will you be back?" and "How will you get home?" It's like a play. We both have our parts. We go through this on every visit. It always ends with her saying, "You can't walk home. It's dangerous. You must get a taxi," and me saying, "Mom! For goodness sake, I'm 60 years old!" I don’t know why I bother. We both know we'll be going through exactly the same performance on my next visit.

Sad to relate, she's not entirely wrong (Shh! Don't tell her I said that). Things are no longer as simple as they were when I was a lad. These days, dubious and nefarious characters are all over the place (see Police issue warning over pickpockets in Sheffield). 

Over the past couple of months, I've been seeing some theft-proof backpacks that look quite interesting (just search for "Theft-Proof Backpack" on Amazon or YouTube to discover more). More recently, I ran across the ClothingArts.com website, where they have some rather cool pickpocket-proof pants and pickpocket-proof shorts

I'd never really thought about this before, but -- as you can see in this video -- the concept of pickpocket-proof pants is not a bad idea.

Although this isn't something I'm losing sleep over just at the moment, I think I will be looking into these pickpocket-proof pants again before my next trip to foreign climes. How about you? Do you have any tips and tricks you'd care to share regarding protecting yourself and your belongings?

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  • by  Aubrey Kagan (edited)


    The is a Canadian clothing company (I have mentioned them before) called Tilley whose prime market is travel. Most of their travel garb has secure pockets (including the hats) and some have secret pockets, like this pair of pants. Sir Edmund Hilary was their celebrity spokesperson for their hats. The have great stuff, but a bit pricey!

    When I travel I normally carry critical stuff like passports, driver's licence etc. in a neck pouch, although that can get pretty uncomfortable in hot weather. Having been pickpocketed in Barcelona (pause while everybody rolls their eyes and says ""Barcelona" you should have known better! Everybody gets pickpocketed in Barcelona") I have a different theory. Look like a tourist carrying an obvious fanny pack. Keep a wallet (billfold in US?) as a lure in it.

    In fact, I would like a cardboard wallet that like children's books, when opened produce a pop-up image. Unlike a children's book, it would be a middle finger. How's that for a Kickstarter idea?

    Many years ago I read in a Popular Mechanics about a farmer in the US Midwest who got tired of being pickpocketed at the county fair and sewed fish hooks inside his pocket....

    Of course for armed robbery, a slight variation is needed on the cardboard wallet and there are parts of the world where you aren't sure which form the robbery will take.
  • by  Max Maxfield

    @Aubrey: "...When I travel I normally carry critical stuff like passports, driver's licence etc. in a neck pouch..."

    Yup -- that's what I do -- and what I'd probably carry on doing, even if I had the pants referenced in the article -- but I'd also like the pants for less-critical stuff like pocket cash

  • by  Conrad Mannering
    @Aubrey I like the idea of fish hooks sewn in the pockets, as now with DNA profiling you might be able to locate the thief by residual blood traces.

    My Mum used to be a midwife and delivered babies in the Hackney,Hoxton and Bethanal Green areas of London before WWII. She used to put a set mouse trap in the bottom of her shoulder bag and wait for the snap. These were of course flat bottomed big shoulder bags.

    Would it be illegal to make a pocket have a high voltage on the inside? 

    What a shocking idea.LOL 

  • by  Max Maxfield

    @Conrad: "...Would it be illegal to make a pocket have a high voltage on the inside"..."

    Probably not -- but (over here in America), if someone got a shock while trying to pick your pocket, they could probably sue you  (the law can be an ass, as they say).

    A bigger problem (at least for me) would be my forgetting I'd done it and shocking myself (again) LOL

  • by  Rick Curl
    I've got a free app on my phone called "Spot Crime", which shows me the crimes committed in the last month or so in a 1-mile radius of where I'm currently standing.  There have been a couple of times when I traveled to a distant city and went for a walk for a few blocks around the motel only to discover later that I was walking through an extremely high crime area. Spot Crime allows me to make an informed decision as to whether or not it's safe to venture outside. 

    As far as I know, it only works in the United States, so you world travelers are still on your own.


    • by  Max Maxfield
      I'm just downloading it on my iPhone as we speak -- it's called SpotCrime+ and it says it works in the USA, UK, and parts of Canada -- thanks for sharing :-)
  • by  Max Maxfield
    I'm just downloading it on my iPhone as we speak -- it's called SpotCrime+ and it says it works in the USA, UK, and parts of Canada -- thanks for sharing :-)

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