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Thinking of heading on a round the world trip or just live in a shady neighbourhood. What ever your answer, investing in a money belt is something you should seriously consider. I always use the Zero Grid money belt when I travel.
For me, it is perfect and in over 12 months of solid use it has not let me down.
Obviously there are others on the market, of which all have different qualities and features. In this post I will give my opinion why the Zero Grid money belt is my favourite as well as some info on the other security belts on the market. This way you can make up your own mind on what is best for yourself.
What is a money belt?
Some people call them money belts some people say security belt. Whatever it is you want to call it, it all amounts to one and the same:
A piece of equipment/belt that keeps your valuables concealed and out of sight of those pesky pickpockets and muggers. After all, keeping your cash stashed and out of sight is by far the best way to not entice opportunist thieves.
Here’s a quick run down of a few different types of money belt that are widely available:
Money pouches are rectangular pouches that have two straps attached so you can fasten it around your waist. The idea is that if you wear fairly baggy clothing no one will even know you are wearing it, keeping your valuables completely off the pickpocket radar.
Money pouches are the cheapest form of travel security. That will always get a vote here at drunkenpom 🙂
Money pouches are by far the most popular as they offer the most versatility. The vast majority of money pouches offer enough space for plenty of cash, your passport, credit cards, keys and even your mobile phone.
As well as being able to fit the world and his dog in one, they are also quite comfortable to wear.
In my experience these “invisible” money pouches are all well and good until the person wearing one wants to purchase a train ticket. Up comes the t-shirt for the world to see their “invisible money pouch”. Not quite so covert anymore.
Also, as stated above, you can fit pretty much everything but the kitchen sink into one. People tend to load them up to breaking point and then you’ve got a 2 inch thick growth around your waist.
Fair enough, it may still not be too easy for a pickpocket to get at but a mugger, who is happy to follow you out of the train station down some shady side street….
Although, money pouches can be classed as a money belt, for the purpose of this review, when I say money belt I am talking more about the Zero Grid money belt than a money pouch.
A Zero Grid money belt is, well, a normal belt to all who don’t know it has a secret zip up compartment on the inside that lets you stash your valuables. I say valuables, mainly just cash.
You really can’t tell someone has hundreds of dollars stashed around their waist. It really does just look like a normal belt. Only when you take it off can anyone see that there is a zip up compartment running down its length.
Absolutely no chance for pickpockets and unlike the money pouch, muggers would never know you are wearing a security belt.
It’s functional. It just becomes part of your outfit. Many times over the last 12 months I have forgotten that its actually a security belt with hundreds of dollars in it.
For it to be able to fit through the loops on your shorts means that you cant fit anything in it but folded up bank notes and maybe a key to your hotel safe. Certainly no credit cards or mobile phone.
Pickpocket proof clothing:
Pickpocket proof clothing are garments designed around the idea of concealing anything that you maybe carrying. This concealment usually comes in the form of large inside zip pockets.
Pickpocket proof clothing offers by far the largest carrying capacity over the two other types of travel security. Some garments even boast pockets large enough to hold an Ipad.
By a country mile the most expensive of the 3. With your average pickpocket proof hoodie/shirt weighing in at around £100 pounds it’s just far too much. By a few of these and your average budget traveller won’t have any money to keep secure…
You buy a £100 anti-pickpocket shirt, load it up with all your valuables. Passport, phone, cash cards, money. You wear it once on a 40C day, it stinks of sweat, what do you do tomorrow? Wear it again and again??
Maybe that’s how you keep the pickpockets away!? Smell like a toilet and no one will want to come close enough to steal from you….
Not that I’m the most style conscious person in the world but they just ain’t that stylish.
Why do I really need a money belt?
In all honesty you don’t!
Many people travel around with their wallet in their back pocket of their jeans just as they would at home. And why not? Are there no pickpockets and thieves where you live?
Of course there are, the only difference is you’ll be singled out as a tourist. A tourist who like most other tourists have quite substantial amounts of money on them and have little or no idea of the layout of the local area. Some would say an easy target.
As well as this, if you get your cash and cards stolen at home then you just order another one to be delivered at your home address in 3-5 working days. In the meantime you can just go to your bank with forms of ID and withdraw cash there and then. No dramas….
If the worst happens on the other side of the world, well, to put it politely, YOU’RE SCREWED!!
OK, maybe screwed is an over exaggeration. Yes you could get a friend or family member to transfer money through Western Union or the like but with a commission of around 30%, it’s far from Ideal.
I’m sure you can see in this case, prevention is far better than the cure. Get yourself a money belt, and have a little piece of mind.
A few statistics…
According to Safes International there are roughly 400,000 incidents of pickpocketing world wide every single day.
Apparently, 1 in 4 tourists that visit Barcelona will be pickpocketed.
There are over 600,000 pickpocket incidents each year in the UK alone.
Also, around a third of travel insurance claims are for lost or stole items.
So why the Zero Grid money belt?
For me personally, the Zero Grid money belt is the perfect fit. I love this belt because of the fact that it is just a belt and not a fancy all singing, all dancing money pouch.
What I mean by this is that as I stated earlier, a money pouch with “52 pockets” is that you will feel inclined to fill said pockets and what you’ll end up with is a daypack that hangs off your waist for everyone to see and is about as comfortable as a t-shirt made out of rock wool.
The Zero Grid is completely different. Get say, $200 USD (easiest to exchange in any country of South East Asia) split it into 2 bundles of $100, pack it into sandwich bags (waterproof) zip it up in the Zero Grid money belt and forget you have it.
I always wear a belt, so having the Zero Grid as my main everyday belt means that no matter what happens I always have a couple hundred dollars on me. Well, unless I somehow manage to get the shorts I’m wearing stolen.
I hardly ever remember that its a money belt at all. Guarantee though, the day the worst happens I’ll remember about my stashed $200.
$200 USD, if you know how to travel cheap in South East Asia could easily last you up to 3 weeks. Enough time for you to order a new card to your home address and get it shipped over to where in the world your are.
Also, the Zero Grid money belt will fit anyone with a waist size of between 26 and 42 inches and comes with a 100% lifetime guarantee.
Well worth £11 if you ask me.
What are the alternatives?
Over the years there has been much improvement in security wear. As the thieves become more advanced so have the innovations to stop them. Here’s some of the more popular types of money belt available on the market:
Mountflow travel pouch
- RFID Blocking: Radio frequency identification device blocking means that no one can brush past you with a scanner in an attempt to steal your identity. As well as take fake contactless payments off your card.
- Easy access compartments: Handy compartments to keep passport, keys and money separate and easy to access.
- Cheap: One of the cheaper pieces of travel security on the market.
- Lifetime Guarantee: Confidence in quality.
- Not so discreet: As I stated earlier, these pouches can be spotted a mile off unless you’re wearing really baggy clothes. Accessing money to buy things also blows your cover.
Pickpocket proof boxer shorts
Cost: £15+/- for 2 pairs
- Anti pickpocket: I guess you’d have a hard time not realising you’d been pickpocketed wearing these bad boys.
- Carrying capacity: You can only fit so much in these.
- Access: Fumbling round at the bar trying to pay for your drinks could land you in some trouble.
- Price: If you are going to travel long term and want security everyday then you’ll be looking at £60.
So there you have it, my Zero Grid money belt review. I know it turned out to be more of a comparison of money/security belts, nevertheless I hope it has given you some food for thought.
Have you ever been pickpocketed/robbed? Do you have any techniques to keep your shit stashed? I’d love to hear them….