Clever Travel Companion review and giveaway

Clever Travel Companion at Porto Bay Rio International, Copacabana, Rio, Brazil
Clever Travel Companion at Copacabana

Safety gadgets aren’t usually top of our packing list. That spot is reserved for cameras and flapjack. Yet travelling to Brazil this month, and more particularly Rio de Janeiro, safety was perhaps more prevalent in our thoughts than normal.

Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Copacabana: beautiful but dangerous?

We’ve tried various safety methods before, and concluded that most of them were a waste of time. In Guatemala we used pacsafes on our rucksacks. They just baffled security staff at the airport, and attracted lots of unwanted attention. We wore money belts in South Africa, but who were we kidding? It was too hot to actually use them, and what self-respecting thief doesn’t know about that trick anyway? Meanwhile in Cambodia we carried around fake wallets, and were disappointed when no-one tried to steal them. What are the rules?

We’ve long since morphed from sweaty backpackers into luxury travellers. Our valuables are now stashed away in hotel safes, and cameras and dinner money are usually the only things we take out with us. However the Foreign Office advises all travellers in Brazil to carry photo ID at all times. We took our driving licenses, so needed somewhere safe and secret to hide them away. Thus, we discovered the Clever Travel Companion clothing range and decided to put it to the test.

Clever Travel Companion pants
Source: Clever Travel Companion
Clever Travel Companion T-Shirts
Source: Clever Travel Companion

The Gear

Gone are the days of bum bags, and gilets with enough pockets to confuse even the most persistent of offenders. This is the era of the secret pocket, and I kinda like it! Discrete yet practical, the clothing ranges from t-shirts and tank tops to long johns and pants. Or briefs if you’re not in the UK!

The pockets are big enough to hold a passport, so are ideal for wallets, tickets and driving licenses! Made from 95% cotton and 5% spandex the t-shirt material is quite forgiving if you’re wondering about sizes. Very comfy too!

I was a little sceptical when I read the claim that Clever Travel Companion clothing is 100% pick pocket proof. Thieves are crafty scoundrels. They expertly lift valuables without their victim being even remotely aware. Indeed I didn’t notice when my Oyster travel card and a £10 note were stolen from my pocket in London. My only consolation was that the card had no credit. And if they’d have chosen my other pocket, they’d have been £80 better off!

Yet the pocket locations on the Clever Travel Companion clothing is genius. Even the Artful Dodger would have trouble getting his sticky fingers into these pockets which are found at the front, or up the sides.

Clever Travel Companion T-Shirts
Men’s v-neck with front pocket (source: Clever Travel Companion)
Clever Travel Companion T-Shirts
Fitted v-neck with side pockets (source: Clever Travel Companion)

Clever Travel Companion in Brazil

Clever Travel Companion sent us some t-shirts to try on our trip to Brazil. Possibly the ultimate place to test them? I went for the fitted v-neck with side pockets, whilst hubbie tried the men’s v-neck with a front pocket. Not because he wanted it (he actually fancied the side pocket shirt too). But because I’m a big fan of compare and contrast, and I always get first choice!

We wore them in Rio, and down in the rainforest near Paraty, and found them both comfortable and practical. Whilst they’re weren’t the most sexy bits of kit we’ve ever have the pleasure of wearing, they certainly did the job. And didn’t attract attention. Which is what we were aiming for!

Clever Travel Companion at Pedra Branca, Paraty, Brazil
The shirts were great for a spot of jungle hiking near Paraty in Brazil

What we loved

The positioning of the side zips on the v neck was spot on. Not at all obvious, and easy to access whilst wearing. Yet the best aspect of Clever Travel Companion isn’t the hidden zips. It’s as much about peace of mind as it is about practicality. I’d been a bit hesitant about walking along Copacabana, having heard so many horror stories and met people who’d been robbed whilst out on the sand. Yet with our unassuming t-shirts no-one gave us a second glance.

I guess you could say they gave us the confidence to enjoy ourselves.

Clever Travel Companion at Porto Bay Rio International, Copacabana, Rio, Brazil
Ready to hit the beach at Copacabana in Rio with my trusty t-shirt

What wasn’t so great

Hubbie wasn’t quite so keen on the front pocket location on his shirt. It was a lot more obvious than the side pockets and as it was bigger, it was less comfortable when carrying passports and wallets. So we’d definitely suggest opting for the side pockets instead. Having said that, being able to feel all your valuables next to your skin means a pick pocket attempt would certainly not go unnoticed.

Clever Travel Companion at Pedra Branca, Paraty, Brazil
The front pocket wasn’t quite as popular as the side pockets

Being a girl, colour is everything! I would have loved some blues or greens, and felt the selection on offer was quite limited. In the end I chose black because pink does me no favours, and white tops are often a bit see-through. In 40°C heat the black was rather toasty, but on the plus side the zips didn’t show up at all, like I think they would have done on a lighter colour top.

The Verdict

As Clever Travel Companion say, this may finally be the safest, smartest way to store your valuables whilst travelling. It’s a simple, effective and comfortable solution to an age old problem, and one I kinda wish I’d thought of myself! Nothing will ever truly be the answer to combating crime, but having the confidence to carry your valuables is half the battle. All that is left to do is have fun!

Our shirts are definitely going to be one of the first things we pack on our upcoming trips to Morocco and Kenya. After the cameras. And the flapjack!

Clever Travel Companion Giveaway
We love giving stuff away, who’s going to win this time?

Clever Travel Companion Giveaway

I’m delighted that the lovely folks at Clever Travel Companion have teamed up with Conversant Traveller to offer you the chance to win your very own pick pocket proof item of clothing to keep you safe on your travels. The winner of the giveaway will choose any item from the Clever Travel Companion range.

The giveaway closes at midnight on Monday 18th April 2016. 

Worldwide entries welcome.

To Enter

It couldn’t be simpler.

Just enter on the Rafflecopter widget below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The prize will be dispatched directly from Clever Travel Companion.

Terms and conditions

No purchase is necessary to enter or win. A purchase will not increase your chances of winning. The prize is an item of clothing of your choice, subject to availability, from the Clever Travel Companion range. The prize is not refundable or exchangeable for cash. This competition is open to a worldwide audience. The giveaway will run for 2 weeks and end at midnight on Monday 18th April 2016. The winner will be determined on or around the 19th April 2016 by a random drawing of eligible entries received. Your chances of winning are determined by the number of eligible entries. Winners must respond within a week of receiving the notification email, otherwise another winner will be chosen.

We were provided with complimentary t-shirts from Clever Travel Companion in return for this review, however as always, words and opinions remain entirely my own. Thanks also to Clever Travel Companion for providing the prize for this giveaway. 

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  1. says: Mansoureh

    This is so cool! I usually leave my stuff in a safe box in the hotel, but I think this T-shirt can help me to bring some money around

  2. says: Laura Vitty

    These sound perfect! I’d wear mine on my upcoming trip to Mexico and Cuba, then Vietnam later in the year. If I don’t win, I’ll have to buy one x

  3. says: Julie Booth

    Very interesting article. I wouldn’t fancy wearing the T shirt with the front pocket but would definitley wear the one with the side pockets in Greece on my next holiday

  4. says: Helen A

    I’d use it on my holiday next month, always feel safer having my things on me than leaving in hotel and this is a good way to store them!

    1. says: Heather Cole

      Ooooh, hope you have good weather for it! We’re off to the coast in Yorkshire next month, can’t wait for some good old British sea air!

  5. says: evan kristine

    Ugh, money belts 😀 They are awful! These shirts look interesting and they don’t look ugly either unlike most of these ‘safety’ shenanigans sold in the markets. Whenever I travel outside EU I normally only have a sling on bag and I am always careful with my surroundings. So far nothing yet has happened but it is always good to be cautious! 🙂

  6. says: Taylor Record

    I’ve tried a travel scarf with zip pockets, but this gear is a pretty cool alternative. All about those shorts!

  7. says: Katharina

    We are heading to Vietnam this summer. It’s probably one of the locations where you are a little more likely to get pickpocketed. I once read that it is actually more risky to use money belts and such. These t-shirts look interesting though. I looked at the image and automatically thought, I don’t like the look of the front pocket. Seems awkward to access. But then I saw the side pockets one. Far better! So thank you for sharing.

  8. says: Jenna

    What an interesting concept! I think these would be great shirts for traveling in areas where you have to worry about pickpocketing. I can see how they would be a perfect addition to travel wardrobe! I agree with you though, I think the side pocket would be better as well–it seems a little less obvious and more comfortable!

  9. says: asif tebani

    Fantastic prize for Amazing DUBAI AND I would wear it for city breaks and summer holidays all over the world i go!

  10. says: anto

    I’m going to Rio in September and was approached by the same brand to try their gear, I’m still considering though. Thanks for telling about the front pocket, I think it would be too obvious. Maybe I’ll go for one of their pants instead. I’ll be in Rio on my own and although I’m not scared easily, it will be something to be careful with.

  11. says: Iris W

    Lovely giveaway thank you. I would use this on my next holiday to Sicily, not booked yet but hopefully still this year.

  12. says: Anna

    Now this is awesome! Really surprised someone didn’t think of this brilliance sooner, reckon I need this in my world, would be most helpful in my day-to-day life too. Who needs a bag when you have a T with hidden pockets.

  13. says: Lotte

    What a clever way to hide your valuables! I would probably not need this shirt for our next trip to Japan as everybody keeps saying it’s the safest country in the world. However, it would come in handy for a city trip to Lisbon as crowded places in big cities are always an excellent place for petty theft…

  14. says: Hugo Cura

    Interesting concept. Also have to agree that the front pocket looks a bit dodgy and not so practical. Best thing is to leave stuff at the hotel safe but we need our cameras!

  15. says: Caitlin Suther

    I would love to wear it when my husband and I go on our yearly vacation this July to ??? Possibly smokey mountains?

  16. says: Robyn Bellefleur

    We are going for a trip to London, England at the end of May and then to the Bahamas in December so it would be awesome to win!

  17. says: rachel

    We’re going to Italy this summer, so pickpocket proof closet is perfect for Rome! I love that the Women’s Cotton Underpants with Secret Pockets also functions to give me a little coverage under skirts when keeping up with my children.

  18. says: Maria

    OMG your pictures are absolutely amazing ! That trip must have been so much fun ! We are planing our 20th anniversary( not sure where to yet) but you sure have influenced my options. Would love to wear it on my anniversary trip. Thank you so much for the chance – your blog rocks

  19. says: Monica @We Travel Together

    Didn’t know t-shirt like this existed, but now I know, and I want one! Would love to wear it when visiting Beijing in May.

  20. says: Kevin Honey

    I always carry my passport with me when I’m abroad, so it would be good to have somewhere safe to put it!

  21. says: Jo

    I love these tees. I always have to get inside secret pockets in my shorts stitched when I am traveling for safety. These rock. I would love to wear these on my upcoming trips – South Africa, Cambodia and Hong Kong 🙂

  22. says: Paula

    I have never been one for travel stuff like money belts or special gear but I like the look of these. I pretty much live in black so even that works for me. I would wear it on my 5 week trip to Spain and Portugal in October.

  23. says: Jess

    Such a cool idea, I hate those money belts but having secret pockets sounds great. I’d love one for our trip to China next month!

  24. says: Frank

    Interesting Heather! I get what you say about Pacsafe, I had an altercation with security when passing through the US a few years ago and it was proof the me that the idiots working there were most likely dropouts from McDonalds. I don’t know how many supervisors they needed to have a look at what is basically a metal mesh…
    T-shirts actually look pretty sharp!
    Frank (bbqboy)

    1. says: Heather Cole

      Yeah, I think the t-shirts are pretty much the first travel safety ‘gadget’ that I actually believe in! As for the pacsafes, as you say they’re more like a puzzle to solve than a deterrent. The airport security dudes in Guatemala were supposed to search our bags (they didn’t have scanners!) but were so baffled by the mesh that they just mumbled at us to carry on without being checked.