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While we all want a way to keep our money and credit cards safely hidden when we travel, not everyone enjoys the traditional money belt that goes under the waist of your clothes.
This can be bulky, sweaty, and just plain common, meaning would-be muggers know that tourists often have this extra hiding place.
Luckily, multiple types of money belts are on the market, including the bra stash. This little pouch attaches to your bra and may be your new best friend. However, not everyone agrees.
This post brings you two different perspectives on using a bra stash personal security wallet when you travel. Will it work for you? The choice is yours.
A Positive Review of the Bra Stash
My one little thing is a tiny little money pouch that fits in my bra. Eagle Creek and other companies make similar products called a bra stash, but I bought mine in a market in Peru. I love it because it has a strap on it so I can always tell that it’s there, and I can easily pull it out without having to reach into my shirt.
Why I Use a Bra Stash
Everyone has a money belt, and they are definitely useful when you are traveling with a lot of cash and important documents. However, I lived in South America for a long time, and money belts are hot and uncomfortable, and after a while, you stop using them. Plus, they are bulky and hard to access when you are wearing a dress!
About 9 months into my trip, I was traveling through Peru and got held up at gunpoint. Because I wasn’t wearing my money belt, I lost everything. I bought the little pouch the day after the mugging – it does not hold my passport or large amounts of money, but it is the perfect size for bank cards, my ID, and a bit of cash.
It’s important to me because it makes me feel safe – I wear it not only when I’m traveling around, but also when I go out at night. It means that I can go out with money on me, and not have to worry about having my pockets picked, my travel purse stolen, or wearing a hot, sweaty money belt when I’m dancing all night!
Why You Should Use a Bra Stash
I recommend this to everyone who travels – it is such a relief to know that you can move around without looking like you’re carrying anything on your person, but knowing that what you do have on you is really safe.
A Negative Review of the Bra Stash
This guest review is brought to you by Gray Cargill of SoloFriendly.com
Everyone was talking about the pickpockets in Spain. Almost everyone had been robbed or knew someone who had been robbed—and they all swore that these were the best pickpockets ever because nobody ever felt a thing and their money was in the most secure locations (inside zipped pockets, front pocket of tight-fitting jeans, you name it).
They made it sound like pickpockets in Spain were magicians. I grew really paranoid.
I decided to check out money belts online. I’ve never used one before, and I was dubious about how well they would work, but it couldn’t hurt to look right? In the process, I ran across a very inexpensive product called The Bra Stash Personal Security Wallet (this exact version is no longer made). It’s lightweight and made of silk, with a button enclosure, just large enough for some folded-up bills and a couple of credit cards.
Initial Drawbacks of the Bra Stash
Firstly, the straps were too long. I couldn’t wear it in the suggested way – hooked around each bra strap and dangling down the front of my shirt – because it pretty much reached the waistband of my pants. This might not be a problem if you’re a double D cup, but alas, I am not.
- Editor’s Note: This type of bra stash personal security wallet does not seem to be very popular anymore. Most types have only one strap and attach in the center of the bra between cups or on the side of the bra.
Secondly, the wallet shows through any lightweight shirt you wear, which sort of defeats the purpose of keeping your money hidden. My solution was to wrap the straps of the bra stash around one of my bra straps (several times) and tuck the wallet into the side of my bra.
Further Complications With the Bra Stash
From what I’d read online, the cab to the hotel from the airport in Madrid should only have cost me around 22 Euros. I put 30 Euros in the front pocket of my pants for easy access, and all the rest in the bra stash.
Well, either all reports online were wrong, or my cab driver long-hauled me because according to him, the cost of the ride was 30 Euros. I tried arguing with him, but I didn’t know enough Spanish to do so effectively. I had to hand over all the Euros I had in my pocket (no tip for him).
When I went to check into my hotel, my room wasn’t ready, so I had to check my luggage and go grab a bite to eat at the restaurant next door. I expected to pay with my credit card. But no, because the cost of breakfast was just 6 Euros, they didn’t want to process a credit card.
That left me in a bind. I was sitting in the restaurant with my knapsack, which had all my valuables in it — netbook, camera gear, passport. Unlike the ol’ tuck a bill down your bra trick, I couldn’t just reach into my shirt and grab some cash, because it was buttoned up in the wallet, which was tucked under my armpit in my bra and tightly secured to my bra strap.
What had I been thinking? I could go to the bathroom to access it, but I couldn’t leave my bag sitting in the restaurant with no one I trusted to watch it, and I felt uncomfortable taking it with me to the bathroom in case they thought I was trying to skip out on the bill. And I didn’t know enough Spanish to explain the situation to the waiter.
I sat there cursing myself and the stupid bra stash and wishing I’d just put my cash in a more accessible location. Fortunately, the waiter told me I could charge my meal to my room at the hotel. Whew. Crisis averted.
Final Thoughts on the Bra Stash
Between the sweatiness of having this pouch against my skin all day, and the inconvenience of not being able to easily access my cash and cards when I needed them, I just wasn’t a fan of the bra stash. After a couple of days in Spain, I realized I really didn’t need it. My PacSafe bag was very secure, and I only brought what I needed with me during the day anyway, and left the rest safely in my room.
So in the long run, would I use the bra stash again? Maybe, if I were traveling to a really sketchy city or country, but I’d probably also stash some more cash in various more accessible locations around my person and in my bag, just in case. The bra stash keeps your credit card and cash secure all right – even from you!
Is the Bra Stash Personal Security Wallet right for you?
These two reviews couldn’t be more different from each other. When deciding whether or not a bra pouch is the right choice for you, it really comes down to your travel style, the location you are traveling to, and your personal needs.
What clothing do you normally wear?
Do you usually wear loose, flowing shirts, or do you prefer something a bit more form-fitted? If it’s the former, then a bra stash may be a good option for you. However, if you tend to wear more form-fitting shirts, then there is the possibility that you may be able to see the bra stash unless you have it tucked inside the bra cup or behind the bra band under your arm.
What country are you traveling to?
We all know that crime can happen anywhere. However, there are places that are a bit more notorious for petty crimes like pickpocketing. If you are going somewhere known for its crime, you might feel safer tucking your valuables away.
What is the weather going to be?
This is a personal one! You might not want to wear a bra pouch in very hot weather because it may get sweaty. Alternatively, if the weather is too cold, your bra pouch will be underneath many layers of clothing and will be hard to access.
What are you planning on doing?
If you’re planning on visiting lots of crowded marketplaces or busy events and checking out the local nightlife in jam-packed bars then you might want to wear the bra pouch to keep your valuables close to you. It’ll help with being able to go handbag-free as well!
You can always keep a certain amount of money in an easy-to-access place and use the bra pouch in case of emergencies.
Whereas if you are going somewhere more rural and are planning on spending a lot of time in nature, a bra pouch may not be as necessary. Although it might be nice to have to keep your hands free when doing outdoor activities.
What transport are you using?
If you are using a lot of public transport, keeping your valuables close to you in a bra stash personal security wallet might be a good idea. Whereas if you are renting a car or planning on taking taxis then this may not be an issue for you.
If you decide that the bra stash is not for you, then you might want to try a hidden pocket travel scarf, a theft-resistant purse (like the Travelon Anti-Theft Heritage Purse pictured above), or another money belt alternative instead.
The Bra Stash Personal Security Wallet Product Options
If you do decide that a bra stash personal security wallet is the right choice for you, then we have some great options for you to choose from.
Pacsafe Secret Travel Bra Pouch
The Pacsafe Secret Travel Bra Pouch clips comfortably onto the front or side of most bras. The silky fabric is soft against your skin and prevents irritation. The handy snap button closure allows easy access to your valuables. It comes in pink or black, is washable and quick-drying, and the elastic strap is adjustable.
Travelon RFID Blocking Clip Stash Pouch
The Travelon RFID Blocking Clip Stash Pouch is made of a lightweight nylon material that feels smooth against your skin. It has an RFID blocking lining which prevents your cards from being scanned and your personal details stolen. The carabiner can either lock onto a bra strap or a belt loop. Plus it’s odour and mildew-resistant.
Eagle Creek Silk Undercover Bra Stash
The Eagle Creek Silk Undercover Bra Stash is breathable, washable, and has a moisture-resistant lining. It can be attached to your bra in three different ways; in the center of the bra, on the side of the bra, or on the strap above the bra cup.
Zero Grid Hidden Bra Wallet
The Zero Grid Hidden Bra Wallet is big enough to store your passport, cards, money, and other small valuables while still small enough to look discreet underneath your clothing. It is made of ultra-soft nylon spandex and has an extra-long adjustable elastic that can fit bra sizes up to DD+ and bra band widths up to 4.5”.
Compass Rose Secret Bra Wallet with Anti-theft RFID Protection
The Compass Rose Secret Bra Wallet comes with built-in RFID protection and fits bra cup sizes from A to DD+ and bra band widths of up to 4”. It can be attached to your bra strap, bra band, or belt loop.
What is your opinion on a bra stash personal security wallet? Have you ever used one before? Let us know in the comments below.