Reading a post this morning on global travel scams — mostly involving pickpockets in some way — reminded me to recommend a pair of trousers that I traveled to Europe with this spring in anticipation of possibly encountering, well, pickpockets.
And indeed, while crossing the crowded Charles Bridge in Prague, our Insight Vacations guide warned our group of travelers (all travel journalists) to guard our wallets, since Prague — and the Charles Bridge and Old Town Square in particular — are havens for the light-fingered folks who prey on unwary tourists.
While pickpockets can be very clever, I felt safe in my Pick-Pocket Proof Pants™, as they’re called, made by a New York company called Clothing Arts. Every pocket is secured by zippers, covers and buttons, so you can layer two or even three levels of security for your wallet, money or other valuables. They’re designed to replace money belts and, with cargo-style pockets, hold an awful lot more besides.
There’s even a special hidden pocket for your passport, and pockets for a digital camera or smartphone. Some pockets are expandable.
I’ve been a little sensitive on the subject of pickpockets ever since a time years ago when a man on the Mexico City subway managed to dip his hand into my pocket and pull out a wad of American Express travelers cheques (yes, people still carried them back then). I did notice a furtive-looking fellow standing next to me but didn’t feel any hands wandering into my pants pocket; I didn’t discover the loss till we got back to our hotel.
My excuse for not guarding the travelers cheques more carefully on the crowded subway is that I was carrying our 5-year-old daughter at the time, and she was occupying both my arms and hands and my attentions as well. I managed to get the cheques replaced, and months later Amex sent me a photostat of some cheques with a crude looking signature purporting to be mine. Someone had been taken in by it.
Then, a few years ago, both my wife and I were jostled on the subway in Barcelona by two fellows who failed to grab any of our valuables, then quickly disappeared at the next stop. Barcelona, beautiful as it is, has a reputation as one of the pickpocketing capitals of Europe, so we were prepared by keeping our wallets pressed close to our persons.
But with the new Pick-Pocket Proof Pants™ I brought with me this year, I didn’t even have to worry about where my wallet was — I knew it was safe. These pants are the Fort Knox of travel wear — so impregnable that even I have a hard time getting my wallet out when they’re fully zipped and buttoned (my only complaint).
Being an adventurous fellow, I got the Adventure Traveler style, which comes with all kinds of pockets and also is available in shorts or a convertible model that unzips into shorts.
You can also get models suitable for business travel without as many pockets. And yes, they also make women’s travel pants, and men’s shirts as well. The Adventure Pants are made of nylon that feels as soft as cotton, and they’re wrinkle-free, quick dry, breathable and durable.
Pick-Pocket Proof Pants — don’t leave home without them.