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Gear Review: The Clever Travel Companion

On the morning I left for Colombia a package showed up at my front door. Inside was a simple white, sleeveless T-shirt, perfect for layering in a hotter climate. It was from a company called The Clever Travel Companion.

"Black and white tanktops with front pocket"

Black and white tank-tops with a zippered front pocket

Built into the front of the shirt is a zippered pocket that fits a passport, credit cards and money. I threw another shirt over it for my plane flight down to Colombia and you’d never know that’s where I was carrying my passport. It sure beat carrying a money belt. I’ve never liked those things and always feel awkward wearing them. And a fanny pack makes me look fat.

The shirt was comfortable too. It was long enough that it didn’t ride up on my back. It was roomy, but still flattering. And after several days of wear it wasn’t stinky. Really.

I was particularly thankful to receive this shirt for my Colombia trip. I had read that the neighbourhood we were staying in – La Candelaria in Bogota – had a reputation for petty theft and pick-pocketing. As it turned out I felt entirely safe in Colombia. But nonetheless I definitely felt better about carrying my wad of US money to the local change bureau in a hidden pocket. I also liked the fact that it was still easily accessible via the front zippered pocket.

The Clever Travel Companion has been reviewed in the Los Angeles Times, on the Lonely Planet travel blog, the Chicago Tribune and The Ottawa Citizen – to name just a few media outlets and all have given it a big thumbs up.

Some people had also tried the underwear version. I have not. But both short and long underwear have pickpocket proof pockets included in their design. This is brilliant for those times you don’t want to carry anything but cash and a credit card but you still want to know your money is safe.

If you’re a traveler and have an aversion to fanny packs and money belts then consider either a T-shirt or underwear for peace of mind.

"Underwear with zippered pockets"

Underwear with zippered pockets

"Long underwear with zippered pockets"

Long underwear with zippered pockets

The products are $US 24.90 for the underwear and $US 29.90 for the T-shirts, not including shipping. They come in multiple colours in sizes from XS through to XL. You can buy them online via the Clever Travel Companion website, or on either amazon.com or amazon.co.uk. I think you’ll be very pleased with your purchase.

Have you ever heard of the Clever Travel Companion? How do you usually carry money when you travel?

Leigh McAdam

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Join the discussion 17 Comments

  • Never heard of the clever travel companion. Travelling in poor countries I usually carry an ‘invisible’ money belt with little or no cash and valuables.

    • @Mette My experience in Chile, Argentina & Colombia is that the bank machines dole out miserly amounts of cash – and yet cash is king. I hate to carry a lot on me but in these countries its much more of a necessity. Argentina two years ago was cash for almost everything – and the ATM’s were often empty. We spent a lot of time looking for money on this trip too.

  • Jackie Smith says:

    A timely post as we prepare for traveling in Greece this spring. While we have a more relaxed approach to the Greek islands, the ferries and Athens are another story. . .we learned first-hand how quick a pickpocket can turn a trip upside down shortly after arriving in the port city of Pireaus. . .we travel much more ‘on guard’ these days and I will be investing in some garment shown here. Thanks!

  • I just got one of these shirts. I will link this post when I do my review.

  • Great idea to build pockets into the underwear. Worth the piece of mind in not-so-safe countries.

  • InACents says:

    We tried out the underwear version about two weeks ago too. After reading your review of the shirt, I think it is a better option, as I felt kind of guilty having to stick my hands down my pants to get out anything of importance.

  • CampingMaxx says:

    A previous travel buddy of mine had some of this CTC gear and she loved it. Felt very safe at all times and the hidden pockets were easily accessible. She also mentioned that the fit was great. Another happy camper.

  • Donald says:

    Nice review of these products. My wife and I could have utilized these in Peru (although it really is pretty safe) and helped limit the potential of petty theft. Definitely a cool alternative to the typcial money belt.

    @advfamInMotion

  •  C6014 Comfort color tshirts says:

    Never show anything while travelling. I usually use my belts and pants under pocket for all important docs and money.

  • Gina says:

    If you order, be sure to read all the fine print. I recently ordered a tank from them in a large as I am a size 10. It was tighter than I like so I inquired about an exchange. They won’t take it back because I neatly cut the top of their plastic bag. i didn’t realize it has a ziplock on the bottom you have to use. Guess I’ll be giving it to a friend.

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