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. 


  • Mansoureh says:

    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

  • Laura Vitty says:

    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

  • Sam McKean says:

    When we go camping in Devon

  • Michelle Wild says:

    On my next holiday if and when I go.

  • Natalie Crossan says:

    On holiday to Turkey in May x

  • Pam Francis Gregory says:

    On my next trip to the Algarve

  • Anneka Hulse says:

    Exploring London on the tube

  • Julie Booth says:

    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

  • Sharon Clarke says:

    I’d wear them on the trams in Lisbon, they are notorious for pickpockets, also the buses in Mallorca

  • Helen A says:

    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!

  • sean says:

    such a great idea.. i would wear it everywhere….it is always good to feel safe

  • Caroline Signey says:

    I’ wear it on our holiday to Spain

  • Clara Bee says:

    I’d wear them in Thailand which I hope to go to soon!

  • Debbie Preston says:

    We’re going to China in August so would use then

  • Rosie Holloway says:

    Going to Rome in the summer so would be very handy for in the packed areas

  • donna l jones says:

    for my holiday in thailand

  • Sheri Darby says:

    I love these T shirts – ideal for the next stage of my holiday – walking along the British coast

    • Heather Cole says:

      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!


    For my adventure hols x

  • Rachel Butterworth says:

    I would give these to my parents for when they go to Cyprus this summer.

  • Tam p says:

    Secreted about my person

  • Kimberly Rampersad says:

    I am planning on going Central america pretty soon and I think these would be perfect.

  • Jona Micah Fidel says:

    Going to visit Bali, Indonesia soon! so these stuffs would be great 🙂

  • Trisha Velarmino says:

    Getting this soon! Just waiting for the package!

  • evan kristine says:

    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! 🙂

  • Taylor Record says:

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

  • Katharina says:

    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.

  • Jenna says:

    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!

  • Caitlin says:

    Hope to use this when I study abroad!

  • asif tebani says:

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

  • John M. says:

    This is a neat product – keeps your items secure AND within easy reach.

  • anto says:

    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.

  • Iris W says:

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

  • Anna says:

    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.

  • Lotte says:

    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…

  • Hugo Cura says:

    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!


    When we go camping in Cornwall

  • Hazel Murphy says:

    I would choose the side zip t shirt for our trip to Goa.

  • Stevie says:

    What a great idea. I’d keep a set in the car, they should have one for toddlers too.

  • Mirjana says:

    Fantastic prize 🙂 I would wear it for city breaks and summer holidays 🙂

  • Jayne Townson says:

    I’d wear it on my holiday to Greece this summer. Thanks for the lovely giveaway.

  • Pam Smith says:

    We’re due to travel to Mexico and Cuba so these would be ideal.

  • Holly OGorman says:

    I would wear it on an upcoming trip with my daughter 🙂

  • Caitlin Suther says:

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

  • JULIE WARD says:

    Tenerife, hopefully I won’t be as high up in my apartment as you were

  • Julie Bolduc says:

    I would wear this when I go on our trip camping

  • Robyn Bellefleur says:

    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!

  • Corinne Peat says:

    I will use it on all our breaks away. Great idea!

  • rachel says:

    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.

  • Maria says:

    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

    • Heather Cole says:

      Thanks 🙂 And wow, 20th anniversary, congrats! Hope you decide on somewhere exotic and exciting!

  • Annette says:

    I’ll be traveling to Mexico in a few months, so I’d put this to good use, there.

  • Helen Stratton says:

    They would be excellent for festivals.

  • Catherine R. says:

    It would be great clothing for doing excursions when we are on a cruise. Love the hidden pocket idea.

  • laura stewart says:

    when we go camping x

  • PAUL STANLEY says:

    Would wear it in Austria this summer

  • Judith R. says:

    If I won, I’d wear my Clever Travel Companion clothing to our local beach.

  • Monica @We Travel Together says:

    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.

  • Sandy says:

    I would begin by wearing the tea shirt around the Pacific Islands. Who knows where next.

  • Sally says:

    I would love to win these! I’m spending the summer in Barcelona and the metro pickpockets there are notorious!

  • Rachel Craig says:

    Hopefully the Channel Islands.

  • Tracy says:

    Camping in scotland

  • Amanda says:

    I would wear them on my trip around Europe 🙂

  • Linda S. says:

    To Italy!

  • Michael Griffin says:

    I would wear them for my trip to Greece

  • Kevin Honey says:

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

  • Carolynn Woodland says:

    Going to visit my son in Thailand soon, so great opportunity there!

  • Sarah says:

    Awesome review! Sounds perfect for my upcoming plans to travel around SE Asia.

  • I hadn’t heard of this range before but I love the t-shirts, what a great idea. Will definitely enter the giveaway.

  • Jo says:

    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 🙂

  • Paula says:

    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.

  • Jess says:

    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!

  • Frank says:

    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)

    • Heather Cole says:

      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.

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